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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, email us at support@saplinglearning.com.

Accounts, Registration, and Payment

Assignments and Grades

Technical and Miscellaneous Issues

You can leave an assignment and come back later (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.
  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, contact support@saplinglearning.com. 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.

Assuming the courses have the same cost, we can switch you over, no problem. Just email us at wrongcourse@saplinglearning.com with 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 multi-course discount 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.

To keep the software affordable, we use PayPal to process payments for our site (even credit card payments, without a PayPal account). PayPal is a secure option for paying for services on the internet. If your credit card is not accepted or you have other difficulties with the payment process, contact PayPal customer service. If PayPal customer service is unable to resolve your problem, contact support@saplinglearning.com.

Surprisingly often, students create 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 email support@saplinglearning.com with your transaction or receipt ID.

At the beginning of each class, there is approximately a two-week grace period in which you can enter the course for free and do all your work. At the end of the grace period you will be prompted to pay.

When you click on a course for the first time, you will have the option to enter an Access Card Code which is found on your 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.

If you have already gotten into the course via the grace period, you can enter your Access Card Code by clicking pay now at the top of your course page.

You most likely had some score deductions for incorrect attempts on one or more questions. There is an explanation of the grading policies at the top of each assignment. Check there for explanations specific to your course. Here are the most common grading policies.

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 your 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 (just as changing the clocks in your house doesn't make your favorite TV show come on earlier). 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.

Send an email to support@saplinglearning.com 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, let us know at support@saplinglearning.com.

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. Sapling Learning does not offer tutoring, but we recommend http://www.tutor.com.

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.

  • 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 a different browser, a different printer, or clearing your cache.

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  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.

Support for students is done entirely via email by a knowledgeable and speedy team located at our headquarters in Austin, TX. To protect your privacy, we do not offer support over the phone. If you need help, send an email to support@saplinglearning.com and a real live person will get back to you in a timely manner (usually less than 24 hours). To speed up the process, please send your message from the email address associated with your Sapling Learning account.

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

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  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.

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. You should 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.

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.).

Most of the time, 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 your students have questions, they should contact support@saplinglearning.com. Your TechTA won't be able to help your students as quickly and efficiently as the support team can. Our support team is located at our headquarters in Austin, TX. Furthernore, all the members of the support team have degrees in the sciences, so don't worry; we strive to provide excellent service at all levels.

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.

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

1. Creating accounts.
2. Registering for courses.

1. Click US 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, contact support@saplinglearning.com.
 

1. Log in.

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

3. Click on your subject to expand the menu.

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.

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.

7. 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.

When you return from paying, you will be enrolled in your course. If your credit card is not accepted or you have other difficulties with the payment process, contact PayPal customer service (they handle all of our payments, including credit cards).

Once you have registered and enrolled, you can log in at any time to complete or review your homework assignments. If you have any problems, send an email to support@saplinglearning.com explaining your issue.

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.

2. Next you should see a page that looks like this. If you do not see this page, you may need to first click
pay now near the top of the page.

3. Click Use my Sapling Learning credit to enter the course.

Since 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.

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.

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:

  • Log in to your account using the login box at the top of the page.
  • After you log in, click your name at the top-right corner of the page.
  • Click Edit profile.
  • Change the information as required. You can find the "ID Number" field at the bottom by clicking "Show Advanced."
  • Enter any information in red that is not already filled out (for example, you may have to select a country if your account was created without a country being selected).
  • 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.

 

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 send an email to: refund@saplinglearning.com with 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 retakes an academic course that uses the same Sapling Learning online homework Higher Education product, that user will be granted free access to the new homework product for the retake upon request to support@saplinglearning.com. 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.

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  button near the top right of the question panel.

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:

  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 let us know at support@saplinglearning.com. 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.

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 NH2group below. (Note: the button may be disabled in some questions).

 

 

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.

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.
h Organic chemistry mode: Add a hydrogen atom to the clicked atom, to produce species such as CH2.
shift+h Organic chemistry mode: Remove a hydrogen atom from the clicked atom.

