Information, like electricity, needs a conduit. ⚡️ In higher education, that's the series of lectures organised into courses and sessions that students enrol and attend to learn new things and hone their skills. That's the point of uni, after all. As such, this article will give you an understanding of the essential concepts tied to courses and sessions. 😉
In this article
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What are subjects, courses and sessions?
All things considered, the higher ed universe is a vast one. ☄️🌚✨ Programmes come in many forms and types, just as institutions come from many languages and cultures; consequently, it was important to find a fixed vocabulary we could commit to at FULL FABRIC – not just any vocabulary, but one that would properly reflect and flesh out the dynamics and structural intricacies of the many forms of study schools can offer. Naturally, it'd be silly to start name-dropping things without telling you what they mean first, so here's a guide to how the terms subject, course and session are used in FULL FABRIC and how they relate to one another:
In short, subjects are the small areas of study (e.g., "Advanced Strategy") that can be taken independently or be one of the many areas of study within a programme. For instance, a BSc in Mathematics could have such subjects as "Calculus", "Probability and Statistics", etc. 🌿
In turn, courses are the intakes of a subject; to be more explicit, the delivery of a subject in a particular timeframe spanning a few weeks or months. 🗓
Finally, sessions are the face-to-face or online meetings students must attend throughout a course to receive lectures on the topics within a subject. 👨🏫
With that out of the way, it's now time to tackle the second holy trinity in your Student Information System. 😉
What’s the relationship between study plan templates, individual transcripts and the calendar?
Similarly to the above, it's important to establish the titular three concepts – which is where things start to get really fun. 🎡
One we've already covered at length, namely the calendar. Please check this article if you haven't already.
As for the study plan, it's the range of core, elective and extracurricular subjects that compose the entirety of a degree programme, with regards to which students must earn a given number of academic credits and fulfil other curriculum conditions (such as meeting minimum attendance levels, completion of all mandatory subjects, etc.) to be eligible for graduation. 👩🎓 Hence it being formally called a study plan template: because it's created by staff, and then students must take a combination of core subjects and discretionary elective subjects following the structure of the programme.
Transcripts are similar, but personal. More precisely, a transcript is an academic record of the courses taken by a student and their overall performance so far (grades and credits earned, attendance, among others). 📜 In fact, an applicant can't transition into a student without having a transcript. When a transcript is generated, it inherits all of the subjects inside the selected class's study plan by default to make them available for registration, but you can also add elective subjects from other classes. Then, accordingly, you can use the transcript to register said student into his or hers respective subjects, also achievable through the calendar.
In terms of the process, the study plan template is built first in order to determine and configure the subjects of a class. Second comes the calendar in order to create the courses and sessions. This is the right order because, for one, courses can't be created from the study plan; and two, part of creating a course is selecting the corresponding subject. Once you do so, your new course will be automatically inserted into the study plan of the class you're filtering by.
Why? Because everything is interconnected: the calendar links to the transcript (as we've seen already) and it also links to the study plan. 🕸 What for? To reflect one another, meaning two things: that any changes made to the calendar automatically update the study plan so you don't have to jump back and forth, and that when you filter by a class on the calendar this displays the courses in the study plan. Since the study plan is the definition of what courses students are studying, that's expectedly what they see on the calendar. 👀
Now let's get hands-on and see how this plays out in practice, shall we?
PUBLISHED: March 8, 2021
LAST UPDATED: March 8, 2021 at 10:08 a.m.