Degree Audit

Preliminary work has begun on the degree audit plugin. If you don’t know what a degree audit is, it allows faculty advisors to audit a student’s record to make sure that he/she is on track with completing his/her academic program.

This feature is not the easiest to build and could have several layers of complexity in order to meet the needs of different institutions. For this reason all interested parties, be it developers or those who are interested in using the plugin are invited to discuss and work on this plugin.

A new Github repository has been created for this plugin and can be found here. If you are interested in helping with the development of the plugin, you can fork it and issue pull requests.

Below is the scaffolding or foundation of the plugin so far. Feel free to voice your opinion with regards to changes and what would be better.

Degree Audit Plugin Layout

  1. When plugin is activated, a new field option will appear on the academic program screen.
  2. When a staff member drills to detail on this new field, he/she will be taken to the new setup screen.
  3. On the setup screen, the staff member will be able to add the number of credits for the program, number of institutional credits needed (# credits that must be taken at the issuing institution for a degree), user will choose the starting catalog year, and create degree audit groups based on catalog year.
  4. Degree audit groups will be used for different sections (Core Course Group, Math Group) under which the required courses for the group will fall. When creating degree audit groups, user will add the number of credits needed to complete the group, give the group an appropriate title, and sections will be sortable.
  5. After the degree audit groups have been setup, then from this screen a user will be able to detail into another screen where each group will show up with options of adding the courses need to fulfill this group.
  6. On the student side, a student will be able to navigate to a particular screen, choose their academic program, choose catalog year, and then generate a degree audit.

Issues

The above layout seems doable but their is an issue that needs to be confronted which needs a proper solution.

The scenario is in regards to number 5 above. Let’s say that you have a group called “General Core” and the student must fulfill 15 credits of general core courses. The first issue is how to deal with adding courses to degree audit groups. Should the requirement be that a staff member should only enter 15 credit worth of courses (5 courses each at 3 credits) or should the staff member be able to enter any number of core courses that can be applied to this requirement.

Now what ever the solution, there will be another screen (not mentioned above) where a staff member can do a substitution. So, if the student only took 3 courses (9 credits) listed in the group, but took other courses that could fulfill the requirement, there must be a way to map those courses to that degree audit group in order to fulfill the requirement. There are other scenario for substitutions such as moving courses from one group to another and so forth.

There are some of the issues at the moment that need to a proper solution. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts or ideas of how to do this better.

Addendum (February 15, 2016 @ 6:25 P.M. EST)

In case it is confusing, what’s presented above is a proposal. Input is needed and encouraged. To help aid you in what type of input is needed, below are three questions that can or should be answered after you read through the proposal.

  1. Do you think the proposal meets the current need? If not, why?
  2. Do you think the proposal lays out the functionality that is needed? If not, what is missing or what should be changed?
  3. What solution(s) can you think of from a user’s prospective that will solve the issues aforementioned.