Component Definitions

Component is the SIS term used to describe the teaching format (or formats) of a course. One course offering can have multiple components (such as lecture and lab). Below is a list of component types in use at Case Western Reserve University. Many of these definitions are somewhat standardized due to external Institutional Research-related reporting needs.

Component (ABBREV)  Description
Clinical (CLN) Nursing, Dental – Students participate in client and/or client-related services as part of the learning process. Instruction usually occurs outside the institutional setting (or in an actual clinical laboratory setting) and may involve work with clients who receive professional services from students supervised by faculty members. Examples include medically-based clerkships or working in a clinical lab setting.
Co-op (COP) Used to represent a course that involves alternating work and school experiences under the direction of an instructor/coordinator.
Discussion (DIS) A regularly scheduled course, or section of a larger course, designed solely for group discussion. Discussions are typically non-credit bearing, linked to a credit bearing course, and not stand alone courses (see seminar). As such discussion sections generally contain fewer students than the course to which they are linked.
Distance Learning (WEB) Used to represent a course or a significant portion (of a course that involves instruction via the Web and other communications media.
Dissertation (DSR) Doctoral program dissertation.
Field Studies (FLD) Academic or investigative study, usually away from the classroom or campus, which relates to an individual student’s occupational objectives and is taken with the permission of a faculty advisor. May involve paid work activity required as part of a degree program.
Film Screening (FLM) A film is usually viewed during this component's scheduled time.
Independent Study (IND) Students complete individualized and often self-paced plans of study. The instructor and students negotiate the details of the plan of study. Courses are usually small (10 or fewer students) and generally have no defined meeting days and times.
Laboratory (LAB) Courses meet in a defined physical setting (i.e., laboratory) for the purpose of the application of methods and principles of a discipline. Labs may be stand-alone or a supplement to instruction in a traditional classroom section (similar to discussions).
Lecture (LEC) Standard course where instruction occurs in a traditional classroom setting. Lectures almost always have larger class sizes than seminars. Lecture courses may certainly include a variety of pedagogies (discussion, class presentation) but are predominantly lecture oriented.
Medical Curriculum (MED) All courses offered within the MD program of studies.
Performance (PER) Students receive individual instruction that can include one-to-one or group demonstration and performance critique. This would likely be used primarily for music or dance courses.
Physical Education (PHE) A regularly scheduled course devoted to participation in or performance of some form of physical activity. Knowledge associated with the proper performance of the activity presented. Examples include physical fitness courses.
Practicum (PRA) Courses are designed to give students supervised and practical application of previously studied theory in a setting outside the classroom, but not necessarily one that is strictly clinical or medical in nature.
Recital (RCT) A public performance, usually given by a single individual or by an individual and one or more accompanists, to demonstrate progress toward or achievement for a degree in music or dance.
Recitation (REC) Describes small breakout groups which meet in conjunction with a lecture or lab (primary component) to review exams, discuss issues, address questions and extend the instruction that occurs in the larger lecture or lab.
Research (RSC) Courses focus on research related to a specific interest or academic discipline, but do not entail an actual dissertation or thesis. The faculty member and student(s) mutually negotiate the nature of the study/research.
Seminar (SEM) A more interactive and typically smaller course forum than a lecture. Content may include student presentations and discussions based on literature, theory, problems, or research. Enrollment is generally limited to allow for greater focus on students’ critical reflection and exchange of ideas. Lecture is not the dominant pedagogical activity of the course, like in a LECTURE course component course.
Studio (STD) Courses involve demonstration and application of design and theory in a defined physical setting (i.e., studio). Students explore and experiment under the guidance of an instructor, and the class size is usually limited by setting parameters (# of computers, drafting tables, etc.). Courses typically focus on the development or creation of artistically static work, such as pottery, sculpture, or paintings/drawings/graphics, or the mastery of an art form itself, such as dance or theatre.
Thesis (THE) A formal treatise presenting the results of study submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of an advanced degree. The process requires intensive interaction between the student candidate, thesis advisor, and supplemental committee members. Undergraduate Senior Theses however should be categorized as Independent study.
Workshop (WRK) Generally brief, intensive instruction for a relatively small group of individuals that focuses on techniques and skills in a particular field; provides a forum for a collaborative and interactive learning experience between faculty and students.