Varsity Learning Help
- Using the System
Using the System
At the Login page, if you are not currently registered as a student, click the "Register as a New Student" link. You will be asked to provide:
- A username. Your school may require something specific, like your student ID number.
- A password. You're asked to enter this twice.
- Your Firstname (Given name) and Lastname (Surname)
- Your email address
- You'll have the option to request an email notification when you recieve a new message in the system.
- If your teacher provided you a Course ID and Enrollment Key, you can enter them now to enroll in your course. If you don't have this information yet, you can enter it later.
When you click "Sign Up", you will be taken back to the Login page so you can log in
At the Login page, you will be asked to supply your login credidentials (username and password).
If you forget your password, click the "Forgot Password" link and enter your username. The system will send you an email with a link to click to reset your password. Check your email's spam filter if you don't receive the email in a few minutes.
If you forget your username, click the "Forgot Username" link and enter your email address. The system will send you an email with your username. Check your email's spam filter if you don't receive the email in a few minutes.
If you still having trouble logging in, or never receive the "Forgot Password" or "Forgot Username" emails, contact your instructor. They can help you check that your email address is correct, look up your username, and reset your password.
The home page lists the classes you're currently taking, and also has options for enrolling in a course, changing your password, changing your user profile, or logging out of the system.
Changing Your User Profile
To modify your user profile, click the "Change User Info" link in the top right corner.
Your profile allows you correct errors in your name, update your email address, and change your password. You can also upload a picture of yourself or an avatar that your instructor and other students will see with your forum posts and messages.
You can also adjust settings for whether or not to show a list of new messages and forum posts on the home page.
Accessibility and Display Preferences
The Accessibility and Display Preferences in the user profile allow you to personalize how you interact with the system, and allow you to work around technical issues.
- Math Display: This option allows you to customize how math equations
are displayed in the system.
- MathJax: The recommended default is MathJax, which generates high quality display of math and provides the best compatibility with screenreaders and other assistive technology.
- Katex: provides faster math display with good quality, but not quite as nice as MathJax.
- Image-based: this uses images to display math. The quality is not as good, but this option can help workaround issue if the browser is having trouble using MathJax.
- Calculator-style: this uses an inline, text-based, calculator style
- Graph Display: This option allows you to customize how graphs are
displayed in the system.
- SVG: The recommended default, this is the highest quality display, which will look clear and sharp even when zoomed in.
- Image-based: this option uses images to display graphs. The quality is not as high and will look fuzzy if zoomed in.
- Text alternatives: this option will replace auto-generated graphs with a text alternative, typically a table of values for the equations or a text description of a chart.
- Drawing Entry: This option controls how answers to drawing questions
- Mouse-based: The default, a mouse or touch device is used to plot points on a graph to create the drawing.
- Keyboard and text alternative: this option provides a text-based alternative for drawing entry, which can also be controlled entirely using the keyboard.
- Text Editor: This option controls how large text entry is done.
- Rich text editor: The default, this option provides an editor with formatting buttons and "what you see is what you get" editing.
- Plain text entry: this option provides a basic text entry box with no buttons or other clutter.
- Course styling and contrast: This option allows you to customize
the contrast styling of the course.
- Instructor chosen theme: The default, this option uses the instructor chosen styles for the course.
- High contrast, dark on light: this option overrides the course styles with extra-high-contrast styles, featuring dark text on a light background.
- High contrast, light on dark: this option overrides the course styles with extra-high-contrast styles, featuring white text on a dark background.
- Live preview: This option controls how the preview of your answers updates
as you type.
- Show as I type: This default option will auto-update a preview of your answer as you type it out. This can help you catch entry mistakes early.
- Only show a preview when I click: this option will stop the auto-update of a preview, and only display the preview when you request it. This option can reduce the distraction and flicker of the auto-update.
- Time Zone: This option allows you to control the time zone that due
dates and other times are displayed based on.
- Use timezone reported by browser: When you log in, the system asks your computer what time zone you're in. By default, this timezone is the one used when displaying dates. You can check the listed timezone to make sure it's the correct one. If it is wrong, you can either adjust your computer's timezone then log out and back in, or override the detected time zone.
- Use a specific timezone for this session: this option allows you to override the detected timezone for this one login session. The next time you log in, the system will again detect your currect timezone. This option can be helpful if you don't want to change your computer's clock, but want to adjust the timezone temorarily.
