Course instances

Related videos: Importing Courses Into a New Term, Finalizing Courses and Issuing Transcripts

Course Instances

When you create a course instance, it creates a corresponding page for that course instance. This is the same page the faculty and students will access during the term. Depending on your Role, there are differing levels of access to the Course:

  • Academic Admins and Registrars have nearly-comprehensive access to courses—about the only thing you can't do is grade tests. 
  • Faculty and Teaching Assistants can modify content, progress, tests, assignments, etc. as well as finalize the course; they are the only users who can grade tests.
  • Students can read any of this information, as well as interact with assignments, tests, and lessons.

See below for information about the Course Info tab. Follow the links to read about...

Course Info

Most of what's in the Information panel is drawn straight from the Course Catalog. Except for the term and course fields, you are free to modify any of this information by clicking the field name and making your edits.

Meeting Times let you schedule the course; if you do not enter anything here, faculty will not be able to take attendance!


Clone From Another Course

Cloning copies content from other courses.

Click the gear and select Clone...

  • Check off the items you wish to Clone. If the checkbox is grayed out, then those elements don't exist in the course selected in the From field.
  • You can select different elements from different courses (like the Assignments from one and the Links from another).
  • If you clone the same content from different courses, Populi overwrites the first with the second (or third, or fourth—the most recent, in other words).
  • Select the specific course instance you wish to clone them From. This defaults to showing you the same catalog course in other terms.
  • You can also clone from different catalog courses (faculty cannot do this). Begin typing a course name or abbreviation and select from the results.
  • Cloning Tests from a different course also clones all of that course's Test Questions.
  • Check to confirm your choices and Save.

Once you've cloned course content, you can still modify it as needed.

Import Common Cartridge

If you have exported materials from another LMS in Common Cartridge format, you can import that Common Cartridge file into your course in a simple, three-step process.

The Common Cartridge importer works only when you upload the entire .zip file you exported from the other LMS. Make sure that you have that original .zip file before you try to import these materials into Populi!

  1. Choose a file: locate the .zip file on your computer and upload it. The filename should look something like this example:
  2. Select records: Check the assignments, Discussions, Links, Lessons, and Tests you wish to import.
  3. Import selected records: You can also cancel. After you import, click the link to go back to what you were doing.

Finalizing students and courses

Finalize Course submits the grades to the registrar and closes the course to further modification, assignment submission, etc. Typically, finalizing a course falls to the course faculty. Registars will more likely use the Unfinalize function to make some after-the-fact change or correction.

Here’s how to finalize a student or the entire course.

  • Go to the Course Info tab
  • Click Finalize Course at the top of the page; this takes you to a summary of what you’re finalizing, including grades, comments, and enrollment status

You have a few options as to what to finalize:

  • Check the boxes next to individual students you wish to finalize
  • Check at the bottom to finalize the course and any unfinalized students

When you’re ready, click Submit. This will finalize your selections. If you’ve only finalized students, you can come back to this screen at any time to finalize other students or the entire course.

What happens...

When you finalize a student: The student's grades are submitted to his permanent academic record, updating his transcript, grade report, and statistics like earned credits and GPA. It also closes him out of the course, so he can no longer submit assignments, take tests, and so on.

When you finalize the course: The course is closed down to all activity and updates—you can no longer add assignments, change settings, and so forth. 

If you finalize students, but not the course: You (and the faculty) can continue to update the course content, settings, and details.


To unfinalize...

  • Click Unfinalize course (if the course has been finalized) or Finalize course (if only students have been finalized)
  • In the finalize screen, uncheck the students (or uncheck course) you wish to unfinalize
  • Click Submit

If you Unfinalize a course, make sure to finalize it again as soon as possible—unfinalizing a course affects historic records for all of that course's enrolled students (not to mention reporting, term stats, etc.).

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  • 0
    David Stauffer

    It appears that Faculty get the 'Unfinalize course' option from the gear menu in a finalized course.  It gives them the confirmation dialog, and then refreshes the page without doing anything.  We were quite concerned for a minute that any faculty could unfinalize a course, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Is it intended to have that option even show up for anyone without the Registrar role?

  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell


    We just fixed that up—now only Academic Admins and Registrars can see the option to unfinalize. Thanks for catching that for us!

  • 0
    David Stauffer

    You guys rock!  Thanks.

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