Content Management on a Class Website

Overview

The class website is an extension of the teacher’s classroom instruction. It provides a space in which teachers can make available additional resources and facilitate communication between themselves, their students, and parents. There are four content areas which can be created and added to the class website per class section:

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Resources (files)
  • Discussions

All content areas, except pages, appear in the class website Timeline.

Veracross provides a loose framework for understanding content that can be utilized on the class website, but the teacher works with each content building tool to transform it in to something meaningful for their classroom experience.

Posts

Posts are quick announcements or messages intended to communicate brief and often time-sensitive information to students and parents. Examples of posts include notification of coming exams, announcement of a class field trip, change in classroom meeting location, etc.

There are two kinds of posts a teacher can add to their website: quick post and full post. The type of content reflected in each type of post is largely the same, but each type of post has different editing and publishing options depending on how quickly the teacher would like to add this content to their website. Each type of post is added from the Timeline tab on the class website management section in the Teacher Portal.

Quick Post

A quick post is a short announcement to students in the class. When teachers add the quick post, they have the option to add a title, the content, and decide whether the post applies to all class sections or not. As soon as the “Publish” button is selected, the post will be available on the Posts tab and in the Timeline where students and parents can click on the title of the post to view the full content.

Once a quick post is added to the class website it cannot be edited. The teacher only has the option to remove it from displaying on the website if he/she no longer wants it visible.

Full Post

A full post is a longer version of a quick announcement that allows more flexibility in content building and editing. A full post is added from the Timeline tab in the class website management section. Enter a title first for the post, this is how it will appear in the Timeline, and then click “Continue to Editor.” The post is then launched into the Composer Editor where the teacher can add various structured content such as a headers, formatted text, images, embedded videos, buttons, and more.

Learn more about how to create and edit content using the Composer Editor.

Publishing Posts

A quick post is immediately published to the class website when added. To add a full post teachers must select “Publish” once all the content has been added. Teachers can decide whether they would like to display the post to just the class section they are currently working on or additional sections of the course to which it could apply. Published posts may be edited by selecting the “edit” option under the post entry in the timeline. Both quick posts and new posts may also be entirely deleted from the website by clicking the “remove” button in the Timeline.

Full Post Notifications

At the time a full post is published teachers also have the option of notifying faculty, parents, and/or students that a new post is available on the class website. From the publish window, teachers can select which combination of constituents they would like to notify and when the “send and publish” button is selected an email notification will automatically be sent to the additional teachers, parents of students enrolled in the class, and/or students enrolled in the class. This will help all constituents stay informed about new content and allow teachers to quickly manage notifications all at the time the post is published. If the teacher does not want to send a notification email, simply leave all the constituent boxes unselected.

Pages

Pages are longer messages to students or parents intended to communicate non-time specific information about the class that will not change throughout its duration. Examples of pages might include a class outline, class syllabus, unit descriptions, and more.

New pages are added by clicking on the “+ New Page” button in the upper left corner of the Page tab. Enter a title first for the page, this is how it will appear in the timeline and in the “All Pages” list, then click “Continue to Editor.” The newly created page is then launched into the Composer Editor where the teacher can add various structured content such as a headers, formatted text, images, embedded videos, buttons, and more. Once a page is added it can be in one of two states: published or draft.

Published

Published pages appear at the top of the Pages tab in the class website management section of the Teacher Portal. When a page is published, the flag in the upper right corner turns green indicating it is available on the class website and the date is was published on will appear in place of the “publish” button.

Draft

Draft pages are only available to the teacher for editing purposes. Draft pages appear at the bottom of the Pages tab. The flag in the upper right corner will remain grey until published. To continue work on the draft page teachers can either click on the title of the page to be launched into the Composer Editor or select the gear icon in the lower left to see all page options and select “Edit.”

Publishing Pages

Pages are unpublished until a teacher decides they are ready to be made available on the class website. Pages are published by selecting the “publish” option in the editor window or by selecting the “publish” quick link on the page tile under the Drafts section on the Page tab. Teachers can decide whether they would like to make the page available to multiple sections within the course, or only for one particular class section. After a page is published, additional viewing and editing options will be made available from the gear icon in the lower right corner of the published page tile. At any time the published page can be unpublished or removed entirely from this set of options. Published pages may also be set as the default homepage. Learn more about setting a homepage.




Sort Pages

Published pages appear on the class website in the “All Pages” column. Teachers have the option to control the order of pages within this column from the Pages tab. Click on the “Sort Pages” button in the upper right of the published page section to view a list of all pages. Teachers can drag and drop pages to any order they would like and then click “save” when they are satisfied with the new order.

Class Resources

Each class website has a Resources tab from which all relevant resources can be attached to topics. Topics are broad categories into which resources are organized. Examples of topics may include class units, projects, areas of study within the class, etc. A teacher can add as many topics as they would like. Topics are added by entering the name of the topic in the “Add New Topic” field and selecting the green “Add New Topic” button. All topics with at least one resource attached will be displayed to students and parents on the class website.

Resources can be assigned for use on the class website in two ways: directly from the file uploader in the Resource Library or attached from the Resource tab on the class website.

Resource Library

When resources are added to a collection in the Resource Library a section to display on the class website is available on the file uploader. This allows teachers to select all classes in which the resource should be used. Resources are assigned to class website per class and topic. Topics must be set up first before a resource can be assigned to a class website.

In the “Display on Class Website” section of the file uploader all classes the teacher instructs are listed. The teacher can select where the resource should be used per class section and topic. This will automatically apply the resource to the class website when it is attached to a collection in the Resource Library.

Existing resources in the Library can also be attached to class websites. Open the collection and select the pencil icon next to the resource. This opens the same file upload window, but as an edit screen. Teachers can modify class website display options from this screen and save the changes when finished.

Resource Tab

Resources may also be added during from the class website Resource tab. For each topic, teachers have the option of selecting a resource from the Resource Library or uploading a new file.

  • Select a Resource: Selecting the “select a resource” button will open the file uploader screen for the Resource Library. Teachers can click into any collection, select a resource, select finish and attach it to the class website topic.
  • Upload Files: Files can also be uploaded directly to the class website by selecting the “upload files” option. This opens the file upload window. Files uploaded for use on a class website are attached first to a collection in the Resource Library and then added to the class website.

Discussions

Discussions are online communication forums created and initiated by a teacher. Any student enrolled in the class section in which the discussion has been enabled can contribute by commenting from the Discussion section on the class website. Discussions can be enabled for one class section or open to all sections within the course.

Discussions are added from the “New” tool bar on the Discussion tab on the class website. Each discussion is centered around a topic, which teachers can add when the discussion is created. Students view this discussion topic on the class website and have the option to write their own comment. Teachers can review all comments made by students on the Discussion tab on the class website. As students write their comments, the number indicator in the active discussion lists will reflect the total number of comments so far.

Managing Discussions

A discussion is in draft stage until the teacher decides they are ready to open it for student comments. The discussion forum will be immediately available to students once the status is set to “Open.” Teachers can select a date in which they would like the forum to close automatically using the “Stop Allowing Comments On” date picker. The discussion forum will close at 11:59pm on the date selected. All closed discussions will still be visible to students on the class website, but they will no longer be able to add to the discussion. Once a forum has been closed, teachers should set the status to “Archived.” This status retains student comments for future review, but removes it from the discussion list for students.

Learn more about managing discussions on class websites.