 

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.

Most assignments can be printed. While we recommend completing your assignments online to avoid wasting paper, we understand that sometimes it is easier to work things out on paper. To print an assignment:

  1. Click the activity you wish to print.
  2. 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.
  3. Choose whether you want to print the entire assignment or to print the current item (one single question).
  4. Follow any additional on-screen prompts (these will depend on your computer's printing settings).
  5. Complete the assignment.
  6. Return to the site to enter your answers and receive feedback. 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.

Why can't I print solutions?

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

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

Hardware

PC

  • Intel Pentium II 450MHZ or faster
  • 128MB of RAM

Mac

  • PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 500MHz or faster
  • Intel Core Duo 1.33 Ghz or faster
  • 256MB of RAM

We do not officially support Linux or any mobile device at this time.  

Software

Flash Player 11.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.

Windows

  • MS Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8
  • Internet Explorer 9+
  • Firefox 24+
  • Chrome 30+

Mac

  • OS X 10.4+
  • Firefox 24+
  • Chrome 30+
  • Safari 4.1+

 

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. These scores are not included in totals, since they represent your score so far on that assignment.
  • 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.

Be sure to check your course for any grading policies specific to your course.

  • Multiple Attempts: You may attempt each question over and over until you either get it right, or give up and request the solution.
  • Attempt Penalty: Each wrong answer docks 5% from your score on that question. For example, if you get a question correct on the third try, you get a 90% on that question. The individual question scores then get averaged to give your score on the assignment.
  • Partial Credit: Each successfully answered blank 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." Thus, you may exit a partially completed assignment, then return to it later and resume where you left off. If you have entered an answer without clicking "Check Answer," that answer will not be saved.
  • Reporting to Gradebook: Your score in the gradebook is updated every time you click "Check Answer." For more information, see Grades.
  1. Some schools use an external grade book beyond what Sapling Learning uses to record your grades and your teachers have the option of exporting those grades through a variety of settings. Mismatches or absence of your student ID number in your account may be the cause of your missing grade. You can add your ID number to your profile by going here, and scrolling down to the bottom and hitting show advanced. In the "ID number" field, enter your ID and click update.
  2. Make sure you are in the correct section and class, as if you aren't registered correctly, then you will not show up in that area of your instructor's grade book.

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, let us know at support@saplinglearning.com. 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.

 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 arrows located at the top of the reading pane. Clicking anywhere on the left half of this bar will take you to the previous page while anywhere on the right half will take you to the next page. The navigation bar will also appear when your mouse pointer reaches the bottom of the reading pane.

 In the navigation pane, each square below the title of the chapter corresponds to a page of the current chapter.  To jump directly to a specific page in the current chapter, you can click on any of the squares in the navigation pane. Each dark square corresponds to the first page of a sections, and the subsequent light gray squares correspond to pages within that section. Hovering your mouse pointer over any of the squares in the navigation pane will display the section title for a section start page or the page number for any other page. Clicking on any of the squares will take you to that page.

 If there are more pages available than can be displayed in navigation pane, an icon with an ellipsis will appear. Click on the ellipsis icon to navigate to the additional pages.

 In the navigation pane, clicking on the left arrow next to the chapter title will take you to the first page of the previous chapter, while clicking on the right arrow will take you to the first page of the next chapter.

To navigate to a different chapter, click on the up arrow next to the chapter title. This will switch the navigation pane from page mode to chapter mode. An icon for each chapter of the eTextbook is shown, with the current chapter highlighted in orange. Hovering your mouse pointer over any of the chapter icons will display the title of the chosen chapter. Clicking on one of the icons will take you to the first page of that chapter. To cancel chapter mode, click on the orange icon for the current chapter; you will remain on the current page of the eTextbook and return to page navigation mode.

 If there are more chapters than can be shown in navigation pane, an icon with an ellipsis will be shown to indicate the presence of additional chapters. Click on the ellipsis icon to navigate to the additional chapters.

