MyCourses Instructions for Teachers
MyCourses is the starting point for courses. MyCourses workspace can be used to send out announcements, share materials, receive student submissions, grade and give feedback. After the course is finished grades can be published there.
MyCourses is Moodle-based (version 3.0).
MyCourses imports information (course names and dates) and users (students and teachers) from Oodi.
If you can't access your course workspace after logging in, check with your local Oodi administrator that you are marked as a teacher in Oodi for that teaching event (course).
These links point to external pages:
- Default and Example Workspaces, tips for teachers
- Quick Start and Troubleshooting for Teachers
- Workspace and Material Visibility
- Instructions on moving to MyCourses from other platforms
- Aalto Library's guide to linking to licensed materials
- MyCourses FAQ and AVLE-project
Making new course workspaces - how and when
In the beginning of the academic year each public and confirmed course (opintokohde in Finnish) in Oodi with teaching events, except for exams, will have an automatically generated course workspace in MyCourses. Language Centre courses with enrollment to several groups will have automatically generated workspaces for each group. Manual production of course workspaces can be requested.
Teachers can request a Sandbox workspace (no students allowed, can be copied on the automatically generated, proper workspace), workspace for thesis supervision or workspace for educational development work (no students allowed). Make a request for special workspaces.
Instructions on moving to MyCourses from Other Platforms
Please note that the new course workspaces are generated each year. Reusing the current workspace the following year is not possible. Instead the previous year's workspace can be imported to the current year's workspace. This way you do not have to rebuild the whole workspace every year, just an update is needed.
We have some additional tips about how to use and restructure MyCourses Workspaces.
Log in to MyCourses
mycourses.aalto.fi - official course spaces for new courses for the whole academic year.
How to log in
Top right corner: Log in → choose "Login as Aalto user".
Use your Aalto user name and password.
Please note: External (not HAKA or Aalto users) workspace members are nor allowed in MyCourses. Faculty members, who wish to invite for example their foreign colleagues to the workspace, can request a Visitor Account for the visitor. More information (requires aalto-login).
Finding your course workspaces
You will see your courses after logging in. They are also listed under the My own courses -link in the top navigation bar.
Please note that course workspaces, which are set hidden from students can still be seen by the workspace teachers. A whole workspace can be hidden by teachers' request and by administrators only.
|A||List of your courses|
|B||Your calendar and upcoming events|
Automatic enrollment to course workspace
In general, enrollments should be administered in Oodi. Every session (login) in MyCourses starts with an automated Oodi check of the user's access rights to workspaces. In addition, the member lists of all MyCourses workspaces are hourly synced from Oodi. These two integrations mean that if a user is added or removed from a course in Oodi, he/she will be added/removed from MyCourses workspace during next login to MyCourses or automatically after one hour the latest.
After students have enrolled to the course in Oodi, they can access the course workspace in a Student role when they next time login to MyCourses. A student can not access the course workspace if his/her enrolment status is either planned, rejected or canceled.
If you have been marked as a Teacher in WebOodi (vastuuopettaja, luennoitsija or harjoitustöiden pitäjä) you will automatically get Teacher rights to your course workspaces. Your own courses are shown in the upper navigation listing in MyCourses.
Please note that persons who are marked as a Virkailija for a course level teaching event in Oodi, will get automatically teacher access to the corresponding course workspace - their role is called Workspace Assistant. The role is intended for personnel who may be responsible for supporting course activities.
There is generally no need for enrollment keys we had in Aalto Moodle. In some cases the teacher may wish to manually add persons with differing roles to the course site. See instructions in the next section.
Since 24.2.2016 students have possibility to toggle their activity status in MyCourses workspace. This means that teacher sees students names in grey in assignment student list. Teacher can still see student files and activity but student do not get any email from course space. It it important that student can set his/her status as needed.
How to manually add members to your workspace
Go to Course administration → Users → Enrolled users → Enrol users
Choose the appropriate role - Student role for students and Teacher role for teaching personnel - for the person you are adding, and use the search below. Click Enrol on the person you wish to add and when you're done Finish enrolling users.
Users, including HAKA-users, can be enrolled to course workspaces manually only if they have at least once logged in to MyCourses.
You may also change participant's roles from the Roles -column and pressing the plus -icon.
External (not HAKA or Aalto users) workspace members are nor allowed in MyCourses. Faculty members, who wish to invite for example their foreign colleagues to the workspace, can request a Visitor Account for the visitor. More information (requires aalto-login).
Please note that persons who act as a Category Assistant for all courses of a specific category (school or department level) have similar rights than a Teacher in all respective workspaces. Category Assistants role is granted by request on behalf of the school or department (more information). The role is intended for service personnel who may be responsible for supporting course activities.
