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Quick reference for teachers

Developing courses
If you are given the appropriate permissions, you have the ability to create and manage courses. These courses are stored in your My Courses area. From here, the administrator can add the course to the Course Catalog, and you can create one or more classrooms from the course.
The Course Catalog may not be available to all users.
Creating a new course
If the course has already been developed, it will appear in the Course Catalog and you can simply copy it to your My Courses area by selecting it in the Course Catalog, clicking Copy to My Courses, and assigning a name to it.
If the course has not been developed yet, you can create it in your My Courses area.
To create a new course, including a Professional Development course:
1       Open My Classes.
2       Open My Courses.
3       Click New Blank Course.
4 Select the type of course you want to create.
5       Enter the name of the new course.
6       Click OK.
Developing a new course
Once the course has been created and is in your My Courses area, you can start to develop it.
Course Content
The Course Content area works the same as the Course Content area in a classroom. Click here for details.
Development Team
The Development Team area is where you add users who will contribute to this course while it is in development.
To add a member, click Add Person and select their name from the Directory. Use the Show field to narrow down the search.
Once they have been added, double-click to open their contact information form.
For field details, click here.
Any members you add to this team will have the same control over the course as you.
The Resources area works the same as the Resources area in your classrooms. Click here for details.
Course Information
The Course Information area has two panes. The top pane is where you indicate general course information. For field details, click here.
The lower pane can be used as a notepad to communicate with other course developers or make notes for yourself.
Creating a new classroom from a course
Once your course is set up, you can create a classroom from it. Simply highlight it and click New Classroom. You will be prompted to give it a name (e.g. Period 4 Math-8). It will be automatically added to your My Classes area. If you are teaching the same course to three separate classes, create three classrooms from the same course.

Managing your classes
When you start FirstClass ED for the first time, you are greeted with a blank container, or "classroom". This classroom is where you will lay the foundation for the coming semester. From this classroom, you can manage all of the classes you are teaching for the current semester.
Creating a new classroom
If your My Classes area was already populated for you (classes have been added), skip this task.
If you have a blank My Classes area that includes a My Courses area, you will need to add your classrooms from My Courses.
To check if the course has been developed:
If the Course has already been developed, it will appear in the Course Catalog and you can simply copy it to your My Courses area.
1       Open My Classes.
2       Open Course Catalog.
3       If the course is in the list, highlight it and click Copy to my Courses.
4 Enter the course name you are assigning and click OK.
To prepare the course for use:
1       Open My Courses.
2       Open the course you just added and customize the information.
For field details, click here.
3       Save and close the course.
4       Select the course and click New Classroom.
5       Enter the classroom name you are assigning and click OK (i.e., Period 2 Math-8).
The classroom will appear in your My Classes area.
To create a new course (including Professional Development courses):
If the course is not in the Course Catalog, you will have to create it. See Developing courses for instructions.
Co-teaching a classroom
If you and another teacher are both teaching the same class, one teacher must add the classroom to the My Classes area, and then add the other teacher and set their Role to Teacher.
If you are the teacher adding the other teacher:
1 From the roster, click Add Person.
2 Select the second teacher from the Directory and click OK.
3 Double-click the teacher's name in the list and set their Role to Teacher.
Both you and the teacher with whom you are co-teaching will have the same class in your My Classes area, with the same information. You can both access and modify the course and materials from the same conference.
Searching for information
In the My Classes area, you may find some search templates in the left pane. Use these to perform a search for the indicated objects. These work with one click and the list they provide is editable.
To perform your own search, choose Edit > Find and specify the Search criteria on the Find form. If you save the search it will be added to the left pane.
Posting to The Board
The Board is your and your students' initial view of your online class, similar to the white board or chalk board in your physical classroom. Use this space to post urgent messages, formal announcements, or anything else you feel is appropriate.
To edit content on The Board:
1       Open the class.
2       Start typing in the space, or highlight the existing text and replace it.
Closing a classroom
Once you are no longer teaching a class, you can close it. This makes the classroom obsolete so students can no longer access it.
To close the classroom, select it in your My Classes area and click Close Classroom. Both the icon and the text color will change so you can easily identify it as a closed classroom.

