Frequently Asked Questions by Faculty

What is LiveText?

LiveText is an Internet-based subscription website that allows students and professors to create, share, and collaborate on their work. Students can upload their work, align it to current standards, and share it with other students, appropriate instructors, and potential employers of their choosing. The initial component of this website being implemented at NLU is the "Electronic Portfolio". This portfolio tool is the main focus of many programs at National College of Education and is a requirement for licensure and graduation. In the past, paper-based 3-ring binders have been the traditional form of portfolio. It was a culminating project done towards the end of the student's program. Today, we can closely monitor that the portfolio is being gradually added to in an effort to make sure that students are aware of the specific standards and pedagogy of the program. NCE is convinced that this form of student assessment is in keeping with its historic Mission.

How do my students sign up for LiveText?

Students can register their account directly through LiveText’s website. Click here for step-by-step registration directions. If you would rather would rather call and speak to someone, you can call LiveText at (866) L-I-V-E-T-E-X-T, that's (866) 548.3839. In either case, the cost is $88 for a five-year subscription. A credit card is required to make to make the transaction online.  If you call Livetext you may use a credit card or check to purchase the subscription.

When should our students be expected to sign up for LiveText?

We are expecting that each student register during their first quarter of classes so that they understand the requirement early in their program. Each program will make the ultimate decision about how to handle exceptions, but these are becoming less and less.

How do I know if my students have signed up for LiveText?

  1. Login to LiveText at or
  2. Click on Groups on the left-hand menu column of the LiveText screen.
  3. Click on Create new group... on the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. Enter a maximum of 50 student names into the box and click the Look-up names button.
  5. The names of enrolled students will appear below the box.

How do I assess my students' work using LiveText?

  1. Students first need to share their portfolios with you. Steps for sharing are available on our Beginning Steps page.
  2. There are three ways to monitor/assess student work:
    1. VIEW: If you are just checking to see if a student has done what was requested, you only want to view their work. If the student has Enabled Discussion (see below for how students can do this), all threaded discussion features function in this mode.
      1. Go to My Desk
      2. Click on Inbox under Materials
      3. iii. Click on the title of the student portfolio you wish to see. (If you do not see this, then ask your student to share it to you according to the steps at the link above.)
    2. REVIEWby leaving comments: Use this feature if you wish to leave comments in any sections of the student’s portfolio.
      1. Go to My Desk
      2. Click on Reviews under Collaboration
      3. Click on review across from the student's portfolio title. While making comments, please note the date of the comment along with your initials within the comment.
      4. Proceed by making comments or applying a rubric. Applying a rubric is described below.
      5. Click on Submit at the top of the portfolio reviewed if you are finished with comments and assessment.
    3. Assessto apply a Rubric
      1. If another faculty member created the rubric you will be using, make sure the person who created the rubric has shared it with you.
      2. Click on Reviews under Collaboration
      3. Click on review across from the name of the student portfolio.
      4. Click on Assess in the upper right
      5. Choose the label your rubric is under:
        • Work: if the rubric is one you created
        • Inbox: if the rubric was shared to you by another faculty member
        • Any other label: if you created it and keep it in a separate folder
      6. Click use to the right of the document containing the rubric you'd like to use
      7. Under 'Select a rubric from the list below:' choose the rubric you'd like to use
      8. From the drop down menu of each assessment element, choose the appropriate score. Do not choose N/A. If you wish to add a comment to a certain assessment element, click on add comment. Delete the automatically calculated Rubric Score at the bottom to avoid confusion.
        • During this step you may want to go back and forth between the rubric and the portfolio you are reviewing in order to give an accurate assessment. You can do this by just going back and forth between the rubric and portfolios windows which will both be open on your computer screen. Click on the student's portfolio window to view their work. Then by clicking back on the rubric window, you will be able to keep your assessment active and ongoing without closing it.
      9. Choose the correct Milestone
      10. Choose the correct type of Reporting:
        • Official if the student has no further changes to make
        • Practice if the student will need to make more improvements
      11. Click on Save Assessment
      12. Click Close to close the window
      13. Click Submit in the upper right of the portfolio reviewed if you are finished making comments and assessments.
      14. Students and instructors can see the assessment by:
        • Going to My Desk
        • Clicking on Reviews under Collaboration
        • Clicking on view across from the name of the student's portfolio
      15. Data Reports will be run according to the Milestones and Reporting mode by a member of the NLU Assessment Council.
  3. Other Things to Take Note Of...
    1. Enabling Discussion: When students enable the discussion features, continuous discussion is allowed to take place between the instructor and the student. The ongoing discussion can be viewed in its entirety in order to review the progress the student has made. This can be a more effective method of communication since it is often easier to locate and see over a period of several months. Directions for students on how to enable discussion are available on our Beginning Steps page. Click here to go directly to the directions for Enabling Discussion.
    2. Saving Student work for your Records: In order to accurately document student work and progress, instructors often like to have “proof” that they can refer back to if issues arise concerning a student. In this case, printing a portfolio (or just a single page) is recommended. You can do this by clicking on the Print... link in the upper right while reviewing your student's portfolio.
    3. Looking Back at Old Reviews: When clicking on Reviews under 'Collaboration' on the MyDesk page, you will find all of your past reviews that you have created. You can easily see what you have written, but as of this time, the ability to see the student's portfolio at a previous snapshot in time is no longer available. This feature was enabled in Fall 2003 but removed in Feb 2004.

What support is available to faculty and students in learning how to use LiveText?

  1. Please remember:Nothing substitutes for active use of the site.
    • Everyone is encouraged to familiarize themselves with the various features.
    • As with many software programs, individual practice is expected.
  2. Once you have registered and logged onto the website, a Help buttonappears in the upper right corner of the screen.
    • The most recent User Guide on this page will provide you with over 60 pages of detailed support
  3. Once familiar with the product, additional requests for troubleshooting may be sent to
  4. Many aspects of LiveText Support are available on this site. Click here for our Beginning Steps page.
  5. Call the NCE LiveText Support Team at (312) 261-3343
    • Voice messages are checked daily at 6pm.
    • At other times, leave a message to have an operator return your call
  6. Visit your campus for walk-in support on specified days and times.

Do I have to enter my syllabus onto LiveText?

No. NCE is using LiveText as an assessment tool only at the program level. Whether or not you use LiveText in your classroom is up to each faculty member or program. LiveText serves immediately to help students align their work with standards and archive their work into e-portfolios.

What might I include about LiveText on my course syllabus?

Programs have different approaches, but terminology might read something like this:

Starting Winter 2003, National College of Education is requiring students to sign up for access to LiveText. This is an online management tool that will strongly reinforce your learning experience. Please go to or, then click on 'Purchase Online', then 'Click here'. Choose the $79 option and complete the requested information. (For additional information on LiveText at NLU, visit the NCE LiveText Support Website at Specific directions for registration are available on the 'Beginning Steps' page on this website.

More specific possibilities to better incorporate LiveText into a course syllabus and a course, in general.


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