Select a topic below to learn more

Configuring Class Settings
  • Fill out the class checklist

    Go to the Manage Class tab and click the Class Checklist link to view a list of items important to setting up your class, like indicating your class start date and enrolling your students.

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  • Edit course details

    Click your Manage Class tab and visit the Class Information section at the top of the page to edit course details like the course number, name, and start date.

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  • Set an access code to enroll

    To limit enrollment in your class, by default a school email domain is required to self-enroll. If your school does not provide students with school email addresses, instead a class access code is automatically set to limit enrollment in your class.

    If your class has an access code set by default, you can customize it in your Manage Class tab.

    If you'd like to add an access code to your class as an additional privacy measure, contact the Piazza Team at team@piazza.com.

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  • Enable/disable instructor self-signup

    If instructor self-signup is enabled, instructors with the correct school email domain can search for and join your class themselves. You'll receive an email notification with each instructor signup.

    If you choose to disable instructor self-signup, no one will be able to self-enroll as an instructor. An instructor will need to enroll any additional instructors in the Manage Class tab.

    Enable or disable instructor self-signup in your Manage Class tab.

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  • Enable/disable complete student anonymity

    Piazza offers students two anonymity options to encourage everyone to contribute. By default, students can always choose to show up as anonymous to classmates. As an instructor, you can choose to enable or disable students' ability to show up as anonymous to everyone: both students and instructors.

    Enable or disable complete student anonymity in your Manage Class tab.

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  • Enable/disable private posts

    Private posts let students share information like code snippets with instructors when they're not sure it's appropriate for the entire class to view.

    When a student submits a private post, it is visible only to the posting student and the instructors. When an instructor submits a private post, only other instructors can view it. Private posts are marked with a grey Private tag in the question feed. They can be made public by instructors.

    Enable or disable your students' ability to add private posts in your Manage Class tab. Instructors can always post privately to other instructors.

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  • Pre-configure class folders

    Create, edit, or delete folders to keep content organized. Folders can only be created by instructors and are mandatory when posting.

    Add folders for numbered exams and assignments (e.g. homework1) to find content easily.

    Click the Manage Class tab and scroll to the Configure Class Folders section to customize your folders.

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  • Inactivate a class at end-of-term

    When your class had ended, set it to inactive. Inactive classes are collapsed in your course list and account/email settings page.

    When a class is inactive, no one new can enroll and no new posts can be added. But, existing users can still access the class as a read-only resource.

    You can also temporarily inactivate classes during take-home midterms or final exams to limit discussion until all make-up exams have been submitted.

    Make a class active or inactive in your Manage Class tab.

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Posting Announcements
  • Post an announcement

    Announcements show up in both your question feed and your course page. To add an announcement, either click + Add in the announcements section of the course page, or check the box labeled Make this an announcement when you're adding a new note.

    If your announcement is time-sensitive, check the option labeled Send immediately to the entire class to make sure even students receiving emails batched in daily digests get the announcement right away.

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  • Notify the whole class immediately

    To notify the whole class right away, before submitting a new post, check the option labeled Send immediately to the entire class. Even students who receive emails batched in daily digests will receive a notification of your post right away.

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Posting Questions and Notes
  • Ask a new question

    Add a new question by clicking the + New Post button at the top of the question feed. Select the Question tab, enter a brief question title, and fill out the question details. Choose what folder your question should go in (e.g. homework1) to make it easier to search for your post.

    Unanswered questions are highlighted in red in the question feed until they have a response.

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  • Post a new note

    Unlike questions, notes don't require responses. To make your new post a note, select the Note tab. Enter a brief title and fill out the details. Choose what folder your note should go in (e.g. homework1) to make it easier to search for your post.

    You can make your note into an announcement that shows up on the course page by checking the Make this an announcement option.

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  • Post privately to instructors or students

    When adding a new post, you have the option of posting to individual instructors or students. Select “Individual Student(s)/Instructor(s) in the Post To option, and select the names to post to.