Course workspace layout
|Top navigation bar|
Link to My Home
|D||Listing of resources and activities in use|
Changing the interface language
Users can by default change the interface language. A dropdown list in the top navigation bar contains all available languages. If you find issues in translations let us know.
Forcing a specific language within a course workspace
A teacher can force the course workspace interface language by changing the following setting:
Course administration → Edit settings → Appereance → Force language
Editing the course workspace
You need to have teacher-rights to edit the course site. In your workspace, click Turn editing on on the top navigation bar.
This will open you the tools necessary to edit the course site. Big blue buttons are generally for controlling the workspace.
Important functions while in editing mode:
Importing contents from your previous course space
You can import (copy) all or some contents (activities, resurces) from your previous course work space using Import. To do that, you must have a teacher role in both work spaces. Do not import users. You probably need to add and rename sections on your new workspace after importing.
If your previous course was in Moodle instead of MyCourses, please contact support personnel.
Adding and removing sections
You can add, remove, rename and rearrange sections in your workspace.
When editing mode is on you can find three blue buttons "Show all sections","Add new section" and "Remove last section" in left column. (Marked with C in picture abowe)
Click "Add section" and you will get a new section to the left navigation. Added section will be given a default name, such as Section 5.
When you click "Remove last section" the last section shown in left column is removed. This action does not delete the section nor its contents, but it hides it from the users. To restore the hidden section, just click "Add new section" and hidden section is shown again.
Although the sections can never be deleted, their content can be deleted (Activities/Resources).
To reorder sections, first click "Show all sections" -button and then drag and drop sections from cross-symbol in front of the sections name. Clicking on the "list view" -button on the top collapses the sections so moving becomes easier.
Section reaordering is usable also when you want to remove section which is the middle of sections. Reorder sections as the removable sectios comes last and then remove last section.
Please take a look at some tips how to use and restructure MyCourses Workspaces.
Activities and Resources
MyCourses contains many Activities and Resources. Their listing and descriptions are found, with editing turned on, in the end of any section by clicking open Add an activity or resource.
In Teacher role users can during a session upgrade themselves to Advanced teacher role in order to use all available activities and resources. (On the left navigation: Switch role to → Advanced teacher)
Open access is the default
The default setting in each course workspace is that they are openly visible to guest users, i.e. all internet users. On the course homepage and any other section openly accessible things include unrestricted material, activity names and descriptions and forthcoming calendar events. The course overview is a special case, whose visibility cannot be restricted.
Interaction (assignments, discussions, feedback, guiding etc.) during the course is between course members only. Especially the students' activity is not openly visible.
Note that many publishers do not allow their material, to be saved and shared through course web pages or different portals (detailed user terms of single services can be found from here). You can, however, link electronic materials for the use of students by using Bib.fi-links and Libproxy-links. More information at Aalto Library's guide to linking to licensed materials.
Although open guest access is the default, access can be restricted, and the teachers can control it. Below are short tips on limiting visibility in MyCourses, more about workspace and material visibility is found on a separate page: MyCourses workspace and material visibility.
Open guest access increases the visibility of Aalto University's education. Current, future and past students of Aalto University can see and browse course contents and perhaps get interested in various studies. For teachers, open guest access supports the idea of developing teaching collaboratively. It also enables teachers to showcase their work.
Course workspaces, which are set hidden from students can still be seen by the workspace teachers. A whole workspace can be hidden by teachers' request and by administrators only.
How to limit workspace guest access
A guest is a user who doesn't have an Aalto- or a Haka- account (non logged in user). To disable guest access from your workspace go to:
Course administration → Users → Enrolment methods → Guest access → Hide (eye icon)
How to restrict access to a section, resource or an activity
On every section, resource (e.g. Folder) or activity administration, you can restrict access to that object.
Open the section → Editing mode on → Edit → Edit section name and summary → Restrict access → Add restriction → Choose to restrict either by:
- Group (You must have groups created before you can use this)
- Grouping (You must have groups and groupings created before you can use this)
- Role (With Student-role, you can restrict access to your course students only)
- User Profile (e.g. restrict with email containing @aalto.fi)
- Restriction set (add a set of nested restrictions to apply complex logic, e.g. group + date)
How to limit resource visibility to course members only
Open the resource → Activity administration → Edit settings → Restrict access → Add restriction → Role → Student
Accessibility in course space
Add screen reader to your course space.
- Turn editing on → Add a block → Select: ReadSpeaker Enterprise Highlighting
- Move block to right position
- Configure: Select language → language you use in course space. Notice! student can not change the language.
