Online Teaching Environment

A virtual online computer lab

CoCalc moves an entire computer lab into the cloud. Every student works online inside their own, isolated workspace.

Organizing files made easy: CoCalc's course management interface gives you full control over distributing, collecting, grading and returning everyone's assignments.

Follow the progress of each student in real-time: If a student needs help, open the student's file and see exactly what the student sees. This helps enormously with giving quick and precise help.

Common underlying software environment: There is no complicated software setup necessary! Everyone works with the very same software, which eliminates slight inconsistencies between your and the students' environments.

Learn more in the Instructor Guide.

Teaching a course online

Have you experienced the pain of setting up the software environments for your students? With CoCalc no software needs to be setup and you can finally focus on your students!

Combined with CoCalc's other unique features you can manage your class much more effectively:

  • At any time you can jump into a file of a student, right where they are working.
  • Use TimeTravel to see each step a student took to get to the solution.
  • Consistent and immutable Backups make losing files impossible.
  • Integrated chat rooms allows you to guide students directly where they work or discuss collected files with your teaching assistants.
  • The project's Activity Log records exactly when and by whom a file was accessed.

Follow the Instructor Guide to create a course file, add your students, distribute assignments and handouts, and later collect and grade their homework.

Available tools

Jupyter Notebooks

CoCalc offers several ways for teaching with Jupyter Notebooks. Its own native implementation offers real-time synchronization, time-travel, side-chat, and much more.

For specific purposes, you can also run Jupyter Lab or the Classical Notebook interface.

Sage Worksheets

A Sage Worksheet is similar to a Jupyter Notebook, but made to work well with SageMath, a sophisticated open-source mathematical software system.

LaTeX Documents

CoCalc's online LaTeX editor gives you a full LaTeX environment with zero-setup. It supports online preview rendering, forward/inverse search, error reporting, and much more!

Full Linux Terminal

A full online Linux terminal gives you all the powerful tools of an Linux environment. Everything is ready to teaching Linux and shell scripting, compile a variety of programming languages, process data or text files, and tie everything together via various command-line tools.

Testimonials

I just found out that my CoCalc class got by far the best course evaluations for any course I've taught at UCSD to date (over 85% on the favorable/­unfavorable scale), which makes it a sure thing that I'll be teaching this course again (in some form) next year! Many thanks for the backend work on CoCalc, for the course materials, for the guest lecture...

Kiran Kedlaya — UC San Diego, March 2017

CoCalc provides a user-friendly interface. Students don't need to install any software at all. They just open up a web browser and go to https://cocalc.com and that's it. They just type code directly in, hit shift+enter and it runs, and they can see if it works. It provides immediate feedback. The course management features work really well.

Will Conley — Math professor, University of California at Los Angeles, Fall 2016

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