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8. Setting up Meeting Patterns

8.1 Overview

A meeting pattern (timeblock) is a combination of times and days that can be assigned to academic course section offering.  A meeting pattern record includes the time/day combination, the repeating pattern and sequence, contact hours, term types and campus/meeting type combinations for which the pattern is valid, and whether or not the pattern is "standard" for any of the campus/meeting type associations. To view, edit, and delete Meeting Patterns, navigate to 'Settings' > 'Meeting Patterns.'

8.2 Standard Meeting Patterns vs. Custom Meeting Patterns

Most schools have what are known as “Standard Meeting Patterns” or designated timeblocks during which a section can meet.Meeting patterns alone are simply timeblocks available for a section. However, Standard Meeting Pattern Groups allow you to group standard meeting patterns based on common characteristics so that you can enforce what types of sections are allowed to be scheduled with those meeting patterns. Standard meeting patterns are key in Coursedog, as they reduce the complexity of scheduling, making it easier to avoid conflicts. 

Here is an example of a standard meeting pattern group for lab sections. You will see that the group contains 4 unique meeting patterns. Groups have default meeting days and lengths. You can see that most of the meeting patterns above follow the Tuesday/Thursday, 120-minute default. However, these defaults are not strictly enforced as there is a Friday, 240-minute meeting pattern in the group. 

Note: In order for Coursedog to consider a meeting pattern to be standard, it must match a pattern in a standard meeting pattern group exactly. This means that a section that meets only on Tuesday from 8-10 AM will not be recognized by the Tuesday, Thursday meeting pattern above.

A custom meeting pattern is any meeting pattern that does satisfy the conditions of any of the standard meeting patterns at your institution. It is still possible to assign sections to custom meeting patterns in Coursedog, though most schools require that before a section is officially assigned to a custom meeting pattern it must go through an approval workflow. See this article on how to assign Meeting Patterns (Standard and Custom) in the Section Editor.

If your Meeting Patterns are showing up as 'Non-Standard' even though you would like to designate them as 'Standard,' consult this FAQ article.

8.3 Setting up Standard Meeting Patterns

Click ‘Group Info’ or ‘Add New Standard Meeting Pattern Group’ to edit or add a meeting pattern group respectively. You will see a modal where you can edit the name, description and defaults of the group. You will also find an 'Allowed Sections' field. This is where you can predetermine what types of sections can be scheduled during the meeting patterns contained in the group. As noted by the example below, only sections in which the section type contains the word ‘lab’ are allowed to be assigned to one of these meeting patterns. These groups can even contain multiple fields allowing you to be very specific when planning out the distribution of your schedule.

NOTE: When adding fields, the maximum number is six (6). Additionally, you must choose between "AND" or "OR" which applies to all the fields below.

In the Course Editor, users will only be able to see and select meeting patterns that meet the "Allowed Sections" filters. For example, you may have hundreds of meeting patterns in your schedule but 10 Lab Meeting Patterns. A Section with the Section Type Lab will only see 10 meeting patterns as options when choosing. 

To determine a Meeting Pattern's attributes (i.e.: Prime Time vs. Non-Prime Time), click on a given Meeting Pattern and select 'Prime Time' or 'Non-Prime Time' under 'Attributes.'

8.4 Uploading Meeting Patterns

Note meeting patterns can be uploaded to your Class Scheduling environment if you share a file following this format with your implementation representative.

8.5 Meeting Pattern Best Practices & FAQ

Question: Should I add all Meeting Patterns to Coursedog? 

Yes. Even if you have hundreds of Meeting Patterns add them all. When a Scheduler is selecting a Meeting Pattern there are filters to easily find the desired day/time.

Question: What are common Meeting Pattern exemptions you may want to include when setting up a rule that flags non-standard meeting patterns?

  • 1 credit courses
  • Online Classes
  • Evening Classes
  • Thesis/Dissertations/Internships/Practicum/Special Topics/etc
  • Confined Subjects/Degrees (Music/Welding/Law/Nursing)
  • Dual Credit
  • Inactive Courses

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