How to Schedule & Manage Courses with Lectures & Field Trips

Instructions for scheduling and managing a course and managing course rosters. Courses are multi day education outings that include lectures and/or field trips.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

If you've read this far and feel like you really don't have time to work through this right now, push the magic button below and we will help post your course for you.

Request help posting a course

However, we don't currently have the staffing to do this for every volunteer, although we know that posting courses is one of the more difficult things for people to do on our website. Please reach out to Member Services if you need help with the website!

Schedule a course

Skip to scheduling a course-related activity.

Step 1: Find the desired course template located in your committee's "Course Template" folder. You'll find a list of your committees on your My Profile page or you can go to the Location & Lodges page.

Step 2: Click on the desired course template title. This will take you to a list of previous course listings (Course Subject - Branch - Year), an Activity Templates folder, and an Activities folder.

Step 3: Click Edit in the yellow-orange admin panel to make sure the text in your course template is correct and the badges required for pre-requisites or as earned badges are there.

Course templates should contain information that is consistent from year to year. They should NOT contain things like dates, or specific leaders info or meeting place and time - this information goes into the course listing for a specific year and the field trips you create along with that course.

Additionally, make sure to check that the course type is correct. As of March 2016, we have three types of course templates:

Step 4:  Choose "Course" from the "Add New..." menu on the orange admin panel.

Step 5: Enter information to edit the form's fields. Required fields are denoted with "red dots". If you are unsure of how to fill in a particular field, consult our Publications Style Guide and the FAQs below for standards and shortcuts.

Step 6: Verify that the information you entered is correct, then click "Save."

Step 7: Add lectures, field trips, and course materials.

  • To make your course complete, add activities for the lectures and field trip using the Schedule an activity function. If you are creating a new course with lectures and field trips that do not yet exist, you need to create activity templates to go with your course.
  • Add course materials to your course's "course materials" folder.

Step 8: If you are ready to open the course for public viewing go to the yellow admin panel and switch its state from Private to Publish.

Cancel a course

To cancel a course, click Edit in the yellow admin bar then switch the Course Status from Active to Canceled and hit Save. If the course has a fee associated with it, go to the Roster and switch everyone's status to Cancellation Pending. This will trigger an email that gets sent to Member Services letting us know to refund the person's registration. If there are specific refund instructions (say you are only refunding 50% of the fee) please email info@mountaineers.org with the name of the course and refund instructions.

add/edit Activity TEMPLATES And Schedule COURSE-related ACTIVITIES

Before you can schedule a course-related activity like a lecture or field trip, make sure that the activity template exists, is complete and correct, and is in the correct folder. Activity templates are named after the field trips and lectures. For example: Basic Rock II, Field Trip 3, Gear Check Session, etc. The information housed in the templates should be information that remains the same year to year for that lecture or field trip.

Add And Edit Activity Templates

There are two folders in each course template, Activities and Activity Templates, and previous course listings. If you do not see the two folders, please create them by choosing "Folder" from the “Add New...” menu.

Once you are in the Activity Templates folder choose "Activity Template" from the "Add New..." menu in the orange admin panel. Or clink on the name of the activity template you need to edit and then the "Edit" button in the orange admin panel.

Activity templates are like course templates and should contain information about what curriculum and skills are covered during the activity but NOT have specific dates, meeting place and time, leader's names and contact info, etc. because you are likely going to re-use this template from year to year.

When creating or editing an activity template you'll be able to make the template show as a requirement or as an optional activity when the participant registers for the course.

Schedule Course-related Activities

Once an activity template is created, you will schedule the course-related activity the same way you schedule a regular stand alone activity.

When you click on the "Schedule an Activity" button on the Schedule an Activity page, it will take you to the list of Routes and Places where your field trip or lecture could take place. If its a lecture at the program center you'd want to search for Seattle Program Center. If its happening at Skyline Ridge you would want to search for Skyline Ridge within this list.

Once you click on a place where you want to schedule the activity, you'll see the Schedule an Activity box and "book" buttons on the right side.

The key difference between scheduling a field trip versus a regular outing is to choose the "Course-related activity" button and the course from the drop down list in route-place's "Schedule an Activity" widget. For example, a Basic Climb of Mount Baker/Coleman Glacier is a "Standalone activity" and the Basic Knots & Belay Escape Field Trip at the Tacoma Program Center is a "Course-related activity." Watch a video tutorial.

