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Higher Education Canada

We're here to help. Check the list below for answers to frequently asked questions. If you can't find an answer to your question, please contact us.

Accounts, Registration, and Payment

Assignments and Grades

Technical and Miscellaneous Issues

No, you don't have to complete the assignment all at once and you don't have to go in order.

You can leave an assignment at any point and come back later to continue working where you left off (just make sure you finish before the due date). You can also skip around in the assignment as much as you want. Your current answer will save when you click Check Answer. If your assignment does not have a Check Answer button, your answers will save when you click Next, Previous, or otherwise navigate to another question.

For more information about the learning environment, see learning environment.

If you forgot (or never knew) your username or password, first try requesting a new password.

  1. Go to this form.
  2. Enter your email or your username (there is no need to enter both) and click OK.
  3. If nothing happens when you click OK, then the info you entered is not in our system. If you are sure you already have an account, try again with a different username or email address.
  4. Once you’ve entered the correct username or email, you will be taken to a confirmation page where you can click Continue.
    An email should have been sent to your address at *****@gmail.com. It contains easy instructions to confirm and complete this password change. If you continue to have difficulty, please visti our support center.
  5. Wait 15 minutes, and then check your email (and spam filter).
  6. Click the link in that email, then wait for a new email to arrive with your login info.


If neither of those links resolve your issue, please contact us. Do not create another account.

If you cannot log into Facebook or if the connection between Sapling and Facebook is temporarily broken (due to an update to Facebook API), you can still log in by entering your username and password. Your username is likely the email associated with your Facebook account, and your password is something that you chose during Sapling registration (not necessarily the same as your Facebook password). If you cannot remember your username and/or password, you can request them.

To request your username or password, click the Forgotten Username or Password? link near the Log in button.

Forgotten Username or Password? next to Log In button

Assuming the courses have the same cost, we can switch you over, no problem. Just contact us and indicate the course you want out of and the course you would like to be added to. Please use the email address you used to create your account, so we can verify that you are the account owner.

If the costs of the courses are different, your best bet is to register (and pay) for the second course, and request a refund for the first. Make sure you tell us which course you need a refund for.

If your class is the first in a series of classes (such as General Chemistry I), it may be eligible for a multi-course discount. When you reach the payment screen for your course, click on the All Semesters option. This will purchase the current term's course, and will also apply credit to your account to use toward a future term.

The discount only applies if you buy multiple terms up front. In other words, if you buy a single term now, you cannot receive the discount when you purchase the next course in the sequence later.

If you use a prepaid access card, it will automatically give you credit for one or multiple courses depending on the type of card you purchased.

If your credit card is not accepted,

  1. First, try creating a PayPal account. You can save your credit card info securely in PayPal, then select the PayPal option to pay for your Sapling Learning course.
  2. If that doesn't work, contact us.

It is possible that you created two accounts in the system. You have to log in using the same account you used to pay for the course. If you can't remember the username or password you used when you paid, we can help you recover them. Do not create a new account. Your payment will not be associated with the new account.

If you purchased mutli-term access last term, then you just need to apply your credit. Just be sure sure to use the same login as you did last term.

If the suggestions above don’t help, please contact us with your transaction or receipt ID.

At the beginning of each class, there is a grace period in which you can enter the course for free and do all your work. For summer courses the grace period is 7 days, and for most other courses it is 14 days. At the end of the grace period you will be prompted to pay.

Here are some possible reasons why your course is not in the list of available courses to enroll in.

Too early

Sapling Learning homework typically becomes available two weeks before the first day of class. If your first day of class is more than two weeks away, wait until then and try again.

Too late

Enrollment for Sapling Learning homework typically lasts until the last day of class. If you feel that you should still be able to enroll after the last day of class, please talk to your instructor.

Other

If it's neither too early nor too late for enrollment, your instructor may have asked us to restrict the enrollment dates to a narrower window than described above.

If none of these reasons seem applicable, please email support or talk to your instructor.

When you reach the payment page for a course, you will have the option to Use Prepaid Access Card where you can enter a code from a scratch-off card. It is not the same thing as a key code. If you don't have a scratch-off card, you can pay for your course using a credit card or Paypal.

  1. Select Use Prepaid Access Card.
  2. Enter the code from your scratch-off card. Be sure to scratch gently so that you don't obscure the underlying numbers.
  3. Click Apply.

If you have already gotten into the course via the grace period, you can enter your scratch-off code by clicking pay now at the top of your course page.

Example grace period message: You have 10 days left to pay for this course. Would you like to pay now?

You most likely had some score deductions for incorrect attempts on one or more questions. There is an explanation of the grading policies within each assignment. 

It is also possible that your instructor made the assignment worth 0 points. If your score shows as 0/0 next to the assignment name on the main course page, that means your instructor has chosen to award zero points for that assignment, regardless of how well you do. In other words, that assignment neither helps you nor hurts you because it does not count toward your overall grade.

Another possibility is that your work got mixed up with a classmate who used the same computer (e.g., in a computer lab, or your roommate used your computer, etc). Make sure you are logged in as you, and not someone else, when you complete the work. If you accidentally did the work under someone else’s login, your best bet is to explain your mistake to your instructor, and request an extension.

Some schools use an external grade book beyond what Sapling Learning uses to record your grades. Your teachers have the option of exporting those grades through a variety of settings. A mismatch or the absence of your student ID in your profile may be the cause of an overlooked grade. If necessary, you can edit your Sapling Learning profile to include your student ID.

You may also want to ask your instructor if you are in the wrong section within the Sapling Learning course site, which could cause your instructor to overlook your Sapling Learning grades.

Most likely, your timezone is set incorrectly (or theirs is). Note that changing your timezone does not change when your assignment is due, it simply changes what time is displayed to you. To update your timezone, you'll need to edit your profile.

Another possibility is that your instructor has chosen to have multiple sections share the same homework site, in which case he/she may opt to set different due times for the sections.

Permission for an extension must come from your instructor.  Your instructor must either set the extension themselves, or ask us to do so if they aren't sure how.

Let us know and we will investigate the issue. If you are indeed correct, we will fix your score.

Contact us and tell us the question number, the name of the assignment (don’t just say “the one due tomorrow”), and why you think you are right. If possible, send the URL of the page you are looking at, as well as a screenshot. It also helps to email us from the email address that is associated with your Sapling account, so that we can verify your identity.

The molecule drawing module grades connections. A very common error is to draw overlapping lines, expecting the module to know that there should be a carbon atom in the middle. Since sometimes lines overlap legitimately without the intention of adding a carbon atom at the intersection, the system is unable to guess that a carbon atom should be placed at the overlap.

If that doesn't fix your problem, check the drawing molecules help pages. If you still think the system is doing something wrong, please contact us.

Add a different atom to your molecule (any letter will do) then double-click on that atom and type H on your keyboard. If you’d like, you can email us the assignment name and question number so that we can reposition the periodic table for future students. But the “double-click and type” trick will always work.

There are different grading policies that your instructor may choose from on any given assignment. One of those options removes the Check Answer button from the page and hides your score until after the due date. If you think your instructor has set this policy by mistake, please let your instructor know, or let us know and we’ll contact your instructor.

From the instructor side, this is a result of choosing a grading policy called Test or by un-checking the Show feedback option on a custom policy.

No, you cannot print solutions. To cut down on potential cheating, solutions may only be accessed online.

If you are interested in extra practice problems, let your instructor know. We can help your instructor set up optional problem sets for the whole class, but it must be the instructor’s decision to offer that. In the meantime, one option is to print the assignment. In the printed copy, you’ll see just the questions without the answers filled in.

If you feel that the question is flawed or ambiguous, email us and we will investigate. If you simply don’t understand the material, you’ll need to consult your textbook, your instructor, or other resources outside of Sapling Learning. Sapling Learning does not offer tutoring.

Here are some things you can try.

  • Check to see if your computer's keyboard set to international settings (i.e., Not US/CA keyboard).
  • Certain virus scanners, most notably Comcast, sometimes interferes with data entry.  Try turning off your virus scanner to see if that helps.
  • Verify your Flash version. If it's already up to date, you may need to uninstall then reinstall your Flash plugin.
  • Try holding down the ALT key.
  • Check your Num Lock and CAPS lock (depending on your input issue).
  • Check the on-screen keyboard to make sure none of the virtual keys are stuck. If any keys are white on that on-screen keyboard while your hands are off the computer, then that key is stuck. Click it on the on-screen keyboard to turn it off.

    Here's how to access the on-screen keyboard.
    For PC: WindowsKey-R (or Windows button at the bottom-left of screen). Type "osk" then enter.
    For Mac: System Preferences > International Settings > Input Menu > Keyboard Viewer

If none of these work, we advise you to use the on-screen keyboard or use a different computer to input your homework answers.

Here are some things to try.

  • Make sure you are using a computer rather than a mobile device. For more info, see System Requirements.
  • See if clearing your browser cache helps.
  • Try using a different browser.
  • Next, verify your Flash version. If it's already up to date, you may need to uninstall then reinstall your Flash plugin.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Another potential cause could be your internet connection.  Check to make sure your internet access is working correctly, and perhaps try a different network.

First follow these instructions. If you still can’t print, we recommend that you try different browsers until you find the one that works best for your system. Many users report that the Chrome browser is particularly troublesome for printing Sapling Learning assignments.

In most browsers, you can type Ctrl+Shift+Del to skip straight to the cache options. Or, you can follow the steps below for your browser type.

Chrome

  1. Click the brower settings icon button in the top right corner of your browser.
  2. Choose Tools > Clear browsing data.
  3. Make sure the option to Empty the cache is checked and choose from the beginning of time from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click Clear browsing data.

Internet Explorer

  1. Click Tools in the upper right corner of the browser. This button may appear as a gear icon.
  2. Choose Internet Options.
  3. Click Delete... in the Browsing history section of the General tab.
  4. Make sure that Temporary Internet files and website files is checked.
  5. Click Delete.

Firefox

  1. Click History in the toolbar at the top.
  2. Choose Clear Recent History.
  3. Make sure the Cache box is checked (if you don’t see that option click Details) and set the timeframe to Everything.
  4. Click Clear now.

Safari

  1. Click Preferences.
  2. Choose Privacy.
  3. Click Remove all website data.

You can give one or more students a due date extension if you would like to give them additional time to finish an assignment. If you want to give the whole class more time, just change the original due date.

If you forgot to apply a custom policy, contact your TechTA, and we'll sort out whether it's possible to switch it. In general, reducing the number of attempts or increasing the attempt penalty is discouraged (because it changes the strategy students might use in answering questions), whereas removing the attempt penalty entirely is almost always fixable.

Your TechTA likely sent you registration instructions to give to your students. If you can't find them, ask your TechTA to resend them. The general instructions are here, but your course may have unique instructions, so it's better to check with your TechTA.

Of course! Email your TechTA with the full name and email of each of your teaching assistants, or any other staff members who need access to the homework. We'll give them free access to your homework site.

We have three levels of access available.

  • Student: Student-level access is best if the teaching assistant just needs to be able to view or work the homework for tutoring purposes.
  • Instructor: Instructor-level access lets your teaching assistant do everything that you can do on the course site.
  • Non-editing instructor: This role can see solutions and make changes on the Activities and Due Dates page (e.g., due date, points) but cannot edit assignment contents, the course page, or grades.

If you aren't sure which level of access your TAs need, that's OK. If you don't specify, we'll start by giving them what is most common for your discipline (student access for lower-level courses; instructor access for upper-level courses and lab courses). We can always change their access level later if you find that the default level is not meeting your needs.

 

Once you approve an assignment, you must set the assignment to "Show" or it will not appear to your students. Hidden assignments are gray on your course page (to you) and do not appear to your students. To set an assignment to show:

1. Click the name of the assignment.
2. Click the show this activity icon button in the Settings panel.

If the eye icon is open and the assignment link appears green to you, but students still say they can't see the assignment, try toggling the eye icon closed and open again. You can verify that it worked using "Switch role to student" on the main course page.

It is often handy to have a unique identifier for each student that is common between Sapling and your school's grade-reporting system. That is exactly the purpose of the idnumber field in a student's Sapling Learning profile. Some professors prefer to have student's enter their own student ID. Others prefer to add the ID's directly into Sapling via file upload. Your TechTA can help you with either of these methods.

Upload student IDs from a file

  1. Go to Course Management > Participants.
  2. Click Export roster.
  3. Enter or edit the ID numbers as needed.
  4. Click Update users via upload.
  5. Click Select a file to upload and choose the appropriate file.
  6. Click Upload.

Require students to enter their own IDs

Your TechTA can turn on this feature by request at any point during the term.

Once turned on, students who don't already have their ID in their profile will be prompted to enter it next time they visit the course, and they will be prevented from completing assignments until they enter something.

IMPORTANT: Students tend to be confused why Sapling Learning would be asking for their university ID, and so many of them enter their Sapling Learning username instead. Please announce to your students that we are indeed asking for the university ID.

As an instructor, when you view a student's work, the solutions always show up for you. Students do not see the solutions until they get the question right, they give up, or the due date passes (or as dictated by any custom assignment policy that you may have set).

That is the correct way for the system to behave after the due date passes. If the student believes this is happening prior to their due date, then the student might have the wrong time zone set in their profile. If you contact your TechTA, they can help you track down the source of the confusion.

Look at the grading policy for that assignment. You may have disabled the Check Answer button by selecting the policy called Test or by unchecking the Show feedback option on a custom policy. To change a policy after students have started working, contact your TechTA.

Here are some things to try.

  • See if clearing your browser cache helps.
  • Try using a different browser.
  • Next, verify your Flash version. If it's already up to date, you may need to uninstall then reinstall your Flash plugin.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Another potential cause could be your internet connection.  Check to make sure your internet access is working correctly, and perhaps try a different network.
  • If you are using Internet Explorer, make sure you have "Compatibility View" turned OFF. In older versions of IE, you may see an icon that looks like a ripped piece of paper next to the url bar and it will be blue if that mode is on.  Click that icon to toggle Compatibility View off/on. 

    In newer versions of IE, click Tools > Compatibility View Settings and Remove saplinglearning.com from the list if present.

If none of these tactics help, please let your TechTA know. Describe the issue in as much detail as possible, including the clicks you made to get there, and how the page responded. For example, "I clicked the submit button and the page went blank" is more descriptive than "I can't submit." Screenshots are also extremely helpful. If possible, also include information about your operating system (Mac vs. Windows 7, 8 etc.) and your browser (Chrome vs. Firefox vs. IE 8, 9 etc.).

Instructors

If you can't find the answer to your question in our online help resources, you should call or email your TechTA for help. They are there to make managing the online homework portion of your course as easy as possible. If you don't know the contact info for your TechTA, you can visit our support center which can route your question to the correct person.

Students

If your students have questions, they should visit our support center. Our support team offers high quality and fast support for your students' technical questions. Your TechTA won't be able to help your students as quickly and efficiently as the student support team can. 

As an instructor, if you are interested in getting a course set up for the current or upcoming term, please let us know by filling out this form.

A Student ID is a unique identifier assigned to you by your school. Note that your college or university may call it something else, such as netID or eID. Your Sapling Learning profile has a field called ID Number (which may contain letters and/or numbers) that is meant to hold your university Student ID. When filled in correctly, it allows your instructor to more easily transfer your homework grades to their local grade system.

At any time, you may add or edit your Student ID (also known as ID Number) by editing your profile.

Additionally, your instructor may have chosen a setting that prompts you to enter your university Student ID, if missing, when you view the course page. In these cases, you won't be able to work on the assignments until you enter your ID into the popup and click Ok. Once entered, you will not be prompted again.

 

Assignment Information section with policy information and dates. You will maximize your score by getting all questions right before the due date, but it is always beneficial to keep trying to get a question right, even after the due date.

Most assignments prevent you from entering answers after the due date. But your instructor may choose to allow late submissions on an assignment. If late submissions are allowed, you will see a note in the Assignment Information in the Resources sidebar of the activity.

Additionally, you will see an icon on the main course page next to any past-due activity that allows you to continue working.

Late submissions policy indicator next to assignment title.

Any deductions for lateness will be applied to the additional points you earn after the due date. Any points that you earned before the due date are locked in. In other words, if you are able to click Check Answer, it will never hurt your score to do so. It can only increase your score to keep trying.

Sapling Learning strives to engage students and save educators time. Toward that end, we’ve collected some recommended strategies for the implementation of Sapling Learning based on our experience supporting instructors since 2008.

Of course, these are only recommendations and we understand that one size does not fit all. You are always free to configure your homework site however you see fit, and we’re happy to assist you in managing and configuring your homework site.

Engaging Students

  • Communicate to your TechTA if there are certain sections of the textbook that you omit and/or emphasize so we can customize your chapter assignments accordingly. Then, you can confidently tell your students that the homework is an accurate representation of what will be covered on exams, which will help them see the value of working on it.
  • Treat the homework as a learning tool for students rather than strictly summative assessment. Sapling Learning excels in this capacity.
    • Don't limit attempts. The default setting for grading policies is to allow students unlimited attempts with a 5% deduction per attempt, both of which can be changed. We strongly recommend unlimited attempt because it allows the student to take full advantage of all the feedback that we have programmed into our questions.
    • Keep homework low-stakes. That is, make it worth only a small percentage of the overall course grade and keep the grading policy relatively lenient. But, do make it at least some percentage of the overall course grade (we recommend 5-10%) or else they won’t do it
    • Don't stress about cheating. Students are less incentivized to cheat on low-stakes homework, and those who do tend to fail the tests and the class. Furthermore, students should not necessarily be discouraged from working in groups because with randomization and questions pools, students end up sharing concepts and procedures instead of final answers.

Saving Educators Time

  • Avoid more than one due date per week. It's tempting to try to force students into good study habits, but you'll end up fielding more requests for extensions. We recommend one assignment per chapter, which usually works out to something due every 1.5 weeks on average.
  • Assignments with fixed content are lower-maintenance than assignments with fixed due dates. It may be tempting to say that homework is always due on a certain day of the week (e.g., "Week 1 HW"). However, that means questions need to get moved around if you don't get quite as far in lecture that week as you planned. Instead, we recommend naming the homework after its contents (e.g., "Chap 1 HW") so that the questions can remain fixed, and if you don't finish covering a topic as quickly as you expected, you just have to change the due date. If necessary, chapter assignments can be broken up into smaller chunks without fixing them to a timeline by calling them “Chap 1a”, “Chap 1b” etc.
  • Emphasize that students should contact our support center for all technical questions or issues. Your time is too valuable to be fielding these types of questions from students, so please let us share the load.

Switch role to student

To see your course page as students would see it,

  1. Expand the Switch role to... menu at the top right of the page. 
  2. Then select the Student option.
  3. Click Return to my normal role in the upper right corner to go back to instructor mode.

Important notes

  • The work you complete while in the student role will only be visible to you while in student mode.
  • To clear out any work you've done on an assignment as student, return to your normal instructor role, open the assignment, and double-click on any question to preview it. Edits made to the assignment will also clear out any work you did on that assignment while in the student role.
  • Features available to your simulated student role that are not available to real students include (1) the Return to Activity Editor button within assignments, which switches you back to instructor role and (2) the ability to open to hidden assignments via the gradebook. Real students cannot do either of those things.

To get started at Sapling Learning, you need to do two things:

1. Creating accounts.
2. Registering for courses.

Create an Account form with fields for Username, Password, Email address, Confirm email, First name, Last name, Institution, Time zone, and a checkbox to Agree to terms.1. Choose your country: US Higher Ed or Canada Higher Ed Canada Higher Ed

2. Click Create an Account.

3a. If you have a Facebook account, you can use it to quickly create a Sapling Learning account. Click Create my account through Facebook. You will be prompted to log into Facebook if you aren't already. Choose a username and password, then click Link Account.

3b. Otherwise, supply the requested information and click Create My Account. Check your email (and spam filter) for a message from Sapling Learning and click on the link provided in that email. If you don't get the email within 30 minutes, please contact us.
 

1. Log in.
Log in box
2. Look for the gray bar entitled Enroll in a new course.

3. Click on your subject to expand the menu.
"Enroll in a new course" section with "Courses at My College" and "General Chemistry" expanded, but "Semester 1" collapsed.
4. Click on the term to expand the menu further (note that Semester 1 refers to the first course in a sequence and not necessarily the first term of the school year).

5. Once the menus are fully expanded, you’ll see a link to a specific course. If this is indeed the course you’d like to register for, click the link. Otherwise, continue expanding the other menus until you locate the correct link and click it.
“Enroll in a new course” section with all subsections expanded to show course link with school, course number, term, professor, and price.
6. You may be asked to enter a Key code, which is not the same thing as an Access Card Code from a scratch-off card. The key code (if necessary) should have been provided to you by your instructor.
Key code prompt
7. Enter your zipcode and pay if necessary. 

Most courses require payment using a credit card, a PayPal account, or an Access Card Code from a scratch-off card purchased at your bookstore. In some cases, you may have additional options to enter the course for free for x days or to use your Sapling Learning credit, or to buy multiple terms for a bulk discount.

When you return from paying, you will be enrolled in your course. If your credit card is not accepted, it may help to create a PayPal account, store your credit card info there, then use the PayPal option to pay for Sapling Learning.

Once you have registered and enrolled, you can log in at any time to complete or review your homework assignments.

If you have credit on your account, you can apply it to purchase a course.

1. Click on the course where you would like to apply the credit. You may need to look in the Enroll in a new course section.
Example course link with school, course number, term, instructor, and price

2. Next you should see a page that looks like this.
Payment page with Homework Course section, with Use my credit checkbox selected
If you do not see this page, you may need to first click pay now near the top of the page.Grace period banner with pay now link and number of days left

3. Select the Use my credit checkbox, then click the USE CREDIT AND ENTER COURSE button.

Order summary with option to Enter this course for 14 days freeSince college add/drop periods often go through the first or second week of classes, Sapling offers a grace period on payment. For most courses, the grace period is 14 days from the first day of class (summer sessions may have a shorter grace period).

During the grace period, students can choose to enter the course site and complete their assignments without paying. At any point during the grace period, a student can choose to pay sooner by clicking pay now at the top of the course page.

Grace period banner with pay now link and number of days remaining.

Once the grace period ends, students who have not yet paid can still do so. Any work they had done during the free period is saved and they can resume where they left off, once they pay. Or, if they have dropped the course, they may choose to do nothing.

 

NOTE: eChecks can take several days to process. To ensure timely access to your Sapling materials, it is recommended that students who pay using eCheck do so as soon as possible.

Course navigation menu. Notice that Profile is just below Grades.From time to time, you may have to update information in your user profile. The most common reasons to do this are to update your email address, to update your timezone, or to add your student ID number.

To update your user profile, follow these instructions, or scroll down for a video.

