When you define a Year and a Term, you can also define certain properties that will impact your section’s durations when you associate them with that Term. However, the rules for enrollments created via self-registration are actually different to those that apply for enrollments created via back-end registration. Enrollments created via self-registration will typically override the start/end date properties defined for the Term in which that Section has been created in, while enrollments created via the Genius back-end will use those properties and define start and end dates based on the
We cover how Genius assigns start and end dates for sections in detail in this article.
When we describe a "self-registration" enrollment, we mean an enrollment that is generated when a learner visits the course catalog, picks a course, pays for a course and, in general, initiates the enrollment process without the intervention of an Administrator. There are two separate cases when it comes to creating enrollments in these cases, which we cover below:
Sections without a Start Date
Some sections (for example, sections that have a "rolling enrollment") do not have a well-defined Start Date. If a learner attempts to enroll in a section that does not have a Start Date, Genius will create the enrollment with its Start Date equal to today's date (the date in which the learner enrolled in the section) and the End Date equal to Today's Date + the Duration defined for the Section.
In other words, for sections that do not have a well defined start or end date, Genius will calculate both these dates based on the Duration defined for the Section.
Sections with a Start Date
For sections with a well-defined start date, the enrollment will be created using that pre-defined Start Date. This also applies for sections that have a well-defined End Date. Note that you can define any start or end date when creating a Section in Genius, and you are not restricted by the Term's start or end dates.
A "back-end" registration is typically an enrollment made when an Administrator uses the "Enroll in Section" operation found under the Learners > [Learner Profile] > Actions > Enroll in Section or the Learners > Bulk Enroll menu item.
We do not include enrollments completed through .CSV imports under this list, as those enrollments require that Administrators define both start and end dates for the import process to be successful. In general, enrollments created via .CSV import override all rules.
In those two cases, the options in terms of both Start and End Dates that Genius makes available when creating terms will apply. We provide a complete overview of the options around course start and end dates available to you when you create a Term in Genius in the section below.
Options around Term Start and End Dates
Below, we describe the options around course Start and End Dates provided by Genius. Be careful, as associating Sections with that specific Term will make all Sections created within that Term inherit these properties!
Under Start Dates, there are 5 specific options you can choose from:
- Pick from list. – allows you to ‘force’ section creators to select the Start Date of all sections associated with this particular term from a set of fixed dates defined by you as the Administrator:
- Open Entry –When you set a term’s Start Date to be “Open Entry” in Genius, this means that the sections associated with that term will start on the date set by an Administrator when creating the section. This date may or may not match your intended start and end dates for this Term. More about this in our article about creating sections[link: creating sections]
- Open Entry with Default Suggested Date – If you choose “Open Entry with Default Suggested Start Date”, the sections associated with that term will have a start date set by default. This start date can be defined for all sections associated with that term by selecting this option. However, the user responsible for the creation of that section will be able to override this start date.
- Suggest Current Date, allowing override – Similarly to Open Entry with Default Suggested Start Date, this option will fill in the Start Date field when you create a section with today’s date. The user responsible for creating the section will then be able to override this start date if required.
- Suggest Current Date, not allowing override – In this option, section creators will be forced to use today’s start date when creating sections – with no possibility of overriding this entry with their own start date for the section.
Under End Dates, there are also 5 specific options you can choose from. Remember, all sections associated with that term will inherit these properties, which may limit your options when it comes to setting up courses that start and end at a specific date:
- Calculate based on section duration, allowing override. – Selecting this option will make Genius calculate the end date for each section automatically, based on the section’s Duration. So, for example, if a section’s start date is on Monday the 7th, and the course duration is 7 days, the course will end on the 14th of the same month. ‘Allowing Override’ means that it will be possible for you to change the section’s end date, even if this clashes with the section’s specified duration – so you can for example set the course end date to be on the 15th.
- Calculate based on section duration, not allowing override. – This option is very similar to the one described above, but it will not allow a section’s creator to pick a different end date than that calculated by Genius by adding the course’s duration to the Start Date set for the course. If you want course durations to be strictly enforced within your learning initiative, this is the option to use.
- Specific end date, allowing override. – In this option, you can set sections associated with this particular term to end at a specific date. However, Section Creators will be able to override this option at any time, although the initial End Date set up by you when creating the Term will typically be included by default:
- Specific end date, not allowing override. – In this option, the End Dates of the sections associated with this term will be those set by the Administrator when creating the term – no chance for a Section Creator to override this preference.
- Do not suggest End Date. – In this case, a section’s End Date will simply be the one calculated by adding the section’s Duration to its Start Date, with no end dates suggested by Genius.
Defining "term-wide" Start and End Dates may save you time, but only when it comes to managing enrollments through the Genius back-end. If you rely on self-registrations or use .CSV imports, you will find that Genius assigns section start and end dates very differently, using a "common sense" approach to assign start and end dates when learners rely on the Course Catalog to register into their own learning opportunities.
If you are unsure what to do, we recommend that you leave the default options in place when creating your years and terms. You can always rely on the start and end date options available to you when you create Sections for those terms, or rely on Genius to apply a reasonable start date for "rolling enrollment" courses - as we described earlier.