Documentation

If you just started using CourseDirector we recommend to read the following guides.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Installation Guide

Pre-requisites

To be able to use CourseDirector all you need is to have Google Apps for Education, Google Apps for Business or Google Apps Standard Edition set up on your domain.
Since CourseDirector is tightly integrated with Google Apps services which become integral part of your learning environment, for proper workflow following standard Apps must be enabled in your Google domain:
  • Groups
  • Sites
  • Docs (optional)
  • Gmail (optional but highly recommended)

Additionally, before installing CourseDirector you need to enable Provisioning API which is used by CourseDirector to create new groups and reset passwords. You can do that by following those simple instructions:

  1. In Google Apps click on the Manage this domain link at the top right of the screen
  2. From the menu in the control panel select Domain settings then User settings, then make sure that Enable provisioning API is selected. Then click Save changes.

Installation Process

CourseDirector can be installed for free directly from the Google Apps Marketplace.

From the Marketplace listing click the Add it now button as shown below and follow the instructions to install.

During the install process you will be asked to grant data access to Google APIs. This is necessary for CourseDirector to be able to integrate with your Google Apps domain to provide its functionality.

Before completing the installation you will also need to do a some additional configuration. This is done by clicking on the ”Configure Application” button as part of the install process shown below.

NOTE: In all cases any data access granted will only be used as part of the applications functionality. You can revoke access at any time under ‘My Account’. cdapp.net will not have access to your password or any other personal information from your Google Apps account.
 

You will then see the screen below where you can enter the information relevant to your school or organisation. Once completed click the “Finish Setup” button to save your information.


To conclude the installation process click the “Enable Now” button. Installation is now complete, however before being ready to use there is one more step required.Go back to your Google Apps account and click on the ‘manage this domain’ link at the top right of the screen

From the menu in the control panel select ‘Domain settings’ then ‘user settings’ then make sure that ‘Enable Provisioning API’ is selected. Then click ‘save changes’

Congratulations you are now ready to start working with CourseDirector! If you have any problems with the installation process, please contact us.

Setup Guide

Adding Users to the System

After installation of Course Director (CD) the system administrator will need to add all users (staff and students) to the system. This is done by selecting the option “People” under the heading “Domain Administration” on the CD tool bar.

On the new screen that appears click the blue text “Sync from Google Apps”. The program will automatically import all user names and email addresses from your Google Apps domain into CD. (This action should be repeated every time new students or teachers are added to the Google Apps domain).

As seen above aside from name and email address there are 2 addition columns, “groups” and “private email”. See the sections “Password Reset” and “Granting Access Privileges” for an explanation of these fields.

Password Reset

The private email column is where the user’s secondary (private) email address can be entered. Whilst this is not a required field it does make life easier for administrators as whenever a user forgets his or her password CD enables this to be automatically reset and the new password is sent to the users secondary (private) email address. (Meaning there is no work required by the administrator.) If there is no secondary email address in the system then the user must contact the domain administrator and he/she will need to do a manual reset.Private emails can be bulk uploaded by selecting the blue text “Upload Private Emails”. This gives the administrator the option to upload the emails from a file in CSV format. The CSV file should contain a header row and two columns, “apps_email, private_email” with the users school email and private email listed below these headings.
Private emails can be added and also updated/edited manually by clicking on the students school email address and entering
the private email in the box that appears as shown below.
Once private emails are entered click here for instructions on how to set up the password reset function.

The groups column indicates the access level for each user. Initially this column will be empty as all users are by default set to the lowest access level which is that of a student. The only exception to this is for users who are domain administrators within Google apps. During the synchronisation process CD automatically grants administrative rights to these users. Otherwise the administrator can give increased access to each user by selecting one of the checkboxes and then clicking “Apply Changes” as shown above. When a user is given increased access an icon indicating their new level will appear in the groups column.

Within CD there are 4 access levels:

 Domain Admin. Has access to the full menu.

