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Web App Encoding

The Interactive Audit (IA) illustrates the degree audit to reflect a student's progress toward completion of a degree program.

Within the pie charts and bar graphs, the user may "drill down" into the audit to gather more details in a truly interactive way. An additional benefit of the IA is improved formatting of the details of the audit as well as simpler, more attractive layout. At the top level of the audit, the Audit Results tab displays (by default) two sections: Audit and Categories:

Each completion status item is either a bar chart or a pie chart that shows completion status in terms of number of hours (or other unit of credit). A GPA of the courses that are included in that item may be displayed with each bar graph or pie chart.

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Categories are determined and set up by each institution. The categories showing with any audit are determined by the categories that are assigned to the requirements in that degree program.

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Hours charts are based on required hours and the hours of the courses assigned to the sub-requirement, requirement, or group of requirements being displayed. If a sub-requirement or requirement does not have required hours, an estimated hours value is calculated. Estimated hours can be specified, as needed, by the encoder.

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GPA display options can be specified at the category, requirement, and sub-requirement levels so that any GPA can be displayed or suppressed, as desired.

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Planned courses can be added from the IA to a student's planned courses and included in subsequent audits run for the student. Some configuration of IA and/or u.achieve, as well as some encoding, will enable this functionality and allow planned courses as an institution wishes.

 

NOTE:
In uAchieve, the interactive audit will only work for text reports. You will need to use uAchieve Self-Service to view PDF or HTML reports with charts and graphs.

Who's Involved?

Implementation of the Interactive Audit requires both technical configuration and functional encoding. The technical person assigned to IA maintenance will be responsible for the configuration of IA and the uAchieve Server. Parts of the IA, such as URL course links from a sub-requirement "Select From" line, are configured by technical support at your institution. This technical configuration is discussed in a separate document.

The encoder assigned to the uAchieve interactive audit will be responsible for the following items:

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Set COM fields that affect production of the IA, define a default credit-per-course value for bar graphs and report planned (What-If) courses within the audit

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Populate the global Chart Category table to create a set of Requirement Categories

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Specify Requirement Categories on Requirements in Degree Programs

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Interactive Audit encoding on Requirements: Add Requirement and Sub-Requirement labels for display on charts; Specify the estimated hours fields on the Requirement or Sub-Requirement level when warranted

What's Involved?

1

The first step to encoding for the uAchieve Interactive Audit is to instruct uAchieve to produce output database tables containing audit information. This is accomplished with a COM field called EXTOUT (from EXTended OUTput). COM fields to format audit information in a useful manner on the web also exist. All COM field settings affecting the IA will be discussed later in more detail.

2

Notice the Categories heading on the right side of the interactive audit below. In order for requirements to be included in a bar graph of a Requirement Category (such as "General Education," shown below), the Requirement Categories must be decided upon by the encoder, and the actual program requirements (RNAME in the Program) identified with the category to which they belong.

When the category General Education is chosen (clicked), and all the General Education requirements are identified as belonging to this category: General Education Basic, Arts & Language, English, Cultures.

3

 

Requirements that involve a special display, such as the requirement checking for total hours (shown as the pie chart under Audit breadcrumb) and the requirement checking for cumulative GPA (shown as the vertical bar graph under Audit), will be identified in your encoding with a Chart Category to enable these displays:



The Chart Category table under uAchieve Support Tables (the Globe icon) where the type of interactive audit chart is designated.

4

Next, the encoder decides whether viewing the Course History tab might be a useful display charting a student's academic progress. View Course History is an IA tab adjacent to Audit Results (displays by default upon opening an interactive audit) . Whether or not the Course History tab appears is part of the technical configuration of the IA. For data to appear on that page, specific encoding must be part of the degree program.


A requirement is encoded to collect courses by meaningful time units–probably academic terms or years–to enable the Course History display:

To produce the Course History display, the requirement needs to be put into a Requirement Category encoded in the Chart Category table as a "Transcript" category.

5

As the reader of the IA selects requirement categories, details about the requirements and sub-requirements are revealed. Each bar graph identified with a requirement and sub-requirement is represented in color-coded hours.