 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 to the left of the navigation bar. 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.

You can search for any word or phrase contained in the book text, your notes, your shared notes, or your highlights. Your search results will be categorized by where they are found. Search results are not case sensitive.

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. Clicking on Book Text will show all of the corresponding results below. Clicking on the text of any of the results will take you 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. Clicking on the text of any of the results will take you directly to the page containing that note and the note will be opened. If there is a link contained in the note (internal or external), if you click on the link shown in the search results box, you will be taken 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. Clicking on the page number of the search result will take you directly to the page containing the corresponding highlight. The search term will be highlighted in yellow within your existing highlight.

 There 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 text area as well as the Note Editor. 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.

 Each time you log into your eTextbook, it opens to the page you last left off on. 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 left click on the bookmark icon near the top left corner of the reading pane, or you can right click anywhere in the reading pane, and then left click on the Add bookmark icon in the middle of the menu.

 Your bookmarks are saved in the My Bookmarks section of the MY REFERENCES menu. Each bookmark is listed with the page number as well as the date the bookmark was made.

As an instructor, you can share a note with your students. This note will show up in their MY REFERENCES section under Shared Notes. To learn more about the MY REFERENCES section of the reader, please watch the video entitled My References.

 To share a note, create a note as you normally would (for more detailed instructions, watch the video on notes), 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 in MY REFERENCES 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.

As a user, 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. Your My Highlights section should now reflect another 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 on the right side of 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 Making notes video.

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

The My References section of the eTextbook is where your notes, highlights, bookmarks, and shared notes are stored

 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.

 My Notes are similar to shared notes, but these are notes that you have made in your version of the eTextbook. These notes are linked to your user account and so will follow you to whichever device you are using to log into Sapling Learning.

 The My 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 that bookmarked page, click on the page number or date of the desired bookmark.

 The My 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.

Your Tech TA is here to help you with most of your course management needs. If you'd like to make changes on your own, this menu will help you. If you can't find what you're looking for, contact your Tech TA.

Start by watching the 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 this 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. The current generation of students is familiar with this process and shouldn'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.

For more information on the sign-up process, please select your country: US, Canada, other

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

Now, you’ll notice a row of icons after each activity or resource.

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: After clicking the move button, you will be prompted to click on a white rectangle that represents the desired position of the link. 
Edit: Allows you to change settings of a resource or activity.
Delete: Deletes the activity or resource forever. There is a confirmation, but no undo.
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.
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: 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.

 

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

Collapse/Expand: Click this button to collapse the page to show only that week/topic. Click again to expand back to the full page view. 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 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/Show: Click to hide the entire block and everything in it. Click again to unhide.
Move up/down: Click the up or down arrow to move the entire block by one position in the relative order. You may also want to change the grade column order if you do this.

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

2. Scroll to the block you 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 gray 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 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.
     
     

 

 

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.

 

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

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.

Populating groups

1. Click on the name of an existing group and click Add/remove users.

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).

3. With at least one potential member selected, click the Add button.

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.

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.

Basic info on dividing students into groups can be found here. The following is an advanced option for instructors who need to create many 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.
  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.

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.

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).
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.

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

     

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.

 

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 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.

Make a post to only one 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 or icon next to the forum on the main course page to toggle through the options.
  2. Once configured, continue to or open the forum.
  3. Select the desired group from the Separate groups dropdown before adding a new topic or question.
  4. This option will also restrict student replies and posts, if applicable, to their own group.

To restrict the student's interaction to just their group but still allow them to see all posts for the other groups, choose Visible groups instead.

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 to do?

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. Activity links are indicated by the tree icon .
  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  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.

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

This 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.

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

Four built-in policy sets are available: Homework, Practice, Test, and Practice Test.

  • 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.
  • 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 question 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.

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). 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.

If 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.
  • 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 indicates that they are done with the assignment. This setting adds a Submit button to allow students to indicate that they are done with the assignment and wish to see how they did.
    • After Due Date: Reveal solutions after the due date passes. Regardless of the setting, solutions are always available to students after the due date passes.

