CourseWork Tools Overview

Help Topic Description

Use the Announcements tool to inform site participants about current items of interest. Announcements can have multiple attachments, such as documents or URLs. You can email a copy of an announcement or just post it to your site.


Use the Assignments tool to create online assignments for delivery via a web interface to your students. Options include high-stakes testing, problem sets, self-study, paper submissions, surveys, etc. Scores and comments can be given to students within the Assignments tool. You can also choose to send scores to the Gradebook tool.

Chat Room

Use the Chat Room tool for real-time, unstructured conversations among site participants who are signed on to the site at the same time. Instructors can easily create an "Online Office Hours" chat room for student questions and answers. Dispersed collaboration groups can use Chat Room as a space to have conversations across distances or catch up with conversations that they may have missed.

Drop Box

The Drop Box feature allows instructors and students to share documents within a private folder for each student. The Drop Box works like Materials to allow you to upload many types of files and many files at a time. The Drop Box tool also allows nested folders (folders within folders).


Use the Forums tool for asynchronous, threaded discussion. You can create an unlimited number of discussion forums and topics within forums. The Forums tool allows for monitoring participation statistics and assigning grades to forums or topics.


Use the Gradebook tool to store and calculate grades and distribute them to students online. Grades can be imported from the Assignments tool or entered manually directly in the Gradebook.


Use the Lessons tool to organize text, files, assignments, discussion topics and media on a single page.


Use the Materials tool to share many kinds of material securely with members of your site or make them available to the public, such as documents, links to websites, and HTML pages. You can organize your Materials items into folders, and you can control which groups or types of users can access and add to different folders. Also, you can show or hide an item at any time, and set a start and/or end time for its availability.


Messages is a communication tool that allows site participants to communicate using internal messages that are sent as email and archived within the site.

My Workspace

My Workspace is an individual online worksite that functions as a private workspace for each user. When you log in, you will automatically open your My Workspace, where you can track announcements and schedule events, view site membership, and set system preferences such as display of site tabs.

Papers & Projects

Use the Papers & Projects tool to create, distribute, collect, and grade online assignments of a file upload or inline text format. Assignments are private; student submissions are not visible to anyone other than teaching staff.


Use the Roster tool to view the names, email addresses, photos, and enrollment status of site participants,


Use the Schedule tool to post items in a calendar format. The calendar has day, week, month, year, and flat list views. Many instructors use Schedule to post readings for each class on the day they are due to be read. Research, group, and department projects often use Schedule to post group deadlines.

Section Info

The Section Info tool provides a way for instrucional staff to efficiently manage sections of a course that may consist of lectures, labs, discussions, studio work, recitations, or any combination therein. Sections can be managed automatically using official course registration data or sections can be created and managed manually. The Section Info tool is designed to work with other tools, such as Announcements, Assignments, Gradebook, Materials, and Schedule.


Use the Sign-up tool to allow students to sign up for office hours, meetings, field trips, review sessions and other events in one convenient place. If a time slot is full, participants can add themselves to a wait list. The tool automatically "promotes" a participant when a slot becomes available and sends an email notification.

Site Info

The Site Info tool provides information about the site that you are currently in. If you have the Instructor, Course Admin or TA role, you can use this tool to add or remove site participants, add or remove tools available in the site, modify site information or access to the site. You can also publish the site using the Site Info tool.


Use the Syllabus tool to post the official outline for your course. If you or your department has prepared an online syllabus already, you can direct the Syllabus tool to link to it. Otherwise, you can post content directly by either uploading a document or composing text to display inline. You can designate your syllabus to be visible to the general public, to the Stanford community or just to members of your course.

Web Content

Use the Web Content tool to link an external website to the site's menubar and display the website directly in the site's content area. It is recommended to use this tool only for a few websites that will be visited often. If you need to add a lot of links, the Materials tool is a better choice.


Use the Wiki tool to quickly create and modify web pages, collaborate on documents, share information and create teaching materials.