Topics Map > Curricular Services
Topics Map > Student Information System (SIS)
Curricular Build - Initial Call
This document supports Curricular Representatives during the Initial Call period of the fall and spring curricular builds by outlining various resources, policies, guidelines, and important reminders.
Please carefully review this document in full before beginning your Initial Call processing and reach out to your Curricular Services contact with any questions.
The fall and spring curricular builds consist of two call periods: Initial Call and Final Call. During Initial Call, Curricular Representatives indicate which courses their department will be teaching in the upcoming fall or spring term. In preparation for Initial Call, Curricular Services runs a process known as term roll. Term roll copies forward all active (not canceled) classes and vital class information from the previous like-term, e.g., from the most recent fall term to the upcoming fall term. This provides Curricular Representatives a starting point to work from when building the Schedule of Classes for their subject(s). Term roll does not copy forward instructors (except on Independent Study courses), class notes, or requested room characteristics, so it is essential to verify all information on active courses each term.
During Initial Call, Curricular Reps update details for classes that will be taught, delete term-rolled sections that won’t be taught, and schedule new courses that weren’t taught in the last like-term. At the close of Initial Call, Curricular Services will temporarily limit Curricular Reps’ update access in SIS. Curricular Services staff will then audit class data for accuracy and consistency and will complete the first round of General Assignment classroom assignments.
The Student Information System (SIS) KnowledgeBase is home to several useful documents related to various aspects of the curricular build (and other SIS functionality that you may use in your work). These documents include important process and policy reminders, step-by-step instructions, and screenshots.
The following resources are available in the Curricular Build box folder for your review in preparation for updates. Note that the posted reports are static, point-in-time snapshots. You have access to run updated copies of these and other reports on demand in SIS anytime you'd like; please consult SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Curricular Reports for guidance.
- Initial Call PDF Schedule of Classes - All courses being offered in a term. Note: Classes set to not display (i.e., the Schedule Print box is unchecked) are excluded from this report.
- Distance Education Sections - All sections scheduled with an instruction mode of WO (online only) or WC (online, some classroom).
- Independent Study Sections - All scheduled independent study sections.
- Meets-With Sections - All coded meets-with sections (MW, SL, and XM).
- Nonstandard Day/Time Sections - All sections scheduled at nonstandard times and/or days. See the Room Assignment Information section below for more details. Note: This report is not available as a self-service report that can be run on demand.
- Not On Schedule of Classes List - All sections that have the Schedule Print box unchecked and therefore will not display in Course Search & Enroll.
- Optional Attendance Sections - All sections set as Optional on Adjust Class Associations.
- Overscheduled Times by Subject - All subjects overscheduled at prime class hours. See the Room Assignment Information section below for more details.
- Room Request List - All sections requesting a General Assignment (GA) classroom space.
- Section-Level Requisites - All section-level requisites attached to classes.
- Variable Credit Course Offerings - All variable credit courses scheduled in the term and their current minimum and maximum credit values.
75-Minute Undergraduate Sections
Undergraduate classes (courses numbered 699 and below) scheduled for 75-minute meetings on M, W, F, MW, MF, WF, or MWF between the hours of 9:30am and 2:30pm are not permitted to be offered without dean's recommendation and vice provost's approval. See also: Process Guidelines for Scheduling 75-minute Undergraduate Lecture Sections.
Classroom Scheduling Policies
Departments are expected to comply with the university's Classroom Scheduling policies regarding the use of classrooms for credit instruction. See the Room Assignment Information section below for more details.
Evening Midterm Exams
All classes giving evening midterm exams must include a Class Note so students are aware of potential conflicts with evening courses or other commitments. Whenever possible, the times and/or dates of the evening exams should be included in the Class Note.
Nonstandard Fees Courses
All approved sections of courses that charge a rate different from the standard fee structure should include a Class Note stating "Nonstandard fees course."
Special Course Fees
In accordance with UW System policy, special course fees may be assessed in order to pay for certain instructional costs that are not covered by the course’s regular instructional budget. Special course fees may be used for a variety of purposes, as deemed necessary by the institution, for the delivery of a credit course. Departments should add a Class Note denoting special course fees once approval has been granted. Refer to the Division of Business Services' Special Course Fee policies and procedures for more details.
