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How do Section Credit fields work?

Coursedog supports credit fields on the section level (see this article for additional details on the Credit card in the Section Editor). Credits are often tied to curriculum, and the intersection of credits and scheduling differs for different SIS systems. Below is an outline of the current Coursedog functionality, known SIS functionality, and features that we could build.

Coursedog

Coursedog supports up to six different credit fields in the Section Editor:

  1. Credit Hours
  2. Billing Hours
  3. Contact Hours
  4. Lecture Hours
  5. Lab Hours
  6. Other Hours


All of these fields are Number fields that can take any integer or decimal value.

There are also two variable credit fields

  1. Minimum Credit Hours
  2. Maximum Credit Hours


These fields currently are just number inputs that do not have any downstream functionality. Nowhere do we enforce the mix/max range on the section, nor does this impact curriculum in any way.

All the settings for these fields are defined on the Credits Advanced Settings Card in the Section Template:


Banner

In the Banner Section Form, SSASECT, the credit inputs are as follows:


Banner has 6 credit fields

  1. Credit Hours
  2. Billing Hours
  3. Contact Hours
  4. Lecture Hours
  5. Lab Hours
  6. Other Hours

Each credit field has roughly the same functionality, so just for an example, I will discuss Credit Hours.

Credit Hours has four fields

  1. Minimum
  2. Maximum
  3. Value - this is the only field defined at the Section level
  4. Relationship - this field describes the relationship between the min/max value

The minimum/maximum/relationship are all defined on the Course and are not actually editable on the section level. In the Banner section form, these fields are just auto-populated to show the user entering section information what the course level restrictions are, but these fields are always locked (i.e. display only).


The relationship field contains the following options:

  1. None - no relationship exists
  2. To - sets the credit hours within a range, such as 2 to 6 credit hours
  3. Or - sets the credit hours at two specific values, such as 3 or 4 credit hours


The "Value" field stands for the actual value of the credit hours, as defined on the section. The restrictions of what the value for credit hours can be is defined by the minimum/maximum/relationship field.


If the credit hours minimum = 3 and the relationship = None, that means that the Section Credit Hours value can only be set as 3. In such instances, Banner will auto-populate the Section Credit hours because it knows what it will be. In all other cases, the Section Credit hours is not auto-populated.


Peoplesoft (Work In Progress)

Peoplesoft contains the following credit fields (note their term for units is analogous to credit hours)

  1. Minimum Units
  2. Maximimum Units
  3. Academic Progress Units - related to FA units (i.e. financial aid units)
  4. Course Count
    1. The course count indicates the worth, or count, of the course towards an advising requirement. Some institutions count courses, as well as units, towards degree requirements.
  5. Billing Factor
    1. For some reason, Peoplesoft does not have "Billing Hours", but instead uses a number which indicates a factor multiple. Official answer is: The billing factor regulates billing units, which the system uses to calculate per unit fees. When you establish fees for terms, courses, and classes, you can assess a per unit fee which is derived from the billing units on the student's enrollment record. Billing units are equal to the billing factor times academic progress units (BU = BF x APU). So if billing factor is set to 1 and academic progress units is set to 3, billing units would be 3. Alternatively, if the billing factor is set to 2, and academic progress units is set to 3, billing units would be 6. Because billing factor defaults to 1, billing units are usually equal to academic progress units.
  6. FA Units - financial aid units
  7. Contact Hours
  8. Workload hours (not visible in screenshot below)

On the section level, units is always defaulted to what is set at the Course level:


However, credits can be customized for different components of a course:

Let's say a course has a lecture, lab, and discussion component. In Peoplesoft, you can set custom contact hours and workflow hours to each component. Let's say, you set the Lecture component to have 10 contact hours. Then every section of that course that is a lecture will have 10 contact hours.


 Features Coming Soon

  1. Auto populate section credits based on course credits
  2. Provide input restrictions to section credit fields for variable credit courses
  3. Allow for building custom credit fields
  4. Integration curriculum credit data with scheduling.
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Coursedog is the author of this solution article.

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