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Access and Navigation

  • I’m a new user. How do I gain access to DESII?
  • Please complete the Editor access form and return it to us with signatures, at desii@ucdavis.edu. Be sure to list the 3-letter subject codes you will edit and let us know your editing role (primary or backup). 
  • How do I log into DESII?
  • We have a link to the system for PC users on the DESII home page. Just click the Remote App Login link to start. Watch the brief navigation videos (different versions for PC users and Mac users) to see the process and for password tips.
    More detailed instructions are available in these articles:
    First-time login steps here.
    PC users: See step-by-step written instructions with screenshots here
    Mac users: Detailed written instructions to guide you through the access process are here.
    Direct login: There is a possibility now (2022) that you can log into DESII directly if you are working on campus or you are logged into the campus VPN. Your Java must be up to date (8.0 as of this writing) and it may not work on all browser types. Access the DESII system here
  • How do I access SIS DS? 
  • You will need to log into SIS DS via a campus network now, as of 3/30/2022. Certain BIA sites have limited access, including Instructional reports at https://sisds.ucdavis.edu/. To ensure security, access is now restricted to computers and mobile devices that are connected to the campus network on the UCD premises or remotely, connected to the campus network by VPN (using one of UCD’s virtual private networks, or VPNs). For instructions on connecting to the Campus VPN, see KB0006637.
    Users can also use the Remote Desktop to access SIS DS, when not on campus or on VPN. Just open a new tab on the browser with the DESII application and navigate to https://sisds.ucdavis.edu/. Note that you won't be able to save or print reports to your computer this way.

  • My DESII password doesn't work (or I forgot my DESII password). Can you reset it for me?
  • Yes, please send us a request at desii@ucdavis.edu and we can reset your password to the default. At several points during the login steps you will need to use your Kerberos ID (UC Davis login ID) and passphrase. When you log into the DESII application itself, your password must contain only lowercase letters and/or numbers (no capital letters).
  • Which internet web browser should I use?
  • PC users: you may use any browser to initiate your login, since DESII is accessed through a remote desktop (RemoteApp). In RemoteApp you connect via DESII Connect to run the DESII application, on an IE remote browser. (Mac users will also use Explorer on the remote desktop.)
  • I am a Mac user. How do I access DESII?
  • You will need to have the Microsoft Remote Desktop App to use DESII on a Mac. Watch the brief navigation video (Opening DESII on a Mac version) to see the process. Detailed written instructions to guide you through the access process are available in the Knowledge Base, here.
    Click the article link KB0001457 for help finding and installing the Microsoft Remote Desktop App.

  • How do I edit my courses once I am in DESII?
  • Once you are logged into the application, most edits require you to choose from options in a drop-down list or check a box to select an item. When using lookups, highlight the row you need, then select an action with buttons (find, view, add, change or remove). For a demonstration please see the video How to Edit Data in DESII.


Training and Help Resources

  • Where can I find training resources?
  • New editors should go first to our Training page to access training videos. Currently we are offering virtual orientations on Zoom for new editors each quarter. More resources are available:
    • Refer to the Training Overview slide deck (a companion to the training videos) for editing examples with screenshots, definitions of common terms, and useful tips.
    • Drop-in help sessions, announced to all editors by email
    • Comprehensive DESII User manual available online or for download (PDF).
    • Job aids, process guides and other reference materials are available on our Training page.
  • Is there any special help for new editors in DESII? 
  • Yes, each quarter we invite new editors to join us for a DESII orientation and hands-on practice session. Usually this occurs in the week before editing opens, or at the beginning of the editing period. Contact us at the DESII help desk for details, desii@ucdavis.edu.
  • How can I get help with my editing questions?
  • Email the DESII support team at desii@ucdavis.edu. We'll reply to your email and call you or arrange a virtual meeting as needed to help you. We also offer drop-in help hours on Zoom, with details announced to the DESII editors email list.
  • Is there a DESII slack channel?
  • Yes, #desii is the slack channel for DESII users. Please join the UC Davis #desii channel to see announcements, ask questions, and connect with other DESII editors.

