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Student Guide


General Information


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Logging In

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Step 1: Go to  https://tracs.txstate.edu/portal/login

Step 2: Enter your Texas State Net ID (username) and password. 

NOTE:  Do not use your Texas State ID number (A + 8 digits)

Step 3: Click [Login]. A new screen will appear called My Workspace.

If your login fails due to Net ID or password complications, contact ITAC at 512.245.4822.

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Net ID

Your Texas State Net ID and password are required in order to log into TRACS. This is the same ID and password you use for Texas State's BobcatMail. If you do not have a Net ID and password created yet, please call ITAC at 512.245.4822. 

NOTE: Once your Net ID has been created, you will be able to log into TRACS. However, you will not see any course sites until the following morning.

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What is TRACS

TRACS is a web tool used by professors to share content with their classes. Professors may post grades, syllabi, assignments, quizzes/exams, and other materials.

NOTE: Not all professors use the TRACS system, nor do they utilize the same tools in every site.

TRACS sites can also be used by campus departments and organizations to share information with their members. 

TRACS project sites may be created by students for group work purposes.

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Recommended Browsers

You should try to use the latest versions of the following web browsers:."

Windows

Internet Explorer v.8. and above

Mozilla Firefox v.11 and above

Mac

Mozilla Firefox v.11 and above

Other platforms

Mozilla Firefox v.11 and above

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Navigation

TRACS sites are represented as tabs across the top of your screen. If you cannot see all of the sites you are a member of at one time, click My Active Sites button to see a list of all sites to which you belong.

Although you use a browser to access TRACS, TRACS has its own navigation system which you must use while in TRACS.

On most screens, the [Cancel] or [Back] button at the bottom of the screen will take you back one page.

DO NOT use the browser [Back] or [Forward] buttons while in TRACS, as this can cause unpredictable behavior.

NOTE: With some tools in TRACS, you must click your browser's [Refresh] button in order to see changes you have made.

Course and project sites you have been added to will appear at the top of the screen. Click a site's title to go to the corresponding site. When you have more sites than can fit across the top, My Active Sites appears to allow navigation to the rest of your sites. Clicking My Active Sites activates a drop-down menu with links to all of your active sites.

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My Workspace


What is My Workspace

My Workspace functions as an online private workspace. This is the screen you see when you log in.

What is in My Workspace?

The upper portion of the screen in My Workspace displays the TRACS welcome message. Below that is My Workspace Information. By default, these spaces contain announcements and information from the TRACS system administrator.

My Workspace has features common to course and project sites, including Announcements, Calendar, Help, and Resources. It also has features found only in My Workspace such as Account, Membership, Preferences, Profile, and Worksite Setup. To return to My Workspace after visiting other sites, click the My Workspace link in the upper left corner of the screen.

 

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Tools Only Found in My Workspace

Below are tools found ONLY in My Workspace

Account

This feature contains basic information about you, including your name and email address.

NOTE: Texas State Users' account information cannot be changed here. Texas State users must change their information through the Email Toolkit located in BobcatMail.

Membership

Allows you to join and un-join sites.

Preferences

Choose how you would like to receive emails from your course and/or project site(s), including email notifications of new announcements and resources.

Profile

Information you can enter about yourself, such as your name, phone number, location, and a photo.

Worksite Setup

Displays your project and course websites. 

My Workspace Resources

Add your own personal documents/files.

My Workspace Calendar:

Post personal reminders. 

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Preferences

The Preferences tool allows you to choose how you would like to receive all email notifications to your course and/or project site(s). For example, you can choose to block low-priority notifications, to receive notifications when they are sent, or to receive a daily digest of emails all at one time.

NOTE: You cannot adjust email notification settings for individual sites. Any changes made to these settings impacts all of your course/project sites on TRACS.

Notification Methods: Choose one of three notification methods for these four tools: Announcements, Mailing List Archive, Resources, and Syllabus.

  • Send me each notification separately: You receive an email notification each time an announcement is posted, a document or syllabus item is added, and an email is sent.
  • Send me one email per day: Individual announcements, documents/syllabus items, and/or email messages are bundled into a single email message and sent to you daily.
  • Do not send me low priority: You receive no notification regarding low priority site activity.

To set your preferences, click the circle button to indicate your choice for each tool.

Click [Update Preferences]. To return to the previous page without making a change, click [Cancel Changes].

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Join/Unjoin Public Project Sites

Click the [Membership] link in the menu bar to see the sites to which you belong. These are sites you are enrolled in or that you have chosen to join.

Click [Joinable Sites] to see a list of other sites you can join (sites that have granted Global Access). The site you join will be added to your top navigation bar, or appear in My Active Sites.

Click [My Current Sites] at the top of the screen, to return to your membership list.

To unjoin a site, click the box next to the site's title, then click [Unjoin] below the site list.

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Customize Site Tabs

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By default, you will see a tab for each site to which you belong.

To change which tabs are visible, click [Preferences], then [Customize Tabs].

There are three site categories:

Favorite Sites (in top bar): Sites in this section will appear in the top navigation bar in TRACS. We recommend a maximum of five sites in this section to preserve ease of navigation.

Active Sites (your drawer): Sites in this section will appear in the More Sites menu in the top navigation bar in TRACS, and will be organized by semester and site type.

Archived Sites (will display in Worksite Setup sorted alphabetically): Sites in this section will only appear in Worksite Setup in My Workspace, and are otherwise hidden from navigation.

To move items between lists, and to reorder lists, click on a site and drag it to the desired location. You can also use CTRL + direction keys to move items.

To move multiple sites at once, click the check boxes next to the sites and use the arrow buttons that appear to change the location of the sites.

Click [Update Preferences] to save your changes. To return to the previous page without making a change click [Cancel Changes].

