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evan2
Community Member

Cohorts: Section, Group, or New Course?

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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 canvas.instructure.com URL.

Thank you!

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
nwilson7
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.

-Nick

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5 Replies
evan2
Community Member

To be clear: the 3rd note in the list is how things are now, I am willing to change that. 

stuart_ryan
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @evan2 ,

I wanted to check in as I noted that your question seems to have the community a little stumped. I am sure by now you will have found a possible solution or workaround through some of your own additional sleuthing? If not, do you still need assistance with this (please let us know, we are always happy to help)!


If you did find a solution that solved this, it would be great to hear from you how you did (as this will help anyone else that finds your question in future).
 
Cheers,
Stuart 

detour-jenn
Community Participant

Hello.

I'm also interested in knowing the best way to organize cohorts within a course where each cohort will have different start/end dates. From what I've read it seems like setting up Terms would be a way to go. If I'm also understanding correctly I can then set up Groups within Terms.

I'm still not sure how Sections might come into play here.

Hoping to get some wisdom here too :).

Thank you.

nwilson7
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.

-Nick

View solution in original post

detour-jenn
Community Participant

Nick! Thank you so much for this guidance. I didn't realize I could organize Sections in this way. This is definitely a much better strategy for the way we are using Canvas, which isn't on a term/semester basis.

Thanks again for your comments here Nick!