Managing the classroom roster
The roster displays names, roles, assessments, performance status, medical alerts, and possibly even pictures for each person listed. This roster is only available to teachers. Students do not have any access to this information.
Recording marks
You can record marks in the roster in one of two ways:
•       enter a mark on an assignment received in your Incoming Assignments area
The roster is automatically updated for the corresponding student.
•       manually enter a mark on the roster.
Open the student assessment form. Assign a name to an available number and enter the mark. Repeat for each item you need to record.
FirstClass ED will not work properly if there are duplicate assignment numbers. Make sure every assignment number is unique, whether entered manually or created in FirstClass ED.
When a mark is entered on an assignment, the Assessment form is automatically updated and the associated fields on the Assessment form cannot be changed. If you need to change the mark displayed on the Assessment form, you must change the mark directly on the assignment.
Mark fields that were entered manually on the Assessment form can be edited.
Monitoring work
You can use the class roster to monitor the progress and status of student work. The roster uses a graphical representation to help you quickly identify where students rank in performance compared to each other, and which students are falling behind or can be given advanced work.
To set or change the status of a student's performance:
1       Double-click the student to open their Assessments form.
2       Use the drop-down list box in the Performance area of the General tab to set the status.
3       Add notes if desired.
You can also refer to this information as you prepare your report cards and prepare for parent/teacher meetings.
Learn more about using FirstClass ED to monitor student work.
Track status of students who require special assistance
Some students in your class may have special needs. These students may have a need that requires an assistant in the classroom, or assistance outside of the classroom such as speech therapy or a remedial program.
To track the status of these students:
1       Double-click the student to open their Assessments form.
2       Use the drop-down list box in the Status area of the General tab to set the status.
3       Add a name in "Assisted by" if the student is currently receiving assistance.
You can enter a name or partial name in this field and press Enter to match or multimatch the entry against the Directory.
4       Add notes if desired.
Recording tardiness and absences
You can manually record which students are late or absent each day. To update this information:
1       Double-click the student to open their Assessments form.
2       Increase the Tardy or Absent field by one in the Attendance area of the General tab.
3       Add notes if desired.
Seating plan
You can use the class roster to design a seating plan and put it online. This is a great way to learn student names and to help substitute teachers in your absence.
To create the seating plan:
1       Click Seating Plan.
You will see icons for each student. In some cases, these icons will be student pictures.
2       Arrange the icons as per your seating plan.
Obtaining student information
If you need to see a student's information quickly, simply double-click the student's name on the roster and then click Student Information. This brings up all of the student's personal information and contact information, including a student picture (if available).
Only the administrator can edit this information at this time.
Contacting parents
Throughout the year, you may want to contact parents about a low mark on a test, an incomplete assignment, or showcase their child's work. You can use the Parent tab of the student information form to obtain parents' email addresses.
Then simply paste the email address into a new message, add content, and send.
Adding a student to the roster
Often it is necessary to add students who have transferred in the middle of the school year, or who registered late.
To add a student:
1       Click Add Person.
2       Choose a name from the Directory, or use the Shift or Control keys to choose multiple names.
Use the Show field to narrow down the list.
3       Click OK.
Making a student inactive
In the same context, you may need to remove a student from your list during the year if they transfer or leave for whatever reason. The best practice for this scenario is to make a student inactive, so you still have a record of their work to date.
To make a student inactive:
1       Double-click the student's name.
2       Change their Role to Inactive Student.
Removing a student from the roster
If a student leaves the school and you are certain they are not returning, you may want to remove them from your class.  
To remove a student:
1       Highlight the student's name in the roster.
2       Right-click and choose Delete.

Developing your lesson plan
Creating your lesson plan
You create a lesson plan by adding modules, lessons, and assignments to Course Content. Course Content consists of a container for each module, where the lessons and assignments for each module are stored in the respective module container.
To create a new module:
1       Open Course Content.
2       Click Create Module.
3       Choose the type of module you wish to create and click OK.
4       Assign a name to the module when prompted, and then click OK.
Each module you create is immediately published to students by default. However the content of each module is not published until you manually publish each one. If you prefer that students not see each module you create right away, you will have to hide the module.
To hide a module:
1               Open Course Content.
2               Highlight the desired module.
3               Click Hide Module.