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TRACS Profile

The TRACS Profile tool allows you add information that you would like to share with the TRACS and University Community. For more information on creating a profile in TRACS, visit the Create a TRACS Profile document.

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My Workspace Resources

The Resources tool allows you to add your own personal documents, such as PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, and HTML pages. The documents you keep in your Resources tool in My Workspace will only be available to you. You can access your personal documents from any computer with Internet access. You have 10 GB of space allotted for you to use.

To learn more about the Resources tool and how to upload documents, please view the Resources help document.

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How to Use TRACS Tools


Announcements (if enabled in the site)


View Announcements

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Step 1:  Click on the site's tab you wish to view announcements for.

Step 2:  Click the [Announcements] button on the left-hand side of your screen.

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Assessments (if enabled in the site)


Helpful Hints

Here are a few helpful tips when taking assessments:

  • You CANNOT preview an assessment. Once you click the Begin Assessment button, you need to be ready to start the assessment. If the test is timed, the timer starts as soon as you click the begin assessment button.
  • Use a reliable, fast internet connection. Pages may take longer to load using a slower connection, wasting valuable time if the assessment you are taking is timed.
  • When taking an assessment, close all other programs running on the computer. DO NOT check your email, use Facebook, or chat during a test. Having multiple programs running can cause unforeseen problems TRACS cannot be held responsible for.
  • When taking an assessment, DO NOT have multiple internet browser windows open. Having multiple browser windows open has been shown to cause issues.
  • Use an approved browser for TRACS.
                Windows users should use:
                                Firefox 3 or higher
                                Internet Explorer 8 or higher
 
                MAC users should use:
                                Firefox 3 or higher
 
Smart phones (Iphone, Droid, Blackberry) should NOT be used to take an assessment on TRACS 
  • Be aware of the due date and time along with the assessment test time. For example, If your instructor set the due date and time for your assessment to be 11 am and has given you 1 hour to submit the assessment once you've started it, DO NOT start the assessment at 10:30 am and think that you have an hour to finish the test. In this case, your assessment would automatically be submitted at 11 am, whether you were finished taking it or not.
  • Note the due date of the assessment. You are not able to submit, or even see, an assessment past the due date.
  • If you experience any issues while taking an assessment, send an email to your instructor and TRACS IMMEDIATELY! Our email address is tracs@txstate.edu. When emailing TRACS, please include a description of what you experienced and approximate time your issue began.
  • If you mark a question for review or leave a question unanswered, TRACS will prompt you letting you know you've marked a question for review or left a question blank, and confirm that you still want to submit the assessment for grading.
  • When you are finished with an assessment and wish to turn it in, click the [Submit for Grading] button, NOT the Save and Exit button. Saving and exiting an assessment WILL NOT grade the assessment.

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Taking an Assessment

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Step 1: Navigate to the site where the assessment is posted. In the menu bar of the site, click [Assessments].
 
Step 2: Underneath "Take an assessment," you will see a list of available assessments. Click an assessment's title to take that assessment.
 
Step 3: Click [Begin Assessment] to take the assessment, or [Cancel] to leave.

Step 4: Answer the question to the best of your ability.  To move to the next question, click [Next].  To go back to a previous question click [Previous]. Click the [Save] button to save your progress on the assessment and remain on the same screen.

If allowed, you may also mark a question for review. This allows you to review any question you may be unsure of. To view a list of questions you've marked for review, click the [View All Questions] button. You will be reminded prior to submitting your assessment if you have marked any questions for review or have any unanswered questions.  The Mark for Review feature is a setting the instructor must add when the assessment is created. 
 
Step 4: When you are finished with the assessment, click [Submit for Grading]. 

NOTE: [Save] will NOT submit your test. Saving only allows you to exit a test and return to it at a later time. If the assessment is timed, the timer will continue to run until it expires.

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Resume Taking a Saved Assessment

Step 1: In the menu bar of the course site, click [Assessments].
 
Step 2: Under "Take an assessment," click the title of the assessment you wish to work on.
 
Step 3: Click [Begin Assessment] and then resume your work.

NOTE: You can click the [View unanswered or marked questions] button to see a list of all assessment questions you have and have not answered. Click the question you wish to answer and continue from.
 
Step 4: When you have finished, click [Submit for Grading]. You will receive a confirmation number.

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Assessment Grades and Comments

Any comments, feedback, and grades your instructor gives you will be available to you in the Assessments tool itself ONLY if the instructor chooses to release the assessment's information to you.

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Assignments (if enabled in the site)


View an Assignment

To view assignments for a course site in which you are enrolled, click [Assignments] in the menu bar of the site. Assignments from your course sites are displayed in the order they are due.

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Complete an Assignment

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Step 1: Click the assignment's title. 

Step 2: Follow the on-screen directions provided by your instructor. 

Step 3: Add an attachment(s) to the assignment or enter your text using the text box.

  • To add an attachment, click the [Browse] button. Locate your attachment and click the [Open] button.  If you would like to add multiple attachments, click the green [ + ] button and browse for your file.

If you need to remove an attachment, click the red [ - ] button.

The attachment(s) will be listed in the order they were entered.

  • Alternatively, you may be allowed to submit your answer via the in-line text box provided. Simply type your answer and format it how you'd like. Remember to use the Paste From Word tool (the clipboard with a W on it) if you are pasting text from Microsoft Word.

Step 4: Click [Save Draft] to save your work without submitting it. You may also click [Preview] to view your submission.

Step 5: Click [Submit] when you are done. You will recieve an automatic email confirmation stating you have successfullly submitted your assignment.

NOTE: If your instructor requires an Honor Pledge stating you have not received outside help with the assignment, you must click the checkbox before submitting the assignment.

