What is the difference between Section Code and Section School Code?

This article outlines the Course Code, Section Code, and Section School Code identifiers for courses and sections. Use these links to jump to a specific area of the guide:

Why do my courses need a Course Code and Section Code/Section School Code?

Courses and Sections in Schoology must have a Course Code and Section Code/Section School Code to use the Import and Export features. Assigning these unique identifiers to your course sections enables System Administrators to bulk create and update the courses within an organization or export information from those courses.

Note: If you use the Enterprise version of Schoology, you may integrate your SIS with Schoology to provision courses and enrollments. In this case, these codes may be created by your SIS, and you may not be able to edit the Course Code and Section School Code fields in Schoology.

If you use Manual Imports or Auto-Import to provision courses and enrollments, Course Code and Section Code or Section School Code are required fields to create and update courses. To import enrollments, you must designate either Section Code or Section School Code to be used in the sections you import. Therefore, it's important to understand these fields and how they function.

Manual_courses_import_SC_vs_SSC.png

Above: Manual Import of Courses with either Section Code or Section School Code. Below: Manual Import of Course Enrollments based on Section Code or Section School Code.

Course_Enrollment_import_SC_vs_SSC.png

Back to top

Understanding Courses and Sections

Course vs. Section

Courses are created as "shells" for sections. You can create multiple sections within the same course.

We recommend that you separate different class rosters into their own sections. For example, if a group of students meets during Period 1, you should consider creating another section for the group of students that meet at another time (Period 2).

If your school has different rosters for a class throughout the school year, you may consider creating sections for different grading periods, such as semesters, quarters, or trimesters.

Course Codes

A Course Code serves as the unique identifier for each course shell. Course Codes must be unique across the schools in your organization and across all grading periods.

For example, if you have a Biology course that is taught at two high schools in your organization, you will need to use separate Course Codes at each school:

You might choose to format your Course Codes like this:

School Course Name Course Code
West High School Biology WHS_BIO
East High School Biology EHS_BIO

In this example, the Biology course at West High School contains all past, current, and upcoming sections of Biology at West High School:

WHS_BIO_course_shell.png

Note: Once a section has been created under a course shell, it cannot be moved to another course. Sections cannot be moved to a different course shell by editing the Course Code.

Back to top

Should I use Section Code or Section School Code?

The decision to use Section Code or Section School Code will depend on how your organization structures courses and sections throughout the school year.

Section Code

Section Codes only need to be unique within each course shell per grading period. You can re-use the same Course Code/Section Code combo within the same school building for different grading periods.

For example, within the Biology course in the example above, you can use the Section Code of 1 for the first period Biology section in the Fall semester. You may create another section within the same Section Code under the same Course shell for the Spring semester.

This system enables you to re-use the same Section Code in following years without affecting the previous sections using the same code.

School Course Code Section Name Section Code Grading Period
West High School WHS_BIO Section 1 1 Fall 2017
West High School WHS_BIO Section 1 1 Spring 2018

Section School Code

Section School Codes must be unique across all courses, grading periods, and buildings. If you have a Section School Code of 1, you can never use that Section School Code for another section within your organization.

For this reason, it helps to create Section School Codes that are unique to that specific class. For example, the Biology course may set Section School Codes in the following format:

School Course Code Section Name Section School Code Grading Period
West High School WHS_BIO Section 1 WHS_BIO_1_F17 Fall 2017
West High School WHS_BIO Section 1 WHS_BIO_1_SP18 Spring 2018

Back to top

Importing Courses and Enrollments based on Section Code/Section School Code

While importing course information and enrollments, keep in mind that you are creating or updating sections based on the Section Code or Section School Codes contained in your import file, along with the grading periods and settings configured on the file setup page.

If you are importing courses manually, you will see the option to Update existing records. If you are importing courses via Auto-Import, existing records are always updated.

Manual_Import_option.png

Using Section Code

Auto-Import OR Manual Import with Update existing records enabled 

  • If you import a file with a Course Code/Section Code combo that matches existing sections in Schoology, but uses different grading periods, then new sections will be created under the existing course shells with the information from your enrollment file.
  • If you import a file with a Course Code/Section Code combo that matches existing sections in Schoology, with the same grading periods, the existing sections in Schoology will be updated with the information from your enrollment file. 

Manual Import with Update existing records disabled

  • If you import a file with a Course Code/Section Code combo that matches existing sections in Schoology, but uses different grading periods, then new sections will be created under the existing course shells with the information from your enrollment file.
  • If you import a file with a Course Code/Section Code combo that matches existing sections in Schoology, using the same grading periods, an error will appear in the Preview/confirm phase of the import: An existing course or section was found and updates of existing courses and sections are disabled. This row of data was skipped.

Using Section School Code

Auto-Import OR Manual Import with Update existing records enabled 

  • If you import a file using Section School Code, the importer will look for existing sections in Schoology with the same Section School Code.
  • If a section exists with the same Section School Code, the existing section will be updated with information from your import file.
  • If no sections exist with the same Section School Code, a new section will be created with the information from your import file.

Manual Import with Update existing records disabled

  • If you import a file using Section School Code, the importer will look for existing sections in Schoology with the same Section School Code.
  • If no sections exist with the same Section School Code, a new section will be created with the information from your import file.
  • If a section exists with the same Section School Code, an error will appear in the Preview/confirm phase of the import: An existing course or section was found and updates of existing courses and sections are disabled. This row of data was skipped.

Back to top

Powered by Zendesk