Instructor Guide to WHS

Class and Student Management


Instructor Guide to WHS. 1

A.    Create a New Class. 1

B.     Manage a Class. 2

1.     Modify Class Parameters. 3

2.     Using the “Upload a web Page”  link. 4

C.    List Updates: 7

D.    Class Rolls: Types of Students, Accepting Student Registrations. 9

1.     To admit students to a class. 10

2.     To remove students from a class. 10

3.     When a student changes sections. 11

4.     Spreadsheets of student rolls. 12

E.     Viewing summaries of student homework results. 13

F.     Getting machine-graded homework information into a spreadsheet 14

G.    Recording and  Retrieving hand-graded homework scores. 14

H.    The “Grades”  button and the Grade Book. 15

I.      Instructor Downloads and Student Uploads. 16

J.      Calculate, Show, and Download  Summaries, Download Grades, Save Grades, and Hand-Graded Homework  19

K.    Student view of  Grade Book Data. 20

L.     Assigning class privileges, attributes, and membership. 21

a.     Bypassing Add/Drop to Directly Add  Members to Classes. 24

M.               Announcements,  “Student Impersonation”, and Feedback. 25


Additional Tools


Installing WHS Web Pages. 28

Editing the Class Menu. 29

The User Directory. 29



WHS Instructors create and manage WHS classes.  The homework assignments in WHS classes are defined by WHS Homework Lists  which are developed and published (in WHS) by WHS Instructors.  WHS Instructors do their class  development  and management work on the WHS Class Management Page.  Instructor-level permission is required for an account to access the class management page.  It is initially accessed via the Instructor Tools link under Tools on the WHS Menu and is subsequently included in the class instructor’s (owner’s) menu.   


A.    Create a New Class


B.      Manage a Class

The instructor often needs to modify some aspect of an extant class.

From the menu select Instructor Tools  either from the Tools menu or from that for any class owned by the instructor. Then select the class to be modified.



    1. Modify Class Parameters:

You can change any global parameter of a class except the Class Id. In particular you can change the Class Name, School, Homework List, and Class Home Page at any time.


2.     Using the “Upload a web Page  link

You can store and maintain class (and other) web pages on the WHS server:

1.  Create the web page and save it in a convenient location.  One of the simplest ways to do this is to create the document in a word processor which  exports  web pages. Essentially all of them do.  For instance the current document is “InstructorGuideToWHS.doc”. We:


a.       Save the document in a new directory (folder).  The name of the document (without extension) is a good choice for the folder name. Save it both as a Word document ( “*.doc”) and as a web page (“.htm,*.html”).

b.      Create a zip archive of the contents of the folder.  In Windows this can be done by selecting the files, right clicking, and selecting “Send To” then “Zip Archive”.



c. Select “Upload a webpage”. In the Web Page Uploads and Downloads page enter the  browse for the zip file click on “Insert” or  Upload


If the upload is successful the file will appear in the WebPage Uploads and Downloads table with an Upload Id. If the html file in the zipfile is “file.htm” and the Upload Id is, say, “99” the URL for the web page is”.  


If the page is to serve as a class web page for a course then the complete  URL should be entered  at  Class Homepage  after the course is selected in the Class Management Page and Class Management is pressed. Note that “Modify Class  must be pressed to actually install the page.

d. To update a web page,  click on  Page UP/Downloads in the Tools menu,  locate the page in the table on the  WebPage Uploads and Downloads page and click “Select” .  Click on “Download” to download the zipfile,  open it, edit the page,  re-create the zipfile, press “Edit” to locate the new zipfile, then press “Update

C.      List Updates: 

Note:  There are three parameters (deadline, “teacher only”, and version)  set when “Modify Assignment” is clicked on this page. Be sure that all three are exactly what you want!  Once this page is used to override the list defaults for a class, all of the parameters  for that class must be maintained from this page from then on. There is no way to revert to the original  list parameters. 

Setting Deadlines:

The homework lists posted by materials authors typically have expiration dates on the assignments which may or may not meet the needs of other teachers.   In the “List Updates” page instructors have the ability to override the expiration dates set by the list author simply by selecting the assignment, choosing the desired date and pressing “Modify Assignment”.