Adding lessons/assignments to a module
You can add content to a module at any time. If the course already has content you can simply review content and update it as required.
To add lessons or assignments:
1               Open Course Content.
2               Open the desired module container.
3               Click Create Lesson or Create Assignment.
4               Choose the type of lesson/assignment you wish to create and click OK.
5               Open the new lesson/assignment and complete the envelope field.
The Publishing Control field is only visible to you. Once an assignment has been submitted, you will also see a Mark field.
Every assignment number must be unique. FirstClass ED may fail to work properly if you duplicate assignment numbers. However, you can have duplicate lesson numbers.
Creating drafts of a lesson/assignment
As the teacher, you have full control over these lessons and assignments. Until you publish them, you can make changes and modify each one as much as you like. The ability to control when students see the content enables you to maintain a draft for each lesson and assignment.
Publishing a lesson/assignment
The ability to publish a lesson or assignment enables you to control the flow of information to your students. When you publish a lesson or assignment, it is immediately visible to students in their Course Content view.  
To publish/unpublish a lesson or assignment, open the assignment and choose the corresponding radio button in the envelope field of the lesson or assignment.
Click the Published field (7192005_14220_4.png) directly on the pane for the corresponding lesson/assignment.

Developing and administering tests
Create a question bank
To create a question bank, simply start adding questions.
To do this:
1 Launch the FirstClass Online Test Authoring tool.
2 Enter the Grade and Subject of the question (for example, 5, Science).
3 Click Generate to produce a random question code, or enter a new code manually. A code is a unique identifier to name or number the question in the question bank.
4 Indicate:
• the value of the question (Points)
• the number of times students can change their answer (Number of attempts)
• whether answers should be shuffled from what is originally set up (Shuffle answers)
• whether to provide feedback to the student after each question (Provide feedback). If you select this option, click Display feedback to set the text that students will see after this question, then click Display question when you are finished.
5 Click the button that corresponds to the type of question you are creating.
The form will change to accommodate the question type you selected.
6 Type the question into the space provided.
7 When you are finished entering the question, click Preview to see how your question will look to students.
Create a test
To create a test:
1 Launch the FirstClass Online Test Authoring tool if it is not already open.
2 Click Test.
3 Select a grade and subject for the test (for example, 5, Science).
4 Click Generate to produce a random test code, or enter a new code manually.
5 If desired, type an introduction for the test. This field is used to add a note or description to the test, and is not presented to the student.
Set test parameters
Click Properties to set the parameters of the test.
1 On the General tab:
• List instructions for students (Test Instructions), and check the box if you want students to see the instructions (Display Instruction Screen checkbox).
• Enter the passing score value (Passing score).
• Indicate whether to store the test results (Store Test Results). These results are stored in Online Administration > FCOT on the administrator Desktop.
2 On the Question tab:
• Select whether you will allow students to skip questions and go back to them (Allow students to skip Questions).
• Select whether you will show the number of chances a student has left to change their answer (Show attempts).
• Select whether you want the questions selected randomly (Pick questions at random).
• Select the number of questions that will be on the test (Number of questions to pick). Questions will be displayed in order unless "Pick questions at rdom" is
3 On the Result tab:
• Select whether students will see their result after every question (Show Instant Result).
• Select whether they will see their final score upon completion of the test (Display Final Result on Completion).
• Select whether students will be emailed their final test result upon completion of the test (Email Final Result on Completion).
• Select whether to display a message with the test results (Display message). If so, enter the text students will see based on whether they passed or failed.
4 On the Date/Time tab, select whether the test will be limited to a specific time (Time Limted Test). If so, indicate how long the test will be (Duration), set a reminder if desired (Reminder), and indicated the time period for when the test will be available for students to take Availability Time Period).
Add questions to the test
Use the Add Single Question tab (for one question) or Add Multiple Questions tab (for multiple questions) to add questions to the test from the question bank you created earlier.
You must add questions from the question bank. You cannot create new questions within a test.

To add a single question:
On the Add Single Question tab, select the Grade, Subject, and Question Code of the question you wish to add, and then click Add.

