The Course Catalog contains all the courses ever offered by your school—past, present, and future. In order to offer a particular course to students, it needs to first exist in your course catalog.
Catalog courses vs. course instances
Let's make sure everyone understands the difference between catalog courses and course instances:
Catalog courses are "templates" for course instances. They contain the information shared in common by all instances of that course (more or less). This includes the items described in Course Information (see below), such as abbreviation, description, program(s), level (Grad, Undergrad), credits/hours, and so forth.
Course instances are courses as they exist within a particular academic term. They have particular meeting times, assignments, student roster, section number, etc., unique from other instances of that same course.
In Academics > Course Catalog...
- Use the filter to find particular kinds of courses.
- Click Export XLS to create a spreadsheet of the catalog.
- Click Add Course to begin adding a new catalog course.
- Course catalog information is also available via the API.
Adding a new course
- Click Add course.
- Fill in the course's information and prerequisites—at minimum, you must enter a name and abbreviation.
- Click Save.
After creating the course, you can fill in additional details on its page; you can also start adding it to your academic terms.
Courses have a lot of different fields to fill in! Some fields (marked with )are available in the Add New Course dialog. All fields are available on the course's catalog page.
Name and abbreviation: At minimum, a course must have a name and abbreviation. For example, Survey of Western Literature I: The Ancient World and LIT211.
- The course abbreviation is tied directly to the
courseIDin the Populi database. Transcripts, degree audits, GPAs, etc. all look to the course abbreviation as the starting point for building student records. If you change a course abbreviation, it will affect all historic records connected with that course! Therefore, you should not ever change the abbreviation.
- Abbreviations must be unique. For example, you cannot have two ENG101's.
- Course names are fungible: they can be changed when you add the course to an academic term, or you can add/change new course names for particular students on the course Roster.
Description: A synopsis of the course's goals, scope, and content.
Programs: Select the course's program or programs from the list and click Add. Check the radio button to indicate the course's Primary program.
Department: The department responsible for the course.
Pass/fail: Is the course graded pass/fail or not? If Yes, it will be subject to the pass/fail grade scale established in Academics > Settings.
Affects GPA: Check which kinds of grades will affect the student's GPA.
Fulfills program requirements: If checked, this course will count towards the degree course requirements for any program listed in the Programs setting. If unchecked, this course will not count towards those degree course requirements.
Affects standing: Check if the course's credits/hours count towards the requirements for your programs' standings thresholds (e.g. does this course help a freshman become a sophomore?). Un-check if the course should not affect a student's standing. This is helpful for remedial courses—say, something like ENG 099: Basic Writing Proficiency.
Affects FT Status: Check if the course's credits/hours count towards the full-time threshold. To see this setting, you must un-check the Fulfills program requirements setting.
Retakes: When students retake the course, how will the course credits be counted?
- Check to have the course count towards their earned credits
- Un-check to have the course not count towards earned credits; the student's grade will be replaced according to your Retake Policy
Credits/Hours: The course's Earned Credit or Earned Hours value—how many units does a student earn when he passes this course?
- You can enter one, or the other, or both.
- If you enter only credits, then the course will only count in credits-based programs; likewise, if you enter only hours...
- If you enter both, Populi can then apply the course toward either a Credit- or Hours-based program.
- If you're using Populi to track Clinical or Attendance Hours, have a look at this article.
Max Enrolled/Auditors: The maximum number of students or auditors per section. Choose from Unlimited, Limited, or None (which requires that all registration for this course be handled by a Registrar or Academic Admin user).
Auditors: Check whether to let auditors submit assignments, take online tests, receive course grades, and be included in attendance. Even if you check Yes for these settings, auditor grade reports and transcripts will still display AUD in place of a grade.
Delivery Method: Do you typically offer this course On Campus or Online? This is an optional field; if you skip this, it will display as Unknown.
CIP Code: A standard numerical code for a post-secondary course of study, developed and defined by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
Status: Active courses can still be offered; retired courses cannot. When you create a course, it is automatically set to Active.
- This article can help you decide whether to retire a course.
Self enrollment: Check to enable students to self-enroll for this course via online enrollment.
Faculty: You can list particular faculty members as the default instructor for the course. This lets you save a step later on—the faculty member you select here will be automatically added to any course instances you set up.
- Click add faculty.
- Type a name in faculty field and select from the results.
- You can list multiple faculty members. If you do so, check next to the primary instructor.
- Click to remove a faculty member from the list.
Enrollment: Academic Admins and Registrars have comprehensive access to the various enrollment management functions in a course. If you wish to extend this ability to the course faculty, select that option from the drop-down. Course faculty will be able to manage enrollment up until the course's add/drop date.
Tuition schedules: Tuition schedule(s) are attached to individual courses. When a student with a given schedule enrolls in a course with that same schedule, he will be charged for that enrollment (if the tuition schedule and the course do not match, then the student will not be charged!
- Select from all tuition schedules, none, or choose tuition schedules.
- If you select choose..., check the tuition schedules you wish to apply and click Save.
- Consult with a Financial Admin user regarding this setting.
- You can also attach a tuition schedule to a course on the tuition schedule's page.
Minimum attendance requirement
This requirement triggers a failure for non-attendance if a student's attendance falls below the percentage shown here. Courses inherit the global requirement as established in Academics > Settings. If you need to change the requirement for this course...
- Click edit.
- Un-check the Use global...? message.
- Enter the new minimum attendance percentage.
- Click Save.
- Click Delete to disable the minimum attendance requirement for this course.
- You can also change the requirement at the course instance level.
Course equivalencies let you substitute any course for any other in a student's academic history. For example, say you make ENG101 an equivalent of WRI101:
- Students who took WRI101 will show that they have completed a degree course requirement for ENG101 on the Degree Audit.
- Students who took ENG101 will be able to register for a course that has WRI101 as a prerequisite.
- Students who need to retake ENG101 can take WRI101 instead.
- And vice-versa for all of the above...
To set up course equivalencies...
- Click add course equivalencies.
- Type course names or abbreviations and click the course you're after to list it.
- Repeat Step 2 as often as you need to.
- When you're done, click Save.
There are four types of prerequisites, which you can combine however you wish:
- Courses: Students must pass every course listed (or an equivalent).
- Course groups: Students must pass a specified number of courses or equivalents in every group you list.
- Credits/hours: Students must have at least this number of cumulative units to take the course. This lets you restrict the course to students with certain standings—for example, if you want sophomores to take the course, you'd enter the minimum credits for sophomores as established in your Undergraduate program.
- Other: This is simply a text field that lets you list other prereqs. There is no way to automate what you enter here; you'll need to keep track of these manually.
Course and credit prereqs let Populi restrict online enrollment for individual students—they'll only see courses for which they've met the prereqs.
Test questions from other courses
Courses can use online test questions created for other courses.
- Click Use questions from other courses.
- Start typing an abbreviation or course name will work and select from the suggested results.
- Click to remove a course from this list.
Once you Save, the course's instructors will be able to use test questions from all the courses listed to create their online tests.
Deleting and retiring courses
First, remember that you cannot delete courses that have any course instances associated with them. Those courses must be preserved because they are tied to a variety of historical records (enrollment, transcripts, and grades, among others). Only courses not attached to historic academic data can be deleted. However, courses can be retired if you no longer want to offer them. Consult this article for examples of what would be best to do.
- Delete: Go to the main Course Catalog page. If a course can be deleted, you'll see a trash can next to it. Click that and confirm your decision.
- Retire: Change the course status from Active to Retired.