From Electrical Engineering TA Handbook
Course Management Software (CourseWork)
Stanford's university-wide CourseWork system is the preferred choice for online class management software in the EE Department. New features and upgrades are regularly added by Stanford IT, and continuous help and support is available throughout the whole year via HelpSU. More information about how to set up your course web site can be found at http://courses.stanford.edu
If you would like to use the CCNet software to manage your course web site, please fill out the CCNet Course Set-Up Form at ccnet.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/setup.cgi. If you need additional assistance, please contact Catherine Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need the following information to set-up the course
- Your Information (first and last name, email address, you position in the course). Please note you will be able to add more users once you log-in.
- Course Coordinator's Information (first and last name, email address)
- Course Information (course code: EE101A, course name, course description, webpage, and start date)
- Additional Information (optional)
The main features of CCNet include:
- Managing your class list
- Managing grades
- Email list and announcements
- Class handouts
- Message Board
- Import and Export from/to a spread sheet (e.g. Excel)
- Import external web pages
- Password protected access for students and staff. CCNet is extremely user friendly.
- The server is secure and uses SSL with 128bit encryption with 1024 bit exchange. There are automatic backups of all the files everyday. There EE Dept. also keeps a 30-day history of all the important databases. An alternative to CCNet is the university Web software system Coursework, which is described at https://coursework.stanford.edu/portal. The CCNet system has proved to be the more popular within the School of Engineering and it physically resides on School computing facilities.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Until a more permanent solution can be created, all EE departmental CA evaluations are linked to CCNet. Even though the department is encouraging course staff not to use CCNet, you may be required to create an account in CCNet to be evaluated as an EE Course Assistant. CCNet accounts can be created at https://ccnet.stanford.edu/home/.
Newsgroups are a good way to get information out to the entire class. Newsgroups are an effective way to keep all information for a course in one place for the entire quarter. Announcements, HW changes/hints, etc. can be posted to the newsgroup by the TA. Students can use the newsgroup to post questions. For those of you who have never used a newsgroup, we recommend that you learn how to do so for the course you will be TAing.
To read a newsgroup you can use programs like rn, trn or tin. Trn and tin are probably the best programs to use. Once you get a leland account just type "rn", "trn" or "tin" and it begins the news reading program. From here you can go to different newsgroups to read or post messages. The newsgroup for the class you are TAing probably exists already and should be named "su.class.eeXXX."
If the newsgroup does not exist, you will have to request that one be created. Go to the following web page: http://courses.stanford.edu. From here you will be able to request that a newsgroup be created for your class.
While newsgroups are a powerful way to get information out to the entire class, I would recommend using an email list as the primary means of communication with the class. Students seem to check their email very often and do not have to think about making a special trip to the newsgroups to get information.
The University will maintain an email list for you, you do not have to enter every email address by hand into your own system. There is a list server provided by the University. To get more information go to http://mailman.stanford.edu. After that you should have all of the information you need for starting and maintaining a new list.
Using email lists and newsgroups together
The EE Department recommends sending important messages to both your course email list and newsgroup. While this is not necessary, it will allow students to get important messages right away through email and allow them to go back and look at previous announcements in the newsgroup.
Sending important messages to both places is relatively simple. If you are posting a message to a newsgroup, simply CC: the email list. If you are emailing, you can CC: su.class.EEXXX@news. Either way will allow you to send to both places simultaneously.
The directory for your EE class will most likely be in the following location: /afs/ir/class/eeXXX, and it will appear to the outside world as http://www.stanford.edu/class/eeXXX. If it isn't already ready for you to use, you will need to ask your professor to give you permission on the directory, visit http://courses.stanford.edu for more information. This web site will also help if the directory doesn't exist, the disk quota is too small, etc. Web pages can also be set up using the EE software EEclass or CCNet course management software described next.