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Assignment Grades and Comments

Any comments, grades, or assignment resubmissions will be visible in the Assignments tool. Click on the submitted assignment to view this information.

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Assignment Helpful Hints

Be sure and save your work frequently by clicking the [Save Draft] button if working within the text editor of TRACS. Alternatively, you may want to create your assignment in Microsoft Word and paste it into TRACS. BE SURE TO USE THE PASTE FROM WORD OPTION IF DOING THIS. See the section of this guide titled "Pasting Text from Word into TRACS" for further information.

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Blogs (if enabled in the site)


Read a Blog

Step 1: In the menu bar of the site, click [Blogs].

Step 2: Select the name of the blogger whose blog you want to read. All available blog posts will appear, organized from most recent to least.

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Comment on a Blog

Step 1: In the menu bar, click [Blogs].

Step 2: Select the name of the classmate whose blog you want to read.

Step 3: Click [Leave a comment] under the blog you wish to comment on.

Step 4: Write your comment and click [Publish comment] to save your comment, or click [Cancel] to clear all changes made.

Step 5: Click [All the blogs] to return to the list of bloggers.

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Add a Blog

Step 1: In the menu bar, click [Blogs]. 

Step 2: In the new page, click [Add Blog Entry]. 

Step 3: Give the blog posting a title. 

Step 4: Type your blog. You may use the built-in WYSIWYG editor to format your text as desired. 

Step 5: Choose who can see the blog entry by selecting the available options: 

  • Only site administrators and I can see this entry: Only the author and those people with the appropriate role, such as instructor, maintainer, TA, and site collaborator may view the blog. 
     
  • All members of this site can see this entry: Every member of the site is able to view the blog posting
     
  • This entry is publicly visible: This will allow Blog to be viewed outside of TRACS (Not implemented yet). 

Step 6: Click [Save Draft] to save your changes but not post the entry, click [Publish entry] to post, or click [Cancel] to clear all changes made.

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Edit a Blog

Step 1: In the menu bar, click [Blogs].

Step 2: Select the name of the classmate whose blog you want to read.

Step 3: Click [Edit entry] under the blog you wish to edit.

Step 4: Make the necessary edits and click [Save Draft] to save your changes but not post the entry, click [Publish entry] to post, or click [Cancel] to clear all changes made.

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Delete a Blog Comment

Step 1: In the menu bar, click [Blogs].

Step 2: Select the name of the blogger whose blog you want to read.

Step 3: Click [# comments] under the blog you wish to remove the comment on.

Step 4: Click [Remove this comment] to the right of the comment you want to delete. Click [OK] to delete the comment or click [Cancel] to cancel the action.

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Delete a Blog

Step 1: In the menu bar for the site, click [Blogs].

Step 2: Select the name of the blogger whose blog you will want to delete.

Step 3: Underneath the blog which you wish to remove, click [Remove entry].

Step 4: Click [OK] to remove the blog, or click [Cancel] to cancel the action.

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Blog Settings and User Profiles

Step 1: In the menu bar of your site, click [Blogs].

Step 2: Click [My blog settings].

Step 3: In the page that opens, fill out the URL for a user profile picture that will be displayed next to all posts and comments you leave. You may upload an image to your Resources in My Workspace then use the URL generated for the image URL.

NOTE: The image will have to be set to be publicly viewable in order for users to see the image.

Step 4: Add any information you wish to be displayed in your blog profile. Click [Change settings] to save your changes, or click [Cancel].

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Calendar (if enabled in the site)


View Calendar Events

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Step 1: Click on the site's tab in which you want to view calendar events.

Step 2: Click [Calendar] in the menu bar.

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Chat (if enabled in the site)


Read Chat Postings

Step 1: Log in to TRACS and click [Chat Room] in the left side menu bar.

Posted messages appear in chronological order, with the most recent at the bottom. Messages always identify the sender.

To see who is presently in the Chat Room, look under Users in Chat on the right side of the screen.

Step 2: To see the date or time messages were posted, select the appropriate option from the View drop-down list. Choices are Time Only, Date and Time, Date Only, Neither Date or Time, or ID Only.

Step 3: To limit the list to messages to those from the past three days, select Past 3 Days. To see all messages, select All Messages.

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Post a Chat Room Message

Step 1: Click [Chat Room] in the menu bar.

Step 2: In the text box at the bottom of the window, type your message. Then click [Add message].

Step 3: Click [Add message] to display your message. Once a message is added, it cannot be changed or deleted. Only an instructor or someone with maintain access can delete the message.

Step 4: To discard a message you haven't sent yet, click [Clear].

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Dashboard

Assignments & Events

Upcoming

Upcoming Tab

Displays upcoming Assignments due dates and upcoming Calendar events .

All events are sorted by the nearest date.

Starred

Displays Assignments and Calendar events you have marked as important .

All events are sorted by the nearest date.

Adding Assignment or Event to Starred Tab

Step 1:  For any assignment or event, click the gray star. The star will now be gold.

Step 2: Click the Starred Tab to view the item.

Removing a Starred Event

Step 1:  In the Starred Tab, click the gold star for any event or assignment. The assignment or event will be removed from the Starred Tab.

Hidden

Hidden Tab

Displays Assignments and Calendar events you have marked to hide from view.

All events are sorted by the most recent date.

Hiding An Assignment or Event

Step 1:  For an assignment or event you wish to hide, click the Red "X" to the far right of the item. The item will now be hidden from view and will appear in the Hidden Tab.

Remove Assignment or Event from Hidden Tab

Step 1:  In the Hidden Tab, click the green checkmark to the far right of the item. The assignment or event will be removed from the Hidden Tab.

Past

Past Tab

Displays Assignments and Calendar whose due dates are past due.

