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12. Setting up Section Relationships

12.1 Types of Section Relationships

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


Linked sections are for defining time relationships between sections. For example, two sections can have a non-overlapping relationship which means they cannot be scheduled during overlapping meeting times. Let's start with what linked relationship types there are in Coursedog and provide some examples of how they are used.


Linked Section TypeDefinitionExample
Same DayThis relationship links sections together by day and issues a warning if a different meeting pattern violates the relationship.Grand Lakes University wants to ensure all Writing Across the Curriculum courses meet on the same day to ensure optimal participation at the end of term event featuring an all-day conference.

Same Time




This relationship links sections together by time and issues a warning if a different meeting pattern violates the relationship.Grand Lakes University wants to ensure all sections of Food Prep Practicum I meet at the same time (regardless of the day) to ensure students can observe and serve in the Dining Hall.

Same Room


This relationship causes all double-booked instructors and room conflicts between the sections to be ignored.Grand Lakes University wants to make sure all sections of Human Anatomy are meeting in the same room because there is only 1 facility for the Cadaver Lab.

Same Time Same Day



This relationship links sections together so they appear at the same time on the same day and issues a warning if a different meeting pattern violates the relationship.Grand Lakes University has multiple sections each term that participate in a bi-annual Global Issues Conference. Each section's students must present their cases during the conference and having these courses meet at the same time and the same day will ensure optimal participation in the program.

Same Time Different Day



This relationship links sections together so they appear at the same time on different days and issues a warning if a meeting pattern change violates the relationship.Grand Lakes University offers a cohort with a local business that offers college credit courses during lunch hours. This relationship allows the flexibility for room and day assignments but keeps the classes during set hours.

Same Time Same Day Same Room 



This relationship causes all double-booked instructors and room conflicts between the sections to be ignored.Grand Lakes refers to sections with this relationship as "Cross-Listing." Sections with this relationship typically have students register for different sections but they share a room and instructor.

Same Time Different Day Same Room



This relationship links sections together so they appear at the same time on different days but in the same room and issues a warning if a meeting pattern change violates the relationship.Grand Lakes offers Hy-Flex courses where there are live, online components as well as in-person sessions. This relationship helps preserve a sense of balance in using the physical space so that the meeting pattern is preserved and the room remains utilized.

Different Time



This relationship links sections together so they must have different meeting patterns to prevent time overlap. Coursedog issues a warning if a meeting pattern change violates the relationship.

Grand Lakes University uses this relationship to link sections in the Accounting major from overlapping times during the week.

Different Day



This relationship links sections together so they must have different meeting patterns to prevent day overlap. Coursedog issues a warning if a meeting pattern change violates the relationship.Grand Lakes University uses the Different Day relationship to ensure doctoral programs in Education do not meet the same days as the undergrad cohorts, ensuring they have enough faculty capacity during the week.

Non-Overlapping



This relationship prevents linked sections from being offered on the same days at the same time. 

Note that the non-overlapping relationship does not take the start and end date of the sections into account. If, for example, there is a non-overlapping relationship between two sections with start and end dates that do not overlap, however their meeting patterns overlap, the sections will be flagged as violating the non-overlapping relationship.
Grand Lakes University offers a business cohort program and all students must take a prescribed sequence of courses. The Non-Overlapping relationship ensures these classes are never overlapping so this group of students is certain to get the classes they need to graduate on time.

Different Time Different Day



This relationship links sections together so they must have different meeting patterns to prevent time AND day overlap. Coursedog issues a warning if a meeting pattern change violates the relationship.Grand Lakes University uses the Different Time, Different Day relationship to help balance courses in the Nutrition Science Major to help students find more space for major courses.

Different Room


This relationship links sections together so they cannot be in the same room, over any meeting pattern selected. Coursedog issues a warning if a meeting pattern change violates the relationship.

Grand Lakes University uses the Different Room relationship to ensure the Organic Chemistry sections do not use the Physics lab spaces.


Now that you know more about the relationships and what they can do, let's take a look at the configuration necessary to make them work. Let's start by looking at the Relationship Dashboard.