The sub-requirement bars shown below correspond to the number of hours required by each sub-requirement following in the audit. The encoding for the IA must define an hours value to display in a bar graph for sub-requirements not currently encoded to require hours. For example, note the bottom (coral-colored) sub-requirement bar indicates three hours, while the last sub-requirement, which corresponds to that bar graph, identifies a single required course: COMM199.


Using a COM field called CRPCRSE to define a default credit per course value and, as needed, sub-requirement fields (Estimated Hours and Force Estimated Hours) to specify the hours value by sub-requirement, the encoding generates the interactive bar reflecting the hour equivalent of whatever is required.

The encoding to support the IA is straightforward and quick to implement. The following steps outline the implementation of the interactive audit.

Interactive Audit Implementation

The following five steps outline the implementation of the interactive audit:

  1. Required COM Table Fields
  2. Requirement Categories
  3. Chart Categories
  4. View Course History Chart
  5. Hours Bar Chart for Each Requirement/Sub-Requirement

 

Required COM Table Fields

Three COM fields that directly affect running an IA must be set: EXTOUT, WEBOPTION, and CMPREND.

EXTOUT

 COM.EXTOUT (required field for running IA) setting of value X or Y will produce extended output tables containing audit data required for the IA.

  • If running IA only, a value of X is adequate.
    • When using a value of X, one fewer table is populated with data. The table holds the sub-requirement courses list and does not need to be populated for the IA.
  • If running the uAchieve Planner (formerly u.direct), a value of Y is required.
    • That table is needed for the uAchieve Planner, however, and is also used for other reporting purposes, as needed. A value of Y in EXTOUT populates all of the tables.

WEBOPTION

COM.WEBOPTION (required field for running IA) may be set to a value of 1 or 2.

  • A value of 2 provides for each course in the SELECT/NOT FROM course lists of a sub-requirement to have a link to other institutionally-provided information including course descriptions, section availability, and registration capabilities.
  • COM.WEBOPTION=2 affects the CMPREND setting (below).

 

CMPREND

If using a WEBOPTION value of 2, COM.CMPREND should be set to a value that represents the longest length (department and number) of a real course (not a pseudo course) expected in a Sub-Requirement course list. Otherwise, a length up to the maximum of 15 is acceptable.


Additional COM Table Fields

COM.CRPCRSE

(Credit Per Course)

Supports reporting bar graphs in the IA. CRPCRSE establishes a default credit hour value for each course count reflected in the Required Course Count of a sub-requirement/requirement without Required Hours.

COM.ALLOWGPA

(Allow GPA)

Determines whether GPA values on requirements and sub-requirements appear on the IA charts and graphs when suppressed on the audit.

To suppress GPA values from the charts, ALLOWGPA needs to be added to COM with a value of "space." The default value of ALLOWGPA is "Y," which causes all requirement and sub-requirement GPA values to appear on the charts. Individual requirement and sub-requirement values can also can be placed on the IA charts by using the REQGPAF (suppression field) value of "A" on that requirement or sub-requirement.

COM Fields for Planned Courses

Planned Course Condition Code

A reserved condition code position in COM.CONDTB-RES has been defined to identify planned courses that can be entered into the IA via Planned Courses and through an IA Sub-Requirement course link. In fact, the selected reserved condition code value can be passed into uAchieve in the course's CONDC field or added by the Grade Table for a unique planned grade by setting the grade's G.IP field value to a "W." 
  
The reserved condition code position is the 19th position, referred to as the XWHATIF position, shown as a value of "W." The uAchieve team at your institution (technical and functional offices) will need to determine the appropriate condition code value for your implementation.



One method for associating the 19th reserved condition code value with planned courses is to have them configured to assign special planned grades, which are then encoded into the Grade Table with the IP field set to "W." As a result of IP set to "W," uAchieve will automatically assign the 19th reserved condition code to any course carrying a grade matching that Grade table entry. Therefore, all grades identifying planned courses will need a Grade table definition that includes IP=W.
 

Configuring uAchieve to Load Planned Courses

Another method is to configure the loading of planned courses using one of three options: T, P, or A. The COM field WIFREAD (What-If Read) can be set to automatically include Planned Courses whenever an audit is run. (Planned Courses are those courses that have been saved.)


The following values are valid for WIFREAD:

T

Only planned courses will be included in the audit

P

Include Planned courses in the audit

A

Include ALL whatif_courses, including planned courses, in the audit

 

The audit request can also supply a value for WIFREAD. In uAchieve, this field has been added to the RunBar.

The field has also been added to the SZADARQ field in Banner as a checkbox with a label of "Planned Course?"

Custom audit request processes that insert data into either job_queue_detail or create sysin data can set this field. In job_queue_detail, the column name is d_whatif. When using sysin records, the value is placed in position 71 of the "ON2" record.

A course with the 19th reserved condition code value will be treated by uAchieve as a planned course. This means that during the audit run when these courses match sub-requirements, separate internal course count and credit fields will be populated in sub-requirements and a separate credit field will be populated for a requirement. Technically speaking, the internal WRAPUP and SUMCAL procedures calculate the WHATIFCT and WHATIFHRS field values for the internal Requirement (RTAB) and Sub-Requirement (STAB) Tables. The planned course count and credit fields will be made available to the output/printing process that provides information to the IA logic. 


Other than building and forwarding these separate counter fields, uAchieve has no special processing logic for these courses. The IA will use the credit/hour values of courses identified with the XWHATIF (19th position reserved condition code) as the basis for the planned hour component in each of its bars or total credit pie chart. 

Planned totals can be reported globally in the audit (when COM.LISTIPFLG is set to Y) or at both the requirement and sub-requirement levels: requirement when the In Progress Summary field is set to Y; sub-requirement when the In-Progress List field is set to Y. The control of whether or not planned course summary lines are reported, and how to report planned courses within the audit, is the same control provided in previous releases for in-progress courses.

Seven COM text fields provide text entries that match the corresponding COM fields for in-progress course reporting:

  1. WIFCHR
  2. WIFTEXT
  3. WIFSTUB
  4. WIFSRTEXT
  5. WIFSRSTUB
  6. WIFSYMBOL
  7. WIFMESS

These COM text fields and their default/suggested values are defined in the Help Topics. If planned courses are being identified in the audit, then these text fields should be reviewed for your institution.

 

Requirement Categories

A Requirement Category is used to generate a high-level bar graph in the IA that represents a group of related requirements. The bar graph is identified with the name the encoder selects (up to 15 characters) and displays the credits associated with Requirements that the encoder has grouped together by logical association. The goal is to provide the student a concise picture of their overall program in the Categories section of the IA.



Each Category is entered into the Chart Categories table with the Category Names that will appear on the IA: Elective, General Educ, Major, and Minor.



A code is also selected by the encoder and entered with the Report Category name. This code is the value used in the uAchieve degree program window to identify the requirements ("Requirement Name") that constitute the Requirement Category.

 

The Report Category of G is assigned to each requirement in the Program that should report in the "General Educ" Requirement Category in the Interactive Audit. When the General Educ category is selected (clicking), those Requirements are listed using the Requirement Name (RNAME value) in the Program.

 

Chart Categories

In addition to identifying Requirement Categories for the purpose of generating the Categories bar graphs, the Chart Categories table also identifies when a special display or graph should be generated for the Requirement Category.

NOTE:
On a technical note, at least one entry must be made in the Chart Categories table. For institutions using COM.INSTCD to differentiate between u.achieve log-ins, each different COM.INSTID/CD combination must have the Chart Categories table defined.

Columns after Category Name include: Total Hours, Total GPA, Transcript, Hide GPA, Hide, Show in udirect, and Description. These columns are encoded to define treatment of a graph or display. The last column (Description) appears only in the Chart Categories table as a documentation text area:

NOTE:
The display of the Requirement Categories bar graphs are encoded by defining the category as covered earlier and no Chart Category needs to be indicated.


Total Hours and Total GPA Chart Categories

Two categories–total Hours and cumulative GPA–are responsible for generating the pie chart and the vertical GPA bar graph displayed at the highest level of the interactive audit under the Audit display indicated on the breadcrumbs.