To add multiple questions:
On the Add Multiple Questions tab, select the Grade and Subject of the questions you wish to add.
Select the questions to add from the list. To add a single question, highlight it and click Add. To add a group of questions that are listed together, highlight the first question, then hold down the Shift key and click the last question, and click Add. To highlight multiple individual questions, hold down the Ctrl key as you click each question, and then click Add when finished.
Questions you have already added will have the FirstClass symbol beside them.
Use the List Questions in Test tab to view the order of the questions you have selected. Use the Up and Down buttons to rearrange the questions if desired.
Set student restrictions
Set the Access to Restricted to limit the test to the students listed. If a test is Restricted, a listed student can access the test at any time if they know the test Grade, Subject, and Code. If a test is Unrestricted, any student can access the test at any time if they know the test Grade, Subject, and Code.
To add student names, click List to populate the Student field, and select students from a list.
572004_44255_0.png Caution
At this time, clicking Add does not verify the student exists in FirstClass, so it is important to type student names exactly how they appear in the Directory.
When you think the test is ready, click Save.
Preview the test
Click Preview to see what the test will look like to students. If you need to make changes, exit the preview (Finish) and click Edit on the Create Test form.
Deploy the test
Give students access to the test by setting the Access field for the test to Unrestricted.
Students then take the test by running the Online Test tool. Simply give them the Grade, Subject, and Test Code of the test so they can access it.
Review marks
Use the Online Test Reporting tool to view test results and print a report for a student (and email it to a student if desired), for the class, or for a particular test.
1 Launch the Online Test Reporting Tool.
2 Select whether you want see the results for a particular student, the entire class, or for the test.
3 Select the Grade, Subject, and Test Code for to the test you want to view (and student ID if viewing a Student report).
4 Use the tabs to indicate what information you want to see based on the type of report you're viewing, and email options if you plan to email individual results to students.
5 Click Generate Report.
Add marks into your class grade book
Use the class report above to manually add the test marks into your class grade book.
Importing and exporting questions
If you wish to add questions to the question bank from another application, use the Import-Export utility to import questions into FirstClass ED.
View an existing test
To view an existing test:
1 Launch the FirstClass Online Test Authoring tool.
2 Click Test.
3 Choose an existing Grade, Subject, and Test Code.
4 Click Preview.
Edit an existing test
To edit an existing test:
1 Launch the FirstClass Online Test Authoring tool.
2 Click Test.
3 Choose an existing Grade, Subject, and Test Code.
4 Click Edit.

Evaluating student work
Receiving assignments in your Incoming Assignments area
When students submit an assignment in FirstClass ED, the assignment shows up in your Incoming Assignments area. Only you have access to your Incoming Assignments area. This container is not visible to students.
Assigning marks and returning assignments
When you open an assignment in the Incoming Assignments area, you will see an evaluation field called "Mark". When you enter a mark, it is automatically recorded on the student roster. When you select Reveal Mark to student, the mark automatically appears in the "Mark" field of the assignment in the student's Mailbox.
If an assignment was not received electronically, you can still enter a mark directly into the student roster.  
To update the roster automatically and inform the student of his mark:
1       Open the Incoming Assignments area.
2       Open the submitted assignment.
3       Enter the mark.
4       Add comments in the body of the assignment, if desired.
5       Select Reveal Mark to student.
6       Click OK.
To inform a group of students of their marks:
1       Use the Shift and Control keys to select the range of assignments in the Incoming Assignments area.
2       Click Reveal Mark to Student.
To update the roster manually, follow the directions here.
Using portfolios to evaluate student work
FirstClass ED accommodates student portfolios where students can house samples of their work. You can request access to this area for each student at intervals throughout the school year to see how students are progressing and to show parents how their children are doing. To view student portfolios, ask students to either move their My Portfolio folders into their My Shared Documents area, or create an alias in My Shared Documents to their portfolios.
To access student portfolios using aliases, have students follow this procedure:
1 Select My Portfolio.
2 Right-click and choose Add to Desktop.
3 Drag the new My Portfolio into My Shared Documents.
Learn more about student portfolios.
Using graphic organizers
Graphic organizers are powerful tools that can be used to both enhance and create a foundation for learning. They are a pictorial or graphical way to organize information for understanding, remembering or writing about. FirstClass provides online templates for some of these organizers to aid you in teaching.
You can use our online templates to create a graphic organizer, and then include it in the lesson or assignment.
If you populate and add a rubric chart to each assignment, students will know exactly what is expected for each assignment. Once the graphic organizer has been added to Course Content, it will be available when you or another teacher are ready to teach the lesson again.

The class calendar in FirstClass ED is a FirstClass group calendar and is used the same way as other standard FirstClass calendars.
Learn more about FirstClass calendars.

Providing resources
Creating a new resource
To create a new resource:
1 Click Create Resources.
2 Choose the type of resource you wish to create and click OK.
3 Complete the Name, Module, and Publishing Control fields of the Resource form, and add any attachments if prompted.
4 Add content to the document and click OK.
For information about adding information to standard FirstClass documents, click here.
If you wish to maintain drafts of resources, set them to unpublished until you are ready to share them.
Publishing/hiding a resource
To publish/hide a resource, open the resource and choose the corresponding radio button in the envelope field.
Click the Published field (7192005_14220_4.png) directly on the pane for the corresponding resource.