DESII System information

  • Where can I see the DESII editing schedule?
  • We post the schedule of census dates and editing periods for the current academic year here, along with an overview of the DESII timeline.

  • Where does the course information in DESII come from? 
  • We take a snapshot from Banner on the 15th day of instruction (the "census date") each quarter. The course information in Banner on the census date is pulled into the DESII system the next day.

Editing in DESII

Getting Started

  • I'm new to DESII editing, where do I start?
  • After watching the training videos, take a look at the DESII Editing Process chart. This chart gives you an overview of the editing steps you need to follow. Then see the job aid, Preparing to Edit in DESII. This will orient you to the editing timeline and guide you through the preparation and editing steps in SIS DS and DESII. This shows what to review on the DESII Editor reports in SIS DS before the editing period opens in DESII. 

  • How do I edit my courses once I am in DESII?
  • Once you are logged into the application, most edits require you to choose from options in a drop-down list or check a box to select an item. When using lookups, highlight the row you need and then select an action with buttons (find, view, add, change or remove). For a demonstration please see the video How to Edit Data in DESII.

Course information

  • I need more information about course types and class structures. Where can I find that?
  • Refer to the UC Davis General Catalog "About courses" to understand course descriptions and requirements. See Courses by Subject Code for details about the structure of courses in your subject area(s), including the number of hours assigned to each course part (lecture, discussion, lab, workshop, for example).
    Check the class type abbreviations used in scheduling if you need information about the type of class you are editing (a PDF list).
  • How do I handle variable-unit courses? There are no weekly student hours showing in the Course Information section.
  • Since there are no scheduled days and hours for these courses, the system calculates the weekly student hours as zero. To add the hours manually, use the Student Hour Override feature. To change or add a number, click the "Stdt Hr Override" box and note the checkmark that appears. This will allow you to enter the number of Weekly Student Hours (also called "contact hours.")
  • What are Student Credit Hours?
  • The total number of unit credits earned by all enrollees in the class. The definition of student credit hours (SCH) is “the enrollment in a course multiplied by the course credit value.” For variable-unit sections, it is the sum of all the units earned by the students in that credit-bearing section. It is not possible to  change the SCH in DESII. The SCH shown are based on data in Banner for students who are officially enrolled in the course (i.e., they are registered in the course and have paid registration fees as of the 15th day of instruction). 
  • What are NCS sections used for? 
  • These are used to record secondary teaching activities, referred to as NCS in DESII because they are  non-credit-bearing sections. Field trips are  a common type of NCS that you may want to add to a credit-bearing course. Use the NCS button in the Miscellaneous block to add this kind of activity (see the user manual for more details).

    Not sure how to calculate the SCH? Record the number of weeks and the contact time for field trips according to the actual number of instructional hours.  

    For example: a one-day field trip that lasts all day might be recorded as a one-week section with eight contact hours.  

    A multi-day field trip that includes 2 travel days and 3 days in the field could be recorded as a  one-week section with 18 contact hours (3 days x 6 hrs./day) because the instructor spends 6 hours teaching on each field day. In this example the travel days do not include any instructional hours (but they may, for other field trips). 

Facility information

  • I can’t find the building where my course is held, how can I add it?
  •  We can request that for you. Please email us at the DESII help desk (desii@ucdavis.edu), providing the building name and room number you wish to enter. It also helps to let us know which course you’re editing. If you find the building you need but can't locate the correct room, let us help you with that too. 

  • I heard there are generic building codes used in DESII. What are they used for?  
  • There are two main kinds of generic codes. Some courses are not scheduled in Banner. In these cases DESII offers a few placeholder building codes that you can use instead of a physical classroom location. Some of the commonly used generic codes available in DESII are: 

    FACOFC (Faculty Office) often used for classes like variable unit courses, independent study or research courses, when instructors and students meet in offices instead of regular classrooms. You should not enter the instructor’s building or office room number, since use of those spaces is not tracked in DESII. 
    NOFAC (No facilities) used in cases where instruction takes place on campus, but not in a building or room. 
    OFFCAM (Off campus) used for field trips or other courses that take place in non-campus locations. 

    There are also several Banner building codes that are used in DESII for specific types of classes that do not meet physically on campus. (You can find more information about these codes in the DESII User manual.) 