Recent Activity

Updates

Updates Tab

Displays activity from site Announcements and Resources.

All activity is sorted by the most recent date.

Starred

Displays Announcements and Resource items you have marked as important.

All activity is sorted by the most recent date.

Adding item to Starred Tab

Step 1:  For any item located under Recent Activity, click the gray star. The star will now be gold.

Step 2: Click the Starred Tab in Recent Activity to view the item.

Removing a Starred Event

Step 1:  In the Starred Tab in Recent Activity, click the gold star for any item. The item will be removed from the Starred Tab.

Hidden

Displays Announcements and Resource items you have marked as important.

All activity is sorted by the most recent date.

Adding item to Starred Tab

Step 1:  For any item located under Recent Activity, click the gray star. The star will now be gold.

Step 2: Click the Starred Tab in Recent Activity to view the item.

Removing a Starred Event

Step 1:  In the Starred Tab in Recent Activity, click the gold star for any item. The item will be removed from the Starred Tab.


Drop Box (if enabled in the site)


Add a file to Drop Box

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Step 1: Click [Add] to the right of the folder in which you want to upload an item.

Step 2: Select [Upload Files].

Step 3: Select the file on your computer and click [Open].

NOTE: Files with names that include special characters or accent marks cannot be accepted. If your file’s name contains one of these characters, change the filename before attempting to upload it.

Special Note to Mac users: When uploading a file, make sure the file extension (e.g., .gif, .doc, .ppt) is present. If a file extension is not present, anyone attempting to download or view the file will receive an error message.

Step 4: Enter a display name for the file. If you do not enter a name, the filename will be used.

Step 5: If you want to add additional information for the document, click [Add details for this item]. You can also add a description of the file if you wish.

Step 6: Click [Add another file] to upload more than one file at a time.

Step 7: Click [Upload files now] to finish, or click [Cancel] to exit.

Drop Box allows you to share documents with only the instructor. If available, check the box to send an email notification to the instructor to alert them that you have added something to your Drop Box. You will know if your file was posted correctly if you can see it in your Drop Box folder. If you can see it, the instructor can see it as well.

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Email (if enabled in the site)


Send Email to an Individual Participant

Step 1: Click [Email] in the site's menu bar.

Step 2: Click the [Select X role], X being the participant's role you wish to email. Examples of roles: Instructor, TA, Student, Maintainer, Grader, Access

Step 3: Place a checkmark in the box next to the individual's name to whom you wish to send an email.

Step 4: If you want this email message sent to another recipient outside of the site, please type their full email address in the field titled "Other Recipient(s):".

Step 5: Compose your message and add attachments or a subject, if you wish.

Step 6: Click [Send Mail] or click [Cancel] to cancel any changes you have made.

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Send Mass Email to All Participants

Step 1: Click [Email] in the site's menu bar.

Step 2: Place a checkmark in all the boxes next to [All X], X being the role you wish to email. For example, if you want a message to go to all students, click the All Students box.

Step 3: If you want this email message sent to another recipient outside of the site, please type their full email address in the field titled "Other Recipient(s):".

Step 4: Compose your message and add attachments or subject, if you wish.

Step 5: Click [Send Mail], or [Cancel] to cancel any changes you have made.

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Forums (if enabled in the site)


Post a Message

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Step 1: In Forums, click the title of the topic for which you’d like to post a message.

Step 2: Click [Start a New Conversation] near the top of the screen.

Step 3: Next to "Title," type the subject/title of your message.

Step 4: Under "Message," compose your message.

Step 5: Under "Attachments," you can attach a file from your local computer or from Resources.

Step 6: Click [Post ] to post your message, or [Cancel] to cancel your message without saving.

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Reply to a Message or Topic

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Step 1: In the menu bar of your site, click [Forums], then click the title of the topic you want to reply to.

Step 2: Click the subject of the desired message.

Step 3: Click [Reply] to respond to the current message you are viewing. Click [Reply to Initial Message] near the top of the screen to reply to the conversation the discussion belongs to.

Step 4: In the "Reply Title" field, give your reply a title.

Step 5: Under "Message," use the editor to compose your reply. To insert the original message to which you are replying, click [Insert Original Text], located above the text editor.

Step 6: Under "Attachments," you can attach a file from your local computer or from Resources.

Step 7: Click [Post] to post your message, or [Cancel] to cancel your message without saving.

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Insert an Image into a Forum Post

Step 1: In My Workspace, select [Resources] from the menu bar.

Step 2: Click on the [Add] drop-down menu, and select [Upload File].

Step 3: Click the [Browse] button, locate your image file on your local machine, and click the [Open] button to select your image.

Step 4: Click the [Add details for this item] link to the right of the "Display Name."

Step 5: Click the button next to [This file is publicly viewable].

Step 6: Click [Upload Files Now] to finish uploading your file.

Step 7: To the right of your item, click the [Actions] drop-down menu, and select [Edit Details].

Step 8: Copy the item's URL from the Web Address (URL) field.

Step 9: Navigate to the Forums tool and begin your reply.

Step 10: When you are ready to insert your image, click the [Insert/Edit Image] button.

Step 11: Paste the URL into the appropriate field, and click [OK] button. The image will appear in your Forum entry.


Gradebook 2 (if enabled in the site)


View Grades in Gradebook 2

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You will only see grades once the instructor has made them available and you may or may not see a calculated course grade when you check Gradebook 2. If you cannot find grades in Gradebook 2, or you don't see the Gradebook 2 at all, look for a tool called "PostEm."

Step 1: Log in to TRACS and navigate to the course you wish to view grades for.

Step 2: Click [Gradebook 2] in the site's menu bar. Any grades your instructor has made available will be displayed.

