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TERMS: Section Template Start & End Dates

Table of Contents

Expected Limitations
Changing the Start and/or End Date
Reference Dates
Resolving Integration Issues
Exception: Banner SIS


  • You can review/edit start and end dates here: Scheduling > Settings > Templates > Section Template > Additional Information and Guidance

  • Start and end date inputs in the Section Template will automatically display the inherited term/part-of-term dates.

  • If the corresponding term or part of term dates change, then the displayed value will be updated automatically.

  • You can verify the value by hovering over the field, which will display a tooltip indicating where the value is coming from. If no tooltip is shown, that means the field has a hardcoded value or the "reference date" setting has not been turned on for that field.

Expected Limitations

  • When Coursedog sends data to an SIS, the SIS often requires section.startDate and/or section.endDate fields to be set. That means the "inheritance" functionality will only work until the dates are manually edited or it is integrated. 

  • When a section with inherited fields is sent to the SIS, this will trigger user activity for the section that says the integration edited the date fields. This is expected, because the integration is setting the inherited date value with a fixed value.

Changing the Start and/or End Date

  • Users can input a custom date if they so choose. However, they will see a pop-up warning explaining the impact of their action.

  • If a reference date is edited, the date will no longer dynamically update if the term or part of term changes. 

  • In order for a custom date to work, the "Default From Term" setting must be set to "YES" in the Section Template.


Reference Dates

When to Use Reference Dates  | Types of Reference Date Fields | Reference Date Fields Logic

When to Use Reference Dates

Reference dates are best used when: 


  • Sections are expected to have dates that match the part of term (or term) dates.

  • Part of term or term dates are subject to change after scheduling has begun.


If term or part of term dates are never expected to change after scheduling has begun, then reference dates are not needed.


Types of Reference Date Fields

When the "Default From Term" option shown above is set to "YES", the below settings all become "reference date" fields.


  1. Section Start Date (section.startDate)

  2. Section End Date (section.endDate)

  3. Section Meeting Start Date (section.times[x].startDate)

  4. Section Meeting End Date (section.times[x].endDate)

  5. Section Census Enroll Date (section.censusEnrollDate)


Reference Date Fields Logic

When the "Default From Term" option is set to "YES," the system will display content in the field using the following logic (using section.startDate as an example here): 


  1. If the field has a value already set (e.g. section.startDate=2020-08-08), it will display that value.

  2. If the section.startDate field is empty, and the section has a part of term assigned, it will dynamically display the partOfTerm.startDate field. 

  3. If the section.startDate field is empty, and the section does not have a part of term assigned, it will dynamically display the term.startDate field. 


Resolving Integration Issues

Problem: Corresponding field in the section is "empty" even though it has a value in the editor

A disconnect between the editor and the corresponding section field can make it appear as though Coursedog and the SIS are out of sync because the SIS has explicit date values set, whereas Coursedog has these fields set as "empty" if they're reference dates. Because Coursedog checks for differences between Coursedog and SIS data to determine if an update is sent, and Coursedog will see section.startDate and section.endDate fields are different, Coursedog will trigger an update. This will cause a never-ending cycle of updates being sent in the nightly integration. 

Solution: Ensure the explicit and hard-coded date values get added onto the Coursedog object 


  1. This can be done by creating field-specific exceptions for the relevant date fields in merge settings, to ensure that if the data is updated on the SIS side, Coursedog will pull in those changes during the next merge. 

  2. The four date fields should be set as resolveAsCoursedog or resolveAsInstitution, depending on which system the school feels should be regarded as the source of truth in the case of conflicts. 



Solution Impact: The next nightly merge will bring over the explicit and hard-coded dates from the SIS into Coursedog, so now both systems will have matching data.

  • The two systems are now in sync, and Coursedog won't trigger unnecessary updates. 

  • Because Coursedog has explicit and hard-coded dates, the reference date functionality is no longer in use. 

  • This means that if the term or part of term dates change, these changes will not be reflected in these integrated sections automatically.

Exception: Banner SIS

You will not need to create field-specific exceptions for Banner schools. Coursedog has implemented functionality in the Banner integration layer to account for a case where Section Start Date, Section End Date, Section Meeting Start Date and Section Meeting End Date could be set up as reference dates. The integration will auto-calculate the referenced date for comparison purposes, ensuring no redundant merges are set off.

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