Waymaker New Faculty StartUp Guide

Need to get started quickly? Are you new to Waymaker? Need a refresher on how to set up your Waymaker course?

The guide below will walk you through the basics of what you need to do to get off to a smooth start and to get the most out of Waymaker.  


Research shows that Waymaker courses can yield significant improvements in learning when instructors use Waymaker’s simple messaging tools to connect with students and encourage their progress. These tools also save time by helping you quickly identify and reach out to struggling students. Follow these simple steps to customize your Waymaker course, activate your personalized messaging tools, and get started teaching.

Waymaker courses include:

  • content aligned to learning outcomes
  •  Student Engagement Center (formerly Waymaker Faculty Tools)
  • Faculty Resources module containing pacing guides, question banks, assignments, PowerPoint decks, and an EPUB.
  • Student orientation module: Succeeding With Waymaker
  • Study Plans with content, practice activities, assignments, discussions and a graded quiz

Note: If your Waymaker course materials are not yet inside your LMS course shell, follow the Waymaker Course Import instructions that correspond to your LMS.


You access and manage all Waymaker materials through your learning management system (LMS).

  1. Log onto your school’s learning management system.
  2. Access your course shell or course site.
  3. To view learning activities, go to:
    • Folders in Blackboard
    • Modules in Canvas
    • Content Modules in D2L Brightspace
    • Content Modules in Moodle


Messaging tools help faculty quickly and easily provide help and encouragement to students. To use messaging tools, you must configure them for each course section inside of the Student Engagement Center (formerly Waymaker Faculty Tools). Students perform better and feel more engaged when instructors use these tools.

Use the Set Up Messaging Tools Guide for step-by-step instructions to set up and customize the messaging tools.


Note: If you are not lead faculty member(s) responsible for maintaining your institution's course, skip this step. 

Before you teach with a new Waymaker course, we recommend previewing the course content and making appropriate adjustments to align with your course schedule and learning outcomes.

  1. Compare your institution’s course outcomes to the Waymaker course outcomes. Find the learning outcomes in the “Course Contents” module.
  2. Decide which Waymaker course modules to include in your course and the order in which they should appear for your course's schedule.
  3. Use the LMS tools to hide (unpublish) or delete any Waymaker modules you will not cover. We recommend hiding content versus deleting just in case you want to use the material in the future. 
  4. Use the LMS tools to drag and drop modules into the order you will cover them.
  5. Use the LMS tools to add any additional content or learning activities you’d like to include.
  6. Use the LMS tools to set point values and due dates, as well as customize your gradebook. We recommend the quizzes to be worth 20% of the student's overall grade and the study plan to be 5% of the student's overall grade.


Waymaker Quizzes

  • Every Waymaker module has a quiz that automatically scores and enters grades in your LMS gradebook.
  • Waymaker allows students two attempts on every quiz. For each attempt, questions are selected randomly from the appropriate quiz bank.
  • Authorized instructors may edit quizzes by modifying, adding, and removing questions. We recommend assigning quizzes to be 20% of a student's overall grade.

Assigning Points and Due Dates

  • Use your LMS gradebook and assignments features to assign points possible and due dates for each quiz.

View Quiz and Answer Keys

Click the “Quiz” link in any module. 

  • Manage Attempts allows you to see all of your student attempts on the quiz, grant additional attempts, as well as a time stamp for student quiz completion and their specific questions and answers.
  • Answer Key will allow you to see the entire question pool.
  • Preview will allow you to preview the quiz as a student. 


To view a student’s quiz responses or to grant additional quiz attempts:

  1. Click into the quiz you want to review.
  2. Click on the “Manage Quiz Attempts” button.
  3. Locate the student; only students who have attempted this specific quiz will appear.
  4. To view a student’s responses, click on the score for the attempt you would like to view.
  5. To grant an additional quiz attempt, click on the plus sign button.


  1. In any module, click on the “Study Plan” link.
  2. Scroll down to the “Quiz Results” tile, hover over it, then click on the ellipsis.
  3. Click “Edit Quiz.” (Note: If an ellipsis does not appear in your tile, quiz editing may be restricted to a lead instructor at your institution)
  4. Use icons buttons to edit, add or disable questions.
  5. Click on “Save and Exit” at the top of the page to save changes before exiting.


Waymaker allows faculty to assign participation grades to Study Plans. As students work through the self checks in the study plan their participation will be recorded and, if grade passback is enabled, pass the participation back to the grade book. 

The Graded Participation Guide answers questions about graded participation. We recommend assigning study plans to be 5% of a student's overall grade.


In addition to quizzes, Waymaker courses also provide optional hand-graded assignments you may use to develop and assess mastery. These learning activities are administered to students through your LMS assignment and discussion tools. You can select, modify and manage them like any other assignment or discussion in your LMS.


  1. Review available assignments and discussions.
    • The “Faculty Resources” module contains an overview of all assignments available for your course. Navigate to this module and click on the link(s) titled “Assignments” and/or “Discussions” to review them.
    • In many courses, you will also find the assignments and/or discussions pre-built into your LMS tools. These may be located in a dedicated “Assignments” module. Alternately, links to each assignment may be located next to the “Study Plan” and “Quiz” to which the assignment aligns. Click on any assignment to review it.
  2. Decide which assignments and discussions you wish to use and whether to use them as is or modify them.
  3. If assignments are already built into your LMS tools:
    • Verify the assignments you want to use are located where you want to place them in the course, or drag and drop into the desired location. Do not create duplicates, just move.
    • Edit the assignments as desired using your LMS tools.
    • Hide (unpublish) or delete any assignments or discussions you do not want to use. We recommend hiding or unpublishing over deleting.
  4. Define points possible and due dates for each assignment using your LMS tools.
  5. (Recommended) Define an acceptable submission format and grading rubric using your LMS tools.
  6. During the term, grade student submissions using your LMS assignment and discussion tools.


You may copy Waymaker content from one course shell to another using the standard course copy process in your LMS. You should do this when multiple instructors plan to teach using a common version of the Waymaker content, study plans and quizzes. You should also do this to copy your course content term-after-term for ongoing use. If you’re also planning to use the same course sequence, assignments, or other supplementary materials, you should complete all modifications to your “template” course before copying it into additional sections.


When classes start, encourage your students to do the following in order to improve their learning:

  • Review Succeeding with Waymaker. There is a video on the Practice, Practice, Practice page that walks through how to best use Waymaker.
  • Take pretests. Waymaker uses ungraded pretest results to create a personalized study plan for each student.
  • Consult the study plan. Look for signposting in the study plan to coach students on where to focus their time and attention.
  • Use self checks. Self checks help students confirm if they’re understanding the material. On average, students who use self checks perform over a letter grade better on quizzes than students who don’t.
  • Study between quiz attempts. Students get two tries on every graded quiz. Those who take quiz attempts back-to-back don’t improve very much. Students perform better when they plan time to study or get help between attempts.

Let students know they can improve quiz scores if they make time to understand what they missed and get your help before their second quiz attempt.


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