Please remem­ber to OPEN your Cat­a­lyst tool/course once you are ready for your stu­dents to see it.  You need to do this before you announce its avail­abil­ity to your stu­dents. When we cre­ate new tem­plates or copy any of your pre­vi­ous Cat­a­lyst tools for you, they are closed by default.  We do not open these for you since you have to edit them and get them ready before stu­dents can view them.

How do you know that your Cat­a­lyst tool is closed? There are two ways.

  1. In the Cat­a­lyst dash­board, you can sort by the Avail­abil­ity col­umn and it will show you all the tools that are closed and open
  2. At the top of your tool where the heading/title is, you should see grayed out let­ters (Closed).

How to OPEN your Cat­a­lyst tool:

  1. Login to Cat­a­lyst and go to the dashboard.
  2. Find your course/tool from the list – make sure it’s the cor­rect one since old tools may be closed
  3. Click on “Actions” and select “Open Now”.  Now it should say “Open” next to the Actions pull-down menu

Cat­a­lyst Web­site:  Open or Close a Tool Now

The fol­low­ing resources will assist you in learn­ing best prac­tices for using dis­cus­sion boards to engage your stu­dents and enhance learn­ing in your course:

1) Go to http://myuw.uw.edu (UWNetID login required)
2) Click on “Teach­ing” in the left-hand menu
3) On the Teach­ing Page, look for the “My Class Resources” sec­tion
4) Click on “Request class email list” and fol­low the prompts.

Step 1: Request a SSW Com­mon­View Template

Sub­mit your request for a tem­plate using this online form:

Once your tem­plate has been cre­ated, you will receive an email with instruc­tions on how to log into your course tem­plate. You can then use the cus­tom tem­plate to plug in con­tent from your syl­labus.  PLEASE DO NOT ADD YOUR CLASS LIST OR OPEN YOUR TOOLS UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SHARE THEM WITH YOUR STUDENTS (SEE STEPS 5 & 6).

Step 2: Update Your Course Home Page

Once you have logged into your new course tem­plate, update your course home page (labeled Course Home on the nav­i­ga­tion menu).  This is the first View (page) your stu­dents will see.  It’s good to include sum­mary infor­ma­tion about the course, such as:

  • course num­ber and full title
  • quarter/year
  • course meet­ing times/dates
  • con­tact info for instruc­tor and teach­ing assistant
  • course descrip­tion and objectives
  • CSWE Com­pe­ten­cies and Prac­tice Behav­iors the course addresses

Step 3: Plan and Cre­ate Your Site Struc­ture (or use the exist­ing struc­ture in the SSW template)

A good and sim­ple way to cre­ate your site’s struc­ture is to split up your syl­labus into dif­fer­ent sec­tions (i.e., Course Sched­ule, Assign­ments & Grad­ing, Read­ings, Hand­outs, etc. – what­ever makes the most sense for your course).  Use these sec­tions to cre­ate addi­tional Views (and the nav­i­ga­tion menu) for your site.  Alter­na­tively, you could just plug in your course con­tent into the exist­ing Views in the SSW template.

How to Cre­ate Addi­tional Views (and Nav­i­ga­tion Menu)

Click on “Add a New View” to cre­ate addi­tional Views (pages) for your site.  Each View’s name will be added to the nav­i­ga­tion menu.

To add con­tent to a View:

  • Click on the View you would like to edit.
  • Within the View, click on “Add Con­tent” and select “Rich Text” from the pull-down list. Here, you can either start typ­ing the text directly into the space pro­vided or cut & paste from your Word doc­u­ment (warn­ing: cut­ting and past­ing from Word doc­u­ments can be tricky when they con­tain lots of extra for­mat­ting – it’s best to keep for­mat­ting to a min­i­mum). You can also add a file, a link, or any other things men­tioned in the pull-down list.
  • You can re-order the nav­i­ga­tion menu by click­ing on a View name and drag­ging it to the posi­tion you pre­fer on the menu.

Best Prac­tices:

  • Keep View names short and to-the-point to con­serve space on the menu and make it eas­ier for your stu­dents to find spe­cific items.

Add Inter­ac­tive Tools (dis­cus­sion boards, sur­veys, Grade­Book, etc.)

See How to Add Inter­ac­tive Tools for a descrip­tion of the avail­able tools and instruc­tions on how to incor­po­rate them into your course website.

Step 4: Pre­view Your Site

To see how your site will appear to your stu­dents, click on “Pre­view” (near the top of your site). You can then make any changes you see fit to opti­mize your site for your students.

Step 5: Open Your Course Tools

Once your site is ready to be shared with your stu­dents, you will need to open your course tools via your Account Page. See Open or Close a Tool Now for instructions.

Step 6: Restrict Your Course Tools to YOUR Stu­dents Only

See How to Restrict your Course to Your Stu­dents ONLY for instructions.

Step 7: Send Instruc­tions to Your Stu­dents To Access the Course Website

  1. Go to myuw.uw.edu and log in with your per­sonal UW Net ID.
  2. Click on Teach­ing in the left-hand nav­i­ga­tion menu.
  3. Under My Class Resources, locate the spe­cific class you are work­ing with.
    • If the class infor­ma­tion is not show­ing below the class title, click the icon next to the title to man­age the class details.
    • If your class is in a future quar­ter, click on the large drop-down but­ton with the cur­rent quarter/year dis­played and select the future quarter.
  4. Click the “Add” link after “Class Web­site:” and fol­low the direc­tions to add the URL of the class website.

Addi­tional Resources

Instruc­tions adapted from the iSchool.


If you need course reserve mate­ri­als scanned and uploaded for use in your Cat­a­lyst course website:

1) Fill out the Course Reserves Scan­ning Request Form: http://tinyurl.com/coursereservesform (hard copies are also avail­able at the front desk of the Research Com­mons), and leave the com­pleted form and your mate­ri­als in the Course Reserves Drop­Box (front desk of the Research Commons).

Research Com­mons (RC) staff will be in touch via e-mail when your mate­ri­als have been scanned and uploaded.


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