MyCourses Default and Example Workspaces

Default workspace sections explained

Default workspace sections

Examples of contents

Course Homepage

Homepage is the starting point of the course workspace. As you can see form the course workspace layout a lot of the course actions, events and news are generated with the dynamic elements of the workspace: recent activity, progress bar, latest news, upcoming events and activities; for example, a calendar provides schedules for the course. The default Activities of the Homepage are:

  • News Forum is for sending urgent announcements to course participants; it  is a one-way tool for course announcements only i.e. from teachers to students.
  • General Discussion is a forum for course participants' internal discussions. The students' discussions do not have to be followed nor graded by the teachers. Though, if followed, some questions generated online might be good to clarify online or during the next lecture. The teachers can create additional forums.
Starting December 2, 2015 teachers can open MyCourses forums to the world by enabling guest access. More information about MyCourses workspace and material visibility.

What is the most important information that should be shown on the Homepage? The Course Homepage is a like any other Section, to which teachers can add for example:

  • Pages which contain
    • complementing or extended syllabus compared with the official Oodi information,
    • how-to-information for students about the course or
    • other instructions
  • Any other Resource or Activity


Open guest access is allowed by default. The sections in the workspace are open to all internet users (guest access) by default with the exception of "For Aalto" -section. Please remember that copyright does not by default allow copying material to the course workspace. Respecting IPR is possible by linking and referring to learning material, if you do not have copyright on it. Read more about copyright (in Finnish or in English).

In the Materials section we suggest the following:

  • Arrange material (files, links etc.) in folders which reflect the course contents and schedule. Use description field of each folder to explain the folder contents to the students. Start each description field with a meaningful heading.
  • Upload or embed material with meaningful names and descriptions to folders. Lecture or other material can be simply be dragged and dropped even folder by folder from your own drives to the section.

Restricting visibility of the activities and resources is possible.


All course assignments (exercises, tasks, works, quizzes etc.) can be can be delivered, submitted and graded online. By using Assignments and other Activities you can avoid lots of email. There are many Resources and Activities to choose from. In principle, you just simply

  • Create Assignments or other Activities here in order for them to appear in grading tool. Write text or upload files to describe the assignments and
  • Grade the assignments with the Grade Book. All Assignments that contain a deadline are items in progress bar as well.

For Aalto

For Aalto -section is not open for guest access. It was created for publishing exam results to Aalto students who are not enrolled to the course and hence are not members of the workspace either. The results should always be so-called protected content i.e. available only for users who have logged in.

The section can be renamed to "Results", for example. Remember that if you rename the section, its visibility properties remain intact. In general, this section can be used as a place for content, which the teacher wishes to limit for only Aalto users. 

Members of the workspace see their grades if the the Grade Book is in use. By using grading within the system you avoid extra work in publishing results in separate files in For Aalto -section.

Course Overview

Note that this section cannot be hidden from open guest access. The overview contains only non-editable information and links from Oodi, which is the primary source of official study information. The teachers may add there:

  • A picture representing the course subject area
  • For example a syllabus, can be uploaded and attached. At maximum two attachments is allowed in this section.

Comparison of the default workspace and two extended examples

Default workspace
Content based workspace
Time based workspace

The Default workspace reproduces the Noppa-like features with additional interactive and dynamic tools:

  • Homepage is the starting point of the workspace
    • News Forum for announcements. The default forum's name cannot be changed.
    • General Discussion is for members of the workspace. More forums can be created.
    • Other teacher generated information
  • Materials section can be structured by folders or at its simplest as a list of files
  • Assignments section can be used for simply delivering excercises as files or text, but by using the Activities enables student submissions and grading of the submissions.
  • For Aalto is the easiest way for restrict content  visibility to logged in Aalto users. Remember that if you rename the section, its visibility properties remain intact.
  • Course Overview contains information, links and possible attachments that are always visible to the guest users. The content of the Overview are shown in the course search results.

