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 learning management system (uses Moodle version 3.2 since June 2017).
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).
We kindly advice you to keep your browser up to date. We regularly test MyCourses with Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Current MyCourses version (Moodle 3.2) has known compatibility issues with:
- Safari 7 and below
- Firefox Mozilla 45.9.0 and below
- Internet Explorer 10 and below.
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 personal readymade workspace for thesis supervision.
Instructions on how to import contents from one workspace to another
Please note that the new course workspaces are generated each year, in the beginning of a new academic 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
Use Aalto login or Haka login.
Please note: External (not HAKA or Aalto users) workspace members are not allowed to log in to 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 at Dashboard. You can hide courses on your list and filter by term or by teacher. Your courses 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. This integration means that if a user is added to a course in Oodi, he/she will be added to 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. If the students´ enrolment status in Oodi is either planned, rejected or canceled, it means that his/her status in MyCourses turns to “inactive”. After that, the teacher can remove him/her from the user´s list in MyCourses.
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. In some cases the teacher may wish to manually add persons with differing roles to the course site. See instructions in the next section.
Students have possibility to toggle their activity status in MyCourses workspace. This means that teacher sees student´s name in grey in assignment list and student´s status is "inactive". Teacher can still see student´s submissions, but student get no email from the course space. It it important that student can set his/her status as needed.
How to manually add members to your workspace
Turn editing on → open quick link Enrolled users → Enrol users. OR: Choose Participants on the left side → open the gear → 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 Enrolment options search. 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|
|Left and right navigation|
Announcement forum for teacher to inform students (one way)
General forum for discussion
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 home page → Open the gear in upper right corner → Edit settings → Appeareance → 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 upper right corner of your course home page.
This will open you the tools necessary to edit the course site.
After the update (12.6.2017) editing options in all the activities and resources are found behind a gear:
Clicking the gear opens all the editing options.
In course home page, gear in the header opens course settings.
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 workspace using Import. To do that, you must have a teacher role in both workspaces. Do not import users. You probably need to add and rename sections on your new workspace after importing.
Adding and removing sections
You can add, remove, rename and rearrange sections in your workspace.
When editing mode is on you can find three buttons "Show all sections","Add new sections" and "Remove last section" in left column.
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 reordering 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.
With cross-symbol, you can also reorder activities and resources.
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 your profile: 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 info 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.
When you turn to editing mode, you see info box of your course enrolment methods and course 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 (a non logged in user). To disable guest access from your workspace:
Turn editing on → click Enrolment methods in the Quick links list → 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
News forum / Announcements
Use News forum or, in new workspaces (starting from autumn 2017), announcements forum, to send urgent announcements to course participants. The News/Announcements forum is for one-way messaging only - from teachers to students. All postings of this 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
In General discussion, click the gear in the upper right corner → 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 → 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 → 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
- 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
Assignments and other activities
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.
Grading is possible in most of the activities; if not, a new grading item can be set in Gradebook setup.
When choosing grade type, we recommend using of Points/Value instead of Scales. You can change the maximum 100 -> 5 (or anything else)
Grading is visible to student (or a group) only.
All grades are seen in course Grader report. Course total is calculated automatically. You can change the aggregation method: Grades -> Gradebook setup -> click Edit on the first row -> Edit settings -> Choose one in the Aggregation menu.
You can also change the course Maximum grade.
Giving assignments and receiving student submissions in MyCourses
In Assingment activity, students submit a file or text for the teacher to grade.
Go to Assignments -section, enable editing mode and click Add an activity or resource → Assignment
Give the assignment a name, description (instructions for students) and deadlines. You can also attach files to the assignment if needed.
Due date shows up in the calendar. After Cut off date, submission is no longer possible for students.
Grading student assignment submissions in MyCourses
After 12.6.2017 update, MyCourses has a new assignment grading view. All elements are on one screen and the teacher can annotate over student submissions of different file types, not just pdf´s.
To grade, open the Assignment activity. Click View all submissions to see list of students with their submissions. Click Grade to see and grade one student´s submission. It opens student´s file automatically. You can annotate it, grade and give feedback. Save changes and see the next submission, or pick up the next one on the upper menu.
In 3.2. version, also assignment overrides are available: teacher can change assignment deadlines for individuals or group, and download selected assignments to work offline. (Update 12.6.2017)
Using and grading assingments
List of activities
Activities are tools to activate students. With grading on, all the activities show in Grader report table.
Students or small groups submit assignments; files or text with editor (documents, video, photo). Submissions are visible to teachers and assistants only.
