Cohorts: Section, Group, or New Course?

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Community Novice

Hello everyone! I am brand new to Canvas, and loving it! I have a problem, however:

In the school I work at, we have rolling admissions. Every ~1 month we will have 6 new students start a new classes. 

Each student will go through the exact same material and course flow. My ideal world would be the following:

1. Students are arranged separately by cohort; I need different start-dates, deadlines, and content lock dates based on the cohort's start date.

2. Students are able to access the same discussion sections.  We are a specialty language school and would really like students to connect and cross-pollinate; the ideal situation is that every student can comment across discussion boards and connect with students from other cohorts. 

3. Majority of content is arranged as "pages" that link out to pseudo assignment pages; ie the page has all of the review and preview content, and then there are links to assignment pages that strictly serve as a download portal for the homework.  

I have reviewed peoples' comments on similar, less-specific questions, but it seems that I am eternally trading one for the other here. Does the wisdom of the canvas boards have any thoughts for me? I am very open to restructuring and doing work over the weekend.

By the way, We are a very small institution, atm (3 teachers).  We are using Canvas for Teachers Through the URL.

Thank you!

1 Solution
Community Champion

@detour-jenn  I would use sections for this.  We have several courses that run this way and have found sections to be the best.  Sections can be set to have specific start and end dates (if you go into the settings menu, then sections, and then edit the section, you can see where to put start and end dates).  You can then also assign by section, communicate by section, grade by section, etc.  This makes things much easier on the instructor.  We have all students that come in go through a course and new students get enrolled into that course every 2 weeks.  I broke them out by cohort, each as a section, for this and so far the instructors love this method.

I don't think terms is what you are wanting as you assign a course to just 1 term, so you would constantly need to update the term in the course settings.  We use the terms for our actual semester terms and then tie the non-rolling courses to those.  For example "Fall 2021" is a term and all our Fall 2021 courses are then attached to that term.  

Happy to discuss more of this with you if you would like.  We have tried many different ways and this seems to be our favorite option.


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