NOTE: You may not always see your calculated course grade, as this is a setting the instructor chooses to display.

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Home (if enabled in the site)


Home Information

The Home tool will display an overview of the site, as welll as any recent changes in the Announcements, Calendar, Chat, Forums, and Messages tools.

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Learning Modules (if enabled in the site)


Lessons (if enabled in the site)

Navigating through Lessons

Step 1: Navigate to the site where the assessment is posted. In the menubar of the site, click [Lesson Title].

NOTE: In the course site, depending on the instructor, Lessons may have specialized titles.

Step 2: If the lesson has links, click on them and follow the built in navigation. Clicking [Next] will advance you to the next part of the lesson. Clicking [Back] will return you to the previous lesson page.

Some Lessons may link directly to other TRACS tools such as Assignments, Assessments and Forums. Please refer to the documentation for those tools for instruction on how to complete those types of lessons.

Step 3: If Lesson does have a link to other TRACS tools, the tool will open within the Lesson page. Upon completion, to return to lesson page click [Return to Lesson] or click [Back] to return to previous page or [Next] to advance to next part of lesson.

Add, Edit, Delete Text in Student Page

The Add Text option allows text to be created into an HTML editor for original content authoring.


Add Text

Step 1: Click [Add Text]

Step 2: Compose content with editor or paste content in from other sources, such as Word, HTML, or text.

NOTE: If you choose to paste information from Word, please be sure to use the "Paste from Word" tool to avoid formatting problems.

Step 3: Click [Save] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Edit Text

Step 1: Click Edit to the left of the text item.

Step 2: Click [Save] to save changes or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Delete Text

Step 1: Click Edit to the left of the text item.

Step 2: Click [Delete] to delete text

Step 3: Click [OK] to confirm deletion of text or [Cancel] to exit without deleting.

Add, Edit Delete Multimedia in Student Page

Add Multimedia embeds media on the page such as images, movie files, Flash presentations or web sites.
A file may be uploaded from the desktop computer or from a file already already uploaded into site Resources. A URL may also be specified where the item is located. (Example a YouTube URL)

Link from URL

Step 1: Click [Add Multimedia]
Step 2: To enter a URL, type or paste the URL in the Web Address box.
Step 3: Click [Save] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Upload a File

Step 1: Click [Add Multimedia]
Step 2: To upload a file, click [Browse] to find the file on your computer or network, then click [Open].
Step 3: Click [Save] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Choose Existing File

Step 1: Click [Add Multimedia]
Step 2: To link to an existing file in located in Resources, click [Choose Existing File].
Step 3: Locate the file and click [Select].
Step 4: Click [Continue] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

 

Edit Multimedia

Step 1: Click [Edit] to the left of the item to modify. The Edit Item box will appear on screen. The options available for modification are as follows:
• Youtube URL - Change Youtube URL. This option is only available for Youtube links.
• Width/Height - Change the width or height of the embedded media by pixel size (px) or percent (%).
• Item Description -Change or add a description for the media. Description will appear below media.
• Change File or URL -Change the source of the media or URL. This option is only available for embedded or linked files.
• Show Details – Displays information about media file.
Step 2: Click [Update Item] to save changes or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Delete Multimedia

Step 1: Click [Edit] to the left of the item to modify. The Edit Item box will appear on screen.
Step 2: Click [Delete]. Media file will be deleted the media from the lesson.

Add, Edit Delete Resource in Student Page

A file may be uploaded from the desktop computer or from a file already uploaded into the site Resources. A URL may also be added. (Example a YouTube URL)

Link to URL

Step 1: Click [Add Resource]

Step 2: To enter a URL, type or paste the URL in the Web Address box.

Step 3: Click [Save] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Upload a File

Step 1: Click [Add Resource]

Step 2: To upload a file, click [Browse] to find the file on your computer or network, then click [Open].

Step 3: Click [Save] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Choose Existing File

Step 1: Click [Add Resource]

Step 2: To link to an existing file in located in Resources, click [Choose Existing File].

Step 3: Locate the file and click [Select].

Step 4: Click [Continue] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.


Edit Resource

Step 1: Click [Edit] to the left of the resource you would like to modify.

Step 2: The options available for modification are as follows:

  • Item Name - Change the name of the resource.
  • Item Description -Change or add a description for the resource. Description will appear below resource.
  • Open Item in a New Window - If selected, resource will appear in a new browser window.

Step 3: Click [Update Item] to save changes or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Delete Resources

Step 1: Click [Edit] to the left of the resource you would like to remove,

Step 2: Click [Delete].

NOTE: Deleting a Resource in Lesson will only remove the link to the Resource. The resource will remain in Resources in “My Workspace” or from original linked location.

Add, Edit Delete Subpage in Student Page

Add Subpage

Step 1: Click [Add Subpage]

Step 2: Enter a title for the new page in the Page title box.

Optional: Click [Choose Existing Page] to link to an already created subpage.

Optional: Select the checkbox for "Next Page" to make the [Next] button go to this new subpage instead of the next lesson.

Optional: Select the checkbox to make the new subpage appear as a button instead of a hyperlink.

Step 3: Click [Create] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

 

Edit Subpage

Step 1: Click [Edit] to the left of the subpage to modify. The Edit Item box will appear on screen. The options available for modification are as follows:

  • Item Name - Change the name of the subpage.
  • Item Description -Change or add a description for the subpage. Description will appear below resource.
  • Next page - When selected, the navigational weblinks at the top of the page are removed rather than continue with the threaded navigation (breadcrumbs).
  • Show as button rather than link - If selected, the new subpage will appear as a button instead of a hyperlink.

Step 2: Click [Update Item] to save changes or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Delete Subpage

Step 1: Click [Edit] to the left of the subpage to delete. The Edit Item box will appear on screen.

