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When you’re configuring fields in your section template (details here), you might notice some fields include a “Use Course Options” feature. This article tells you which fields include the feature – and what selecting “Yes” or “No” means for your institution.
There are scenarios where the institution might wish to limit the choices available within a field as defined by the parent entity for the section: the course. This reduces user error and streamlines workflows.
For example, if a course indicates that sections should only be of type Lecture, then it is less than ideal to display the additional options of Lab and Seminar. There is a high risk of user error in those scenarios.
Specific fields within the Section Template offer the admin the ability to "Use Course Options". When this toggle is set to "YES", the ability to define options for the field is removed. The expectation is that the section will only provide the user with options defined at the course level.
- Note that ‘use course options’ will generally pull from the course as it is stored in scheduling. If your institution is integrated, scheduling should have the correct data from curriculum management. The only exception to this is when a course is added via ‘Add Section from Course Inventory.’ When this action is taken ‘use course options’ will pull from the course as it is stored in curriculum management.
Fields that Include “Use Course Options”
There are currently three section template fields for which the "Use Course Options" feature is available: Section Type, Topic, and Grade Mode.
There is a pre-built specialized card in Coursedog’s Curriculum Management application for managing components tied to Section Type and Topic. Schools without access to Curriculum Management should work with their Coursedog implementation team to determine the data available for these fields.
Finding “Use Course Options”
PATH: Academic Scheduling > Settings > Templates > Section Template
Navigate to the above path.
Look for Section Type, Topic, and Grade Mode fields on your section template.
If they aren’t already on your template and you would like for them to be, select “Pre-built Fields” from the Question Bank on the left-hand side of your screen. Drag and drop, as needed, to your template.
Once the field is on your section template, select the field’s pencil icon. This will open “Question Settings” on the left-hand side of your screen
Course options source is “Course Components”.
Often contains values of Lecture, Lab, etc.
If "Use Course Options" is enabled, then the menu will only display values corresponding to the Component Types defined at the course level.
A course can have many components such as a Lecture and a Lab. When scheduling a section for that course, the Section Type would thus be limited to Lecture or Lab.
The following image is a sample of the Course Components card in Curriculum Management showing a single component of type "Lecture" defined for the course.
The following image is a sample of the Section Editor's Section Type field, labeled "Component" in this example, with its single option of "Lecture" matching the parent course.
Course options source is “Course Topics”.
Institutions often have a large catalog of courses that are used to understand content and equivalences in courses.
Courses can have one or more topics.
When "Use Course Options" is enabled, the user will only be able to select from topics previously defined at the course level. Otherwise they would have access to the full list of topics at the institution.
The following image is a sample of the Course Topics card in Curriculum Management showing two topics (ACCT 100 and FINANCIAL) defined at the course level.
The following image is a sample of the Section Editor Topic field in Academic Scheduling showing that only the options defined at the course level corresponding to this section are available.
The course options source for this goes by the same name (“Grade Mode”).
Often referred to as Grading Basis, this is a single value defined at the course level.
When "Use Course Options" is enabled, it will restrict Grade Mode selection at the section level to the value defined for the course. For example, if an institution has three grading modes available (OPT 1, OPT 2, and OPT 3) but the BIO 100 course has specific OPT 3, then when creating a section of BIO 100 the only choice presented will be OPT 3.
The following image is a sample of the Grade Mode field for a course in Curriculum Management.
The following image is a sample of the Grade Mode field for a section corresponding to the course above. The only option presented to the user is "OPT 3" in alignment with the course.