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Admin 

Give me an overview of the Admin Platform. 

Here at LearnBoost, we decided to go with a teacher product first, as opposed to a school level software suite, to empower classroom teachers. This means that until now, we’ve had a stand-alone teacher product. With the new administrative platform, we’re beginning to connect these accounts, laying the infrastructure for more collaborative and internal features. Here’s what the first iteration of Admin functionality looks like!

Universal student data.
With the admin platform, administrators are able to create master student databases from which teachers at their school can pull in order to populate classes. This will save teachers time and ensure that student data is consistent.

Create and view classes at your school.
In the Classrooms tab, easily search through all the classes taught at your school. With a quick search, pull up specific classes to view course info, then create or copy existing classes for your teachers!

School-wide default grading periods and custom subjects.
Admins can setup custom school terms with just a few clicks to make classroom setup easier for teachers and to accommodate any school year schedule. From the same page, admins can create custom subjects for their school so that teacher classrooms are standardized to align with your school’s course offerings.

Custom learning standards.
We’ve already embedded the Common Core State Standards, but if your school uses another set of standards, you can upload them for your whole school through your admin settings!

Managing permissions.
Admins can control how teachers view student information, share account information, and more right from their dashboard.

What’s in store?
You’ve got to keep in touch to find out! Subscribe to the LearnBoost blog where we release our updates, check out our Twitter feed to get sneak peaks, tell us what features you want next on our Facebook page, and keep the conversation going on Google+!

How do I add teachers, students, and other admins? 

From the administrator dashboard, you can add staff and students manually by entering their information or opt to upload/import via a CSV (comma-separated) file.

First, navigate to the right user tab – “Teachers,” “Students,” or “Admins” – to get started in adding people to your school’s LearnBoost account. Then import or write in names and email addresses.

Note: If you import users via CSV, they will be sent an email with a temporary password and information on how to login to LearnBoost. If you choose to import users manually, remember to send them login info (just click the “Options” cog button in the top right then select “send login info”) for their new accounts since they won’t get a note from the LearnBoost team automatically.

What is a unique identifier? 

As an admin, you have control over your school’s user database. In the Options of the Manage tab on the admin dashboard, you’ll notice that “unique identifier” is a required field.

Within the LearnBoost system, you can set either email addresses or ID numbers as the unique identifier for individual users.

Identifiers are extremely important, as they give LearnBoost a way to distinguish each user. For instance, you might have 2 students named “Juan Ramirez,” and thus without an ID number or email address attributed to each, teachers would have a really difficult time adding the correct student to their classrooms.

If you don’t have email addresses for each user, choose “ID number” as the unique identifier, then enter in given school ID numbers or use this opportunity to create new ones. As you enter in IDs, you may need to un-check the unique identifiers box since LearnBoost won’t let you save down any data for users without an ID. Once everyone has an identifier, however, make sure you select a unique identifier again so that moving forward every student’s info gets saved correctly!

How do I send login info to users that I've added? 

If you import lists of teachers or other users in CSV file format, we’ll display a note asking if you want to share login information with them automatically. Simply say “yes,” and continue!

If you aren’t ready to share login information quite yet, or you add any users manually, you can send login information from your admin dashboard at any time. Just select the teachers to whom you’d like to send login info by checking the box beside their names. Then, head up to the options button (this looks like a little cog), and click “Send login info.” This will trigger an email that will give the users a temporary password and instructions for logging into their account for the first time!

How do I set the grade scale for my school? 

Administrators can set the default letter grade scale for teachers at their school. Opt to leave the grade scale editable at the teacher level, or “lock” the grade scale by disabling the edit option.

On your admin dashboard, click the Manage tab, then head to the Grading section. Edit the percentages and grade that you wish to generate. This can be a standard A-F scale, or it can be customized to display numerals or even words like “Progressing,” and “Mastery.” Just be sure that every percentage is covered from 0-100%!

The custom grade-scale is for schools who wish to generate custom grades like “A-” or “Excellent” or even numeral scores like “4″ based on assignment scores. Don’t worry if you use percentages or wish to let teachers enter in scores manually – these are still options at the teacher level.

Can I customize grading periods for my whole school? 

Grading periods, or school sessions, can be customized from the administrator dashboard. Just click the Manage tab, then select “Classrooms.” On the right, you’ll see a table where you can change session names to whatever your heart desires, i.e. “Period 1,” “Fall,” “Term 3,” “School Rules 2.5,” or whatever other system your school may use! Next, enter in the start and end dates for each term, and your whole school will be ready to roll. Need more support? Check out this quick video:

Can I set custom subjects for my whole school? 

Yep! From your admin dashboard, select Manage. Then, click “Classrooms” and edit the subjects in the table on the left. The course subjects you enter will auto-populate teacher accounts so they can easily choose from them while creating classes.

How do I add my school's learning standards? 

LearnBoost already has the Common Core State Standards embedded, which means teachers can easily tag assignments and lesson plans with standards to keep teaching aligned with achievement. Schools that don’t use the Common Core State Standards can upload other sets of standards right from the Admin dashboard. Here are some tips on importing your own standards.

