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Using Piazza with CTools

STUDENTS -- When you open Piazza for the first time, you may see a box that says "Enter all the classes you're taking this term." Please leave this blank and just click Submit. CTools and Piazza will automatically keep track of your courses.


Adding Piazza to your course site
Creating a Piazza "class"
Additional resources
Overview of options


Piazza is an online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7 under the guidance of their instructors. It is now possible to set up a Piazza site within your CTools course site.

IMPORTANT-- If you have a Piazza class set up for more than one course site, you can access all your Piazza classes while you are in any of the course sites. Be sure you are using the right Piazza class for the course site you are in.

For information on how to add Piazza or any other tool after you have created your site, click here (opens in a new browser window), or click Edit Tools on the Site Info page, which you can find under "Site Management" in the help table of contents.

Adding Piazza to your course site

1. Open the course site you want to add Piazza to.

2. Click Site Info in the left-hand menubar.

3. Click Edit Tools along the top.

4. Check the box next to "Piazza."

5. Click Continue, then click Finish.

You'll now see a tab (a link) for Piazza in the left-hand menubar. (You may need to refresh the browser window.)

Creating a Piazza "class"

To create a Piazza class:

1. Click Piazza in the left-hand menubar to open it.

2. In the main window, click Create your class in Piazza.

3. Enter an estimate of the number of students.

4. On the "Join the discussion!" page, click Continue.

5. Confirm the Piazza site creation and click Continue.

Important Note: Ignore the "Enroll your Students" box because students are added automatically.


Bar graph

However, you may find the bar graph in the same box useful. It shows the number of students who have opened your new Piazza class for the first time.

While you are setting up the class you may also be asked if there are any TAs to add. If a TA is on the official roster for the class, he or she will be added automatically so you can skip this step.

Additional resources

The Piazza website provides extensive support materials on using Piazza.

The box titled "Read tips and tricks for a successful Piazza class" also contains information you may find helpful. (If you don't see the box in the main Piazza window, click the Q & A tab near the top of the window.)

You may also find this PowerPoint presentation on Piazza helpful.

Download Piazza for Instructors (1 MB)

Overview of options

Here are brief descriptions of some of the options and features in Piazza. All of these and much more are covered in the Piazza online support materials at


Q & A, Course Page, and Manage Class tabs

Q & A Tab

The Q & A tab opens the window where you will create posts and monitor submissions.

Course Page Tab

Click the Course Page tab to see options for adding or editing course information, including a description, general information about the course, and creating an announcement. Under the "Staff" button you can add staff members' names and office hours. The "Resources" button gives you the option to provide information about homework and resources for your students.

Add Syllabus

When you click the Course Page tab, you will also see a button to attach a syllabus.


Add Syllabus button

Manage Class Tab

The Manage Class tab provides features that allow you to customize your site, add information about your site, create groups and more.

Class Statistics

The Class Statistics feature provides analytics on participation, most active, most active responders, activity over time, and how many are online, how many have been active during the past week, and more.


Statistics button