What are Shared Shells?

Shared shells are shells in TCU Online in which multiple sections are combined.  This is an option to help an instructor’s workflow. Submit your request on our Request Shared Shells page.

Features and Limitations of Shared Shells

  • Allow students from all sections to see the same content, without having to build it multiple times in different course shells.
  • Communicate with all students from all sections in the classlist either as one combined list or with a specific section.
        Classless View By menuClasslist Sections
  • Have one gradebook either as one combined list or with a specific section.
    Grades View By    Grades Sections
  • Content in a shell can be shared with either all sections at once (default) or with specific sections by using Release Conditions.
    Release Conditions Sections
    Note: When a new or existing condition is based on section enrollment, only the sections that the teacher is enrolled in appear in the drop-down menu. In various areas of the system, instructors can create a release condition or select an existing condition that specifies that a user must be enrolled in a particular section to access the content or activity. If the instructor is enrolled in all sections or has the Access all sections permission, they continue to see all sections in the list when creating the new condition. If the instructor does not have the Access all sections permission for their role, the instructor only sees sections they are enrolled in. As a result, instructors are better able to release content to their section of a course without impacting other sections. 
  • Groups: While you can use Release Conditions (mentioned in the bullet above) to share content with specific sections in a shared shell, you might also want to have groups within your course for projects, discussions, etc.  If you want your groups made up of only users of a specific section, do NOT select auto-enrollments for your groups, otherwise users from any section in the shared shell could be added to your group enrollments.

Shared Shell Setup Options

Faculty will have the option to utilize shared section setup in one of two ways:

Option 1: Make all shared sections see the same content:  All sections that are shared and would see the content and have one gradebook (sortable by section or all users).   This setup would be useful in the following scenarios:  A cross listed course [ANTH/CRJU/SOCI 30233 section 050. It is one course offered in three different catalog subjects] or a multiple section assignment [FINA 40153 sections 055/066. These are different sections but the Instructor wants to manage them in one place with the same content.] 

    • In this setup, after the sections are shared, the Instructor will need to go to Course Admin > Course Offering Information and uncheck  “course is active” for the courses that are NOT the main shell listed above. The students in the associated sections will then only see the main shell when they access your course.
  • Option 2: Make all shared sections see different content but maintain one gradebook in the main section (separate grade books in each individual section is optional): All sections would
    This setup would be useful in the following scenarios: A course with a lecture and lab [BIOL 10003 015 (Lecture) and 115,116, and 117 (Labs) All students would be enrolled in to the 015 section shell and this would be designated as the “Main” shell since all students would be enrolled into it. A grade book and contact list, sortable by all users or by section would be available in the “main” 015 shell.  The instructor could then keep separate lab shells for 115, 116, 117 for lab-specific content and potential “lab-only” grades maintained by Teaching Assistants.] 

    • In this setup, after the sections are shared, the Instructor will need to leave all sections as Active.   The instructor would build the content in each shell independently (in the lecture/labs scenario, you could use the copy tool to copy content from one lab section to each lab so the content is the same between those labs only).

Ready to get started with Shared shells?

Submit your request on our Request Shared Shells page.