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.

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.

 

This menu contains information about due dates.

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

To Set a Due Date

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.

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 right, 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.
 

To 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.

To 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 .

To 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 .

To Delete an Offset or Extension

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

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.

 

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 .

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 .

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. A new column, entitled Weight, now appears in the assignment.
  5. Click directly on a number in the Weight column and type to edit it.
  6. Press the Enter key on your keyboard to save.

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.

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.

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 right, 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.

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 winked eye icon  in the Settings panel. The icon will change to an open eye  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 winked eye iconnext to the activity.  The icon will change to an open eye  to indicate that students can see it.

From the Activities and Due Dates page

  1. Click Activities and Due Dates.
  2. Click the winked eye iconnext to the activity.  The icon will change to an open eye  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. This menu has its own help document.

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.

Editing the Activity Name

  • 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 . Type the desired name, then click the disk icon 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 . 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.

Editing the Description

  • 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 . Type the desired description, then scroll to the bottom and click Save and return to course.

There are three ways to access the gradebook.

  1. From your main course page, click on the Grades button.
  2. From the activity editor, click this icon .
  3. Or 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  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:

  •  to collapse the category, displaying only the summary score for that category.
  •  to expand the category, displaying all scores within that category.
  •  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  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 ( button) and clicking on any individual score.

For more information on categories, see Advanced Gradebook Settings.

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 scoreso 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.

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

From the gradebook, click the Export tab at the top of the gradebook. Once there, 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 or an Excel spreadsheet). The easiest option is the Plain text file, a comma-separated list (csv). Use this option if you will later import grades. 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 this file 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.

For more information, see the Moodle help doc on grade exports.

Importing Grades

To import grades, begin with an exported copy of your gradebook. If you are importing external grades, you will only need the "Email address" column from this export, but the "First name" and "Last name" columns will likely be helpful to help you match the grades to your external logs. Simply enter the name(s) of any new activities at the top of a column, and the score for each student in the same row as their email address. Save the file as a comma-separated list (csv).

Warning: Directly uploaded grades must have a maximum score of 100 or lower. If you wish for an item to have a max score above 100, add it to your gradebook and configure the maximum score before uploading (see below).

Once your file is prepared, choose the Import tab at the top of the gradebook. Click Choose File on the page that loads, and select your csv file. Leave everything else as-is. Click Upload Grades.

On the preview page, verify that your data appears. In the Identify user by block, choose Email address in the first drop-down, and useremail in the second. For each field in the Grade item mappings block, change the drop-down from ignore to either new gradeitem (if the item does not yet appear in your Sapling Learning gradebook), or to the name of an existing item in the gradebook if you are simply updating grades.

If you would like to add an item to the gradebook by hand, do one of the following:

Add grade item in grades.

  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.

Hand-graded activities.

You can also use Hand-Graded Activities to add external items to your Sapling gradebook. For more information, see the help page for hand-graded activities.

For more information, see the Moodle help doc on grade imports.

Grades for activities completed outside of Sapling Learning can also be logged in your Sapling Learning gradebook. This can be accomplished either by adding the activity directly to the gradebook, or by importing scores for the activity through a comma-separated list (CSV).

Direct Input of External Grades

This video show how to directly input external grades (there is no sound). Written steps are below.

  • Click Grades on the left side of your course webpage to open the gradebook.
  • Click Categories and items at the top of the page.
  • Click Add grade item at the bottom of the screen to which you are taken.
  • Enter the Item name (the name of the external assignment), the Maximum grade, and the Minimum grade. Ignore any other settings.
  • Click Save changes.
  • Click the View tab to return to your gradebook.
  • Click Turn editing on at the top-right of your gradebook.
  • Enter scores for the external assignment, and click Update.
  • Click Turn editing off at the top-right of your gradebook.
  • At any time, you can enter additional scores for this activity by clicking Turn editing on.

 

Importing Grades

If you would like to import several scores at once, see importing and exporting grades.

