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Courses: Getting Started for Faculty

Quick Links

This is a faculty getting started guide for Courses (powered by Sakai).  With these steps, getting started with Courses is easy.  Faculty members simply need to log in and begin using their course websites.

Accessing Courses

You can access your course site via the Courses login page:

  1. Visit http://courses.pepperdine.edu.
  2. Click "Pepperdine Login" at the top right.
  3. Enter your Pepperdine NetworkID and password, and then click "LOGIN."
  4. You should be taken to your "Home" site on Courses.  If not, simply navigate back to http://courses.pepperdine.edu.

Note: Courses works best on Firefox or Chrome for both Mac and Windows computers. 

Having Trouble Logging in?  If you are a new faculty member, follow up with your hiring manager to confirm that all hiring paperwork has been processed.  You may also visit the "New Faculty and Staff Technology Guide."  If you are a returning faculty member and you need to reset your password, visit http://myid.pepperdine.edu.

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Find Your Course Sites and Tools Inside Courses

When you are logged into Courses, you will see your personal "Home" site.  As a returning faculty member, you may see tabs across the top of the window for your current or past classes.  This is your "Favorites Bar."  When auto-favoriting is enabled, site tabs will be added and ordered chronologically, based on the date that each site was created.  Up to 15 sites can display in your "Favorites Bar."

To view all of your sites or organize your "Favorites Bar," click the "Sites Menu" (aka Sites Waffle) at the top right.  Here, you will see class sites organized by each academic term.  If you have many sites, use the "Filter Sites" search box to narrow the list.  Click a star icon to favorite a site.  Use the "Organize Favorites" tab to reorder your favorite sites.

Can't find a site?  Sites are created based on the Course Creation Calendar and enrollments are updated each business day.  Please be aware that Courses can only list information that has been entered into WaveNet.  If you do not see your assigned class in the "Sites Menu" or via "Home" > "Worksite Setup," please consult with your academic division or program office to confirm that class information and instructor assignments have been entered properly.

Courses home page with pointer boxes describing each element


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Favorite Your Sites ()

In the full screen mode, your favorite sites are displayed as tabs in the "favorites bar" below the Courses logo.  This is your "Favorites Bar."  Here, you can quickly access the sites you frequent.  To add or remove sites from the "Favorites Bar," use the "Sites Menu."

  1. Click the "Sites" menu (aka Sites "Waffle") at the top right.
    Image of Sites Menu button
  2. To add a favorite, click the empty star icon next to the site's name to highlight it.
    • A site that has been selected as a favorite will display with a yellow highlighted star:
      favorited class image
  3. To remove a favorite (such as a class from a previous academic term), click the yellow star icon next to the site's name to deselect it.
    • A site that has been deselected as a favorite will display with an empty star:
      unfavorited course site image
  4. Close the "Sites" menu by clicking the "X" at the top right.
  5. The "Reload to see your updated favorite sites" notice will appear. Click the "Reload" link to refresh the page and see your changes.
    Image of Reload message after reordering favorite sites

Reorder Your Favorite Sites ()

To reorder your favorites, use the "Sites Menu."

  1. Click the "Sites" menu (aka Sites "Waffle") at the top right.
    Image of Sites Menu button
  2. Click the "Organize Favorites" tab.  Note: you must have at least two favorites to reorder sites.
    organize favorites
  3. Drag and drop your sites into the desired order.  Click and drag the right icon (three-line icon) to move a site up or down.
    reorder favorite sites image
  4. Close the "Sites" menu by clicking the "X" at the top right.
  5. The "Reload to see your updated favorite sites" notice will appear.  Click the "Reload" link to refresh the page and see your changes.
    Image of Reload message after reordering favorite sites

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Customize Your Site

Every course or project site has its own set of tools.  When you click a course tab in the "Favorites Bar" or via the "Sites Menu," you will go to that site.  On the left, you will see the currently installed tools.  You can add, remove, reorder, and rename tools by visiting the "Site Info" tool.

  1. Click "Site Info."  It's the orange tool in the left menu with the gear icon.
    site info tool image
  2. To add or remove tools:
    • Click "Manage Tools."
      • To add a tool, select the checkbox next to the tool.
      • To remove a tool, deselect the checkbox next to the tool.
    • Click "Continue."
    • If prompted to provide more information (such as a custom name for a "Lessons" page or a website address for "Web Content"), enter the appropriate information and click "Continue."
    • Review the changes.
    • Click "Finish."
  3. To reorder, rename, or hide tools:
    • Click "Tool Order."
      • To reorder, drag and drop the tool into the desired location.  Click the icon left of the tool name (three lines) to position.
        Drag and Drop Tool Order Image
      • To rename, click the gear icon at the right and select "Edit Tool Title."
        Edit Tool Title Image
        • Edit the tool name.
        • Click the green checkmark icon to save the new name.
          Image of editing a tool name in Tool Order
      • To hide tools, click the gear icon at the right.  There are two options to hide tools:
        • Make Tool Invisible to Students: This option will "hide" the tool name from students in the left navigation.  Content within the tool may still be accessible by students if instructors provide direct links to the content.
        • Lock Access to this Tool: This option will disable the tool from students completely; they can neither see the tool nor access any of its content.
        • Note: Not all tools have these options.  For example, you can hide or lock the Announcements tool, but you can only hide the Syllabus tool.
    • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Save" to finish.
  4. To update the site language, site description, site owner, or enable LaTeX functionality:
    • Click "Edit Site Information."
      • To edit the site language, select the desired language from the "Site Language" box.  This will impose a specific language for the interface of the site.
      • To edit the course description displayed on the Overview tool, use the rich text editor under "Description."
      • To change the site owner information, scroll down and change the name and contact email address for the site owner.
      • To enable LaTeX capabilities, select the checkbox for "Allow the display of LaTeX math in this site."  Note: after you have enabled LaTeX, you will need to go to "Manage Tools" and select each tool where LaTeX code will be used.
    • Click "Continue" to preview your changes.
    • Click "Finish" to save.