The Hours Chart Category column is expected to be marked only for the requirement that is encoded to check for total hours required for the degree program. The Total Hours Chart Category generates the Audit-level pie chart and does not generate a Requirement Categories bar graph.

The Total GPA Chart Category column is expected to be marked only for the requirement that is encoded to check for a minimum cumulative grade point average for the degree. The Total GPA Chart Category generates the vertical GPA bar graph and also a Requirement Categories bar graph.

For example, the requirement may check for total hours separate from the requirement checking for cumulative GPA. The reason for defining these checks in different requirements within the audit is to ensure that all the courses that contribute to a cumulative GPA are reflected at the requirement-level earned GPA.

When the requirement checking for total hours reported the earned GPA, the earned GPA is calculated on the hours that were permitted to apply toward total hours for the degree program. The earned GPA calculated on hours permitted to apply toward the degree may not be the same as a cumulative GPA calculated on all the hours the student took. Therefore, the two requirements are separated in order to accurately report the cumulative GPA in a graphic display that would not mislead the student, as compared to the cumulative GPA reflected on the student's academic record.

If an institution determines that the cumulative GPA earned for the requirement checking for total hours is the desired GPA for reporting, then both Chart Categories (Total Hours and Total GPA) could be marked for the single Requirement Category Name.

Hide Category 
The Hide Category in the Chart Categories table prevents a Category Name from generating a Categories bar graph. 

The Hide Category is marked for the very first entry in the Chart Categories table with a blank Code and a blank Category Name to provide a default for Requirements with a blank Program Report Category:

This default entry prevents generating an erroneous bar graph.


The Hide Category is also used when the display a requirement in the bar graph is unwanted, or perhaps deemed inappropriate. For example, while the IA displays the optional text requirement called Legend at the end of the audit shown below, no Categories bar graph called Legend exists. 


The Hide Category in the Chart Categories table only negates reporting graphs in the IA and does not affect hiding requirements. As a corollary, any requirement in the program that does not conventionally report in the audit (e.g., a hidden requirement) will also be omitted from reporting in the IA. This will also hide any requirements in that category from the Roadmap Builder view in the uAchieve Planner (formerly u.direct). Check the "Show in udirect" column to show in the uAchieve Planner when building a roadmap but hide a category from graphs on the IA.



Transcript Category 
The Transcript Category is expected to be selected (checked) only on the Category Name given a requirement encoded for the purpose of collecting courses by academic period to provide a summary by term/year as shown from the View Course History link.

View Course History Chart

The Course History provides a chronological view of academic progress. Course History is displayed in three areas:

  1. GPA area
    The GPA area will report hours and GPA for the term currently selected and overall.
  2. Term Summary area
    The Term Summary area reports a graph of hours and GPA by academic term/year corresponding to the requirement encoded to support this display. In the Term Summary graph, hours generate a color coded vertical bar:
    • Green: Complete hours
    • Blue: In Progress hours, conforming to a scale indicated on the left side of the graph. GPA generates a blue point-to-point line following a scale on the right side of the graph.
  3. Course Summary area
    The Course Summary area permits a selection of all courses, or courses by chronological unit (academic term/year) as supported by the encoded requirement. In the sample below, Winter of 2009 (i.e., 200901) is selected:


 

Each institution decides whether to display a Course History Chart within the IA. In the technical configuration document, a field called ia.courseHistoryLink.display is set to provide the View Course History link.

If the decision is to display, then the encoder will need to define a Requirement for the purpose of collecting courses by academic term/year to support the viewing of the Course History.



For example, an optional requirement (OP field checked) named TRANSCRIP appears in this Program with the Report Category of T, which identifies the Requirement with the Transcript Category in the Chart Categories table:


Defining Course History Requirement

Two methods are available for encoding a requirement to provide the Course History page. Each type of transcript requirement provides a term-by-term listing of the student's courses and allows a term summary of hours and GPA:

  1. Transcript Requirement with Specified Terms (Traditional)
    The traditional method involves encoding a requirement that contains a sub-requirement with single-term date ranges. The advantage to this approach is that the text is entered as the encoder desires, so it can be as specific as needed.
  2. Transcript Requirement with Self-Defining Terms
    An alternate method involves encoding a requirement with self-defining terms.