In addition to the standard, computer-graded Activities, you can also assign Hand-Graded Activities in your Sapling Learning courses. The two main hand-graded activities that you are likely to use are online essays or offline activities. Your Tech TA will be happy to help you set up and assign the hand-graded activities, or you can use this guide to do so yourself.

What do you want to learn to do?

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.

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 arrow button.

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

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.

There are two main types of hand-graded activities that you may want to assign: online essays and offline activities.

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.

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)”.


  

Online essays allow students to enter their answer using a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor. Note: most functions of the editor, such as bold and italics, are not available in the Google Chrome browser or the Apple Safari browser, so we advise that you not grade formatting in answers. To create an essay 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 Online essay under Hand-Graded Activities.
     
  3. Give the essay a name. This is what will appear to students on your main course page.
  4. Write the question you want your students to answer (and any other information they might need) in the Description.
  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).
  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 to copy the student's response to your comment block (so that you can add comments directly within their answer, like you might do in an email), turn on Comments inline. Otherwise, you will be given a blank 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 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 tree 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. You can enter these grades 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. Ignore the Prevent late submissions field.
  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.

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 across the top 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.  

5. The solution tab is for your reference only, and does not tell you whether the student has viewed the solution.

6. Click Question or Assignment to reset that component for this student.

8. Click Confirm.

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.

If you need to update the due date of a hand-graded activity or change any other settings, the process is relatively straightforward.

  1. Click the name of the activity you wish to update from your main course page.
  2. Click Update this Hand-Graded Activity near the top-right corner of the window.
  3. Edit the settings you wish to change. Be careful when you change the due date; your students might not notice the change until it is too late if you aren't careful to notify them.
  4. Click Save and return to course to save your changes.

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.

4. Enter the desired score (from 0 to 100) and click the disk icon to save.

Once your students have completed their hand-graded activities, the hand-grading step comes in.

  1. Click the name of the activity you wish to update from your main course page.
  2. Click the link near the top-right corner of the page, under "Update this Hand-Graded Activity." The link will say No attempts have been made on this activity for offline activities, or View X submitted activities (where X is the number of students who have submitted a response) for online essays.
  3. Click Grade or Update in the row for the submission you wish to grade (it's easiest to wait until the due date passes and grade all submissions, but in some cases you might want to grade some submissions before then). Note: Before the due date, students may have incomplete essays saved.
  4. In the window that pops up, enter any notes you have about the submission, and choose a score from the drop-down menu at the top-right corner.
  5. Click Save changes at any time to save your current comments and grade. Click Cancel to close the window without saving your changes. Click Save and show next to save this grade and see the next student's response. Click Next to see the next student's response without saving your comments on the current submission.
  6. When you finish grading, save the grade in the window you have open, and return to the main window.

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.
  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 .

Student Assignment Statistics

  1. Click Grades, then click on the name of an assignment in a column header. Or, click the bar-graph icon  in the activity editor .
     
  2. The colored blocks show a student's performance on a particular item.


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

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  private to only you and your students. Below you'll find more detailed information on editing the different types of modules you might find within a question.

Modules

The first place to turn if you can't find the question you're looking for is your Tech TA. Usually, they have provided a link on the right side of your course(s) with information about how to contact them (or you can just call or email them as normal). If you describe the question you want, they can usually get it to you within about a week (but the sooner you let them know you'll need the question, the better). They'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, they'll write it for you. 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 just want to put your own touch on an existing question, you can edit any question in our content bank:

  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. Find the question you want to edit in our library . Usually you can use the magnifying glass icon in the assignment . If you can't find it that way, 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 . 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 .
  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 .
  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 .
  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.

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. The system uses standard order of operations and recognizes alternative forms of mathematical expressions. 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. The equation editor can evaluate up to 4 variables; it is not advised to have more than 4 variables required for a graded entry.

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.

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.

Grading

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.

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.

Grading

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. 

  1. 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  button, 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

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.

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  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.  

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.