Master and Practice Courses
Master and Practice courses must be requested by Faculty and Designers via the "Course Requests" area. After the request is made the courses are created manually by Ecat Team support staff.
Instructors can request Master courses to help them manage content related to 'live' for-credit courses.
A master course is not essential. However, the option is open for instructors to request a Master course and then copy a 'live' for-credit course into the Master course shell. After the copy completes, the instructor works in the master course and adjusts content and dates so the master course holds the most up-to-date version of a corresponding 'live' for-credit course. When a 'live' for-credit course becomes available at a later date, the instructor can then use the Copy Components from Another Org Unit process to move the "updated-in-the-master-course" course contents, components, links etc. to the initially blank 'live' for-credit course offering.
Example of typical Master course use:
Instructor 'A' copied a credit offering course over into a master course in December at the end of Fall semester after the credit course had completed. The instructor worked in the master course adjusting content, dates, and so forth circa the month of February (Spring semester) as access was not yet available to the next Fall semester version of the course which needed to be prepared for delivery.* After the 'live' course appeared, the instructor copied work from the Master course into the 'live' course via the 'Copy Components from Another Org Unit' process and then checked the course through - adjusting any peculiarities. The instructor wanted to get out ahead of the curve - and used the Master course to do it.
*The next Fall semester 'live' course was not available in December because 'live' courses associated with an upcoming Fall semester do not typically appear in Brightspace until somewhere around late March/early April - after registration opens.
A practice course is generally used to test tools and procedures as necessary for anyone who has this type of course. This type of course can also be used in the 'Copy Components from Another Org Unit' process.
A Non-Credit course (NC) is a course that is offered via the Brightspace Learning Environment that is not offered as an MSU-Bozeman regular for-credit course. A regular for-credit course is defined as “…a class with specified learning goals which the student is required to meet in order to pass the course and that may be applied toward the fulfillment of degree requirements at a college or university."
Instructors or departments need to contact Ecat Support staff if they wish to create a Non-Credit course offering.
About Copy Components from Another Org Unit process:
The 'Copy Components from Another Org Unit' process does not bring learner data from one course to another - only course content.
Also, when using the "Copy All Components" function, the process does not differentiate between old and new content. Bad links, past versions, course files will come along with the copy - it is an additive process only. When performing the process, the function DOES NOT OVERWRITE* which means that if multiple "Copy All Components" processes are performed then multiple versions of everything in the course will be copied over into the target course. This typically necessitates a manual clean of the extra content, tools, and so forth to cut back on confusion for both instructor and learner.
Under certain conditions there can be problems with some of the contents, dates, links and so forth that are copied from one course into another using the copy process. Instructors should always check through their course to make sure all is functioning properly after using the process.
Finally, note that if individuals want to clean their master course (or any course for that matter) of extra content, there is no magic one-step button to perform the process. It is a manual process and individuals must clean all tools (delete dropboxes, discussion areas, quiz area etc.) separately if they want to clear the decks.
*with the exception of course files if so selected for overwrite
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