    Private posts are marked with a gray Private tag in the question feed. As an instructor, you can also make a private post public (or vice versa) by editing the question and changing the visible to option.

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  • Save a draft of a post

    When you begin typing a new post, your text is regularly saved as a draft automatically. Access this draft again by returning to the new post window.

    To save a draft of a new post manually, click Save as draft at the bottom of the new post window.

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Posting Polls
  • Post a new poll

    Ask the class for a vote by posting a poll. Click + New Post and select the Poll tab.

    Add a title, details, and a folder for your new poll, and add at least two poll choices. Specify when the poll closes, when to share the results, and whether to anonymize the voters' names.

    If your poll has a closing time, you will be emailed the results of the poll when it closes.

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  • Use a poll for student feedback

    Post polls after lectures or activities for quick student feedback. Select the Don't show names to anyone poll anonymity option so students can vote anonymously.

    Encourage students to add followups to the poll or post private notes (notes visible only to instructors) with additional comments and more specific feedback.

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Answering Questions
  • Start the instructors' answer

    Select an unanswered question and click within the textbox labeled Click to start off the instructors' answer. When a question already has an instructors' answer started off, it appears with an orange icon with an i in the question feed.

    You'll notice that there is just one instructors' answer per question. This is because each question and answer on Piazza is a wiki, and all instructors contribute to the same instructors' answer. (That also explains why it's an instructors' answer rather than an instructor's answer.)

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Editing Questions and Answers
  • Edit the instructors' answer

    Add to or edit an existing instructors' answer by clicking the gray edit button. Because each question and answer on Piazza is a wiki, all instructors contribute to and edit the same instructors' answer.

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  • Edit the students' answer

    Edit a students' answer by clicking the gray edit button at the bottom of the answer. Instructor edits to students' answers do not show up in the post's editing history.

    If you need to remove information from a students' answer, you can edit the answer and hide the question's editing history. Or you can change the visibility setting of the post to private.

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  • View a post's editing history

    After there have been a number of edits to a post, an editing history slider will appear at the top of the post. Drag the slider to the left to view earlier revisions of the post. A box will show who made the changes and when they were made, and green lines will highlight the section of the post that was updated. When a post has been updated since you last viewed it, the new revisions are highlighted in the slider in red.

    You can also click on the drop down edit menu at the bottom right of the post to view all post contributors in list form. Click any contributor's name to view the post at the time of his/her contribution.

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  • Disable a post's editing history

    To hide the editing history of a particular post, select Disable History in the post's more menu. The editing history will no longer be accessible from either the history slider or the editor contribution list.

    You can also choose to enable the editing history from the same menu.

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  • Convert a post to a question/note

    Instructors can choose to convert a post to a question/note. Select the Question option upon saving.

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  • Delete a post

    As an instructor, you can delete a post for the entire class by selecting Delete in the post's question feed menu or Delete Post in the more menu at the bottom of the post. Students do not see this option.

    To hide a post from your feed rather than deleting it for the entire class, instead select Archive in the question feed menu.

    The only posts that cannot be deleted are default posts from the Piazza Team. Archive them to remove them from your feed.

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Participating in Followup Discussions
  • Start a new followup

    To comment on a particular Q&A, click within the textbox labeled Click to start a new followup discussion at the bottom of a post. All post contributors will be notified of the new followup. Only instructors and the followup's author can edit a particular followup, but anyone can comment on it or begin a new followup on a different topic.

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  • Reply to a followup

    Click in the Reply to this followup discussion textbox to respond to or comment on a particular followup. All question participants will be notified of the new followup comment. Only instructors and the author of the comment can edit it.

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  • Mark a followup resolved/unresolved

    By default, a new followup is automatically marked Unresolved, which means it requires attention. Anyone can select the Resolved radio button when the issue brought up has been addressed. It can again be marked unresolved by anyone if additional attention is needed.

    Posts with unresolved followups are labeled with red text in the question feed.