  1. Log in.
  2. Click your name at the top-right corner of the page. Or, enter one of your courses and click Profile on the left.
    Site options at top-right of page including your name, which is a link to your profile.
  3. Click Edit profile.
    Profile page with Edit profile option.
  4. Change the information as required. You can find the "ID Number" field at the bottom by clicking Show Advanced.
  5. Click Update profile at the bottom of the page. 

Note: If you are in Arizona, please choose the "Arizona Time (MST, no DST)" setting for your timezone. This is equivalent to Mountain Time, but without daylight saving time observed.

Video

Refund Policy for Digital Product Purchases Made Online at Sapling Learning's Websites

Students who purchase access to Sapling Learning Higher Education product(s) via Sapling Learning's websites only and drop the academic course at their respective academic institution may request a refund of the price of the Sapling Learning Higher Education product(s) within two weeks of purchasing the Sapling Learning product(s).

A user who is eligible for a refund under Sapling Learning's Refund Policies for Higher Education Products should contact us and indicate the email address he/she used to enroll in Sapling Learning, the user name, the transaction ID(s), and the specific Sapling Learning course to be refunded. Payment will be refunded via the original payment method.

Refund Policy for Users Who Retake the Same Academic Course Using Sapling Learning

If a student paid for a Sapling Learning online homework Higher Education product for an academic course, and that student retakes the academic course that uses the same Sapling Learning online homework product, that user will be granted free access to the new homework product for the retake upon request to our support center. The user must relinquish access to the previous Sapling Learning homework product. If the homework product includes a Sapling Learning eBook, the student must still purchase access to that eBook for the time period of the new course.

Refund Policy for Tangible Product Purchases Made Online via Sapling Learning's Websites

Sapling Learning does not provide refunds for physical books or tangible goods purchased at Sapling Learning's websites. In the event a purchaser believes a physical book or tangible good purchased from a Sapling Learning website is defective, the purchaser may contact exchange@saplinglearning.com to arrange for a merchandise exchange. Sapling Learning will bear the cost of shipping the exchanged product to the original purchaser.

Refund Policy for Purchases Made through Third Parties

Students who purchase access to Sapling Learning Higher Education product(s) through a third party or parties (including, but not limited to, online retailers, physical retail stores such as a campus bookstore, and access codes/cards bundled with other products such as textbooks), are not entitled to a refund if they have activated the Sapling Learning access card/code(s). Purchases of Sapling Learning products through a third party are subject to the refund policy of that third party.

Refund Policy for Self-Study Products

Sapling Learning does not offer refunds for any self-study Sapling Learning product.

Refund Policy for Multi-Course Sapling Learning Access Codes/Cards

Sapling Learning does not offer refunds for unused access on multi-course Sapling Learning access codes/cards. Once an access code for a multi-course Sapling Learning online learning product is activated, the user is not entitled to a refund for any unused portion of the code. For the sake of clarity, a user who activates a multi-course Sapling Learning access code during the Fall 2013 term is not eligible for a refund for access to Sapling Learning for subsequent terms, even if the student does not take the subsequent course(s) at the academic institution.

Termination of License to Digital Sapling Learning Products

Once a refund is issued, user access and the license to Sapling Learning will terminate.

Changes to Sapling Learning Refund Policies

Sapling Learning reserves the right to alter the Sapling Learning's Refund Policies for Higher Education Products at any time at the company's sole discretion.

Grace Period Policy

Sapling Learning may, but is not obligated to, provide a grace period at the beginning of each academic term during which time higher education students may temporarily enroll in and access Sapling Learning's Higher Education online products without paying. Generally, the grace period for the Fall, Spring, and Winter terms is two weeks from the first day of the academic course. Generally, the grace period for the Summer term is one week from the first day of the academic course. Students will be prompted to pay for access to Sapling Learning at the end of the respective grace period in order to continue their access. Sapling Learning reserves the right to alter or discontinue the Grace Period Policy at any time at the Company's sole discretion. Self-Study products do not have a grace period.

At the beginning of each term for a class, there is approximately a two-week grace period, where you can enter the course for free and do all your work. At the end of the two weeks it will prompt you to pay as we find students have money at that time, have finished add/drop periods, and/or have received their financial aid by then.

Sapling Learning enables you to work at your own pace and evaluate your own answers. You can check your answers as you go, view hints, and get feedback on your answers. Some questions may provide tutorials, which are a series of questions that branch off of the main question to break a problem into smaller steps. If you have tried and are unable to answer a question, you can view a solution, which will show you the answer to the question and how you should have figured it out.

The animation below provides an introduction to the homework system. If you have a specific question about the learning environment, expand the "Learning Environment" section on the right-hand side of the the higher education help page to view additional topics to explore.

This video does not have sound.

When viewing an assignment, you can enlarge the question area using one or both of the following methods.

  • Use your browser's "Zoom" function. In most browsers, hold down the Ctrl or Cmd key and tap the + key to zoom in. Hold the Ctrl or Cmd key and tap the key to zoom out.
  • Enter Full Screen Mode by clicking the Full Screen Mode icon button near the top right of the question panel.

Assignment showing Full Screen Mode button at top right

The numeric entry module allow you to enter your numeric answers. Simply click on the module and type your answer using numbers from your keyboard.

Scientific Notation tool. The only tool provided by numeric entry modules is the option for writing an answer in scientific notation. This tool works like a scientific calculator. You can select the tool, which inserts "×10" and allows you to enter the superscript. You can also type "e", "*", or "x", which each automatically insert "×10". Note: Do not enter an equation for the answer (e.g. 1×10^5.5). Find the final answer first, and then enter it in either standard or scientific notation.

The chemical equation module gives you the tools needed to represent chemical reactions in Sapling Learning. Subscripts, superscripts, phases, and different arrow types can be written using this tool. Grading is based on the elements and compounds, including the proper use of capitalization, the correct number of atoms (expressed as stoichiometric coefficients and subscripts), and formal charges (expressed as superscripts). The order of compounds does not matter as long as they appear on the appropriate side of the equation. This tool allows you to write out chemical equations to look as much like paper homework as possible.

Tool Details

Here is a description of the tools available in the chemical equation module:

Chemical equation toolbar with input box and tool buttons.

  1. Grab/Move tool. Use this tool to move around within the module if your equation goes off the right side of the module (rarely used).
  2. Superscript tool. Select this to write formal charges ("+", "-"). Use arrow keys to move out of the superscript. You can also use the ^ key to superscript.
  3. Subscript tool. Use this tool to represent the number of atoms in a compound. Use arrow keys to move out of the subscript. You can also use the _ key to superscript.
  4. Isotope tool. Use this tool to write the proton and neutron symbols for an element.
  5. Stacked fraction tools. These tools allow you to write a fraction within the equation (rarely used).
  6. Multiplication dot tool. This tool is usually used to draw hydrated compounds (e.g. Na2HPO4•12H2O)
  7. Lowercase Greek alphabet tool. Use this tool to insert Greek letters into an equation.
  8. Uppercase Greek alphabet tool. Use this tool to insert capital Greek letters into an equation.
  9. Physical states tool. This tool can be used to insert the physical state of a compound or ion into the equation. You can also input physical states by simply typing an open parenthesis "(". The closed parenthesis ")" will automatically appear, and the phase can be typed manually.
  10. Reaction arrows tool. Use this tool to insert the appropriate reaction arrow into an equation. If you need to add reagents or symbols (e.g.) above or below the reaction arrow, simply move the cursor over or under the arrow.
  11. Reset button. Use this button (found on most modules) to reset the module to how it was when you first loaded the question. Usually, this will erase the stage, but if the question started with a partial equation, this button will reset the module to show that starting equation.

The molecule drawing module provides a canvas and tools for drawing molecules in Sapling Learning. Different atoms, bond types, stereochemistry, charges, lone electrons, and reactions can be drawn using this module. Grading is based on the atoms and connections between them,not on the orientation of the molecules, making the drawing experience as much like paper homework as possible.

Note: The drawing module is not "picky!" We don't grade bond angles or bond lengths, for example. If, after viewing the solution to a question (or eventually getting it correct), you think you were scored incorrectly, please contact us. Be sure to include the assignment name and question number, and details about what you think was scored incorrectly.

See drawing help for...

The animation below provides an introduction to drawing molecules for general chemistry.

Tool Details

The molecule drawing module has several tools. Depending on the grading mode, some of these tools may not be available on every question.

  1. Atom tool. Click to place atoms, or click-and-hold to change the type of atom being placed to something other than carbon. You can also double click an atom to change it to a different element.
  2. Bond tool. This is the default tool, and can be used for almost all drawing tasks. Click and drag to add a bond with atoms at either end. Click an existing atom and drag to add a bond from that atom. Click an existing bond to cycle between single, double, and triple bonds.
  3. Wedge and dash bond tools. Use these tools to place wedge and dash bonds for chiral molecules. If chirality is not graded, these tools are not available. See drawing molecules: chirality for more information.
  4. Charge tool. Click this tool, then click an atom on the stage to apply a superscripted charge. Type in the charge. You can also hold down + or - and click an atom to add or remove charges.
  5. Electron tools. With this tool selected, click an atom to add lonepair or radical electrons. You can also hold down ; (for lonepair electrons) or . (for radical electrons) and click an atom to add electrons.
  6. Highlighter (graded select) tool. Use this tool to select atoms or bonds in your molecules, as instructed.
  7. Select and move tool. Use this tool to move atoms or groups of atoms around the stage, or to select groups of atoms to be deleted (using the delete key).
  8. Eraser tool. Use this tool to erase atoms, bonds, electrons, or charges.
  9. Grading indicators. This section of the editor indicates grading options. Mouse-over a grading indicator to highlight any tools related to that grading mode.
  10. Reset button. Use this button (found on most modules) to reset the module to how it was when you first loaded the question. Usually, this will erase the stage, but if the question started with a partial molecule, this button will reset the module to show that starting structure.

 

Some tools are specific to the organic chemistry mode and will not appear if they are not available for a particular activity. The animation below provides an introduction to drawing molecules for organic chemistry (scroll down for more tips):

Drawing Tips

For drawing questions, there are some things to be aware of to ensure that your answers are graded properly.

Always Draw Connections

The molecule drawing module grades connections, not the visual representation of the molecule. That means you can draw your molecules in any orientation, but you must indicate all connections; you can't simply draw two overlapping lines and expect the system to know you meant for there to be a carbon atom in the middle.

To help remind you how this works, "hidden" carbon atoms are indicated with light gray dots in graded molecules. If you don't see a gray dot, the system doesn't see a carbon atom.

Hydrogen Atoms

Normally, hydrogen atoms attached to carbon atoms do not have to be shown. You may add them if you like (just be sure to add the correct number). The grading options within the drawing module will tell you if hydrogen atoms must be included on carbon atoms.

Hydrogen atoms must always be included on any non-carbon atom. A common source of mistakes is forgetting to add the hydrogen atom(s) (and/or charge) on atoms such as oxygen and nitrogen.

Incorrect molecule drawing without hydrogen on oxygen and nitrogen.

There are two ways to add hydrogen atoms to a non-carbon atom (X):

  1. Draw the X-H bond, as shown with the O-H group below, or
  2. Use the "add hydrogen atoms" button to change an X atom into an XHn group, as shown with the NH2 group below. (Note: the button may be disabled in some questions).

Correct molecules drawn with proper number of hydrogen atoms on non-carbon atoms.

Lastly, remember that implicit hydrogen atoms are optional, but if you include them you must do so correctly.

 

Some questions require you to indicate the chirality of molecules using wedge and dash bonds. The video below demonstrates the processes used to indicate chirality in molecules (scroll down for more tips):

Drawing Tips

For drawing questions, there are some things to be aware of to ensure that your answers are graded properly.

When drawing stereoisomer structures with wedge-and-dash bonds, the skinny end of the wedge bond must point towards the chirality center (asymmetric atom). Note: Our style is to always point the skinny end of dash bonds toward the chirality center. This style may differ from what you have seen in your textbook.

Also, if a chirality center contains a hydrogen atom, then the hydrogen must be drawn to ensure proper grading. In addition, the order of wedge, dash, and normal bonds around the chirality center can matter for grading.

Wedge and dash bonds must be adjacent for proper grading.

Some questions require you to add nonbonding electrons and/or mechanism arrows to molecules. The video below demonstrates the processes used to indicate electrons and arrows in molecules:

The molecule drawing module has several shortcut keys available to make drawing molecules faster and easier. Hold down any of these keys and then click an atom for the indicated action.

Key Action
- or _ Decrease the charge of the clicked atom.
For example, - and click decreases the charge on that atom to -1, then -2, etc.
= or + Increase the charge of the clicked atom.
For example, + and click increases the charge on that atom to +1, then +2, etc.
; or : Add a lone pair of electrons to the clicked atom.
. or > Add a single (radical) electron to the clicked atom.
O, N, C, P, S, F, I, R, X,
L (for Cl), B (for Br), A (for Ar)
Change element symbol.
Hold down the letter key while clicking an atom with your mouse.
delete or backspace Deletes the selected atoms and bonds (use the black arrow tool to select).
h Organic chemistry mode only: 
Add a hydrogen atom to the clicked atom, to produce species such as CH2.
shift+h Organic chemistry mode only: 
Remove a hydrogen atom from the clicked atom.

 

Other tips and tricks

  • Double-click on any atom and type the desired element symbol. This can be faster than selecting the symbol on the periodic table in the tools menu.
  • The black arrow button in the tools menu will let you select and move atoms or groups of atoms.
  • The button that looks like two red arrows will undo all your changes and reset the question to how it was originally. This can be useful if you are given a structure to modify, and you accidentally delete it.
  • If available, the ring tool is very handy for adding 5-carbon or 6-carbon rings. The red outline indicates where the new ring will be located when you click. The red outline turns black when you position it close to another ring, which indicates that the two rings will be connected.  If you press the right or left arrow key on your keyboard, the outline will rotate in 30-degree increments.
  • You can make series of connected rings, then delete a portion of the atoms to quickly create a long carbon chain. Select the atoms using the black arrow tool, then press the delete or backspace key on your keyboard.

If clicking an atom causes undesired symbols to appear (H, charges, or dots), it's because your system thinks you are holding down a shortcut key on your keyboard. The key may not look physically stuck, but tapping the appropriate key a few times usually fixes the issue.

How to fix it

  1. Tap the appropriate key a few times on your physical keyboard. For issues with H, tap the key for the letter H. For issues with charges, tap the plus (+) and minus (–) keys. For issues with dots, tap the colon (:) or period (.) key.
  2. If that doesn't help, pull up your on-screen keyboard. Make sure that none of the virtual keys appear to be pressed when your hands are off the keyboard.

    Here's how to access the on-screen keyboard.
    For PC: WindowsKey-R (or Windows button at the bottom-left of screen). Type "osk" then enter.
    For Mac: System Preferences > International Settings > Input Menu > Keyboard Viewer
     
  3. If neither of these options fix the issue, you may be able to select the necessary atoms by dragging a box around them rather than clicking directly on them.

How to remove the extraneous symbols that you already added to your answer

Once you've solved the issue so that clicking atoms no longer adds extraneous symbols, you can use the shortcut keys as intended to remove those symbols. Or, click the revert button , if available, to clear your work and return the answer module to its original state.

  • H: To decrease the number of H's, hold down shift and the H key (shift+H) while you click on the atom. Do not try to use the eraser button to remove H from a CHx group.
  • Charge: To decrease charge, hold down the minus (–) key while you click on the atom. To increase charge, hold down the plus (+) key while you click on the atom. Or, if the eraser button is available in your question, you can delete the charge.
  • Dots: Click eraser button  , if available, then click on the dots to delete them. If no eraser button is present, there's no way to remove dots. Please contact customer support to reset your question.

If you accidentally delete part of the molecule, use the revert button  to return the answer module to its original state. If the revert button is not available, neither is the eraser tool.

With the vector module, you can draw new arrows and modify or delete existing arrows.

Drawing arrows

Tools menu with "Vector" mode selected.To draw a new arrow, you must be in vector mode. You can enter this mode by clicking the purple arrow from the Tools menu that appears when you click on the diagram (you may need to scroll down to see the entire menu). The first time you click on the diagram, you will be in vector mode by default.

In this mode, you can click and drag to draw new arrows. Each time you click and hold, a new arrow will be started from that location.

Once an arrow is drawn, you cannot modify it while in vector mode.

Modifying arrows

Tools menu with "Select" mnode selected.To modify an arrow you have already drawn, you must be in select mode. You can enter this mode by clicking the black arrow from the Tools menu. If you click outside the diagram, and then click again on the diagram, you will be placed in select mode by default.

In this mode, you can modify already-drawn arrows by dragging their endpoints. You can also drag an entire arrow without changing its length or orientation. To remove an arrow, click on it somewhere between its endpoints to select it, and then press the delete key on your keyboard.

You cannot draw new arrows while in select mode.

Grading

Students are not graded on the number of significant figures in numeric answers (unless the question is specifically asking about significant figures). In general, they just need to be within a certain tolerance (usually 2%) of the correct answer. To prevent errors, they should not round off answers at each intermediate step of calculations. Instead, they should keep all the digits until the very end. When in doubt, it is better for students to keep too many digits than too few. For more information about significant figures, see Significant Figures.

Rationale

Sapling Learning has been designed for science education with a sophisticated engine for handling significant figures. Many competing systems simply round off numbers to a set number of digits, whereas Sapling Learning displays the proper number of significant figures in all solutions.

One area in which this engine excels is the handling of multistep calculations. Many textbooks recommend that students use unrounded values throughout a multistep calculation and apply significant figure rules only to the final answer. Sapling Learning does exactly this by only rounding the answer at the last step of the calculation.

Students shouldn't be concerned if their intermediate values don't match exactly what is on the screen. We want to show students proper significant figure rules at each step. However, our final answer must match the answer that students get when they perform the calculation the proper way (by carrying all significant figures until the end)—otherwise students would be scored as incorrect for following the proper procedure—so we are careful to deliver the best of both worlds. Sapling Learning rounds numbers displayed in intermediate calculations to proper significant figures, but "remembers" the unrounded number for use in the final calculation, giving the student the same answer they find if they calculate the answer as their book recommends.

Bottom Line

Your textbook may show rounding for each intermediate step, as does Sapling Learning. However, the final answer (to which a tolerance is applied and the student's answer is compared) is obtained by performing the calculation the proper way by carrying all digits throughout a calculation and then applying significant figure rules at the end.

To print an assignment:

  1. Click the activity you wish to print.
  2. If you are an instructor, click the preview button . If you are a student, skip to step 3.
  3. Click the Print button in the top bar of the assignment . If the icon is not available, your instructor has disabled printing for that assignment.
  4. Choose whether you want to Print Assignment or to Print Current Item.
  5. Follow any additional on-screen prompts (these will depend on your computer's printing settings).

Students, when you return to the site to enter your answers, be careful to match each question to what you see on screen. It is possible in some cases for your instructor to add or remove questions after you print the assignment.

Can I print solutions?

To curb cheating, we currently do not allow you to print your work or the solutions for assignments.

Troubleshooting

Printing assignments can be finicky in some browsers. If you are having trouble printing, we recommend that you try different browsers until you find the one that works best with your system.

How do I save as PDF?

In step 5 of the printing instructions above, you will be shown your computer's printer options. If you have a Mac, you may already have a print to pdf option. If you have a PC, you may need to install a pdf-making program that will insert a pdf option into your printer menu. Many free programs are available online, such as "Cute pdf".

No, it is not possible that a student submitted work that was subsequently lost. 

A student's answer is saved each time they click Check Answer within an assignment. Or, if the assignment is in test mode (which disables the Check Answer button) the student's answer is saved each time they navigate from one question to another. The timestamp of the last submitted answer is recorded and shown at the top of the assignment. As an instructor, you can see that timestamp, as well as every response the student submitted in the form of a "Correct" or "Incorrect" response tab.  If there is no timestamp and no response tabs, then the student did not submit any answers (or the assignment was purposely reset by an instructor in the course). For more information, see viewing and resetting work.

In many cases, you can check the access logs to prove that the student never even accessed the assignment prior to its due date. However, the presence of a log entry from before the due date does not prove that the student completed the assignment, only that they viewed it. The response tabs (labeled "Correct" and "Incorrect") within the student's assignment are the proof of their work. Note that the "Solution" tab is not a response tab. The "Solution" tab is always visible to the instructor and does not represent an answer submitted by the student.

If the student truly believes that they completed the assignment, they must have been logged in as someone else at the time (maybe in computer lab and they forgot to log the previous user out). If you'd like to give the student the benefit of the doubt, we suggest granting them an extension, and warn them to be careful about logging out/in when using a shared computer. 

Here are the minimum hardware and software requirements for using Sapling Learning.

Hardware

Sapling Learning assignments can be completed on PC, Mac, or Chromebook computers with

  • 1 GHz processor or faster
  • 512 MB of DDR2 RAM or more

We do not officially support Linux or any mobile device at this time.  We do offer an iPhone/iPad app for viewing due dates and receiving calendar notifications, but homework cannot be completed on a mobile device.

Software

Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10
  • Mac OS X 10.9+
  • Chrome OS 40+

Browsers

Flash Player 20.x+ is required for all browsers. Verify your Flash version here: http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player.html
Supported operating systems and browsers are given below.

  • Chrome 40+
  • Firefox 40+
  • Safari 9+
  • Internet Explorer 11+
  • Microsoft Edge 20+

 

If you use Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Moodle, or Sakai you can enable single-sign-on and grade sync with your Sapling Learning homework via LTI (learning tools interoperability). This must be configured before students enroll, and requires additional setup from your TechTA, so please let us know if you intend to use this feature.

These instructions describe how to set up www.saplinglearning.com as an approved LTI Tool Provider in Blackboard, where LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability.

Administrator Instructions

Note: These administrator steps may be unnecessary if the administrator settings are set to “Allow links to any tool provider that isn't explicitly excluded.” In this case, teachers can set up their own content links by providing a “key” and “secret”.

  1. Log in to your Blackboard account as an administrator.
  2. Select System Admin > Building Blocks > LTI Tool Providers > Register Provider Domain.




  3. Set the following properties then click Submit.
    • Provider Domain: gateway.mnv-tech.com
    • Provider Domain Status: Approved
    • Secondary Hostnames: <none>
    • Default Configuration: Set separately for each link
    • Tool Provider Custom Parameters: <none>
    • Institution Policies: Send user data only over SSL
    • User Fields to Send: Check all (Role in Course, Name, Email Address)
    • Show User Acknowledgment Message: No
  4. Click Manage Global Properties and make sure that Allow configured tool providers to post grades is set to Yes.

