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NoodleTools How to Guide: Setting Up Inboxes & Working with Shared Projects

How to Set Up an Inbox and Work with Projects Shared with You

Teachers should also read “How to share your project with a teacher” to understand how sharing works from the student point of view.

To enable your students to share their work with you, create an inbox for each project you assign. 

For example, you would create an inbox box titled “Smith 2010 ENG101 P3: Hamlet”. Your ENG101 period 3 students would share their “Hamlet” project with you through this inbox. 

Work submitted to you by your students is accessible in your teacher account on the Projects screen under Inboxes. By creating one inbox for each project you assign, student work is conveniently grouped for evaluation, as shown below.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inbox

On this page:

How to create an inbox
How to Share Your Inbox with Your Students
How to Use the Inbox Screen
How to View Students' Projects Via the Inbox
How to Archive and Unarchive Old Assignment Boxes

How to Create an Inbox

How to create an inbox

1. In your teacher account, on the Projects screen click the Inboxes tab.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inbox screen

Note: If your folder view does not include Inboxes, you did not select the “I am a teacher or librarian” option when you first created your account. If your account is empty, you can simply create a new account using the correct option. If you have already composed a project within your folder that you wish to keep, contact your account administrator, who can convert your folder to a teacher’s folder through the subscription management area.

2. Click +New project inbox.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inbox options

3. On the New project inbox screen, in the Inbox name enter the name of the inbox. The name must be unique to the school(s) under your NoodleTools subscription but should also be simple enough for students to remember. Including the year and semester are good ideas, to avoid getting it confused with a inbox name for the same project in a different year.

4. If there are other teachers or librarians who need to review and comment on the projects shared with you through this inbox, enter their personal IDs under Additional recipients. They will see the shared projects on their Inboxes screen, just as you do.

5. The Google Account ID displays the address in your profile. If you do not have one listed here, enter your Google Doc address. This enables students who share projects with you to share their Google Docs papers with you, too.

6. Modify notecard instructions: Click the link "Show" to customize the text in the fields for "Direct Quotation," "Paraphrase or summary," and "My Ideas."

7. Links to display for students: If there are any assignment-related links that you want students who share projects with this inbox to see, enter their description and URL. Some suggestions:

  • An assignment calendar. For example, in Google Calendar, you can create a new calendar for a specific assignment by selecting Settings > Calendar Settings > Calendars and clicking Create new calendar. After you create the calendar, go to the Calendar details screen and click HTML under Calendar Address. Copy and paste the link it gives you into the NoodleTools URL field.
  • The online assignment sheet for the project.
  • A “suggested resources” Web page.
  • A pathfinder, Webquest, or LibGuides page.
  • A blog or wiki set up for the assignment.

8. Click Submit to add the new inbox to your Inboxes screen.

How to Share Your Inbox Information with Your Students

How to share your inbox information with your students

In order for students to share projects with you, tell the students what assignment inbox name to use. For example, your assignment sheet might say: “Share your work with me using the inbox name “Andersen ENG101 2015 - Hamlet.” 

Students share a project from their Dashboard screen. See “How to share your project with a teacher.” Before you provide instructions to students, you may want to create a test student folder and share a project, so that you will understand how the process works.

How to use the Inbox screen

Projects that are shared with you are grouped under Inboxes and sorted by the date of last revision (i.e., projects that have been edited most recently will appear at the top).

NoodleTools - Teacher Inboxes

To improve readability when you have many classes sharing work with you, the individual projects under each inbox are hidden until you click the inbox’s name link that you wish to view. Each project inbox opens under a new tab with the name of the inbox.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inboxes projects

To identify the author of each project, the student’s username followed by his or her real name (as they entered it) appears in parentheses in the Shared By column. In the Project title column, you’ll see the names the students gave to their project. 

The Status column can have one of three values. Click the link to view a summary of its current status.

  • “New” – You have not viewed or added comments to the project yet.
  • “Viewed” – You have viewed the project, and the student/author has not made any revisions since that time.
  • “Revised” – The student/author has made revisions since you last viewed or added comments to the project.

NOTE: We do not track whether the student has revised their Google Doc paper since you last looked at it, so the status will say “Revised” if the student has only changed their notecards, outline, or source list.

When the status link is clicked, a pop window shows a summary of this project: The status summary provides a link “View a 30-day history of work done this project,” which includes specific times that the author logged in, added/edited/removed citations, added/edited/removed notecards, and more.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inbox status box

NOTE: You can also view the 30-day history log from the Dashboard screen of the student’s project (under History).

The project’s Style (MLA, APA, or Chicago) and Level (Starter, Junior or Advanced) of each project is given, as well as the number of Sources and number of Notes (if the notecards feature is enabled in the administration area). The next two columns indicate the date the project was Created and last Modified.

You can remove a project that has been shared with you by clicking Delete at the right. If you do so, you will not be able to view it unless the student shares the project with you a second time.

How to View Students’ Projects Via the Inbox

Projects shared with you are opened in read-only mode – you can view but not modify the student’s citations, notecards, and outline. There is one exception to this – if a student has shared a Google Docs paper as part of the project, you do have full edit privilege on that document, allowing you to write comments and/or corrections directly on the document. (When a student shares a paper with you, you will get an invitation email from Google Docs to edit the document.) 

On your inbox’s screen, click a student’s project’s title open it. The first screen you will see is the student’s project’s Dashboard. 

To identify that you’re viewing the project as a teacher, a "Teacher's view" label appears to the right of the project's title.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inboxes, project view

To view the project’s sources or notecards, switch to the Sources or Notecards screen.

If the notecards feature is enabled, on the Source screen, the "Show" link in the Notecardscolumn allows you to view notecards associated with a particular entry. To view all notecards that the student has created, click "Show/hide."

If the student has shared a paper with you, on the Dashboard screen, under Sharing and Collaboration > Sharing, it will display Shared on (date).

NoodleTools - Teacher Inbox, paper shared

To open it, on the Dashboard, under Project details > Paper click “Open in Google Docs.” You will be prompted to log into your Google account. 

To provide feedback to your students' projects, see "How to write and respond to comments and questions." 

How to Archive and Unarchive Old Assignment Inboxes

Assignment inboxes from previous school years can be archived (as opposed to deleting them completely). An archived inbox will not show up in your Project inboxes screen, nor can students share work with it. This eliminates clutter from your screen and students will not be confused seeing inboxes from previous years.

To archive an assignment inbox, under its Options menu, select Archive.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inboxes Archive

You can always unarchive an Inbox to review student work from past classes, to find exemplars to show current students, or to add to their own portfolio. To view an archived Inbox, check the box next to Show archived inboxes in the upper right, and on its Option menu, select Unarchive.

NoodleTools - Teacher Inboxes, Unarchive

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