Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

Quercus Start-of-Term Checklist for Instructors

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This checklist helps you to quickly set up and publish your Quercus course. 

For a more in-depth Course Design checklist, please review the Remote/Online Course Design Checklist before publishing your course.

  1. Log in to Quercus with your UTORid and password to access your courses. 
    1. If you don't see your courses on your Dashboard, first follow the steps to Check under "All Courses" in our guide What should I do if I can't see my courses?
    2. If you are still not able to see you course, contact your departmental ROSI administrator 
  2. Review the Quercus Course Life Cyle information for a timeline of events for Quercus course and a list of suggested tasks for each point in that timeline. 
  1. Customize the list of courses that appear on your Dashboard for quick access to the courses you use the most.
  2. Cross-list (combine) multiple sections of the same course (such as multiple lecture, tutorial, practicum, or lab sections) to combine the enrollments into a single course for easier communication and sharing of course content across sections.

You don't have to start building your new course from scratch! You can save some time by reusing a previously built course.

  1. Copy (import) existing content from another Quercus course (or from a template course)
  2. See if there's an available Quercus template that works for your course. For available course templates, see Is there a Quercus course template that I can download?
  3. Edit the content in new course

If you are importing a public course template, your course will inherit some settings from the imported course template, including course visibility and content license settings. Be sure to review and change these settings accordingly, as detailed in the Review your course Visibility and Content License settings section of our guide, How do I import a course template?

Modules (see what are modules?) can keep content organized for your students and help them see a linear progression of the course. You can choose to organize modules by weeks, units, chapters, topics or whatever organizational structure works for your course.

  1. Add modules to your course (see How do I add a module?)
  2. Add course content  such as files, assignments, discussions, quizzes, and links to your modules
  3. Add your course Syllabus in a prominent location (such as an introductory Module or a Home Page) to share important information such as grading schemes, assessments, contact information, and course expectations. If you're teaching an online course, view our Update your Syllabus for Online page for important information and sample statements to include in your syllabus.

The Home Page is the first thing students see when they enter your course. You can choose from one of five different layouts for your Home Page, depending on your preference and needs. You can find some Example Home Pages in our FASE Course Template.

  1. Create a custom homepage (see creating a Content Page). If you choose to design the page yourself, you can customize the page to include images, text to welcome your students, and important links and information.
  2. Set a Page as your course homepage (also known as the front page)

It's impossible to over communicate with your students and a task checklist that identifies key things to do all in one spot helps your learners stay organized and know exactly what you'd like them to be doing.

  1. Add an activity checklist. Use a Quercus page (see How do I add course content as module items? for details on adding a page to a module) to detail exactly what your learners should be doing each week (or other time denomination that works for your course). You can schedule when you publish your checklist page (or any other page in your course) by setting a publication date and time.

You can make your course easier to navigate by customizing the left navigation menu.

  1. Hide unnecessary links (i.e., People, Pages, Files) from student view and keep necessary links visible (i.e., Modules, Announcements, Grades, integrated tools).
  2. Customize the order in which links appear in the menu.  

Assignments and the Gradebook are tightly integrated in Quercus. Creating a graded assignment is the only way to create a column in the Gradebook.

  1. Review the different Assignment types available in Quercus (including Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes)
  2. Organize your assignments into Assignment Groups for weighted grading.
  3. Confirm your Grade Posting Policy. This policy that allows you to define if grades are posted automatically or manually, at both the course or assignment level. Be sure to review the Grade Posting Policy to ensure it is set appropriately for your course.

As of November 06, 2020, the default grade posting policy for all new Quercus courses is MANUAL, which means that grades will be hidden from students until a member of the teaching team releases the grades (see how to post grades in the gradebook).

If you have additional course staff (e.g., TAs) that aren't enrolled in your course via ROSI, then you will need to manually enroll them. Instructors and students should NOT be enrolled manually.

  1. Enroll Teaching Assistants (TAs), Graders, or other course staff into your course.
  2. Review Course Roles and Permissions 

Once you have everything ready you can publish your course to enable those enrolled to see it. Until the course is published, enrolled people will not see or be updated on your course.

  1. Publish your course  so students can access it.
  2. Remember to also publish modules  and individual items (e.g., Pages, Assignments) to make them visible to students.
  3. Confirm that your course looks the way you think it looks with the Student View.

You can use the Announcements tool (see what is an announcement?) to send a message to all the students in your course.

  1. Send an announcement (see how to add an announcement to a course)
  2. Attach files or embed a video in your announcements
  3. Proactively schedule announcement sending (see delay the posting of your announcement by scheduling the announcement for a future date)
  4. Show the most recent announcements in your course Home Page

Note: Your course must be published for students to receive announcement notifications. Notifications are not sent for announcements created before the course has been published. For more information on announcement notifications, refer to our Faculty Question of the Week: Will students see a Quercus announcement I post before I publish my course?

If you have additional questions about start-of-term tasks for your Quercus course, email us at [email protected] or schedule a consultation

You are done. Great job!

Next Article Quercus End-of-Term Checklist for Instructors
Still have questions? Contact the FASE EdTech Office