In this guide, we will walk you through all the steps to setting up your class or challenge. There is a video for each main part, Class Creation, Creating Assignments and Registering your students. Below each video are screenshots of PersonalFinanceLab along with more detailed explanations.
To create your class, login with your teacher/admin account. From the main menu, hover over the Administrator dropdown menu. Then, select Create Session and you’ll be brought to the page you see below. If it’s your first time logging in, and you’ve never set-up a challenge, you will be prompted to set-up a class right away.
If you choose the Custom option, you’ll see additional class parameters appear below.
If you’ve enabled the Budget Game, you will have the choice to use the recommended settings or customize to match your local standard of living. You can choose to include the Apartment feature, this allows students to see where they live, and purchase additional items to match their living preferences.
To customize the Budget Game, click Customize Settings, or else click Continue with Recommended Settings to continue. Please jump to the next section if you only purchased the Stock Game.
TIP: Do a practice round where students do research on the average expenses in your area, (cell phone plans, gas expenses etc.) and then update the bills to reflect their findings on local prices. In the next round of the game, they will see the impact of their research on their experience in the game. You could turn this into an activity to see the different standards of living in different areas of the country!
If you don’t check any of the boxes, the Budget Game will randomly distribute pop-up choice cards from each of these categories. You can update the life events at any time to reinforce topics or lessons covered in class.
If you’ve made any changes to the default settings this area will show you whether you’ve made the game too difficult to win. Whenever you’ve finished adjusting the settings, click Next to continue.
If you want to keep the Stock Game enabled in your class, keep the button on, (blue). If not, toggle it off and continue to the next section by clicking Next in the bottom right corner of your screen.
Your Trading Start/End Dates can be different from your Budget Game dates. So, if you want your students to have access to one game at a time, choose which game they start with by adjusting the dates.
To customize the Stock Game, click Customize Settings, or else click Continue with Recommended Settings to continue. You’ll see a list of the trading settings that your class will include below the trading dates. You can edit these at any time from the Edit Session Settings Page.
Choose the security types and exchanges your students are able to trade by selecting Customize Settings. By toggling on the Show Advanced Rules button, you can set position limits and diversification per asset class. If you want to quickly include all asset classes choose Select All.
To continue with the recommended settings that are listed at the top of your screen, click Continue with Recommended Settings.
You can choose between equities, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, future options, forex and cash spots. You can also set different commission rates, and the way commissions are charged (per trade, per share, or as a percentage of the total order).
Add an X to each country you want students to have access to. US exchanges include United States, AMEX, NASDAQGS and NYSE. The exchanges only impact your equities/stock trading. We currently only support international securities for equities, spots (for currency trading), and futures (mutual funds, bonds, and options are US-only).
To quickly include all exchanges in your class, click Select All.
If you turn this on, you’ll be able to either select “White Listed Stocks” or “Black Listed Stocks”. You can’t have both, so read on to see if either of these situations apply to you. You add custom exchanges at any time.
The final step in setting up your class is creating your first assignment. If you need more time to plan your lessons, you can click Skip this Step, and you’ll be brought to the class creation confirmation page. Click Copy an Older Assignment button to reuse a previous selection of lessons from another class. Please note, you will need to set the assignment name and dates even when using lessons from an old assignment.
To create your first assignment here are a few things to note.
If you want to integrate the Budget Game into the Stock Game, you can create an assignment that distributes an amount of money into the Stock Game after students compete X number of months in the Budget Game. To do this, select under Budget Game Actions the task Budget Game – Complete a full month and enter the number of months.
With over 300 lessons, we’ve added a few shortcuts to make it easier to move between sections.
Each section header has a +/- at the end that allows you to collapse or expand all the included lessons. Quickly include all the lessons in a section by clicking Require All, or deselect them by clicking None. Allow students to retake the pop quizzes at the end of lessons by checking the boxes in the column on the right of the lesson names. Click All, under Allow Retries to allow students to retake all pop quizzes in a section.
If you don’t know what to pick for your assignments, and having a hard time getting started, please check out our Lesson Plans. Scroll through all the different topics like Budgets and Spending Plans, Economics Lesson Plans, Math Lesson Plans etc.
Congratulations! You just set-up your class, you should see the Class Creation Confirmation page featured below on your screen. To get your students registered, you have two options.
Use this option if you want your students to choose their own usernames and passwords, and enter their email address for password resets. You can share your registration link directly to your Google Classroom by clicking Share to Google Classroom.
You can access your registration link at any time by going to the Summary Report page. This page is available under the Reports menu, click Summary Report.
If you have younger students in your class, or you don’t want your students providing any personal information, you can generate accounts for everyone in your class. To do this, go to Registration File/Password Reset under the Administration dropdown menu.
Next, follow the steps shown below. Put in the prefix that all accounts will start with, and our system will randomly generate usernames and passwords. Enter the total amount of student accounts you need, and click Add.
Within a few seconds a list will appear with your student accounts. This list will also be sent to your teacher/admin email address.
TIP: We recommend you copy the usernames/passwords into a spreadsheet as soon as you receive them. Then, add the student names associated with each account before distributing them to your class. This will allow your students to remain completely anonymous, yet will make grading and reviewing reports a lot easier in the future!
If a student has already used the platform in a previous class, have them log in to their existing account first. Then, ask them to click your new registration link. This will add the new class to their existing account. If your class is private, make sure to provide the password so they’re able to join your new class.
A student is able to toggle between classes from the Student Dashboard. They will need to select the class first from the dropdown menu to be able to access the lessons and games. Their progress is saved as they go!