Sections are user for various group interactions, like:
- Supplemental Instruction (or PLTL, PASS, PAL, etc.)
- Study Groups (with or without a provider)
- One-time Events (test reviews, workshops, welcome week, etc.)
When setting up your community, we’ll turn on the Sections mode, customizing it to the use case you’ve chosen, and putting a new button on the student’s Learn screen alongside your other modes, for example (button copy customizable):
Basic Process for Sections
- Admin uploads one or more Sections to Penji (name, course, provider/lead user, location, time, etc.)
- Optional: Admin uploads the Student Invites CSV to pre-populate the attendance log, and to trigger email invitations to these students (also optional within this step)
- Students join the Section from within Penji, after which it is treated just like an appointment (notifications, session logs, etc.)
- The session is held, and the provider will log attendance within Penji from a pre-populated attendance log.
Sections Use Cases
Please reference this article on configuring your Sections CSV upload while considering the below use cases.
Supplemental Instruction (or PASS, PLTL, etc.)
This was the original use case for Sections within Penji. Admins upload a weekly recurring event, which can optionally have multiple times per week. Students can then join these SI sessions from their Penji Learn screen, either joining one at a time or joining the series weekly.
Study groups are usually weekly events with 2-8 students in them. They can be led by a tutor, or led by the students themselves. Sections can be used for these, uploading a study group with either a tutor as lead or a generic account from your center as the "tutor", with a name like "The Learning Center" and a bio or major describing that this is a placeholder account and that students should lead the group.
Admin-Controlled Study Groups
This is the most common study group mechanism. A normal design is for admins to upload 1-3 study group instances for high-demand classes, at different days/times. Then, as students begin the semester and browse options within Pneji
Tutor-Controlled Study Groups
A special setting where tutors can pick times, locations, and courses for study groups - read more here. Contact Penji if you are interested in this option.
Penji can be used to log the interactions a tutor has with students in a given lecture. In this method, there is no button for students to join these sections, but the session still appears for the tutor, along with attendance logging capability. Contact Penji to set this up.
Setting Sections Up
Admins should read Sections Setup for detailed instructions. Setting up Sections is easy - you'll just upload a CSV where each row corresponds to a different Section (ie. group event), including attributes like capacity, location, provider lead, course, etc. Once these are uploaded, providers will be able to manage the event from their Teach screen and students will be able to join from their Learn screen.
As of now, Sections are best used for group events linked to a specific course, although "generic sections" (ie. sections that many students might be interested) can be hosted with this workaround.
Student Invite (Email Invites, Attendance)
Invites are a key feature for sections. Uploading an invite for a given section does two things:
- Pre-fills attendance: Adds those on the listing to the provider's attendance log (name and email). In this way, providers can tap a pre-filled card for a student to log them, even if that student never signed up in Penji.
- Email invitations: If you enable the setting when uploading Student Invites, Penji will auto-email all those on the list 24 hours before the next event in the series. This email will direct them to sign up (RSVP) for the upcoming session within Penji to view event details. This action will move them up the Provider's attendance log to an "RSVP'ed" category at the top, speeding up logging for large invites.
- NOTE: We are considering an option to allow inclusion of full event details in this email (rather than forcing them into Penji). If you'd like to use this method, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll discuss.
Please see Providers: Sections Training for our article on this topic from the Provider perspective.
Students have a home screen within Penji. Here, they see buttons corresponding to the different modes offered in your community (your center). You'll label your section button in a way that tells the student what the section is - for example, "Join a weekly study group". Students will:
- Tap the Section-related button
- Pick a course
- View upcoming events for that section - if it's a weekly ongoing series, they'll see the upcoming event this week; if it's a single event, or series, where the next event isn't for some time, they'll see the event with the date of that upcoming event
- They'll join a Section, and that session card will appear on their home screen's activity feed, just like a schedule appointment
Soon, we'll have the ability to have in-person/online Sections ("dual-modality"), where students can choose to join the event either in-person or online as part of the above process.
When students have joined a Session (either an appointment or Section are considered a "Session"), they'll receive a reminder for the session one day before each weekly session.
Students will not get notified if the section was optional and they have not registered for it yet. The invitation email, for optional sections, will tell them to RSVP in Penji (join the Section) to get event details. Student Invites are thus a good mechanism to increase engagement with your Sections. Once they've joined in Penji, they'll receive notifications before each weekly event.
Attendance Logging and Feedback
The provider (tutor, coach) leading the Section is responsible for logging attendance on their device. This logging occurs from a pre-populated list of students determined by:
- Those students who've joined the Section within Penji show up on top for easy access
- The rest of the students added to the Section via your Student Invites will show up below in an alphabetized list
There is no provider data entry here, so no opportunity for error. This is a theme throughout Penji, meaning you'll find the data trustworthy across the board.
Next, (if you have this setting enabled) providers will also be asked to leave a comment or comments. In this flow, the provider can leave a single comment for all students, or click "individual" and fill out a comment for each student in the group individually.