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⌚How scheduling works across multiple time zones
⌚How scheduling works across multiple time zones

If you're teaching scheduled courses across several time zones, here's a guide to what learners will see.

Laurie Garcia avatar
Written by Laurie Garcia
Updated over a week ago

For admins, editors, teachers, and moderators

If you're designing or teaching a course that will run on a schedule, it can be helpful to know how learners across different time zones experience start dates, due dates, and end dates set via the Pathwright scheduling tools. 

We realize that calculating different time zones is not most peoples' idea of fun, so here are a few key points we hope will help. 

1. The interface automatically adjusts to the user's time zone

Pathwright adapts to the user's time zone, so editors working on a course or learners taking the course will see scheduled dates displayed in their native time zone in the interface. This means that everyone stays in sync, no matter their time zone. 

If you have learners on the east coast of the US and on the west coast, that course or step will unlock at the same moment for both, even though there is a 3-hour time difference between the two. A step that is due at 11pm on the east coast is due at 8pm on the west coast. In other words, you can't beat a due date by jumping on a jet plan because the times and dates are definite, not relative to your time zone.

👉On a technical note, we detect the user's time zone from the system time of the computer or device they are using. 

Where to schedule

You can find a scheduling tool:

Scheduling a due date for a lesson with overdue notification:

2. Notifications show all timestamps in ET

Our notification system can't currently adjust for each user's time zone, so all email notifications will state the date/time in US Eastern Time. 

  • Eastern Standard Time is UTC -5 hours (from November to March)

  • Eastern Daylight Time is UTC -4 hours (from March to November)

Reminders are optional. If you are not using reminders, then your users will not receive any notifications with time stamps in ET.

Sample due date reminder:


Scenario 1

For example, say you are located in US Eastern Time and you want to set a due date for learners on the East Coast of midnight (11:59pm) tonight. 

Users in US Pacific (West Coast) Time, who are 3 hours behind, would see a due date of 8:59pm in the interface. Their email notifications would state the due date/time as 11:59pm, ET, and send 3 hours before the step is due (5:59pm their time). 

Scenario 2

Now suppose you are located in US Eastern Time, but you are offering a course to learners located in the Philippines. It's summer, so there is a 12 hour difference, taking into account Daylight Savings Time. The learners in this course are 12 hours ahead of your time zone. 

You want your learners in the Philippines to submit their work by midnight on Friday, local time in the Philippines, so you go to set a due date of Friday at 11:59pm, when you remember...time zones exist. What do you do? 

Whoever is setting the dates in that course or cohort would want to take into account the time difference, and set the dates/times in that cohort to match the local time in the region where it is being accessed.

If the person scheduling the cohort is in the Philippines or a country that shares the same time zone, then they don't have to make any adjustment. They set the due date to 11:59pm on Friday. 

If the person setting the schedule is located in the US, in Eastern Time, and they want to set the due date for 11:59pm Friday (midnight) local time in the Philippines, then they will need to set the scheduler to 11:59am Friday (noon). The Philippines is 12 hours ahead of the person scheduling the course, so they will set the date to 12 hours earlier. When it is nearly noon on the East Coast, it is approaching midnight of the same day in the Philippines. 

Need to check your math? Not sure what a location's time zone is compared to yours? Google "time zone converter" and you'll find several tools for comparing multiple time zones. Here's one:

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