 Courses Manager. Can manage/add/edit courses and people but does not have access to the Domain Options. Teacher. Teacher or faculty member. They have access to and can edit only the courses they teach. (Cannot create new courses)       Student. They can access only the courses for which they are registered. They cannot edit the course site but they can view and download any posted materials.Now that you have successfully added your users and assigned access privileges you are ready to start creating your own courses.
If for any reason you were unable to load your users into the system please contact us on support@cloudsourcesolutions.com

Managing Features

On installation all CourseDirector features are automatically enabled, however there may be instances where you may want to disable various functionality that you do not wish to use. To do this you simply click on Domain Options on the main menu. If you then scroll down to the bottom of you page you will see a list of features with check boxes that can be either enabled or disabled by clicking the checkbox. Once you have selected the features you want enabled click the Save Settings button to implement your changes.

Creating Student Groups

One additional thing you may want to do to make using CourseDirector even more efficient is to create some student groups. When students are assigned to groups such as those who will share a several common core classes together or all students who are in the same year then teachers and administrators can save time by assigning these groups to courses as a single unit rather than as individuals. To learn how to create student groups please click here.

Create Courses

How do I create courses?

Only the domain administrator can create courses. This is done by clicking the “Add Course” button which appears directly on the administrators home page as well as on the course listing page which is accessed by clicking the “Courses” option from the main menu.

After taking either one of the above actions you will be sent to the course creation page where you will be asked to enter various information about the course you wish to create as shown below. (All fields marked “*” are compulsory.)

Important note: As seen below it is necessary to assign a teacher to each new course created. If you have just started using CourseDirector you may not yet have granted any of your users teacher priveleges. This can be done quickly by clicking “People” from the main menu then checking the boxes next to the names of those who are actually teachers. Once selected click the box “Grant Permission” at the bottom of the screen. When you return to the create new course screen you will see the names of all teachers in thedrop down list.

 

For the fields “Semester” and “Teacher” click on the relevant button to enable selection from a drop down list. When you assign a teacher this person will then have the ability to manage the course site, which includes adding course information, notes, assignments, etc… plus adding/removing students from the course. When you click the cursor in the “Course end date” field a calendar automatically appears where you can select the required date.

When you have entered your course information click the “Create Course” button to allow CourseDirector to go ahead and create your new course.

What are “Assistant Groups” and how do I use them?

Initially when a course is created only the assigned teacher (and the System administrator) can edit the site. (ie. Add text, upload documents or add students, etc…) However by using the “Assistant Groups” function you can assign additional people the authority to manage a course site. For example a teaching assistant, departmental head or another teacher.To utilise this function you must first create an “Assistant Group”. To learn how to do this click here. When an “Assistant Group” is created it will appear on the list as shown above and you can simply click the check box next to the group name to enable the group to help manage this course.

 

Adding Students to the Course

Once you have entered your basic course information and clicked the “Create Course” button you will be taken through to the next screen which enables you to now add students to your course as shown below.

Students can be added by the administrator, the teacher or assistant groups assigned to the course. (So if as the administrator you do not want to add students right away you can leave this step for the teacher or assistant group member to complete later.)

Students can be added in a 3 ways, individually, as groups or via bulk import.

Adding Students Individually.

To add an individual students click on the student name shown in the left column and then clicking the right arrow button shifts them from the left column to the right. (All names in the right hand column will be added to the course.) When all students are added click “Apply Changes” to save your selection.

In the case that the list of student names is long and the one you want to add is not easy to immediately see you can begin typing the name in the text box under to the heading “Quick Search” As you begin to type, student names are eliminated from the list if they do not match the typed letters. As seen below after entering the initial letters “DE” all student names that do not begin with “De” are eliminated from the list. You can keep entering letters until the student you are looking for is easily found. Then as above click on the student name to highlight and then the right arrow to transfer to the course.

 

Adding Student Groups.

CourseDirector enables administrators to create groups of students that can then be added to courses as a single unit. To see a list of student groups click the tab “Assign groups of students to the course”. You will now see a list of student groups which you can add to your course by selecting and using the right arrow button in the same manner as for individual students. (To learn how to create student groups please click here.)

 

Bulk Import of Students

Finally as you can see in all the above figures there is a blue link called “Bulk import of Students.” This enables you to enter all students for the course in one go. However to do this you will need the list of student email addresses in a spreadsheet or some electronic format that can be converted to a .csv file. Further instructions are available when you click on the “Bulk import of Students” link directly in the CourseDirector application.

 

The Next Step

When all students are added and you have clicked the “Apply Changes” button to save your settings. Your course is now successfully created and you will be taken to the course details page from which you can operate and manage your course. (Including create your course website.) For full instructions on how to create your course website please click here.

