Support

Use the table of contents below to browse support articles walking you through the set up and usage of Teachly.

If you have any questions about Teachly not covered here, please do not hesitate to contact us at teachlyhelp@gmail.com.

If your school (e.g. HKS, HSPH) is part of an existing Teachly pilot, please contact your local ed tech administrator for help.

Course Set-up

When you first log in to Teachly, you’ll be guided through the steps to set up your course. Click “Create a new course” to begin.

Create your course

In Step 1 of the course set-up process, you will submit the name of your course, the start date, and the end date. When naming your course, please use the official course name and number such as “API-XXX Statistics.”

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Add your Teaching Assistant(s)

During Step 2 of the course set-up process, you will be asked to input the first name, last name and email of your teaching assistant. By submitting this information, your teaching assistant will be able to to log into Teachly to help with the remainder of the course set-up process.

You are able to add multiple teaching assistants at this time or you can skip the step to add your teaching assistant later. When you add a teaching assistant, their name will appear in a list under the course name above the input fields.

You can access this step from the “Manage” button on the course home screen at any time.

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Enroll your students

There are several ways to enroll students in Teachly. It is important to talk through the options with your teaching assistant(s) to determine the best method for your course. After you decide on an enrollment method, you will complete the course set-up process. You can access these options from the “Manage” button on the course home screen at any time.

We have briefly outlined the four methods to add students to Teachly; click on each of them for a more in-depth look at the process.


  1. Method A - Show students enrollment page with QR code
    • Situation: I want students to enroll themselves during class.
    • Advantages: Ensures that all students in the classroom are added to Teachly quickly.
    • Challenges: Takes some class time (3–5 mins); Students sent a reminder to complete longer profile questions later and may forget.
  2. Method B - Email link to students
    • Situation: I want students to enroll outside of class.
    • Advantages: Students to enroll and complete profile outside of class.
    • Challenges: Students may not remember to enroll (we recommend bundling enrollment with an assignment).
  3. Method C - Add students manually to Teachly
    • Situation: I want to enroll individual students myself.
    • Advantages: Allows you to add students to Teachly quickly and without student action; Helpful when adding individual students who missed initial enrollment process.
    • Challenges: Must know the student’s email address beforehand; Can be time consuming if you have many students to add.
  4. Method D - Add students via CSV upload
    • Situation: I want to enroll students in bulk myself.
    • Advantages: Quickly add many students at once; Useful if you already have a roster in CSV format.
    • Challenges: Formatting the CSV correctly is error-prone; You should first communicate your use of Teachly since, by default, they will receive an email prompt after being added.

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A. Show students enrollment page with QR code

Process

Option A is the preferred enrollment method. By displaying the enrollment page with the QR code in class, you can make sure students visit the site and start the enrollment process during the first few minutes of class.

  1. The students will complete Part 1 of their profile, which asks for information on how they identify. Click here for a sample of what Part 1 looks like.
  2. After completing Part 1, the students and are presented with the option of completing Part 2 (questions about their background and interests) or being reminded to complete this later. If you are doing this enrollment in class, we recommend asking students to choose to be reminded later:
  3. After receiving the reminder email, students can complete Part 2. Click here for a sample of what Part 2 looks like.

More information on student profiles and their contents is available below.

Setting up your enrollment page

The enrollment page displays a unique QR code for your course along with instructions on how to use it and a unique short link, the same as the email link mentioned below. Students use the camera on their smartphone to zoom in on the QR code which prompts them to open a link to complete the first part of the profile. If they do not have a smartphone but do have another device, they can use the short link to enroll as well.

One strategy to show the enrollment page is by embedding the enrollment page into your PowerPoint slides. It’s easy to take a screenshot of the enrollment page and embed it into your slides:

  1. Make sure your Teachly Enrollment Page is open in your browser
  2. On PowerPoint, click “Insert”
  3. Click “Screenshot”
  4. Select the Teachly Enrollment Page
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B. Email link to students

Option B allows you to send a unique short (case sensitive) link to students before they even enter the classroom. While this option allows you to save class time, you will likely need to remind students to complete their profile since it they need to do so on their own time.

Simply copy the link and/or sample text into an email to your students or post it on your class page in your learning management system. Students will click and complete the profile. Determining a deadline for profile completion may help with completion rates.

Students will be asked to complete the two parts of their profile:

  1. Part 1 of their profile asks for information on how they identify. Click here for a sample of what Part 1 looks like.
  2. Part 2 includes questions about their background and interests Click here for a sample of what Part 2 looks like.

More information on student profiles and their contents is available below.

