Using the iLearn Class Management System - GTA/SCI instructors - 8/21 & 8/22, 2008

Academic Technologies: up for iLearn workshops/open labs
iLearn Quick Guides:
Faculty Help:
Combining sections into 1 section:
iLearn Faculty Checklist - Beginning of semester:

Goals for today:

Accessing your iLearn homepage
Navigating an iLearn course
Use Administration features in an iLearn course
Create a structure for your iLearn course (topic or week)
Manage resources via the File Cabinet

Two sample iLearn class web pages:
Biol 355 Genetics
Biol 861 Graduate Seminar

Note:  The red text and the URLs justified on the right side of this web page direct you to alternate archived links, if the iLearn system is not available.  Note that these archived files show the "old" iLearn format, and there are differences between last year's iLearn and the current updated iLearn format.
1. Accessing your iLearn homepage
To log in to iLearn:

iLearn web site:  
Your SFSU ID and PAC are required
If you are registered as an External User, click the "External Users Log In Here link" on the first link, and enter your Username and Password.

Click on this link to view the iLearn entry page

2. After you log-in to iLearn, you will see your iLearn Homepage
Click on this link to view Sally's iLearn Homepage

Note that all of your classes are listed on the left block.  You may need to select "See all my iLearn courses" and then select the "Fall 2008" tab to view your classes.
•the blue colored links are "available" classes, the grey links are "not available" classes.
•This availability means:  availability to the students.

We are going to set up the structure of a class "BIOL 0699-33 SPECIAL STUDY IN BIOLOGY Fall 2008" 

3. When you click on the name of the class you will open the iLearn Course web page for that course

Click on this link to view the Biol 699 iLearn Course web page
Note the "blocks" on the left:  Participants, Administration, My iLearn Courses
Note the blocks on the right:  Contact iLearn, Latest News, and Quickmail (Beta)
Note in the center:  the header and 17 boxes under "topic outline"
Note on the right, a box labeled "turn editing on"
Note on the right, a choice box labeled "Switch role to" - this lets you view the page as the instructor/teacher and as a student.

4. To begin editing your course web page:
Click on the "turn editing on" button (you can turn editing off by clicking on the button again)

If you click the "turn editing on" button, you will see the next screen:
Note the appearance of new editing features:
•the central boxes now have an editing icon, an "add a resource" toggle, and an "add an activity" toggle
•the "blocks" toggle box appears on the right
•additional editing icons have appeared in the blocks on the left

5. To modify the settings for your class:
Select the "settings" icon in the Administration block (on the left) and you will come to the next screen:

When you select the settings icon, you will see the next screen:
•Note the "formats" box which allows you to toggle:  social, topics, and weekly formats
Below this, you have the option for setting up the number of weeks or topics
We will select 16 topics for this class
•IMPORTANT:  Note the "Availability" box which allows you to make the class "available" or "not available" to the students
when you are ready to make the page available to your students, you must remember to come back here to the settings page and make the course available to students--otherwise, the students will not have access to the class

After saving the changes, you will return to the course web page and view the changes that were made:

After this change, you would see the next screen:
Note that there are now 16 boxes in the central section.

6. To add or edit the Teachers for your class:
Select the "Assign Roles" icon in the Administration block (on the left).  In the table, select in the Roles column:  Teacher

The previous iLearn format showed this as next screen:
Here you can search for other instructors by name and add them as a teacher.  If you wish to give a TA or grader access to the web site so they can upload grades or monitor a discussion forum, you can do this on this page.  Type in the name of the individual in the box below the Potential Users box and click on the Search button.  You can search by name or by e-mail address.  When the names appears in the Potential Users box, highlight the individual's name and click on the Add button.

7. To add or edit Students to your class:
Select the "Assign Roles" icon in the Administration block (on the left).  In the table, select in the Roles column:  Student

The previous iLearn format showed this as next screen:

Type the name of the student you wish to add in the search box:  Carmen Domingo
You can search by first name or last name, but you will get all students with the search name

Highlight the student name and select the arrow to add the student to your class:

When you return to the Students list, you should now see the student added to your class:

Note:  you can also delete a student from your class list...However, they don't seem to stay off your list, if they are still enrolled in your class...