General Assignment Classroom Requests and Assignments
If you are requesting a General Assignment (GA) classroom for any section, be sure to follow these procedures in SIS:
- Enter day/time meeting pattern details.
- Enter 0000 GA RM in the Facility ID field. If you do not enter 0000 GA RM, no GA classroom will be assigned.
- Update the Requested Room Capacity to indicate the size of room needed.
- Review the Enrollment Capacity to ensure it is not larger than the Requested Room Capacity. Update as necessary.
- Indicate room characteristics and special facility requirements, if needed (more details below).
Do not enter specific GA classrooms in the facility ID field unless you have been approved to do so by Curricular Services. After the Initial Call deadline, Curricular Services will audit department information and assign GA classrooms using an automated batch room assignment program. The batch classroom assigner will use your department building preferences to assign your classes in your home building and surrounding area. Questions about your department building preferences can be directed to Chuck Dvorak (email@example.com), the classroom scheduling lead in Curricular Services.
Classroom Scheduling Policies
Departments are expected to comply with the university's Classroom Scheduling policies regarding the use of classrooms for credit instruction. Your subject's classes should be spread throughout the day and week and should conform to standard class meeting patterns. Discussion sections should primarily be scheduled during non-peak hours.
Nonstandard Day/Time Sections Report
This report identifies all sections scheduled at nonstandard times and/or days. Nonstandard sections requesting GA classrooms are given lower priority in the room assignment process. Review this report and adjust class times/days whenever possible to conform to standard class meeting patterns. Because classroom space is limited, Curricular Services cannot guarantee assignments for sections scheduled at nonstandard times and/or days.
Overscheduled Times by Subject Report
Campus policies require departments to spread their course offerings throughout the day and week. Each subject should have no more than 14% of their sections scheduled at each of the prime class hours (8:50, 9:55, 11:00, 12:05, 1:20, and 2:25). Sections requesting GA classrooms at times when their subject is overscheduled are given lower priority in the room assignment process. Use the Overscheduled Times by Subject report (Curric & Enroll Rep WorkCenter > Resources tab > Queries section) to review your sections and make adjustments to ensure that they comply with this policy. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Overscheduled Times by Subject Report.
Use the Room Characteristics section on the Meetings tab in SIS to indicate specific classroom needs. To increase the likelihood of receiving a GA classroom assignment, only enter what is absolutely necessary for the pedagogy of the class. Requesting many characteristics will limit which rooms can fill the request, and some combinations will have few or no available rooms. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Maintain Schedule of Classes: Classroom Scheduling Policy and Room Characteristics.
Notes on technology characteristics: If technology (i.e., computer projection) is needed for any section, that need must be identified in SIS with the Technology Room characteristic. Lecture capture is a separate and distinct feature, so classes needing technology and lecture capture must request both characteristics.
Notes on seating characteristics: Collaborative Learning Setup refers only to furniture configuration—classes needing a collaborative learning setup and technology must request both. Do not request conflicting characteristics like Tables and Moveable Tablet-Arm Chairs, as the room assignment system cannot handle these "either/or" requests and will leave the section unassigned.
Information about classrooms can be found on the Facility Table in SIS (Set Up SACR > Foundation Tables > Facilities > Facility Table) and on the GA room lists posted on the Classroom Scheduling webpage. Also refer to the Classroom Media Support website for information regarding technology classrooms.
Requests for Special Facility Needs Not on Room Characteristics
For classes with specific requirements that cannot be communicated via Room Characteristics, notify Curricular Services using the Special Facility Request Form. Examples of situations when you should submit a form include: a need to be in the home building for access to greenhouse/lab/demo materials, a need to stay in the home building due to a disability accommodation, a need to teach in a building that is not your department's home building or area, etc.
Do not use this form to communicate room preferences or to request that back-to-back sections be assigned the same room. Also, do not include information that is already conveyed via the Room Characteristics in SIS. The form is intended for communication of specific requirements for teaching, not preferences. Curricular Services cannot honor invalid requests. Remember that the batch classroom assigner will use your department building preferences to assign your classes in your home building and surrounding area. Therefore, it is not necessary to submit a special facilities form to request your home building/area.
