Creating a Course Block Lottery

There are a two components that should be considered before you create a new Block Lottery record. Determining the following before creating a new Block Lottery record is our recommended best practice.

  • Group Access: Which group(s) of students will be participating in the lottery? Students that are participating in your lottery should be part of a group(s) that can be assigned access. While multiple groups can be assigned access, it is important to note that every student within the groups that have been assigned will have access to rank their lottery selections.
  • Elements: Elements are the things that students will be ranking. These can be Groups, Events, Long Events, or Course Sections. For the easiest workflow, you should make sure that the elements already exist within your system before creating your lottery record. Keep in mind, that events and course sections can be created in bulk via the data entry tool in the Admin Toolbar.
  • Blocks: Leo will automatically create your Blocks for a Course Block Lottery, but you should ensure all of the beginning and end dates for the course sections match up appropriately.

This article will address the components and various considerations for creating a Course Block Lottery in Leo. Leo also supports Event, Long Event, Group, and Course Lotteries. Not sure which one to to utilize? Click here to learn more about each type of Lottery and the various outcomes.

Path: Admin Toolbar > Course Management > Lotteries/Signups > Options > Add New

Create a new Course Block Lottery

  • Lottery Name: Create a name for your Course Lottery.
  • Program: Select the Program from the drop-down list.
  • Type: Select Lottery from the drop-down list.
  • Signup for: Select Course from the drop-down list.
  • Block Flag: Se the Block flag to Yes. This will enable the Block option after you save your lottery record.
  • Begin Date & Time: Select begin date.
  • End Date & Time: Select the end date.
  • Min Count: The minimum number of students required to be awarded an element before the system will award the element to anyone (e.g. A course section much have at least 6 students in order to be allowed). This field is optional. Setting it here will set it globally for all elements, although these numbers can be adjusted individually for each element.
  • Max Count: The maximum number of students that are allowed to be awarded a specific course section. This field is optional. Setting it here will set it globally for all elements, although these numbers can be adjusted individually for each element.
  • Save Record: Save the Record and then reopen it to add Elements and Group Access. When you reopen your saved Lottery, you will see more menu options at the top of the screen.
1. Elements

For a Course Block Lottery, Elements are the Courses Sections, or Rotations, that you should have already created in Leo. Students will be able to select and rank these Elements in the Lottery.

Add Lottery Elements

Choose Options > Add. This is where you can select a single Course to add to the Lottery.

NOTE: If you opt to add Courses this way, you will need to fill out this form for each Course you want to add.

  • Linked to: begin typing or double-click to get a drop-down list of items to select from.
  • Min Count: the minimum number of students required to be awarded an element before the system will award the element to anyone (if left empty, this field will default to the Min Count set on the previous screen).
  • Max Count: the maximum number of Students that can be awarded this course section(if left empty, this field will default to the Max Count set on the previous screen).
  • History: this field will show you any important information about the history of the record. This field will remain empty until the record has been finalized.

Click Save Record to save and exit this screen.

Add by Select

Choose Options > Add by Select. This screen will let you select a group of Courses based on the parameter you select from fields in this screen. The Academic and School year are required.

  • All other fields are optional and cannot be accessed until you have select an academic and school year.
  • If you select a specific Course Template then the school year will be automatically updated and hidden.
  • When you click the Select Preview button a list of the Courses will be displayed, at which time you choose to add the Courses to your Lottery/Signup.

NOTE: When you first see this screen, you will only see the Academic Year and Exclude Required fields. Once you have selected something for Academic Year, the options below it will appear. Only the Academic Year field is required.

Select Preview

After choosing Select Preview, you'll see the Course Import Preview screen. Here you can determine which course sections you want to keep in your import list, which to include, and once you have your list updated you can import these sections as Elements in your Course Lottery by choosing Options > Import Records.


  1. Import Records: Click if this is the list you want to include in the Lottery
  2. Reselect: Click if you need to further define the Courses. such as adding a date parameter.
  3. Exclude: If you want to exclude any of the Course Sections appearing in this list, click the link in the Exclude column to remove it from your import.
2. Blocks

The lottery block manager is where you can define blocks for your lottery.

A block is a group of courses that all have the same beginning and ending date. Courses with beginning and end dates that match will be automatically grouped together.

In a Block Course Lottery, each student will get one course in each block at the end of the lottery, assuming, of course, that they have picked one or more courses within a block.

The easiest way to re-name the auto-populated records (*Undefined blocks*) is to use the Auto-Block option, which will create a name for each block based on the date pair in the report. Choose Options > Auto Create Blocks.

Otherwise, you can re-name blocks manually by clicking on each *Undefined block*.

In order for a block lottery to function correctly, you cannot leave *Undefined block* as the block name. You MUST either use the, "Auto Create Blocks" function or rename them manually.

NOTE: Students will not be awarded the same course in multiple blocks. Once they have been awarded a course, other rankings for that course (regardless of block) will be ignored.

3. Group Access

After adding all of your Elements and setting up the Blocks for your Course Block Lottery, choose Options > Settings to return to the Edit Lottery Record screen. Click Group Access.

Group Access Screen

Select from the Available Groups (left hand column) to move Students to the Selected Groups (right hand column). Click the small square icon at the top-right corner of the screen to save your selection and exit the screen.

NOTE: Do NOT skip this step - if you do not select which Groups are included in this Lottery, the Lottery will be sent to every User in your system.

4. Limits

Once you have created your blocks you can optionally set limits on both:

  • the maximum number of blocks in which a student can be awarded a course section
  • the minimum number of blocks in which a student needs to be awarded a course section.

NOTE: While Leo will not award any Course sections to students that are not selected/ranked, using the Min Blocks option will assist in reporting of under-subscribed students.

The Max Blocks option will limit what is awarded to students. Be careful that you do not define so many limits that the student cannot receive the number of courses they need.

5. Reset Min/Max

Choosing Reset  Min/Max, will present you with a warning asking you if you are sure you want to reset the elements based on the defaults entered in the Lottery Record.

  • Click OK to continue.
  • Cancel to go back.

NOTE: This option will reset all the Min/Max elements to match the original Min/Max Count you originally set when creating this Lottery.

6. Save Record

Return to the Edit Lottery Record screen.

  • Make sure you click Save Record before exiting this screen.
  • This will save the Lottery record and all the settings.
  • Your Lottery will be available for students to rank their selections based on the dates entered on this screen. They will receive a notification in the Activity Bell, and can access the Lottery from that screen.