Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

On the Web: The Classes*v2 Server

Perhaps you’re an experienced, technology-savvy TF with an elaborate web page devoted to your dissertation. But maybe not. “Java” generally just gibberish? HTML horrifying? Fear not, young squire. You need not don a propeller-topped beanie and wade through C++ manuals to become a suave, swank, technology-usin’ teacher.

Yale has built an excellent, user-friendly set of on-line tools available to instructors to help them manage course-related information. The tools are useful for collecting assignments, delivering information to students, and allowing students to communicate with each other and with the instructor. The best part? You can build a functioning course or section website in a jiffy. Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

What Is It?

The Classes*v2 web server allows instructors to create class-specific web pages and to provide syllabi and other course materials online. It also permits online submission of homework and supports real time chat and discussion groups. Students and instructors need their NetID and password to access Classes*v2. This means that you can update your syllabus from anywhere in the world! Are you sold on it yet?

A site is automatically created on Classes*v2 for each course listed by the registrar. Access to this site is given to the instructor of record (that means the course head or, in the case of PTAIs, you). If you’re the TF for a course and will be responsible for posting materials or creating web pages, the instructor can grant you access.

Why Use It?

Oh, you silly goose! You’ll soon be asking, “Why NOT use it?” Among the many things you can do:

  • Post lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, other documents, or video and website links in the Resources section. This reduces the number of paper handouts and ensures that students have easy access to these documents. You also don’t have to carry around copies of all the course handouts in case someone misses a class. The Statistics tool allows you to see how many times individual Resources were accessed, which students accessed them, and when.
  • Post digital media content to Media Gallery (student films, digitized feature films, videos that accompany textbooks, etc.)
  • Use the Email Tool (created automatically by the server) to communicate with students, and the Email Archive to save messages, viewable by all.
  • Use the Gradebook tool to record and post grades, viewable only by you and each individual student. You can enter grade percentages and have Gradebook calculate final grades. Along the way, Gradebook will automatically calculate average scores for graded work (quizzes or tests, for example), so that both you and your individual students can see how close they came to the average.
  • Require that students submit homework assignments via Drop Box section. These uploaded documents are time-stamped and identified by the student’s name. Upon login, each student will automatically see folder to which only that student and you have access. No more “I couldn’t find your mailbox to turn in my paper” or “the building was locked” or “your mailbox was surrounded by alligators with flaming swords.” You can also return corrected homework or comments to students via Drop Box.

Your faculty member or you (if you are a PTAI) can customize your course’s Classes*v2 site by using the “Edit Tools” function under “Site Info.” All of the following tools are available:

Announcements

Assignments

Basic LTI

Chat Room

Clicker Registration

Course Reserves

Drop Box

Email Archive

Email Tool

Feedback

Forums

Gradebook

Manage Courses

Media Gallery

Messages

News

Polls

PostEm

Resources Resources Viewer Roster Schedule Section Info Sign-up
Statistics Syllabus Tests & Quizzes Web Content Web Space Wiki

How to Use It?

If you have experience creating web pages, you’ll find that Classes*v2 makes it easy to set up the class web page and post the syllabus or other materials. If you’re not familiar with this business, visit this page and click on “Help” in the upper menu bar for documentation. You can also email questions or comments toclasses2@yale.edu. You’ll get a response quickly, usually within one working day. ITS is happy to schedule orientation sessions or workshops for small groups or to meet with individual TFs to discuss individual needs.

It’s a good idea to test your course site by selecting “View this site in the student role” (upper center) after you’ve logged in. This enables you to see the course from the students’ point of view and puts you in a better position to answer their questions. Try uploading a document, viewing the documents in the Resources section, and accessing the syllabus.