Web Tools

Online Course Components

Every Stanford course is entitled to several online resources, including a website, mailing lists, disk space, and URL redirection, to name a few.  All these resources may be requested on the IT Services website at https://itservices.stanford.edu/service/its-course-support.  Typically, it is the instructor’s responsibility to complete these requests, not the CA’s.

Course website

Putting handouts on your course’s website can be a convenient way for students to have access to course resources in one place.  It is important to remember, however, that by default, your course website will be visible to the world.  So, don’t publish anything on the website that you don’t want the world to see!  For example, solution sets should rarely if ever be posted on a course website, since this forces instructors of your course (in the future) as well as courses at other schools to use different problems that aren’t solvable via Google.  Additionally, protected publications — for example, a journal paper obtained from the publisher’s website — should not be made publicly available on your course website.

However, this should not prevent you from posting these kinds of materials if need be. Some or all of your course website can be protected behind Stanford’s WebAuth service (see here for instructions).  By protecting your course website with WebAuth, only people with SUNet IDs (students, faculty, staff, etc.) will be able to access your website.  You can even fine-tune the WebAuth settings for your site so that, for example, only students enrolled in your course can view the site.

On your web page, spend some time at the beginning of the quarter to find a few links on the web relevant to your subject that will allow interested students to get more food for thought. Examples of useful links include:

  • Classes offered in similar subjects,
  • Applications of the topic,
  • Cool demos (great),
  • Reference manuals for whatever software/language/library/environment/OS you are using

Don't put the course description on the top of your web page. The goal of the web page is to be useful primarily to students who are taking the class, not as an advertisement to the outside world. You can always link to a separate page containing that sort of information.

Mailing Lists

Classes are setup with several mailing lists, as detailed here.  By default, courses will have multiple mailing lists for the students, for the staff, etc.

Stanford Coursework

Stanford Coursework is Stanford University's learning management system. It is used primarily by instructors to create course web sites and manage content. Course sites have several useful features, including roster management and learning assessment tools. If Coursework will be used for your course, you can learn more here.


Piazza is the course management platform used by many Stanford (especially CS) courses.  Instructors may setup Piazza for their course by going to https://piazza.com/instructors/stanford.  More information can be found on the Piazza page: https://cs.stanford.edu/education/course-assistants-cas/current-tas/piaz....