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C. Add students manually

Option C is best used to add students who join the class late or who you may have removed from the class but need to re-add.

Using the first name, last name, and email fields, enter the information to add the student to your course. If the student already exists in Teachly, you will be able to click their profile in the list to the right of the fields to add them to the course. If the student has not made a Teachly profile, you will click “Add student” to send the student an email to fill out a Teachly profile.

Below the add student interface, there is also a check box labeled “Automatically send student profile email.” Be sure to make sure this box is checked so students receive their automatic student profile email. If you do not want students to be prompted to fill in student profiles, uncheck this box and click “Update”. If you choose to do this, remember to send a reminder to your students at a later date by going to “Manage” button on the course home page and clicking “Send a reminder email”.

You can also access this interface and the automatic email function by clicking “Add students manually to Teachly” via the “Manage” button on the course home page.

When students receive an email to fill out a profile, they will be asked to complete the two parts of their profile:

  1. Part 1 of their profile asks for information on how they identify. Click here for a sample of what Part 1 looks like.
  2. Part 2 includes questions about their background and interests Click here for a sample of what Part 2 looks like.

More information on student profiles and their contents is available below.

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D. Add students manually in bulk

This method allows you to enroll many students into your Teachly course at once. This feature is still being developed and requires you to upload a CSV with your students’ names and accurate email addresses in a very precise format. If it is not easy for you to produce an accurate CSV file in this exact format, we suggest you consider the other enrollment methods.

Adding in bulk requires the following steps:

  1. Download the sample CSV below.
  2. Fill the first column with names in the format lastname,firstname (e.g., Svoronos,Theodore).
  3. Fill the second column with corresponding email addresses. Be sure to use official school emails, and verify that they are correct!
  4. Delete the text in the third column.
  5. Save the CSV and upload it below.
  6. Check your student roster to ensure that the upload was successful.

If you upload student emails that are already in your course, they will not be added twice. However, you should make sure that you’re using the correct email address; if the student enrolled with a different address, you will have a duplicate student.

When students are added to your course, they will receive an email to complete the two parts of their profile:

  1. Part 1 of their profile asks for information on how they identify. Click here for a sample of what Part 1 looks like.
  2. Part 2 includes questions about their background and interests Click here for a sample of what Part 2 looks like.

More information on student profiles and their contents is available below.

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Track class participation

Create a new course session

To start tracking participation, begin by clicking on “Create a new course session” button from the course homepage. Next, choose the start time/date and end time/date for the session. For the Session Name, Teachly will label your sessions Session #1, Session #2 etc., or you can also give the session a name, such as the specific topic for the class that day (Session #1: Getting Started with R). Last, click on the “Create Course Session” button to start the session.

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Seat layout

After you’ve successfully created a Course Session, you will then see a blank canvas in which you can create a seating chart for your course that visually represents the layout of your classroom. To do this:

  1. Select Seat Layout from the action panel on the top of the screen.
  2. You will then see the faces and names of students enrolled in your course listed on the left side of your screen.
  3. By clicking and dragging their pictures to the grid, you are able to place them in a ‘seat’ in the classroom.
  4. Each time you create a course session, the new session will use the seating chart from the previous session. This means that you will only have to make minor adjustments to your seating chart after the first session depending on add/drop period or assigned seats.

The seat layout grid is not specific to your exact classroom layout; this is intentional to allow for flexibility to meet the needs of all classrooms. You will need to decide how to orient the layout to best suit the classroom. Some people prefer to orient the chart to the attendance-tracker’s perspective, while other choose to set it up from the perspective of the faculty member at the front of the classroom.

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Attendance

To record attendance/participation data in Teachly, all course data is collected in the Action Panel button bar within a specific course session. Select Track Participation.

All students will appear green on default to indicate that the student is present and on-time. Click once on the student’s picture or name to yellow, which indicates that the student is late. Click twice to red to indicate that the student is absent. Click three times to gray to indicate an excused absence. These designations can be updated or changed at any time.

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Heat map

The heat map view allows you to highlight the seating chart to view different levels of participation. You can highlight:

  • Lowest participators (Highlighted in yellow)
  • Highest participators (Highlighted in blue)
  • Lowest 50% (Outlined in yellow)
  • Highest 50% (Outlined in blue)

By looking at these groups, you may be able to make a plan on who you will call on in the next class. You could try to not call on those students highlighted in the highest participator group and instead work to call on a lowest participation student to move them out of the group.

