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Introduction to SharePoint 2013 Education Features

Create Class Home

I am sure before this post itself, you would know that SharePoint 2013 comes with certain features for schools & institutes but these features can be activated from your User Interface. In order to activate these features you would need help from a good old SharePoint developer.

But just in case this is a breaking news for you – Yes !!! there are certain hidden features in SharePoint 2013. I am not sure if Microsoft really supports these features (most probably not), but then since it’s developed by Microsoft, I think we can always extend it or customize it for our specific needs. I think these features can not only help developing solutions for schools but can be customized to develop out of the box Learning Management System.

Enough talking, let’s go through the feature set.

In order to install Education feature, you need to do the following

  • Create a web application and create root site collection (template doesn’t matter, choose any)
  • Make sure user profile & manage metadata service applications are configured properly (Mysites, Content Type hub – configured in MMS proxy properties too)
  • Search Center is configured
  • Then run Install-SPEduSites command in powershell with Farm Admin account

This will create 4 site collections

  • Academic Library
  • Admin
  • Global
  • Study Group

sites created after installation
Now if you go to General Application Settings page in Central Admin Site, you will see new options related to Education Feature
General Settings After Installation
Various options available related to Education feature are

  • Manage Class & Group – through this link you can create classes(courses) and groups. You can manage the status of the course/class.
  • Import Data from spreadsheet – use this in case you would like import user, classes, membership related data from a CSV file.
  • Results & Reports – place to view results & reports
  • Manage Group Creation Links – use this in case you would like to provide users the ability to link to the appropriate Office Group management experience.

After clicking Manage Class & Group link, you will see the following.

CA Education Ribbon Options

Now let’s create a class/course

Create Class

Once you click create, it will take around 5-10 minutes before the course site is created. Education  Bulk Operations  Time job  can be configured to run it on a custom cycle basis.

After timer job is run and with some customization the new course site can look like following:

SharePoint Starters Home Page

 

Now just to give walk through of this newly created course/class site, below I will share few screenshots but won’t do any explanation as I feel those are straightforward to understand.

Left Side Menu course

New Assignment

Class Calendar

Class Discussions

Course Members

Custom Webparts for a course site

Now some screenshots related to other sites created with education feature installation

Global - Institute

Academy license management

Academic Publishing Document

I hope you like this hidden feature in SharePoint.

Would like to know more about this feature? Or have a requirement for Learning Management System based on SharePoint? Or want to discuss SharePoint in general? You can contact me at anirudhk@mrscompany.com

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