 

Hours Bar Graph for each Requirement/Sub-Requirement

Each bar graph generated for a requirement and sub-requirement is represented in hours. The bar graph displays its estimated required hours as the total length of the requirement or sub-requirement bar. The length of a requirement bar graph is automatically determined by uAchieve directly from its encoding. See the screenshot below of the Arts & Humanities requirement on the bar graph:



Each estimated required hours bar graph will be displayed in different colors signifying the component credit from four categories:

  • Completed hours in green
  • In Progress hours in blue
  • Planned hours in purple
  • Unfulfilled in coral


Completed Hours

Complete Hours corresponds to the uAchieve internal GOTHRS field value, except when In-Progress and Planned credits have applied. In-Progress and Planned hours are reported separately in the bar graph, and therefore are never reflected in the Completed hours portion. In the screenshot below, the mouse hover reveals that 9.0 hours of General Courses have been completed on the green bar graph:

 

The Completed hours in the bar graph is unaffected by the decision each institution can make to either include or exclude reporting In-Progress and Planned hours in a requirement/sub-requirement EARNED summary lines on the audit. From an encoding standpoint, this means that EARNED lines on the audit could reflect a different value than is displayed in the Completed hours in the bar graph, based upon the setting of a COM field called IPTOTALFLG.

COM.IPTOTALFLG permits an institution to globally indicate whether In-Progress (and planned credits) should have those credits report in the EARNED summary lines for a requirement/sub-requirement.

  • A value of Y in IPTOTALFLG will include credits
  • A value of N will not include credits (In other words, "N" excludes In-Progress and Planned credits from reporting in the EARNED line, just as they are excluded from display in the Completed hours portion of the bar graph.)
     
To minimize confusion on the part of the student, we recommend institutions set COM.IPTOTALFLG to N.

In-Progress Hours

A course is an In-Progress course when it is assigned the XIP (7th position reserved condition) code in uAchieve. uAchieve automatically assigns this (reserved condition) code when the course's grade matches a Grade table entry with G.IP set to I. 

When an In-Progress course is applied to a requirement/sub-requirement, then the In-Progress portion of the bar graph is automatically generated. When an In-Progress course is applied to a requirement/sub-requirement, then the In-Progress summary line in the audit will report when either COM.LISTIPFLG=Y, or the requirement's In-Progress Summary field is set to Y, and/or the sub-requirement's In-Progress List field is set to Y.

Planned Hours



A course is a Planned course when it is assigned the XWHATIF (19th position reserved condition) code in uAchieve. This (reserved condition) code is automatically assigned when the course's grade matches a Grade table entry with G.IP set to W, or when the course is passed to uAchieve with the XWHATIF code set. 

When a Planned course is applied to a requirement/sub-requirement, then the Planned portion of the bar graph is automatically generated. A Planned course will report in a Planned summary line in the audit when either COM.LISTIPFLG=Y, or the requirement's In-Progress Summary field is set to Y, and/or the sub-requirement's In-Progress List field is set to Y.

While In-Progress summary lines and Planned summary lines report separate totals, the controls to either report or not report these lines are the same controls. Therefore, when one of these two summary lines is enabled through encoding, then both are enabled.

Unfulfilled Hours

 

The credit displayed in the Unfulfilled portion of the bar graph is the difference between the estimated required hours of the requirement/sub-requirement and the sum of the Completed Hours+In-Progress Hours+Planned Hours.

 

Estimated Required Hours

The length of the bar graph for the requirement is set by uAchieve using the following guidelines implemented in the following preferential order:

  1. Earned hours will determine the length of the bar graph when the requirement/sub-requirement is complete.
  2. When the requirement/sub-requirement is not complete, then the specified Required Hours are used. 
    • For a requirement, if the sum of the hours required by its sub-requirement components is greater than its specified Required Hours, then uAchieve will use the sum of its required hours from all its sub-requirement components to set the length of the bar.
    • When the Requirement is not complete and there are no specified Required Hours and the Maximum Hours value is not 999.9, but is set to a value greater than the sum of its sub-requirements' Required Hours, then the requirement's Maximum Hours value will set the length of the bar.
  1. If the Requirement is encoded as an Optional Requirement and (as expected) there are no Required Hours encoded, then the Requirement's Maximum Hours will set the length of the bar.
    • When the Optional Requirement's Maximum Hours field is set less than 999.9: that value is used. 
    • When the Optional Requirement's Maximum Hours is set to 999.9 (the default value) and there are no Required Hours: the length of bar is set to zero. The suggested encoding of the Hungry Elective would conform to this scenario, which results in the length of the bar being set to zero until a course is applied; then the applied credits determine the length of the bar.

