Quick-Start Guide for Students

This document provides a brief overview of how to access Penn State's Course Management System, ANGEL, find your way around, and learn the different types of lesson items in a course. You may also wish to review the related articles linked below to learn more, as well as the topics provided in the Student Topics help category.

Log On to ANGEL

Interface at a Glance

Course Arrangement

Log On to ANGEL

To log on to ANGEL:

  1. Go to http://cms.psu.edu/.
  2. In the Log On area, leave Penn State selected in the pull-down menu. Click the Log On button.

    Screen Capture. Log On Window.
    Leave Penn State selected and click Log On.

  3. If you are not already logged on to a Penn State service using WebAccess, such as the Portal or WebMail, the WebAccess login form will display. Enter your Penn State Access Account user ID and password, then click the Login button.

    Screen Capture. Penn State Access Account Window.
    Enter your Penn State Access Account user ID and password.

Interface at a Glance

When you log on to ANGEL, your My Profile page displays, with a set of navigation buttons to the left.

Screen Capture. My Profile Navigation buttons.
Navigation buttons

The navigation buttons always remain visible, even when you are within a course. You can easily return to your My Profile page at any time by clicking the Home button.

Your My Profile page contains links to each of the courses and groups in which you are a member, plus productivity components including a personal calendar, space to store personal files, and alerts of course mail.

Screen Capture. My profile Window.
My Profile page

You can customize your My Profile page with additional components using the Edit Page feature. For details, reference the Customize My Profile Components and Layout help topic.

To enter a course, select its title within the My Courses component.

Screen Capture. My Courses Window.
To enter a course, select its title on your My Profile page.

Course Arrangement

ANGEL course content and features are divided into six areas, each accessed via a tab at the top of the screen. A brief description of each tab is provided below.

Note: Your instructor has the ability to customize certain course components according to the needs of a particular course. Thus, the descriptions and illustrations in this document may not exactly match what you see on the screen.

Syllabus Tab

The course syllabus appears here. This potentially includes instructor contact information, required texts, course objectives, a semester schedule, course requirements, and attendance and academic integrity policies.

Screen Capture, Syllabus Tab.
Syllabus tab

Calendar Tab

Course events posted by an instructor, such as assignments and exam dates, appear on the Calendar tab. Using the toolbar links, you can select day, week, month, or year view.

Screen Capture. Calendar Tab.
Course calendar tab, month view

Lessons Tab

The Lessons tab contains course lessons and assignments. Using the My Notes feature in the toolbar, you can take notes right within your ANGEL course.

Screen Capture. Lessons Window.
Lessons tab, showing each type of content

The Lessons tab may contain some or all of the following types of content. Each type is illustrated in the preceding image.

Folder: This can hold lesson items as well as other (sub)folders. For example, your instructor may have a folder set up for each week of the course, or for each topic. Click the name or icon of a folder to view its contents.

Page: This is an informational Web page created by your instructor within ANGEL.

Link: This is a hyperlink added by your instructor to a Web page outside ANGEL.

File: This is a file created in another application, then uploaded to ANGEL by your instructor. It could be a document, spreadsheet, slide presentation, image, or audio or video file.

Drop Box: Submit course assignments to a drop box by uploading them from your local drive. Your instructor may have a drop box set up for each assignment. For more details, reference the Drop Boxes for Students help topic in the Student Topics category.

Game: This is a game either in the form of a crossword puzzle or "quiz show" that provides a fun way to review vocabulary or other course material.

Discussion Forum: This is an asynchronous threaded discussion area (users do not need to be "present" at the same time) where you can read and reply to messages other course members have posted, and post new messages.

Assessment: This is an assessment (quiz) you take within ANGEL. Your score is recorded within ANGEL. For more details, reference the Assessments for Students help topic in the Student Topics category.

Survey: This is a survey you take within ANGEL. There are no right or wrong answers. ANGEL keeps track of how many course members gave each answer and makes the results available to the instructor.

Note: Discussion forums may also appear on the Communicate tab, depending on how your instructor has set up the course.

Resources Tab

Your instructor can provide a variety of components on the Resources tab, depending on the needs of the particular course. These can include course announcements, Penn State Library tools, links to resources on the Web, and more.

Screen Capture. Resources Tab.
Resources tab

Communicate Tab

The Communicate tab provides access to Course Mail, the Course Roster, and Course News and Events. It may also include Team Files, Live Chat, Discussion Forums, and Communication Links components. Your instructor will make these available according to the needs of the course.

Screen Capture. Communicate Tab.
Communicate tab

Report Tab

Screen Capture. Report Tab.
Report tab

The Report tab provides tools to help you track your course progress, grades, and more.

Select the Learner Profile category to run reports on your activity, submissions, and grades and compare them with the class average.

Select the Grades category to run the Student Grades report, allowing you to check your grades for all assignments and your cumulative grade at any point of the semester.

Select the Milestones category to run a Milestones report, allowing you to track your progress on key course objectives and assignments.

Related articles:


Was this helpful?: