Courseware Back-to-School Planning Guide
Whether you’re kick-starting a new implementation of Courseware, Edmentum’s standards-aligned digital curricula, or picking up right where you left off last school year, we want to make sure that you have resources available to get this new school year started off right.
We’ve put together our top suggestions to help you set up your account for the new school year, explore the top features your program has to offer, preview our newest content, and spotlight best practices from stories of successful implementations.
Prepare Your Account for the New Year
There are several critical steps you can take to ensure that your account is set up for a fresh start that will pay dividends as the semester progresses. Don’t forget, you can also reference our Courseware Account Organization Checklist at any time. Let’s take a closer look below.
1. Manage Users: Each new school year says goodbye to graduating classes and ushers in new educators and new students. Account administrators will want to remove the students who have graduated, promote current students who have moved up a grade level, and import new students and educators into the program. You can also manage your users through an SSO integration via Clever, ClassLink, Microsoft, or Google.
2. Review, Archive, and Create Custom Courses: This is the perfect time setting up your specific courses for the new school year and managing any resequencing, omitting, additions, etc. that you see fit to make courses align with your district’s specific scope and sequence. It’s also important to incorporate the most current courses available in the process.
This school year, this process is getting easier. You can now edit custom courses after they have been published. This important modification allows you to make quick changes and upgrade course content to the latest versions without recreating the custom course.
3. Review Account and Gradebook Controls: Your global account settings are critical to creating a cohesive and collaborative Courseware experience. Before each new school year, revisit your learner, family, and instructor controls to ensure that you’re giving your implementation the best chance for success. For Gradebook permissions, consider categories and weights, grading scales, and credit tracking for successful management this school year.
One new control you can expect to find this year: mastery test attempt controls. This school year, we’re making it easier to control this setting at a global level, alleviating the section-by-section burden by allowing program- and account-level administrators to manage the number of times that students can unlock their mastery test.
4. Manage Your Program Pacing Calendar: Editing the pacing calendar for your account ensures that holidays, teacher workdays, end-of-semester dates, etc. are considered when calculating the pacing of a course section. It’s important to take look at your calendar for the new school year to accommodate any adjustments.
5. Manage Sections: This step marks your handoff from administrator to classroom educator, as individual teachers have the ability to manage their own sections. At the start of the school year, begin by gathering any last remaining data from old sections before deactivating them and then create your new sections for the year.
You can also use the new copy a section function to create new sections from an existing section, therefore preserving the same section curriculum, gradebook settings, instructors, section descriptions, and section instructions. This approach saves valuable minutes in your workflow and keeps student management and reporting from past sections intact.
6. Know Where to Find Self-Help: When in doubt, visit the Help Center. The Help Center is a purple button you will often see on the top right of your screen. Here, you’ll find simple, self-service resources like user guides; short, step-by-step instruction documents; and best-practice videos associated with the page you’re on.
Once you’ve popped open the Help Center, click on the Learn & Support page, where you can search through a variety of popular administrator and instructor support materials, including detailed user guides and how-to resources.
Our Getting Started Resources page is another terrific resource to keep in mind. Access quick links to live office hours, explore orientation overviews, and watch video overviews of many of our favorite features.
Explore Our Favorite Features
Many of the neat, new features we have available in Courseware are inspired by the educators who have given us feedback on what they’d like to see to enhance their experience. Here are a few of our favorite features that benefit students, instructors, and admins.
1. Student Toolbar: The student toolbar (found within tutorials and tests) contains helpful features, such as highlighter options to support reading and retention, a glossary of course terminology, guided notes on certain courses, a click-to-speak feature to visually see sentences and words highlighted while spoken aloud, and a translation tool that supports 18 languages.
2. Administration Dashboard: From the administration dashboard, admins can view a quick program snapshot of courses, program usage, and program performance. Access to managing courses and managing students has been integrated into this dashboard, as it’s a feature frequently used by admins.
3. Gradebook: Our gradebook makes streamlined daily management of online learning even easier. Instructors can save time through auto-generated grading templates for each course section and through visibility into individual student grades (for the overall course and for individual learning activities) to easily monitor progress and gather actionable data needed to address individual learning.
4. Custom Course Builder: Courseware’s Custom Course Builder gives program and account administrators the flexibility to modify, design, and build courses to meet the unique needs of the district, school, and students. Check out this quick video tutorial on how to use the Custom Course Builder.
5. Student Course Paths: This new student view offers students quick insights into their pacing and allows them to review detailed performance information to make informed decisions about what to work on next and how to prioritize activities, performance impacts, and goals.
Learn from Others’ Success
We love gathering personal testimonials from our educator partners to explore the different ways they’re using Courseware to drive credit recovery programs, career and technical education (CTE) exploration, and course expansion via first-time credit (to name just a few). Discover more Courseware success stories.
"We think everyone should have a five-star life. Edmentum is helping us do that because we’re tapping into each individual student’s gift. We continue to shoot for the best we can do. That’s the mentality we want our students to have."
—Dr. Tyrana Battle, Assistant Superintendent at Halifax County School District
"Edmentum literally was our foundational curriculum. The content was so rich that we didn’t have to search for supplemental text. When we were able to see, 'Wow, this has everything you need,' it became our actual textbook for the curriculum."
—Dawn Bowles, Principal at Millwood High School
“The beauty of Courseware from Edmentum is we could pick and pull from modules from both [semesters] of courses and build our own custom course.”
—Beth Goff, Innovation Specialist at Clover School District, South Carolina
We’re constantly improving our programs based on your feedback. With these back-to-school releases, it’s clear that exciting features and functionality are not in short supply. Find out what's new in the 2023-24 school year.
This post was originally published July 2019 and has been updated.