LEARN: Start / End of Semester tasks

***You can now request your LEARN site for Spring 2024 Courses.***

LEARN, uWaterloo’s learning management system, can help organize your course.

Below are some key tasks you should consider doing at the START and/or END of every term.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your friendly neighbourhood CTE Faculty Liaison, Jason Thompson.

START of Term Tasks:

1. Requesting a LEARN site for your course

To set up a LEARN site for your course:

For Spring 2024 classes, LEARN courses…

  • Open: May 6, 2024
  • Close: Sept. 4, 2024 (first day of classes the following semester)

Note: Courses may be opened earlier (or later) at the discretion of the instructor. Contact LEARN Help or your CTE Faculty Liaison, Jason Thompson  for assistance.

2. Consider perusing the Educational Technology Hub before your course starts

Educational technologies, or EdTech, are digital technology tools used to deliver and facilitate learning, learning activities, and aid in creating or disseminating content.

The EdTech Hub pulls together information regarding our centrally supported EdTech tools to help you decide which EdTech tool(s) may suit your use and how or where to get support.

Included below are other resources you might also want to check out:

3. Setting the stage for the term with First Day Questions 

With the need to engage students from the onset and to set the stage for the term, it is helpful to enhanse student motivation right away during that very first class, so...

  • when you "go over the course outline" perhaps consider setting aside some time to walk your students through a short activity about the learning journey they are about to partake with you. 
  • One effective and proven way to do this is using Gary Smith's First Day Questions approach, so I am providing it here. 
  • But consider it food for thought...perhaps morph it to your needs, or use it as a springboard to devise your own way of engaging students in their learning and getting their "buy-in" to your new approach (like blended or flipping the classroom).
  • Gary Smith's article: First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom
  • If you have other ideas you'd like to chat about, don't hesitate to reach out to Jason Thompson, your friendly neighbourhood Faculty Liaison: Science, (jason.thompson@uwaterloo.ca)

4. Copying material from one course to another in LEARN  

If you want to copy course materials from a previous term into another course in LEARN...

5. Adding TAs to a LEARN course site

Instructors can add TAs to their LEARN course themselves by following the online instructions for Adding your TAs to your course.   

If you are n.ot sure what “level” of TA role you want to assign your TAs in LEARN, check out the Roles and Permissions page to learn more about the TA levels. 

As always you can contact LEARN Help or Jason Thompson  for assistance.

6. Enabling Turnitin

Turnitin is a text-matching software that can assist with the detection of potential plagiarism and is available to all instructors free of charge through Centre for Teaching Excellence.   A recommended practice is that Turnitin also be used as a learning/teaching tool to encourage proper citation & referencing.

NOTE:  Turnitin is now automatically available for ALL courses going forward – no need to send in a request to LEARNhelp to activate Turnitin.

If you want to use Turnitin for your LEARN dropbox submissions, you simply have to “enable” it by checking the box as illustrated in the screen image below.

Check the box on this page to enable Turnitin on Learn.

Students MUST be informed if you are using Turnitin in your course.  As such, instructors are responsible for ensuring the following statement appears in your course outline(s):

Turnitin.com: Text matching software (Turnitin®) may be used to screen assignments in this course. Turnitin® is used to verify that all materials and sources in assignments are documented. Students’ submissions are stored on a U.S. server, therefore students must be given an alternative (e.g., scaffolded assignment or annotated bibliography), if they are concerned about their privacy and/or security. Students will be given due notice, in the first week of the term and/or at the time assignment details are provided, about arrangements and alternatives for the use of Turnitin® in this course.

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor if they, in the first week of term or at the time assignment details are provided, wish to submit the alternate assignment.

The text above which also has some suggestions for alternatives if students do not want their assignment screened by Turnitin. 

If you're not sure if you want to use Turnitin, consider including the statement on your course outline so you're covered if you do decide you want to use it.

For more information refer to Turnitin® at Waterloo.

7. Setting up eReserves & a note about CopyRight

You can set up eReserves with the Library that will link from your LEARN course directly to your eReserve readings.  The library will also investigate copyright permissions for eReserve materials when necessary. 

For more information visit COPYRIGHT AT WATERLOO.

END of Term Tasks

Releasing Final Grades:  

IMPORTANT - Please note that Policy 46, states that, for all undergraduate and graduate courses: "Final examination and final course grades shall not be posted before the final examination period ends."

The Winter 2024 examination period ends on April 25th.

Final Grades in LEARN: 

By default, the Final Calculated Grade and Final Adjusted Grade columns in the LEARN gradebook are NOT visible to students in LEARN.   

To check what students see, enter some grades in for the Test Student and then impersonate the Test Student.

Final Grade Calculation: 

It is recommended that you verify that your gradebook is set up to calculate grades the way you intend it to. 

You can do this by manually checking the final grade calculation for one or two students and comparing the grade that you calculated manually with the final grade calculated in LEARN.

Exporting Final Grades from LEARN in Quest friendly format:  

You can export final grades from LEARN in a Quest-friendly format.

For step-by-step instructions, see Calculating Final Grades

Uploading Final Grades to QUEST: 

The file you export from LEARN (as above) is the final grades file that you upload to Quest.

Note: You can upload final grades to Quest whenever you like because Quest will not release any grades until after the exam period is over. 

If you have questions or if you run into any problems, please don't hesitate to contact LEARN Help (learnhelp@uwaterloo.ca, x31744) or Jason Thompson.