When members and guests register for a course they will see the entire list of activities you scheduled. Participants will automatically be registered for any "one-time required" activities, and may choose among required activities with options and optional activities if they are open for registration.

Manage and SHARE Course Materials

It's easy to share documents like lecture slides or field trip documents with everyone in the course. Simply go to your course and click the "Add Course Materials" button. You can then add files or make folders for files. It can and should hold all of the documents students will need for a course. These materials show on the “Course Materials” tab on the course listing.

Want to restrict access to course materials to individuals who are associated with your course? Once you have added materials to your course, go to the course page and click the blue "Course Materials" tab, and then the "Manage Course Materials" button.

making_course_materials_private.png

You'll want to click the "State: Published" link in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and then click "Make private" in the drop down menu. Once you've done this, when people who are not yet associated with your course visit your course page and click the Course Materials tab, they will see this message:

private_course_materials.png

If you want to make the materials viewable by everyone again, go back to the Course Materials tab, click "Manage Course Materials," and then change the State back to "Published."

Manage course rosters

Course roster

To view a course roster, click on the course in the course template folder or from My Courses on your profile page. Then click on "Roster" in the orange admin panel. On the roster page, there are two green buttons at the top for adding a person to the roster and downloading the roster, and two blue buttons at the bottom for sending email to course participants and processing group graduation or group student badge expiration date extension.

 

Registration statuses and EDITING

If your course has a fee and you would like to waive the fee for someone,  you add them to the roster manually as "registered". If you want to hold a spot on the roster for them but allow them to pay online you'll want to add them to the roster with a status of "Offered." Offered statuses last for 5 days. If the participant does not complete registration after 5-days, the offer will be cancelled. As of 2/12/15 an automatic email is sent to participants who are given an offered status.

To edit an individual's status, use the "Edit" and "Review" links on the roster page. As it does for activities, the "Edit" link allows you to edit the student's course registration.

Use the "Review" link to see the activities completed and badges earned to determine whether the student has fulfilled the graduation requirements.

Course Template Roster

When viewing the course template (Activity Templates and Activities folders and course listings), click on "Roster" in the orange admin panel. This roster is a compilation of all of the course rosters housed within the course template. You can take all of the same actions as with a course roster except that you cannot add someone. An individual can only be added using a course roster.

This "mega roster" has filters that allow  course leaders to find graduates and instructors from multiple years of courses for instructor recruitment more easily. It allows filtering by membership status, role, and course start date. You can also look up individuals by name to see when they were a student in the course or which years they previously instructed. You can email directly from this roster or simply download the list.

 

 

 Remember when emailing people from this list make sure to include a notice at the top of the email letting people know why they are receiving this email. We encourage only bulk emailing those who are current members. This is important because this email is not like an email newsletter so there is no way to opt out of these emails.

Graduate your students

When a student has fulfilled their requirements for the course you'll want to graduate them. To graduate a student, click on the "Edit" link next to their name on the course or course template roster and pick "Graduate" from the drop down menu, then click the "Save" button. You can also do this in "batches" of students using blue button at the bottom of the roster that says "Change Role or Expiration". Once graduated, they will automatically receive the course badge. The student badge will not expire until the end date listed for the course has passed, unless you manually change the date using the same button.

Instructor Registration

Instructors can search for activities and register to participate. In some cases this functionality is currently under construction, so please contact info@mountaineers.org for help.

On the Volunteer with Us page, you will see a link to Find Instructor Opportunities. For your activity to show up in this search, it is important to fill in instructor pre-reqs in the activity template for your field trip or lecture.

There are two different ways an instructor can sign up to help out for trips related to a course.

  1. Instructors can sign up by going to the instructor opportunities link.
  2. If you are listed as an instructor on a committee, you can sign up for the course the same way that participants do but you have to be listed as an instructor on the committee. If you are not on the committee roster for the committee sponsoring the course as an instructor please contact the committee chair.
  3. When you are building your course activities, and as you post a new course online, remember to list the number of instructors you need on the "registration" tab of the course activity (for example, I need 20 total people, 5 of whom are instructors).

FAQs

How are courses named?

