Course Components (for Scheduling)

What is a course component?

Course components, which are also commonly referred to as section types, are important for scheduling classes the way they were intended to be offered. A course component refers to the type of section a given class is, for example a lecture or lab. While many courses have just a single component, it is very common for courses to have multiple components.

When would you need multiple components?

The most common multiple-component situation is a large lecture whose students are also enrolled in smaller associated lab or discussion sections. It is important to note that a component doesn’t refer to the nature of instruction of a class. Many classes may involve characteristics of different section types – some lecture, some discussion, some laboratory work.

A component is distinct in that it is an entirely separate class section that is scheduled separately and students enroll into separately. Usually, students will enroll in one section and be automatically enrolled into an associated section. For example, if a student enrolls in PSYC 1100 section 001L, which is a lab section, they are automatically enrolled in section 001, which is the associated lecture section.

What is the enrollment component?

The enrollment component is the one into which students actually enroll (which causes them to be automatically enrolled into any associated sections). Generally speaking, this is the section for which students receive grades and for which instructors are evaluated. In Fall 2019, students enrolled in 16 different lab sections associated with PSYC 1100 section 001 that were are all offered at different times, and they were automatically enrolled in the main lecture section.

Definitions of Components and Section Types

There are no official definitions of class and course types at the University of Connecticut, but the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers does provide some guidance based on the way many higher-education institutions define each type (see table below).

Component/Section Type Description
Lecture A didactic classroom experience in which a faculty member is responsible for presenting and facilitating discussion of learning material and related instructional activities. Sometimes known as “traditional.”
Discussion A course or a section of a larger course designed for group discussion or student discussion. Sometimes known as “recitation.”
Lab Instructional activities conducted by the faculty and requiring student participation, experimentation, observation, or practice.
Clinical Courses focused on student participation in client and client-related services. Instruction may occur within or outside an institutional setting and involves work with clients who receive professional services from students serving under direct supervision of a faculty member and/or an approved member of the agency staff.
Seminar A highly-focused course that may include student presentations and discussions of reports based on literature, practice, problems, or research (e.g., a capstone course).
Independent Study An individualized plan of study negotiated between faculty and student.
Dissertation/Thesis Credit for a formal period of work on a doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis.
Field Study/Experience Instructional activities conducted by the faculty outside of an individual course or classroom experience.
Practicum Practical student work under the supervision of a faculty member or a professional in the student’s field and regular consultation with a faculty member.
Research Credit for a period of research instruction in pursuit of a graduate degree (e.g., doctoral research).