Instructor Instructions

  1. Navigate to your desired course and ensure that Edit Mode is set to ON.
  2. Choose the portion of your course where you would like to insert your Sapling course link. Here we've chosen Content. Then choose Build Content > Web Link
  3. Name the Web Link something that your students will recognize as the way to access their homework.
  4. Use the URL provided by your Sapling Learning TechTA.
  5. Check the checkbox for This link is to a Tool Provider.
  6. Use the key and secret provided by your Sapling Learning TechTA.
  7. If you would like to send a grade directly from your Sapling Learning course to your Blackboard course, you must set Enable Evaluation to Yes and include the number of points you would like your Sapling Learning homework to be worth.  To “Enable Evaluation” after a content item is built, click on the v next to the content item  and click Edit.
  8. Do not enter any text into the Description field.
  9. Choose Yes for the web link option Open in a New Window.
  10. Be sure to click Submit to save your changes.
  11. Send your class the instructions for student sign-up.
  12. If desired, set up grade sync within your Sapling Learning course.

To access the gradebook for a course, click on the Grades button in the Administration block on the left side of the course.

The color and style of each score tells you some information about your progress on that activity.

  • Score not available: If you have not yet opened an activity and the due date has not passed, your score shows as a dash (-). In addition, if your instructor has chosen certain grading policies, your score does not show until after the due date.
  • Assignment in progress: If you have started an activity, the due date has not passed, and you still have attempts remaining on one or more questions, your score displays in green italics. If there is a due date set, these scores are not included in totals, since they represent your score so far on that assignment. For open-ended assignments (those without any due date) green scores are included in totals.
  • Completed assignment: If you have finished all questions (by getting them correct, giving up, or running out of attempts) or the due date has passed, your score displays as a blue link. These scores are included in totals.
  • Completed assignment with attempts remaining: If the due date has passed but you still have attempts remaining on one or more questions, the score has an asterisk (*). If you feel you deserve extra time to complete this assignment, you can contact your instructor about an extension.
  • Hand-graded activities: Scores entered directly by your instructor appear in black.
  • Score hidden (instructor view only): If the score is hidden from students, it displays in gray rather than blue, green, or black.

Your instructor can customize how each assignment is graded. Within an assignment, the grading policies are listed in the Resources panel on the right side. Specifically, you will be told:

  • Whether you can check answer, and if not, when you’ll be able to see whether your answers are correct.
  • When you’ll be able to see solutions.
  • In cases where you can check answer, it also indicates how many tries you have on each question, and what the penalty is for incorrect attempts.

Here are some example grading policies.

Example grading policies

Important notes

  • Partial Credit: Each successfully answered part within a question contributes points toward your assignment score.
  • Hints: A hint is located in the bottom panel of each question. You do not lose any points for viewing the hint.
  • Tutorials: Some difficult questions contain tutorials, groups of questions to help you answer the original question. Viewing and answering the tutorial steps will not cost you any points, regardless of whether you get them correct or incorrect.
  • Significant Figures: You will not be graded on the number of significant figures in numeric answers (unless the question specifies that you must include the proper number of significant figures). In general, you just need to be within a certain tolerance (usually 2%) of the correct answer. To prevent errors, do not round off answers at each intermediate step of your calculations. Instead, keep all the digits until the very end, and even then, it is better to keep too many digits than too few. For more information about significant figures, see Significant Figures.
  • Saved Work: Within an assignment, all of your responses are saved every time you click Check Answer. If your assignment does not have a Check Answer button, your work will be saved each time you click Next, Previous, or otherwise navigate to another question.
  • Reporting to Gradebook: Your score in the gradebook is updated every time you click Check Answer. For more information, see Grades.

These instructions describe how to set up www.saplinglearning.com as an approved LTI Tool for use in your Canvas course, where LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability.

  1. From your course home page in Canvas click on Settings.
  2. Click on the Apps tab and then View App Configurations.
  3. Click on Add New App (the button may just say Add App in some versions of Canvas).
  4. Fill in the info on the Edit External Tool window and click Submit. The "Name" can be set to any non-blank value, just be sure to include a unique identifier such as course number and/or term. You will need to contact your TechTA to get the “URL”, “Shared Secret” and “Consumer Key”. The "Domain" should be: gateway.mnv-tech.com
  5. Click on Assignments.
  6. Click the + Assignment button.
  7. Set the "Assignment Name" and "Points". This will represent the overall Sapling Learning grade that shows within your Canvas course.
  8. Change the “Submission Type” to External Tool and enter a due date if required (we recommend the last day of finals).
  9. Click in box labeled External Tool URL.
  10. Select the tool you created in step 4 to auto-fill the URL. You must check the box for Load this tool in a new tab. Then click the Select button..
  11. You will be returned to the page shown in step 9. Click Save & Publish.
  12. Send your class the instructions for student sign-up.
  13. If desired, set up grade sync within your Sapling Learning course.

These instructions describe how to set up Sapling Learning as an approved LTI Tool in Desire2Learn (D2L), where LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability.

  1. From your course home page in D2L, click on Edit Course.
  2. Click on External Linking Tools.
  3. On the Manage Tool Providers tab, click on New Tool Provider. If you don’t see this option, skip to step 4.
  4. Fill in the “Launch Point” as gateway.mnv-tech.com and make sure “Allow users to use this tool provider” is checked. Then click Save. If you don’t see this option, skip to step 5.
  5. On the Manage External Learning Tool Links tab click on New Link.
  6. Give the link a meaningful “Title” for your students and insert the URL provided by your Sapling Learning TechTA.
  7. Make sure the rest of the settings match the image below and click Save. You will also need a "Key" and "Secret" provided by your Sapling Learning TechTA.
  8. Click on Content.
  9. In the desired portion of your course choose Add Existing Activities > External Learning Tools.
  10. Click on the name of the tool you created in steps 6 and 7.
  11. After inserting the link, you must Edit Properties and check the box to Open in a new window.
  12. Send your class the instructions for student sign-up.
  13. If desired, set up grade sync within your Sapling Learning course.

If your instructor has enabled single-sign-on with your school's learning management system (Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, or Moodle), use these instructions to access your Sapling Learning homework.

  1. Follow the Sapling Learning link from your instructor’s course page (Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, or Moodle). For initial registration, your Sapling Learning homework must be accessed through that link.
  2. If you already have a Sapling account, enter your username and password in the login box. If the login box is disabled, scroll down to the Create an Account portion of the page, fill in the missing info and click Create My Account.
  3. You’ve been automatically enrolled into the appropriate homework course on Sapling Learning, so the link will appear near the top of the landing page in Sapling Learning.
  4. If the course requires payment and is past the grace period, you will be required to pay before you can access the assignments.

Troubleshooting

  • If you see the following message when clicking on your Sapling Learning course, it means you need to go to your school's learning management system (Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, or Moodle) and follow the instructions above, which will automatically enroll you into the correct course.
    In order to register for this course, you will need to go through your institutions LMS.
  • If you need help, please contact us.

If the due date for an assignment has passed or you know that you will have a legitimate excuse to miss an upcoming due date, it is possible for your due date to be extended. There are two cases where this might occur:

If you had a technical issue while working on the assignment, please contact us. If it's our fault, we'll consider granting you an extension if appropriate.

For all other cases, please talk to your instructor first. Your instructor will be able to give you an extension, or they can ask us to do so if they aren't sure how (or they can take a look at due dates and due date extensions). In many cases we can't make the decision to give you the extension, so you'll have to check with your instructor.

This menu contains information on eTextbooks.

New reader (beta)

Sapling will be switching to a new eTextbook platform sometime in 2016. Instructors, if you would like to check out the new platform in its beta state, please contact your TechTA and they can insert a preview link into your course page.

If you have LTI enabled, you can sync one column of your Sapling Learning gradebook to your LMS course site.

  1. From the main Sapling Learning course page click on the Grades icon.
  2. Click on the Export tab.
  3. Click on the Grade Sync option.
  4. Choose a grade item from the dropdown menu. The overall average is probably what you want.
  5. Click Sync grade Item.
  6. Optional: if you'd like to save your selections for next time, click Save.

Important notes

  • The synced score must be out of 100 points in Sapling. For example, a score of 40/80 will be pushed as 40% not 50%. If the score you wish to sync is not out of 100 points, we recommend making another, hidden grade item that normalizes the displayed score to a percentage. For example, the student would still see 40/80 but an additional hidden score would show 50/100. Then you would sync the hidden score.  Your TechTA can configure this for you.
  • If you get an error message that reads "Error pushing grades", verify that Enable Evaluation is set to Yes in your LMS course. In Blackboard, this setting can be found by clicking on the v next to the content item  then clicking Edit

There are several ways to navigate within the eTextbook. To navigate forward or backwards in single page steps, you can use your left and right arrow keys on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can use the PREVIOUS PAGE or NEXT PAGE buttons located at the top corners of each page.
Previous page and Next page 

The numbers in the top bar represent pages of the current chapter.  The current page is highlighted. Click a page number to jump directly to that specific page. Each underlined page number corresponds to the first page of a section. Hover your mouse over an underlined page number to see the name of the section that starts on that page.
Page numbers with current page highlighted, and section number tool tip.

 The right and left pointers allow you to scroll to access additional page numbers, if present.
Right and left pointers for scrolling the page numbers list.

Click the chapter number at the far right to go to the first page of the next chapter. Similarly, click the chapter number at the far left to go to the first page of the previous chapter.

To navigate to a specific chapter, click on the arrow next to the chapter title.  This will switch the navigation bar from page mode to chapter mode. Now the numbers and/or letters represent chapters, with the current chapter highlighted in orange. Hover your mouse over any of the chapter icons to see the title of that chapter. Click a chapter number to jump to the first page of that chapter. If there are more chapters than can fit horizontally, use the right and left pointer buttons to scroll.  To return the navigation bar to page mode, click the number for the current chapter, which is highlighted in orange.

Skim option at top-right of page below the chapter number.Skim mode allows you to scan through thumbnail images of each page of the current chapter and jump to a desired page. To enter skim mode for the current chapter, click on the Skim button on the right side of the navigation bar. If you don't see this button, you may need to increase the width of your browser window. A popup will open showing thumbnail images of the pages of the current chapter, with the current page being shown in the center of the view. You may use your keyboard’s arrow keys, drag the slider bar, or use any left-right mouse scrolling functionality to scan through the thumbnail images.
 

When you find the image of the desired page, click on that thumbnail image and you will be taken directly to that page. If you would like to remain on the current page, click anywhere outside of the skim-mode popup window.

Search bar is directly under Notes, Bookmarks, HighlightsYou can search for any word or phrase contained in the book or your notes. Type a word or phrase into the search bar on the left, then press the Enter key on your keyboard. Search results are not case sensitive.

Your search results will be categorized by where they are found; Table of contents, Book text, Notes, or Highlights.

Table of Contents

If the search text is found within a chapter or section title, the search result is shown in the Table of Contents section. Clicking on Table of Contents will show all of the corresponding results below. Clicking on the text of any of the results will take you directly to the first page of that chapter or section. The search text will be highlighted in yellow on the page.

Book Text

If the search text is found anywhere in the book text, the search result is shown in the Book Text section. Click on Book Text to show all of the corresponding results below. Click on the text of any of the results to go directly to the page with the search result. The search text will be highlighted in yellow on the page.

Shared Notes and My Notes

If the search text is found in the within a note (shared or personal) it will show up in the corresponding section of the search results. Click on the text of any of the results to go directly to the page containing that note. If there is a link contained in the note (internal or external), clicking on the link in the search results box will take you to the target of that link, rather than the page containing that note.

My Highlights

If the search text is found in book text that you have highlighted, it will show up in the My Highlights section of the search results. Click on the page number of the search result to go directly to the page containing the corresponding highlight. The search term will be highlighted in yellow within your existing highlight.

Example search results listed with page number

Sample page with right-click options, the last of which is Add NoteThere are two ways to create notes in your Sapling Learning eTextbook. You can create a standalone note or you can anchor a note to an existing highlight.

To create a standalone note, right-click anywhere within the textbook page and click on the Add note option. This will bring up the Note Editor and an area where you can type your note. As you begin typing in the text area, the formatting menu will appear so that you can bold, italicize, strikethrough, superscript, subscript or make a list within your note.

To add a link to another page of the book in your book within your note, highlight the text that you would like to be clickable, and click on the Page link icon. In the subsequent popup box, enter the page number that you would like to jump to and click OK. The highlighted text will now appear blue and underlined signifying that there is a link associated with this text.

To add a link to an external resource, highlight the text that you would like to be clickable, and click on the External link icon. In the subsequent popup box, enter the url of the webpage you would like to link to and click OK. The highlighted text will now appear blue and underlined signifying that there is a link associated with this text.

When you are done editing the note, click on the Save note icon. This will save your note and collapse it into the note icon stored on the side of the page.

To create a note that is anchored to a particular highlight, right click on the highlighted text and click on the Add note icon.

To open a note, click on the note icon. This will open the text of the note.

To move a note, with the note open, click and drag on the body of the note.

To close a note, click anywhere else on the body of the page.

To edit an existing note, right click on the note icon (if the note is closed) or on the body of the note (if the note is open) and click on the Edit icon in the center of the menu.

To delete a note, right click on the note icon (if the note is closed) or on the body of the note (if the note is open) and click on the Delete icon on the right side of the menu.

Add/Remove Bookmark icon adjacent to the Next Page button in the top-right corner fo the reading pane.Each time you access the eTextbook, it opens to the page that you most recently viewed. However, if you would like quick access to another page of the eTextbook, you can bookmark that page.

To make a bookmark, you can either click on the bookmark icon  near the top-right corner of the reading pane, or you can right-click anywhere in the reading pane, and then click on the Add bookmark icon in the middle of the menu.
Right-click options, where the middle button is Add bookmark

Your bookmarks are saved in the Bookmarks section of the left pane. Each bookmark is listed with the page number as well as the date the bookmark was made.
Notes, Bookmarks, and Highlights pane, with Bookmarks tab selected. Example bookmark with page number.

Note editor with "Share this note" checkbox selected.As an instructor, you can share a note with your students. Notes that you have created or that have been shared with you show up under the Notes section in the left panel.

To share a note, first create a note as you normally would, but click on the checkbox labeled Share this note with your students. Then save the note using the save icon. The icon for this note will have red horizontal lines to indicate that it is a shared note, and the count of your Shared Notes will increment by one. This note will now also show up in each of your students’ Shared Notes sections for each course you are teaching that is using this text.

You can highlight text in your eTextbook just as you would in a physical textbook. Your highlights are saved in your copy of the book and are available to you when you log in to Sapling Learning from any device.

To make a highlight, simply click and drag over the text that you would like to highlight. Release the mouse button at the end of the text you would like highlighted. The Highlights section in the left panel should now reflect a new highlight.

To change the color of your highlight, right-click on the highlighted portion of the text and choose the new highlight color from the four choices in the menu.

To add a note to your highlight, right-click on the highlighted portion of the text and choose the Add note icon on the right side of the menu. To learn more about creating notes, refer to the Notes page.

To delete a highlight, right-click on the highlighted portion of the text and click on the Remove highlight option. Your Highlights section in the left panel should now reflect one less highlight.

The area on the left side of the eTextbook is where your notes, bookmarks, highlights are stored. To collapse the pane, click on the orange triangle at the far left. Click the orange triangle again to expand the pane.

The Notes section may contain two different types of notes. My Notes are notes that you have created. Shared notes are notes that have been shared with you by either the publisher or your instructor. Shared notes may contain links to external content or to another page in the book. Clicking on a link from a shared note will take you directly to the link location (external links will be opened in a new tab) while clicking on any of the other text from the shared note will take you to the page of the eTextbook containing the note and open the note.

The Bookmarks section lists all of the bookmarks that you have made in your eTextbook. Each bookmark is listed with the page number and the date it was created. To go to a bookmarked page, click on that row in your bookmarks list.

The Highlights section lists all of the highlights you have made. Each highlight is listed by page number and shows a selection of the characters of your highlighted text. If there is a note associated with the highlight, a colored square, corresponding to the color of the highlight, appears next to the page number of the highlight.  To navigate to the page with the highlight, click on the page number of the highlight.

When taking an assignment, you can quickly get to the relevant section of the eTextbook (if available) by expanding the eTextbook area within the Resources sidebar. This is especially useful for students when they are struggling with a particular homework question, and would like to review the reference material.

Assignment with Resources panel, Assignment Information, and eTextbook.Resources panel with eTextbook section expanded to reveal section link.

Sapling will be switching to a new eTextbook platform sometime in 2016. Instructors, if you would like to check out the new platform in its beta state, please contact your TechTA and they can insert a preview link into your course page. Below are the user help pages for the new platform.

Watch the orientation video

Start by watching a 5-minute instructor orientation video. Then, there are two main tasks you need to do as a new instructor; (1) Enable the first homework assignment and (2) tell your students to sign up.

Enable the first homework assignment

  1. Log in.
  2. Click on your course link. If you have multiple courses, they will be arranged by term and subject.
  3. Preview the first homework assignment and make any necessary edits. Or, let your TechTA know what edits you'd like them to make for you.
  4. Make the first homework assignment visible to students.
  5. Optional: You may also set an available-from date, but you still need to make the assignment visible either way.
  6. Optional: Set a due date, if applicable. Due dates are recommended in most cases, but you can always come back and set them later. You can even ask your TechTA to set dates for you if you provide the information.

Tell your students to sign up

  1. Distribute the written instructions to your students. Your TechTA sent you these via email.*
  2. Optional: Show the student orientation video in class.
  3. Optional: Refer students to the Help button on our website.

*Our sign-up process works like a typical website (such as amazon or facebook), where users create an account if they don't already have one. Most students are familiar enough with this process that they don't require any special directions. Even so, your TechTA has sent you step-by-step student instructions via email. We recommend that you paste these instructions into your syllabus, or otherwise distribute them to students.

1. To edit something on your course home page, first click Turn editing on Turn editing on button in the upper right corner.

2. Now, you’ll notice a row of icons after each activity or resource. Set of icons: move right, move, update, delete, show, no groups, copy assignment

move right icon Indent: Click to indent. Successive clicks on the right-pointing arrow will indent further. Successive clicks on the left-pointing arrow , if present, will undo the indents.
move icon Move: After clicking the move button, you will be prompted to click on a white rectangle that represents the desired position of the link. 
update icon Edit: Allows you to change settings of a resource or activity.
delete icon Delete: Deletes the activity or resource forever. There is a confirmation, but no undo.
hide iconshow icon Hide/Show: When hidden, this button will look like a closed eye lid. When shown, this button will look like an open eye . Hidden links appear grayed-out to instructors and are completely invisible to students.
No groups (click to change) iconSeparate groups (click to change) icon Group mode: This setting is only applicable to forums in courses that have groups. If you are not using forums with groups, you can ignore this button.
copy assignment icon Copy: Click this button to copy the assignment. The new copy will appear just below the original. The copy will be hidden from students and it won't have any dates set, but all other settings (points, policy, etc.) will match the original.

 

3. You’ll also see buttons at the far right side of each week/topic block.

show only this topic icon

Collapse/Expand: Click this button to collapse the page to show only that week/topic. Click again to expand back to the full page viewshow all topics icon. Note that each user can choose to collapse or expand their page. In other words, your setting does not affect anyone else’s personal setting. Tip: if a student claims they cannot see an assignment, it could be because they accidentally collapsed their page.
highlight this topic icon Highlight: This option is only available if your course is in Topics format. Click to highlight a topic block. Click again to un-highlight. In Weekly format, the current week will automatically highlight. The format can be changed by going to Settings.
hide topic iconshow topic icon Hide/Show: Click to hide the entire block and everything in it. Click again to unhide.
  Move: Drag-and-drop the block into a new position in the relative order. You may also want to change the grade column order if you do this.
move up iconmove down icon Move up/down: Click to move the block by one position in the relative order. You may also want to change the grade column order if you do this.
Delete section: Click to delete the entire block and its contents.

 

4. To get a sense of how your course page looks to students, click Switch role to student in the upper right corner.

Additional Sections

To add more sections:

  1. go to Settings
  2. increase the number of weeks/topics
  3. then click Save changes.

 

Single File and/or Link

1. On your main course page, click Turn editing on. 

2. Scroll to the block in which you want the link to appear.
3. From the Add a Resource... menu, select Link to a file or web site...
4. Give the resource a name (this will become the link text).
5. From here, you can choose to link to an external website or one of your own files.

a. External website

i. Enter the URL in the "Location" field.

ii. Then click Save and return to course.

b. File

i. Click Choose or upload a file...

ii. If you see the desired file in the list, skip to step v. Otherwise, click Upload a file at the bottom right.

iii. Click the Choose File or Browse button ( or ) and locate the file on your computer.

iv. Click Upload this file.

v. Click Choose for the desired file.

vi. Scroll down and click Save and return to course

 


The link may now be moved as needed. Note that any file you post will remain private to just the members of your course.

Managing Files and Folders

  1. Click Course Management > Files.
  2. Click Upload a file to add to your list of available files. Files added in this manner won't be linked on the course page until you add the link using the method described above.
  3. Additionally, you can create folders to which you can move existing files, or upload new files. Make a folder
      Menu options: With chosen files...Move to another folder
     

 

 

Display a Directory

This option allows you to put a link on your course page to one of your file folders within the course.

  1. On your main course page, click Turn editing on.
  2. Scroll to the block in which you want the directory (aka folder) to appear.
  3. From the Add a resource... menu, click Display a directory.
  4. Give the link a name.
  5. Choose which directory to display.
  6. Click Save and return to course.

Upload Multiple Files at Once

  1. First, make a .zip file that contains all the files that you want to upload. Highlight the files on your computer, right-click, and select the option about compressing. On a PC, the option will say Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder. On a Mac, the option will say Compress # items.
  2. On your course page in Sapling Learning, click Course Management > Files.
  3. If you'd like the new files to be grouped in a folder, Make a folder and click on it, or click on existing folder. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  4. Click Upload a file, locate the .zip file, then click Upload this file.
  5. Click Unzip, then OK.
  6. Once unzipped, you can delete the .zip file (optional).
     

Grouping students will allow you to sort your gradebook by group or extend a due date for a group.

Course Management menu with Groups option highlighted

Creating a group

  1. From your main course page, click or hover your mouse over Course Management.
  2. In the menu that appears to the right of your cursor, click Groups.
  3. Scroll down can click Create group.
  4. Specify a group name. The other settings are optional and can always be changed later.
  5. Scroll to the bottom and click Save changes.
  6. To return to the settings page, click on the name of the group, then scroll down and click Edit group settings.

Now your groups will appear as menu options in the gradebook. If this menu does not appear, contact your TechTA.
Grader report view with Separate groups menu

Populating groups

1. Click on the name of an existing group and click Add/remove users.
Groups page with an example group selected.

2. In the “Potential members” box on the right, click the name(s) of the users that you’d like to add to the group. Use shift+click or ctrl+click to select multiple users. Use the search box at the bottom to locate a particular user by name or email (or click Show all to clear your search).
Search box with example search "albert" and search results "Student Albert Einstein (0)".