Course titles have three parts: Course Subject, Branch, and Year. You may edit the course title, but please only change the year if needed. For example, you may be scheduling a course for 2014 in 2014, or you may offer spring and fall sessions of a course and need a finer distinction in the title.

Why do all of my field trips show up for both my course listings?

If you use the same course template the activities associated with that course template will populate every course listed using that template. It might make sense to create a different course template or think about a different way of structuring your course such as using rolling enrollment.

What start and end dates should I have for my course?

If the course has a "student" badge attached to it, the badge will expire on end date listed for the course so if you are scheduling a class that has required paddles or scrambles then you may want to extend your class to the end of the calendar year to fulfill that.

What is the "Required Books" field for, and how is it different from "Recommended Books"?
  • "Required Books" are those that your students must read in order to receive all of the information necessary to achieve competency in the skill you're teaching -- and as a reference for when they practicing on their own.
  • When you include a required book (and/or map) in your posting, your students will be offered the book at the point of check out, along with their course registration.
  • If you would like to receive a Mountaineers Books title for use in your course for free, email our publisher at the link provided and they will send you a free book to review.
  • "Recommended Books" are additional, supplementary information that your students could benefit from but that is not required.
My course has an application form or requires the leader's permission. How do I specify that?
  • Check the "Application Form Required?" box.
  • If you wish for your course to have an application please provide your potential participants with the URL (web address) to access the application. You can create a folder in the course template for storing application forms.
  • If you simply wish for your course to be "leader's permission" please copy and paste this URL into your form: http://mountaineers.org/learn/leaders-permission.
The way it shows to the participant is below:
My course has multiple sessions that I want people to be able to easily switch between them without having to cancel/refund and register/pay again. How do I do this?
  • It's easy to set up a course like Basic Navigation or Alpine First Aid with various start dates. Participants will sign up and pay for the course, then will just register for the workshop and field trip that works best for their schedule. Therefore, the course activities will have different dates, but the course will be open and ongoing. Specifically you'll need to create an umbrella course template with dates spanning the whole breadth of time (maybe one calendar year) and then the session dates would be created as activity templates underneath it and you would make them "required, multiple activities scheduled."
What do the different listings mean in the "Optional Course Activity?" section when creating an Activity Template?
  • Required: one activity scheduled, students choose one: If you are only offering one Overview and Gear lecture at the beginning and it is mandatory for all participants to attend. This will automatically enroll all students when they sign up for the course.
  • Required: multiple activities scheduled: If you have multiple days that you are offering the same field trip but it is required for all students, students will have to choose one of the options. Make sure you have enough space on the combined field trip rosters to equal the course size.
  • Optional: students may register for any scheduled activities: If you offer a conditioner, special play day, extra practice session or campout that not everyone is required to attend or if you are scheduling lots of activities using the same template (like the Conditioning Hiking Series) and participants will register for multiple ones under the same template.
  • Do my course participants have to contact member services to cancel themselves from a course with a fee? No! Course participants can now simply log in and click the green Edit or Cancel button to cancel themselves off a course and a message will be sent to member services to process a refund. We'll contact you if the course has already started about whether to issue a refund.
  • My course is over. Do I have to close it out?
    No, you don't have to close out the course. That is accomplished by the course end date. The only action you need to take once the course is over is to graduate your students, so that they get credit. If any of them were unsuccessful, leave their status as registered. If someone needs extra time to complete the course, you can extend their student expiration date.
How do I grant someone equivalency?

You'll need to add them to the current course roster and choose "Equivalent" as their "Role." If you have have many to whom you grant equivalency, have an evaluation session or need to charge a fee for equivalency, you may set up a course to manage them as a separate roster. If you have an enrolled badge, like the basic sea kayaking student badge, this would be given to someone marked Equivalency candidate versus Equivalent which has the same status as a Graduate and would have the Basic Sea Kayaking course badge.

I don't have an image for my course or activity template, where can I find a default image?

Download the gray landscape image or the spiral notebook educational image.

I'm a course admin having a hard time searching for course trips that happened already, how can I find these more easily?
All activities connected to a course template will populate in the "Activities" folder in the course template the same way Seminars and Clinics listed from Seminar and Clinic Templates populate the Seminars and Clinics folder. If this activities folder is starting to have too many activities to easily scan through, contact  and our staff can add search filters that would allow you to search for past (and future) activities in that folder by start date or by leader of the activity.