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Use ClassPolicy from AssistX to help manage the OneNote Class Notebook Collaboration Space

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Today’s post was written by Bob Chung, CEO for AssistX, a Microsoft Partner. AssistX used the newly released OneNote Class Notebook APIs to provide this solution for education customers.

ClassPolicy is a classroom management solution that empowers teachers to facilitate learning in the classroom in this new era where more and more students are equipped with a device and digital content. In the fall of 2015, a ClassPolicy feature was released that enabled teachers to easily divide their class into groups and orchestrate those groups separately. Teachers immediately responded with feedback stating that this new feature was good, but to make it great, it needed to integrate with OneNote Class Notebook’s Collaboration Space.

The teacher feedback confirmed what we already believed and we thus began our collaborative work with the OneNote team to deliver a new and innovative way for teachers to facilitate project-based learning in their classrooms, which we believe is best in class.

With ClassPolicy leveraging the Class Notebook APIs that the OneNote team provides, teachers have the following abilities when using their OneNote Class Notebooks with Office 365 Education:

  • Easily divide a class into any number of groups with any number of members in those groups.
  • Automatically create a section for each group created in the step above inside the Class Notebook Collaboration Space—with a click of a button.
  • Automatically set permissions to view and edit all Collaboration Space sections for the groups.
  • Automatically set student permissions so that the student can only view and edit the Collaboration Space section that is assigned for that student’s group.
  • Dynamically set restrictions on each group to just the resources that the teacher wants that group to have to work on their project at that moment in time. For example, Group 1 may only have access to OneNote, a calculator and a graphing app; Group 2 may only have access to OneNote and a web browser limited to certain websites, etc.

After testing this latest functionality, Doug Manning from St. Thomas School, a leading private elementary through middle school in Medina, Washington, said, “ClassPolicy removes the management concerns of working with the Collaboration Space, allowing safe student spaces for group work while preserving the full functionality of Class Notebooks.”

To enable this functionality, first register the ClassPolicy Teacher app with Azure AD so it has permissions to the Office 365 OneNote Class Notebook APIs for the teacher that is signed in to their Office 365 account. For details on setting up these permissions, read “Manually register your app with Azure AD so it can access Office 365 APIs.”

Once the proper permissions are set, there are two ways to get started. If a teacher already has a Class Notebook created for their class, they can simply associate their existing Class Notebook with their ClassPolicy class by selecting Associate Class Notebook from the ClassPolicy menu and then selecting their Class Notebook from their list of notebooks presented to them in a drop-down list.

Use ClassPolicy from AssistX 1b

The teacher can also opt to create a Class Notebook from within ClassPolicy. Because ClassPolicy provides teachers with updated student rosters that are synced nightly, teachers can automate the creation of Class Notebooks through ClassPolicy, similar to the way Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync automate this process.

Use ClassPolicy from AssistX 2b

Teachers can then easily create project groups within ClassPolicy by dragging and dropping students into each group. Once the groups are set up, simply click the Update Collaboration Space button to create the sections in the Class Notebook Collaboration Space and set the proper permissions for those sections so that only the group members can see and edit their newly created section.

Use ClassPolicy from AssistX 3b

The teacher has full control of the sections assigned to groups in the Collaboration Space. For example, to make all group sections visible to all students but limit the students to read-only access for other groups’ sections, select the Visible – All group collaboration spaces checkbox and then click the Update button. If the teacher doesn’t want students to be able to edit their own group’s section, they can select the Lock – Group collaboration space (read only) checkbox and then click the Update button.

Use ClassPolicy from AssistX 4

Because the new OneNote Permissions API and ClassPolicy feature is currently still in beta, we are selectively making the functionality available to interested schools. If you’re interested in using this functionality, send us a note at info@assistx.me to request access.

These new features are the tip of the iceberg of how ClassPolicy will continue to add value on top of the already incredibly powerful OneNote Class Notebook to help teachers harness the power of technology in the classroom. Additional information on ClassPolicy is available at www.classpolicy.com.

“When our teachers saw the integration between Class Policy and OneNote Class Notebooks, there was an audible buzz of excitement in the room,” said Becky Keene from Kent School District, a leading innovative public school in Washington. “Using the tool allows them to better personalize learning and support collaborative projects from their existing notebooks, while directing students to the correct content library pages as well. It’s going to become a significant part of our classrooms.”

We would love to hear from you at info@assistx.me if you have any feedback or suggestions on what other high value capability you would like us to build on top of the OneNote Class Notebook.

—Bob Chung

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