Step 2: Click [Delete] to remove subpage.

NOTE: No confirmation warning will given for deletion of subpage.

Edit Page Title in Student Page

Step 1: Click [More Tools].

Step 2: Select [Edit Title]. The Edit Title box will appear on screen.

Step 3: Enter a new title for the page in the Page Title text field.

Step 4: Click [Save] to finish or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Reorder Content in Student Page

When a new content item is added to a page, it is added at the bottom of the page. The Reorder tool allows you to arrange the content in any order.

Step 1: Click [Reorder].

Step 2: Mouse over to highlight the item you wish to move. The cursor should change to crosshairs.

Step 3: Click and the mouse button to drag an item to the desired location.

Step 4: Click [Save] to save changes or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Meetings (if enabled in the site)

Hardware Requirements

Internet bandwidth

We recommend you have at least 1Mbits download and 0.5 Mbits upload speed.

We also recommend you use a Dual-core CPU with at least 2G of memory.

Apple computers

We recommend that you use a Mac operating on OS 10.7 and above.

NOTE: There is currently an issue with Google Chrome 23 on Mac OS X. It is recommended to use FireFox or Safai until the next release of chrome.

User Requirements

Compatible Web browsers include:

  • Firefox, Internet Explorer v. 8+ and Safari v. 5.1+.

Multimedia Requirements

  • A USB or analog Headset is required to listen to audio in meeting room
    • Use of external speaker may result in audio looping, distortion and feedback
  • Microphone (optional)
  • Web Camera (optional)

It is recommended that you purchase the following USB microphone headset for use with Meetings in TRACS:

A microphone is not required, having one will make it easier for you to communicate with your instructor and classmates during the meetings. If your computer already has a microphone built in, you may use it instead of using a headset but you should listen to the session using earphones instead of using your computer's speakers. Failing to do so will create a distracting echo effect when you try to speak during the meeting.

A webcam is not required, but will allow your classmates to see you during your meetings. If your computer already has a webcam built in, you may use it.

If your computer does not have a builit in webcam you may want to purchase the following webcam:

NOTE: Some instructors may require students to use a microphone and/or webcam during meetings.

System Requirements

Users must have Adobe Flash 10.3 or above installed for operation of Microphone and Camera

To test your version of Adobe:
 
Install Adobe Flash if needed:
 
Moderator and Presenter roles must have Java enabled to perform screen sharing
 
Test if Java is installed and/or working:
 
Install Java if needed:
 
If you are unsure about Java requirements please visit our Troubleshooting page

 

Join a Meeting

Step 1: In the Meetings tool, click the title of the meeting you wish to join.
 
Step 2: In the Meeting Details page, click [Join Meeting]. The meeting room will open in a new browser window or tab.
 

Video Overview

Student Overview of TRACS Meetings Tool

This video shows a student overview on using the TRACS Meetings Tool.

 

Chat

All users have the ability to chat in the chat panel. Compose your message and click the [Send] button.

NOTE: Users are not allowed to delete chat items.

You may also choose to chat privately with individuals. Private chats will not be visible to the entire room. To chat privately:
 
Step 1: Click the [+] button in the chat panel. 
 
Step 2: Click the user’s name you wish to chat with. A new tab with their name will appear with the user’s name on it. Compose and click the [Send] button.

Enable Headphone and Microphone

Step 1: Click the Headphone button located in the upper left-hand corner of the screen to enable your microphone.

Step 2: An Adobe Flash Player Alert dialog box will appear on screen. Click [Allow] otherwise use of microphone will not be possible.
 
Step 3: Click “Play Test Sound” button to ensure audio can be heard. Musical audio should be heard through headphones
 
Step 4: Test microphone volume by speaking. The blue meter bar will move when speaking. If meter does not move when speaking, click “Change Microphone” button.
 
Adobe Flash Player settings window will appear. Choose microphone you wish to use from the dropdown list and click the close button. If blue meter bar still does not move when speaking, you may need to use a different microphone.
 
Step 5: Click “Join Audio” button to enable microphone & to close window. Audio Setup Window will close and Attendee’s name will appear in the Listeners pod window.

 

Mute/Unmute Microphone

Mute Microphone:

Step 1: In the Listeners window, click the Mute button.

Unmute Microphone: 
 
Step 1: Click the Microphone icon next to Attendee’s name to unmute microphone.

Enable Camera

Step 1: Click the Camera icon located in the upper left-hand corner of the screen to enable camera. The Video Preview screen should appear.

NOTE: If an Adobe Flash Player Alert dialog box appears on the screen, click [Allow] otherwise use of camera will not be possible.
 
Step 2: From the drop-down list, select 320x240 resolution size.
 
Step 3: Click the Play icon to close & share camera. All users will view the Moderator in Video Dock.

Messages (if enabled in the site)


Compose and Send a Message

Step 1: In the menu bar of your site, click [Messages]. Then click [Compose Message].

NOTE: You can also click [Compose Message] when you're viewing contents in one of the private message folders.

Step 2: Select the individual(s) to whom you want to send a message. To select multiple participants, use Ctrl-click in Windows, or Cmd-click in Mac OS X. You can also choose to send your message to the entire class or to all instructors.

Step 3: If you would like to send a copy of the message to the recipient's email address, the check box next to "Send a copy of this message to recipients' email address(es)."

Step 4: (Optional) Under “Label,” use the drop-down list to change the priority status of your message.

Step 5: Next to “Subject,” type the subject of your message.

Step 6: Under “Message,” use the editor to compose your message.

Step 7: (Optional) Under “Attachments,” click [Add Attachments] to attach a file from your local computer or from the Resources tool. After selecting your file, click [Continue] to attach the file and continue composing your message.

