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A meeting pattern, or timeblock, is a combination of days and times that can be assigned to an academic course section. 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.
Meeting Pattern Glossary
Standard Meeting Patterns
Standard meeting patterns are designated timeblocks during which a section can meet.
Most schools use standard meeting meeting patterns (as opposed to custom meeting patterns).
Standard meeting patterns are key in Academic Scheduling, as they reduce the complexity of scheduling, making it easier to avoid conflicts.
Standard Meeting Pattern Groups
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. Groups have default meeting days and lengths.
Below is an example of a standard meeting pattern group for lab sections; it contains four unique meeting patterns, with most following 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.
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 below.
Custom Meeting Pattern
A custom meeting pattern is any meeting pattern that does not 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.
Adding & Editing Standard Meeting Patterns
PATH FOR STEPS 1-3: Academic Scheduling > Settings > Meeting Patterns
Step One: Click “Group Info” to edit a meeting pattern group or “Add New Standard Meeting Pattern Group” to add a meeting pattern group.
Step Two: Add/edit the name, description, and defaults of the group in the modal.
Step Three (Allowed Sections – Optional):
Allowed Sections predetermine what types of sections can be scheduled according to the meeting patterns contained in the group.
These groups can even contain multiple fields or filters, allowing you to be very specific when planning out the distribution of your schedule.
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 label of “lab” will only see 10 meeting patterns as options when choosing.
If you plan on running the Section Optimizer, allowed sections will need to be configured.
If you plan to add "Allowed Sections" filters, you can do so in one of two ways: via standard filters or “advanced filtering”.
We recommend the advanced filtering view, as it allows you to select from more complex filters on a larger range of fields, including fields that are not on the section itself (i.e. the term field).
Toggle “Show Advanced Filtering View” to “YES”.
The filters available in the “filters for allowed sections” dropdown are created within the Rules > Section Rules > Filters section of the platform. You can learn more about creating those filters here.
Use the “Filters for allowed sections” dropdown to select the filters you wish to apply to this meeting pattern group.
You can select multiple filters, but make sure you connect them via “and” or “or” logic using the “Logic Condition for Evaluating Filters” dropdown.
Toggle “Show Advanced Filtering View” to “NO”.
Click “+ Add Field” to designate “Allowed Sections”.
When adding fields, the maximum number is six (6). Additionally, you must choose between "AND" or "OR" which applies to all the added fields.
In the screenshot below, only sections in which the section type contains the word “lab” are allowed to be assigned to one of these meeting patterns.
PATH: Academic Scheduling > Settings > Meeting Patterns > (Click On Meeting Pattern)
Assign meeting pattern attributes (i.e. prime time vs. non-prime time) for individual meeting patterns.
Uploading Meeting Patterns
Meeting patterns can be uploaded to your Academic Scheduling environment if you share a file following this format with your implementation representative.
Common Meeting Pattern Exemptions
You might want to include these common meeting pattern exemptions when setting up a rule that flags non-standard meeting patterns:
1 credit courses
Confined Subjects/Degrees (Music/Welding/Law/Nursing)
Setting Up TBA Meeting Patterns
If you need to assign TBA (i.e. “No days, no times”) meeting patterns, the recommended process varies depending on whether or not you are integrated.
Integrated Customers - Follow the steps outlined here.
Non-Integrated Customers - Follow the steps outlined here.
You will want to add all meeting patterns in Academic Scheduling, even if you have hundreds.
When a Department Scheduler is selecting a meeting pattern in the Section Editor, they can “filter by attributes” to easily find the desired day/time.