Instructor Guide: Creating and Managing Class Accounts

Step-by-step directions for: (1) instructors creating a class account so that their students can access WRDS, and (2) ongoing management of class accounts using the WRDS platform.

Introduction

Faculty have been using class accounts at WRDS for decades to make financial concepts more engaging for their students. Class accounts are a way to incorporate real-life data into the curriculum. Using the WRDS platform, students can interact with the data to complete assignments outside of class, during class, or as part of a lab. This new version of class accounts features a reporting tool which will provide you with better oversight of student activity on the platform.

As a faculty member, you must create the class account, which then needs approval from your organization’s WRDS Representative. Each class account must be associated with a specific course at the institution and must have defined start and end dates. Each class can only run for one semester.

Once your class account request has been approved, you will receive a “Class Code” to distribute to your students enrolling in the class. You should also direct your students to the WRDS website to create their accounts. The “Class Code” facilitates an automatic approval for the students’ WRDS accounts. We have provided a sample communication (with these instructions) for you to send to your students in the third section of this document.

To protect the data from unauthorized access, WRDS requires all users, including students using class accounts, to have unique accounts and complete a two-factor authentication. If students encounter any difficulties in setting up or using their account, they should contact WRDS Support, not you.

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How to Create a Class Account

Creating a class account is straightforward, but you should allow enough lead time for your school’s WRDS representative to respond to your request.

  1. In the top right corner of the WRDS page, select Your Account > Your Account Info.
  2. Scroll down to the Your Classes table.
  3. Click the Create a Class button.
  4. Enter a name for the class. We recommend you use the same name (and section number, if applicable) as the university course you are teaching to prevent any confusion for the students.
  5. Enter the class start and end dates. The time period you set will indicate when your students may begin registering for individual accounts and the duration they will have access to the WRDS platform.
  6. Enter the number of students that can enroll in the class as the Course Size Limit. The maximum number of students that can enroll in any WRDS class account is 150.
  7. Click the Submit button.

If you do not receive an approval/denial email within 5 business days, please contact your WRDS Representative. A list of your representatives can be found on "Your Account" page.

When your class is approved, you will receive a unique “Class Code” in the approval email. Your students will need this code to register for the WRDS class account or when enrolling in your class using an existing WRDS account. If, for some reason, you need to regenerate a new code please just contact WRDS Support.

When providing the Class Code code to your students for registration/enrollment, please remind them that the code will not be active until the Open Date you set for the course.

It is important to allow some time for the students to create their WRDS accounts.

We have provided an example letter containing instructions for students. This communication could be sent to students via email or provided with the other course materials on a course management system.

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Sample Communication to Send to Students

Greetings!

New to WRDS?

Our upcoming course requires that you create a WRDS account at https://wrds-www.wharton.upenn.edu/.

  1. Click the word "Register" on the top right-hand corner of the WRDS website. (Or click Menu icon > Register if on mobile device.)
  2. Follow the directions on the Registration form to enter your identifying information.
  3. For the Subscriber, select your school's name from the drop-down list.
  4. For the User type, select Class Account.
  5. Enter [___________] as the Class Code.

WRDS accounts require two-factor authentication. We recommend you use a smartphone for the verification process. First, install the Duo Mobile app on your phone. This free app can be downloaded through your device’s app store. Follow the directions at How to Log into WRDS to register your smartphone and use Duo two-factor authentication to set up your WRDS account.

Already Have a WRDS Account?

After you have logged into WRDS, use the following steps to enroll in our class account. You will need the Class Code above to enroll.

  1. In the top right corner of the screen, select Your Account > Your Account Info.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Your Classes table and click the Enroll in a Class button.
  3. Enter the Class Code and click Submit.

IMPORTANT: If you have any difficulty setting up your account please contact WRDS Support at: https://wrds-www.wharton.upenn.edu/contact-support/. When opening your support ticket you must use the email associated with your existing WRDS account, or the email you intend to use to set up your new WRDS account.

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Managing Class Accounts

The Your Classes landing page is where you manage class accounts. The table at the top of the screen contains all the classes for which you are listed as an instructor.

Simply clicking on the Class Name on this table will take you to the Edit Class screen where you can change class details, review student enrollment, and review any co-instructors that have been associated with the class.

Unenrolling Students from a Class

Students who drop your class should be removed from the enrollment list so that they no longer have access to the WRDS platform.

  1. Select a class to edit from the Your Classes landing page.
  2. Review the list of the students enrolled in your class at the bottom of the Edit screen.
  3. Click the Remove button to delete students no longer in the class.

Accessing Class Reports

You can access new class reports from the Your Classes landing page by clicking the Class Reports button. The report shows the number of queries students enrolled in your class have run on the WRDS platform, as well as which queries they have run.

Each student's usage on these reports reflects all of that student's usage on the WRDS platform, including queries run for purposes outside of the class.

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