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  • Delete a followup

    Only instructors can delete followups. Click the delete button at the bottom of the followup to remove it. It will be deleted for all users.

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Finding Posts
  • Search existing posts

    Enter your search terms into the search box at the top of the question feed to filter the feed by those terms. You can choose to sort the results by either Relevance or Date.

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  • Find unread posts

    Select the Unread filter from the settings menu to filter the feed for posts you have not yet viewed.

    You can choose to mark a post as Read/Unread in the post's question feed menu.

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  • Find updated posts

    Select the Updated filter from the settings menu to filter the feed for posts that have been updated since you last viewed them.

    The number of updates to a post since you last viewed it is reflected in a gray update icon in the question feed.

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  • Find unresolved posts

    Select the Unresolved filter from the settings menu to filter the feed for questions that still require answers and followup discussions that still need to be resolved.

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  • Find posts you're following

    Select the Following filter from the settings menu to filter the feed for posts you are following. (You can follow a post either by selecting Follow in a post's more menu or by contributing to or editing the post.)

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  • Find questions you've archived

    Select the Archived filter from the settings menu to filter the feed for posts you have hidden from your feed.

    You can return an archived post to your feed by clicking Unarchive in the post's question feed menu.

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Forming Teams and Study Groups
  • Create a new group-search post

    Students can use the post titled Form project teams & study groups to let their classmates know they're looking for groupmates for projects or studying. They fill out a simple form and are notified by email of any subsequent responses. Anyone, student or instructor, can create posts and responses.

    Instructors can choose to delete this feature if it is irrelevant or unwanted for the class.

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Adding More Classes
  • Create or Join an existing class

    To create a new class or to join an existing class on Piazza, click Create a New Class... at the bottom of your course drop down list. You'll be taken to a page where you can search for existing classes at your school and/or create a brand new class.

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Keeping Posts Organized
  • Assign folders for posts

    Folders make it easy to filter for posts about a specific assignment or topic (like homework1 or final_exam, for example).

    Select a folder for a post you are creating or editing. Instructors can pre-configure the folders that show up in this list by visiting the Configure Class Folders section of the Manage Class tab.

    Once added, folders show up in posts as blue labels. Click a folder to filter for all posts that share that folder.

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  • Pin a post to the top of the question feed

    Pinning a post adds it to the Pinned bucket at the top of everyone's question feed. To pin a post, type #pin anywhere in the post. Or, click Pin in the post's question feed menu.

    Pinning a post pins it for everyone. To save a post just for yourself, click the save to favorites button on the post instead. Favorited posts show up in the feed in a Favorites bucket below any pinned posts.

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  • View in compact mode

    The compact view of the feed lists the post title and any Private or Instr Note labels. The default view also shows a brief post preview and the posting date.

    Select the "View in Compact Mode" option from the settings menu on the top of the question feed to toggle between the default and compact modes.

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  • Link to another post

    Every post is assigned a number, visible in the post's URL and in the post's question feed menu. When referencing another question in your class, create a link to it by typing @number.

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  • Mark a post a duplicate of another

    If you notice that a question has been asked before, mark it as a duplicate by selecting Mark as Duplicate in the duplicated post's more menu.

    You will be able to select which post the question is duplicating, and if you wish, provide a brief explanation of what the issue is. The question marked as a duplicate will be removed and appended as a followup to the selected question. Any answers to the duplicate question will be preserved as comments to the followup.

    When a question is marked as a duplicate, the poster receives an email notification that his or her post has been moved.

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  • Mark a post unread

    Unread posts are marked on the left in blue. You can change a post's viewing status by selecting Mark as Read/Unread in its question feed menu.

    To mark all your posts read at once, select the Mark All Read option from the settings menu on the top of the question feed.

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  • Archive a post

    Hide a post from your question feed by selecting Archive in the post's question feed menu. This will hide the post from just your feed and will not remove it for everybody.

