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2. Course and Section Configuration

2.1 Overview

The first step to building a schedule in Coursedog is ensuring you have properly configured all of your courses and sections. Depending on your institution’s process, some of this may be taken care of within the SIS. In this section, we will teach you everything you need to know to make sure your courses and sections are ready for scheduling. 


2.2 Viewing Courses

In order to configure our sections, we must first configure our courses. You can access your department’s courses in two ways.


Option 1: Select ‘Section Editor’ from the left navigation

Option 2: Select your department from the Home page on the left navigation (Departmental Status).


You will then be taken to the list of courses within your department.

2.3 Adding Courses

The first step to configuring your courses is ensuring you have all of the courses you wish to schedule within the Coursedog system. Coursedog can push and pull courses directly from the SIS (confirm with your administration), so it is likely that all of your courses will already be within the system. However, if you need to make any changes, they will be reflected in your SIS. 


To add a Course within the Coursedog platform From Section Editor select your department, then +Course, and select “Add Course from Course [or Curriculum] Inventory”.  This will allow you to add, and schedule, Courses which were not included as part of the Term roll, but are available this term. 


Note that this action requires your institution to set the following permissions to 'Allow': 'Course Editor' → 'Add Courses from Curriculum.'


If you are able to add courses from the curriculum inventory, you will see the following modal upon clicking 'Add Course' in scheduling.


You will also see a “Add New Course” option after selecting + Course. When importing a course from courses catalog (CM) the current term’s start date will be applied and available courses will be filtered to match Effective Start Date. This means it will pull the matching revision that fits the term dates. 

In an integrated environment it is a best practice NOT to utilize this functionality, nor to edit or delete Courses in Coursedog. Typically the Course Template will have Course information (fields) locked via permissions to prevent editing. 


If you select to add a course from the curriculum, you will be able to search for the right course:


If the course already exists for that term, you will see the following error message:

Note that Course Inventory does not copy sections from previous terms. Adding a course from Course Inventory will add a placeholder with the course data available, but users will still need to add section information.


Note: From a technical standpoint, pulling from Course Inventory is readily available for Peoplesoft, Banner, Jenzebar and Colleague (Non-Ethos) users at the moment. For other SIS (Campus Management, etc.), a CSV upload may be required (template here). Please contact your Customer Success representative for further questions. To add new courses that are not currently in the Curriculum Inventory we uploaded for you, follow the steps in this FAQ article.


2.4 Editing & Deleting Courses

To edit or delete a course, click the course in the list view to expand it. Then select 'Course Info.' 

You will be taken to a modal similar to the 'Add Course' modal. To edit the course, simply overwrite the values in the fields. You can make changes to any of the fields except Course Code. Make sure to click 'Save' after you make your changes. To delete the course, click 'Delete Course' and confirm you wish to delete the course. Once your course list is accurate, it’s time to configure your sections.


Note: In an integrated environment it is a best practice NOT to utilize this functionality (edit or delete Courses in Coursedog). Typically the Course Template will have Course information (fields) locked and the non-Admin Roles set to Deny for these permissions via Roles to prevent merge issues. 


2.5 Viewing Sections

To access the sections of a specific course, simply click on the course in the list and it will drop down to reveal any associated sections. 


For information on how to view 'Section Demand Analytics,' refer to this article.

2.6 Adding Sections

As with courses, sections will sync with the SIS. If you need to make any changes, you can create new sections within the Coursedog platform. To create a new section, click on the course you want to create a section for and select '+ Section.'


This will open the section editor modal where you can edit all of the settings for your sections. Some of these fields may be locked or hidden, and some of them may be fields that you will want to edit. Any warnings or conflicts will be shown in yellow at the top of the card. Additionally, required fields are denoted with a red "required" symbol in their label.


Note that when adding a section the new section number must be unique for each course within a term. If you try to submit a 'New Section' request and you create a new section using an existing section number, you will not be allowed to submit the request.



2.7 In-line Merge Status for Sections

Additionally, each section editor has the ability to display an Integration Sync status at the top of the modal. This status will only be generated if 1) this is a school in an integrated environment with the nightly or real time merges turned on. 2) The "View Section Integration Status" permission/setting under 'Roles'> Course Editor has been enabled (set to "Allow".


If a section has not synced (will show up for all new sections), the following status will appear:



If a section has been synced successfully, it will show the following status:



If a section synced with errors, the following status will be shown:



The user can click on the status to open a modal with more details:



Note that the status only shows errors when syncing Coursedog data with the SIS. If a merge error occurs (they are rare and usually only occur in staging instances while APIs are being set up), those errors currently will not be shown.


Note: We do not recommend adding instructors, meeting patterns or rooms just yet - we will add those later. Before adding flexible fields (such as meeting patterns, instructors or rooms), we need to configure fixed settings. This will help guide the assignment of those variable fields. For now, fill out the General Information card and hit 'Save Section' to add the section to the schedule. 


2.8 Deleting Sections

There are two ways to delete a section.


Option 1: From the section list, hover the mouse over the section number and click the red trash icon.

Option 2: From the section editor modal, click "Delete Section" at the bottom. 


NOTE: Deleting sections in Coursedog typically not a best practice:

  • Most SISs do not allow for section deletion or discourage it as they require specific order of operations or checks to allow (ex: ensure no registration/enrollments, etc.) 
  • This means that when sections are deleted in the Coursedog platform that change may NOT successfully POST to the SIS (i.e.  Coursedog will NOT DELETE the sections in the SIS). 
  • Section deletion should be performed in the SIS directly. Sections should be marked cancelled in CD.  

Best practice: 

  • In CD, instead of deleting most institutions update the “Section Status” to from "active" to "cancelled" to inactivate sections
  • Department Schedulers permission will be OFF and Super/Admins will handle section deletions


Note for Banner SIS users: Banner integrations support the ability to delete sections on the back-end. However, this is disabled by default (via Role Permissions) to prevent sections from being accidentally deleted if schools want such safety mechanism in place.

2.9 Configuring Sections

This section will likely differ depending on the scheduling policies of your University. However, the general idea is the same. Before adding the flexible fields such as meeting patterns, instructors or rooms, we need to configure the fixed settings. This will help guide the assignment of those variable fields. 


2.9.1 Section Relationships 

Section Relationships is a very important card to fill out prior to assigning meeting patterns and rooms. 

Section relationships are for defining relationships between sections. For example, two sections can have a non-overlapping relationship which means they cannot be scheduled during overlapping meeting times. 

You can delete one of these relationships by clicking the red delete button to the left of the relationship. If you delete a linked section, the relationship will be deleted for the section and the sibling automatically. For example, if BIO1300 - 001 and BIO2200 - 001 are linked, and you delete the relationship from the BIO1300 - 001 Section Editor - it will automatically be deleted for BIO2200 - 001. The linked sections relationship options are as follows: 

Relationship Option


Description


Same Time, Same Day, and Same Room


This is also known as a Shared Space or taught together relationship.
These sections are supposed to be taught at the same time, day, and room. With this relationship all Double Booked Instructor and Double Booked Room conflicts will be ignored. When a user selects the Same Time, Same Day, and Same Room relationship, a Combined Max Enrollment Input field will appear. 


Same Day


This is for sections that must be on the same day/days (such as Monday, Wednesday), but the time of day does not matter


Same Time


This is for when sections must be at the same time (i.e. 10:00AM), but the days of the week can be the same or different


Same Time and Same Day


This is for sections that must meet at the same time of day, and the same days (i.e. 10:00AM - 11:00AM on Monday and Wednesday)


Same Time and Different Day


This is for sections that must meet at the same time of day, but on different days of the week


Same Time, Different Day, and Same Room


This is for sections that must meet at the same time of day, and in the same room, but on different days of the week


Different Time


This is for sections that must meet at a different time of day


Different Day


This is for sections that must meet on different days of the week


Non-overlapping


This is for sections whose meeting times must not overlap with each other


Different Time Different Day


This is for sections that must meet on different times of the day and different days of the week


Different Room


This is for sections that must meet in different rooms



Once a Section Relationship is assigned, it will appear in the Section Editor as follows:

Note: Only Cross-listed Relationships Currently Supported in the Integration (POST)

  • Regarding section relationships, Coursedog platform only supports cross-listed relationships for integrations currently. Below relationship types are not currently supported and must be inputted directly in the SIS. 
    • Linked, Stacked, / Co-convening, CoRequisite, PreRequisite and Spanned
    • If added in CD they will be wiped upon merge.
  • Recommendations:
    • Where a relationship such as linked sections exists in the schedule the department scheduler should review the SIS to ensure the sections are not set as overlapping (preventing enrollment) and the enrollment caps (especially for linked sections (e.g. labs) ) are set correctly
    • It is recommended to investigate if adding Time, Instructor and Room override flags in your SIS is advised to eliminate errors. 


2.9.2 Credits

Depending on your school’s configuration, you may need to fill out the credits field in order to assign a meeting pattern. You have the ability to assign fixed credits as shown below, or variable credits by selecting 'Switch to Variable Credits.'

Credits are often tied to curriculum, and the intersection of credits and scheduling differs for different SIS systems. Refer to this article for an outline of the current Coursedog functionality, known SIS functionality, and features that we could build.


2.9.3 Enrollment Settings

Make sure all of your sections have designated enrollment capacity. This will ensure that the room selected for the section is large enough to hold all enrolled students.

2.9.4 Room Preferences

For each section, you have the option to add room preferences. If these are filled out, they can be used to help select rooms based on type, location, size and features. 

3.0 Department, Calendar, and Instructor View

In the top right corner of the 'Section Editor,' there are some different ways to visualize the schedule. The Departments view enables you to see other departments' schedules as they are in progress, although you may not edit those schedules. 

The calendar view enables you to visualize the schedule in a calendar view, list view and room grid. 

The instructor view enables you to see all of the instructors that are relevant to your department. 


If you click on the profile view, you can see more in depth information about the instructor, for example, whether they are an adjunct or full-time. 

Filters: Filtering the schedule allows you to dig down into certain types of information so that you can look for more nuanced data. When viewing at the course level, the filter will show any courses that contain at least one section that matches the filter. For example, if BIO101 has 3 sections and 1 of them matches the filter, BIO101 will appear in the list along with all of its sections. When viewing at the section level, the filter will only show the individual sections that match the filter. 


Changing views: If you want to view the schedule by seeing all of the sections individually as opposed to having them consolidated into a course, you can click the 'View by Sections' button under 'Change View' in the top right corner of the Section Editor.


3.1 Video Walk-throughs



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