318 WebCT and CDF-PC Guide

Version 1.01

Document History

Where are the CDF-PC computers located?

Go to the Gernstein Science Library, 9 Kings College Circle (east side). Use the machines in the lab upstair; the ones by the door as you come in belong to the library not us, and you will not be able to use them for coursework. Find a free machine. Read the Student's Guide to CDF-PC (available for a couple of dollars in the University Book Store) for details about logging in.

The Dell computers are the ones that have Director installed.

Where is the CDF-PC frequently asked questions page located?


How does my 318 group set up a group webpage on WebCT?

Setting up a website on WebCT is very similar to setting up a website on a UNIX based system. You simply upload your files to the server, name them properly, and then others can see them. However, there are some differences.

  1. Create the webpages using whatever HTML editor you prefer.
  2. Name the main page index.html
  3. Click on student presentations from the main page
  4. Find your group, and click on the Edit square (if it doesn't appear, try using another group member's account, and write jade@dgp to have your group setup fixed)
  5. Click the upload button, upload all of your files.
  6. You can test how the file looks by clicking on its name
  7. To edit the file, you can upload changed versions of the file, or you can edit the file from WebCT.

Note: if you are interested in keeping your webpage on an external (non-WebCT site), then simply create an index.html file that contains a link to your webpage. This will make it easy for your tutor to grade your assignment, and will also make it easy for other students to see your group's work.

Do we need to call our group webpage index.html?


Where should the group web page files be stored in order for the WebCT to display them in the "Edit" section?

You actually don't need to worry about where the files are (and I don't know their actual location). If you click on the Edit button, and then click on Upload, WebCT will put them in the right place.

How does WebCT relate to CDF-PC?

The WebCT webspace is completely seperate from your CDF-PC (and CDF if you have it) account. CDF-PC is 1) for you to be able to log into the CDF-PC computers and 2) to give you some workspace for creating your prototypes. Your group shares the WebCT group presentation webspace.

How much space does our group webpage have? How about my CDF-PC account?

Your CDF-PC account has 25 megs of disk space. I don't think there is a space limit for WebCT, but you also probably won't have enough on the web page to worry about a disk limit.

How do we display our Director prototype on the web?

Use Afterburner, a Director extention. It is accessible via the 'Xtras' menu in Director.

What is my CDF-PC account login and password?

The login names for course accounts are a318XXXX, and people with permanent accounts at CDF will be able to use their permanent account names.

Initial passwords are student numbers, even for permanent accounts.

I need some help with Director. What should I do?

Director is fairly difficult to get the hang of. However, it is pretty important to become proficient enough in the program that you can make rapid changes to you prototype. Here are a few suggestions for learning Director:

318 Technical Coordination

Setting up Computers for Director

The CDF people will actually be in charge of setting up the computers. However, you can make their job easier by knowing your needs as much as possible beforehand.

Issues may be things such as guaranteeing that 318 students have access to computers with Director (which could involve either a sign saying 318 has priority to dedicated computers for 318 students), diskspace (this year they have 25 MB each, making sure the PCs have soundcards installed, making sure the tutorials are also installed with Director, making sure Afterburner is installed (if Director 5 is used), making sure the Shockwave plugins are installed, and more.

The Director 5 CD structure is:

|         |....program setup stuff
          |      |... various .exe programs
                     |... various Director files.

The tutorial is not installed by default, but must be copied in manually.

Manuals for Director

Another big issue is the availability of manuals or books about Director. This is especially important for Director 5, because Macromedia is no longer supporting D5. Thus, the availability of good materials for D5 is limited. Currently, there are 4 sets of manuals at Gerstein library. The tech coordinator should talk with the instructor and the TAs and make sure the materials are adequate.

Problems we encountered with Director

Afterburner and posting Director files on the web

Director 5 has no inherent ability to export animations or prototypes on the web (later versions do). Instead, Director 5 requires an extention, called Afterburner, to be installed along with Director 5. On the viewers side, they have to download the Shockwave plugin to view the prototype in their web browser.

Support, Tutorials, etc...