12.2 Relationship Dashboard

The Relationship Dashboard is visible on the left-hand navigation bar. To quickly access, edit and add relationships, select ‘Relationships’ on the left navigation and you will be taken to the relationships dashboard. 


Access to the Relationship Dashboard is managed by Role-Based Access Controls (RBAC). Adjusting the RBAC per role, you can determine which roles have access to this tool. In 'Roles,' under each Coursedog role, there is a section labeled "Relationships." The Super Admin has the ability to enable viewing, editing, and adding of relationships as seen in the screenshot below. Additionally, you are able to control who can see the combined max enrollment that comes from the linking of these sections.


Now, once you click on Relationships from the left navigation you can see all the relationships set up in the current term. Now is a good time to talk about naming your relationships. Take a look at the screenshot below. Of the 2 relationships in the Fall 2020 term, the first one is named a default name, "Relationship 1." That's fine, but a best practice would be to give the relationship a descriptive name so those who have access to the Relationship dashboard can find and understand the relationships available during the term.



When you click on "Add Relationship" you see the modal depicted in the screenshot below. For this example, we are going to choose Same Room in Step 3.

  1. First, give the Relationship a name.
  2. Choose a type of Relationship. In this case, we are selecting Linked Sections.
  3. Here is where we choose the type of relationship - in this example, we select "Same Room."
  4. Here you can add any detailed notes about the relationship.
  5. This is where you choose the courses that contain the sections you want to be in the relationship.
  6. This drop-down will show you the available sections in the term you want to add to the relationship. If there are no available sections, you must go back to the Section Editor and create the sections.
  7. To add this section, you must choose the "+" button or it will not be added when you click "Save."
  8. Here is where you see the sections you've added to the relationship.
  9. If you have other sections to add, go back to Step 5 (or 6 if you are adding sections from the same course) to add sections and repeat the process. When you are done, click "Save."


12.3 Accessing Relationships in the Section Editor

The Relationship Dashboard is not the only place to view Relationships. This section discusses how to access and configure relationships from within the Section Editor.


First, configure Field Options. As a Super Admin, navigate to Field Options, under Settings in the left-hand navigation bar. The first panel is the Section Template, which is exactly where we want to be. Scroll down until you find the "Relationships" card as shown below. Once you've found the Relationships card, click on the gear icon to edit the Advanced Settings.



There are 3 sub-tabs of configurations: Parent Fields, Nested Fields, and Field Option Settings, as shown below.


Parent Fields: Under Parent Fields, the Super Admin has the capability to configure the fields found in the Relationships Modal using RBAC. You are able to make these fields editable by role and/or by term.

Note that it is best practice to hide the "Cross Enrolled Sections" relationship, as this functionality has been discontinued.


Nested Fields: Under Nested Fields, the Super Admin has the ability to hide the different options found in the Relationship modal to customize the functionality to match your business practices.


Field Option Settings: Under "Field Option Settings" is where you can customize which relationships are available to schedulers or users of the Relationship Dashboard.

12.4 Adding Relationships in the Section Editor

With the Field Options configuration complete, schedulers can also add or edit relationships in the section editor. To do this, open the Section Editor and find a section you want to add a relationship. Open the full editor of the section and scroll to the Relationships card as shown below. This screenshot shows the field options are set so Linked Sections is available for configuration.


When you click on the "+Linked Section" the Relationship modal appears as seen below. This is the same modal seen in the Relationship Dashboard. You can use the same steps shown above to add a relationship here.


If real time integrations is turned on, relationships will sync in real time along with sections. However, relationships cannot be added before the section has been created in the SIS (otherwise the real time relationship sync will fail). Once a user creates a section, if real time integration is enabled, that section has to be sent to the SIS to generate a Call Number (also known as a Class Number or CRN). Within the Section Editor, Coursedog is able to indicate to users when a newly created section is syncing to prevent them from overwriting any changes while the sync is occurring. Users should wait until 'Syncing section with SIS' stops displaying in the Section Editor before adding relationships.



For more detailed information on how Relationships are used in the Section Editor, see this article (Section 2.8.1, "Section Relationships").


K
Kristan is the author of this solution article.

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