Class Hierarchy - Programs, Course Groups, Courses and Classes

Every year, college students receive what's called a "course catalog". The catalog describes all the different subjects being taught that year, along with a list, under each description, of all the various times and locations that a particular subject is taught.
Colleges typically refer to the different groupings as departments. In ASAP, those things called Course Groups. This is the way that your registrants navigate your public website and choose categories. An example of a Course Group might be Physics.

here is another level of organization within ASAP called Programs. Programs are optional and are a level above Course Groups. If Physics is a Course Group, the Program that that might contain Physics could be Science. Your system may be configured to use programs (optional) and course groups (mandatory). Click these links for instructions about setting up programs and course groups.

Beyond Programs and Course Groups are subjects being taught as "courses", and they call any instance of a course taking place a "class".
At ASAP we manage your classes in exactly the same way. For every subject that you teach ("Physics 101", "Conversational Spanish", "Bookkeeping 101") we create a single course record in our system, and then we create a separate class for each instance of that course.

Why is this information managed separately like this?
Imagine you create a course called The Basics of French Cooking, and say you offer that same course at multiple times or multiple locations every week. The information that is being taught in each class (how to make a sauce, how to butterfly a chicken, etc), is pretty much the same whether you attend the Thursday night class taught by Ms. Lettersmith or the Saturday morning one held downtown and taught by Mr. Knox. It's only the details regarding when and where the classes take place that vary from class to class.
In ASAP, each class is created from and tied to a course, so if you ever need to make a change to the title or description of a class, you only need to edit the course records.
It also makes it very easy to create new classes when you need them and edit existing classes when you need to. All the information about what is being taught is already stored in the course; you just need to create the schedule for the new class and you're done.
A course record will include information like:

  • the title
  • the description
  • the price
  • course prerequisites if there are any

The class record contains things like:

  • the days and times the class is held
  • the beginning and end dates for a class
  • who is teaching the class
  • during what time period the class is held (Fall 2015, etc)
  • class capacity
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