You may wish to use a chronological naming order within Materials section, for example by naming the Folders you can create a "Lecture Schedule" that was in many cases the way to list learning material in Noppa:

The default workspace is only a "minimum effort" example. Teachers most likely would like to hide, rename and reorder the Sections or the Activities and Resources in them. Employing Sections enables creating distinct and usable views on the course.

It is recommended that the naming conventions would follow a common practise, perhaps best decided within a programme or discipline.

One approach in extending the setup is also to guide the students by making new sections:

  • Create new sections and name them by using information that best describes their contents or action
  • Arrange the section contents according to Resources and/or Activities
  • Use description field of each and use a meaningful heading in each description

You can choose from he below list of examples and consider the naming of the sections according to their theme, contents or purpose. You can also mix the suggestions to suit your needs:

Employing Sections enables creating distinct and usable views on the course. The views can serve as a schedule, which is complemented with the calendar events for the whole course.

Sometimes the natural way of presenting the course is by creating a chronological section structure.

You could arrange a section internally according to material, Resources and/or Activities of the specific week. You can choose any suggestions from the list of content based workspace.

You can also mix the above suggestions to suit your needs. It is recommended that the naming conventions would follow a common practise, preferably decided within a programme or discipline.

You could employ some of the suggestions below:

Sections' names are bolded, activites/resources or folders are not. Different naming ideas are separated with a slash.
  • Course Homepage
    • News Forum
    • General Discussion
  • Materials
    • Lecture 1
    • Lecture 2
    • Lecture ...
    • Lecture n-1
    • Lecture n
  • Assignments
    • Assignment 1
    • Assignment 2
    • Assignment ...
    • Assignment n-1
    • Assignment n
  • For Aalto
    • File 1
    • File 2
    • File ...
    • File n-1
    • File n
  • Course Overview
  • Course homepage
  • Meetings / Scheduler
  • Introduction / Syllabus
  • Programme / Schedule
  • Instructions / Guides
  • Materials / Lectures / Literature / Links
    • Lecture 1
    • Lecture 2
    • Lecture ...
    • Lecture n-1
    • Lecture n
  • Assignments / Exercises / Quizzes
  • Diaries / Porfolios / Reports
  • Discussion Forums
  • For Aalto / Grades / Results
  • Feedback / Discussion
  • Contact / Personnel
  • Course Overview
  • Course homepage
  • Week / Contact Day / Meeting / Exercise / Lecture 1
    • Instructions / Guides
    • Materials / Lectures / Literature / Links
    • Assignments / Exercises / Quizzes
    • Diaries / Porfolios / Reports
    • Discussion Forums
  • Week / Contact Day / Meeting / Exercise / Lecture ...
    • as above
  • Week / Contact Day / Meeting / Exercise / Lecture n-1
    • as above
  • Week / Contact Day / Meeting / Exercise / Lecture n
    • as above
  • For Aalto / Grades / Results
  • Course Overview


Some MyCourses Features Compared with Aalto Moodle

Look and feel - Each section given its own page; workspaces don’t grow as long as in Aalto Moodle. Control buttons given blue color throughout

Oodi integration - Teachers and enrolled students receive rights automatically according to Oodi information.

Calendar to go - Lecture times and locations from Oodi are synced to course workspace calendar, which can be exported to personal calendars.

Open Access by default - By default the course sites are open to the not logged-in users. Openly accessible things include course overview, unrestricted material, activity names and forthcoming calendar events. The information automatically generated from Oodi can not be hidden.

Progress bar - A visual representation of student’s progress according to the teacher-selected goals.

Turnitin originality check - Turnitin checks texts against comparison databases for similarity. Comparison databases include: web pages, student papers and library databases and publications. The originality check report shows only similarities, it does not identify plagiarism. The reports have to be interpreted. wiki.aalto.fi/display/turnitin

STACK integration - The STACK system is a computer aided assessment package for mathematics, which provides a question type for the Moodle quiz. In computer aided assessment (CAA), there are two classes of question types.

Roles - Student, Teacher, Aalto user, Guest, Haka user