Concepts for Administrators – Higher Education Organization Structure – Administrators
The organization or “org” structure is a hierarchical
structure comprised of individual org units that are arranged in parent-child relationships.
This tutorial provides an example overview of a basic org structure and its org units
while discussing how you can use this structure to organize your higher education institution
in D2L Learning Environment. This is an example of a basic org structure.
The organization, department, course template, and course offering org units are required.
All other org units are optional ways to define the hierarchy.
We will discuss each org unit individually. First, we will discuss the organization org
unit, which is highlighted in orange. The organization org unit – also known as
the “My Home” page in D2L Learning Environment – is the highest level of the structure
and represents your entire institution. At this level, you can define elements that
will be common to all users throughout the entire institution, such as the default homepage.
For this example, we look at the org structure for the fictional University of Springfield.
Next, we’ll look at custom org units. You can tailor custom org units to create
an additional level or levels of structure between the organization and department org
units. For example, custom org units could divide
the organization into distinct campuses or schools.
These optional org units can be parallel or hierarchical to each other.
If you have multiple campuses, it can be helpful to divide your org structure by these locations
if they host a unique set of course offerings. For example, the main campus and the media
lab are custom org units that comprise the overall institution.
Departments are mandatory org units that divide the org level or custom org units.
Department org units organize courses and learners within the overall hierarchy.
You can define these org units however you’d like.
For example, a department org unit can represent a subject or progress level.
In this example, the department org units house–the English and Anthropology departments.
Next, we will discuss course templates. Course templates add an extra level of structure
between departments and course offerings. They act as a container that collects related
course offerings. Note: Course templates and course offerings
have a parent-child relationship. Course offerings must be the child of a course
template. For example, University of Springfield offers
a multitude of English classes, including English 101 and English 200.
Course templates group together courses offerings that fall within these categories.
Next, we will discuss course offerings. Course offerings are the courses in which
learners are enrolled and where they access their learning materials. In general, a course
offering is populated by instructors. Learners access course offerings from the
organization homepage using the course selector on the minibar.
In this example, the Grade 5 band class has a Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 offering.
You can further subdivide course offerings into sections.
Sections allow administrators or instructors to divide a Course Offering’s roster into
chunks. This is especially useful for dividing large
rosters into more manageable units. One course offering can be subdivided into
multiple sections. In this example, English 200A is subdivided
into two sections to manage the large number of learners enrolled in the course.
Groups provide an additional layer of structure to the hierarchy.
Groups divide a course offering for the purpose of group work.
You can create multiple categories for groups, and enroll learners into one or more groups.
Sections divide the classlist into distinct chunks.
Groups allow organized collaboration. In this example, the class is divided into
two collaborative groups for a project. Finally, we will discuss semesters.
Semesters are an optional org unit. You can use semesters to divide course offerings
into time-based categories. Dividing course offerings into semesters allows
administrators to search for course offerings that are being offered within a specified
time period. For this example, the org structure depicts
the course offerings for the Fall 2014 semester. Org structures are flexible in their composition.
You can custom-make org units to best fit your institution.
This is an example of an out-of-the-box organization structure. You can customize additional org
units to structure your institution. As a best practice, you should liaise with
D2L Implementation Consultants to design and create the ideal organization structure.