Educators teaching similar curriculum will set up a Piazza class to facilitate sharing and developing effective teaching techniques for their particular subject area (preferred over mailing lists, Facebook groups, or a chat channel, where it can be hard to organize information in an easy-to-find manner later).
The more seasoned educators enroll as "instructors" in the Piazza class, while those seeking to learn will enroll as "students". Piazza becomes a place for these educators to ask questions, share ideas, discuss instructional strategies and actively engage on shared problem sets. Instructors of the class will develop curriculum for fellow educators on how best to administer topics within their curriculum. The Piazza forum provides educators with a community as they teach these topics in their respective classes.
One of our most successful educator classes is a forum for high school computer science educators. Teachers from across the nation, who teach AP Computer Science at the high school level, enroll as "students" on Piazza and collaborate with professors, who teach Computer Science at the University level, as "instructors" in the class. This class is enabling hundreds of educators spanning several school districts to ask and answer questions, and collectively develop pedagogical best practices for their subject.
Tips to get started:
- For this use case, it is common to create a new school when creating your class. An example of school name that is not affiliated to any particular university might be "CS Principles". Check the box "My school does not have its own email domain" when creating a new school.
- Next, create a class to reflect your initiative. An example of course name might be “AP CS: Effective Teaching Techniques".
- If you'd like for the class to live on for several terms, select term 'Other' when selecting academic term.
- Enroll the seasoned educators or curriculum organizers as "instructors" to the class; instructor self-signup is usually disabled for this class.
- If you prefer to manage student enrollment to this class, you can enroll fellow educators as “students” manually via 'Manage Class' page. Scroll to the 'Manage Enrollment' section of this page to add educator emails or upload a CSV file of educator email addresses.
You can then set an access code that you do not hand out to anyone, so no one is able to self-enroll to this course.
- If you prefer to allow educators to self-signup to your course,
- To help educators become familiar with Piazza, it’s a good idea to post a welcome post, orienting them to the platform's key features. You can also add a couple polls as a way to begin conversations related to your curriculum.
If you have questions about setting up a Piazza class for your specific use case, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help get you started!