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The Teaching and Learning domain represents the course catalog, student enrollment, and associated staff. A Course entity defines a course, its characteristics, and its mapping to learning standards or learning objectives. A course may be defined at the state, local education agency, or school level.

Key Entities

This domain contains:

  • The Course and CourseOfferings entities, which represent subject matter and course availability at a school in each session.
  • The Section entity, which represents the specific classroom unit where instruction is provided.
  • The Program entity, which represents any program that works in conjunction with, or as a supplement to, the main academic program.
  • The StudentSectionAssociation entity, which represents a student’s class enrollments in sections, and the StaffSectionAssociation entity that indicates the teacher(s) assigned to that section.
  • The StaffProgramAssociation entity that represents the staff members related to a program such as early childhood instruction.

Key Concepts

The key concepts include the following:

  • The Course entity is the actual definition of the material to be taught, often defined at a state level by the Board of Education to meet certain learning standards and learning objectives.
  • A CourseOffering entity is simply the local availability of a course at a school during a specific session. It’s the equivalent of an entry in the school’s yearly course catalog.
  • The Section entity represents the specific classroom unit where attendance is taken and content is delivered. The Section entity is tied to the CourseOffering entity because that’s where the local course code is defined.
  • In practice, it’s possible for multiple sections of a course to be taught within the same classroom by the same teacher, with the students being administered a slightly different curriculum in each. The model provides support for this situation.
  • Program entities are associated at the Section entity level. This is somewhat counterintuitive since students in different sections may be in the same program. However, this model allows for flexibility and keeps the two entities aligned with regard to how attendance is modeled.

Model Reference

This section contains reference information for the Teaching and Learning domain model.

Course Catalog Subdomain

The model is based upon multiple levels of definition, as follows:

  • The CourseOffering entity represents a course that is offered by a school during a session. The CourseOffering entity will have a LocalCourseCode element and may have a LocalCourseTitle element.
  • A school will have one or more sections for each CourseOffering entity. Students are enrolled in specific sections. Each Section entity will have one or more assigned staff, will typically meet in a specific location in the school, and will be assigned a ClassPeriod entity for the session. Since early learning instruction is based on programs, students are enrolled by association to the Program and Staff entities as well.

UDM Documentation Contents

Explore the Ed-Fi Unified Data Model:

UDM Reference:

Teaching and Learning, Course Catalog Model

Sections and Programs Subdomain

A school will have one or more Sections for each CourseOffering. Students are enrolled in specific Sections. Each Section will have one or more assigned Staff, will typically meet in a specific location in the school, and be assigned a ClassPeriod for the Session.

Teaching and Learning, Sections and Programs Model

Teaching and Learning Model Entities

ClassPeriodThis entity represents the designation of a regularly scheduled series of class meetings at designated times and days of the week.
CourseThis educational entity represents the organization of subject matter and related learning experiences provided for the instruction of students on a regular or systematic basis.

This entity represents an entry in the course catalog of available courses offered by the school during a session.


This entity represents any public or private institution, organization, or agency that provides instructional or support services to students or staff at any level.

LearningObjectiveThis entity represents identified learning objectives for courses in specific grades.
LearningStandardThis entity is a sub-element of a learning objective consisting of a precise statement of the expectation of a student's proficiency.

This entity represents the physical space where students gather for a particular class/section. The Location may be an indoor or outdoor area designated for the purpose of meeting the educational needs of students.

ProgramThis entity represents any program designed to work in conjunction with, or as a supplement to, the main academic program. Programs may provide instruction, training, services, or benefits through federal, state, or local agencies. Programs may also include organized extracurricular activities for students.
SchoolThis entity represents an educational organization that includes staff and students who participate in classes and educational activity groups.
SectionThis entity represents a setting in which organized instruction of course content is provided, in-person or otherwise, to one or more students for a given period of time. A course offering may be offered to more than one section.
SessionA term in the school year, generally a unit of time into which courses are scheduled, instruction occurs and by which credits are awarded. Sessions may be interrupted by vacations or other events.
StaffThis entity represents an individual who performs specified activities for any public or private education institution or agency that provides instructional and/or support services to students or staff at the early childhood level through high school completion. For example, this includes:
1. An "employee" who performs services under the direction of the employing institution or agency is compensated for such services by the employer and is eligible for employee benefits and wage or salary tax withholdings
2. A "contractor" or "consultant" who performs services for an agreed upon fee or an employee of a management service contracted to work on site
3. A "volunteer" who performs services on a voluntary and uncompensated basis
4. An in-kind service provider
5. An independent contractor or businessperson working at a school site.
StaffProgramAssociationThis association indicates the Staff associated with a program.
StaffSchoolAssociationThis association indicates the School(s) to which a staff member provides instructional services.

This association indicates the class sections to which a staff member is assigned.

StudentThis entity represents an individual for whom instruction, services, and/or care are provided in an early childhood, elementary, or secondary educational program under the jurisdiction of a school, education agency or other institution or program. A student is a person who has been enrolled in a school or other educational institution.
StudentProgramAssociationThis association represents the Program(s) that a student participates in or is served by.
StudentSchoolAssociationThis association represents the School in which a student is enrolled. The semantics of enrollment may differ slightly by state. Non-enrollment relationships between a student and an education organization may be described using the StudentEducationOrganizationAssociation.
StudentSectionAssociationThis association indicates the course sections to which a student is assigned.

Teaching and Learning Model