Use the Delete Row button in SIS to remove a class section from the schedule during the curricular build. Do not use the Canceled Section function during Initial or Final Call. Sections should be canceled only after the schedule of classes has been published. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Deleting vs. Canceling Sections.
Never Key-Change Section Numbers or Session Codes
All section number and session code changes must be done by adding and deleting sections. For example, do not change a LEC 004 to a LEC 003. Instead, delete LEC 004 and add a new section for LEC 003. Additionally, if a class is going to be offered in a different session than it was in the last like-term, do not key-change over the existing session code. Instead, delete the incorrect section and rebuild it in the correct session. Key-changing over existing text in the Class Section or Session fields can corrupt your data, rendering the course/section inaccessible.
A session is an identifier that denotes the begin date, length, and number of weeks of instruction. A list of session codes is available online. When adding a section in SIS, choose a valid session code. If you need to build a class in a session that is not available in SIS, submit a New Session Code Request Form.
Check all sections to ensure that their session code corresponds with when the class will be taught. Scheduling classes in the correct session is essential, as sessions can affect add/drop deadlines, tuition refund schedules, housing payments for students using veteran education benefits, compliance with state law and federal Title IV financial aid regulations, and more. See also: SIS/Getting Started - Codes in SIS: Terms, Sessions and Subjects.
Never Repeat Section Numbers Within a Course
Every section of a course must have its own unique section number, even if scheduled in different sessions. Courses using repeated section numbers across multiple sessions are known to cause issues with enrollment.
Associated Class Numbers
Review and update your associated class numbers as necessary. Do not repeat associated class numbers across offerings in different sessions. Each unique enrollment package must have its own association number. Use associated class number 9999 to designate wildcards. Remember that variable credits, honors designations, and section-level requisites are coded based on associated class number. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Class Associations.
Instruction mode values roll forward from the last like-term. Check to ensure that each section's instruction mode accurately reflects the instructional plan. Review the Distance Education Sections report to ensure that distance learning courses are correctly identified. When using Course Search & Enroll, students have the option of filtering by Instruction Mode. See also: university policy on modes of instruction.
Topic titles roll forward from the last like-term. Carefully review all topics courses to determine if updates are needed. Topics classes with multiple components (ex: LEC/DIS) must have the Topic ID assigned to all sections/components so that the topic details display properly in Course Search & Enroll and on student transcripts. New topic titles can be added in SIS at Curric & Enroll Rep WorkCenter > Add Course Topics. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Add a New Topic.
Given intricacies with the indexing of course data in Course Search & Enroll, changes to topics on scheduled sections must be finalized by the Final Call deadline. After the schedule of classes is published, changing topics on existing sections is not permitted. If a topic needs to be changed post-publish, you must cancel the old/incorrect class section and build a new class section with the new/correct topic title.
Community-Based Learning Courses
Departments should have the course attribute for community-based learning placed on community-based learning sections in SIS, which allow users to search for these offerings in Course Search & Enroll. See also: SIS - Class/Course Attributes.
When entering meeting pattern information in SIS, be sure to enter both start/end times as well as day(s) of the week, or use a standard meeting pattern value. Keep in mind that entering a begin time without an end time will default to a 50-minute section when a standard meeting pattern value has not been entered. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Maintain Schedule of Classes: Meetings Tab.
WC Instruction Mode and Multiple Meeting Patterns
When scheduling WC [Online (some classroom)] sections, add a day/time meeting pattern and facility ID for the in-person portion of instruction as usual. You may also add a second day/time meeting pattern as needed for synchronous online instruction. However, you should not add a second meeting pattern for online instruction that is wholly asynchronous. That is, do not add a second meeting pattern that has no day/time and only has the ONLINE facility ID assigned. Such “extra” asynchronous online meeting patterns are a source of confusion for some students and other users of Course Search & Enroll and SIS. They have also posed technical challenges for processing room assignments because of nuances in how multiple meeting patterns are handled in 25Live, our classroom scheduling platform.
Assign instructors to class sections as those details are finalized within your department. See also: SIS - Instructor Assignments: Guidelines and Considerations.