NOTE:  The ability of individual instructors to adjust expiration dates has the potential to seriously conflict with the management of  multi-section courses using the same list.  In these cases the list is usually maintained by the course coordinator who makes expiration date adjustments for the entire course.  If one section has a later expiration date than another then the students in the late-expiring section have an advantages since they can browse the early expiring section and bring up their personal version (with all of the answers) as a “Specific Version” in the “early” class.   Thus the understanding must be that instructors of individual sections in multi-section courses agree not to override the any assignment deadlines.   In this context it should be noted that all such changes are logged by the system.

Setting “Teacher Only  and Fixed Version Assignments:

In previous versions of WHS,  instructors have been forced visibility and version  attributes set by the list author.  It is now possible for an instructor using a published list to tag list items “Teacher only” (which means that only accounts with instructor privileges can see the items).   This will make it possible to effectively omit items or  to make them available for specific time periods rather than continuously.  It will not, however, be possible for an instructor to override a list owner’s selection of “Teacher Only” for an item.  It is also possible now for instructors to fix a version number for an item.  This assigns every student  the selected version as his/her personal version and  makes  it possible for a teacher to duplicate and distribute one  homework assignment  rather than forcing individual students to print out individual copies.

Versions 0 and  -2  cause  the system to choose personal versions dependent on the student account Id.  Of these Version 0 is by far the most common and is the default for list creation.



D.    Class Rolls: Types of Students, Accepting Student Registrations

In WHS there are three types of student: “browsers” who are informal auditors and interact only with the computer, “applied” students who have used the WHS ADD/DROP to apply to the instructor for admission, and “registered” students who are participating for credit. 


Using the  Select Account Type  selection box  at the top of the class management page the instructor can display tables of  each member type and with the tools on these pages can move “applied” students to “registered”  (thus accepting them in the class) and visa versa.  

UK students who pre-register will already appear in the list of registered students. Students who register late or seek to change sections will add classes in WHS through the WHS Add/Drop.

1.      To admit students to a class open the “Applied Students Only  Class Roll.  There is a Request column at which the instructor can, if he/she desires, press the “Approve Registration  button. This fully registers the student in the class, enters  his/her name in the grade book, etc.

2.      To remove students from a class open the “Registered  Students Only  Class Roll.  There is a Request column at which the instructor can, if he/she desires, press the “Cancel Registration  button. This shifts  the student back to “applied” status. 

Note: A  registered student cannot use the WHS Add/Drop to drop a class until the instructor has cancelled his or her registration.





3.      When a student changes sections

The student guide gives the following instructions on changing sections.  The instructions are intended to cover the (most common) scenario in  which  a student changes from one section to another which uses the same homework list.  Work that the student does (in WHS) for the old section will appear in the records for the new provided the student uses the same account. The admonition to make sure the old class is in the menu is the mechanism for making sure the accounts are the same.   In the past  students have done part of their  work in one account and part in another with the instructor  of record aware of only one of them.

Student Instructions on Changing Sections:  
If you are registered in WHS  in one section of a multi-section course and wish to change sections here is what must be done:
A.   Use the university drop/add to change sections.
B.   Log in to WHS and make sure that the old section appears on the menu.  Go to Add/Drop  and add the new section. At this point you can begin to do the class homework in the new section. The new section will recognize any work done in the old section provided the old section appeared on the menu when you logged in and the homework sets in the two sections are the same.
C.  When you go to new  class,  speak to the new instructor and  tell him/her that you have added the section, and ask that the instructor approve your WHS registration for the class.
D.  Inform the old instructor that you have dropped the section and ask that you registration in the old section be cancelled.  This can be done by email (see “I) .
E.  The old class will remain on you menu even after the instructor cancels your registration. To remove it from your menu you must drop the class in WHS Drop/Add.  The old class will appear in your “Drop Class  list only after the old instructor has cancelled your registration in that section.

4.      Spreadsheets of student rolls

The  Class Roll  button will produce an Excel spreadsheet (actually a csv file) of the data displayed in any of the tables opened via the “Select Account Type” menu.