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Publish Your Site

When new course sites are created, they are "unpublished" and invisible to students.  This allows you, the instructor, to post your materials and configure your tools before students visit the site.  When you are ready for students to interact with your course site, you must "publish" your site.

  1. To publish your site, visit your class site and then click the "Publish Now" button at the top of the window.  This will immediately publish an unpublished site so your students can see your site.
    publish now image
  2. (Optional) Alternatively, you may also click "Site Info" and then click "Manage Access."Site Info Manage Access Image
    • Select "Publish site" to make your course available to your students.
    • Click "Update" to finish.

NOTE: To unpublish a site, repeat the alternative step immediately above, but select "Leave as Draft."

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Unpublish Your Site

Occasionally, faculty may find the need to unpublish a previously published course site. Faculty can do this in a few quick steps:

  1. Navigate to the course site.
  2. Click the orange "Site Info" tool and then click "Manage Access."
  3. Under the "Site Status" section, select "Leave as Draft."
  4. Click "Update" to finish.

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Modify the Course Overview Page

When official course sites are created, the catalog description is added to the Overview page as a courtesy.  As the instructor, you may remove or modify this information to meet your needs. In addition to the course description or learning outcomes, you may also want to add a picture of you or your textbook, your office hours, and how to contact you (phone, email).

  1. Choose a course by clicking on a course tab at the top of your window.
  2. Click on the "Overview" tool.
  3. Click the "Edit" icon at the top right of the "Welcome" box.
  4. In the "Title" field, instructors may consider changing "Welcome" to something else, like your course title.
  5. In "Description," consider adding the following:
    • The purpose or key learning objectives of the course
    • A picture of you, your class textbook, or an image that represents your class or subject
    • Your office hours and location
    • Your contact preferences (email, phone)
  6. Click "Update Options" to save your work.

Instructors also have the option to manage the layout of the Overview tool and the presentation of the tool widgets within it.  Note: a tool must exist in the tool menu in order for its corresponding widget to display on the Overview page.

  1. Click the "Manage Overview" button at the top right of the Overview page.Sakai Manage Overview Button Image
  2. Next, toggle the layout of the overview page by specifying whether you would like a single column, or double column, layout.
  3. In the "CurrentWidgets" table, toggle the "Move" arrows to adjust the order of the widgets.
  4. (Optional) Remove any undesired widgets by clicking the "X" icon in the remove column.
  5. Under "AvailableWidgets," select any unused -- and available -- widgets you would like to add to the Overview page.
  6. Click "Save" when finished.

Note: The "Manage Overview" functionality is natively stored within the Site Info tool.  The button at the top right of the Overview page is a shortcut.

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Add Your Syllabus

The Syllabus tool in Courses will help you post one or more syllabus-related documents to your course site.  You can attach documents, redirect to an external web page, copy/paste text, or write text directly in the rich-text editor to describe your course objectives and requirements.

Graziadio Course Syllabus Tool

If you are a Graziadio professor and have the "Course Syllabus" tool in your site, refer to the Graziadio syllabus documentation.

Syllabus Tool

  1. Click "Syllabus" in the left tool menu.
  2. Click "Add Item."
    Image of Add Item button in Syllabys tool
  3. A dialog box will appear.  Enter a title for your item (e.g. "Fall 2021 Syllabus"). This is a required field.
  4. The "Content" box is optional.
    • If you only want to attach a syllabus document, you may leave this part blank and skip to the next step.
    • You may also copy/paste information into the Content area, write new information, and/or link to other websites or resources.  By creating multiple items, you can create a robust online syllabus that does not require an additional application to view your syllabus.
  5. Click "Add and Publish" to continue.
    Image of Add and Publish button when adding a new Syllabus item
  6. To attach a document, click "+Add attachments."
    syllabus edit attachments image
  7. In the "Add Attachment" dialog box, you can choose to:
    • Upload file(s) from your computer.  Click "Choose File," navigate your computer, select the desired file, and click "Open."
    • Point to an outside website link (URL).  Enter the address in the "URL" box and click "Add."
    • Select an existing document from the "Resources" tool. Scroll down and review the listed files and folders.  Click "Attach a copy" next to the desired file.
  8. Click "Continue" when finished.
  9. (Optional) Instructors can hide or unhide (i.e. make viewable) their syllabus if needed.
    • To hide a syllabus item, click the "eye" icon so that it becomes crossed out.  This indicates that the syllabus is currently hidden from students.
    • To unhide (i.e. make viewable) a syllabus item, click the crossed-out "eye" icon so that it becomes open.  This indicates that the syllabus is currently viewable to students.

Sakai Hide Your Syllabus Image

Learn more about the Syllabus tool.

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