3. With at least one potential member selected, click the Add button.
Potential members box with two names highlighted.

4. In the “Existing members” box on the left, click the name(s) of the users that you’d like to remove from the group.
Existing members box with a student's name highlighted

5. With at least one existing member selected, click the Remove button. Click Back to groups to return to the groups page. 

Note that a given student may be placed into multiple groups if necessary for gradebook-sorting purposes. However, to successfully apply due date extensions for all students in a group, each student must be in only one group.

The following is an advanced option for instructors who need to create many groups and/or offsets. To create a small number of groups and/or offsets, please see the standard instructions for groups.

  1. From your main course page, click Course Management > Groups.
  2. Click the Import groups button (you may need to scroll down to see it).
  3. Click Download to get the spreadsheet template.
  4. Open the spreadsheet and enter the names of the groups in column A, starting in cell A2. The names of the groups must start with a letter and be free of special characters. Do not edit the column headers in row 1. The "groupname" column is required, but the remaining columns are optional.
  5. If students have not yet enrolled in your Sapling Learning course site and you'd like them to be automatically grouped as they enroll, you can optionally fill in the "enrolmentkey" column. The keys can be any alphanumeric code with no spaces.
  6. The "description" field is optional. If included, the group descriptions will be visible only to you and any other instructors in the course.
  7. The remaining fields (also optional) specify the number of weeks, days, hours, and minutes for the available-from offsets and the due-date extensions for assignments. If set, these offsets and extensions will apply to all assignments in the course, even ones that you create in the future. Please use only integers. The weeks and days can range from 0 to 100. The hours can range from 0 to 24, and the minutes can range from 0 to 55 by fives.
    Example spreadsheet. Column A has groupnames of Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3. Column B has enrolment keys of 101, 102, and 103. Column C has desciptions of Monday lab, Tuesday lab, and Friday lab. Column D has empty cells for offset weeks. Column E has offset days of 0, 1, and 4.
  8. Save the file in .csv (comma delimited) format.
  9. Return to your browser window and click Choose file. If you don't see this option, follow steps 1-2 again.
  10. Select the file you saved in step 8.
  11. Click the Import groups button.
  12. Your course should now contain groups with names, keys, descriptions, offsets, and extensions as applicable from the file. You can verify the names by going to Course Management > Groups. To view more info or to make edits, select a group then click Edit Group Settings.
  13. If you included info in the enrolmentkey column, you'll need to announce the appropriate key code to each of your sections. Also make sure to tell your TechTA that you are using this option so they can configure the course correctly.

 

Whenever a student enters your course or clicks on a link within your course, a log entry is created. So you can find out which students accessed which activities at what times.

Viewing the access logs

1. From your main course page, click or hover your mouse over Course Management.
2. In the menu that appears to the right of your cursor, click Reports.
Course management menu with Reports option selected
3. Select the desired group, participant, date, and/or activity to focus on using the dropdown menus.  Leave the actions as All actions because the other choices don’t necessarily apply to every type of activity.  If you want to download rather than display the results, change Display on page to Download in your desired file format.
Example menu selections: All participants, All days, Homework 8, All actions, Display on page
4. Click Get these logs.

Participation report

The participation report tells you which students have viewed a particular activity and allows you to email the students who have not yet viewed it.

1. From your main course page, click or hover your mouse over Course Management.
2. In the menu that appears to the right of your cursor, click Reports.
3. Click the Participation report link.
4. Choose an activity and look-back period, and set Show only to Student. For most activities, you’ll want to set Show actions to View (the Post option only applies to forums and essays).Example options: Activity module Homework 2, Look back 3 weeks, Show only Student, Show actions View
5. Click Go.
6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Select all ‘no’. It that button doesn't appear, first click Show all x  to get all students onto a single page.

7. Choose With selected users > Add/send message.
8. Type the desired message to the students and then click Preview.
9. If the preview looks acceptable, click Send message. Otherwise click Update and return to step 8.
Example message preview: Reminder, your homework will be due soon!

The Activities and Due Dates pages lets you see and change the settings for all the activities in your course.

Available Settings

  • Name
  • Hide/Show
  • Grading Policy
  • Points Possible
  • Grade Category
  • Available From Date
  • Due Date
  • Offsets and Extensions

Example Activities and Due Dates page with Name, Actions, Grading policy, Points possible, Grade category, Available from date, Due date, offsets and extensions
A 0 in the extensions column means nobody has an extension for that assignment. Individual and group extensions are indicated with icons that have an appropriate tool tip on mouseover.

Bulk Edits

  1. In the left-most column, check the box for multiple activities
  2. Click Edit Selected Activities.
  3. Make the desired changes.
  4. Click Save.
    Example Bulk edits menu with 75 points possible selected.

 

Forums provide a location to post messages to your students. Depending on the type of forum, your students may be able to post as well.

Forum types

  • News forum: Instructors can post new topics and post replies to existing topics. Students can read but not post in the news forum. There can only be one news forum per course.
  • A single simple discussion: A single topic, all on one page. Useful for short, focused discussions.
  • Standard forum for general use: An open forum where anyone can start a new topic at any time. This is the best general-purpose forum.
  • Each person posts one discussion: Each person can post exactly one new discussion topic (everyone can reply to them though). This is useful when you want each student to start a discussion about, say, their reflections on the week's topic, and everyone else responds to these.
  • Q And A Forum: The Q & A forum requires students to post their perspectives before viewing other students' postings. After the initial posting, students can view and respond to others' postings. This feature allows equal initial posting opportunity among all students, thus encouraging original and independent thinking.

Adding a Forum

With the exception of the News forum, a forum can be added as follows.

  1. Click Turn editing on in the upper right corner of the main course page.
  2. Scroll to the desired section of the course and select Add an activity...Forum.
  3. Give the forum a name.
  4. Select a forum type (see above).
  5. Explain the purpose of the forum in the Forum introduction.
  6. The remaining settings are optional.  If you want to learn more about a setting, click the help with this topic icon next to that setting. Otherwise, you can ignore the remaining settings.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and return to course.

To add or remove the News forum, you must add or delete the Latest news block in the right side-bar of the main course page.

Subscription

If a user is "subscribed" to a forum, they will receive an email notification for each new post. Each forum has an instructor option to Force everyone to be subscribed. If you don't force, each student can choose for themselves whether to subscribe to that forum or not.

When making a post, you'll see an option to Mail now. When unchecked, the system will wait 30 minutes before emailing subscribers in case you catch a mistake you need to edit. When checked, the system will email subscribers immediately. Either way, an email of the post will be sent to all students who are subscribed to that forum.

Groups

If you are using groups in your course, you'll be able to post different messages to different groups and/or restrict students to working within their own group.

  1. First, make sure that the Group mode of the forum is set to Separate groups. You can set this option when you first create the forum, or you may edit it later. To edit an existing forum, click on it, then click Update this forum. Alternatively, click the no groups icon or separate groups iconicon next to the forum on the main course page to toggle through the options.
  2. Once configured, continue to or open the forum.
  3. To post to only one group, select the desired group from the Separate groups dropdown before adding a new topic or question. This will also restrict student replies and posts, if applicable, to their own group. To restrict the students' interaction to just their group but still allow them to see all posts for the other groups, choose Visible groups instead.
  4. Make sure that each student in your course is assigned to a group.

IMPORTANT: If you are not using groups in your course, be sure to set the Group mode to No groups.

Troubleshooting

Why can't my students make posts or replies?

  • First, make sure you are using a Forum type that allows student interaction. The News forum, for example, is limited to instructor interaction only. Some forum types allow students to reply to existing topics but they can't start new ones. Other forum types allow students to post new topics as well as reply.
  • If you are not using groups in your course, be sure to set the Group mode to No groups. You can set this option when you first create the forum, or you may edit it later. To edit an existing forum, click on it, then click Update this forum. Alternatively, click the no groups icon or separate groups iconicon next to the forum on the main course page to toggle through the options.
  • If you are using groups in your course, you may still want to set the Group mode to No groups as described above. Group options are only necessary if you want to restrict students from seeing or posting to certain topics based on their group, but otherwise just complicate the matter. For example, if the Group mode is set to Visible groups or Separate groups and you make a post to the whole forum rather than to a specific group, students will not be able to reply to it.

 

You can import activities, resources, labels, and files from any course in which you are an instructor, to any other course in which you are an instructor.

  1. Go to the course that you want to add to.
  2. Click Course Management > Import.
  3. Where it says "Courses I have taught", choose the course that you want to copy from and click Use this course.
  4. Select the components to import. It can be useful to deselect everything first by clicking None at the top.
  5. If the course you're importing from contains any files (for example, if you uploaded your syllabus) you can choose "Course files: Yes" to bring those files over with the import. The other two options regarding "Site files" and "Dates" do not do anything.
  6. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the page.
  7. Repeat step 6 three more times.

The components will be appended to the same numbered block where they appeared in the original course (as long as that block exists in the course to which they were imported). If that block does not exist (e.g., if the new course has fewer blocks than the original course) the components will be appended to the top block.

Course management menu with Particpants option selectedView Participants

  1. Go to Course Management
  2. Choose Participants

From the participants page, you can:

If a student has dropped your course, you can choose to remove them from your Sapling Learning homework site.

  1. From your main course page, click Course Management.
  2. Choose Participants.
  3. Locate the desired student and click the Remove button 
  4. Click OK to confirm the removal.
  5. If the student has already paid, they will be refunded or credited as appropriate.
     

The student's name will now appear in the Former Students section at the very bottom of the participants page. If you need to re-add the student at a later time, this is the where you can do so.

Troubleshooting

  • If you do not see a Remove button, it is likely because the end date of the course has passed. If you believe the end date has been set incorrectly or that there is a need to remove the student even after the course has ended, please contact your TechTA.
  • If you click the Remove button and nothing happens, you may have inadvertently checked a box to "Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs". To regain that functionality, try restarting your browser. That is, close all windows and tabs completely before returning to the page.

There are two ways you can email your whole class, or a subset of the class.

Method 1: Participants page

  1. Go to Course Management > Participants.
  2. If applicable, use the filters to narrow down the list to just the desired students.
    Example menu options. Show only: Student, Separate groups: MWF, Inactive for more than: not selected
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Select all. IMPORTANT: If there is more than one page of students, you'll want to click Show all x to get all students on one page before clicking Select all.
  4. From the dropdown menu that says With selected users... choose Add/send message.

Method 2: Export emails

  1. Go to Grades.
  2. Export the gradebook
  3. Copy the entire email column and paste those emails into the bcc field of your normal email program.

If you have groups enabled in your course, you can select a single group before exporting. Additionally, you can sort the spreadsheet to find a certain subset of students. For example, you could sort by ID number and grab only the emails of students who have not entered their student ID into their profile. Or, you could sort by overall grade and grab only the emails of students who are failing.

View Participants

  1. Go to Course Management
  2. Choose Participants

From the participants page, you can see all the teachers, students, TA's, etc who have access to the homework.

Sorting and Filtering

  • To sort users by a particular column, click on the column name.  For example, you can sort by ID number to easily find all students who have not entered their student ID number into their profile.
  • To narrow the participants by role (e.g., students only) choose a role from the Show only menu.
  • To narrow the participants by activity, select a time period from the Inactive for more than menu.
  • If you are using groups, you'll be able to show only a particular group using the Separate Groups or Visible Groups menu.

Exporting and Editing

  • To edit a student's name or ID number, click the pencil icon Pencil icon has tool tip on mouseover of "Edit first and last name" next to that student's info.
  • To reset a student's password, click the Reset link, type the desired new password, then click OK.
  • To download the roster, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Export roster button.
  • To make bulk edits to names or ID numbers, export the roster as described above, make the desired changes in the spreadsheet, then click Update users via upload.

You may also be interested in

Your TechTA has most likely created assignments (aka "activities") for you. If you would like, you can add activities of your own.

  1. Click the Turn editing on button in the upper right corner of your main course page.
  2. Identify the topic block in which you'd like the assignment to appear, then click Add an activity... Activity.
  3. Enter your desired assignment settings, then click Save and continue.
  4. Add questions to your assignment and make modifications using the Activity Editor. For more information, see editing activities.

Your TechTA has most likely created activities for you. To edit those activities and make them available to your students, use the Activity Editor. To edit any activity, click that activity from your main course page. See the overview video below.

What do you want to learn about?

Your TechTA has most likely made chapter assignments for you as a starting point. Here's how to view them, so that you can decide what changes, if any, need to be made.

  1. Click on the name of an activity.
  2. Skim the question titles to get a general sense of the activity. You may need to scroll down to see all the questions.
  3. To see an expanded view of a particular question, double-click on its title. Double-click again to collapse it.
  4. To preview the whole assignment as a student would see it, click the Student activity preview icon button.
  5. Use the numbers on the left side of the preview to navigate to different questions, or use the Next and Previous buttons.
  6. Click Return to the Activity Editor when finished.

Note that your attempts made in the assignment preview will be saved, even if you close the browser and return later. To refresh the assignment preview (clear out your work and update the question list), double-click on any question title as described in step 3.

Moving questions to a new assignment

  1. Copy the assignment.
  2. Remove the appropriate questions from the original.
  3. Remove the appropriate questions from the copy.

Moving questions to an existing assignment

  1. Note the unique ID numbers of the questions you wish to move.
  2. Remove those questions from the assignment.
  3. Navigate to the assignment to which you'd like to add those questions.
  4. Click the book icon to open the library.
  5. Click the magnifying glass icon to open the search options. Magnifying glass icon has tool tip on mouseover of "Search"
  6. Select the ID option to filter by ID.
  7. Enter an ID number from step 1.
  8. Add the question to the assignment.
  9. Repeat steps 7-8 for each ID from step 1.

Here is a key to all the buttons in the activity editor. In addition, most buttons have an explanation on mouse-over.

Collapsing/Expanding Panels

The book icon expands or collapses the Question Banks panel, also known as the library.

The gear icon expands or collapses the Settings panel. Only two panels can be open at one time, so if you don't see the gear icon, try collapsing the library.



Assignment Panel

  1. Create a question pool with the selected item(s)
  2. Choose columns to display
  3. Locate item in question banks
  4. Student activity preview
  5. Move item(s) down
  6. Move item(s) up
  7. Delete selected items from the assignment
  8. Undo
  9. Redo
  10. Go to gradebook
  11. Go to stats

Settings Panel

  1. Edit settings
  2. Hide/show this activity
  3. Undo
  4. Redo
  5. Save changes
  6. Cancel

Question Banks Panel (aka Library)

  1. Filter results
  2. Choose columns to display
  3. Add selected items
  4. Preview selected item
  5. Create a new question
  6. Edit selected item (only enabled for questions you created or duplicated)
  7. Duplicate selected item

Settings panel with Edit Settings button highlightedThis help document covers the Grading Policies that govern how your assignments appear and how scores are computed. For other assignment settings, see Editing Activities.

Several policy settings are available for each activity in your course. You can create custom policies to use in your course, or use one of the four built-in policy sets. You can see which policy set is active and change policy sets through the Settings panel in the Activity Editor (reached by clicking the name of an assignment). If you do not see the Settings panel, you may need to first close the library by clicking the book icon. To edit the policy for several assignments at once, use the Activities and Due Dates page.

Warning: Do not change assignment grading policies after students have already started taking the assignment. Existing work will not be regraded, while new work will be graded using the new policy. In fact, the policy menu will be disabled once students have started to prevent you from accidentally making this type of change.

Built-In Policy Sets

Five built-in policy sets are available.

  • Homework: The default policy for new activities is called Homework, and unsurprisingly, is what we recommend for standard homework assignments. This policy set gives students feedback for their incorrect answers, and allows them to see the solution when they've finished the question. This policy set also includes a built-in calculator and periodic table, and allows students to print assignments. Students are allowed unlimited attempts at Homework assignments, and lose 5% of the available points on each question for each incorrect attempt.
  • Homework (no periodic table): Same as above but removes the periodic table link from assignments. This is typically used for economics or non-science courses.
  • Practice: A few of your assignments may be set to Practice mode. Practice mode is identical to Homework mode, except there is no penalty for incorrect attempts. We recommend this policy for assignments that teach students how to use the system since some of those questions may instruct them to get things wrong.
  • Test: In Test mode, students do not receive any feedback while they take an assignment and they do not have a Check Answer button. They can move back and forth through the assignment, changing their answers as often as they like, but they do not receive any feedback or information about which questions are right or wrong until the due date passes. Students only receive credit in Test mode for their final answers, but all responses are saved.
  • Practice Test: Practice Tests are like tests, but students can submit the assignment when they finish to receive feedback immediately about their score.

Settings panel opened to reveal Policies menu options

Custom Policies

You can also define a custom policy set, by choosing Custom in the Policies menu, or simply by changing the displayed settings and clicking Save (you will then be prompted to give your new policy a name). Once you have created a custom policy, you can apply it to any future assignments simply by selecting it from the Policies menu. We recommend that you check with your TechTA before using this option to make sure you understand how these policies will work. Once your students have started to view an assignment, you will no longer be able to edit the policy.

Example custom policy with Show feedback, show periodic table, show calculator, print, guided solution, unlimited attempts, 5% deduction, and show solution after due dateIf you decide to set a custom policy, you can choose from several settings:

  • Name: Give the policy set a name, so you can find it and use it again for another assignment.
  • Show Feedback: If this option is checked, students have a Check Answer button. When unchecked,  you must set the number of attempts to "unlimited" and the percent deduction to "none" because these settings are no longer applicable in the absence of a Check Answer button.
  • Show Periodic Table: Make an interactive periodic table available through a link at the top of the assignment.
  • Show Calculator: Make a scientific calculator available through a link at the top of the assignment.
  • Print: Allow students to print the assignment to work on it offline.
  • Show Resources (if enabled for this course): Resources are helpful information, such as relevant video lectures or textbook sections.
  • Attempt Deduction for Multiple Choice: This settings only affects how multiple choice questions are graded. Choosing this option overrides the normal attempt deduction and grades more harshly depending on the number of choices. For example, with 4 choices, it will deduct 33% of the available points per attempt. In most cases, we do not recommend this setting because it does not behave properly for multiple-select questions.
  • Randomize Question Order: If this setting is on, each student will receive the assignment questions in a random order.
  • Guided Solution: Some questions have special Guided Solution tutorials, which walk students through the question. If this setting is on (recommended for multi-attempt assignments), students will receive a new version of the "main" question after completing a Guided Solution, allowing them to possibly receive full points if they can then answer the question without help.
  • Timed: Limit the time a student can spend working on an assignment, but still allow them to start the assignment any time within a larger time frame. For more info, see Timed Assignments.
  • Number of Attempts: Set how many times your students can attempt to answer each question (unlimited by default in Homework and Practice modes, 1 in Test modes). Percent deductions, feedback, and guided solutions are not compatible with single-attempt assignments. We recommend allowing at least 4 attempts.
  • Percent Deduction per Attempt: Set what percentage of their total score for that question a student will lose for each attempt (5% by default in Homework mode). Set this to "None" for practice assignments
  • Show Solution: This policy determines when students can see the solutions to questions:
    • Upon Completion of each Question: Reveal solutions when the student gets the correct answer or gives up on each question. This setting adds a Give Up & View Solution button to allow students to indicate that they wish to forfeit further attempts and see the answer to the question.
    • Upon Assignment Completion: Reveal solutions when the student completes the assignment or the due date passes, whichever comes first. Prior to the due date, a student can "complete" the assignment in one of two ways: (1) they can get all questions correct or (2) they can click the Submit button to give up on on any remaining questions. Note that once submitted, the student cannot continue to answer, even if they have an extension on the due date. If you choose to use this setting, we advise you to warn your students against clicking Submit unless they are certain they want to forfeit the ability to increase their score.
    • After Due Date: Reveal solutions to a given student when the due date passes for that student.
    • After Extended Due Date: This option takes into account that some students may have later due dates than others because of extensions, or that late submissions may be allowed. Even if the due date has passed for a particular student, they cannot view solutions until the extended due date or late submission deadline has passed for all students.

You can group questions into “pools,” which allows for even more variation from student to student. For example, you could group 5 similar questions, and each student is assigned 2 questions randomly selected from that pool.

1. Click on an activity to open the activity editor.

2. Click on a question to select it, or Ctrl+click to select multiple questions. With one or more questions selected, click the folder icon.
The folder icon has a tool tip on mouseover of "Create Question Pool with Selected Items(s)".

3. Shading now appears around the question(s). Additional questions can be dragged into or out of the shaded region.

4. Additional options are available at the top of the question pool.

  • Collapse the pool using the green triangle.
  • Edit the number of assigned questions using the Assign menu.
  • Unpool the questions.
  • Delete the pool and its questions.

 

When the due date passes, students can no longer edit their work, and solutions are revealed for incomplete items.

Set Due Dates Via the Activity Editor

  1. From the main course page, click on the assignment name to open the activity editor.
  2. In the Settings panel, click the Edit Settings icon.
  3. Click the checkbox under Due Date.
  4. Set a date, hour, and minute for the assignment to be due. You can type in a date, or choose a date by clicking the calendar.
  5. Click the Save button  to set the due date. If any of your students have already worked on the activity, there will be a slight delay as their due dates are updated.

Set Due Dates Via the Activities and Due Dates Page

  1. From the main course page, click Activities and Due Dates at the top left.
  2. For the desired activity, click the checkbox in the Due Date column.
  3. Set a date, hour, and minute for the assignment to be due. You can type in a date, or choose a date by clicking the calendar.
  4. Your changes will automatically be saved.

You may also select multiple activities using the checkboxes at the far left, then click Edit selected activities. This will allow you to set the same due date for several activities at once.

Available From Dates

An available from date is the (optional) date and time when your students can begin answering the questions in the activity. The available from checkbox is found next to the due date checkbox and functions in the same manner. If you leave the available from date blank, students can begin working on the assignment as soon as you change the visibility from hide to show.

IMPORTANT:  If you set an available from date, you must also show the activity. A hidden activity will remain hidden from students even after the available from date has passed. Therefore, we recommend that you either (1) set all your available from dates and show all the activities or (2) leave the available from dates blank, and just show each activity when you're ready for students to begin working on it.

If you need to give one or more students more time to finish an assignment, you can grant them a due-date extension. Similarly, you can open an assignment early for some students by setting an available-from offset.

To give the whole class more time, just change the main due date.
 

Set a Due-Date Extension or Available-From Offset

  1. Click Activities and Due Dates at the top-left of your course.
  2. The last two columns indicate whether any offsets or extensions are currently present using a 0 or a person icon . Click the 0 or the  icon to go to the offsets/extensions page.
  3. Make sure the assignment has an available from date and/or due date set.
  4. Click Add individual offsets or extensions to add a new offset or extension.
  5. Select one or more students from the list on the left.
  6. Choose the new available from date and/or due date from the menus at the top of the block.
  7. Click Save.