- Configure: choose where block appears in course space → all pages
- save changes
Add ReadSpeaker block
Remove ReadSpeaker block
Use the news forum to send urgent announcements to course participants. The News Forum is for one-way messaging only - from teachers to students. All postings of the News Forum are shown to course members only. An e-mail alert containing the message is sent to members.
Students can choose in their profile to receive separate messages for each announcement, daily digest or no messages.
Please read MyCourses workspace and material visibility before altering the visibility settings:
- How to open the News Forum to all Aalto/Haka users: open News Forum → Forum Administration → Permissions → View Discussions → click the + sign → select Authenticated user (Aalto/Haka user) → Allow
- How to open the News Forum to the world, i.e. guests (not logged in users): open News Forum → Forum Administration → Permissions → View Discussions → click the + sign → select Guest (not logged in user) → Allow
How to send an announcement with email notification to students
- Click Add a new topic on the right column of the workspace
- Fill in the subject title and the content
- check the mail now option
- Click Post to forum
- Go to Course home page
- Click News forum
- Click Add a new topic
- Fill in the subject title and the content
- check the mail now option
- Click Post to forum
A discussion forum for course participants. It can be used for internal discussion, posting questions about course content, forming groups etc. The teacher can create additional forums.
Please read MyCourses workspace and material visibility before altering forum's visibility settings.
How to subscribe General discussion
Turn Editing mode on.
Click General discussion -link on workspace front page
Click Forum administration in left side column
Click "Subscribe to this forum".
The default setting in each course workspace is that they are openly visible to guest users, i.e. all internet users. Above you'll find short tips on limiting visibility in MyCourses, more about workspace and material visibility is found on a separate page: MyCourses workspace and material visibility.
MyCourses supports individual file sizes up to 200 MB. Note that many publishers do not allow their material to be saved and shared through course web pages or different portals (detailed user terms of single services can be found from here). You can, however, link electronic materials for the use of students by using Bib.fi-links and Libproxy-links. More information at Aalto Library's guide to linking to licensed materials.
How to add files
Go to your Materials -section and go to Editing mode
- Click Add an activity or resource (B) → Choose Folder
- Give the folder a name and description
- You can either drag and drop files on the blue arrow icon, or click the white square icon to open the file adding dialogue
- Click Add an activity or resource (B) → Choose File
- Give it a name and a description
- You can either drag and drop files on the blue arrow icon, or click the white square icon to open the file adding dialogue
- It's also possible to add sub-folders to folders
- Drag and drop files directly to the middle column of the workspace between the A and B.
- notice that files added this way are set to be open by default
How to link a single file to multiple workspaces
Add a file to your personal files → While adding a file to a workspace use the Private files -directory → Pick the file you wish to add, and choose Create an alias/shortcut to the file
This way the file updates to the workspaces its linked to when you overwrite the file within your Private files.
How to link within course workspace
Any activity or resource name is recognised by MyCourses and turned into a link.
E.g. Typing News forum in any description field will create a link automatically. The linking works within a single workspace.
How to link to external material
Add resource → URL
Alternatively Add an activity or resource → Choose Page → Copy and paste a list of links to the page content field
All users have their own personal calendars. Personal calendar shows only the events from course workspaces the user is a member of.
The calendar may contain events created by Oodi, due dates created by activity, and events created by teacher him/herself.
Please note that it is not recommended to add attachments to calendar events, since they cannot be imported to the next year's course calendar. If you follow the the instructions on Material delivery, next year you can import your current workspace materials and other Sections into the empty workspace.
The course calendar contains room and time information on lectures and exercises automatically driven from Oodi. Oodi-based information (event title, date and time) will be overwritten nightly, but you may add information on the description field. This field is not overwritten.
If you need to delete a calendar event that was created automatically from Oodi, you need to delete it only from Oodi. Event will be removed from MyCourses next night.
The course workspace activities' deadlines (due date) will be added to the course calendar automatically.
Events created by teacher
Teachers can create new calendar events.
The calendar can be synced with Aalto University Exchange calendar (Outlook Web Access) or other calendar systems which support iCal-format, such as Google Calendar.
Different calendar views
Exporting the calendar to mail.aalto.fi -calendar
If your calendar is "too full" you might reconsider exporting the calendar.
- open your calendar in MyCourses
- click “export calendar”
- choose “recent and next 60 days”
- get subscription URL and copy it
- go to mail.aalto.fi and open my calendar
- right click on “other calendars” > “add calendar”
- Paste your calendar address to the URL-field and click OK
Activities are created by teachers to activate students on a workspace. Activities are open for course students only, and submissions are visible to teachers and assistants only.
In a workspace, Turn editing on -> click "Add an activity or resource" to see the list of activities. When you switch your role to an "advanced teacher", you see the full list of activities.