Step 8: Click [Send] to send your message, [Preview] to preview your message, [Save Draft] to save your message to complete at a later time, or [Cancel] to cancel your message.

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Reply to a Message

Step 1: In the menu bar of your site, click [Messages].

Step 2: Click [Received] to view the messages you've received.

Step 3: Find and click the message to which you're replying.

Step 4: Click [Reply] to reply to only the message sender, [Reply to All] to reply to all who received the inital message, or [Forward] to send the initial message to another participant. You can also choose to move this message to a different folder in Messages by clicking [Move], or delete the message by clicking [Delete].

Step 5: (Optional) Select any additional individual you want to send the message to. To select multiple recipients, use Ctrl-click in Windows or Cmd-click in Mac OS X. You can also choose to send your message to the entire class or to all instructors.

Step 6: (Optional) Under “Label,” use the drop-down list to change the priority status of your message.

Step 7: Next to “Subject,” type the subject of your message.

Step 8: Under “Message,” use the editor to compose your message.

Step 9:  (Optional) Under “Attachments,” click [Add Attachments] to attach a file from your local computer or from the Resources tool. After selecting your file, click [Continue] to attach the file and continue composing your message.

Step 10: Click [Send] to send your message, [Preview] to preview your message, [Save Draft] to save your message to complete at a later time, or [Cancel] to cancel your message.

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News (if enabled in the site)


View News Tool

Click on the link in the menu bar of your site to view the news feed. Please note that instructors will rename the tool to better reflect the topic or news source they wish to display. However, the News tool will always be marked with an orange and white "RSS" icon.

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Podcast (if enabled in the site)


Subscribe to a TRACS Podcast

Step 1: Highlight the URL as it is presented to you in the Podcast tool and copy it to your clipboard. The URL will look something like this: http://tracs.txststate.edu/podcasts/site/yoursiteid

Step 2: Open your podcatcher (such as Apple iTunes) and paste this URL into its appropriate area. Follow your podcatcher's directions for specifics as they all work differently.

Step 3: All content from TRACS podcast will appear in your podcatcher for downloading.

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Polls (if enabled in the site)


Vote in a Poll

Step 1: Navigate to the site where the poll is located and click [Polls] in the menu bar.

Step 2: Click on the poll title you wish to vote for and cast your vote.

Step 3: Click [Vote!] to save your changes and vote in the poll.

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View Poll Results

Step 1: Click [Results] next to the poll you wish to view.

Step 2: View the results per option you added with the total number of votes per option or as a percentage view.

Step 3: Click [Back] to return to the poll.

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PostEm (if enabled in the site)


View Grades and Other Information in PostEm

Your instructor may not use Gradebook 2 in TRACS to post grades. They may instead use the PostEm tool in TRACS to post your grades and other information which only you will be able to see.

Step 1: Click on the TRACS site you wish to view.

Step 2: Click [PostEm] from the site's menu bar.

Step 3: Click on the title of the item (if multiple items are present) in the PostEm tool.

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Question and Answers (if enabled in the site)


Ask a Question

The Question and Answers tool allows you to pose and answer questions in the site.  Instructors may allow questions to be posed anonymously, however, answers are always anonymous.  Not even the instructor knows who has posted an anonymous question or answered any question in the site.

Step 1: In the menu bar, click [Questions and Answers].

Step 2: Click [Ask a question]. If settings are set to anonymous, the link will be titled [Ask a question anonymously].

Step 3: In the Question text box, type the question you want to ask.

Step 4: (Optional) If you do not wish to receive an email notification for each answer to your question, uncheck the checkbox for “Email me answers to this question”.

Step 5: (Optional) Click [Add Attachment]. Browse your computer and upload the file. Click [Continue] to add the attachment, or [Cancel] to cancel adding the attachment.

NOTE: If the questions are not moderated you may select a category to place your question in.

Step 6: To add the question, click [Add Question] or [Cancel] to exit.

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Answer a Question

Step 1: In the menu bar, click [Questions and Answers].

Step 2: Click the title of the question you want to answer.

NOTE: You may need to click a category title to view question if questions are organized in categories.

Step 3: Click [Add an answer].

Step 4: Type your answer in the text box, type your answer.

Step 5: Click [Add Answer], or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

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Resources (if enabled in the site)


View Site Resources

play Video

The Resources tool contains files that your instructor wants you to view, such as Word documents, PowerPoint files, and PDFs. You must have the appropriate program to open the file, otherwise it will not open.

Step 1: Log in to TRACS.

Step 2: Navigate to your site and click [Resources] in the menu bar.

Step 3: Click the resource and either save it to your local computer or open it for viewing.

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Roster (if enabled in the site)


View Roster Information

Roster information for the entire course is not viewable by students. However, if an instructor has created groups within the site, this is where your group membership is viewable. 


Section Info (if enabled in the site)


Section Info Information

The Section Info tool will dispaly which section of a course you are registered for if your instructor has created a site with multiple sections of the same course in it.

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Sign-Up (if enabled in the site)


Sign-Up for a Meeting or Event in TRACS

play Video

Step 1: Navigate to the site and click [Sign-Up].

Step 2: Click the meeting title you wish to view.

Step 3: Click the [Sign-Up] button for the time slot you wish to sign up for.

Step 4: Add comments that will be sent to the site maintainer, if you wish.

Step 5: Click [Finish].

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Syllabus (if enabled in the site)


View and Print the Syllabus

Step 1: Navigate to your site and click [Syllabus] in the menu bar. Depending on how the syllabus is entered, you may have to download your instructor's document. You will have the option to save the file where you'd like.

Step 2: (Optional) Click the print icon displayed for a hard copy of the syllabus.

