Users, roles, and permissions

User accounts

Students, instructors, graders… they are all users. Each person usually has one account, even if they use the account for multiple purposes, e.g., as an author and an instructor.

Each user has a username and password. The username can be the same as the person’s name, but doesn’t have to be. Many people like to use usernames like “jsmith” rather than “John Smith”. Cyco accepts either form.

When people create accounts, they can give extra information about themselves, like first and last names, and their interests (dogs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.). They can also upload an image.

Time zones

Each account can have a time zone associated with it. CyberCourse will adjust times to whatever time zone each user is in. Suppose a student in the US submits an exercise solution at 4 p.m. (student’s local time). A grader in the UK will see that the solution was submitted at 8 p.m. (grader’s local time). This matters when, for example, exercises have due dates and times.

CyberCourse will nag you if you don’t set your time zone.

Roles and permissions

Each account has one or more roles. Cyco defines the following roles:

  • Administrator
  • Author
  • Reviewer
  • Instructor
  • Grader
  • Student

Each role has a set of permissions, defining what users with that role can do. For example, authors can create course pages. Students cannot.

A user account can have more than one role. For example, it’s common for an instructor to also be a grader. In that case, the account has the combined permissions of both roles.

You can add more roles, if you want. For example, you could create a role called “Teaching assistant.”

You can also change the permissions each role has. For example, you can give authors access to exercise submissions.

If someone is using a Cycourse site without having logged in, they are using the “anonymous” account. (Although it isn’t an account, not really.)

User 1

When you install Cyco, you are asked for a username and password for “user 1,” also known as the superuser. User 1 can do anything, regardless of other permission settings. You should not use this account for normal operations.


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