8. If you click on Participants (left block), you will view all Participants (Teachers and Students) enrolled in your class.  If you click on a Participant's photo, you will view the individual's Profile

If you click on your own Profile, you are able to edit your own Profile

You can provide different information here for all students to view, and you can post your image.
One important thing to keep track of here (and you should remind your students about this):
"Email digest type"--recommend selection of "complete (daily e-mail with full posts)" option
Otherwise, you will receive an e-mail every time a student posts any comments to the class iLearn page (if you have discussion forums in progress).
You can also view the Profile for each of your "students"

9. Creating folders in your File Drawer
If you plan on posting handouts, lecture slides, exam keys, you can make direct links to the these documents so that the student clicks on the link and will download the document (pdf, jpeg, Word file, Excel spreadsheet...) to their computer.  However, you need to upload the document to the iLearn server.  You keep these documents "filed" in your "file drawer" for your class. 
Select the "Files" icon in the Administration block (on the left) and click on "Make a folder"

The previous iLearn format showed this as next screen:

This page shows the File folders in your Files drawer--there are two file folders here "Images" and "Lecture Slides" (I created these previously).
From here, you can add more folders OR you can upload a file to a folder.

Let's create a Folder first by clicking on "Make a folder"

Type in "Exams" in the box and click "Create" and you will now see an Exams folder added to the other two folders.

10. To edit the Topic boxes
Now, the "topic 0" box on the top of the middle section is the "header" for your class.  Typically, you can put basic course information in this section.  If you click on the "writing hand" or editing icon you will open up box where you can add text and graphics for the topic 0 box:

You can add the course information, include images, insert links, use different types of color or font.
When you SAVE THE CHANGES, you will see the course web page containing the new header

You can edit the Title of each Topic box--in this case, I am labeling each Topic as a Week in the semester.

11. To communicate with your students:
Option 1. Setting up a Class Announcements or News Forum
One method of communicating with your students is to use a Forum that allows you to broadcast to students and even e-mail them documents.  The header box (Topic 0) has a News Forum that you can use for class announcements.  All students will receive this announcement.  But let's see how to set up the equivalent of this news forum "from scratch."

In the Topic 0 box, use the Add an activity box and toggle to Forum:

Note that you need to name the forum, select the type of forum, and indicate whether students can post to the forum.  The point of this forum is for you to broadcast class announcements to the students.  You should select:
Forum Type: Standard Forum for General Use
Force the students to be subscribed
Can a student post to this forum:  No Discussion, no replies
In addition, you should not allow ratings for the post.
For all activities, you have the option to "show" the activity to student.  This is different from your Settings box "availability." In the activity box, you can create the activity, but choose to hide the activity until you are ready to show it.  The Settings box toggle for availability means the whole course page is available (or not available).

When you return to the class web page:
you will see the Class Announcements forum added to the header.
When you wish to make an announcement, you can click on "Class Announcements" and you will see a button to "add a new topic"

Then you click on the button:  Add a new discussion topic, and you will see a box for writing out your message.
You can add an attachment on the bottom of the page.
Note that this class announcement/news forum is useful because all announcements are retained and students can go back and review announcements.
The announcement is not made the moment you generate the announcement.  If a recipient is set for a Complete Digest--the announcement is typically received in the afternoon.

To communicate with students
Option 2.  Quickmail.  You can also communicate with the whole class, or a subset of students, by generating a similiar announcement that is sent immediately by e-mail.

When you click on the Quickmail block "Compose E-mail" (on right) you will see two boxes to list selected recipients on the left and potential recipients on the right.

You select the recipients and add them all or individually, using the arrows in the middle.

Then you write your message, attach any attachments, and click "Send E-mail" at the bottom.
You will receive an e-mail confirming that your e-mail has been sent to the students.
Note:  The e-mail is sent immediately - there is no delay that may occur with the forum.  However, other than this confirmation e-mail, you will have no record of the e-mail message on your iLearn page.  When you use the class announcements/news forum to communicate, the message is archived and students can review the announcements.

12. Posting documents on iLearn for students to download
To upload a document for the students to download, I am going to upload a journal article for the class to read during Week 1.
To add a file, select the "Add a resource" box and toggle to "Link to a file or website"

Name:  name the file (this is the name that will be seen on the iLearn page)
Summary:  whatever you write here will not appear on the iLearn page - I usually leave this blank.
Choose or Upload a file
If you wish to pre-load your files to the Files folder, you can click on the Files link in the Administration block and use the "upload a file" button to load all files into existing or newly created folders.  If the file is already in your iLearn class web page file drawer, you can "choose" it directly; however, if the file is on your computer and needs to be uploaded, then you will need to browse your computer and add it to the correct folder before you select it.

We will select the Lecture_Slides folder, and browse the computer to find the file to upload it to this folder.  If you do not select the folder, the file will be uploaded to the directory containing all your folders.
When the file is uploaded, you will see the file in the folder, followed by the Action options to "Choose" or "Rename" the file.

Select the file by clicking on "Choose" and you will then see the path to the uploaded file shown in the "location" box.
Note on this page that the Location shows where the uploaded file exists in the File drawer.

In addition, you have the option of selecting to show the document in the same window or in a different window (I usually select this option).
When you return to the class web page,
you will see the pdf document is now available in the Week 1 Topic box.


updated 8/20/08 sgp