Requested Room Capacity
Requested Room Capacity is used by Curricular Services when assigning GA classrooms. Review your requested room capacities in SIS and/or utilize the Room Request List report. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Maintain Schedule of Classes: Enrollment Control Tab.
Enrollment Capacity is used by SIS and Course Search & Enroll to determine the number of students allowed to enroll in a section. Review your enrollment capacities in SIS and/or utilize the Curricular Enrollment report. Compare enrollment capacities to requested room capacities. Enrollment Capacity should always be less than or equal to Requested Room Capacity. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Maintain Schedule of Classes: Enrollment Control Tab and SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Update Sections of a Class.
Variable Credit Courses
Minimum and maximum credit values roll forward from the last like-term. Newly scheduled sections of variable credit courses will default to the minimum and maximum credit values as set in the course catalog. Carefully review all variable credit courses to determine if updates are needed. Be mindful when scheduling new sections of variable credit courses and pay special attention to topics courses; correctly set the minimum and maximum credits for each offering and be sure you are not inadvertently using the course’s full credit range if that is not appropriate. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Editing Variable Credit.
Honors designations roll forward from the last like-term. Carefully review all courses to determine if updates are needed. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Adding Honors Designation.
If you have courses that are always offered for honors in any and all terms (fall, spring, and summer), that designation can be coded at the course catalog level to eliminate the need for manual honors coding when new sections are added. Reach out to your Curricular Services contact if catalog-level honors coding is of interest.
Review the Optional Attendance Sections report and notify your Curricular Services contact of any optional attendance updates. Add a Class Note to explain enrollment options for classes with optional sections, as students will be prompted to make choices when enrolling (e.g., “Grad students: 3 cr, lec only, no discussion. Undergrads: 4 cr, lec and discussion required.”).
Section-level requisites roll forward from the last like-term. Carefully review all courses to determine if updates are needed. If you need a new section-level requisite, submit a Section-Level Requisite Request Form. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Adding Section-Level Requisites.
Independent Study Sections
All active and canceled independent study sections roll forward from the last like-term, along with their instructor assignments. Review the Independent Study Sections report and delete any IND sections that are no longer needed (i.e., instructor has left the university) so that they do not continue to needlessly term roll. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Reviewing and Updating Independent Study Sections.
Combined sections are classes that are connected or "bound" in SIS. There are four different bonds that may exist between sections of courses: XL (cross-listed), MW (meets-with), SL (section-level meets-with), and XM (cross-listed meets-with). Each combined sections bond has one primary subject and one or more secondary subjects. These details can be found on the Combined Section Detail page in SIS. See also: SIS - Combined Sections: Types and Definitions.
For all combined sections, the primary subject should update section information in SIS and submit any curricular forms as necessary. It is also the primary subject’s responsibility to notify the secondary subject(s) of combined course offerings and updates to be made in SIS. The secondary subject(s) should update enrollment capacities, variable credits, and honors as directed by the primary subject. See also: SIS - Updating Combined Sections.
Review the Meets-With Sections report to determine if updates are needed to your non-XL combined sections (MW, SL, and XM). Submit a Combined Sections Form to notify Curricular Services of any necessary meets-with updates. All sections that are a part of a meets-with bond must exist in SIS before Curricular Services can build a new combined sections record. Part of the record build requires that we provide the class number of each section to be combined; SIS generates the class number when the section is added. Additionally, all information on the Meetings tab (facility ID, times, days, and instructors) must be the same for all sections involved in a meets-with bond before Curricular Services can establish the combined sections record. The primary department must communicate meets-with information to all secondary departments so they, in turn, can build the meets-with offering before Curricular Services combines the records.
Global Notes roll forward from the most recently published term. Global Notes are meant to display information relevant to all of a subject's course offerings and will appear in Course Search & Enroll under the Subject Notes heading for each course in the subject. Review your subject's Global Notes at Curric & Enroll Rep WorkCenter > Global Notes Table and make updates as needed. See also: SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Global Notes.
Once an instructor is assigned to a section, they will be able to enter textbooks through the Faculty Center, even if the schedule of classes has not yet been published. Curricular representatives are also able to enter textbook information on behalf of instructors. See also: Faculty Center - Entering Textbooks and SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - How to Enter Textbook Information.