    ABROAD should be used for all study-abroad courses. 
    ONLINE courses where instruction is delivered online, such as language course SPA 002V (both lecture and discussion sections are virtual). 
    REMOTE (temporarily meeting online) virtual classes that normally meet in person. Used for regularly scheduled classes held remotely during the pandemic of 2020-21 that would otherwise not be held online.  
    REMASY (Remote-asynchronous) code also used in Banner for remote courses that can be accessed at any time, rather than on scheduled days/times. 

  • What is the Student Hour Override and when should I use it? 
  • Student Hour Override (abbreviated "Stdt Hr Override") is used to modify the Weekly Student Hrs field in three situations: 
    • If a class is unscheduled (zero weekly student hours calculated by DESII); 
    • When a class meets in two rooms at the same time (too many weekly student hours calculated because both facilities are counted);
    • A room is scheduled for more hours per week than required (again, too many weekly student hours are calculated).
    To change the number, click the "Stdt Hr Override" box. Once you check that, you will be able to enter the number of Weekly Student Hours.
  • Should I adjust class hours that are rounded up by DESII?
  • As an editor, you can adjust any sections that don’t match the actual time, to make them consistent. Use the "Stdt Hr Override" checkbox if you notice a discrepancy and want to change the hours.  

    For example: Rounding issues arise mostly in Summer Sessions. Let's consider a Summer Session course with 3 contact hrs., scheduled MWF from 12:10 to 1:50 would be rounded to show 12-2 in DESII (for 6 hours total). The actual class time scheduled is 5 hours (1 hr. 40 min. x 3 = 5 hrs.) but due to the rounding DESII would record too many hours. You can adjust it to 5 hours by using the ”Stdt Hr Override" checkbox but it’s okay to leave it as is if you prefer.
  • How do I change the Weekly Student hours for regularly scheduled classes?
  • Make adjustments to the scheduled days and hours in the facility block, since the Weekly Student hours are calculated by the system based on the days and times in this section. Review the information displayed, then click to check or un-check the boxes to make the necessary changes. Save to preserve your changes; after saving you will see your changes reflected in the number of Weekly Student hours in the Course information section.

Contact hours

  • How would I calculate student contact hours?
  • The number of contact hours in DESII represents the average number of hours per week that each instructor spends in the classroom (in contact with students). It is the same thing as the SIS DS "weekly student hours" listed in the course section of the 423 report. Refer to the DESII Editor Manual for more details about contact hours in various common teaching scenarios.

    To calculate: Multiply the Hrs. per week times the number of weeks to get the quarter total; divide by number of weeks to get the "contact hours" for DESII. Since most courses are scheduled by 10-week quarters, you would use 10 as the number of weeks (summer session courses default to 6 weeks; semesters default to 15 weeks). Here is an example for a class that meets TR 2-3:30 pm during Fall quarter:
    3 hrs. x 10 wks. = 30 hrs. per quarter 
    30 hrs. ÷ 10 wks. = 3 contact hours
  • Is there any limit to the number of contact hours I can enter?
  • An individual instructor’s hours cannot exceed the weekly scheduled hours for the course, in most cases. If your course is scheduled like the example above (TR 2-3:30, or 3 hours), you could enter no more than 3 contact hours for each instructor. However, variable-unit courses do not follow this rule.
    In variable-unit courses an instructor who meets individually with students may have more contact hours than the weekly student hours.
  • Can I enter partial hours?
  • Yes, DESII allows you to use decimals to enter fractional hours. For a class that meets 3 times a week for 50 minutes you can enter 2.5 hours (50 min. x 3 = 150 min., or 2 hrs. 30 mins.). DESII only records class time in half-hour increments so you may need to round up or down when calculating the contact hours.
  • How do I calculate the contact hours for summer session classes?
  • Check to see how the class is scheduled in Banner and adjust any times that are rounded up or down incorrectly. For more guidance, see the Summer Session Time Patterns for Course Scheduling from the Office of the University Registrar. Summer session courses default to 6 weeks but you can change that if your course is different.