Activities for collaboration: wiki, forum, workshop, external tool (e.g. aalto-wiki).
Giving assignments and receiving student submissions in MyCourses
Go to Assignments -section, enable editing mode and click Add an activity or resource → Assignment
Give the assignment a name, description and deadlines. You can also attach files to the assignment if needed.
Grading student assignment submissions in MyCourses
Open the Assignment activity, click View/grade all student submissions. You will see a list of students with their submissions.
The pen icon ( ) in the Grade-column opens the student submission. Here you can download the submission, give feedback and grade the work. Remember to save changes when giving feedback and grades.
Using and grading assingments
Grading and publishing grades
Methods to publish grades and feedback. We recommend using the first method.
- Using MyCourses Gradebook (Course administration → Grades)
- Grades and feedback given via any MyCourses activity are listed in the Gradebook
- Student can only see his/her own feedback and grades
- Feedback and grades are published to the student immediately after teacher has given them. However, it is possible to schedule when the grades are published.
- To publish exam grades you can create an extra column (grading item) in the Grades table. This way, the exam is automatically included in the Course total.
In Grader report view, choose Gradebook setup in the menu. Then click Add a grade item, name the item and give maximum points.
- Publishing grades in an attachment
- via "For Aalto" -section, if you need to publish the grades to those who are not members of the workspace, e.g. for those only doing the exams
- via News Forum topic, with the grades as an attached file. Only course participants can view the file after logging in to MyCourses.
- Make sure that you use only student numbers when publishing grade and feedback information
Course total is calculated automatically
MyCourses automatically calculates the Course total based on all the grading items in the workspace.
In MyCourses default settings, Course total aggretation is based on mean of grades, the maximun course total being 100 points. You can change aggregation to weighted means of grades or sum (natural) of grades, and the maximum can be changed to 5.
→ In Grader report view, choose Gradebook settings in the menu. Then, on the course category row (first row) click Edit → Edit settings. Change the type of Aggregation and/or Maximum grade number.
More info on grading and course total calculation in moodle.org
Transferring results to Oodi
The assessments are not sent to Oodi automatically. The grades given within MyCourses can be downloaded in Excel or CSV format, among others.
Course administration → Grades → Grader report -dropdown → Export
The Course Overview -page contains automatically generated information from Oodi, course name and schedule, which are always openly available to the Internet.
The page contains separate links to enrollment, course description, timetables and exams in Oodi and also teacher names based on Oodi information.
Teachers can attach files to the Course Overview -page (syllabus, picture, etc.)
A Teacher can add two files to the Overview (a picture and a pdf-file) The files will be visible in the Overview Section as well as in search results. How to add files:
- In your workspace, open COURSE ADMINISTRATION
- Choose "Edit Settings"
- On the page find "Course summary files"
- Drag and drop you files to the box
- Save your work
NEW FEATURE starting from autumn 2016: Groups in Oodi are copied to MyCourses workspace. This makes the use of calendar easier for students. Teacher can inform group of students in News forum or Forum (in Forum settings; set Group mode on and inform a group).
Note! If you create groups on a workspace containing Oodi-based groups, you have to use Grouping to separate the sets of groups. After that, when using e.g. assignment with group mode on, you also have to use Grouping in assignment settings to tell MyCourses which set of groups to use.
Groups can be used to enable group submissions in activities. They can also be used to restrict visibility of certain sections, activities or resources.
First create groups either manually or automatically. Then choose how to add the group members: manually, automatically or by student choice.
Course administration → Users → Groups
Create a single group manually
Click Create group and give the group a name → Save changes
Auto-create several groups
Can be used to create several groups at once. Give a group name and either an @- or a #-sign.
|Group @||Group #|
|Group A||Group 1|
|Group B||Group 2|
|Group C||Group 3|
Populate groups automatically with auto-create several groups
You can let MyCourses to automatically assign students to the groups with the selection of either Number of groups or Members per group.
Populate groups manually
Select the group you want to add members to, in this case Group A and click Add/remove users
Select users from the list on the right and click Add. You can select several users at once by holding CTRL while clicking the users. → Back to groups.
Let students choose their own groups
Group choice -activity allows students to choose their own groups from the pool of groups teacher provides.
Editing mode → Add activity/resource → Group choice
You must have at least 2 groups for this activity to work.
Name the activity, give a description and select the groups the students can choose from → Save and display
Course workspaces are not archived
The system does not archive course workspaces. Every workspace will be removed after it has been for 3 years in use.
A Teacher can download a backup copy of the site. The backup contains files and activities without student generated content. A teacher can download student content of individual activities.