Upload standards in LearnBoost gradebook

1. Download, create, or export a list of your local standards in CSV format. Be sure to download the our sample CSV file for some extra guidance. In your file, you’ll need the Standards ID and Standards Description in 2 columns.

2. Create a LearnBoost Admin account or login to your existing Admin account.

3. Next, head to the Manage tab in the Admin dashboard and click “Standards” in the menu on the left. Choose “Upload your own.”

4. Select “Import and Preview” and select the CSV file of your standards. Take a look at the file and make sure it appears correctly in the LearnBoost importer, and click “Import.”

If at any time you want to check out your list of standards, you can click “View” from the same Standards section of your admin dashboard. Once the import is finished, teachers at your school will be able to use the handy search feature when they’re creating lesson plans and assignments to associate your custom standards!

Can I set up classes for my teachers? 

There are a few ways for admins to go about setting up classes for teachers, depending on how much you’d like to do for them. Here are 3 options in order from least involved to full setup:

Set up basic class info. After adding teachers to the user database in the teacher tab, head to the Classrooms tab on the admin dashboard. Simply click the “New” to create a class with basic info completed that will land on teachers’ dashboards. When they login, they can click the class and continue to add students, policies, and custom grade scales.

Create class rosters. Since teachers can import/copy entire class rosters from within their schools, setting up mock classes for each teacher on your own teacher dashboard and titling them appropriately (like “Teacher name – period 3″) will allow them to import the class roster that you assign to the class as they add students.

Set up basic info, class rosters, grade scales, access, and more. If you’re up for setting up entire classes for your teachers, including rosters and grade scale info, go ahead and create the class within your own teacher account. Next, head to your admin dashboard and click the Classrooms tab. Search for the class you’ve created and click the title to pull up the class details on the right. In the popup window, click “Copy.” Assign the class to the right teacher and make any edits as needed. Once it’s saved, it will appear on the teachers’ dashboard, waiting for them to jump right in!

Can I delete classes that I created for teachers? 

Administrators can create or copy classes for teachers in the Classrooms tab to give admins more control over the courses being taught at their schools. Because some teachers have a lot of data in their classrooms, we make this fairly read-only as an extra precaution, so admins new to LearnBoost don’t accidentally delete or edit teachers’ data as they play around with the Classrooms feature. Thus, admins cannott delete classes from the Classroom tab. If you’ve accidentally created classes for a teacher, please notify him or her that they should delete the class upon logging in by clicking on the class title then selecting “Delete Class” on the bottom left.

Can Admins restrict or allow permissions? 

Admins get three global permissions that will restrict certain behaviors at their school. To set permissions for teachers, parents, and students, head to the “Options” menu under the Manage tab in the admin dashboard.

1. Teacher access page. Under this setting, admins can determine if teachers can share grades, attendance, and calendars with students and parents. Teachers will still have discretion over what features they share.

2. Allow teachers to create student profiles. If an admin enables this function, teachers are allowed to create students. If not checked, teachers at a school can only select from the students added in the admin account.

3. User required field(s). Finally, the third permission designates a unique identifier for all users at their school (ID or Email). Depending on which option is selected, it will impact what teachers may or may not see out of these options on their screens.

Can I see into teachers' accounts or view classroom data? 

LearnBoost is primarily a toolset for teachers to make daily classroom administration simpler. To that end, the admin accounts offer ways for admins or lead teachers to make setup a snap. Within LearnBoost, admins cannot see classroom info aside from high level details in the “classrooms” tab.

Also, many of our schools who wish to see more info set up systems where admins store and encrypt teacher login information (though we do not officially endorse this for security reasons) or have teachers export or backup their accounts and share them via a file sharing program to a central school account. We trust that our schools work with security and safety at top of mind; please use discretion when dealing with private student data!

Can I import my existing Teacher account? 

Nope. Since LearnBoost was initially created as a stand-alone teacher product, teachers that have active accounts cannot join newly created school accounts. Thus, when adding users, admins will get an error message if they try to add an email for a teacher who already has a LearnBoost account. If the teacher would like to be part of the school account for any reason, he or she should head to account settings and either delete the account entirely or change the email address associated with the account. Then, the admin can add the teacher to the Teachers tab in the school network to set up a new account for the teacher!

Unfortunately, data can’t be transferred to the new account, so teachers will have to re-create classes. For this reason, you may want to wait until the end of the grading session to get everyone synced up.

I'm a Google Apps Admin. Why don't my Google Calendars show up in LearnBoost? 

Event though teachers at schools using LearnBoost through Google Apps for Education will have their Google Calendars automatically synced with their LearnBoost calendar, if you’re the Google Apps admin, you won’t be able to access your Google Calendar. This is because of some pretty techie backend stuff that has to do with permissions between Google and integrated services (like LearnBoost!). We’re working to enable Google Apps Admin calendar sync shortly!

Updated 09.07.2012