The new available from date or due date will now apply to the student(s) you chose.

Edit an Existing Offset or Extension

  1. Click available from date or due date you wish to edit.
  2. Use the menus to set a new date and time.
  3. Click the blue save icon .

Update Several Offsets or Extensions at Once

  1. Click the checkbox next to the students you wish to update.
  2. In the new row that appears ("Update Selected Users"), set the new available from date and/or due date.
  3. Click the blue save icon .

Delete an Offset or Extension

  1. Click the X next to the offset or extension.
  2. In the popup box, click OK.

Group Offsets and Extensions

If you use groups in your course, it is possible to grant offsets and/or extensions to a whole group of students. Please see group offsets and extensions.

Video

This optional video summarizes the steps listed above.

There are two types of group offsets and extensions.

  • Course-wide: Set it once and you’re done.  This works best when the difference between due times for the groups is always the same (e.g., the Tuesday section’s work is always due 1 day later than the Monday section’s work).
  • Per-assignment: This is more flexible, but takes a little longer to set up.

Setting course-wide group offsets and extensions

1. From your main course page, click or hover your mouse over Course Management.
2. In the menu that appears to the right of your cursor, click Groups.
3. Click on a group name to select it. If no groups exist, see Creating a group.
4. Scroll to the bottom and click Edit group settings.
5. Choose how much later this group’s dates should be (relative to the earliest group) by specifying the difference in weeks, days, hours and minutes.
6. Scroll to the bottom and click Save changes.

The offsets/extensions will automatically take effect for any activities that have a standard due date set, with the exception of hand-graded activities.

Setting per-assignment group offsets and extensions

Extensions/offsets for groups can be set on a per-assignment basis in the same place as you’d set extensions/offsets for individuals. Just click Add group offsets or extensions (at the bottom of the page) instead of Add individual offsets or extensions. If you don't see this option then you first need to create a group. Note that the assignment must have a standard due date set before extensions/offsets may be applied.

  1. Click Activities and Due Dates at the top-left of your course.
  2. The last two columns indicate whether any offsets or extensions are currently present using a 0 or a person icon . Click the 0 or the  icon to go to the offsets/extensions page.
  3. Make sure the assignment has an available from date and/or due date set.
  4. Click Add group offsets or extensions to add a new offset or extension.
  5. Select one or more groups from the list on the left.
  6. Choose the new available from date and/or due date from the menus at the top of the block.
  7. Click Save.

 

 

 

To accommodate students with special needs, you may wish to set up recurring due-date extensions. Use group extensions for this purpose, even if there's only one student in the special-needs group.

  1. Start by creating a group for the student or students who consistently need extra time.
  2. Then configure a course-wide extension for that group.

With timed assignments, you can limit the time a student can spend working on an assignment, but still allow them to start the assignment any time within a larger time frame. For example, you could allow the student to take a quiz whenever they want, but once they start they only have 30 minutes. You can optionally set a due date and/or an available-from date to constrain when the student can start the assignment.

How to make a timed assignment

  1. Click on the assignment to open the activity editor. If the assignment doesn't exist, you'll first need to create it.
  2. In the settings panel, click the Edit Settings button . If you don't see this option, you may need to click the book icon to collapse the library.
  3. In the Policies menu, select Custom....
  4. Give the policy a name, such as "30-min quiz".
  5. Scroll down and check the box for the Timed option.
  6. Select the desired number of hours and minutes.
  7. Verify all the other grading options and make changes as necessary. For more information see grading policies.
  8. Click the Save button .

Important notes

  • The timed assignment option is found within the grading policy. Grading policies cannot be changed once students have started working on an assignment.
  • The student will be warned that the assignment is timed when they first click on it. Their time does not start until they agree to the warning.
    Example warning to student: You are about to open a timed assignment. You have 30 minutes to complete this assignment once opened. Do you wish to proceed? Yes, begin Timed Assignment or Cancel.
  • Once a student's time starts, it cannot be paused.
  • A countdown timer displays to the student in the upper-right corner of the assignment.
    Example countdown: Time remaining 27 minutes 45 sections
  • The timer continues to count down even when the student closes the assignment.
  • You can optionally include a due date and/or an available-from date if you'd like to constrain the time frame in which a student may start the timed assignment. The student will be prevented from answering when the due date passes or when their time runs out, whichever comes first.
  • Individuals or groups can be granted extensions on the due date (if present), but not on the allotted time. To accommodate students who need extra time, you'll need to create a separate assignment for them. For more information, see accommodating extra time.
  • Keep in mind that some students may have faster internet connections than others, and that the load time for each question will count against the student's total time. Please allot plenty of time to account for these differences.
  • Keep in mind that students may have technical difficulties. Thus, we recommend using timed assignments sparingly, and only after students have had sufficient practice using the system.
  • If necessary, you can reset the assignment for a student, which clears all their work, re-randomizes values (if applicable), and resets the timer so that the student can start over completely.
  • Late penalty cannot be enabled in the same assignment as the timed feature.

Timed Assignments

The only way to give different students different amounts of time on timed assignments is to create two assignments and set a different time limit for each one.

  1. Create a copy of the timed assignment.
  2. In the new assignment, create a new grading policy with a longer duration in the Timed section.
  3. Set the Available date and Due date as needed for both assignments.
  4. For students who need extra time, offset their Available date on the original assignment to prevent them from completing it. We recommend choosing a date that is after the end of the term.
  5. For students who do not need extra time, offset their Available date on the duplicate assignment to prevent them from completing it. We recommend choosing a date that is after the end of the term.

Open the eye to make both assignments visible. The original assignment will be available to all students except the ones needing extra time. The duplicate assignment will be available only to the students needing extra time.

Note: All students will be able to see both assignments, but they can only complete one of them.

Regular Assignments

For regular (non-timed) assignments, it's easy to accommodate students with special needs using recurring extensions.

Example settings: Due 7/31, deduct 10% of the remaining possible points per day late until 8/10.For assignments that have a due date, you can enable late submissions and configure a deduction per day late.

How to allow late submissions with a penalty

  1. Click on the assignment to open the activity editor. If the assignment doesn't exist, you'll first need to create it.
  2. In the settings panel, click the Edit Settings button . If you don't see this option, you may need to click the book icon to collapse the library.
  3. Set or verify the Due Date of the assignment.
  4. Once a due date is set, you'll be able to click the checkbox for Allow late Submissions.
  5. Choose the desired percentage to deduct from any additional points earned from late answers.
  6. Choose the desired end date for late submissions. The system will auto-fill the date after which students can no longer earn points for their answers, but you are free to change it. If you choose a date that is later than the suggestion, students can continue answering for no points. A student's score cannot decrease over time or with continued attempts.

Important notes

  • If late submissions are allowed and the main due date has passed, you cannot change the due date or the deduction.
  • Granting an extension is permitted, but will NOT re-grade attempts that a student already made with the penalty.
  • If you need to change the due date and are willing to accept the consequences of the fact that it won't re-grade, you can give the whole class an extension.
  • If you often change due dates and/or grant extensions in your class, we do not recommend using this option. Instead, we recommend using this option as a substitute for granting individual extensions.
  • If a student has made attempts after the due date, the Attempts column of their assignment will show two values. For example, 3/2 in the Attempts column means that the student made three total attempts on that question, two of which were after the due date.
  • The resources panel on the right side of the assignment will indicate to the student whether late submissions are allowed, and what the penalty is per day late.
    Example resources panel with message "Late submissions allowed with 10% of the points possible deducted per day until 5/25 at 2 PM
  • After the due date has passed, the student will also be notified on the main course page if late submissions are allowed.
    Example mouseover on course page: 8% of the points possible are deducted per da if the due date is passed until 6/03
  • A timed assignment will not have the option to turn on late penalty, and vice versa.

Removing Questions

  1. Click the question (to select it). To remove multiple questions, hold down the control key and click the other questions.
  2. Click the trash icon.

Adding Questions

  1. Click the book icon to open the library .
  2. Choose a topic on the far left. The available questions will appear in the middle of the page.
  3. Click the question (to select it). To select multiple questions, hold down the control key and click the other questions.
  4. Click the Add Selected Items button , or drag the question into the list, or click the checkbox in the Use column .

Also see Finding Questions.

Rearranging Questions

To rearrange questions in the Assignment list, simply drag them up or down (or use the up/down arrow buttons after selecting a question or questions).

Under Question Banks (aka the library), you can click the column headers to arrange the list by that property. For example, you can sort the list of available questions by difficulty. Click the same header again to reverse the sorting.

Undo/Redo

To undo a change to the question list, click the undo button  at the top of the Assignment. To reapply a change you undid, click the redo button .

Settings with Question Weighting and Show Students checkboxes selected.Questions within an activity have equal weight unless you turn on the Question Weighting option.

  1. From the main course page, click on the assignment name to open the activity editor.
  2. In the Settings panel, click the Edit Settings icon . If you don't see the Settings panel, you may need to first collapse the library by clicking the book icon.
  3. Click the checkbox for Question Weighting.  Keep Show Students checked if you want your students to be able to see which questions are worth more.
  4. Save your changes.
  5. A new column, entitled Weight, now appears in the assignment.
  6. Click directly on a number in the Weight column and type to edit it.
  7. Press the Enter key on your keyboard to save.
    Assignment with Weight column and cursor typing 0.5 for a certain question's weight.

Student attempts for three questions shown with scores (100,90,80) and weights (1,3,0).Important notes

  • A student's overall score on the assignment will be the weighted average of their individual question scores. In the example shown here, this student would have an overall score of (100×1 + 90×3 + 80×0) / (1+3+0) = 92.5%
  • Avoid highlighting a weight with your mouse because you may accidentally drag the whole question. If you need to move the cursor, use the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard combined with the shift key to highlight.
  • Weights may be 0 or any positive number, including decimals.
  • A weight cannot start with a decimal point, but it can start with 0. (e.g., enter 0.5 not .5).
  • A question pool has a single entry box for weight, which applies to each question in the pool.  For different weights, unpool questions or split them into smaller pools.
  • To weight whole assignments relative to each other, use the Points Possible setting.
  • At this time, individual questions cannot be made extra credit within an assignment. Whole assignments can be made extra credit by changing the Grade Category. If you do not have an extra credit category available, talk to your TechTA or see Advanced Gradebook Settings.

Click on an assignment title to open the activity editor. Once you have the activity editor open, there are several ways to find questions to add to the assignment.

Browse by topic

  1. Click on the book icon  to open the library. 
  2. Notice on the far left that the subject of your course is already selected, and all available questions for that subject are displayed in the middle of the page.
  3. Click the + button to drill down to narrower topics. There are four hierarchical levels that we like to call taxonomy, chapter, section, and topic. 
  4. Click to highlight a taxonomy, chapter, section, or topic to display its contents (i.e., a list of questions). The number of questions available in each taxonomy, chapter, section, or topic is shown after its title.

Highlight multiple

  • Shift+click will allow you to select multiple adjacent topics, chapters, etc.
  • Ctrl+click (PC) or Cmd+click (Mac) will allow you to select or de-select multiple non-adjacent topics, chapters, etc.

Locate a topic

If there are already questions in the Assignment (the area on the far right) you may wish to browse other questions in those same topics. Here's how to quickly locate those topics within the question banks.

  1. Click on a question in the Assignment to highlight it.
  2. Click the locate button. Locate Item in Question Banks
  3. You will be taken directly to that question's topic in the Question Banks panel.

Sort

In the Question Banks panel, clicking on any of the column headers will allow you to sort the displayed questions by that attribute. For example, click Difficulty to arrange the current question list from lowest to highest difficulty. Click Difficulty again to reverse the sort order. But keep in mind that a question's difficulty must be qualified by the subject it was written for, as indicated by the Source column. Note that some columns may require you to scroll to the right to see them. You can also drag and drop columns to reorder them.

For additional columns, or to change the order of the columns, click Choose Columns to Display.

Search

Although the button is labeled as search, it is actually a filter of whatever you have already selected.

  1. Click on the book icon  to open the library. You may want to drag the center divider  to the right to make more room.
  2. Select at least one area of the Question banks panel to search within. To maximize your results, choose a whole taxonomy (the top-most hierarchical level) or Shift+click to select multiple taxonomies.
  3. Click the Search button.
  4. Choose Title, Description, or ID.
  5. If filtering by title or description, type a keyword into the box. If filtering by ID, type the ID number of the desired question into the box.

Don't forget that you can Shift+click to select multiple subjects! This will maximize your search results and is a good option to try if you are aren't finding what you're looking for. 

Search for multiple-choice questions

Single-part multiple-choice questions with five or fewer options have the phrase "i>clicker friendly" in their description. Although searching by this keyword won't find all multiple-choice questions in our system, it will find most of them.

  1. Follow steps 1-3 in the "Search" instructions above.
  2. Choose Description.
  3. Type the word clicker into the box. 

Advanced search

For more advanced filter options, click Add New Criteria .

  • Each criterion can be individually set to look at Title, Description, or ID.
  • Each criterion can be individually set set to Contain or Does not contain the search term.
  • And, you can choose whether to match All or Any of the criteria.

Find your custom questions

  1. Click on the book icon  to open the library. 
  2. Select the subject of your course, or Shift+click to select multiple subjects.
  3. Click the column header labeled Source. If you don't see a Source column, you may need to scroll to the right, or change your display options with the Choose Columns to Displaybutton.
  4. Click the Source column header again to sort in reverse alphabetical order, putting all questions with a source of "You" at the top.

Important notes

  • Questions that you wrote from scratch get placed in a topic called Your Questions (uncategorized) which is found in section 1.1 of each taxonomy. So to find that topic, click the + to open the first chapter and first section of any subject.
  • Questions that you created as copies of an existing question get placed in the same topic as the original.
  • Exception: when editing a question, you can choose its location via the Information tab. If you have done this, it may negate the first two bullets above.
  • All of your questions (whether written from scratch or copied) get labeled with "You" as the Source. So the best way to see all of your custom questions at once is to highlight an entire taxonomy and sort by Source.

Any activity that shows up as a gray link on your main course page is invisible to your students. Even if you set an available from date, your students will not be able to access these activities unless you set them to show. There are three ways to set activities to show:

From the Activity Editor

  1. Click on an assignment name to open the activity editor.
  2. Click the show icon show icon in the Settings panel, which looks like a closed eye. The icon will change to an open eye hide icon to indicate that students can see it.
  3. If you don't see the Settings panel, you may need to close the library by clicking the book icon.

From your Main Course Page

  1. Click Turn editing on at the top-right corner of your course page.
  2. Click the show iconshow iconnext to the activity, which looks like a closed eye.  The icon will change to an open eye hide icon to indicate that students can see it.

From the Activities and Due Dates page

  1. Click Activities and Due Dates.
  2. Click the show iconshow iconnext to the activity.  The icon will change to an open eye hide icon to indicate that students can see it.
  3. Or, you can use the checkboxes at the far left of the page to select multiple assignments, then click Edit selected activities to change the visibility setting.

Three settings in the activity editor affect how your students will be graded.

Grading Policy

The grading policy affects several aspects of grading, from the availability of feedback to the point deduction per attempt.

Points Possible

Points possible range from 0 (no grade) to 100 in integer steps. If you change the points possible after one or more students have already started the activity, there will be a slight delay as their scores are updated. Changing the points will properly scale any existing scores.

Grade Category

If grade categories are configured in your gradebook, you can use this menu to move the activity into one of these categories.

Name

The name of the activity appears on the main course page for both you and your students. Here are three different ways to edit the name of any activity.

  • From the activity editor, you can edit the name by clicking the Edit Settings button  in the Settings panel. Type the desired name in the field at the top, then click the Save button . If you don't see the Settings panel, you may need to first close the library by clicking the book icon .
  • From the Activities and Due Dates page, click the pencil icon next to the activity The pencil icon has a tool tip on mouseover of "Edit the name of activity".. Type the desired name, then click the Save Changes button to save your changes.
  • From the main course page, you can edit the name by clicking Turn editing on, then clicking the pencil icon next to the activity The pencil icon has a tool tip on mouseover of "Update".. Type the desired name, then scroll to the bottom and click Save and return to course.

Description

The optional description can be used to convey additional information to your students. Descriptions appear to the student in panel to the right of their question pane. Here are two different ways to edit the description of an activity.

  • From the activity editor, you can edit the name by clicking the Edit Settings button  in the Settings panel. Type the desired description, then click the Save button . If you don't see the Settings panel, you may need to first close the library by clicking the book icon.
  • From the main course page, you can edit the name by clicking Turn editing on, then clicking the pencil icon next to the activity The pencil icon has a tool tip on mouseover of "Update".. Type the desired description, then scroll to the bottom and click Save and return to course. Warning: please avoid adding images, emoticons (smileys), active links, or other special characters via this interface. They will not render properly in other views, and may cause other unintended consequences.

Navigating to the Gradebook

There are three ways to access the gradebook.

  • From your main course page, click on the Grades button.
  • From the activity editor, click the Go to Gradebook button .
  • From the student preview, you can click the Gradebook link in the upper right corner.

Using the Gradebook

The gradebook is laid out with assignments across the top and students down the left side. A green score will appear as soon a student begins work on an assignment and steadily increase as they get questions correct. When the student is finished, the score will turn blue to indicate that it is final. When the due date passes, any remaining green scores turn blue but will have an asterisk (*) indicating that the student did not complete all questions (where "complete" means either correct or given up on).

  • Click any score to see that student's performance on that activity. For more information, see Viewing and resetting work.
  • Click the name of an activity to see statistics for that activity.
  • Click the name of a student to see contact information for that student.
  • Click the checkmark The checkmark icon has a mouseover tool tip of "Grades for student name" next to a student's name to see their "user report", a summary of their grades for the whole course.

Depending on the size of your monitor and your course, some assignments may be off the right side of your gradebook. To scroll right, use the scrollbar at the bottom of the gradebook. To reorder the columns see Grade Column Order.

Categories

Your grades may be grouped into one or more categories (for example, many gradebooks have an "Ungraded" category). Each category name is followed by one of three symbols:

  • aggregates only icon to collapse the category, displaying only the summary score for that category.
  • grades only icon to expand the category, displaying all scores within that category.
  • full view icon to expand the category further, displaying all scores within that category plus the summary score for that category.

For most purposes, you can collapse your gradebook (cycling through to the aggregates only icon button) to view only the summary grade for each category, while expanding the overall category for your entire course (the category that shares a name with your course). The far-right column of your gradebook will contain the total for each student for the entire course, while the bottom row shows the overall average for each category or activity.

However, you can also view any individual student's responses to every question in an assignment by expanding the category (grades only icon button) and clicking on any individual score.

For more information on categories, see Advanced Gradebook Settings.

Viewing Scores

The color and style of each score tells you some information about that student's progress.

  • Assignment not started: If a student has not yet opened an activity and the due date has not passed, the score shows as a dash (-). You can still click through to see what the assignment will look like for that student (for example, to see what variables they have in algorithmically generated questions).
  • Assignment in progress: If a student has started an activity, the due date has not passed, and the student still has attempts remaining on one or more questions, the score displays in green italics. These scores are not included in totals, since they represent the student's score so far on that assignment.
  • Completed assignment: If a student has finished all questions (by getting them correct, giving up, or running out of attempts) or the due date has passed, the score displays in blue. Such scores are included in totals.
  • Completed assignment with attempts remaining: If the due date has passed but the student still has attempts remaining on one or more questions, the score has an asterisk (*). Giving the student an extension on the assignment will allow them to continue the assignment. Keep in mind that any available solutions become available to students when the due date passes, so students with an * have access to the solutions until you grant them an extension.

Groups

If you have groups configured in your course, you'll have a dropdown menu to display the grades of each group separately. If you do not see this dropdown menu, contact your TechTA.

Editing Scores

Any score can be edited. Click Turn editing on at the top-right corner of the gradebook, and enter the new score in place of the old score. When you have finished editing scores, click "Update" at the bottom-middle of the gradebook.

For more information, see Editing grades.

For all other types of gradebook customizations, see Grades.

Grades can be imported into and exported out of Sapling Learning. We recommend that you export grades at least once before attempting an import, to set up the file you will use for importing.

Exporting Grades

  1. Click the Export tab at the top of the gradebook.
  2. Select one of the export filetypes at the top (OpenDocument spreadsheet, Plain text file, Excel spreadsheet, or XML file). You most likely want either a Plain text file (.txt which can be changed to .csv) or an Excel spreadsheet.
  3. You will be given the option to choose what fields to export. For basic usage, leave all fields selected, and click Submit. You will be prompted to save the file.

You can import the plain text file (.txt) into any program that accepts csv files, such as Excel. Tip: Change the filename to end in .csv in Windows so that Excel will recognize the file as a comma-separated list.

Importing Grades

  1. To import grades, begin with an exported copy of your gradebook, or the participants page, or any spreadsheet that contains a unique identifier for your students (Sapling email, Sapling userID, or studentID if that info is filled in for each student in Sapling).
  2. Add a column to your spreadsheet for each activity you'd like to import grades for, and enter the score for each student in the same row as their identifier.
  3. Save the file as a comma-separated list (csv).
  4. Choose the Import tab at the top of the gradebook.
  5. Click Choose File and select your csv file. Leave everything else as-is and click Upload Grades.
  6. In the Identify user by block, choose which column from your file should match up with the unique identifier in Sapling (useremail, userid, or useridnumber*)..
  7. Scroll down to the Grade item mappings block, which shows you a list of all the column headers from your file. For any new gradebook column you wish to add, choose new gradeitem**. For any existing gradebook column that you wish to overwrite, choose the name of that gradebook column in Sapling. For everything else, leave as ignore.
  8. Scroll to the bottom and click Upload grades.

Important notes

*In the map to dropdown, userid refers to the student's Sapling id (an arbitrary number generated by Sapling), whereas useridnumber is an optional field in Sapling that may be used to store your school's student ID for that student. If you have not already asked your TechTA or your students to include their student IDs, then you cannot use useridnumber as the identifier for grade import.

**If you choose new gradeitem for a particular set of scores from your file, those scores cannot be greater than 100. If you wish for an item to have a max score above 100, you'll need to add the grade item first (see below), set the max points to be >100, then map the scores to that existing grade item during import.

Add new grade item

Here's how to make a new blank column in your gradebook without importing from a file.

  1. Click Grades on the left side of your course.
  2. Click Categories and items at the top of the gradebook.
  3. Click Add grade item at the bottom of that page.
  4. Enter the item name (which will appear as the column header) and the maximum grade (the number of points each score is out of).
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.

For more information and a video about grade items, see grades for external activities.

You can make additional columns in the Sapling Learning gradebook for activities completed outside of Sapling Learning. Scores can be entered manually, or imported from a comma-separated list (.csv file).