Issues to think of for next year's course

Some contact information at Macromedia

Initial setup of WebCT

These are some things that I recommend if WebCT is used next year:

Logging in to WebCT

1. In Netscape Navigator or Communicator (preferably 4.0 or later), open up www.cdf.toronto.edu:8900

2. Click on course listing, and click on 318. A window will ask for your username and password. Type: csc318s for the user name, and (password here) for the password.

3. You are now on the main page.

Setting up your browser (important)

I've tested WebCT using UNIX, Macintosh, and PC versions of Netscape. I tested several, though not all, permutations of 4.0x and 4.5. WebCT also seems to work on Internet Explorer 4, but I noticed that it was much much slower for this particular Web site.

If it doesn't seem like your changes are being shown right away, 1) read the FAQ which is linked in from the front page, 2) if you are in the conference section, try clicking on show all.

Adding new students

There are actually two ways to add students. The easier way probably takes more time, and the harder way less.

The easy way to add students is to go to the bottom frame and click on these buttons: course management, student management, students..., add students. Forms will guide you through adding each student, one by one.

The more difficult way (but faster way) to add students all at once is to create a text file, delimited by commas, spaces, or tabs.

First Name,Last Name,Login ID,Assignment 1,Assignment 2

I would recommend testing out the file to make sure it works before investing a lot of time getting it formatted.

Perhaps the new students can be given passwords equal to their student ID number. The login names should also be some sort of reasonable and predictable algorithm. We used FirstnameLastname

Editing student information

This can be done by clicking on a student under this student management section. This is also how students are deleted.

Adding tutors

The process for adding tutors is almost identical to that used for adding students. In the WebCT terminology, however, tutors are referred to as graders. I added all of the tutors in, with the tutors' first name as it appears on the syllabus as the login name, and the initial password set to that name backwards.

Adding Syllabus and Note pages

This is actually much easier to show than to describe. The good news is that the only requirement for the pages is that they are in HTML format, or a web-usable format (PDF should work, for example) After that, the process is conceptually very similar to ftping files to the server.

1. Save the file in HTML format. PDF format is also okay, but the students
will not be able to search the pages if they are in PDF format.
2. Login to WebCT
3. Click file manager at bottom
4. Click course notes on the left panel. This is the directory you'll put
the new pages in. If the listing is italicized, it means it is the current
directory. If you have to select a different directory (you will need to
do this when you modify the calendar), just click on the directory in the
left pane.
5. Click on up load (on the bottom)
6. Click browse
7. Select your file
8. Click continue
9. You should see the file in the right pane
10. Click continue
11. Go back to step 5 for each file (syllabus, course notes, etc.).
12. Now the file is there... we just need to link at in. Click back
13. Click on course content (the book icon)
14. Click on add file
15. In right pane, select the file. Then, on the left pane, click in one
of the circles. (The new page will appear after the "selected" page)
16. In the right pane, click "add file"
17. The new page will be added in. you can click on it to check that it
18. If the order is messed up, click on reorganize and follow the
19. If the title isn't correct, then you need to edit the title tag of the
HTML file. 

The most conceptually difficult idea is that after any addition to the course notes, you need to "update the student view". Otherwise, they won't see your changes. This option is available to the administrative account from the main page.

To fill in the calendar for the students:

1. Create a new file using SimpleText or BBedit (we want to make a text
file). Format the file like this:

: dd/mm/yyyy, summary, URL, start time (hh:mm), end time (hh:mm), detail

It looks like a mess, but it actually isn't that bad. There should the one
entry on each line.

2. Upload the file using the file manager (as explained in the first
section on how to upload and set up course content). This time, upload it
to the course files directory, and call it something like calendar.txt or
3. Click on calendar, click on upload (an erroneous term), click on
browse, pick the file you uploaded, and click continue.

Technical support

here is a URL listed for WebCT Customer Support (see http://www.webct.com/webct/contact/). The WebCT/UNIX FAQs are also accessible through the same URL.

The liason people at CDF are Ange (ange@cdf) and Matt (admin@cdf), 978-1928.

I may not remember much besides what I put in this document, but I am reachable via jade@dgp. The previous year's tech coordinator was Neil Enns, ennsnr@dgp

Desired features:

  • e-mail from outside world -> they said it isn't possible.
  • batch file uploads