Modality Settings

Institutions have various ways of describing and representing course modality - or how content is delivered to students - for their course offerings. Some institutions may use an instructional delivery method field, while others may use a special code in the section number. Because of this, a setting is provided for telling the application how Ad Astra’s modality field should be populated. Once established, this field is updated on your section records whenever they are imported.

Ad Astra has attempted to provide a library of standard modality options that might meet most institution's needs while supporting the ability to offer standard reports and other insights without needing to know custom names in advance. Below is a list of the standard options provided and some example definitions.

HyFlex Often used to represent a modality in which students can choose to attend either in person or online, depending on their preference or circumstance. This might mean that the course meets on campus and is also available for synchronous or asynchronous online delivery.
Hybrid Often used to represent a modality in which students attend both in-person and online, at different times. There may be designated times and days when they attend in person, with online activities required at other times.
On-Campus The traditional, in-person learning experience.
Online Generic representation for a fully online learning experience in which students can learn anytime and anywhere.
Online-Sync A more specific version of online, if applicable, represents an online learning experience that occurs in real-time at scheduled times.
Online-Async A more specific version of online, if applicable, represents an online learning experience with no scheduled times. Students complete the course work on their own schedules within the guidelines of the course.


Whether you’re planning offerings for a future term or keeping an eye on registrations for your next term, having this data available allows the system to provide you valuable feedback, including:

  • How are my seats and sections distributed across modalities?
  • How is my enrollment distributed across modalities?
  • At what rate are our modalities filling during registration?


Modality Settings

To set up your institution’s modality mapping, go to the 'Settings' link in the left navigation pane. You must be an Admin user for your institution to change the Modality settings. 


Select the "Academics" from the left side panel and the Modality section is on the General tab. 



Configuration changes made to Modality settings will go into effect after the next data ingestion. 


Existing Modality Values

Clicking the report icon will open the Modality Configuration report that displays all of the values currently in use for the supported modality source fields. This can be helpful if you believe, for example, that modality is indicated using the Meeting Type field but you're not sure exactly what the value is. You can use this report to look up existing values.



Default Modality

If desired, you may choose a modality to be the default for sections that do not otherwise match your modality mapping configuration. For example, if your sections generally meet in person unless otherwise specified, then you can select “On Campus” as the default. All sections that do not match other modality rules will be set to On-Campus. Ad Astra will specify “N/A” as the modality if nothing is selected.


Modality Mapping

In this section, you will configure rules that specify how Ad Astra should identify and interpret your sections' modality. Each rule contains a rank, a source field, a condition, a source value, and the resulting modality. For example, if your institution represents online sections using a section code that reads “999”, then you might configure a rule that has a source of Section Code, a condition of Equals, a value of 999, and the modality of Online. This says “when you find a section with a section number that equals exactly 999, then set its modality to Online”. The modality rules are applied in order based on rank to resolve any conflicts in the settings. You may click and drag the rules to change the ranking.


Modality Source

There are several section-level fields supported as source data for modality. This selected field is the field in which Ad Astra will be looking to match the rules entered in Modality Mapping. Choose the field that your institution uses to indicate modality.

Course section data is often separated into “section” and “section meeting” values, depending on the system. When selecting Instructional Method, be sure to choose the appropriate level for your environment. If you’re not sure, you can use the modality report to find examples in your data.


Modality Visualization

Once configured, Ad Astra will update the modality value for your sections whenever they are imported. The modality field is shown whenever you are viewing Sections' details.



Additional insights about modality are provided in the Monitor app, including:

Enrollment Progression w/ Modality

  • “How quickly are my sections filling by modality?”
  • The number and % of students registered per modality as the start of the term approaches
  • This information is provided in both the Analyze tab (institutional) and within an individual course

Enrollment Ratio Progression w/ Modality

  • “How full are my sections by modality?”
  • The ratio of enrollment to seats available by modality as the start of the term approaches
  • This information is provided in both the Analyze tab (institutional) and within an individual course

Seat Count by modality, and Section Count by modality

    • “What is the distribution of seats and sections in our schedule across modalities?”


Section Info With Modality Report

The Section Info With Modality report is available in the Report app (in the Reports folder) that includes several different ways of viewing seats, sections, courses, enrollment, and instructor information by modality. Importantly, it provides the opportunity to filter and view the source data details.

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