Add a column to the gradebook

  1. Click Grades on the left side of your course page to open the gradebook.
  2. Click Categories and items at the top of the page.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click Add grade item.
  4. Enter the Item name and the Maximum grade (i.e., points possible). You can ignore the other settings.
  5. Click Save changes.
  6. Click the View tab to return to your gradebook.
  7. To enter scores manually, click Turn editing on at the top-right of your gradebook.
  8. Type the desired scores and click Update at the bottom of the page.

This optional video illustrates the steps above (there is no sound).

Related links

You may need to change the order of the gradebook columns, especially if you have recently added a new activity or rearranged the order of existing activities.

One-click reordering

The Reorder gradebook button can be found on both the main course page and within the gradebook. Clicking this button will do a one-time sort of the gradebook items to make them match the relative order on the course page. Category assignments will not change. If you make subsequent changes to the course page order, you'll need to click Reorder gradebook again.

  • From your main course page, click the Reorder gradebook button in the top right corner. 
    If you don't see this option, you'll first need to Turn editing on.
  • From the gradebook, click the Categories and Items tab, then click Reorder gradebook.

Manual reordering

As an alternative to the automatic ordering described above, you also have the option to manually re-order the gradebook columns.

1. From your main course page, click Grades in the left navigation panel.

2. Click the Categories and Items tab at the top.

3. Locate the activity that you’d like to move and click the Move button Move icon, which looks like a pair of arrows or harpoons.

4. You will be prompted to click on a white rectangle representing the new location of the activity. Move to here

Note that your gradebook may contain categories such as Ungraded or Extra Credit. You can move whole categories or move activities in or out of categories in the same way that you’d change the order of the items, described above. For more information on grade categories, see Advanced Gradebook Settings.

You can configure the Sapling Learning gradebook to automatically drop each student’s lowest score (or lowest 2, 3, etc. scores) from their overall average.

1. From your main course page, click Grades.
2. Click the Categories and Items tab at the top.
3. Click Full View.

4. In the pink bar, type a number into either the “Drop the lowest” or “Keep the highest” field. If you type a number for both fields, the system will use only your “Drop the lowest” entry and reset your “Keep the highest” entry to 0 (ignored) upon save.

5. Scroll to the button and click Save changes, or, if your cursor is still in the the field you just typed in, you can hit Enter on your keyboard to save.

Optional: Rename the Category total

The number of dropped/kept assignments is not displayed to students anywhere. If you’d like, you can edit the label for the overall average, which will show for both you and the students. 

1. Under Grades > Categories and Items, click the pencil icon in the pink bar.
The pencil icon has a mouseover tool tip of "Edit x" where x is the category name.

2. Type in the field for “Category total name” (you may need to click Show Advanced first). 
For example, you might want to call it “HW avg (lowest 2 dropped)”.


  

For hand-graded activities, we recommend the Online essay option because it is easier to use than either of the file upload options. Online essays allow students to type an essay directly into Sapling, to which you can assign a grade. Special characters (such as Greek letters) and formatting options (such as subscripts) are available for students to use in their submission.

Create an Online Essay

  1. Click Turn Editing On at the top-right corner of your course page.
  2. Click Add an activity... then choose Online essay.

    The file upload options are also available to you, but aren't recommended in most cases.
  3. Give the essay a Name. This is what will appear to students on your main course page.
  4. In the Description, indicate what you want the students to write about.
  5. Set the available from date and due date (if applicable).
  6. You can also set whether or not you want to prevent late submissions (if not, students will be able to submit their result late, and you can see when they submitted to adjust their score). We recommend setting the Prevent late submissions option to Yes.
  7. If you would like your students to keep trying (after you give them feedback), turn on Allow resubmitting.
  8. If you would like to be alerted when students submit answers, turn on Email alert to instructors.
  9. If you would like be able to comment directly within a student's essay, turn on Comments inline. Otherwise, you will be given a separate comment area for your feedback.
  10. Most likely, the only other settings you need is to make sure Visible is set to Show (to make sure your students can see the essay assignment when its "Available from" date arrives). You may also want to set the Grade category.
  11. Click Save and return to course to save your essay assignment.

Grade an Online Essay

  1. Click the name of the essay you wish to update from your main course page.
  2. Click the link that says No attempts have been made on this activity, or View X submitted activities (where X is the number of students who have submitted a response).

Once you are on the submissions page, there are several options for how to navigate and score the submissions.

  • To Allow quick grading, check the box at the bottom of the page, then click Save preferences.
  • If quick grading is enabled, you can set grades and leave comments without leaving this page. Be sure to click the Save all my feedback button when finished.
  • To see a student's submission, click the link in the Last modified (Student) column.
  • Alternatively, click the Grade or Update link in the Status column to see the student's submission, the grading options, and a comment box all together in one window. Be sure to Save changes or Save and show next when finished. 

Essay Comments

  • Comments are always optional, but their purpose is to give the student feedback on their essay and/or justify the grade you are giving them.
  • In-line comments (i.e., annotations from the grader within the student's essay) can be enabled for an online essay at any time. When creating a new essay, choose Comment inline = Yes. To find and edit this option for an existing essay, click the pencil icon on the main course page (you will need to make sure to click Turn editing on first). Note that in-line comments are only available for online essays, not for file upload.
  • If enabled, you can make an inline comment by clicking Grade or Update within the table of student submissions, then begin typing in the top-most box. Be sure to Save changes when finished.
  • Instructor comments will show up to the student on the Grades page next to their score for that activity. If after leaving comments, you'd like to see how it looks to a particular student, click Grades > User Report, then select the student's name from the drop-down menu at the top right. To get back to your normal view of the gradebook, click Grader report.
    Example student grades view with essay feedback
  • When comments are made in-line, the comment/feedback box will show the student's entire essay plus your comments. When comments are made directly in the comments box (i.e., not in-line) the comments/feedback box will contain only the instructor's comments without the student's full essay.

Related links

  1. Click Grades on the left side of your course page to open the grade book.
    grades icon
  2. Click the Categories and Items tab at the top of the page.
    The tab called Categories and Items, is between the View and Scales tabs.
  3. Find the activity or category that you want to hide from your students and click the hide icon, which looks like an open eye .  Once hidden, the icon will change to a closed eye. 

Warning: Hiding a category total will hide the entire category and its contents. If you want to hide just the category total, click the pencil icon for that category, then change the Grade type to None.

Grade Aggregation

The way in which the individual activity scores are summed or averaged to give the overall score is called the aggregation. The aggregation for the gradebook (and each subcategory, if applicable) can be one of the following options.

  • Mean of grades: (70/100 + 20/80 + 10/10)/3 = (0.7 + 0.25 + 1.0)/3 = 0.65 = 65/100
    All activities are weighted equally regardless of the number of points each is worth. In other words, the scores are normalized before being averaged.
  • Weighted mean of grades: You must enter a weight for each score. The weights are relative and do not need to sum to any particular value.
  • Simple weighted mean of grades [RECOMMENDED]: uses the point-value of each activity as its relative weight.  70/100 + 20/80 + 10/10 = 100/190 = 52.6/100
  • Mean of grades (with extra credits): Unsupported aggregation provided here only for backward compatibility with old activities.
  • Median of grades: The middle grade (or the mean of the two middle grades) when grades are arranged in order of size.
  • Lowest grade: the smallest grade after normalization
  • Highest grade: the largest grade after normalization
  • Mode of grades: the grade that occurs the most frequently
  • Sum of grades: Straight sum with no normalization. 70/100 + 20/80 + 10/10 = 100/190
    Although this aggregation results in the same overall score as “simple weighted mean”, it does not offer an option to “aggregate only non-empty”, that is, count only the scores that have been assigned so far.

To change the aggregation...

  1. From your main course page, click Grades.
  2. Click the Categories and Items tab at the top.
  3. Click Full View.
  4. In the column labeled “Aggregation”, you’ll see a dropdown menu for each category or subcategory in your course. Click in the menu and select the desired choice. Your changes will automatically be saved.

Grade Categories

A grade category is a way to group activities that should be aggregated separately than others. For example, if you have both homework and essays in Sapling Learning, you may want to create a “homework” category to produce a “Homework Average” that is separate from the “Essay Average” in the “Essays” category.  Categories can be nested inside other categories. The aggregation for each category or subcategory can be set individually.

To create a grade category...

  1. Click Grades on your main course page
  2. Click the Categories and Items tab.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click Add category.

To edit an existing grade category...

  1. Click Grades on your main course page.
  2. Click the Categories and Items tab.
  3. Click the pencil icon in the shaded bar containing the category name.

Category Settings

Here are the options available to you when creating or editing a grade category. You may need to click Show Advanced to see all options.

  • Category name
  • Aggregation (see above)
  • Aggregate only non-empty grades: When checked, blank scores are ignored in the overall score. When unchecked, a blank score is treated as a zero toward the overall score.
  • Include excluded or in-progress scores: When checked, green scores always count toward the overall score. When unchecked, green scores only count for open-ended activities (those with no due date). To ignore all green scores, make sure this option is unchecked and that your activities all have due dates.
  • Keep the highest: optional setting. Choose “none” to ignore.
  • Drop the lowest: optional setting. This will override the “keep the highest” setting if both are set to a number.
  • Category total name: This label will show up next to the overall score for that category. If left blank, the label will show as “Category total”.
  • Item info: A space for entering information about the item. Text entered does not appear anywhere else.
  • ID number: Setting an ID number provides a way of identifying the activity for manual grade calculation purposes. If the activity is not included in any manual grade calculation then the ID number field can be left blank. The ID numbers may also be set on the formula page.
  • Grade type: Use “Value” for nearly every case. “None” may be used if you don’t want to have an overall score for that category (or to hide the overall score from students). “Text” may be used if you want to use the feedback field only. “Scale” is not supported.
  • Maximum grade: the total number of points the category is worth. This is auto-set for the sum aggregation, but configurable in other aggregations. Choose 100 to display scores as percentages. For Sapling activities (those with the leaf icon ), a change made to the max grade (denominator) will automatically scale the numerator accordingly (e.g., if you change the max grade from 100 to 50, a score of 40/100 changes to 20/50). Scores for external grade items do not scale with the max grade.
  • Grade to pass: Sets a threshold above which the overall scores show as green and below which they show as red.
  • Grade display type: Choose real, percentage, letter, or any combination of two of those. Letter grade cut-offs may be set on the “Letters” tab.
  • Overall decimal points: Specifies the number of decimal points to display for each grade. This setting has no effect on grade calculations, which are made with an accuracy of 5 decimal places.
  • Hidden: Check the box to hide this category from students. Note that this hides whole category and everything in it, not just the overall score. Checking this box is equivalent to closing the “eye” icon under “Categories and Items”.
  • Hidden until: choose a date on which the category will become visible to students.
  • Locked: Prevents the score from changing even if the student continues to do work.
  • Locked after: choose a date after which the score can no longer change.

Extra Credit

  1. From your main course page, click Grades.
  2. Click the Categories and Items tab at the top.
  3. Click Full View.
  4. In most aggregations, any item or category can be made extra credit by clicking the checkbox in the Extra Credit column.
  5. If your course already has an extra credit category, you may place activities in that category to count as extra credit rather than checking the box for the assignment itself.

Offline activities can be used to indicate any other activities you might want students to know about, such as exams or classroom activities.  This option is similar to a new grade item, but in addition to putting a column to the gradebook, it also puts a link on the main course page. The link has a name and can optionally display a due date, but when the student clicks the link, all they see is the information you added to the description (there is nothing for the student to actually do online). For example, if you plan to upload your exam scores into the Sapling Learning gradebook, you may want to create an Offline activity, where the name (e.g., Exam 1) and date are shown on the course page, the location is indicated in the description, and a column for the exam scores gets added to the gradebook. You can enter these score manually, or import the grades from an external source.

To create an Offline activity and assign it to your students:

  1. Click Turn Editing On at the top-right corner of your course page.
  2. Click Add an activity... then choose Offline activity under Hand-Graded Activities.
  3. Give the activity a Name. This is what will appear to students on your main course page. For example, you might want to enter "In-Class Quiz" or "Exam I".
  4. Write a description of the activity in the Description. You can also use this space to notify students of things they should bring to class for the activity, for example, or the meeting time and place for the exam.
  5. Set the Available from date and Due date (if applicable). If these are set, the activity will appear on your course calendar. Please ignore the Prevent late submissions field (it doesn't do anything).
  6. Most likely, the only other settings you need is to make sure Visible is set to Show (to make sure your students can see the essay assignment when its "Available from" date arrives). You may also want to set the Grade category.
  7. Click Save and return to course to save your activity.

Related links

 

Viewing work

You can see what your students answered for any attempt of any question, as well as what feedback they received from the system on each attempt.

  1. From the Grades page, click on a score.
  2. You are now seeing the instructor view of a particular student’s assignment, which does not have the same functionality as the student view. The primary difference is that instructors always have the solution tab available but no check-answer button.
  3. Navigate to different questions using the left sidebar (if applicable), or by using the Next and Previous buttons at the bottom right, or the Map at the top.
  4. The tabs labeled Incorrect and Correct represent the attempts that the student has taken so far. Click on one of these tabs to view exactly what the student put and the feedback they received.  
    Example student work. There are three tabs labeled "Incorrect" and one tabled labeled "Correct" indicating that this student answered incorrectly three times before answering correctly.
  5. The Solution tab is for your reference only, and does not tell you whether the student has viewed the solution, nor does it represent an entry by the student.
  6. The timestamp of the student's Last Attempt on the assignment is shown along the top, as well as the Due Date and the Overall Score.
    example assignment with last attempt timestamp labeled

Resetting work: Individual student

  1. From the Grades page, click on a score.
  2. Navigate to different questions using the left sidebar (if applicable), or by using the Next and Previous buttons at the bottom right, or the Map at the top. 
  3. Click Question or Assignment to reset that component for this student.
    example assignment with reset buttons circled
  4.  Click Confirm.
    Example confirmation: Are you sure you want to reset question 3 for Albert Einstein?

Note that if the assignment is timed and a student's time has already expired, resetting a question will not allow them to continue working. But, you may reset the student's entire assignment to restart their time. Similarly, if the assignment is past due, a student cannot continue working even if you reset their assignment or a question within it unless you also give them a due date extension.

Resetting work: Entire class

If you’d like to reset a question for the entire class, you'll need to remove that question from the assignment then re-add it.

If you'd like to reset a whole assignment for the entire class, you'll need to make a copy of the assignment, then delete the original (or, keep the original and set the gradebook to take the higher of the two scores). Your TechTA can assist you with these tasks.

Partial credit is awarded on multi-part questions. For example, if there are two distinct parts within a single question, a student can earn a score of 50% for getting only one part correct.

What counts as a "part"?

Use the red X's to help you identify distinct "parts". Any answer blank that gets its own red X when incorrect is "all-or-nothing" in terms of scoring. The example below shows a two-part question, where the student currently has a score of 50%, not 75%.

Similarly, the drag-and-drop questions (sorting, ranking, and labeling) must be fully correct before they count, rather than granting credit for each draggable item.

Attempt deduction and partial credit

If the assignment has a grading policy that deducts for attempts, that deduction is divided equally among the parts. In the example shown above, if you were to get the question correct on the next try and there is a 5% deduction per attempt, you would earn a 97.5% because the first attempt was only half wrong.

 

You can edit a student’s score on an entire activity or on an individual question within an activity.

Edit overall activity score or category score (i.e., a cell in the gradebook)

Here's how to edit a cell in the gradebook. It is recommended that you wait until after the due date to edit grades in this manner because the student's score will become "locked". That is, the student's score will no longer increase as they continue working.

  1. From the main course page, click Grades
  2. Click Turn editing on in the upper right corner. 
  3. Enter the desired score in the desired cell or cells.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update.

Or, if your cursor is still visible in the cell you just typed in, you can hit Enter on your keyboard to save.

Edit individual question score (i.e., a single question for a single student)

Here's how to edit a the score on a single question for a single student. This can be done before the due date, but you may want to wait until the student is finished with all parts of that question.

  1. From the Grades page, click on a score.
  2. You are now seeing the instructor view of a particular student’s assignment, which does not have the same functionality as the student view. The primary difference is that instructors always have the solution tab available but no check-answer button.
  3. Click the pencil icon to edit a score.
    The pencil icon has a mouseover tooltip of "edit scores".
  4. Enter the desired score (from 0 to 100) and click the Save icon.
    The save icon has a mouseover tool tip of "Save changes".

There are two types of statistics available for each assignment

  • Class Assignment Stats: This data can be used to identify questions or topics where the class is struggling.
  • Student Assignment Statistics: This data can be used to identify who is struggling and for which questions within an assignment.

Class Assignment Stats

Once student begin working on an activity, a Stats column will appear in the activity editor and continue to fill in as students complete questions.

  1. From your course page, click on an activity name.
  2. The bar fills from left to right as students work on the question. The color division within the bar represents the percentage of students who got the question correct vs. incorrect vs. not attempted.
    Example class statistics for a question within the assignment. Correct: 3 students, Avg score: 100%, Avg Attempts 1. Incorrect: 2 students, Avg score: 0%, Avg Atttempts 4. Did not attempt: 4 students.
  3. Hover your mouse over a bar to see details about number of attempts and average score for each subset of students.
  4. To edit which columns are displayed in the activity editor, click on Choose columns to display icon.

Student Assignment Statistics

  1. Click Grades, then click on the name of an assignment in a column header. Or, click the bar-graph icon Go to stats icon in the activity editor .
     
  2. The colored blocks show a student's performance on a particular item.
    Example stats grid with students in the first column and question number in the first row.

     
  3. Hover your mouse over each cell for additional information.
  4. Click on a cell or a student's name to review their answers.

The central feature of Sapling Learning is the content used to build your online homework assignments and quizzes. We assembled a top-notch team to write that content, and though we offer excellent coverage, you may want to ask something we don't have. If so, we have three options available to you: content requests, editing existing questions, and writing questions from scratch.

Any questions that you write or edit will be available in any future courses you teach, but are private to only you and your students.

Modules

Tabs

FAQ

The first place to turn if you can't find the question you're looking for is your TechTA. We'll check whether we already have what you want (for example, maybe we already wrote it for a different subject or for a different instructor). If we don't have it, we will check the applicability and system compliance of your request, and then give you a time table for completion. Note that this is generally handled on a first-come-first-served basis, so it's definitely best to figure out what you want as early in the semester as you can.

If you want to put your own touch on an existing question, you can duplicate and edit any question in our content bank.

  1. Open an assignment. Any assignment will do, but it's generally more efficient if you choose the assignment to which you plan to add the question when you're done.
     
  2. Find the question you want to edit in our library . If the question is already in the assignment, you can select it and then click the locate button  Locate item in question banks icon to locate that question in the library. If you don't see the question you want in the assignment, click the book icon  to open the Library, then browse through the banks on the left to find it.
     
  3. With a question selected, click the duplicate button Duplicate selected item icon.. The copy will appear at the bottom of the question list since it is sorted by ID in ascending order. If you click the ID header, you can sort by ID in descending order, which will place the newest questions at the top of the list. Tip: Any duplicates you have created will have Source = You.
     
  4. Once you have located the new question, click to select it, then click the Edit button Edit selected item icon.
     
  5. Make the changes you desire. Check all of the tabs of the question in case your change affects them. It's probably a good idea to call your TechTA the first time you do this, so they can walk you through everything and make sure you understand what everything means. Note: The question saves every time you change to a new tab (from Question to Correct, for example).
     
  6. Add your copy of the question to the assignment.
     
  7. Very important: Double-click your question to view and answer it as a student. Always do this to make sure the question works the way you think it does, no matter how certain you are. You might have missed something, and it's always possible you'll find a bug in our authoring. It's far better that you find mistakes before your students do.

You can also edit an existing question to create something brand new. This might be a good idea for your first few questions, so you can see how our feedback and variables work. In some cases, though, it might be easiest to start from scratch.

How to write a question from scratch:

  1. Open the assignment where you want to add the question (any assignment will do, but this way you can assign the question when you're done).
  2. Open the Library by clicking the book icon .
  3. Click the New Question button New question icon.
  4. Select from the list of question types. If you're not sure what type you want or can't find it, don't worry, you can always edit the answer type later.
  5. The new question will appear at the bottom of the list, named "New Question" with a date and time of creation. Click to select it, then click the edit button Edit selected item icon.
  6. Write your question. We recommend including a Solution (the answer), a Correct tab (the answer with tolerance), and at least a Default tab (feedback your students will receive if they get the wrong answer). After you start your first question, it's a good idea to call your TechTA to make sure you didn't miss anything.
  7. Very important: Double-click the question to view and answer it as a student. ALWAYS do this to make sure the question works the way you think it does, no matter how certain you are. You might have missed something, and it's always possible you'll find a bug in our authoring. It's far better that you find mistakes before your students do.
  8. Add the question to your activity.

Any questions you write or edit will be available in any future courses you teach, but they are private to only you.

This 19-minute video will walk you through the basics of writing a question, testing it, then adding it to your assignment.

The Text Entry Module is an ungraded module used for question and feedback text. The module editor contains text formatting tools and common symbols.To set a text box, click , then click on the place you want the text box to appear. To refine its display, click the object, and the following menu will appear.

Tools

1. Bold. Highlight text and click this button to make text bold.
2. Italics. Highlight text and click this button to make text italic.
3. Subscript. Highlight text and click this button to subscript text. Click again to return to normal text mode.
4. Superscript. Highlight text and click this button to superscript text. Click again to return to normal text mode.
5. Hyperlink. Highlight text and click this button to add a hyperlink (URL). A window will open, allowing you to enter a destination address for the link.
6. Greek alphabet menus. Click to open the menu of Greek letters, which can then be inserted at the cursor. Both upper and lower case are available.
7. Special character menu. Click to open the menu of common special characters and mathematical symbols, such as the degree symbol, en dash, or plus and minus signs.
8. Create algo. Highlight text or number(s) and click this button to make algorithmic variables.
9. Insert algo menu. Click the arrow to view and select available algorithmic variables from a drop-down menu.
10. Grading status. Indicates that module is static.
11. Revert. Removes changes made to module in current tab.
12. Delete. Removes this module from the stage.

Options

The second tab offers two options for formatting the text box. Click Options, and the following menu appears.

1. Show Border. When this box is checked, a border will be shown around the perimeter of the text area.
2. Autosize. When this box is checked, the Text Area will automatically resize horizontally to fit its contents. When this box is unchecked, the module can be sized by grabbing the handles at the lower left corner.

Special Keyboard Characters

  • To enter an umlaut over the letter O, highlight the letter, hold Ctrl, and type a colon (Ctrl-:).
  • To create a slashed letter O, highlight the letter, hold Ctrl, and type a slash (ctrl-/).