Facilitating discussions
The chat room is a privilege that your administrator controls. If you cannot access this feature, talk to your administrator.
Creating a new discussion area
To create a new discussion area:
1 Open the main Discussions area.
2 Click New Discussion area.
3 Choose the type of discussion area you would like.
A Moderated Discussion is a discussion where the teacher must approve each entry before others can view it.
A Chat Room discussion creates a new chat room.
4 Assign a name to the discussion area when prompted.
The new discussion area will automatically appear in the top pane.
Starting a discussion
To start a new discussion:
1 Open the appropriate Discussions area.
2 Click New Message.
3 Populate the message and click Send.
Replying to a discussion
To reply to a discussion in progress:
1 Highlight the message you want to reply to.
2 Click Reply.
3 Add content and click Send.
You can also use standard messaging features like Reply with quotes. For more information about quoting previous messages in your replies, click here.
Hiding a discussion
To hide a discussion area, highlight it and click Hide Discussion. The text will become italicized.
To publish a discussion area that has been hidden, highlight it and click Publish Discussion.
Starting a chat room session
To create a new chat room area, following the instructions for Creating a new discussions area, and choose Chat room as the type of area to create.
To start a new session, simply open the chat room.
You may wish to only make a chat room available during specific hours.
To hide a chat room when it is not in use, highlight it and click Hide Discussion. The name will become italicized.
Click Publish Discussion when you are ready to make it available again.
Saving a chat room session
You can save a transcript of a chat room session in one of two ways:
• activate Save transcript
• copy and paste the contents of the transcript window.
If you select Save transcript on the Options tab of the chat room, all content in the chat room will be saved to the chat window permanently. Whenever a conversation happens in the chat room session, it will be appended to all previous chat material.
If you turn off Save transcript (by activating and then deactivating the checkbox), the conversations will stop being recorded, but all previously recorded material will still be present.
If you do not wish to see previous chat material, we recommend you do not activate Save transcript. Instead, if you wish to save a particular session, we suggest you create a separate discussion area and copy and paste the content in the open session to a new message in that discussion area. You can choose whether to publish that area or not.

Managing classroom journals
When students create a class journal in their My Classes area, it is automatically added to the student's My Journals area, and automatically appears in your Journals area labelled as the student's name.
Opening a student's journal
To open a student's journal:
1 Open the Journals area.
2 Open the Journal for the applicable student.
Editing a student's journal
To edit a journal, simply add comments directly within the document. Use different colors, fonts, and other formatting to make your notes stand out.
Learn more about editing content.

Managing projects
FirstClass ED lets you organize a project environment that suits your needs. Students create new project areas for themselves and, if required, add members.
Creating a project area
Students create their own project areas, which are stored in their My Classes > My Projects folders. They can create an area for themselves, or for multiple students.
The name of the creator is automatically appended to the name of the project area, so, in the case of group projects, you should assign the creation task to a team leader.
Adding members to a project area
To add members to a project area:
1 Open the project area.
2 Click Project Members.
3 Type in the names of project members.
4 Click OK.
Adding application areas
Application areas can be a calendar, contact database, bookmarks area, documents area, folder, file storage area, homework area, or discussion conference.
To add more application areas to the project area:
1 Click Add Application.
2 Choose the type of application you wish to add.
3 Give the application a name.
Managing a project area
You can open any created project area and view the contents at your own convenience. You also have the ability to contribute to a project area just like any other project member.

Sharing news
Creating a news item
To create a news item:
1 Click Create News.
2 Choose the type of news you wish to create.
3 Fill in the fields on the News form if necessary and add the information to the document.
4 Click OK.
If you wish to maintain drafts of news items, set them to unpublished until you are ready to share them.
Publishing/hiding a news item
To publish/hide a news item, open the news item and choose the corresponding radio button in the envelope field.
Click the Published field (7192005_14220_4.png) directly on the pane for the corresponding news item.

Managing student messages
Students can simply enter your online classroom and send you a message. These messages are stored in your Incoming Messages area.
Manage this area as you would your standard FirstClass Mailbox.
Click here for more information about a FirstClass Mailbox.