. How do things get done at U3A Port Phillip?

U3A Port Phillip is run totally by Volunteers.  Have you ever wondered what do they do behind the scenes?

In this article, we take you into the amazing world of how your Courses are scheduled.

To schedule a Course, we need two things: a Tutor to present a Course and a place to run the Course, either physical or virtual.

For Courses that run all year, Tutors propose the Course they wish to run in October/November of the preceding year.  For Courses that run for a specific period such as one or two Terms, Tutors propose their Course approximately one month in advance.

In their proposals, Tutors also request a place to run their Course, for example:

  • Online
  • A City of Port Phillip venue, such as Mary Kehoe Hall, South Melbourne Community Centre Hall 1, Sol Green Community Centre Hall, Middle Park Community Centre Hall
  • If a Tutor is organising the venue in which the Course will run, the Tutor advises the location such as a private home or a bowling club or a park

For Online Courses, the U3APP IT group purchases the appropriate number of Zoom accounts to enable multiple concurrent Online Courses each day, including suitable gaps between Courses using the same account.

For City of Port Phillip venues, U3APP must apply to CoPP on an annual basis to hire specific rooms for specific dates over the financial year July to June.  In 2021, applications for room hire are submitted during a 2 week time period at the start of May.  After the application period closes, CoPP evaluates the applications, determines the successful applicants and advises the results in June.  Due to the reduction of venues available for hire and capacity limits imposed by COVID requirements, CoPP cannot guarantee that requested days, times and venues will be available.

Once we know the Courses which Tutors wish to give and the venues we can use, then the Course Coordination team, in particular Ann Gibson, can start scheduling.  Face to face Courses requirements, such as a particular venue, a particular day and time, a particular room size, are matched against the specific rooms available.   COVID requirements impose additional restrictions on scheduling face to face Courses, such as longer gaps between Courses in the same room and staggered start times between courses in different rooms in the same venue.  To achieve a workable Course Schedule requires cooperative consultations and a team effort between the Tutors and Course Coordination.  In practice, the fluidity of available face to face rooms caused by COVID restrictions has necessitated continuous consultations since October 2020.