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Create a virtual classroom environment

To enable instructors to more easily connect with students for remote education, and to respond to the urgent need brought about by the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, IBM is providing free access to your very own instance of the IBM Developer Skills Network portal until November of 2022.

A Skills Network portal is your own online learning environment. You can configure it to meet the needs of your own audience, whether that includes young students, technical staff, or any specialized group.

Check out our interactive demo with sample courses.

Learning objectives

In this tutorial, you will learn how to implement and configure a customized version of the IBM Developer Skills Network portal for online education.

Prerequisites

None.

Estimated time

Tasks in this tutorial should take about 30 minutes. (It can take several days to receive access to the new portal.)

Steps

To get started with your own Skills Network portal, complete the following steps.

1. Complete the form

Complete the request form to create an instance of the IBM Developer Skills Network portal. Allow up to 72 hours for your request to be processed. You will receive an email that provides the next steps you need to take.

  • The Subdomain field is the part of the URL that precedes skillsnetwork.site (for example, my-site.skillsnetwork.site). All Skills Network instances will follow the pattern your-site-here.skillsnetwork.site.

  • A default username, password, and Skills Network portal name will be created for you automatically. Your generated username will be a combination of your first name and last name and your portal name will be the same as what you pick for your subdomain.

  • When you login for the first time, you will be prompted to change your password from the default one that was created for you. The portal name and username can also be changed from the admin panel of your Skills Network portal.

IBM Developer Skills Network portal

2. Configure the portal

To review the administrative panel and configure your site to your requirements, go to my-site.skillsnetwork.site/admin/settings/edit, replacing my-site with your subdomain. Note the following features:

  • Virtual Assistant: You can integrate IBM Watson Assistant into your portal to answer questions and provide help. Go to my-site.skillsnetwork.site/admin/chatbot/edit, replacing my-site with your subdomain.

  • Course catalog: Review the vast selection of available Skills Network courses and add them to your portal so your students can get started. Go to my-site.skillsnetwork.site/admin/course_catalog, replacing my-site with your subdomain.

    Choose courses from the course catalog

  • Blog posts: You can create blog posts that will be visible to your audience. Write about any topic you want! Blog posts are ideal to discuss general learning challenges or topics that are specific to your audience. Review the article about blog posts in the Skills Network Knowledge Base. To create your own posts, go to my-site.skillsnetwork.site/admin/blog_posts, replacing my-site with your subdomain.

3. Find additional resources

IBM Developer Skills Network has a growing set of docs and articles to help you get started and perform specific tasks.

Summary

In this tutorial, you’ve learned how to request, implement, and configure an IBM Developer Skills Network portal. You can now customize a portal for your own requirements and populate it with existing courses, or create your own course.

Derek Teay