The Graded Text Entry Module provides an answer space for simple text entries. It is ideal for single-word answers, such as vocabulary questions. To set a Graded Text Module in your question, click , then click the place you want your graded text to appear.

Basic Configuration


Refine the display of your Short Answer module by clicking it. The following Tools menu will appear.

1. Subscript. Highlight text and click to subscript text. Click again to return to normal text mode.
2. Superscript. Highlight text and click to superscript text. Click again to return to normal text mode.
3. Greek alphabet menus. Click to open the menu of Greek letters, which can then be inserted at the cursor. Both upper and lower case are available.
4. Special character menu. Click to open the menu of commonly used special characters and mathematical symbols, such as degrees (°) or plus/minus (+/-).
5. Create algo. Highlight text or number(s) and click to make algorithmic variables. When a character string is made algorithmic, it will appear blue.
6. Insert-algo menu. Click the arrow to view and select available algorithmic variables from drop-down menu.
7. Grading Status. Changes the module between  static,  graded, and  interactive.
8. Revert. Removes changes made to this module in the current tab.
9. Delete. Removes this module from the stage.  

Setting Tolerance


Grading tolerance can be set for case and plurals. (Spaces are ignored in grading by default.) To change the tolerance, go to the Correct tab or an Incorrect tab and click on the module to open the Grading options.

In this example, the most liberal tolerances are set; plural or singular forms ("cat" or "cats") as well as upper or lowercase ("Cat" or "cat") will be accepted. Note: “Dogs and cats” is not accepted. The correct word order must be entered.

1. Match Case. When this box is checked, the exact case is required. When it is unchecked, the case of each letter is ignored for grading.
2. Allow Plurals. When this box is checked, both plural and singular forms are accepted.

The Numeric Entry Module provides an entry space for numeric values. The module "understands" math in that various forms of a number will be accepted by the system. For example, 100 and 1.00 x 102 are graded equivalently. The module contains two potentially gradable fields—the numeric entry field and the units field. Each of these can be configured separately, and global options can be set for the entire module.

Additionally, tolerances can be set that allow for rounded numbers to be accepted as correct within a defined range.

Basic Configuration


Module Options

Click anywhere on the edge of the module to open the Options panel. The Options panel contains the following elements:

1. Show units. Shows or hides the units field. To change the units of measure, click the text area Units and type the desired abbreviation.
2. Graded. Sets the grading policy for units. Check to make sure the units field is graded.
3. Use dollar units. Shifts the units to the left of the answer space and uses the dollar sign ($).
4. Revert. Removes any changes made to this module in the current tab.
5. Grading Status. Changes the module between  static,  graded, and  interactive.
6. Delete. Removes this module from the stage.  

Numeric Entry Space Tools


Click in the numeric entry field to open the Tools panel. The Tools panel contains the following elements:

1. Scientific notation. Enters 10 to a blank power for scientific notation. (Shortcut: enter "x" or Shift-8 on the keyboard.)
2. Create algo. Highlight text or number(s) and click to make algorithmic variables.
3. Insert-algo menu. Click the green arrow to view and select available algorithmic variables from the drop-down menu.
4. Grading Status. Indicates that the entry space is always graded.

Units Tools


Click on the word Units to open the Unit Tools panel. The Units Tools panel contains the following elements:

1. Superscript. Highlight and click to superscript text or click to open the superscript editing area (Shortcut: Shift-6). Note: this editor provides a special feature that allows for multi-level superscripting. To escape superscript mode, use the right keyboard arrow or click on the main line.
2. Parentheses. Enters parentheses.
3. Angstrom. Enters the Angstrom symbol.
4. Mu. Enters the Greek letter mu.
5. Ohm. Enters the symbol ohm.
6. Degrees Celsius. Enters symbol for degrees C.
7. Degrees Fahrenheit. Enters symbol for degrees F.
8. Italic. Highlight text and click to make text italic.

Setting Tolerance


Tolerances can be set for Numeric Entry to allow for rounding and approximations. The system defaults to 2% tolerance. A degree of difference accepted as approximately accurate within a problem. To change the tolerance, go to the Correct tab or an Incorrect tab and click on the gray outer portion of the module to open the Grading options. The Grading options include the following elements:

1. Tolerance field. Entry field for percent or numeric tolerance.
2. Infinity. Accepts any number above or below the number entered by the author.
3. Percent. Allows for setting a percent above and below the number entered by the author.
4. Numeric. Allows for setting a numeric tolerance above and below the number entered by the author.
5. Exact. Accepts only the exact number entered by the author.

In this example, any value greater than 4 will be accepted. Because infinity is selected in the (+) field when the answer is marked as 4. The (-) field has a tolerance of 0 so any number lower than 4 will be not accepted. 

The Graded Multiple Choice Module is used to create multiple-choice questions. You can allow students to select multiple correct answers or limit the answer to a single option. The text entry area provides text formatting tools and common symbols. The order of choices can be randomized.

As with most IBIS modules, you can make this module wider by clicking and dragging the bottom-right corner.

Module Options
 

Click on the edge of the module to open its Options panel.

1. Selection Button. Use this button to mark the correct answer. If there is only one correct response to your question, round radio buttons, such as those in the example, are used. Square check boxes (  ) are used when multiple correct answers are allowed.
2. Add a New Item. Adds another text entry space and selection button.
3. Allow Multiple. Selecting this box changes radio buttons to check boxes and allows the student to select one or more correct answer.
4. Randomize Order. Randomizes the order of the choices presented to students.
5. Show Background. When this button is checked checked, entry spaces will have a gray background; when unchecked, the entry space will appear as a field with white background.
6. Revert. Removes any changes to this module in the current tab.
7. Grading Status. Changes the module between static, graded, and interactive.
8. Text Entry Space. Use this area to enter text. Click on the field to open text tools. To delete a text field, click on the field to open the menu, and then click the red x in the upper right corner of the field.
9. Delete. Removes this module from the stage. To delete a single entry, click on its space and click the red x.

Entry Space Tools


Click on an entry space to open its Tools and edit in the space.

1. Remove. Removes the entry space from the module.
2. Grading Status. Indicates that this module is always static.
3. Text Formatting Tools. Format the text with the same options available in the Text Area module.

The Symbolic Equation Module supports a wide range of mathematical symbols and functions. It can be used for static display or graded entry.

When in graded mode:

  • The system uses standard order of operations and recognizes alternative forms of mathematical expressions.
  • It cannot evaluate an expression with an equals sign.
    Good example: "Express force in terms of mass, m, and acceleration, a." and "F=" is static text in front of the answer box so the student just enters "ma". Bad example: "Enter the equation for force." where the entire equation, including the equals sign, is inside the answer module.
  • The equation editor can evaluate up to 4 variables; it is not advised to have more than 4 variables required for a graded entry.
  • This module uses text auto-fill for trigonometric functions to ensure that variant forms are graded correctly. This feature can be turned off in static mode under Options > Auto-Convert.

For those of you familiar with LaTex, you can enter LaTex mode in the Equation module by typing backslash (\).

1. Grab. Select to move contents of module within entry field. Select the tool and then click on the equation and hold while moving the mouse.
2. Subscript. Highlight text and click to subscript text or click to open the subscript editing area (Shortcut: press "shift" and "-" at the same time). Note: this editor provides a special feature that allows for multi-level subscripting. To escape subscript mode, use the right keyboard arrow, or click on the main line.
3. Superscript. Highlight the text and click to superscript it or click to open superscript editing area (Shortcut: press "shift" and "6" at the same time). Note: this editor provides a special feature that allows for multi-level superscripting. To escape superscript mode, use the right keyboard arrow or click on the main line.
4. Greek alphabet menus. Click to open the menu of Greek letters, which can then be inserted at the cursor. Both upper and lower case are available.
5. Special character menu. Click to open the menu of special characters and mathematical symbols, such as degrees and plus and minus signs. (Shortcut: press "shift" and "8" for multiplication symbol.)
6. Roots, fractions, and grouping. Click to open the menu with common mathematical functions for roots, stacked fractions, and grouping characters.
7. Trigonometric functions menu. Click to open the menu with common trigonometric functions.
8. Functions menu. Contains sum, limit, log, pipe, natural log (ln), and natural base (e).
9. Vector menu. Contains average (overbar), vectors (overarrow), and vector components (overhat).
10. Bold. Highlight and click to make text bold.
11. Italic. Highlight and click to make text italic.
12. Create algo. Highlight text or number(s) and click to make algorithmic variables.
13. Insert-algo menu. Click green arrow to view and select available algorithmic variables from drop-down menu.
14. Grading status. Changes the module between static, graded, and interactive.
15. Revert. Removes changes made to the module in current tab.
16. Delete. Removes this module.

The Animation/Image Module can be used to upload image files and display them in IBIS. The module supports both JPEG and SWF image formats. Files up to 100 kB can be uploaded. For Flash files (SWF), both static and dynamic images are supported. Note: IBIS cannot display background color in SWF files.

Image names cannot have periods (.) or spaces in them.

  • Yes: Figure_1-2.jpg
  • No:  Figure 1.2.jpg
To upload an image file, click the Image icon in the top pane of IBIS. Then click in the stage, and a window will open, allowing you to browse files to upload.  

1. Delete. Removes this module from the stage.
2. Revert. Removes changes made to module in current tab.
3. Grading Status. Indicates that the module is static. In graded modules, clicking on this button changes the module between static, graded, and interactive.
4. Upload Image. Opens a dialog box to select and load an image file.
5. Show Border. Adds a border around the module.

The Graph Module allows teachers to create graphs which can either be static or graded. To add a graph, click , then click the area on the question tab you want your graph to be.

Options

1. Delete. Removes this module.
2. Grading status. Changes the module between static and graded.
3. Revert. Removes changes made to module in current tab.
4. Graph options.
    a) Hide or show the background grid.
    b) Hide or show axes or axes values.
    c) Change the unit of numbers shown at intervals on the axes.
5. Graph window
    d) Use the "min" and "max" to change the minimums and maximums of axes. 
    e) Allow or restrict a student from placing new objects on the graph.
6. Add a new equation. Add a mathematical equation and have it graphed (as you would in a graphing calculator.)
7. Upload point data. Paste or enter data points to be added to the graph.
8. Tools.
    f) Zoom in & out on the graph.
    g) Select a point on the x or y-axis.
    h) Pan around the graph.
    i) Draw a line on the graph.
    j) Draw a curve on the graph.
    k) Draw a polygon on the graph.
    l) Add a point on the graph.
    m) Change color.

The Table Module is meant for static display of data. It has no interactivity for students and cannot be used for graded input. Data can be entered directly or imported into the table from a delimited source. Acceptable delimiters include commas and periods. The table has text formatting tools and common special characters for customizing the display of your data.

To set a table, click , then click on the place where you want your table to appear. To refine the display of the table, click it. The following menu will appear.

1. Text formatting tools. Used to format text and add symbols. Refer to the Text Area module description above for a complete description of these tools.
2. Row status. Displays the number of rows in the table. Use the up and down arrows to add or delete rows.
3. Column status. Displays the number of columns in the table. Use the up and down arrows to add or delete columns.
4. Import data. Used to import data into the table. Delimited data can be pasted into the Import Data window and then loaded into the table.
5. Insert row. Inserts a row above the current selected row or at the bottom if no row or cell is selected.
6. Insert column. Inserts a column to the left of the current selected column or at right if no column or cell is selected.
7. Delete Row. Deletes the currently selected row, or deletes the bottom row if no row or cell is selected.
8. Delete Column. Deletes the currently selected column, or deletes the rightmost  column if no column or cell is selected.

The Bar Graph Module is meant for static display of data. It has no interactivity for students and cannot be used for graded input. To add a static bar graph, click ​, then click the area on the question tab where you want your graph to be.

You have three choices for the style of your graph: normal, grouped, and stacked. Select one.

Next click the words "Add datapoints." This will bring up a list of tools.

Bar Properties:
    1. Use the "Label" section to type in how you would like the bar to be labeled.
    2. Use the "Amount" section to enter the value for the bar.
    3. Select the color of the bar.
    4. To add the next bar click "Add New Bar."
    5. To select a different bar click on the bar you wish to change on the graph.

Graph Properties:
    1. Select the bar you wish to change by clicking on it on the graph.
    2. Use "Bar alpha" to make the bar more or less opaque.
    3. Use "Bar width" to make the bar wider or narrower.
    4. If you choose to use either the "Grouped" or "Stacked" graph styles, you will also have the option of adding or removing groups under the graph properties section.

*By clicking revert  you can remove changes made to the module in the current tab.*

The Pie Chart Module is meant for static display of data. It has no interactivity for students and cannot be used for graded input. To add a static pie chart, click , then click the area on the question tab where you want your graph to be. Click on the module to drop down the menu as seen below.

Next click on the Options tab. This will open up a menu as seen below.

Options


1. Title your first slice using the "Label" section.
    2. In the "Amount" section enter the percentage (out of 100%) you would like represented in this slice. 
    3. Choose the color of the slice.
    4. Click "Add New Slice." This should make the slice appear in the window. 
    5. Continue making slices by repeating the steps above. The "Free," "Used," & "Total" counts at the top of the menu keep track of the values you have entered so far.
    6. If at anytime you wish to make changes to an existing slice, you can click on that slice in the window and then continue editing it.
*By clicking revert  you can remove changes made to the module in the current tab.*

Tools 


By clicking back to the "Tools" tab you can change the overall appearance of the chart by adjusting opacity, depth, and angle of the chart. 

The Chemical Equation Module supports special formatting and symbols used in chemical equations, such as multi-level subscripts and stacked superscripts and subscripts for nuclear chemistry. It can be used for static display or for graded entry.  

1. Grab. Select to move contents of the module within the entry field. Select the tool and then click on the equation and hold while moving the mouse.  
2. Superscript. Highlight text and click to superscript it or click to open the superscript editing area (shortcut: press "shift" and "6"). Note: this editor provides a special feature that allows for multi-level superscripting. To escape superscript mode, use the right keyboard arrow or click on the main line.
3. Subscript. Highlight text and click to subscript it, or click to open subscript editing area (shortcut: press "shift" and "-"). Note: this editor provides a special feature that allows for multi-level subscripting. To escape subscript mode, use the right keyboard arrow or click on the main line.
4. Isotope. Allows for mass numbers and atomic numbers to be written as stacked and generates super-subscripts for nuclear chemistry.
5. Stacked fraction. Converts mainline fractions to stacked fractions.
6. Bonds. Inserts a double bond at the cursor.
7. Multiplication dot. Inserts multiplication or hydrate dot at the cursor, as in Na2B4O7 · 5H2O.
8. Greek alphabet menus. Click to open menu with Greek letters, which can then be inserted at the cursor. Both upper and lower case are available.
9. Physical states menu. Click to select from a menu of standard physical states, such as (aq) for aqueous.
10. Reaction arrows menu. Select from a menu of forward/backward, weighted, and equilibrium arrows. To add a symbol over arrows, place the cursor next to the arrow and use the keyboard arrows to place an entry box above arrows.
11. Create algo. Highlight text or number(s) and click to make algorithmic variables. 
12. Insert-algo menu. Click the green arrow to view and select available algorithmic variables from the drop-down menu.
13. Grading status. Changes the module between  static,  graded, and  interactive.
14. Revert. Removes changes made to the module in the current tab.
15. Delete. Removes this module from the stage.

The 2-D Molecule Module is used to draw static or graded molecules. The molecule editor provides tools for drawing different atoms, bonds, nonbonding electrons, charges, and reaction symbols. Students can be graded according to various tasks, such as selecting an atom and drawing molecules.

To place a two-dimensional molecule in your question, click , then click the place where you want your molecule to appear. The following menu will appear.

Tools

1. Delete. Removes this module from the stage.
2. Revert. Removes changes made to the module in the current tab.
3. Grading status. Changes the module between static, graded, and interactive.

The tools available to authors and students depend upon the drawing mode and grading options selected. See the Options section below to find out how to switch drawing modes and changing grading options. All of the possible tools are described here.

  1. Atom menu. Select from periodic table plus additional labels to place on the canvas. Click on an existing atom to change the label to the selected atom. Double clicking on an atom in the drawing area and typing the desired element can also change atom labels.
  2. Functional groups menu. This option is only available in organic mode. Select from common functional groups. To add a functional group to a compound, select the desired group, and then click on any atom to convert it to the selected group.  
  3. Bond. Click and drag between atoms to add a bond. Or after adding an initial atom, click on the Bond icon and drag to add additional atoms. Click on an existing bond with the Bond tool selected to change between single, double, and triple bonds.
  4. Wedge bonds. This option is only available when chirality is graded. Click and drag between atoms to add a wedge bond.
  5. Charge. Select the Charge tool, then click on an atom. A box will appear in which you can type charges, such as "Mg2+".
  6. Lone electron pair. Select a single or pair of electrons in the Tools bar, then click on an atom. Electrons can be rearranged once placed on an atom by clicking and dragging.
  7. Add/remove hydrogens. This option is only available in organic mode. Use to add or remove hydrogens from a carbon in condensed form. Select either the add  or remove  hydrogen icon.
  8. Curved arrow. This option is only available in organic mode. Select Curved arrow and then click and drag from a bond, lone pair, or lone electron to an atom. Click and drag on the arc to reposition the arrow. The arrowhead can be changed between single and double hooks by clicking on the head.
  9. Graded select. This option is only available when select is graded. Select items for grading. When objects are selected in the authoring environment, students must select them in order to be graded correctly.
  10. Select. Use to select objects. Allows for grabbing and moving objects. Multiple objects can be selected and grouped by clicking and holding while moving over the objects.
  11. Reaction symbols. This option is not available to students. Select from a list of standard reaction and equilibrium arrows and plus (+) sign. Both arrows and the plus sign must be placed between two atoms or molecules. Select the symbol and then click on the first atom or molecule; hold and drag to the next atom or molecule to define the connection.
  12. Eraser. Select the eraser and then click on an object to remove it.

The four possible statements under Grading indicate the grading parameters. These options can be changed in the grading tab. Hovering over the blue ? button highlights which tools students need to use to fulfill the grading parameter.

  1. Hydrogens. This direction to the student indicates whether H atoms on the carbon backbone can be omitted (H atoms on functional groups are still required). When no slash is shown, it indicates that the student must draw all H atoms.
  2. Isometry. This direction indicates to the student that correct isometry must be drawn.
  3. Chirality. This direction indicates to the student that correct chirality must be drawn.
  4. Nonbonding electrons.This direction indicates to the student that nonbonding electrons must be drawn.

Options: Entry Mode

The first setting viewable on the Options tab is Entry Mode. Here you can select between general chemistry or organic chemistry. When the organic chemistry mode is selected, the Add/Remove Hydrogens, Functional Groups, and Curved Arrow buttons are enabled; in organic mode, structures are always shown in line-bond form. In general chemistry mode, the Add/Remove Hydrogens, Functional Groups, and Curved Arrow buttons are disabled, and the Line-Bond option is enabled.

Note: when in organic mode, it is strongly recommended that you uncheck the nonbonding electrons grading option. If you leave this option checked, be sure that the structures drawn in the correct tab show ALL nonbonding electrons.

Options: Display

Display allows you to specify various options in the appearance of the module.

  1. Hide/Show Grid. Controls the display of the background grid. When this option is checked, the background grid will be shown.
  2. Carbons. Toggles between line-bond and regular structural drawing of carbon bonds.
  3. Snap to Grid. When checked, objects will be aligned to nearest grid lines.

Options: Grading

1. Student Interactions. These tools control student interactions and the tools shown to a student. These also define the grading criteria. For example, if select only is selected, students cannot be graded on drawing a molecule.

  • Draw and select. Allows students to both draw and select.
  • ​Draw only. Allows students to place new objects on the canvas.
  • Select only. Allows students to click on molecules or atoms. 

2. Grading Options. Grading options allow you to select some criteria on which students are graded.

  • Hydrogens. When this option is checked, students must include hydrogens. When it is unchecked, hydrogens will be ignored (unless they are added incorrectly).
  • Isometry. When this option is checked, students will be graded on the isometry defined in the Correct tab. When it is unchecked, isometry will be ignored.
  • Chirality. When this option is checked, students will be graded on the chirality defined in the Correct tab. When it is unchecked, chirality will be ignored.
  • Nonbonding electrons. When this option is checked, students will be graded on entering the nonbonding electrons defined in the Correct tab. When it is unchecked, nonbonding electrons will be ignored.

The 3–D Molecule Module can be used to upload PDB files (e.g., from ChemDraw) and display them in IBIS. The module can be static, interactive, or graded. To place this module in a question, click the icon that looks like a ball-and-stick model icon of ball-and-stick model, then click the place you want your molecule to appear.

Uploading a File

After you have placed the module on the stage, click it to open the Options tab. Click Change Molecule. The Upload window appears. Select the desired file from the pick list, then click Finish.

Tools

Use the Tools tab for rotating 3–D molecules through all three dimensions and controlling their grading options.

1. Rotate x-axis. Rotates the image in the x-axis.
2. Rotate y-axis. Rotates the image in the y-axis.
3. Rotate z-axis. Rotates the image in the z-axis.
4. Grading status. Changes the module between static, graded, and interactive.
5. Revert. Removes changes made to module in current tab.
6. Delete. Removes this module.

Grading is based on selection. To define the correct atom or group for selection by the student, go to the Correct tab and click directly on the desired atom or group in the module.

The Orbital Diagram Module enables you to grade student-drawn atomic orbitals. Use buttons to add subshells easily. Clicking within an orbital enables you to toggle between 0, 1, or 2 electrons in a particular orbital. You can choose whether or not to grade, the order in the which the subshells are added, or to place electrons according to Hund's rule.

Tools for orbital diagrams

Tools

1. Delete. Removes this module from the stage.
2. Revert. Removes changes made to module in current tab.
3. Grading status. Changes the module between static, graded, and interactive.
4. Single orbitals. Used to add or remove subshells from the editor.
5. All orbitals. Used to add or remove all orbitals from the editor.
6. All electrons. Used to fill or empty all shells from the editor.

Options

The Options menu allows the user to control the presentation of the orbital diagram. For example, in the following figure, the editor is set to display the orbital string and to allow compressed strings.

Options for orbital diagrams

1. Display orbital string. When checked, this feature displays the electron configuration in addition to the diagram.
2. Allow compressed string. When this box is checked, the configuration will be shown with the noble gas core.
3. Only show orbits lower than: Enables the user to show only orbits lower than a specified value.
4. Ignore orbital ordering. Does not grade the order in which subshells are listed.
5. Ignore electron distribution in shells. Does not grade Hund's rule.

The Sorting Module allows you to create matching questions in which students will drag and sort items into categories. To add a sorting module to your question, click the sorting icon in the toolbar and then click the area on the question tab where you want your module to be. 

