Electronic Communication

Electronic Communication in CS135

CS135 uses a dizzying number of “platforms” to communicate with students. We wish there were fewer of them! It would make life easier for all of us. But each one is here because it excels at one particular facet of the course.

Here’s the list and why we use each one:

  • This web site: For delivery of relatively static information (study modules, policies, assignments, etc). It is actively managed and should be considered the primary source of information.
  • Email: For one-to-one (private) communication, really important announcements, delivering feedback from assignment “Basic Tests”, etc. We have opinions about how you should set up your email; see below .
  • Microsoft Teams : An on-line option for office hours and help sessions.
  • MarkUs: For submitting your assignments and giving you feedback after they’re marked. We also use it to do part of the actual marking. Details at Assignments > MarkUs Help .
  • Piazza: For students to ask (and answer!) questions about the course and most frequenly about assignments. More details, include etiquette for using it, at Piazza .
  • iClicker Cloud: For feedback in lecture on how well you’re understanding the content. We have participation marks; iClicker is how we collect them. Details at Assessment > Class Participation . This is one platform that costs you money; sorry.
  • Crowdmark: For marking and giving you feedback on your exams. More details when we release details about the exams.

It is important that you be able to use all of these resources easily.

We do not use LEARN.


Every UW student has an email address of the form userid@uwaterloo.ca . For example, jsmith@uwaterloo.ca .

It is very important that you receive and read the email sent to this address regularly.

You may have already received information about UW email and may have taken steps to set it up. If so, please consider your past decisions in light of the advice provided here.

You probably already have an email address that you use regularly to communicate with friends and perhaps parents. The goal is to make it easy to use all of your email accounts, including your new UWaterloo account.

There are three main options to consider:

  1. Ignore the problem and try to remember to check each account individually. In practise, this likely won’t happen and we strongly advise you to not use this ‘solution.’ If you want to maintain separate email accounts for personal and school, see #3.
  2. Pick one account to be your main account and forward the email from all other accounts to your main account. Issues to consider:
    • You will likely send email from your main account. Most UW instructors (including CS135) expect that you send email from your UW account so your identity can be easily verified.
    • If you forward your UW email to an external provider such as GMail or Hotmail, it will sometimes be marked as spam. If you forward UW email, you must locate the spam settings on the destination account and “whitelist” email from uwaterloo.ca.
  3. Use an email client (program) on your computer or phone (or both!) to read the mail from all of your accounts. They can be set up to consolidate all of your mail into a single mailbox or to keep each account separate. It can be configured to send email from various accounts so that UWaterloo email is sent from your UWaterloo account.

Recommendation: We think that option #3 is the best way to go.