Piazza Tips

Class Settings

Make sure that Instructor Self-signup and Posting Anonymously are disabled - the former disables students from becoming professors, and the latter allows you to see the authors of anonymous links. Set naming conventions for tags, and pre-make tags for each assignment, midterm, final, and various sections of your rubric. Try to get students to use these tags in their posts - it makes searching for posts much easier later in the term.

Before the semester begins, invite all professors, IAs and your ISC. Make sure they log on and set up a real name for themselves.

Try to encourage students to attach their real name to their emails in class. If they're too stubborn, you can always use WatIAm or grep their userid from .classlist.

Setting Up a Class

For the next term:

  1. Log in to your Piazza account.
  2. Go to "Instructor" tab, and click on "Clone This Class" in the drop down menu.
  3. On the shown page, change the term and estimated enrollment (normally, either 200 or 800 depends on term).
  4. Edit Class tags so that it is convenient for later.
  5. Once you change all the setting you prefer to change, click on "Clone This Class" at the really bottom of the current page.
  6. Enroll professors and other TAs by entering their uwaterloo email in the box. Enroll students by entering their uwaterloo emails in the box (you can batch add, just separate with commas or newlines).
  7. Post a note called "Piazza Guidelines". See below.
For the current term:

  1. Go to piazza.com. Click "Create or Join your class" on the front page.
  2. Search "University of Waterloo" and click the result that says "University of Waterloo (uwaterloo.ca)".
  3. Search "CS 116" and click "Create a New Class".
  4. Fill in the following information:
    • Class Number: CS 116
    • Class Name: Introduction to Computer Science 2
    • Estimated Class Enrollment: 200 or 800 depending on term
    • Check "I am affiliated with University of Waterloo as per Piazza's Terms and Conditions."
    • Click "Create Class".
  5. Change setting for the class by going to the "Instructor" tab, and click on "Class Settings".
    • Instructor Self-Signup: Disable
    • Class Status: Active
    • Posting Anonymously: Disable
    • Private Posts: Enable
    • Add in class topic tags #a00 to #a10 for assignments, #midterm, #final, #lecture, #tutorial, #officehours, #markus, #designrecipe, and #other.
    • Enroll professors and other TAs by entering their uwaterloo email in the box.
    • Enroll students by entering their uwaterloo emails in the box (you can batch add, just separate with commas or newlines). The easiest way to get the students' emails is to run some script or command on the classlist that extracts all the student user IDs and adds "@uwaterloo.ca" to the end of each one. For example, this bash pipeline would work:
      sed -e 's/#.*//' -e '/^$/d' /u/csNNN/.classlist | cut -f2 -d: | sed 's/.*/&@uwaterloo.ca/'
  6. Post a note called "Piazza Guidelines". See below.

Piazza Guidelines Note

Note Title: Piazza Guidelines

Note Details:

The purpose of Piazza in CS XXX is to provide a forum for students to ask questions where the answer might be useful not only for themselves, but for other students in the course. Here are some general guidelines that you should follow to ensure that you are using Piazza appropriately:

  • Please remember that everything you post on Piazza is public -- everyone will be reading it. As a result, do NOT post any code related to an assignment question on Piazza, in either a question or as an answer. Making even partial solutions available is in violation of our academic integrity policy. If you have a question that you cannot separate from your code, you should visit during office hours.

  • Also, questions that are an attempt to have the community debug your solution for an assignment is NOT an appropriate use of the online forum. For example, "I get when I run my program. Why is this happening?" is not a question that should be posted on Piazza, nor should it be sent by email to course staff. These kinds of questions may be asked in person during office hours.

  • Be sure to read the assignment specifications clearly before posting a question to reduce clutter on the forum.

  • Before you post a question, use Piazza's search function to see if your question has already been asked.

  • Use meaningful topic names for your questions (e.g. a02q1 is a bit vague, however, a02q3 contract for consumed value will be a great title.).

  • Asking questions to clarify an assignment specification, or to understand a concept that has been presented in lecture is acceptable.

  • It is also reasonable to post questions about Markus, when you believe there is a problem that may be affecting many students.
CS XXX Course Staff

#pin (By adding "#pin" this note will always appear at the top.) -------------------------------------

Dealing with Posts

Duplicated Posts

  1. Go to the duplicated post (most likely the same question asked by another student).
  2. At the bottom of the question box, click on "more" (right of "good question").
  3. Click "Mark as Duplicate" in the menu.
  4. Follow the instructions in the box that pops up on Piazza (red outline box at the top).

Inappropriate Posts

  1. If there are posts that have personal assignment code, you should make the note private.
  2. If there are posts that have inappropriate language or offensive content, you could delete or edit the post.

Archiving at the End of the Term

The attached Python 2 script get-piazza.py will collect all instructor notes from a given Piazza class and send them to a specified output file in .html format, which can be opened in any web browser for viewing. You must install the third-party Python library piazza-api for the code to work. Run it in an IDE or python get-piazza.py from a command line.

-- MatthewThomason - 27 Apr 2012

-- AlyssaJamal - 30 Aug 2012

-- BillLiu - 2019-08-16

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
HTMLhtml ImportantPiazzaPosts.html r1 manage 60.7 K 2019-08-16 - 11:53 BillLiu Example output of get-piazza.py (open in web browser)
Texttxt get-piazza.py.txt r1 manage 1.0 K 2019-08-16 - 11:44 BillLiu Python 2 script for archiving posts
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Topic revision: r9 - 2019-09-01 - BenjaminChen
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