How can your programmes and classes be translated into FULL FABRIC? How do you juggle campuses, intakes with multiple tracks and courses of different durations in a way that ties together nicely? With the ever-increasing digitalisation of the Higher Ed environment, every decision should be data-driven, so we’re sharing a collection of best practices to smartly manage your school’s programmes and classes in FULL FABRIC. 😁💪

By the way, this article has two companions: our piece exploring the class overview, and an in-depth comparison of the class overview and the application overview. Have a look! 🖐

Why would I want to set up something as a class?

So, think of it this way: why do we classify and organise data into clusters? The answer is that we do it to simplify large data sets and facilitate their manipulation and analysis. Well, that’s not unlike forming a class! Traditionally, a class is a body of students who are taught something together over a predetermined period of time, but FULL FABRIC takes that concept forward to also include the bevvy of prospects, applicants and alumni that make up the whole admissions lifecycle for a more integrated structure of governance, development and engagement. 🤹🏻 As a rule of thumb, the less information is spread out, the better – unless we're mixing apples and oranges! 🍎 🍊

Let's see what this means in practice. In no particular order, here are the top four challenges your school might face and the winning formulas for success:

Multiple campuses

Does your school have more than one location offering the same programme concurrently? You might be tempted to create a class for each campus and view them as separate intakes, but if whereabouts is the only differentiator, then, in reality, it’s just one big intake shared by a multiplicity of sites!

In light of this, we recommend adopting our nifty Campus feature, which lets you insert all your school’s campuses in the system and specify which classes are being held where. Talk about simple and easy! 😎

When you select two campuses or more, candidates are asked to make their pick upon starting an application:

In turn, the class overview automatically displays each profile’s campus of choice underneath their name:

And to go over and beyond, you can also filter the list by building a profile segment:

This lets you eradicate redundant classes to keep track of, so drop us a message to enable this feature! ✂️

Multiple intakes throughout the year for the same programme

What to do when a programme has several intakes per year beginning and ending at different times? Hint: the clue is in the dates. Whenever dates don't coincide, separate overviews are required, because much of the portal (including automations) is actuated through them, and you need the information to be tidy and ready to use.

The trick is to remember that a class can only have one start date and one end date. 😊

Intakes with multiple tracks

Part-time / full-time, daytime / evening, online learning: these are all common tracks offered to make attendance accessible to students. And while the class end dates sometimes vary – with part-time courses taking a longer time to complete, as well as evening courses for fitting in fewer sessions –, the application period and the class start dates are almost always the same. It doesn't make sense to split the class just because of one date, and thanks to journeys, it's also unnecessary. 🎉

Quoting from our General glossary, a journey is a "schema that's introduced near the bottom of the profile Info tab whenever a profile is added to a certain class, with the purpose of storing unique class-centric information such as registration ID, daytime or evening track, part-time or full-time mode, etc." Thus, by using the programme's journey schema, you can input all of the key details concerning a particular applicant or student in order to better distinguish their academic path. Here's an example:

Of course, this would be ineffective if you couldn't tell which people belong to which track after centralising the information; that's why, in the class overview, every journey field is available for display through the column-picker:

But now you might be wondering: alright, one problem down, but what about recording the end date of every track in the system, again in the spirit of having all the data in one place? After all, when defining the Details of a class, one can only insert one Class ends on date.

The solution lies in using the class schema. Again quoting from our General glossary, the class schema is a "customisable area, found in General settings > Institution > chosen programme > chosen class > Data, where you can store any extra piece of information not covered in the class Details tab", such as additional dates.

In a few words, just choose an end date to go in the Details tab and then put the others in the Data tab.

By the way, journey and class schema fields can both be used as merge fields in documents. 📄

Seasonal short courses

Intensive short courses are all the rage nowadays to foster professional development or bridge a skills gap while dodging the student debt trap, and the smoothest way to handle them is by creating a programme dedicated to short courses, and then creating a class for each course inside said programme. 🥑 This helps keep the list of programmes focused and relevant, as it homogenises the process. ✌️

But what about ABC…Z?

Surely there are situation we didn't cover in this article, but if you absorb the pointers and examples from the above takeaways, the rest will come intuitively to you. Beneath the façade, most curricular offerings are a version of the programme and class format that FULL FABRIC supports, and the deciding factor in converting intakes to collective or separate classes is the respective dates (hence our previous joke about telling apples from oranges). 🙃 Aside from that, it's generally in your best interest to keep your list of programmes clean and tight by employing whatever resources are available. In case of doubt, seek our counsel (whatever you can think of, we've tried and done). 👩‍⚖️📞

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You have reached the end of this article. Thanks for reading! 🤓 If you have any questions or comments on the topic at hand, or if you enjoy reads like this and have article requests, feel free to start a chat or email us at support@fullfabric.com. Also, please leave a rating below. Your feedback is highly appreciated! 💖

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PUBLISHED: December 3, 2020
LAST UPDATED: December 3, 2020 at 12:19 p.m.

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