Piazza Quick Start and Best Practices

Here’s a quick cheat sheet on getting started with Piazza in your class. There are links to documents with more detailed instructions from the eCampus webpage, and from Piazza, at the bottom of this page under Additional Resources.

10 Steps to Getting Started

  1. Skim instructor endorsements & preview demos - click on the links below under Additional Resources, these will give you good ideas on how and why you might use Piazza so that it’s most effective.

  2. Enable Piazza LTI in Canvas - click on the link to a short video, which shows you how to enable the LTI from your course settings.

  3. Review your Piazza settings from the Manage Class tab - when you’re in your Piazza space, Manage Class is the last option in the blue tool bar, at the top. It’s fine to leave everything as default, but take a look at all the settings to see your options to customize the way you use Piazza.

  4. Consider editing your class folders - this is how your content is organized, making it easier for everyone to find what they need. You will be forced to “tag” your posts, so you might want to change the names of the default folders.

  5. Add Piazza note to your syllabus. Make it clear to your students how you plan to use it, and be consistent. (i.e. use Piazza instead of using email.)

  6. Post an announcement about Piazza and/or add a page about it in Canvas.

  7. Disable and Canvas discussions and Q & A. Again, make sure to be consistent on your plans to communicate in one place - Piazza.

  8. Give clear instructions and explanation on why you’re using Piazza. Students might not be familiar with it, and they might not know the benefits. Here’s a brief Piazza Overview Video for Students.

  9. Consider giving extra credit to most active/helpful students. You can use the analytics in Piazza to see who the top contributors are, and award them points in Canvas.

  10. Post course student survey. This is a good idea at the end of every course, but when you implement a new technology get feedback on how it went. Tweak Piazza as needed to be even more effective next semester!

Additional Resources

Discipline Specific Demos:

Take a look at real world demos of Piazza in different disciplines from the links below. From the Piazza website, you can also find demos for Computer Science, Physics, Economics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Instructor Endorsements:

Read some of the stories from the links below, including SJSU's own Slobodan Simic, from the Department of Mathematics.

Help Menus: