Using RootsTech Site Tools to Create a Possible Schedule

Register for RootsTech 2016 !
My talented husband was selected to teach at the February 2016 RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. His presentation will be RT2028 - Audacity and the Power of Audio Editing.

Knowing that he's teaching on Friday, we made plans based on his real job's schedule and the needs of our children and child care providers. Thankfully, the RootsTech Schedule of classes is available to help us plan tickets and book our hotel. There are a few official hotels affiliated with the conference. We chose to stay a few blocks away and walk to the conference to have more amenities that fit our needs and budget. Hotels.com was a great resource to compare the options and make the best selection for us.

The RootsTech Schedule pages has a great tool for pre-selecting the classes that I'm most interested in attending. Additionally, I could mark alternative classes as well. The only challenge I have is remembering where the tool is located and how to drill down to my options and selections. I thought others might find themselves in the same boat, so here's what you need to know. (And if the site changes, let me know!)



Select the Schedule link to review the class options.
The registration and the scheduling tools are separate website systems using the same login. In other words, you can only do Registration activities when you press the Registration link at the top of the website. When you want to make schedule selections (and alternatives), you use the Scheduling link and log in again using the same log in from the registration section. I was expecting to login once and have access to both sections (or rather one page that took me to both sections), but that's not the way it works.

Does that help clear things up?


On the next page, you can Login to what the site is calling 'Connect'. This is the page you need to use to access the Day Time Schedule choices. You'll find the login link in the upper right corner after you've registered to see the schedule .

Even though you can press the Browse & Search link under the "Event" section on this page, I would still advise setting up an account (which you can do from this screen if you haven't registered). Having an account allows you to save your classes of interest and view a sample schedule of the classes you'd like to attend. This features makes the decision to attend easier and saves me from having to go back and try to remember which classes peaked my interest.

After logining in, you then want to browse the class offerings. To do this, select the "Browse & Search Link" on the left side of the page.

One would think all of this is intuitive but I'll admit to being confused at times. So you're in good company if you too need a hand to hold as you navigate the website. 


Once you select "Browse and Select" you'll see a list of classes in the middle column and way to filter options on the left. Be advised that once you select a day in the left hand box, there is no way to show all days again (at least that's what I've found) without leaving the system and coming back in.

Now, you can use the scheduling options beside the classes to create a list of those you really want to attend and alternate choices. There doesn't seem to be a limit to your alternative choices, so click away on the stars beside the "Add to My Interests." It's better too many on your first review of possibilities than to keep scrolling through options later.

You can always press on the star beside "Remove from My Interests" when you decide a selection is not right for you.


Notice how on Friday at 11, I have one class that is highlighted in blue and marked as scheduled and a Lab that is started for the same time slot. It is my understanding that the schedule selection does not hold my spot in the class. For now, it's simply the class I'm most interested in attending for this time slot, unless something changes.

However, Labs each have an additional $15 fee to attend. Once you've paid for that fee, this will hold your spot in the class. I'm not certain how fast these classes will fill up, so we'll need to make some decisions before there are not spots left for these classes.

After you have reviewed the class offerings and marked the intriguing ones, you'll want to look at a potential conference schedule to see how things look. To do this, select the "My Schedule" link in the Participation Menu near the top left corner of the web page.



When the new page loads, you'll see a sample schedule based on your the selections for which you pressed the plus sign to 'schedule' yourself to attend. So view a schedule with all of the classes that you pressed the star to "Add to My Interests" and the plus sign, press the "Show Interests" option as shown below.


Your schedule will look something like this.


 The green boxes are the classes that at first glance, I more strongly wish to attend then the grayed classes. (I know their color scheme is very difficult on the eyes. Sorry).  If I want to make changes, then I can go back to the Browse & Schedule option.

Here are a few things to note when looking for classes.
  • Classes for 'All' are labeled Beginner. I'm an Intermediate/Advanced family historian depending upon the topic discussed. When I filtered the schedule for intermediate and advance classes, I discovered very few options. Later, I was informed that classes for "All" skill levels are actually coded as Beginner. 
  • LDS Track Classes: There are some LDS track classes on the schedule, for those who might be interested, that are available on Wednesday - Friday. Put "LDS" in the Keyword Search at the top of the "Browse and Search" page to find those classes. When I attempted to select an LDS class for my schedule, I was not allowed add it. I could only press the star for "Add to My Interests." Perhaps there is a separate registration associated with these classes?  Thought I'd share for what's it's worth for those who might be interested.
  • Heavy on Discover: Despite the options for Discover, Preserve, and Share, the class offerings are extremely heavy on the Discover topics. For me, that was disappointing as my interests lie in the the Share and Preserve segment of family history. Others may find that balance perfect as they are knee deep or wading in the Discovery side of things. Again, just putting this out there as an observation for those who might need to know.  

If  you're debating about whether you should ttend RootsTech 2016 in Salt Lake City, February 3-6, use the scheduling feature. Mark possible classes of interests and view a sample schedule to determine if there are enough classes that interest you to justify the attendance costs. This is a great decision making tool, so use it!

If you know you're going to go to RootsTech, increase your anticipation for the event by selecting the classes (and alternates) that you might be interested in attending. Play around with your schedule as more information becomes available, such as which ones will be streamed.


With the scheduling tool, Andy and I could see our class selections in a visual format. We noticed that we had a few classes of similar interest and being that we live under the same roof, we adjusted or schedules so that we could go to classes of alternate interest if we discovered we were going to the same class. I mean, I love my honey and love being by him. I'll be in the front row of his class for certain. However, there is no need for us to stay together for each class session. We can attend different classes and compare notes on the flight home.

The other GREAT thing about this tool and the schedule being available well in advance of the conference was we could make our travel and sight seeing plans based upon course offerings. We noticed the classes that peaked our interest were in the middle of the conference multi-day event. Thus, we could arrive in Salt Lake City later and perhaps leave earlier than we would have anticipated had we not used the tool. Given our young family and hubby's work obligations, the scheduling tool and the information we discovered was extremely valuable.

Go ahead and check out the conference website. It's a wonderful resource for planning your trip!

If you want to attend my husband's class, it'sRT2028 - Audacity and the Power of Audio Editing in the Friday 1:30 pm time slot. It's a beginner family historian level class with an intermediate level technology skill set.


Comments

  1. Devon,

    I want to let you know that two of your blog posts are listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/10/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-october-23.html

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete

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