From CLEW Wiki
In order to facilitate breaking down data, such as Announcements or restricting discussion forums to particular subset of participants in a site, the concept of Sections (or Groups) was added and is available in both course and project sites.
Not all tools are Group/Section aware!
What it does
The Sections tool provides a way for instructors to efficiently manage sections of a class. (In the Sections tool, “sections” does not refer to sections of a course as the University uses the term. To CLEW, “sections” means “groups”). The tool is designed to help an instructor manage a course that may consist of lectures, labs, discussions, studio work, recitations, or any combination thereof. TAs can also be assigned to these groups.
The Sections tool is designed to work with other group aware tools, such as Announcements, Gradebook, Forums, Discussions, Calendar, Resources and Assignments. Once you’ve created groups with the Sections tool, you can then post announcements, resources, and assignments for specific groups, and restrict discussion forums to particular groups of students.
The second CLEW grouping tool, Site Editor, Manage Groups allows a student to be placed in more than one group at a time.
Sections: This tool allows you to create mutually exclusive sections in a course site.
Information you may add about a section includes days, time, assigned teaching assistant, room, current enrollment, available slots, maximum enrollment, and the section category.
Groups function much like Sections.
However, groups are managed through the Site Editor tool using the Manage Groups link, and they do not have the associated metadata (or information about the group) that a Section may have. Groups are never preloaded with official course data and must be created after the site has been populated. Participants can be in more than one group at a time using the Manage Groups tool.
Getting Started with Sections
To get started, click Sections in the left-hand tool menu. If you don’t see it in the menu, you will need to add it to your site using the Site Editor tool
Add (Create) a Section
You need to create a section first and then add the students/participants to the section. You may create up to ten sections (groups) at a time. However, when adding more than one section at a time, all of the sections must be in the same category. You may complete the following steps repeatedly to create an unlimited number of sections.
- On the Sections home page, click Add Sections in the Sections menu bar.
- From the drop-down menu, select the number of sections you want to add.
- From the - choose one - drop down list, select the category of your sections. Choose from several options for the type of section you wish to add. Section categories include Lecture, Discussion, Lab, Studio, Tutorial and Recitation.
- Note: A category is simply a label and each section (group) functions exactly the same way no matter what category you choose. Student membership is mutually exclusive within any given category (for example: Student A can only be in one Lecture section and in only one Discussion section.)
- The default Name of the section is the category name plus a number. You may change this by entering a new or more meaningful name in the text box.
- If you will be limiting the number of students allowed within each group, select the Limit number of students in section to by clicking in the radio button to the left and enter the appropriate number in the text box to the right. If you are not limiting the number in each group, leave Unlimited number of students in section selected.
- (optional) If this group meets at a regular day and time, (for example: a weekly lab period only a portion of your students attend) you may choose to enter the Meeting Details:
- Select the day(s) of the week the group meets
- In the From box, enter the time this section meets. Enter the time in the format hour:minutes and then select AM or PM. Enter the ending time in the same way in the To box.
- In the in Location text box, enter a short (maximum 20 characters) location identifier for where the section meets.
- (optional) To specify additional meeting times and places for this section, click the Add day(s) with a different meeting time and/or location link and enter the Meetings Details as in the step above for this second meeting time and/or place. Repeat this step as many times as needed.
- If you have chosen to add more than one section at a time, enter information for the other sections.
- Click Add Sections to complete adding the section(s) or click Cancel to exit without creating the section(s). You will be returned to the Sections home page. You will see a confirmation message on the home page if you clicked Add Sections.
Teaching Assistants (TAs)
In a course site, you may assign TAs to each section. You assign a site participant the role of teaching assistant through Site Editor.
Assign a Teaching Assistant (TA) to a Section
By default, the Instructor of a course site can participate as a member in all sections. TAs cannot. Someone with the role of TA can only view all material and participate on the site as a student does until you assign the TA a section. You can assign a TA to one, multiple, or all sections but you will need to do so one section at a time. A section can have multiple TAs.
Note: A teaching assistant may only edit information for students in the section to which the assistant is assigned.
To assign a TA to a section:
- On the Sections home page, choose the section to which you want to assign a TA and click the Assign TAs link under the section’s name.
