Sectioning (FAS)


Note: The Sectioning tool is available through the Fifth Monday, which is the final date for FAS add/drop (with fee). No section changes may be made after that date.

Please view the PDF file (Sectioning Workflows) at the end of this page. This guide will provide you with step by step instructions on how to use the sectioning tool.

Please make sure that your pop-up blocker is turned off to view the materials on this page. See the file at the bottom of this page to retrieve all Sectioning Workflows, with links to video help!

Step 1. Sign in to my.harvard.

Instructors, TAs, and TFs - Select Teaching/Advising from the top menu. Navigate to My Courses section. Click the Sectioning button. 



Step 2. Familiarize yourself with the sectioning tool.

There are 3 tabs across the sectioning tool:

  • Sectioning Tab: Update/View preferences; Add/Edit sections; Student Roster; Email Selected/All students form the Roster; Section (enroll) students on by one; Upload a File.
  • Modeling Tab: Run Models (Even Distribution/Sequential Model).
  • Reporting Tab: Run a variety of Reports, e.g., View Student Preference Ranking) - View/or export into e.g., Excel.

Step 3. Create /edit sections. 

Before you start!

Please never edit the Lecture/Discussion (Placeholder) Section. (When course coordinators create your course, they create a Lecture and a Placeholder section. After you created your additional sections you move students from the placeholder section into your newly created sections).

      Initial Set Up

How to Add New Sections?

  • Plan out your sections. How many sections will you need? How many students are in each section? 
  • Important: Follow FAS Naming Standard (e.g., LAB: L001, L002, Discussion, D001, D002, etc.); Please note: edits to the Section Title can not be made after initial saving. 
  • Please do not change the Start/End Date in the Add A New Class Section (these dates refer to the start and end of the term).                                                             

Section Set up


How to Edit/Cancel Sections?

Editing: Click the edit section button. Notice that you can only update the room size. Changing the room size will automatically update sections size. 



How to make Sections Visible to Students?

Sections are only visible to students, if you check the box next to the section. For example: You have to make sections available to students for preference ranking.


Step 4. Create student preference rankings.

Allow students to indicate their preferred meeting times. 


Check Enable Student Preferencing

Select the Minimal and Maximum Rankings (e.g., if you select a minimal ranking of 1 and a maximum ranking of 3, students can provide 1 up to 3 choices; if you selected a min of 3 and a max of 3 students have to select 3 choices).

Important: Enter Start and End Date. Note: Both the start and end date have a time applied which is 12.01 a.m. For example if you want to allow students to rank from Friday through Sunday, you need to select Friday as the start date and Monday as the end date. 


Step 5. Email students.

Notify students that they are able to choose their preferred sections. 


To email students, navigate to the Roster section on the Sectioning Tab. Select All Students at the end of the Roster table and click Email Selected Students. Note:  Students are listed in the BCC status (If you like to keep track of who you emailed, copy emails in a word document). Feel free to attach this helpful link for students on how to preference rank. 


Step 6. Assign students to sections using your preferred method:

Important: During high volume use of the sectioning tool running a model can take a few minutes to complete. Please wait and do not close your browser and run the model again. Your process is most likely lined up and has not been processed. 

  • Manually assign students to sections
  • Automate section assignments using algorithmic models
  • Resolve Conflicts in Using Models
  • Lock Students in a Section Using the Locked Model
  • Run a Model to Evenly Section Students
  • Run a Model to Sequentially Section Students
  • Submit a Model to Enroll Students
  • Upload sectioning assignments from a spreadsheet.

Step 7. Email Students that Sectioning is completed.


Looking for everything all in one place?

Download + print the full Sectioning Handbook

Visit the complete sectioning video library. 

Visit the FAS Registrar's Office website for more information about sectioning policies and dates.

sectioning_workflows_september2016.pdf1.73 MB