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Participation

Using the participation interface

  1. Record participation
    • Track participation via list or seating chart view by selecting the Participation button in the Action Panel (selected when highlighted in blue). Click a student’s picture or name to track attendance. Indication that the comment was recorded will be confirmed with the number in the top left corner of the student picture, as well as in the Participation Feed in the Action Panel.
  2. Edit participation
    • If edits need to be made to the Participation Feed, you may do so by editing the time of when the comment was made, or remove the comment completely by selecting Remove. You can access these items by clicking the participation item in the Participation Feed.
  3. Comment quality
    • Once you track each time a student participates, you have the ability to track quality as well, on a rating scale of 1 to 3. Simply click on each participation instance in the Participation Feed to adjust the quality rating.
    • The standard rating scale is included below. Please note that your teaching team should decide the rating standards that fits best for your course. Each comment is defaulted as a 2 unless it is changed.

Assigning comment quality

If you would like to use the rating scale, you should feel free to assign whatever meaning you would like to each value and communicate that to your TA. Teachly does not treat these numbers numerically; when you download your participation data, it simply lists how many comments made by each student were given a rating of 1, 2, or 3.

Here are two sample rubrics. Note that Teachly assigns a value of 2 to all comments unless otherwise specified.

  • Sample Rubric 1
    • 1: A comment that negatively affects the progress of the conversation or is off topic
    • 2 (Default): A standard comment that is on topic and helpful to the session in general
    • 3 : A comment that positively affects the direction of the session or shows superior knowledge of the topic
  • Sample Rubric 2
    • 1: Student asks a question
    • 2 (Default): Student makes a comment
    • 3 : Student builds off another student’s question or comment

Comment note

You may also write a note about each comment by clicking on the individual participation instance in the Participation Feed. To view the comments, refer back to the individual Course Sessions.

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Student Information

Student profiles

Student profiles allow you to learn about your students through information that they choose to share with you. A Teachly student profile consists of two parts:

  • Part 1 – Demographic Information: Student’s preferred name, gender, ethnic background, and first language.
  • Part 2 – Academic and Professional Background and Interests: Student’s prior education/work experience, country of origin, goals/plans for the future, fun facts, and additional thoughts.

To browse student profiles, go to your course page and click “View student profiles” under “Learn about your students.” This will bring you to a new screen with all student profiles as a list. You can also use the search bar to search all the student profiles in your course.

Click here for some tips on how to make the most of this information.

The Demographic Information within the profile is the data behind the course and session dashboards, and allows Teachly to populate the analytics on demographics. If students do not complete the demographic information in the survey, their attendance and participation data will not be reflected in the course and session dashboards.

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Editing student profiles

Only students are able to modify their own profiles. To do so, they can log in to Teachly and click on “Edit Information”.

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Exporting student data

At any point during the duration of your course, you can download student participation and attendance data into Excel via a CSV file. To do this, select the Download CSV of student participation link via the “Manage” button on the course home page.

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Searching for student data

You can search all student profiles in your course for key words. The search bar is on the course home page, under “Learn about your Students”, and also on the “Individual Student Profiles” page. After searching, click on the student’s name in the resulting list to view their full profile.

You can also download student profile information as a CSV and search profiles using Excel or other software.

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Review your data

Course session data

To view your individual course session dashboard, click on the grey course session that you want to view listed under “Track Participation” and select the green View session dashboard button when prompted.

This will pull up the dashboard with the data analytics just from that one class session, not cumulative data from the course. For example, by selecting the “Session #1” session dashboard, you will only be viewing data from session #1.

These dashboards will provide you session-level data on Participation Snapshot, Participation Equity, and Most/Least Active Students.

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Course dashboard

To access your Course Dashboards, click on the “View Course Dashboard” button under the “Learn about your teaching” section of Teachly at the top of your course homepage.

Students must have filled out their general surveys and you must have logged participation at least once for this dashboard to provide data.

The course dashboards are the aggregate data of all session information from the course. The data reflected in this dashboard represents all attendance and participation data in the course to date. The information is broken into 4 key dashboards:

  1. Participation Snapshot: The participation gap for each demographic is the difference between the percentage of comments made by students of that demographic and the percentage of students of that demographic enrolled in the class. This dashboard shows you the relative participation gaps in the course for each demographic group.
  2. Participation Equity is calculated based on the number of comments made by students, this dashboard shows you information such as: % of comments made by the top 10% of participators, # of students with zero participation, et al. For each metric above, you can also see how your course is doing in comparison to other active courses in Teachly, by showing the percentile of participation in your course, relative to other courses.
  3. Participation History: This is a time-stamped line graph that shows the percentage of comments made by a filtered demographic group (green line), in relation to the percentage of student enrolled in the course in that demographic (red line). This graph shows fluctuations in participation by demographic group on a session-by-session basis over the duration of the course. This graph can be filtered by gender, language or ethnicity. To do this, select the filter by highlighting it blue.
  4. Most/Least Active Students is a list of students in order of least to most active students, based on the number of comments made by each student over the duration of the course. It also provides the number of course session since the student spoke last. This list is collapsed to only show the 10 most active and 10 least active students in the course, but the list can be expanded to show all the students by selecting show more students. This list can be filtered by gender, language or ethnicity. To do this, select the filter by highlighting it blue.

