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Create Courses, Course Offerings, and Course Connections

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain what courses, departments, terms, course offerings, and course connections are.
  • Create an academic term that you can apply to all courses.
  • Create a course and connect a contact to that course.


A course is simply a class offered at a school or institution. For example, British Literature. A course is typically a child of an account with the Academic Department record type because you can share courses across multiple programs but it’s aligned with only one academic department. So to see the British Literature course in EDA, you look at the English Department account.

Salesforce account for the English Department

A term is a period of time when a course is offered. When you create a term, such as Fall 2017, and associate it with the course, you create a course offering. The course offering represents the actual running of the course. It has a room, instructor, dates, section number, and so on. A course represents the class that the institution provides to students, whereas course offerings are actual iterations of that course with a set faculty member, time, and day. 

A contact can sign up for a course offering through a course connection. A course connection could also be created for a contact who is added as a faculty member for the course. You can see a contact’s course connections on the contact record.

Whew, that’s a lot of terminology! Here’s a simple diagram to show you how they all relate to each other and a chart to help you remember the terms.

Diagram showing a contact record affiliated with the university, department, and academic program account records, and to a course connection

A class that fulfills a certain number of credit hours, such as Economics 101.
A school term or academic session that has a start and end date, such as Fall 2017.
Course offering
A unique instance of a course, associated with a specific term and faculty member, such as Economics 101 Fall 2017, Section A.
Course connection
An object representing the relationship between a student and a course offering, capturing credit and grade information. This object can also represent an instructor’s relationship to a course offering.
Program enrollment
A junction object that connects a student with an academic program, such as a student who has declared a B.S. in Business as their major. Program enrollment is also a lookup field on the course connection object.

Let’s step through the process using Vanessa Rodriguez again as our example. Vanessa must enroll in certain required courses, including British Literature, to complete her degree and graduate. Let’s see how to create the British Literature course.

Course catalog

Create a Course

As mentioned earlier, a course is simply a class offered at a school or institution. To offer that class for students to enroll in, you also create terms and course offerings. Because courses fall under departments, which makes them children of departments, let’s start with departments.



If you don’t already have an account with the University Department record type, you need to create it first.

  1. In Salesforce, click the Accounts tab
  2. Click the name of the department that this course is associated with. Because we’re creating a British Literature course, we’re going to select English Department.
  3. Scroll down to the Courses related list and click New.

    Courses related list

  4. Enter the course name. For example, British Literature.
  5. Enter an optional course ID. The ID is just a text value and is likely used in a course catalog. For example, ENG-211.
    Your screen looks something like this:

    Create a Course

  6. Enter other course details and click Save.

Create a Term

You created the course—get ready to create a course offering from that course in the next section. But first, you need to create a term that you can assign to course offerings. The term defines the dates for a course offering. A term is associated with an account (for example an entire school or a school within a school).

Colleges and universities can use terms in different ways. For example, different colleges within a university, such as the Business School and Law School, might be on different schedules, so the university would set up multiple terms. Terms in EDA are flexible, and you can set up as many as you need.

In this example, we’re going to keep it simple and create a university-wide Fall term. For a university-wide term, you create the term from the account for the entire university. Typically, this account has the Educational Institution record type. If the account doesn’t exist, you need to create it.

  1. Click the Terms tab.
  2. Click New.
  3. Name the term Fall 2017.
  4. Select (or create) the account. For this example, we select Cloudy College, which is an educational institution.
  5. Enter August 22, 2017, for the start date and December 15, 2017 for the term’s end date.
  6. Click Save.

Create the Course Offering

Course created? Check. Term created? Check. Now you need the course offering for contacts to enroll in. Remember, a course offering just means that the course is being offered at a specific time, or term. Let’s say the British Literature course is available in the term Fall 2017. William Hsu is a professor in the English Department. He will be teaching British Literature in Fall 2017.

  1. From the course record, find the Course Offerings related list.
  2. Click New.
  3. Select a term, or click + New Term to create one. For example, Fall 2017.
  4. Enter the course offering ID and other details. Let’s name this course offering ENG 211 - Fall 2017. It can really be anything you want. Every institution has its own naming system.
  5. In the Primary Faculty field, select a faculty member. We select William Hsu for this example.
    Adding a faculty member automatically creates a course connection for that contact. It also marks the contact as Primary on the course connection. We discuss course connections more in the next section, Connect a Contact to a Course.

    Create course offering

  6. Click Save.

Connect a Contact to a Course

Now that you have a course offering with a specific term, you can connect contacts to the course offering. When you create a course connection, you choose whether to connect the contact as a student or faculty for the course offering. Student and Faculty are the default record types for course connections that come with EDA, but you can create more as needed. For instance, you may need an additional record type for Teaching Assistant. These record types simply define the contact’s connection to this particular course (student in the course, faculty for the course, etc). They don’t determine the contact’s overall role at the educational institution, as contacts can have many different roles.

You can connect a contact to a course from the Course Connections related list on the contact, or from the contact’s program enrollment. Adding the course from the program enrollment makes sure that the program enrollment ID is automatically populated. If you add the course from the contact, make sure that you have the contact’s program enrollment ID handy. You can find the program ID on the contact by looking at the Program Enrollments related list.

  1. Do one of the following.
    1. On the contact record, scroll to the Course Connections related list and click New. Be sure to add the program enrollment ID.
    2. On the contact record, scroll to the Program Enrollments related list and click the program enrollment number. In the Course Connections related list, click New. You’ll need to enter the contact. You can enter Vanessa Rodriguez or use your own data.
  2. Choose either Student or Faculty. Since we’re creating a course connection for Vanessa, we’ll choose Student.
  3. Click Next.
  4. In the Course Offering ID text box, start typing the course offering name. Matching courses appear as you type. For the example, enter ENG 211 - Fall 2017.

    Your screen looks something like this:

    Enroll contact in a course

  5. If this course connection is for a faculty member, select Primary to designate that the contact should be the main faculty member for the associated course offering.


The Primary checkbox only applies for faculty.

6. Enter other details and click Save.

Nice work! You just connected a contact to a course. Take a look at the contact record to see the fruits of your labor.

Enrolled contact

Excellent! You now know how to use EDA to set up courses and connect a contact to a course offering. We hope that you’ve been inspired by everything you’ve learned in this module to experiment with EDA and take advantage of its flexibility.

Don’t forget to check out the EDA group in the Power of Us Hub to ask any lingering questions you have and to see what others are doing with EDA.

Jumping for joy