 

 

Create Sites

How to Create Sites in CourseDirector

When you create a new course you are automatically directed to the course details page as shown below. Initially as you can see next to the heading “Site:” is written “not available” which means that a website for this course has not yet been created. To create a course website simply click the blue link “create new”

In the event that a course website was not created right from the start teachers, administrators and assistant groups can still create a site at any time. To do so if you are a teacher or member of an assistant group you can simply move or hover the cursor over the course name as it appears on your home page. Automatically your options for this course will appear as dark blue links. If a site does not already exist for the course you can click on the link “Create Site”. Administrators can create sites by clicking the option “Courses” from the main menu to display a list of all courses. They can then select a and create a site again by hovering the cursor over the course and clicking “Create Site”.

After choosing the option to “create site” you will now be asked to select a template for your course from a list as shown below.

You may now select one of the available templates. On initial set up you will have a limited selection (blank site, one preloaded template we have created and custom url) however your administrator can add extra template designs we have available by installing via the settings menu. Click here to learn how to install additional templates. 

If you select “blank site” then as the name indicates CourseDirector through Google Sites will create a blank site that you can then develop as you wish. (This is recomended only for those with previous experience of working with sites within Google Apps.)You will note in the example above there is a template named “1234 Recruitment, Summer”. This is a site created for a course that already exists and by using this as a template you can copy exactly that site. This is very useful in cases where the same course is taught every semester. Instead of creating a new website each time the old one can be reused. Over time as your school adds more courses and course websites to CourseDirector there will be more and more such templates to choose from.

Finaly you can insert a custom url if you already have an alternative site that you would like to use as a template.

After selecting your prefered option click “Create Site” to continue.  Your course website will now be created and you will see as shown below that next to the label “Site:” is the web link to the newly created site.

You can now access the new site by clicking on the link. Additionally the course site can be accessed from your home page or in the case of administrators from the courses page by again hovering over the course name so that your options appear. You will now notice that since you just created the site the option “Create Site” is now no longer available and has been replaced by the option “Course Site”. By clicking this option you will automatically be taken to the new course site.

When you click through to the new site for the first time it will look similar to the one shown below.

This is the blank template from which you can start creating your courses web page. To add text, to the page, for example a welcome message and introduction to the course click the “Edit Page” button at the top right of your screen. To add announcements, assignments or course materials click on the blue links either in the side menu or directly on the page.

For information on editing your site or changing the layout see the following web links;
http://www.google.com/support/pages/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide…
and http://www.google.com/support/pages/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=14991

Course Calendar

What are Course Calendars?

The CourseDirector calendar function enables teachers and administrators to create a Google Calendar which is shared with all students on a particular course. They can then enter important dates, events and activities to the calendar. For example class times, assignment due dates, test dates, class excursions, etc…
Students are then able to view calendars individually or merge all course calendars into a single view showing their complete timetable plus any other key deadlines or events.

Creating a Course Calendar.

Course calendars can be created from the course details page at the same time as the course is created similarly to the way sites are created. Initially you will see on the course details page that the calendar is not available. (As shown below.) To create the course calendar click the blue “Create New” link.

If a calendar was not initially created then the option to do so is available at any future time. For teachers this can be done right from the home page or administrators can do so from the courses page. Simply hover the cursor over the name of the relevant course and a series of options appear as shown below. Simply click the option “Create Calendar”.

After making this selection you will be asked to enter the calendar name and also if you wish a short description. (The name is default set to be the same as the name of the course.) Once done click the “Create Calendar” button at the bottom of the screen.

After clicking “Create Calendar” you will now be taken back to the course details page and now you will notice there is a blue link next to the calender row. To add the calendar to your calendars list click on this link and you will be taken into Google Calendars. Here you will be asked if you would like to add this calendar. To do so click “Yes Add this Calendar” as illustrated below.
Your course calendar is now set up and ready for you to start entering class times, events, deadlines etc… For a full help guide in using Google Calendars please click here.
Once created you can access your calendars directly from your Gmail by clicking the blue calendar link at the top left of the page. Course calendars can also be accessed through CourseDirector by hovering the cursor above the course name. You will notice that the option “Create Calendar” has been replaced by the option “Calendar”. Simply click this link to open the course calendar.