    View your archived posts by selecting the Archived filter at the bottom of the feed. To add an archived post back to your feed, go to your archived posts and click Unarchive in the question feed menu of the post you want to add back.

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  • Delete a post

    To delete a post, select Delete in the post's question feed menu or Delete Post in the post's more menu. This will delete the post for the entire class. Deleted posts cannot be retrieved. Students do not see the delete options.

    The only posts that cannot be deleted are default posts from the Piazza Team. To remove these posts from your feed, select Archive in the question feed menu.

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  • Save a favorite post

    Save your favorite posts to your personal Favorites bucket to easily find them later. Select any post you'd like to save and click the the save to favorites button. The post will be added to the Favorites section near the top of your feed.

    Posts you mark as favorite are not moved for everybody. To pin a post to the top of everyone's feed, add it to the Pinned bucket instead by clicking Pin in the question feed menu.

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Formatting Posts
  • Format text and lists

    When you add a new post or edit an existing one, format your text or insert bulleted and numbered lists by using the buttons at the top of the editor. There are also options for adding code snippets, mathematical equations, and images.

    If you prefer, you can use basic HTML tags to format your text instead of the editor.

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  • Format code

    Preserve the formatting of a code block by clicking the pre button (short for “pre-formatted”) in the editor when you add a new post or edit an existing one. Add inline code to your post by clicking the tt button (short for “teletype text”).

    If you prefer, you can surround your text with <pre></pre> or <tt></tt> tags instead of using the editor.

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  • Format mathematical expressions

    Click the fx icon when adding a new post or editing an existing one to open a LaTeX editor for adding mathematical equations. Once you add an equation, double click it to edit it again.

    If you prefer, you can start and end your code block with $$ and use standard LaTeX in between instead of using the editor.

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Adding Files, Images, and Videos
  • Attach a file

    Attach a file while writing a new post by clicking the Insert button in the text editor toolbar. Select Insert File. You can attach files up to 20 Mb.

    Once attached, files appear at the end of a post where they can be viewed, downloaded, deleted, or (if images) embedded inline.

    If you'd like to upload many files for your class to access, consider adding them to the Resources section of your Course Page.

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  • Embed an image

    To embed an image in your post, click the Insert image in the post editor.

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  • Embed a video from a link

    To include a video clip in your post, click Insert and select Insert video

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Marking Good Questions and Answers
  • Mark a good question

    Select a post and click the good question, good note, or good poll button to endorse it as a good post. Click the same button to undo the endorsement.

    Instructor-endorsed posts are labeled with the endorsing instructor's name in green text in both the center panel and question feed.

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  • Mark a good answer

    Select a post and click the good answer button on the students' answer to endorse it. Click the same button to undo the endorsement.

    Instructor-endorsed answers are labeled with the endorsing instructor's name in green text in both the center panel and question feed. An orange checkmark also appears over the green students' answer icon in the question feed.

    Students do not see an option to endorse a question or response. Rather, they see a thanks! button for showing appreciation for helpful answers.

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Customizing the Course Page
  • Add the course syllabus

    Click the Course Page tab at the top of your screen to visit your course page. Underneath the course name, you'll see a + Add Syllabus button that you can click to upload a syllabus file.

    Once uploaded, the syllabus can be downloaded by students and downloaded, edited, or deleted by instructors.

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  • Add course information

    Click the Course Page tab at the top of your screen to visit your course page and select the Course Information tab. On this page you can edit your course description, add general information like lecture time and exams dates, and view and add course announcements.

    You can use this page as your sharable course website if you wish. The sections can be made public to everyone or private to just your class in your Manage Class tab.

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  • Add staff information

    Click the Course Page tab at the top of your screen to visit your course page and select the Staff tab. Click Edit to update each instructor's office hours time and location.

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  • Add course resources

    Click the Course Page tab at the top of your screen to visit your course page and select the Resources tab. Here you can upload course resources like homework assignments and links to online readings for your students to access all in one place.

    Once you've uploaded a new resource, click the Post a note button to notify your students that they now have access to a new or updated resource.

