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FAQ

General

1. Q: The installation of the SOP requires .NET Framework 2.0. How is the specific software framework installed?
A: Please run the setup file "dotnetfx.exe" located in the folder "dotnetfx" in the SOP installation package.
2. Q: What are the basic steps in using the SOP to allocate elective subjects to students?
A:
  1. Major Settings - set the number of time blocks and the maximum number of elective subjects to be opted by students
  2. Student Particulars - enter or import students' information into the system
  3. Subject Information - select elective subjects that will be offered to students
  4. Distribute Student Option Form and Input Student Options - collect students' preferred options and then enter or import the data into the system
  5. Setup Subject Group & Constraints - specify the number of groups for each elective subject and any subject constraints required
  6. Generate and Maintain Time Block - arrange the elective subject groups into different time block either manually or via the system
  7. Prepare Student Academic Results - import students' academic results (reference only) when allocating elective subjects manually
  8. Maintain Student Allocation order - specify the allocation order for allocating elective subjects to students
  9. Allocate Subjects to Students - allocate elective subjects to students using different data models according to the allocation order
  10. Reports - export relevant reports in different formats

Preparation

3. Q: Can I extract data from WebSAMS and import the data to the SOP?
A: New updates of WebSAMS allow users to extract data as Excel files for the SOP under the module "Data Management". Data includes student particulars and student academic results. The Excel files can then be directly imported to the new version of the SOP.
FAQ_Q2_Answer
4. Q: What is the use of the field "Next Year Class" in the Student Particulars?
A: "Next year class" is required for the SOP to print out students' individual timetables. The field must be filled in when printing timetables.
5. Q: Will the old student particulars be updated if a new excel file is imported to the SOP?
A: If a new student particulars file is imported to the SOP, all existing data will be replaced by the new data in the imported file.
6. Q: How do I remove an elective subject in "Subject Information"?
A: Before removing an elective subject, the user should ensure that no students choose this elective subject as their option and then set the number of group for this subject to zero. After that, the elective subject can be removed in Subject Information.
7. Q: What is the use of the function "Teacher Constraint"?
A: The function of "Teacher Constraint" is to arrange the two subjects a teacher teaches into different time blocks during Time Block generation.
8. Q: What is the use of "rank" in Student Particulars?
A: The rank in student particulars can be used to generate the allocation order of students.
9. Q: What is the use of "Student Academic Results"? Can SOP allocate subjects to students according to "Student Academic Result"?
A: "Student Academic Results" provides a reference for the users to manually allocate subjects to students. However, students' subject allocation in SOP is based on the "Allocation Order" but not the "Student Academic Results".

Preference

10. Q: Do students need to fill in all preferences from 1 to 10 if our school offers 10 subjects for students in S4? Can we allow students to fill in only the first 6 preferences?
A: SOP allows the number of preferences of each student to be fewer than that of the number of subjects offered. However, no duplicate preferences are allowed.

Time Block

11. Q: How to calculate Number of Requests (NOR)?
A: Number of Requests is calculated according to the number of electives students need to take. For students who take 2 elective subjects, their first two options will be counted by NOR. For students who take 3 electives, their first three options will be counted. However, due to the reason of forbidden combination, for example, students cannot take Physics and Combined Science (Physics and Chemistry) simultaneously. If a student chooses Physics as option 1 and Combined Science (Physics and Chemistry) as option 2, NOR will count option 1, skip option 2 and count the subsequent option.
12. Q: If a subject has more than one group, can the size of each group be different?
A: Virtual students can be created to fill in the places to reduce the group size (Video).
13. Q: How many blocks of subjects can be set in SOP?
A: A maximum of 9 blocks can be set in SOP.
14. Q: Under Time Block, Subject Group Setup interface, why the number of "Max Size" cannot be changed?
A: If you use SOP version 1.1.0 to open a database that was created by SOP version 1.0.0, you may find that when you change the max size of a group and save, the max size remains unchanged. In order to solve this problem, you can try to change No. of Groups of that subject to a bigger number, then change max size and save. The system should allow you to change the max size to the number that you want. Afterward, you can change No. of Groups back to the original value.

Allocation

15. Q: Can we use different methods to allocate subjects for different students?
A: Yes. The new version of SOP provides the function partial allocation that allows generating allocation results for different students using different allocation methods.
16. Q: How can I use SOP to allocate either subject A or subject B but not both to a student?
A: Under "Subject Information", set subject A and subject B as the same subject but with different MOI. SOP will not allocate the same subject to a student (e.g. PE & 體育), therefore, subject A and subject B will not be allocated to a student at the same time.
17. Q: Can I allocate all students in a specified block?
A: Yes. The option "Compulsory Block" can be selected from the dialogue box of "Generate Allocation Result".
18. Q: Can I use SOP to allocate M1 or M2 of Mathematics?
A: Yes. You can set the School Based Subjects as M1 & M2 in the SOP. The SOP can allocate these "electives" to students accordingly.
19. Q: Can Subject Allocation be performed without specifying students' allocation order?
A: If the allocation order of students is not specified, Subject Allocation can still be performed while student numbers will be used as the default allocation order.

Report

20. Q: How to calculate the overall Satisfaction Rate?
A: Example 1)
The satisfaction rate is calculated based on the best allocation result. For example, a student who takes 3 electives has selected the following options:
1 2 3 4 5 ...
BIO CS (BIO+PHY) GEOG HIST CHEM ...

Under these options, his best allocation should be BIO, GEOG and HIST. Thus, if the subjects BIO, HIST and CHEM are allocated to him, his satisfaction rate will be 66.7%.
The Overall Satisfaction Rate is calculated by taking the average of all students' satisfaction rate.

Example 2)
example2
There are four students in which two of them take 2 elective subjects and the other two take 3 electives. For the first two students, their first two or three options are allocated; therefore, the satisfaction rate is 100%. For the third student, he needs to take 3 elective subjects but only two of his first three options are allocated, therefore, his satisfaction rate is 66.7%. For the fourth student who takes 2 elective subjects but only one of his first two options is allocated, his satisfaction rate is 50%. The overall satisfaction rate is the summation of each student's satisfaction rate divided by the number of students.

System Setting

21. Q: How can I update the SOP?
A: If there are SOP updates, the SOP will be updated automatically when the program is started and the computer is connected to the Internet. The updated files can also be downloaded from the SOP website.
22. Q: What can I do if I forgot the administrator password?
A: Please contact us for technical support.

Personal Data Protection

23. Q: How to protect the personal data of students when using the SOP?
A: Schools should ensure that only authorised programme user(s) is eligible to import and export personal data in SOP. The authorised programme user(s) should take appropriate measures to protect the sensitive information and to avoid data leakage.

Schools should also take all practicable steps to ensure that personal data held by SOP are protected against unauthorised or accidental access, processing, erasure or other unauthorised use.

Please visit the website of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data for further details of the six personal data protection principles:
Six Data Protection Principles