Tsquare Angst – Part 1

Our beloved T-square is quite a handful. But like every complex system, some of the confusion is related to perspective. We expect Tsquare to be easy to use and easy to figure out how to use, well that is just not the case.  In this case, we need to look at some of the basic instructions to be able to use it.  Luckily, we only need a little dose of information to get us on the correct track. The rest you can review (lookup) out as your needs change. In the next couple of posts, I hope to provide a really short primer about Tsquare.

Like many LMS of today, Tsquare comes with a host of features. However, not all users need each of these features. This post concentrates on some of the most common features of the system. A subsequent post will cover the grading and assignment sections. 

  • Site management
  • Merging sections
  • Managing tools
  • Adding your syllabus
  • Using dropbox and resources
  • More help

Tsquare uses 2 different methods for site management or administration. One is inside Tsquare, under the “MyWorkspace” tab. Another is at a separate site called the Tsquare management tools. Let’s start with the latter. 

Merge Worksites

Tsquare management tools

Tsquare management tools

If you teach more than one section of the same course, you might want to merge worksites in order not have to keep repeating yourself. In this way, you can just make one assignment, post or whatever and share it with both sections. To start this process, you use the Tsquare management tools. This site boasts a different interface (shown above). Using the “Merge Worksite” button will allow you to merge course sections. The system assumes you have a master course and merges the 2nd course into the master course. Be sure to read all of the warnings associated with this process and do this prior to entering any grades, just to be on the safe side. 

Active and Archived Sites

Active sites to the left and archived sites on the right. 

Active sites to the left and archived sites on the right.

Inside Tsquare, we can choose which sites show on our tabs. Select “Preferences” from the “My Workspace” tab to decide which courses are archived (don’t show up) and which are available. From there, you will have 2 boxes to move your sites between (see the figure left). Your active courses should appear in the far left box and the sites you want to archive on the right.

Managing Tools

Tsquare menu, showing links for an external blog and Piazza.

Tsquare menu, showing links for an external blog and Piazza.

The navigation bar inside Tsquare is configurable. I make sure to manage my tools by adding any external links needed for my courses. You can edit the tools by first tabbing to the course you are interested in  and clicking “site info”. To add a URL outside of Tsquare, select the “Web content” checkbox. After clicking continue, it will let you name the link and provide the URL. In the figure right, I added a blog link. Piazza is already a tool inside Tsquare, I just turned it on.

Adding your Syllabus

Each course should at least have a syllabus in Tsquare. To add in your syllabus, click the syllabus link from the menu. Then follow the prompts to upload a file. 

Dropbox and Resources

The Dropbox folder is used for students to receive individual files from the instructor, or for students to upload a file for the instructor. Dropbox is a one-to-one relationship; Only the individual who posted the information and the instructor can see the files. 

The Resources section was designed for instructors to distribute information (although that can be modified). Instructors can use the section to post files all students need. 

More help…

Tsquare has an extensive help section. It uses a guided tool to help get to your answers. It is chock full of interesting things you might want to do with Tsquare. It is worth an explore. 

Hopefully, this short review will help you get started in mastering Tsquare. In my next post, I will discuss Tsquare assignments and grading.