Below is a sample dashboard. See our best practices section for tips on interpreting your dashboard.

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Best practices

Sample syllabus language

Please feel free to include/adapt this text in your syllabus to explain your use of Teachly.

“I strive to teach in a classroom in which everyone feels welcome to participate in class. To help me get to know you better, keep track of classroom participation patterns and create an inclusive classroom environment, I will be using a tool developed by faculty and students at the Harvard Kennedy School called Teachly. I will be asking you to enroll in the course and complete your Teachly student profile. Here is a link to a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Teachly.”

We then suggest adding a sentence about how Teachly will factor into class participation.

Here are two possible sentences for two possible scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: Teachly will be used as one of the inputs to assign your participation grade but it won’t be the only one. I will also take into account the quality of your participation, your postings on the discussion board, X, Y and Z. Using Teachly will allow me to be more objective in measuring this component of the participation grade.
  • Scenario 2: Teachly data will not be used to assign your participation grade.
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Sample talking points for the first day of class

Here is one example of a way to frame your use of Teachly when you introduce it on the first day of class. Please feel free to adopt this text so it works best for your own classroom.

“I strive to teach in a classroom in which everyone feels welcome to participate in class. To help me get to know you better, keep track of classroom participation patterns and create an inclusive classroom environment, I will be using a tool developed by faculty and students at the Harvard Kennedy School called Teachly. The first step is for you to enroll in this particular course on Teachly and fill in Part 1 of your Student Profile. This should take 3 minutes and we will do it now [this assumes you will enroll students during class]. The second step is for you to fill in Part 2 of the student profile after class today (you will get an email with a link) with your basic information so I can get to know you better. It is very important that you complete both steps. Please follow the instructions on this slide to complete the first step [show QR slide]”

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Sample introduction and enrollment

Below is a short video from a class session in which an instructor introduces Teachly and enrolls his students via the QR Code method. This is meant to serve as only one example of how Teachly can be introduced, but we hope that it is useful.

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Updating the class roster

We recommend comparing your Teachly enrollment with your learning management system or registrar supplied class roster to make sure all official students are enrolled in Teachly. Depending on the add/drop period at your institution, you may want to check on enrollment on a weekly basis for the first few weeks of classes. Keeping an accurate roster is the best way to ensure accurate course data.

If you notice discrepancies between your roster and the students in your Teachly course, you can add students via the “Manage Course” page, or remove them by clicking “Remove” under the “Individual Student Profiles” page.

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Interpreting your dashboard

This brief 4-minute video describes how an experienced Teachly user (Prof. Dan Levy) interprets his teaching dashboard. We think you’ll find some useful tips here on how to interpret your own Teachly dashboard.

Leveraging student profiles

This short video provides some strategies to make the most of the information that your students provide in their profiles.

Removing teaching assistants after the semester

We recommend you utilize the “Deactivate all TAs” button at the end of your course to remove Teachly access for your teaching team. You are able to add the TAs back at a later point if you would like to.

Deactivating TA access is the best way to keep student data secure and your own teaching data accurate so that no additional participation is recorded after the end of the course.

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Quick guide for Teaching Assistants

Below are a set of key tasks for Teaching Assistants to ensure that Teachly is as useful as possible. For more detail, please see elsewhere on our Support page, check our Frequently Asked Questions, or contact us at teachlyhelp@gmail.com.

Getting started with Teachly

  1. Enroll students into your course on Teachly. Please coordinate this step with your faculty.
  2. Make sure all your students fill in the two parts of the Teachly Student Profile so that participation data are accurate, and so that you and your teaching team can learn about your students’ backgrounds.
  3. Set up your seating chart, so you can track participation.

As the semester progresses

  1. Track attendance and participation every class.

  2. Keep course roster updated (adding and dropping students as necessary). This is crucial for data to be accurate.

  3. Help your faculty leverage your Teachly data to teach more effectively and inclusively.

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