E.     Viewing summaries of student homework results

Each table displayed via  the  Select Account Type menu has a “Scores  column which opens views of all of the student homework results. For a particular student this is the same data that the student receives when he/she presses “Homework Scores  on the main page. See the Student Guide to WHS (“G”) for more details on the


F.     Getting machine-graded homework information into a spreadsheet

Class instructors can produce a spreadsheet of  homework results for all students in the class  for any given set of assignments as follows:

From the floating menu select the class and then “Web Homework”. Click on the “Homework Scores” button.  Select  account “All’ and table “Homework Summary” then click the check box to the left of each homework assignment of interest.  Click on “Calculate Percentages” and then on “Download Summary




G.    Recording and  Retrieving hand-graded homework scores

The table of  hand-graded scores is  displayed using the “Hand-graded  Homework Grades
button on the “Grades” Table which is on the “Instructor Tools  page for the class. See “J 



H.    The “Grades”  button and the Grade Book:

WHS has a basic  grade book which is intended to support a general, multi-section, college course with three midterm exams and a final (Ex1,Ex2, Ex3,  Final) ,  a homework grade for each exam (Hw1,Hw2, Hw3,Hw4), and  a “general” or “generic” grade  for each exam G1,G2,G3,G4).  The “G” grade is generally used to account for quizzes,  class participation, reports, etc.  There is a provision for a “curve” for each exam and a place for the instructor to enter Midterm and Final grades. 

The grade book has a row for each registered student.  It frequently happens that a student has only “Applied” or even “Browsing  status in a course.  The “Select Account Type  pull-down menu at the top of the page can be used to check the status of all students in the class. If a student doesn’t appear under  Registered Students Only” then he/she will not appear in the grade book. In such cases the student may be in the “Applied” list and can be registered there.

Although there are tables of  homework scores for each student there is no provision for automatically inserting the homework scores into the grade book. This is because the homework “grade” score is likely to be some function of the homework scores. All the system can do is provide the data in a form that the instructor can manipulate.

The instructor opens the grade book with the “Grades” button and enters scores in each of the categories.



I.        Instructor Downloads and Student Uploads

The “Uploads” and “Downloads” buttons at the top of the page serve to manage files that are uploaded by students  and downloaded by the instructor.   Students upload files to the instructor  by selecting “File Upload  from  their class homework assignment menu (at the bottom), browsing for the  file  and pressing the “Upload” button.   When the  instructor uploads a file using the   Downloads table it appears in the student’s  homework menu (after the machine graded assignments) where students can select and download them. When dealing with uploads in WHS remember that  IN WHS ALL UPLOADED FILES ARE ZIP ARCHIVES!.

 Thus if a student or  instructor wants to upload a file, say  sam.pdf  or  “joe.doc” then he or she must first create a zip archive containing the file (e.g.  which contains  sam.pdf “ or  which contains  “joe.doc”).  The zipfile is what is  uploaded.


      The instructor manages the student uploads from the Uploads table.




J.      Calculate, Show, and Download  Summaries, Download Grades, Save Grades, and Hand-Graded Homework

There following indicates the roles of the buttons at the bottom of the Instructor Tools ->  Grades page.



K.    Student view of  Grade Book Data

Registered  students in the class can press   Class Roll and Grades” on the main WHS page and view all of their information in the grade book


L.     Assigning class privileges, attributes, and membership


Instructors often have assistants to do things like read and respond to feedback messages and  assist in checking hand-graded homework.  The instructor may need to identify special needs students to be sure their needed accommodations offered or the instructor may want to note students who have checked out class materials.  If the class is part of a research project there are times when records must be kept of certain participant attributes such as whether they have consented to have their course results included in the project data.  

A very common course management situation occurs when an instructor of a large lecture section wants to divide the class into recitation sections, each handled by a teaching assistant. The instructor wants the assistants to individually  manage the  feedback,  grade books, etc. for their own sections but needs to exercise oversight which requires instructor-level access to their classes.  One way to do this is for the instructor to share the assistants’ account passwords but the latter may need to use the same account for other, unrelated courses or activities.  The tools for managing efforts like these are on the course Members Page. 