NOTE: if you want to publish submissions to other course students, restrict the access to students only.
Do not publish without permission.
Due date shows in course calendar; after the cut of date submission is no longer possible.
Teacher can give feedback and grades: text feedback, comments on file, pdf-annotation. You can create a rubyrick (advanced grading method). When grading, we recommend to use points instead of scales.
No peer review (use Forum of Workshop)
Note! Use separate assignment activities for individual and group assignments.
Note! With groups, use also Groupings (instructions).
Activity to keep track on student attendance on teaching sessions (present, absent, late)
Note: allow students to record their own attendance (not change afterwards).
Embed an external tool in to the workspace to make it integrated and easily accessible for students (e.g. Aaltowiki, Aalto blogs, Aaltodocs)
Use for: collaboration
For asking questions (feedback); anonymously or with names
Results can be shown to all participants or can be restricted to teacher only ?
Question types: multiple choice, yes/no or text input
Use for: collecting feedback after a lesson, ask if something was difficult etc
Teacher and students can discuss materials, assignments, learning goals etc.
Files can be included (documents, media, photo)
Use for: small group discussions (visible or separate groups), peer review, informing students
Note: "News forum" is a one-way channel from teacher to students, sending emails automatically
Students enroll themselves in a group; group names must be created first (Users -> Groups -> Create groups). Teacher can limit the group sizes.
Other members can be shown to students before or after the choice, or not at all
Use for: students choose their groups based on topics
For language learning: fill-in sentences, multiple choice, matching, crossword,write freely etc question types. Automatic feedback
teacher can grade and comment
Teacher can create a survey and collect data from students, anonymously or with names. Many types of questions: scales, multiple choice, radio buttons, yes/no, text box etc. Result can be shown to all participants (statistics).
Can be answered once or several times, students can see all their answers.
Use for: a survey in the beginning and in the end of the course
Quizzes including large variety of question types: multiple choice, drag and drop, open text, fill in ...
Can be answered once or several times; randomisation of questions (shuffle?- questions can be suffled)
Use for: exam, test, practicing; before a lesson (flipped classroom); after a lesson; as part of the course grading
Automatic grading; automatic feedback to whole quiz and/or to every questions. Teacher can also comment and give grades
Extra features/plugins using Quiz: Stack, Coderunner
Teacher can schedule appointments with students. Meetings show in MyCourses calendar
Teacher can comment or make notes on a session
For submitting assignments; to teach students to write scientific texts correctly; to support prevention of plagiarism.
No group work.
Teacher can comment using higlights, annotating, reuseable drag-and-drop phrases, a rubric and voice comments
Important! Follow Aalto University Turnitin instructions for teachers when adding this acitivity.
Shared or individual web pages
Page history visible
Use for: groupwork; individual learning diary; prosess writing
Students can comment
Structured peer assessment activity
Teacher plans the process: student submits an assignment - self assessment is possible - peer assessment phase - teacher can give feedback - grade calculation method
Individual students only; no group submissions or review
Anonymous peer review possible
Random or planned allocation of students
Phases can be manually or automatically switched
Grading methods: self assessment, peer assessment and teacher giving grades
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
Course info and header image
The Course info -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 info -page (syllabus, picture, etc.)
A Teacher can add two files to the Course info (a picture and a pdf-file) The files will be visible in the Info Section as well as in search results. How to add files:
- In your workspace, go to Course home page and open the gear in upper right corner to see the editing options.
- Choose "Edit Settings"
- On the page find "Course summary files"
- Drag and drop you files to the box
- Save your work
If you add a text file in Course summary, it shows in Course list.
If you want to customise your course workspace, you can attach an image file ((jpeg, jpg, png) in Course summary files -box. The image shows in the course header.
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 space report tools
As a Teacher you can follow students behaviour in course space from logs and reports. For example you can use this data to see who has accessed course materials and on what pages students has viewed. By default log information is just list of events but if needed teacher can activate use GISMO plugin to see this information in visual format.
Go to course main page and click Gear symbol -> More -> Under heading Reports you can see course logs and reports.
Visual course logs GISMO
Activate GISMO on your course space by adding GISMO block.
- Turn editing on -> click Add a block (Notice! find it on page left bottom. You need open left side navigation if closed) -> click GISMO
- Now you should see GISMO block on right side of the page. GISMO runs every night after it has set on page. Next morning teacher will see link report view on block. GISMO update report view every night.
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.
Usually an activity is something that a student will do that interacts with other students and or the teacher.