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TurningPoint (if enabled in the site)

Register a TurningPoint Response Card

Registering your TurningPoint Response Card in TRACS allows your instructor to sync in class data activities into the TRACS Gradebook.

Register your TurningPoint Response Card

Step 1:  Log into TRACS and select a course where TurningPoint is being used in the classroom.

Step 2:  Click [TurningPoint] from toolbar of the site.

Step 3:  Click [Register ResponseCard] under the "My Registered Devices" header.

Step 4: Enter the 6 character hexadecimal Device ID located on the back of the ResponseCard.

NOTE:  The only possibilities are 0-9, A-F.The letter 'O' is not a possible character because it is after F.

Step 5:  Click [Register] to register your response card.

Your device should now be registered in all TRACS course sites which use TurningPoint.

Edit a TurningPoint Response Card ID

Edit your TurningPoint Response Card ID

Step 1:  Log into TRACS and select a course where TurningPoint is being used in the classroom.

Step 2:  Click [TurningPoint] from toolbar of the site.

Step 3:  Click [Edit] under "My Registered Devices".

Step 4: Enter the 6 character hexadecimal Device ID located on the back of the ResponseCard.

NOTE:  The only possibilities are 0-9, A-F.The letter 'O' is not a possible character because it is after F.

Step 5:  Click [Update] to update your response card ID or [Cancel] to exit without saving.

Your device should now be updated in all of your TRACS course sites which use TurningPoint.

Delete a TurningPoint Response Card ID

Delete your TurningPoint Response Card ID

Step 1:  Log into TRACS and select a course where TurningPoint is being used in the classroom.

Step 2:  Click [TurningPoint] from toolbar of the site.

Step 3:  Click [Delete] under "My Registered Devices".

Step 4: Click [OK] to confirm deleting your response card ID or [Cancel] to exit without deleting.

 

Turning Point Support

Texas State University currently only supports the TurningPoint Response Cards and does not support the TurningPoint ResponseWare.

For support on TurningPoint Card Devices, please visit the Instructional Technologies support page for assistance.


Wiki (if enabled in the site)


Create a New Wiki Page

Step 1: To create a new page, you must first add a link to it. Select an existing page. For example, the “Home” page.

Add a link to the new page by typing its name enclosed in square brackets. For example: [name of page].

So, if your new page will be named “Research,” enter: [Research].

NOTE: The brackets are the simple text syntax or code, which tells the wiki this is a link to a page—in this case, a new page.

Step 2: Click [Save].

Step 3: Once you have saved the page, you will see the link to the new page that you created. The link consists of the word(s) you typed followed by a question mark. For example: Research? This indicates the page needs content.

Click the linked word, (e.g.: Research?), which will take you to the default template.

Click [Edit] to enter the edit mode. You can highlight and delete the default text and begin entering your own text in the text box.

Around the text box are instructions and examples of the code you will use to format your text within the wiki.

Step 4: When you are done, click [Save] to publish the page. Click [Preview] to see what the page will look like when published. Scroll down to see the preview.

If you need to make revisions, click [Edit], make your changes and then either click [Preview] or [Save].

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Name a Page

NOTE: The following characters cannot be used in a page title:

Character Name

: (Colon)

@ (At)

# (Hash mark)

| (Pipe)

\ (Back slash)

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Edit a Wiki Page

play video

To edit an existing page (such as the Home page), select the page by clicking on its title. Click [Edit], located near the top of the screen, to see the page in Edit mode. In Edit mode, you will see a text box with existing text and/or links. This is where you will enter and edit text, as well as add links and images.

To the right of the box, you will see “Help Tips” to use in creating and formatting text in the wiki.

You can type text directly into the text box, copy and paste text, modify existing text, and format text. You can also add tables, and links to Web sites and images which have been uploaded to the Resources tool.

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Delete a Page

To delete a page, delete all links to the page in the Edit mode.

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Create Links to Web Sites

Step 1: Type the entire URL of the page you would like to link to within square brackets. For example: [http://www.google.com]

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Insert an Image

Upload the image you would like to insert to your Resources folder either on the site or in My Workspace. If you upload the file to My Workspace, make sure you select Edit Details from the Actions menu next to the file and change its Availability and Access settings to "This file is publicly viewable."

Step 1: Click the image icon in the text editor. Your resources folder is displayed.

Step 2: Click [Select] for the image from your Resources folder and click [Continue]

Step 3: Click [Save]. The image appears on the wiki page.

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Other Helpful Information



Pasting Text from Word Into TRACS


How to Paste Text from Word into TRACS

If you would like to copy text from Word and use it in TRACS, please use the Paste from Word tool, which is accessible any time you are able to add text in TRACS. Many times copying and pasting text from Word into TRACS causes issues with formatting and creates extra code that can make forum postings, emails messages, etc. appear incorrectly when posted in TRACS.

Step 1: Copy the text from Word that you want to paste into TRACS

Step 2: Go to the TRACS tool you wish to paste the text into

Step 3: Click the Paste from Word icon which looks like a W with a clip-board behind it

Step 4: In the box that appears, paste the text you copied from Word

Step 5: Click [OK]

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Tracs and Connect Support


Connect Support

Connect allows classes to meet, communicate, and view presentations in a real-time online environment. Instructors will post a link to the Connect room within TRACS. 

For help with Connect issues, please visit:http://www.its.txstate.edu/services/adobeconnect.html
or contact itsconnect@txstate.edu or 512-245-5566 for further information.

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Questions: Contact ETC Support at 512.245.5566 M-F 8am - 12am, Sat. & Sun. 12pm-12am.
 
We may be reached via email at tracs@txstate.edu.
 
If your login fails and you need help with your Net ID or password, contact ITAC at 245.4822.