Importing and Syncing (Administrator)

Our Importing and Syncing tutorial will help you to learn the different ways of Importing and Syncing your Teachers and Students.

Syncing Classes Video

CSV Importing

To access the import features you must have been assigned the 'admin' role within Teacher Dashboard 365, as users without this role won't have access to the admin menu. If you don't have this role already, please ask your Teacher Dashboard 365 administrator to assign you the role by choosing 'Users', selecting your user account and checking the 'Admin' role on the 'Advanced' tab.

Class Import Process

The import process can create, remove and update classes in your Teacher Dashboard 365 instance so should be used carefully. The processing steps are as follows:

  1. Validate the contents to make sure that all class IDs are unique and that all users exist in your tenant.
  2. Process each row of the file (which represents a class) and check to see if the class ID already exists in Teacher Dashboard 365.
    • If the class ID already exists in Teacher Dashboard 365, update the class with the name and description defined in the import file. Remove all teachers and students from the class, and repopulate it with the students/teachers contained in the import file. Removing users from classes does not affect their OneDrive contents or existing assignments in any way.
    • If the class ID does not exist in Teacher Dashboard 365, create the class using the name and description defined in the import file. Populate the new class with the list of students and teachers contained in the import file.
  3. Delete any classes from Teacher Dashboard 365 that are not present in the import file. Deleting classes does not affect the OneDrive content of the previous class members or their existing assignments in any way.

Note: 'hidden' users in Teacher Dashboard 365 will be skipped during the import process. Hidden users are users that your administrator has hidden through the 'Users' screen. These may be system users that you don't want showing up in Teacher Dashboard 365, or students/teachers that have left the school but have not yet been removed from your SMS or Active Directory.

 

Can I use the import process more than once?

Yes you can. You can re-import your class data as often as you like.

Can I use the import process if I have already setup all my classes manually?

Yes you can. The import process will remove all the classes that you created, and replace them with ones in the import file. Please remember, if you then make changes to your classes manually in Teacher Dashboard 365 (e.g. changing the name, description and/or the students and teachers of the class), these changes will be overwritten next time you do an import. You can avoid this by ensuring that the same updates are made in the external system that generates your import file.

 

CSV Class Import File

To sync the class data, log into Teacher Dashboard 365 and goto 'Settings | Import tools'. Browse and select your import file, and then click 'Import classes' to import the file and automatically setup the classes. You can download an import template here.

What file format is required?

Your import file needs to be in Comma Separated Value (CSV) format. The first row of the file should contain the column headings, and the subsequent rows should contain data for each class. The column headings are as follows guid,name,description,students,teachers

The heading definitions are as follows:

  • guid: a unique class ID. This could be a class ID generated by your SMS, the group ID in Active Directory, or an ID determined by you
  • name: a class name
  • description: a class description
  • students: a semi-colon separated list of student email addresses, which represents all the students in the class
  • teachers: a semi-colon separated list of teacher email addresses, which represents all the teachers in the class

Click here to download a sample CSV file that you can modify and/or use as a base for creating your own one.

Can you help me create an import file?

You'll need someone on your side (usually your IT administrator) to help you get the raw class data out of your School Management System (SMS), but once this is available we can help you get it into the right format needed for import. You'll need to download our excel macro, which will automatically format your raw data any format. The macro also has specific options for converting SIMS and SKyward data, and will be introducing support for other SMS systems in the future

Click here to download the import file creation macro (version 1.22).

 

CSV Import Options

When importing your CSV file, you have various options to control what happens to your classes:

  • Delete previously imported classes

    Check this option if you want to delete all previously imported classes that are not present in the file you are about to upload. This will not affect classes that have been manually created or synced through AAD.
  • Keep existing teacher membership

    Check this option if you want to ignore the teacher information in your upload file and keep the teachers assigned to your classes as they currently are.
  • Keep existing student membership

    Check this option if you want to ignore the student information in your upload file and keep the students assigned to your classes as they currently are.

Syncing with Azure Active Directory

If you use Azure Active Directory to manage staff and students using groups, Teacher Dashboard 365 can automatically sync with AAD to ensure all your TD classes and groups are kept up to date.

Azure Active Directory (AAD) group sync is a feature that simplifies the process of setting up and maintaining groups and classes in Teacher Dashboard. Using AAD sync, groups and classes are automatically created in Teacher Dashboard according to the groups you have set up in your Azure Active Directory.

Once setup, any changes that you subsequently make to your AAD groups will be seamlessly reflected in Teacher Dashboard - including changes to the members of the group or class, as well as to group names and descriptions.

Through an easy to use interface, Teacher Dashboard administrators can choose which AAD groups to include in Teacher Dashboard 365 and which to hide. If your AAD groups contain both Teachers and Students, then the interface can be used to manage these roles as well.

AAD sync is included as part of the 'Teacher Dashboard Plus' plan, which you can trial for free for up to 30 days.

Please email us on support@teacherdashboard365.com if you need help in setting up your AAD group sync.