- Click on a TA’s name in the list on the left. If you want to assign more than one at a time, hold the CTRL or
Apple key down as you click on other names.
- Click the arrow button directly below Move Selected. The selected name(s) will move to the box on the right.
- (optional) To add all the TAs in the left list to this section, click the double arrow button directly below Move All. All the names will move to the box on the right.
- Click Assign TAs to finish assigning these TAs and receive a confirmation on the Sections home page or click Cancel to exit without assigning TAs.
- Complete the above steps for each section to which you want to assign this TA(s).
Edit a Section
- On the Sections home page, find the section you want to edit and click the Edit link beneath the section’s name.
- Make the desired changes.
- Click Update to save your changes or click Cancel to exit without saving.
Delete a Section
- On the Sections home page, find the section you want to delete and click the check box to the left of it. If you do not see the boxes, you may need to go to the bottom of the screen and use the scroll bar to scroll to the right.
- Click Remove Sections to delete the section(s) or Cancel to clear all check marks. If you click Remove Sections you will see a confirmation screen.
- Click Remove to finish deleting and receive a confirmation on the Sections home page or Cancel to exit without deleting.
Change Student Options
By default, students may sign up for sections themselves but cannot switch once they have selected or you have assigned them sections. If you want to assign students to sections and not allow students to sign up for themselves, follow the steps below. You may also allow your students to be able to switch between sections themselves.
Note: You cannot allow some students or sections of students to be able to sign up and/or switch and not others; the option applies to all students and sections.
- On the Sections home page, click Options in the Sections menu bar.
- Place a check mark beside Students can sign up for sections if you want to allow students to sign up themselves and remove the check mark if you do not want students to be able to sign up themselves.
- Place a check mark beside Students can switch sections to allow students to switch between sections and remove the check mark if you do not want students to be able to switch between sections.
Note: Students will not see names of other students. A student will only see that a section is available to switch to and how many spaces are left in each section.
- Click Update to save your selections or click Cancel to exit without saving.
Move Students From One Section to Another
- On the Sections home page, click Student Memberships in the Sections menu bar.
- Find the name of the student you want to reassign.
- To help you find a student’s name, you can sort the list by clicking on any of the headings. To reverse the order, click the heading a second time.
- If there are more students than fit onto the page, scroll through the list of students’ names by clicking on the arrows beside Show 50, or select from the Show drop-down list how many to show on the page.
- You may also search for a student by entering the student’s name or User ID in the Student name or ID text box and clicking Find.
- Click on the student’s name.
- Click the Assign or Unassign link to the right of section names, as appropriate, to make changes to the student’s section assignments. You will see the change on the screen. If you do not see the words Assign or Unassign, you may need to go to the bottom of the screen and use the scroll bar to scroll to the left.
If you want your students to be able to select or switch between sections, see Change Student Options.
Brief Summary of Tools That Can Use Sections
Forums or Discussions can be grouped using Sections
Both the Forums and Discussions tools, while sounding the same, have some differences. These tools can be set up to restrict dialogue to specific members of a section. Details on how to do this is found within the specific tool pages. Care must be taken to enable the correct permissions in these tools.
Use Sections in Announcements
You may set an announcement to be viewable only by a specific section. When you create a new announcement, choose from the drop-down menu which section should see the announcement.
Create an Entry in Calendar
When selecting the display to options for a Calendar entry, select the designated group you wish to be able to view the event.
View Gradebook or an Assignment by Sections
To view the Gradebook by section, choose from the drop-down menu the section you wish to view. This drop down view is also available in Assignments to view an assignment by your site's sections. GA/TAs can view their assigned section but still can grade those not assigned in their group, so careful attention must be given to avoid problems.
Considerations with Sections
Note GA/TAs may see Assignment submissions by group, but they are not restricted from grading those who haven't been assigned to them in the Sections tool. Care must be taken to not miss or duplicate grading.
Groups are very similar to Sections, but differ in some key ways. For more information, see Difference between sections and groups.
A section may have any number of assigned teaching assistants.
You have the option to allow students to switch or sign up for sections.
A participant may not be a member of more than one section in a given category.
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