 

Determining Required Hours

When no Required Hours are encoded for a sub-requirement but there is a Required Count, uAchieve can interpret a count into an estimated hours value for the purpose of producing a bar graph based upon the previous criteria via two methods:

  1. As mentioned previously, a field in COM called CRPCRSE (Credit Per Course) with a range of 0000-0099 can be set as a default value used to calculate the estimated required hours for each Required Count value in a sub-requirement. For example, if two courses are required and COM.CRPCRSE is set to 0003, then the estimated required hours for the sub-requirement is calculated to be 6 hours. 

    NOTE:
    The COM.CRPCRSE value will be used by uAchieve for estimated required hours calculation to generate a bar graph when there are no Required Hours and no specified Estimated Hours encoded.

     

  2. Each sub-requirement can have the total length of its estimated required hours for the bar graph determined by its Estimated Hours field value. The example for this sub-requirement with a Required count of 1 has its Estimated Hours field set to 4.0. When the bar graph for this sub-requirement is generated, the length of the bar will be set to 4.0 credits. If there is a value entered into the Estimated Hours field, then that value is used to set the length of the estimated required hours bar rather than the COM.CRPCRSE calculation.

    NOTE:
    A non-zero value in the Estimated Hours field will be needed only if the product of the required course count for the sub-requirement times the COM.CRPCRSE value would not represent a close estimation of required hours for the sub-requirement.


    The Force Estimated Hours field is provided to force the sub-requirement's estimated required hours to zero. A checked Force Estimated Hours field is only effective when Estimated Hours is set to 0.0. The result of setting Estimated Hours to zero and checking Force Estimated Hours is to not generate a bar graph for that sub-requirement. An estimated required hours bar graph is most probably irrelevant when a sub-requirement is checking for a pseudo course representing a non-credit event, e.g., including portfolio submission, passing an exam.
     
    The Force Estimated Hours field is necessary for uAchieve logic to distinguish between a meaningless empty numeric field (zero) and a value specifically set to zero. If the sub-requirement is a negative sub-requirement (Negative Req is N) or a calculation sub-requirement (Negative Req is R or M), then its estimated hours will always be set to zero by uAchieve.

 

Requirement and Sub-requirement Web Titles

The Interactive Audit uses Requirement and Sub-Requirement web title fields as labels on charts.

(Both Requirement and Sub-Requirement Web Title fields are 25 characters long.)

Checklist

Based upon this material, the following checklist can be used to help implement encoding for the interactive audit:

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Set COM fields: EXTOUT, WEBOPTION, CRPCRSE, CONDTB-RES (XWHATIF), WIFCHR, WIFTEXT, WIFSTUB, WIFSRTEXT, WIFSRSTUB, WIFSYMBOL, WIFMESS, and possibly CMPREND and RUNSTATUS. Additionally, the following COM fields will affect reporting In-Progress and Planned courses: IPTOTALFLG and LISTIPFLG.

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Populate the Chart Categories table with Report Category Code and Requirement Category Name. Include identification of the Total Hours, Total GPA, and Transcript category types. Include a default entry as the first entry with Hide Category selected.

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Identify each Requirement Name in each Program with a Report Category Code. If appropriate, separate out the Requirement for cumulative GPA from the Requirement checking for total hours.

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Encode a Requirement to support the display of a Course History chart. Identify the Requirement with a Transcript Category in the Chart Categories table, and with a Report Category for Transcript in the Program.

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Set Estimated Hours and possibly Force Estimated Hours fields for each sub-requirement, not requiring hours, which would be better represented in a bar graph with specified hours than with the calculated estimated required hours using COM.CRPCRSE.

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Test.

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