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Managing Notifications
  • Customize email preferences

    Piazza only sends email notifications when a new post is added to your class or when a post that you have participated in has been updated. You can choose to receive more or fewer notifications or a digest of updates in your Account/Email Settings page—click the down arrow next to your username.

    To limit the number of email notifications sent, by default, instructors are set to receive no more than one digest of email notifications every two hours, and students are set to receive no more than one email digest every four hours.

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  • Follow/unfollow a post

    By default, both instructors and students receive email notifications when a post they are following has been updated. You can change your notification preferences for post updates in your Account/Email Settings page.

    Follow a post by contributing to it or by clicking the Follow button in the post's more menu. Click Stop Following in the more menu to stop receiving notifications about the post.

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Navigating the Dashboard
  • Hide the question feed

    If you're working on a small screen, you can give yourself more real estate by hiding your feed.

    Click the bold arrow at the top left corner of your question feed to hide your feed. When the feed is hidden, click on the arrow again to make the feed visible again.

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Viewing Class Stats
  • View class participation

    View statistics about students' Piazza use and contributions by clicking the Statistics icon in the top bar. As soon as the class becomes active enough, students and instructors can see a graph of usage trends, a summary of overall course statistics, and a list of top student contributors. Instructors also have access to more specific information about students, including who contributes frequently and who is active on the site but prefers not to contribute.

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  • View the class report

    For a general, sharable overview of your class's Piazza use, click the Piazza Report link within your Class Statistics page (see: View Class Participation). There you'll see statistics and a graph about the number of questions asked and responded to, the percentage of participating students, and the average response time.

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Copying Classes and Posts
  • Clone an existing class

    Copy class settings from one term to another by cloning a class. To clone a class, first open the class you wish to copy. Then, click Clone This Class... in your class drop down menu. That will take you to a form where you can inspect the settings that will be copied to the new class.

    When you're satisfied with your new class settings, click the Clone This Class button at the bottom of the page and you will be taken to your new class.

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  • Copy posts between classes

    You can copy individual posts from one class to another at any time from the question feed. To do so, first go to your question feed and find the post you wish to copy. Then, click Copy to Another Class in the question feed menu. Select the class you'd like to copy the post to. The post will be added to the selected class.

    All contributions to the copied post will be anonymized.

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Updating Your Account
  • Change your preferred email address

    Your preferred email address is where you'll receive all email notifications for your account. Update your email address in your Account/Email Settings page (click the down arrow to the right of your username).

    Change your preferred email by updating the address in the Preferred Email field. Check your inbox and follow the email verification link to confirm the switch.

    Add additional emails to your account by clicking + Add Email. You will be able to log in with any listed email and can be enrolled in classes with any of those addresses without creating duplicate accounts.

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  • Change your password

    Update your password by clicking Change password in your Account/Email Settings page. Type in your old password and confirm your new one.

    If you've forgotten your password, visit the Forgot Password page. Enter your Piazza email address there to reset your password.

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  • Log in with Facebook

    When you add Facebook Connect, you'll automatically be logged in to Piazza whenever you're logged in to Facebook. You can add Facebook Connect when you first create your account. Or, you can always add it later in your Account/Email Settings page. You'll be asked to log in to Facebook to connect.

    You can remove Facebook Connect at any time by clicking Remove Facebook Connect in your Account/Email Settings page.

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  • Drop a class

    When you are no longer part of a class, you can drop it by visiting your Account/Email Settings page and clicking Drop Class in the Class Settings section of the page. Once you drop a class, you will no longer be able to access it. If instructor self-signup is disabled for the class, you will need to contact a current instructor to be re-enrolled.

    You can also drop a class by clicking the un-enroll link in a Piazza email notification.

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  • Turn tooltips on/off

    Tooltips give small descriptions about many Piazza features when you hover over them. Toggle tooltips on or off by clicking the down arrow to the right of your username and clicking Turn on/off Tooltips in the menu that appears.

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