You can edit the name of each category (bin) by clicking on the bin title. You can edit the name of each answer (item) by double clicking on the item title. blank sorting tool  

Options

sorting options
1. Number of bins. Allows you to add or remove bins.
2. Number of items. Allows you to add or remove items.
3. Randomize order. Randomizes the order of the choices presented to students.
4. White backgrounds for items. Changes the color of item backgrounds to white.
5. Revert. Removes changes made to module in current tab. 
6. Grading status. Changes the module between static and graded. 
7. Delete. Removes this module.

In a question, there are a series of tabs. When a student encounters a question, it displays the question tab for them. After they hit “Check Answer” it follows the order of tabs in a “If, then” style. For example, if they got the question correct, it displays the correct tab. If they got the question wrong in a way you anticipated (distractor for multiple choice, for example) it displays the incorrect tab specific to that mistake. If it cannot find specific feedback for what they inputted, it goes to the default tab.  
Question

This tab shows the question just as it should appear to students without feedback or answer choices selected. The content of this tab will show up on all the other tabs of the question.

Solution

This tab shows the correct answer and gives a detailed explanation of it. As long as this setting is enabled, students will see this tab when they give up on a problem or get it correct and then click on the solution tab.

Correct

This tab simply shows the answer and the word "Correct" at the bottom. This is the tab that automatically shows when the student submits the correct answer.

Incorrect

This tab shows a specific incorrect answer choice and explains why it is wrong and gives information that should help lead the student towards the right answer.

Default

This tab shows generic information asking the student to make sure they submitted an answer and/or that their current answer is wrong. This tab will be triggered only if one of the other specific incorrect tabs was not triggered.

Information

This tab shows the title, description, difficulty, and cognitive type of the question as well as where it is located in the library.

 

To add a new tab, click on the plus sign  in the upper right corner of the window. This action will replicate the entries of the current tab and create an Incorrect tab.

To change the type of tab, click on the icon next to the tab name.

When creating incorrect tabs the idea is to anticipate the errors a typical student might make. On each incorrect tab you will select an incorrect answer and then explain why that specific answer is wrong and/or guide the students toward the right answer. 

For example, for the question, "What is the product of 2 x 3?" you might expect some students to misinterpret this as "2 + 3." In this case, you could use an Incorrect tab for the answer "5," with specific feedback telling the student that they need to multiply, not add. 

1. To make a new incorrect tab, click the button on the top right hand corner of the screen.
2. Next, answer the question incorrectly on the tab as you anticipate a student doing. 
3. Then using the text box tool, write your response to that incorrect answer (responses should be similar to something you would say to a student in a live tutoring session.) 

  • If you don't have enough room to write your response under the question, remember that you can use the “simple explanation” bin down at the bottom of the screen. 

The information tab influences how questions are organized in the library. You can correlate your activities to a topic (referred to as the "Focus") and categorize them according to question type and level of difficulty.

The prerequisites should include prior sections of the book upon which the topic is based.
1. Title. Enter a title for the question. The title field will not be visible to students.
2. Description. Enter a brief description of the question. The description will not be visible to students.
3. Difficulty. Select the difficulty of the question.
4. Cognitive Type. Select the option that best represents the type of assessment.
5. End of Chapter. Ignore this area.
6. Question Number. Ignore this area.
7. Pass algorithmic variables from parent to child. Ignore this area.
8. Regenerate algorithmic variables. Ignore this area.
9. Focus and Prerequisite. Select Focus and then click on the desired focus for the question. Setting a prerequisite is optional and can be done after setting the focus.
10. Help. Click to access brief instructions on topic mapping.

The solution tab is what the students see if they give up (& don't receive any credit for the question) or get the question right and chose to view the solution (click on that tab). (NOTE: this tab may not be viewable if the teachers have disabled it.)The answer tab should fully explain the answer in a way that students can understand without any outside assistance.
The correct tab is what the students can see if they input the right answer. Generally, the correct tab just has the word “Correct” at the bottom right hand corner. There should be no explanation here, that’s what the “solution” tab is for.

Default tab will be displayed to students who enter anything that is not defined in a Correct or Incorrect tab. Think of it as a catch-all. Incorrect tabs are used to give specific feedback for a defined incorrect answer. Of course, since the possible number of wrong entries in most modules is very large, you would also want to have a Default tab with general feedback. When all of the possible incorrect answers can be predicted, such as in a multiple-choice question, you might want to omit a Default tab or use it only to tell the student they didn't select an answer.

The eye icon is available on graded modules in Incorrect tabs and is only useful when you have multiple graded answer modules within the question.

The tab will only trigger if the student's answers matches all of the modules with an open eye.
The tab can still trigger regardless of what the student puts for the modules with a closed eye.

Suppose you have a multi-part question, and want to give feedback a specific wrong answer in part 1. Leave the eye open  on the answer module for part 1 and enter the specific wrong answer that you want give feedback for. On all the other answer modules, click the eye to "close" it . Now, this tab will trigger when the student's answer matches what's in part 1, regardless of what they put for the other parts. Add a text area (and any other relevant modules) to explain what the student should do to fix their incorrect answer in part 1.

 

Although either module can be used for numeric answers, the Numeric Entry module has some features that make it ideal, in most cases, for dealing with numbers.

The Numeric Entry module is able to interpret the value of a number and accept alternate forms. For example, 100 and 1.00x102 are graded equivalently. By contrast, the Short Answer module interprets numbers as strings of characters and will grade 100 as incorrect if 1.00x102 is defined in the Correct tab. Additionally, in the Numeric Entry module, you can set a tolerance, or a degree of difference accepted as approximately accurate within a problem that allows for rounded numbers to be accepted as correct within a defined range. For example, if you were to ask what 1 divided by 3 is, the correct answer would be a number with infinite decimals, 0.3333... By using the Numeric Entry as an answer space, you can enter 0.33 as the correct answer and set a tolerance that will accept, 0.33, 0.333, 0.33333, and so on.

  1. Place a Text Area on the stage.
  2. Enter text.
  3. Highlight the text to be hyperlinked.
  4. Click URL in the Tools menu. This will open the address entry box.
  5. Enter an address in the address field and click Done.

We're here to help. Check the list below for answers to frequently asked questions. If you can't find an answer to your question, please contact us.

General Questions

Accounts and Login

Activities, Due Dates, and Grades

Calendar

Resources

eTextbooks

The Sapling App for students is supported on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 8 and later. If you are using an older software version, you will need to perform a software update.

To find out which operating system version you are using and/or update,

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to update, if prompted.

Button to download on the Apple App Store

Click the button above to download the free Sapling App for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Or go to the Apple App Store and search for “Sapling Learning” to install.

You'll need your Sapling Learning username and password to log into the app.

The following features are supported in Sapling Learning’s iOS app:

Students and Instructors

  • Receive iOS Calendar alerts for all upcoming due dates.
  • Read eTextbooks on iPads.
  • Launch resources such as text and PDF documents, presentations, audio and video files.

Students only

  • View a listing of all your activities with grades and due dates.
  • View your Sapling Learning grade total.

Instructors only

  • View a listing of all course activities with due dates.
  • Set due dates.
  • Extend due dates for the whole class or for individual students.

At this time, you cannot complete your homework in the app.  To complete your Sapling Learning homework, you must access your account from a desktop or laptop.

This is only the beginning stage of an evolving app. The Sapling App for students is currently focused on helping students manage course work more effectively. We understand you may want to access your entire course via a mobile device.  We’ll continue to carefully craft the best mobile experience that saves you time and drives your success. We’ll keep evolving the app so stay tuned for more updates.

If you are able to log into Sapling Learning on a web browser, then you will be able to successfully log into the app.

If you forgot (or never knew) your username or password, first try requesting a new password. If you do not receive an email after attempting to reset your password (wait at least 15 minutes and check your spam filter), please contact us.

The Sapling App is not integrated with Facebook. If you have been using the Facebook login in a web browser, try logging into the app by entering your Sapling Learning username and password. Your username is likely the email associated with your Facebook account, and your password is something that you chose during Sapling Learning registration process (not necessarily the same as your Facebook password). If you cannot remember, you can request your username and/or password.

If you are still unable to resolve the issue, please contact us.

Course information is automatically updated when you log in and each time you launch the app. You can also easily refresh information on each screen by using the “Pull to Refresh” function. To do this, just swipe a screen downward until you see the refresh spinner, release the screen and when the icon disappears, the information will be updated.

Students

If you find that your grades do not appear for one or more activities, this may be due to a decision that was made by your instructor. An instructor may have hidden scores until a particular date or may not have yet posted a grade for an an activity.

If you can see grades in your course when logged in through a web browser, then you should be able to see your grades from within the Sapling Learning app.

Instructors

The full instructor gradebook is not available in the app. 

In the Sapling App, your progress on each activity is indicated by icons with words instead of being indicated by the color and style of text.

  • In Progress: An activity icon is displayed in green if you have started an activity, the due date has not passed and you still have attempts remaining on one or more questions. If there is a due date set, these scores are not included in totals, since they represent your score so far on that assignment. For open-ended assignments (those without any due date) the scores are included in totals.
  • Past Due with Attempts Remaining: An activity icon is displayed in light orange if the due date has passed but you still have attempts remaining on one or more questions. If your instructor set the assignment to allow for late submissions, you would be able to continue working on this assignment although it may have points deducted each day that it is late.
  • Completed: An activity icon is displayed in light grey if you have finished all questions (by getting them correct, giving up or running out of attempts) or if the due date has passed. These scores are included in totals.

These two scenarios display the same way in a web browser as in the Sapling App (i.e., the app does not display icons).

  • Score not available: If you have not yet opened an activity and the due date has not passed, your score shows as a dash (-). In addition, if your instructor has chosen certain grading policies, your score does not show until after the due date.
  • Hand-graded activities: Scores entered directly by your instructor appear in black.

To access grades in the mobile app, simply tap on the Grades button at the top of the screen after entering a course.

Since grades may be grouped into one or more categories (for example, many instructors create an "Ungraded" or “Extra Credit” category) and categories can be nested inside other categories, we created visual indications in the mobile app to show whether or not a category has a subcategory by displaying bullet-like circles and text in various colors.

  • A first-level category is displayed in orange text with 1 orange bullet.
  • A subcategory nested within a first level category is displayed in brown text with 1 orange bullet and 1 brown bullet.
  • Another subcategory that is below the previous one would be displayed in grey text with 1 orange, 1 brown and 1 grey bullets.

For example, suppose a class includes essays as part of the Sapling Learning homework in addition to standard problem sets. The instructor might create a “Homework” category with an “Essays” category nested within it. In this case, the homework category text will be displayed in orange with an orange bullet and the essays category text will be displayed in brown with both an orange and a brown bullet. If the “essays” category has a subcategory below it (e.g., “Extra Credit Essays”), this subcategory would be displayed in grey text with orange, brown and grey colored bullets.

This number in the mobile app represents the total number of upcoming due dates for the course at any given time. The number may increase or decrease as assignments are completed, due dates have passed, or if assignments are added or removed.

In the mobile app, your next 5 upcoming due dates are listed at the top of the Activities view in the Next Due Dates area so you can quickly view what’s due and when. The number of due dates may fluctuate as assignments are completed, due dates pass or if assignments are added or removed.

  1. Log into the app on your mobile device.
  2. Click the name of your course.
  3. Click on the assignment that you'd like to extend.
  4. If a due date exists, it will be displayed at the top. If no due date exists, you can set one as described in step 7 below.
  5. To extend the existing due date, first select Classwide or Student.
  6. If you chose Classwide, you can go straight to setting the date as described in step 7. If you chose Student, you'll first need to click the name of a particular student in the class. You may prefer to search for the name rather than scroll through the list.
  7. Click Edit Due Date to specify a day, hour, and minute. Or use one of the bottom two buttons to quickly Extend 3 Days or Extend 1 week relative to the current due date (or relative to now if no due date is set).

Every Sapling Learning activity with a deadline can be set up as an event in your device's iOS calendar, which will send you an alert 48 hours before the deadline. To change the time of an alert, simply click on the event in your device's iOS calendar and change the alert time option.

To receive the alerts across your iOS devices and OS X systems (e.g. MacBook Pro, MacBook Air), enable iCloud on each device or system. Go to iOS Settings, then iCloud and create an account or log in.

If you sync your device's iOS calendar with the Sapling Learning mobile app, the default alert time is 48 hours before each event. To change the time of an alert, simply click on the event in your device's iOS calendar and change the alert time option.

To receive alerts, you must install the app on your mobile device and enable calendar access, either by accepting the calendar request the first time you launch the Sapling App or by turning calendar alerts on.

If you have iCloud turned on, the default setting from Apple is to show events 30 days into the future and the past, which means that you will not see events more than 30 days out.

If you agreed to mobile alerts but don’t see any events on your device's iOS calendar, it may be because you don’t have iCloud enabled. If you are using another calendar application, such as Gmail, on the device calendar, it blocks Sapling Learning from writing to your calendar.  Enabling iCloud will resolve the issue. Go to Settings, then iCloud, and create an account or log in. Shortly after doing this, you will be prompted to merge data and calendars from iCloud. Merging will enable the events to be written to the device calendar.

To completely remove all Sapling Learning calendar events from your device's iOS calendar application:

  1. Launch the iOS Calendar application, tap on Calendars at the bottom of the screen, choose the i icon by Sapling Learning, and then scroll down to the bottom of the popup and choose the Delete Calendar option.
  2. Then go to the iOS Settings > Privacy > Calendars and choose to disable the Sapling Learning calendar to prevent the calendar from being recreated on background updates.

 

In the event your Sapling Learning calendar events and alerts were accidentally deleted from your device's iOS calendar, tapping Resync in the More section of the app will trigger the app to recreate your events and alerts with the default settings.

Note that resync will remove any custom changes you have made to existing calendar events (e.g., changing the time of an alert), restoring them to the defaults.

If you decline to give Sapling Learning access to your calendar and later change your mind, it’s easy to turn them on.

  1. Go to the iOS Settings for Privacy.
  2. Go into the Calendars section.
  3. In the Sapling listing, tap the button so that it turns green
  4. Go into the Sapling App and open the More section in the top right side of the screen.
  5. Tap the option to Resync Calendar.

If you still do not see a “Sapling Learning” calendar in the iOS device’s Calendar application, please ensure that you are signed into iCloud and have the Calendar synchronization option turned on.

The Sapling App supports many types of resources such as PDF’s, text documents, presentations, interactive labs, links, audio files and video files. Simply tap a resource icon in the All or Resources sections and the resource will display within the app.

You can also choose to open a resource in another application, such as Safari or Keynote. To do this, open the resource from the Resources section, tap the Share icon on the top right of the screen and select an eligible app to open the resource.

If you don’t see any resources in the app, it’s probably because your instructor has not uploaded any. You can verify by looking at your course page from a desktop or laptop. If you don't see a resources section there, then you also won’t see any resources when you view your course from the Sapling App.
 

Some files are not supported on iOS devices. For example, Apple doesn’t support Flash files, Java applets, OGG videos, or Excel documents. To view these resources, try opening them with another supported app via the Share button on the top right of the screen.

If you are still having issues opening a resource within the app, here’s how to check whether or not your iOS device supports a particular resource file.

  1. Open a web browser on your device.
  2. Go to www.saplinglearning.com and login.
  3. In the Resources section, find the file in question and try loading it.

If you have issues with the file or it fails to load, you will need to view it on your laptop or desktop.

Instructor tips

Instructors can find this guide for uploading mobile-friendly resources.

If an eTextbook is available in your Sapling Learning course, you can purchase it within a web browser on a desktop or laptop computer. Once purchased, you can read the eTextbook within the Sapling App on an iPad (see the Resources section of the Sapling App).

The majority of eTextbooks offered are not yet available for the iPhone.

Some eTextbooks are not optimized for the smaller iPhone screen and will display messaging that instructs you to view the book on an iPad or web browser.

For most eTextbooks, the skim and highlight features are only available when you access the eTextbook from a web browser on a desktop or laptop computer.

The ebook, Chemistry: Fundamentals and Principles by Davidson, does not offer the ability to skim or highlight.

The iOS Sapling App for students is designed to support many types of resources such as PDF’s, text documents, presentations, interactive labs, links, audio files and video files.

When adding audio and video items to your course, please note that the quality and length of a video or audio file will affect the download time required, which is important to consider if students are using the app on their cellular data plan instead of a faster and perhaps free, wireless connection.

Recommended file types for resources

  • Text, presentation and image formats such as PDF, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, JPEG, GIF and PNG files.
  • MP3 audio format with audio quality not more than 128kbps.
  • MP4 video format. Please test your MP4 files with a web browser on an iOS mobile device before uploading to a course as there are many ways to encode these files and some are incompatible with iOS.

Avoid file formats that are not compatible with iOS devices such as Flash, Java applets and Ogg audio files.

Interactives are digital learning tools that are designed to engage students in scientific inquiry and to enhance their conceptual understanding of difficult topics. The interactives page contains three biology interactives that you can explore to get a direct feel for the dynamic nature of our interactives.

Below is a screen capture video of our Atom Builder interactive, which enables students to build atoms with protons, neutrons, and electrons. In this interactive, students can examine the effect of each particle on the identity of the atom, the charge, and the mass number. The immediate feedback allows students to construct a working definition for each property of an atom.

We currently have over 100 interactives for various science and math disciplines, for use in both high school and college courses, and the list continues to grow. The specific subjects include:

  • General & Introductory Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Physical Science
  • General & Introductory Biology
  • Genetics
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Geometry
  • Algebra
  • Introductory Statistics (coming soon)
  • Economics

The interactives page contains a complete list of the interactives by subject, with titles and screenshots. Many of the interactives can be used across disciplines or as review tools in upper level courses.

For many courses, we have already identified any relevant interactives and added them to the course site as optional resources. The interactives appear in blue font with a chain link icon, and include the title of the interactive followed by the word “Lab,” as shown in the example for the Atom Builder interactive below.

The interactives page contains a complete list of the interactives. Each interactive is available for use as a separate activity or within a Sapling Learning assignment. Contact your TechTA to have a link to an interactive added to your course. To find questions for an interactive using the Sapling Interactives taxonomy, see assessing student use.

 

Our interactives are designed to be flexible to meet a variety of instructional goals. Below are some examples of ways to integrate our interactives with instruction to engage students inside and outside of the classroom.

  • Online homework: You can assign questions about an interactive as homework so that students are prepared to apply the concept in class. Many of our interactives enable students to discover relationships before formal instruction on the topic.
  • Clicker questions: You can project an interactive during a lecture and ask students your own prediction question. You can collect student responses and then use the interactive to show students the result and facilitate a classroom discussion.
  • In-class activity: You can have students work in pairs during class to collect and analyze data from an interactive. You can ask students to explain their reasoning and give students an opportunity to practice scientific writing skills.

 

Each interactive has associated Sapling Learning questions that assess student understanding of the concept presented. The questions function the same as our regular problems, with the only difference being the addition of a link to the interactive. Below is an example question for the Atom Builder interactive.

This question prompts students to discover that the identity of an atom only depends on the number of protons in the nucleus. Like all of our questions, it contains targeted feedback to guide students toward the learning objective.

As in the above example, the questions often include art from the interactive to further encourage students to use the interactive as a resource. Many of our questions also include randomization to encourage productive collaboration among students.

The questions for an interactive can either be grouped into a separate assignment around the interactive or integrated into an existing assignment about the topic. In both cases, the assignment will appear in green font with a leaf icon, as shown in the example for the Atom Builder interactive below.

To identify questions for an interactive within an assignment, open the assignment and examine the Topic column. The topic names for interactives end in the word “Interactive,” as shown below. To find more questions to include in an assignment, open the question bank and expand the Sapling Interactives taxonomy. We currently have an average of 5 questions for each interactive. For more guidance, please see Finding Questions and Adding and Removing Questions.

 

We are currently piloting an activity worksheet for use with our Atom Builder interactive, since instructors have told us that this type of resource would be useful for their courses.

The activity worksheet guides students through the learning goals of the Atom Builder interactive. Students are asked to explore the interactive, to describe their understanding, and to make predictions.

Contact your TechTA to have the Atom Builder worksheet added to your course, either hidden or visible to students. A hidden link will appear in gray font with a PDF icon, as shown below.

We are currently evaluating instructor feedback to assess the demand for activity worksheets for other interactives.

Our interactives are developed in HTML5 to enable use on a wide variety of platforms, including tablets, with both touch and mouse input. Below is a list of the operating systems and browsers that we support. Due to small screen sizes, we do not officially support smartphones, although most of the interactives also work on those devices.

Operating systems

  • Windows 7+
  • Mac 10.9+
  • Chrome OS
  • iOS 8+
  • Android 4+

Browsers

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari 9+
  • Internet Explorer 11+
  • Microsoft Edge​

On the other hand, the majority of Sapling Learning questions for higher education courses are currently written in Flash. As a result, most of our assignments cannot be completed on mobile devices. Please refer to our System Requirements for more information.

Sakai integration can only be set up by a Sakai administrator. Your TechTA will provide you with the Tool URL, key, and secret, which you can provide to the Sakai admin at your school. Or, if you prefer, you may put your TechTA in direct contact with your school's Sakai administrator.

Related Links:

These instructions describe how to set up Sapling Learning as an approved LTI Tool for use in your Moodle course, where LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability.

  1. Enter the course in your school's Moodle system and Turn editing on.
  2. Add an activity where you want the Sapling Learning link to be.
    Location of link to add an activity or resource on course page.
  3. Choose External Tool and click Add.
    Location of external tool option
  4. Click the Show more... link.
  5. Fill in the Activity name, for example, "Sapling Learning Homework"
  6. For External tool type, select the plus sign (+) to enter the Tool settings.
    Location of plus button relative to tool type dropdown
  7. Fill in the Tool name , Tool base URL, Consumer key, and Shared secret. The Tool base URL must be gateway.mnv-tech.com. Your TechTA will provide the rest.
    Example of completed settings form
  8. In the Privacy section, select Force SSL and Save.
    Location of Force SSL option
  9. Select the new tool from the drop down list and make sure the key/secret are removed here, otherwise you will get a 401 error due to invalid key/secret.
  10. Be sure to select New window for the Launch container.
    Locations of tool type and launch container options.
  11. Also make sure all the boxes in the Privacy section are checked ( Share launcher's name with the tool, Share launcher's email with the tool, Accept grades from the tool).
  12. Click Save and return to course.
  13. Send your class the instructions for student sign-up.
  14. If desired, set up grade sync within your Sapling Learning course.

Access cards may be available for purchase in your school's bookstore or as part of a bundle with your textbook. If you have an access card and would like to use it to pay for a course in Sapling Learning, please select the Use Prepaid Access Card option when you reach the payment page, and enter the code found under the scratch-off strip.

If you don't have an Access Card, you can pay using credit card or PayPal.

Sapling Learning
211 East 7th Street, 4th Floor
Austin, Texas 78701

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