Instructor information

  • What roles can be assigned to each type of instructor?
  • It depends somewhat on the type of class, since some roles are only allowed in credit-bearing sections. See the Instructor Role Categories job aid for details about each role and explanations of when to use them. A chart summarizes the options allowed for various instructor ranks. This job aid is available on the DESII Training page.
  • We have some TAs in support roles. Do they get the same number of contact hours as the primary instructor?
  • No, TAs in a support role will not get any contact hours; those are reserved for primary, secondary, or primary-no-grade roles. 
  • How do I assign the support role to an Assoc-In? The system doesn't allow me to do that.
  • Editors cannot assign this role to Assoc-Ins but we can do that for you. Send a request to the DESII help desk at desii@ucdavis.edu, including the course number, section number and instructor name (and their email if you have not already entered the instructor).
  • How do I enter a guest lecturer?
  • If the guest lecturer is a UC Davis employee, use the instructor lookup to find their name and select it in the Instructor block. Non-UC Davis employees do not need to be reported as guest lecturers, since only UC Davis instructors are tracked for reporting. (A UC Davis employee is a person paid through the UCPath system.)
  • When should I use the "NO UCD APPT" button?  
  • Use this only when the primary instructor does not have a current UCD appointment (i.e., no current appointment in UCPath). You would not use this for guest lecturers, since they are not the primary instructor, even though they are often non-UCD employees. 

  • How do I remove instructors? I see someone listed who is not actually teaching.
  • If it turns out the instructors listed in DESII are not actually teaching those sections, you can just edit them to remove the instructors. Find the appropriate course and section, highlight the name you want to remove, then click the "Remove" button. Be sure to save your edits.
  • I can't find the instructor I need to add in DESII. Now what should I do?
  • Please report the issue to the DESII support team at desii@ucdavis.edu. It will help us troubleshoot if you include the following information for each person you can't find: 

    Course number 
    Section number(s)
    TA/instructor name
    TA/instructor email
    Instructor role
    (Contact hours) 
    In cases where we may need to enter the information for you after the editing period is closed, we will also ask you to provide the number of contact hours.


Cross-listed courses 

  • Who should edit a cross-listed course?  
  • DESII editors from both departments that offer the course should review it. Any edits that are made will be reflected in both course records. If information is entered that later needs to be corrected, the editor who entered the information must correct it.
  • Who should add the instructor for a cross-listed course?  
  • Generally the editor in the instructor's home department adds the primary instructor. If there are two instructors that share contact hours, each editor can add the person from their department. 
  • One of my courses is cross-listed but it doesn't show up correctly in DESII. How do I fix that?
  • Report the issue to the DESII support team at desii@ucdavis.edu. Please include the Subject code and Course number, along with the cross-listed subject (or the department name). Once the DESII team verifies the cross-listing we will make any changes necessary to update both courses.

  • Do you have a list of all the DESII editors that includes subject codes?
  • (Coming soon.) See the Current Editors List [link to be added for a list of DESII editors].
    For now, you might want to post a question in the user slack channel, #desii. This could be a good way to connect with editors for other subjects, especially if you're new to DESII editing.

SIS DS Reports

  • How do I access SIS DS? I am getting an error message saying I don't have access.
  • As of 3/30/2022 you must to log into SIS DS via a campus network. Due to new security measures, certain BIA sites have limited access, including Instructional reports at https://sisds.ucdavis.edu/. To ensure security, access is now restricted to computers and mobile devices that are connected to the campus network on the UCD premises or remotely, connected to the campus network by VPN (using one of UCD’s virtual private networks, or VPNs). For instructions on connecting to the Campus VPN, see KB0006637.
    Users can also use the Remote Desktop to access SIS DS, when not on campus or on VPN. Just open a new tab on the browser with the DESII application and navigate to https://sisds.ucdavis.edu/. Note that you won't be able to save or print reports to your computer this way.

  • How can I run historical reports? I want to see how courses looked in past years.
  • Use the SIS DS report 424, Course Activity report. Choose the year(s) and subject codes you want, then run it to see official data from past years or terms. Note that these reports are available to all current UC Davis faculty and staff, unlike the preliminary DESII editing reports (restricted to DESII editors, since the data is not yet official).