1.4. Class Platforms

Besides this book, this class uses additional platforms for enrollment, assignments, and grading.

1.4.1. Canvas

LaunchCode monitors your progress in this class through a management system called Canvas. It provides a central location to manage the flow of information, but it does not hold the actual course content. Instead, it links to the lessons you need, and it keeps a record of your completed assignments and scores.

1.4.1.1. Login to Canvas

Access Canvas and the course assignments at https://learn.launchcode.org/. To login, use your launchcode.org username and password, which are the same ones you used to apply for this class.

1.4.1.2. Canvas Dashboard

After logging in, you will arrive at your dashboard, which displays the LaunchCode courses you can access, upcoming due dates, and several menu items.

Canvas sign-in and dashboard views

Clicking on a course title takes you to that class' homepage, which shows upcoming due dates, announcements, general information, and menu options. You will probably use the Syllabus and Assignments options the most often.

Canvas class menu options

1.4.1.3. Syllabus Page

The syllabus page provides general information such as a description of the class, the timeline for the course, a calendar, and a To Do list. Scrolling down on the page shows the Course Summary, which holds links to individual tasks (reading, quizzes, assignments, etc.).

This page is a good place to answer the questions What do I need to do next, and How can I quickly find and review an old topic.

Course Summary list

1.4.1.4. Assignments Page

This page sorts required tasks by date or type. A few days before each class session, new tasks will appear on the list. Old content remains active, allowing you to use the links for reference and review.

Course assignment view

Clicking on a specific title brings up information about that task, including the due date, points possible, instructions, and links.

Sample task instructions

Even though much of the course content can be accessed without logging in, the best choice is to begin from within Canvas. That way your progress gets recorded, and your scores will update smoothly as you complete quizzes. Also, submitting files for the larger assignments should only be done through Canvas.

1.4.2. Repl.it

Repl.it is a free online code editor, and it provides a practice space to boost your programming skills.

For this class, repl.it serves two purposes:

  1. To provide opportunities to respond to prompts, questions, and "Try It" exercises embedded within the reading. These tasks are neither tracked nor scored.
  2. To hold larger exercises and studios that will be checked for accuracy and tracked for completion.

1.4.2.1. Repl.it Account Creation

Creating a standard repl.it account is covered in Chapter 2, and logging in allows students to complete the general practice tasks.

To access the tracked and scored tasks, students must also enroll in a repl.it classroom. A link to join the classroom will be provided as part of an early Canvas assignment.

1.4.2.2. Standard Repl.it

Standard repl.it is an online code editor for various languages. Coders collaborate by sharing repl.it URLs.

Standard repl.it is used for:

  1. Publicly sharing code examples and starter code
  2. A place to practice new concepts by writing and running code

1.4.2.3. Repl.it Classroom

Repl.it Classroom provides online code editing and submission, but it also allows teachers to post instructions and establish automatic code evaluation.

Assignments in a classroom can kept private from people who are not enrolled, and grades can only be viewed by designated instructors.

Repl.it Classroom is used for:

  1. Completing then submitting exercises and getting feedback
  2. Completing then submitting studios and assignments for a grade
  3. Keeping student submissions visible ONLY to the teachers in the repl.it classroom

Tip

You NEVER have to click save when using standard repl.it or repl.it classroom. Repl.it automatically saves your code on their servers.

However, for repl.it classroom you DO have to click "Submit" to turn in your work.

1.4.2.4. Repl.it Classroom Workspace

../../_images/replit-classroom-features.png

Features to note:

  1. Settings menu: Allows you to change editor settings like theme and font size.
  2. Run button: Runs code in the editor panel (7).
  3. Name of assignment
  4. Repl.it user menu: Allows you to change account details and change password.
  5. Submit button:
    1. Submits your work.
    2. If the assignment has been setup to be auto graded, you will received instant feedback.
    3. If the assignment is NOT auto graded, your TA will need to review and provide feedback.
  6. Instructions: This describes what you need to code. READ CAREFULLY!
  7. Editor panel: This is where you write your code.
  8. Console output: After clicking the run button (2), output and errors will show up here.

Note

Results from work submitted in repl.it classroom, appear in Canvas after being verified.

Remember, Canvas holds student grades and quizzes but NOT the course content. Instead, it provides links to the reading and other assignments.