Departments often set up a Piazza for students and faculty in their department for purposes of student advising. Some times we've seen these classes broken out by program (Masters only, Undergraduates only), other instances we've seen it span programs, including all majors in a department.
Setting up Piazza this way enables knowledge to stay within the community as students graduate, providing students with the support they need as they navigate through their degree. This also helps discussions stay organized, over mailing lists or chat channels, allowing other students to easily find and browse discussions that have already taken place. Faculty also gain insights into students’ thoughts and concerns and can ensure only accurate information is shared.
Topics covered in these classes range from questions related to course load, prerequisites, faculty advising, internships, housing, and safety on campus. The ability to communicate with peers as well as with faculty advisors in this setting can especially benefit shy students, students from underrepresented minority groups, and students with disabilities to seek help in ways they may not otherwise.
Tips to get started:
- Create a Piazza course within your university. An example of course name might be "MATH UNDERGRAD ADVISING".
- If you'd like for the class to live on for several terms, use term 'Other' when selecting academic term.
- From your 'Manage Class' page, enroll faculty and academic advisors 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 students manually via 'Manage Class' page. Scroll to the 'Manage Enrollment' section of this page to add student emails or upload a student roster.
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 students to self-signup to your course, they can do so with a valid school email address. Share the class signup link, which you can retrieve from your 'Manage Class' page, with students.
For an additional layer of control, you can set an access code from your ‘Manage Class’ page and provide this access code to students in your department. Students will be prompted to enter this access code when signing up for the course.
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!