CourseWork FAQs


General Questions (Revised 10/29/06)

1. General Questions

1.1. What is CourseWork?
1.2. What are the minimum system requirements for using CourseWork?
1.3. How do I access my CourseWork course(s)?
1.4. Can I access CourseWork without a SUNet ID?

1.5. Are there known problems with using CourseWork on different browsers/platforms?
1.6. Are there known problems with using CourseWork in general?
1.7. Why can't I download documents with Internet Explorer on Windows?
1.8. How do I download a file to my computer?
1.9. How often does CourseWork import Axess enrollment data?
1.10. Why can't I see a list of all of my courses on the My Courses page?
1.11. How can I update my user profile information such as email address?
1.12. When logging in, why do I keep getting stuck in a loop without ever being able to get into Coursework?

1.13. Whom do I contact for help with CourseWork questions?
1.14. What should I include in the body of my HelpSU ticket?
1.15. What's the turnaround time for questions submitted via HelpSU?
1.1.

What is CourseWork?

CourseWork is Stanford University's course web site development and distribution system available from Academic Computing (http://acomp.stanford.edu). It is now available for all faculty and campus organizations who would like to set up course web sites.

1.2.

What are the minimum system requirements for using CourseWork?

Windows XP Pro: IE 6.0, Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.7.2, Firefox 1.0
Windows XP Home: IE 6.0, Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.7.2, Firefox 1.0
Windows 2000: IE 6.0, Netscape 7.1, Mozilla 1.7.2, Firefox 1.0
Macintosh 10.3.6: IE 5.2, Netscape 7.02, Mozilla 1.7.2, Firefox 1.0, Safari 1.2.x

Make sure your web browser has Javascript and Cookies enabled.

Coursework users using iTunes on Mac OS 10.x, please use Safari or IE. There's a known bug with FireFox that will prevent iTunes from launching.

1.3.

How do I access my CourseWork course(s)?

Go to http://coursework.stanford.edu, click Login, and enter your SUNet ID and password.

1.4.

Can I access CourseWork without a SUNet ID?

You need a valid SUNet ID to access CourseWork. For information on how your department can sponsor a SUNet ID account, please refer to http://itservices.stanford.edu/service/sponsorship. A sponsored SUNet ID account can either be "basic" or "full".

With a sponsored, basic-service SUNet ID, you receive only a SUNet ID and a directory entry. Full service grants you access to many more computing services. Refer to https://itservices.stanford.edu/service/sponsorship/sponsoredservices for a complete list of services.

To use Coursework as a guest or as a student, your SUNet ID can be attached to a basic service or a full service. To use Coursework as an instructional staff member or a course administrator, it's advisable to have a SUNet ID with full service, since it gives you more flexibility to manage your course. For instance, you can ftp content to the course's AFS directory with a full-service SUNet account.

1.5.

Are there known problems with using CourseWork on different browsers/platforms?

Windows XP Home: Audio files recorded using Coursework may not play back correctly using some browsers on Windows XP. If you have trouble playing back audio files, we recommend trying IE 6.0 or above.

Some online assignments may not display correctly in IE 6.0 on Windows XP Home. If you have difficulty viewing an assignment, please try another browser.

Windows XP Pro: Audio files recorded using Coursework may not play back correctly using some browsers on Windows XP. If you have trouble playing back audio files, we recommend trying IE 6.0 or above.

Windows 2000: Audio files recorded using Coursework may not play back correctly using Mozilla 1.7. Please use another browser if you have trouble playing audio files.

1.6.

Are there known problems with using CourseWork in general?

  • The title bar index for viewing items on some screens (A | B | C) doesn't work.
  • Large images (over 4 inches) used in a course homepage may distort the course description text.
  • Web page links within announcements do not work at this time.
  • Colored text in announcements may not display correctly.
  • HTML in announcements may not display correctly when the announcement is emailed to the class.
1.7.

Why can't I download documents with Internet Explorer on Windows?

Problem:
Documents in Coursework (notably Microsoft Office and PDF) may not open correctly using Internet Explorer 6.x on Windows 2000, XP Home, and XP Pro. When you left-click on the link to a document, you may encounter one of the following problems:

1. Internet Explorer blocking file download: Users attempting to download files from CourseWork's Assignments tool may see the following message from Internet Explorer: "To help protect your security, IE blocked this site from downloading the files to your computer. Click here for options." However, none of the options will work.

2. Network authentication window: This authentication window is for asking for Microsoft Windows network authentication rather than Stanford network authentication. Therefore, entering your SUNet ID and password will not work.

3. WebAuth screen that asks for SUNet ID and Password

then takes user to a link that leads to file inaccessible error message



Solutions to problem:
Rather than clicking the link to open a document within the web browser window, right-click on the link to a document to save it to your computer. The saved document will open normally. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you should save the intended file to your desktop, launch the appropriate application that can read the file and open the file from within the application.

Alternatively, you may wish to use a CourseWork-supported web browser other than Internet Explorer.

For those having problems with downloading Microsoft Office documents, you may wish to upgrade your installation of Microsoft Office to the latest version. You may also consider getting updates from Microsoft by going to http://office.microsoft.com/officeupdate/ and click on the Check for Updates link to patch your installation of Microsoft Office.

