What is eConestoga?

eConestoga is Conestoga College's Learning Management System, which runs on D2L's "Brightspace" software platform. Within eConestoga, a course shell is set up for each section that is taught at Conestoga. As the Instructor you will use this space to share course materials, administer assessments, communicate with students, and deliver grades.

How do I log into eConestoga?

You can log into eConestoga by navigating your web browser to www.eConestoga.ca and signing in with your Conestoga E-mail Address and password. If you haven't yet used your E-mail Address, the default login format will be:

  • Address: [first initial][last name]@conestogac.on.ca (e.g., "JSmith@conestogac.on.ca")
  • Password: Cc[employee number] (e.g., "Cc1234567")

Your eConestoga account will usually be set up one day after you accept your contract through the Employee Portal. Note that your Network account's password will need to be reset every four months for security reasons.

Where do I start?

Once you log into eConestoga, look for the heading My Courses over a set of graphic tiles corresponding to the courses you're set to teach:

Clicking any of these tiles will take you into a website, called a course shell, that has been set up to support that particular course. If you teach multiple sections of the same course, you'll receive a course shell for each section.

On the homepage of your course shell, you'll see an Announcements area where you can post messages to your students, and a link to your Course Outline. Later on, once you've set up your Grades, you'll see a new widget called the Grade Snapshot appear.

Near the top of the screen, you'll see a row of links, called the Navbar. The first link in the Navbar is called "Content", and will take you to probably the most important part of your course:

Within the Content area, you can upload files for your students to read and download-- instructors will commonly post weekly notes, PowerPoint presentations, and descriptions of the course's assignments. You can also post links to useful websites, textbook publishers' online materials, or even just to your own assessments that you've created elsewhere in your course.

Are there existing materials I can borrow?

If the course you're teaching has been delivered at Conestoga before, there may be course materials available in a Model shell or a previous semester's course shell that can be made available for you to copy forward. You can check to see if you've already been given access to these materials by going back to the eConestoga homepage and looking through the "Permanent Shells" and "Past Courses" tabs; if you see a course with the same code or title as the one you'll be teaching, then your Chair has already given you access.

If you don't see a Model shell or a past course shell for one or more of your courses, you'll need to request access to them. When requesting access to a course shell,

  • Send an e-mail to eConestoga@conestogac.on.ca
  • CC your Chair (very important-- we can't give you access to anything without your Chair's approval)
  • List any course code(s) you're teaching for which you don't yet have access to existing materials
  • Ask for Copy Access to a past course or a Model shell.

Once you have access to an existing course, feel free to look around the course to make sure its contents are suitable for your needs, and to check whether the course meets Essential Elements standards (see the next section). If everything looks good, you can copy the existing course's contents into your own course shell.

What needs to be in my eConestoga course shell?

There are a lot of tools that you can utilize in your eConestoga course shells, but most of them are strictly optional. There is only a short list of components that must be created in each course, which we refer to as the Essential Elements.

Including the Essential Elements in your course shell helps maintain consistency for students between your course and their other courses, ensuring that they always know where to find the most important resources that they need to be successful.

Essential Elements Checklist

  • Set up a folder in Content called "Course Information" that contains a document called the "Instructional Plan". The Instructional Plan lists what topics will be covered each week, and when assignments are due. Instructions for downloading the Instructional Plan template and adding it to your course can be found by clicking the Faculty Support link in eConestoga, then hovering over the "Instructional Plan Template" button under the search box.
  • Set up a folder in Content called "Evaluations" that lists the requirements for each graded activity in the course.
  • Set up your Grades to match the grade breakdown listed in the Course Outline.

Moving beyond Essential Elements

If you click on the Course Tools link in the course Navbar, you'll see a large number of additional tools that are available to you, including Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes. All of these tools can make your course more engaging for students while helping you to streamline your teaching. However, it's important to note that nobody expects you to use everything right at the start! eConestoga is a large and varied toolbox, and not every tool is going to be appropriate for every course. As long as you cover the Essential Elements in your course shell, everything else that eConestoga offers is purely optional. Our best advice is always to start small, and then when you have a good grasp of the basic tools, consider trying a new tool the next time you teach.

If you have any questions at all as you're learning to use eConestoga, please don't hesitate to reach out for assistance. Phone, walk-in, and chat support are available under the "Contact Us" link at the top of eConestoga; or, you can just e-mail us directly at eConestoga@conestogac.on.ca and we'll be happy to assist you.