The Members Page is a very general object with a number of capabilities not usually required for class instruction.  Here we concentrate on its use for managing a few common situations. The main thing to know is that every member of a class has,  at any one time, a  State  and some Roles. 

The State is a “word  which is empty or made up of the letters  C,R,A,I, and D.  Only C,R, and D are important for ordinary classes. 


C = “Certified  which translates as “Applied” for registration in the class

R = “Registered”

D = “Deleted”

The empty string = “Browsing”

The “A” (active), and “I” (Institutional Review Board/IRB) are used to manage other types of activities.


There are a large number of Roles  possible but for addressing most  class-related issues the role is a “word” of  in the characters h,H,f,F, and O.

 h = homework reader.  The class member can view the homework scores and summaries of all members of the class.   This is a common teaching assistant role.

H = homework writer.  The class member can “impersonate” any member of the class and submit homework answers and feedback is if  he/she were that person.  This is often used by the instructor when a student reports difficulties with his or her account. It can happen that one version of  a problem is ambiguous, has multiple correct answers, or is  even incorrect and  that this may appear on a particular student’s personal version but not on the instructor’s or the common.  This makes it possible for the instructor to see exactly what the student sees and, when warranted, to insert the expected answer so that the student gets credit.  If a class member  has this role then whenever he/she goes to the Web Homework page for the class the selection box menu which normally has the member’s name as a single choice will now have all registered members of the class.  The instructor has this role by default. See “M


f = feedback reader. The class member can read all of the feedback messages submitted by members of the class. This is a common teaching assistant role. See “M


F = Feedback Writer. The class member can read and respond to feedback messages from any person in the class. This is a common teaching assistant role.  See “M


O  = owner.  The class member has the ability to assign roles and status to anyone in the class.  The exception is that the  instructor can remove  this member’s owner status  the member cannot revoke the instructor’s owner status.   



a.     Bypassing Add/Drop to Directly Add  Members to Classes

Instructors can add members to classes. All that is required is that the individual have a WHS account.  As noted above this is particularly useful for setting up large lecture or multi-section courses where faculty supervision is required.  “Students” added this way tend to be teaching assistants, graders, etc. Generally it is recommended that instructors not routinely add students this way. It is generally much simpler for the student to use add/drop and the instructor approve the student’s registration on the class management page.






M.      Announcements,  Student Impersonation”, and Feedback


The instructor account has control of the Announcements window on the main WHS page. Announcements are brief messages of the type one might write in a corner of the blackboard at the beginning or end of class. The announcements screen is a good place to let people know that a calculator was left in the classroom last time and where the owner can claim it.


The Student selection box menu lists all registered students in the class.  The instructor can select a student name and, as far as the system is concerned, become that student.  In particular the instructor can see whatever the student sees and any answers that the instructor submits will be treated as if the student had submitted them.  The instructor can assign this role to another member of the class. (See “L,  the “H” role)




The Feedback Messages  button opens a page which organized all student homework queries and provides  tools for the instructor to respond.  The button contains an integer which indicates the number of rows in the table on the page. Each entry in the table is a question a waiting response.  They appear with the most recent at the top. A selection box under the table contains the questions that have been answered.  Students see a dual of the instructor’s display.  Their table contains the questions for which there is a response and the selection box lists the questions that have been answered.  An individual student’s feedback page contains only that student’s questions.  Questions drop off the page after a fixed time interval. The default is 14 days.  The instructor can change the parameter at the ‘Show Activity Settings  button on the class members page.




The instructor can assign to a member of the class the  ability to read student feedback questions (See “L”,  the “h” role) and the ability to write responses (See “L”,  the “H” role).




Additional Tools

There are other, powerful tools available to WHS users via the Tools menu.  


Page Up/Downloads  gives the user the ability to create and display web pages from the WHS site.

Installing WHS Web Pages


The “Menu List Editor  allows instructors to almost arbitrarily  extend the class “floating” menu.

Editing the Class Menu


The “User Directory  provides account information from the last name, email, or userId.

The User Directory



Paul Eakin

University of Kentucky

August 19, 2006