Internet Explorer may by default open Coursework documents inline (within the browser window) on some Windows systems. To change this behavior, follow these steps:

  1. In Windows, click on My Computer.
  2. Select Folder Options from the Tools menu.
  3. Click the File Types tab. A list of file types will appear.
  4. Choose a type of file (DOC for Word documents, XLS for Excel spreadsheets, PPT for Powerpoint documents, etc.) and click the Advanced button.
  5. Uncheck the Browse in same window box and click OK. From now on, when Internet Explorer opens a link to a file of that type in Coursework or elsewhere, it will open the document in its application instead of within the browser.
1.8.

How do I download a file to my computer?

Mac Users:

  • Ctrl + click on the file's link. This should pop up contextual menu.
  • Select "Download link to disk." This will open a "Save" dialog box.
  • Give your file a name.
  • Select Desktop as destination of where file should be saved.
  • Launch the appropriate application that can read the file (e.g., launch MS PowerPoint to read a ppt document).
  • From the application, select File>Open>Select File on desktop.

Windows Users:

  • Right-click on the file's link. This should pop up contextual menu.
  • Select "Save target As." This will open a "Save As" dialog box.
  • Select Desktop as destination of where file should be saved.
  • Give your file a name.
  • Make sure to include file extension as part of the file name (e.g., .doc for Word document).
  • The file format should have been automatically detected. If not, then select from pull-down menu.
  • Click Save.
  • Launch appropriate application that can read the file (e.g., launch MS PowerPoint to read a ppt document).
  • From the application, select File>Open>Select File on desktop.
1.9.

How often does CourseWork import Axess enrollment data?

After a CourseWork site is generated, it can take up to a day to initially import enrollment data from Axess. Thereafter, enrollment data is updated 4 times a day in CourseWork: 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 3:30pm.

1.10.

Why can't I see a list of all of my courses on the My Courses page?

The current quarter's courses will automatically display on the My Courses page. Click the Display All link at the top of the My Courses page to access courses from previous or future quarters.

1.11.

How can I update my user profile information such as email address?

Once you have logged in to the CourseWork system, you will see the My Profile link located in the header of every CourseWork page. Click the link to make changes to your user profile information, which includes email address and name.

1.12.

When logging in, why do I keep getting stuck in a loop without ever being able to get into Coursework?

Try the following:

  1. Set your web browser to accept cookies. Also, clear your web browser's cache and then change the cache setting so that the browser does not store a copy of the web page but always loads a new copy. Cookie and cache settings are usually located in the browser program's Preferences (Mac) or Internet Options (Windows) menu item.

  2. If Step 1 does not work, log in via https://coursework.stanford.edu/

  3. If Step 2 does not work, try changing your SUNet ID password at https://accounts.stanford.edu/ as this will refresh settings that should allow you to login. If you need assistance in changing your SUNet ID password, contact the ITSS help desk at http://helpsu.stanford.edu

  4. If Step 3 does not work, try accessing Coursework through an X-Window (running Netscape) provided by the vncserver:

    1. Login to your Leland account, e.g. Run "telnet cardinal.stanford.edu" in your PC command line or use a client program like PCSamson or MacSamson. After, you have logged in, type vncserver in response to the unix command prompt:

      cardinal2:~> vncserver

      You will be prompted to set up a password if this is the first time that you have run vncserver. Your password need not be your SUNet ID password, but you should remember it. Then you will see the following message:

      New 'X' desktop is cardinal2:1

      In the second step, you will use this desktop address to start an X window.

    2. Start the vnc client program on your desktop. (You can download one that matches with your working platform from the following location: http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/download.html.)

      When prompted for the host name, enter the given X desktop address cardinal2:1 and then enter the password that you set at step 1. An X-window will open. Otherwise, repeat Steps 1 and 2.

    3. Click on the window labelled X Desktop to bring it into focus. Pres the return key to get a prompt. You will be prompted for your SUNet ID password. Then type netscape to start the browser.

      cardinal2:~> netscape

1.13.

Whom do I contact for help with CourseWork questions?

Please fill out a HelpSU ticket. To do this, click the HelpSU link, located in the footer of every CourseWork page and fill out the on-line help form. If you want to troubleshoot problems on your own, CourseWork provides self-help resources in the form of online admin help, a quick start guide, a student guide, and this FAQ available through the Help link located in the header of every CourseWork page.

1.14.

What should I include in the body of my HelpSU ticket?

Report CourseWork problems as soon as possible and include the following information in your HelpSU ticket:

  • URL of CourseWork page where you encountered the problem.
  • Copy and paste the entire error message into your help ticket.
  • Indicate when (date and time) you encountered the error.
1.15.

What's the turnaround time for questions submitted via HelpSU?

HelpSU tickets are processed within 3 business days.


Updated: November 3, 2003 by
Stanford Academic Computing
A division of Stanford University Libraries and
Academic Information Resources

For additional help click: HelpSU
Copyright 2003 by the Board of Trustees
of the Leland Stanford Junior University.