- Always show times based on specific timezone: this option allows you to override the detected timezone every time you log in. This can be helpful if you travel a lot, but always want the times to display based on your home timezone.
Enrolling in a Course
At your home page, click the "Enroll in a New Class" button to sign up for a new course. You'll need to enter the Course ID number and Enrollment Key in the box provided. If you do not know these, ask your instructor.
Course PageThe course page consists of a list of items. There are several types of items:
- Blocks and Folders: Groupings of items. If you see a folder icon, click the folder to open it and view the contents. If you see a triangle icon, click the title to expand the contents.
- Text Items: Text that displays on the course page
- Links: A summary displays on the course page. A link is provided that may display text, a file, or take you to a weblink
- Forums: Discussion forums
- Assessments: Homework, Quizzes, Tests, or Practice questions
- Drills: Repeated practice with a particular skill
- Wikis: Collaborative text editing
Many courses will have a Calendar link which will display a calendar showing upcoming due dates and other special events. You can click on a specific day to view a more detailed listing of the events for that day. You can use that list to access assignments and other items.
Keep in mind that not everything from the course will display on the calendar, so be sure to actually look at the course page, not just rely on the calendar.
The color of the items on the calendar will change based on how far away the due date is; items in green are futher away, items in yellow are closer, and items in red are approaching the due date.
The course page will have a link to the Course Map, a condensed list view of everything in the course. The Course Map can help you locate items in the course that are buried in folders.
Taking AssessmentsWhen you take an assessment, it will be displayed to you in one of several ways:
- Full Test: You may see the entire test at once
- One at a time: You may have to answer one question before proceeding to the next
- Full test, submit one at a time: The full test is displayed, but you only answer one question at a time
- Skip Around: You may see a list of questions. You can skip around between questions by clicking on these links, and answer the questions in any order.
- Number: You will be asked to enter a number, like 3, 5.5, or -6
- Calculated: You will be asked to enter a number, or a calculation, like 2/3, 5^2, or sin(2). You can press the "Preview" button to ensure that the system is interpreting your answer the way you intended.
- Multiple-Choice: You will be given a set of choices, and asked to select the correct choice
- Multiple-Answer: You will be given a set of choices, and asked to select all the correct choices
- Matching: You will be given a list of items with input boxes in front of them. In each box, enter the letter of the item in the right-hand column that matches that item
- Expression: You will be asked to enter an algebraic expression, like "sin(x)" or "3x^2-5" or "x^2/5". Make sure you use the same variables in your answer than were specified in the question. You can press the "Preview" button to ensure the system is interpreting your answer the way you intended. It will also check to make sure that it understands your answer, and will tell if you if the syntax is ok.
- String: You will be asked to enter a word or list of letters
- Numerical Matrix: You will asked to enter a matrix of numbers. In some case, a grid of input boxes will be provided for you to enter the values. If not, you will need to enter the matrix in ASCIIMath notation, like [(1,2,3),(4,5,6)] for the 2x3 matrix with first row: 1,2,3
- Calculated Matrix: Like a numerical matrix, but each entry can be a calculation, like 2/3 or 5^2 or sin(2).
For some types of questions, you need to enter a mathematical expression. The system follows order of operations, so use grouping symbols as much as necessary.
Many times, you can click a yellow arrow that displays next to the answer box when you click in it, which will open up the MathQuill equation editor, which you can use to help enter your answers.
Alternatively, you can enter your answer using calculator-style notation. Here is some help on how to enter expressions:
|* / + -||Multiply, divide, add, subtract|
|^||Powers. 2^3 = 8.|
|sqrt||Square root. sqrt(4) = 2|
|( )||Parentheses, for grouping. (2+6)/2 = 4, while 2+6/2 = 5.|
|e, pi||The standard constants|
|abs||Absolute Value. abs(-4) = 4|
|sin,cos,tan,sec,csc,cot,sinh,cosh||Standard trig function. Be sure to enter as sin(2), not sin 2|
|arcsin,arccos,arctan,arcsinh,arccosh||Inverse trig functions. Note arcsec, arccsc, and arccot are not defined|
|sin^-1, cos^-1, tan^-1||Alternative entry for inverse trig functions. Use like sin^-1(0.5)|
|ln||Natural Logarithm base e|
|log||Common Logarithm base 10|
|DNE||Does Not Exist. This is also often used for "no solutions".|
|oo||Infinity. Those are two lowercase o's, like the middle of the word "look"|