NAU has a number of different sessions that fall under the umbrella of a term. For a regular term, there are 13 sessions, two of which are dynamically dated in order to correspond with grade posting cycles (classes ending before midterm grading are associated with the DD1 session; classes ending after, with the DD2 session).
Non-dynamically dated session begin and end on a specific date and follow standard deadlines within that session that are defined on the academic calendar. All the classes offered in that session follow the same deadline.
Dynamically dated classes are much more flexible. They can begin and end on any date within the term and can be any length, i.e.., one weekend, 13 weeks, anything in between, etc. Due to this fluidity of begin date, end date, and length of the class, a standard setup of deadlines, e.g. add, drop, W-grades, grading deadlines, etc., is not sufficient. That is where dynamically dated sessions come in.
NAU has defined a number of dynamic dating rules, based on the length of the class, that are used to define these class calendar dates. The system uses the class begin date and the dynamic dating rule to determine the deadlines specific to that class. Any class that is scheduled outside the normal sessions (16 week, two 8-week, three 5-week for Flag-Mountain or the Statewide standard sessions) should be dynamically dated. For every class section that is in a dynamically dated session, a dynamic date rule must be associated with the class and the pro-rated class dates calculated.
Because of Extended Campuses' needs, we do have some classes in DD sessions that start before our official term begin date, though the classes remain associated with the term. There are some limits on how early these classes can start due to tuition charging needs, etc. We have generally been firm that DD classes do need to end by term end, however, as these would otherwise pose issues for post-term grading processes that need to be run (academic standing, honors and awards, etc.).
In regards to when we use Dynamic Dating versus standard sessions, any class not fitting into the standard session should be dynamically dated. Academic departments will use starting and ending weeks of class to determine if there is a fit into a standard session or if a class needs to be dynamically dated. For example, if a class starts during the week of the standard session start date and ends during the week of the standard session end date, use that standard session. If not, use a dynamically dated session.
With PeopleSoft 9.0, class schedulers can now attach their own dynamic dating rules for their DD session classes and calculate and view their prorated add/drop deadlines. This is a new business process but puts creating dynamically dated classes in the hands of the academic departments themselves without our administrative involvement to process their requests. We will still run queries to verify dynamic dating rules are being attached to classes in DD sessions as well as queries to verify start and end dates of classes that don’t ‘match’ start and end dates of the class’ session. The responsibility continues to fall on the academic department to ensure students are aware of the prorated deadlines by way of attaching appropriate class notes. This new business process however, also now adds responsibility in ensuring the correct dynamic dating rule is attached and also ensuring that if class dates slightly change, the rule gets updated as necessary. Allowing the setup and maintenance to be handled by the academic department gives them greater flexibility and more control at the same time. Yet we still retain query ability, data oversight, and training/follow-up and or clean-up authority as in other pieces of the Schedule of Classes. We also still retain the approval for classes that meet before the term begin date or after the term end date. These can continue to be found in queries and communicated out as business process reminders, etc.