- Getting Students Started with the ManageBac App
- Save Time by Utilizing the Quick Add Button
- Navigate Your Account by Using the Global Search Bar
- Use Class and Year Group Messages for School Community Communication
- Use the Parents Association for Parent Only Communication
- Add Tasks for Students
- Make Resources Accessible to Supplement Learning
- Provide Ongoing Academic Feedback
- Increase School to Home Communication Through Portfolios
- Access Help Resources!
There are many features on ManageBac to aid schools in managing their classes, curriculum service learning and projects online. We have picked out the following 10 key tips to help you when you are just getting started with ManageBac!
Tip 1: Getting Students Started with the ManageBac App
Thanks to our newly redesigned iOS application, students are no longer restricted to using computers to access ManageBac. This means they can access items such as their tasks, messages and add to their portfolio from their mobile devices or tablets.
To get started, students will need to download the app from the Apple App Store here. Please note the Android App is currently available for download, but is undergoing beta testing. It will be released to the wider public within the next 1-2 months.
When logging in, students will need to:
- Enter their email address associated with their ManageBac accounts:
2. Next, they will need to enter their password and click Sign In.
Once signed in, students can access ManageBac on the go on their mobile devices or tablets - a great option particularly if they don't have access to full computers at home!
Please see a step-by-step guide here: Accessing ManageBac via the iOS app
Tip 2: Save Time by Utilizing the Quick Add Button
The Quick Add button allows teachers and admins to easily add items to Classes and add new Resources with one-click to their classes. To start, click the Quick Add button on the left menu.
To add items to Classes:
- Select the class you wish to add to from the drop-down menu. (By default the Quick Add menu will show for your most recently accessed class )
- Select the item (Unit, Task, Message or File) that you would like to add to the class.
To add Unit Resources
- Select the class from the drop-down menu that the unit appears in.
- Select the unit you wish to add to from the drop-down menu.
- Select the type of resource you would like to add to the unit
Please note that the left navigation menu has two modes: Default & Compact, which will allow you to make full use of screen width on the web & tablet layouts. When collapsed, the Quick Add button will appear as a “+” tab.
Please see a step-by-step guide here: Using the Quick Add and Lite Menu tools
Tip 3: Navigate Your Account by Using the Global Search Bar
Global Search enables instant access to items across your ManageBac account. Navigating from the Global Search Bar, you can:
1. Skip between Year Groups and your Classes, down to the Groups you set up.
2. Search for the units that you are contributing to.
3. Quickly scan through your school directory to find any user (student, parent or teacher) from a centralized space.
4. Use the quick action buttons next to each student result to navigate to their Portfolio, Projects, or Service Learning. Please note this feature may be restricted depending on your user access permissions as an administrator (full access) or a classroom teacher (limited access to student profiles, depending on school permission settings).
Tip 4: Use Class and Year Group Messages for School Community Communication
There are several ways that staff are able to communicate through posted messages with students and/or parents through ManageBac.
Class Messages feature the ability to either issue emails to Students and / or Parents, providing flexibility for the relevant age group or topic.
To add a message, navigate to your class > Message tab > Post New Message.
From here, add in a Topic, select a Category along with your message. At the bottom, you have several preferences
- Notify members via Email: Selecting this option will send an email notification to all students and teachers in the Class.
- Notify parents via Email: Selecting this option will send an email notification to parents of students in the Class
- Private Message: Private messages are only visible to teachers and message authors. All replies will be private as well. This does not send an email notification to anyone
Once you are finished, click Add Message to post the message to the class and notify members.
You are able to adjust Message Categories via the Messages tab > click Edit pencil icon.
For more information about posting messages to Classes, please see the following guide: Posting Class Messages
Year Group Messages
Year Group messages can be used to communicate with all students of a particular grade or programme.
To post a message, navigate to Year Groups > select the Year Group > Messages tab > Post New Message.
You will need to enter a Topic and you have the option of selecting a category. Under the body of the message, you have the option to also post the note to other year groups or entire programmes.
Your notification and privacy settings at the bottom of the page include the following:
- Notify via Email: Selecting this option will send an email notification to all students and teachers in the Year Group. If message is shared in additional Year Groups students and teachers of that year groups will also be notified.
- Private Message: Private messages are only visible to teachers and message authors. All replies will be private as well.
Once you are finished, click Add Message to post the message to the selected Year Groups and to notify the respective members.
For more information about posting messages to Year Groups, please see the following guide: Sending Messages to Year Groups
Tip 5: Use the Parents Association for Parent Only Communication
For communication that only needs to be shared with parents such as newsletters or school-wide announcements, you are able to send messages to parents through the Parent Association.
To post a new message, navigate to the Parents Association > Messages tab > Post New Message.
Use the rich text editor to add in items such as files or images.
You can opt to notify the parents of an entire programme - or, you can select to send the message to the parents of specific grades by enabling the box beside either the programme name or level.
At the bottom of the page, you will have the following notification and privacy options:
- Notify via Email: Selecting this option will send an email notification to all members of the Parent Association.
- Private Message: Private messages are only visible to teachers and message authors. All replies will be private as well.
Once you are finished, click Add Message to post the message to the Parents Association and notify parents of the selected year groups.
A best-practice tip sees the ability to lock the group, which restricts parents from replying to notifications. This gives flexibility, to either use an open group for two-way communication, or a restricted place for key announcements and newsletters.
An Administrator can lock the parents association by navigating to Settings > Permissions, Security & Privacy > tick Lock Parents Association > Save Changes.
For further information, please see the following guide: Managing the Parents Association
Tip 6: Add Tasks for Students
Schools can add and assign tasks through ManageBac. This can guide students to review what they have learned or learn new content independently.
To add a task, navigate to the Class > Tasks & Units tab > Add New Task.
Teachers will need to add the following information to the task:
- Title: Task name
- Unit: The Unit plan you wish to link the task to.
- Due date & time: student submissions will be marked early or late based on this, and this will also be where the task falls on your class calendar, and in which term in the gradebook.
- Type: Eg: Summative, Formative. These are customizable by an admin within your programme settings.
- Category: These can be configured for all subjects by an admin within your programme settings, or customized further on a class-by-class basis via Manage Categories.
- Description: This allows a space to add detailed instructions for students to clearly communicate the expectations of the assigned task.
To collect and store all of the student submissions in a central location, you can enable the Dropbox. This will allow students to upload their coursework directly to the task.
After the task is added it will be automatically displayed on the student and parent portal. Additionally, the school can also choose to notify the students by email when creating the task.
Once you are finished entering the information for the task, you can select the following:
- Create Task and Add Resouces will allow you to link additional resources to the task.
- Save and Add Another Task will create your task within the class and allow you to create another task without having to navigate back the to Add New Task button.
For an in-depth look at creating tasks, please see the following guide: Adding, Sharing & Grading Tasks
Once the task is created, students' can upload their coursework though their own ManageBac accounts.
To do so, they will need to navigate to their Classes tab > select the class > Tasks tab > and click on the Task name.
They will then need to click Choose File to select their coursework, then Upload Files to submit their work to the task.
Students are able to find further guidance through the following blog: Viewing Tasks & Submitting Coursework
Tip 7: Make Resources Accessible to Supplement Learning
The Stream & Resources found within unit plans can effectively help teachers build and manage an online learning resources bank to help enrich the lives of their students.
Teachers can add to the Stream and Resource Bank by navigating to the Unit > Stream & Resources tab > Add Resource. Please note you need to have created a unit first before this will be available.
When adding resources, you can opt to Add Resource to Unit Stream. This will automatically add the item to the stream (making it visible to students and parents). Alternatively, you can leave the option disabled to add the resource to the Resource Bank.
The new Lesson Experiences functionality, further allows teachers to organise their resources. Teachers can opt to create daily, weekly monthly lesson plans to help students find the resources used for the specified time period.
You can add plans by navigating to your Unit > Stream & Resources tab > Lesson Experience.
The resources will be displayed on the student and the parent portal simultaneously so that teachers will not need to distribute those resources by mail or other methods of communication.
For more information about the Stream and Resources feature, please see the following guide: Sharing Unit Resources with Students
Tip 8: Provide Ongoing Academic Feedback
ManageBac provides several ways to provide students with feedback on their submitted work.
To do so, navigate to the Class> Gradebook > Task tab > click on the Task name you wish to grade.
Here, teachers are able to provide feedback based on the assessment settings selected when creating the task (ie points, criteria, comments or binary).
Parents and students are able to view task assessments in real-time. However, you can also opt to notify members via email once you have completed grading via Send Grades Notification.
Parents are able to view the last assessed task for each of their child's classes on the Academics tab.
Teachers can also utilize the Vantage Reader to provide in-depth feedback on students' work.
The annotation tool can be accessed by navigating to a Task > click the Eye icon to open the Vantage Reader.
For further information, please see the following guide: Annotating Student Work
Students are able to view their teacher's annotations by navigating to the Task and clicking Annotations. Here they will be able to see feedback and review teachers' comments.
Tip 9: Increase School to Home Communication Through Portfolios
The redesigned ManageBac Portfolio allows increased communication between home and school. The portfolio now includes a timeline view of submissions, expanded resource types including photos, videos, files & websites, as well as the ability to like, comment and share portfolio resources.
Goals can be added to a student Portfolio to track student progress. To add a goal, navigate to the student's profile > Portfolio tab > Add Goal.
When adding goals, teachers can opt to share items with the following users:
- Students, Parents & Teachers
- Parents & Teachers
- Teachers (only)
They can also opt to enable Notify Parents & Students via email. Once complete, teachers can click Add to Portfolio to add the item to the timeline and send notifications to users.
Teachers can tick the box beside goals that have been accomplished. To view a list of all goals, the teacher can click Show Completed Goals.
Parents and students can like and comment on goals (along with other portfolio items) using the buttons to the right-hand side. Schools can use these features to indicate when goals, reflections, resource or task submissions have been seen.
For more information about student portfolios, please see the following guide: Add Coursework, Goals & Reflections to Student Portfolios
Tip 10: Access Help Resources!
Last, but certainly not least, you can find our Help & Support button on the top-right hand corner of your account.
By clicking Help Tutorials, you will be direct to our Online Help Centre that provides step-by-step guides along with video tutorials.
You can also check out our free online webinars and professional development opportunities. We regularly work with school leaders around the world to provide best practices and ideas for teaching, as well as all the latest updates to ManageBac!
For further information please see the following blog post: Global Support Update: New Help Centre