Setting up a course website

Setting up a course website

Starting in the Spring semester 2024, the department, through the SCF, is helping instructors create discoverable and modern class websites, with memorable URLs in the domain.

This page provides an overview and gives details to instructors on setting up a class website using the system.

The department strongly encourages instructors to set up a class website.


The benefits of having public course websites compared to bCourses or one-off websites set up by faculty include:

  • More visibility/discoverability for potential students and others not enrolled in the course.
  • More consistent and modern style and branding, including use of the domain.
  • Ease of archiving/sharing/transfer to future instructors.
  • Consistency with Berkeley Data Science courses and Statistics 20, which have course overview pages and per-semester offering pages at memorable URLs.
  • Integration of course website and content in one place, with the ability to manage via version control systems such as Git.
Course Landing Page Class website


Course Landing Pages

The SCF will create “landing pages” for each course at, e.g., for Statistics 133. Each landing page will contain overview information about the course gathered from the academic guide. Most importantly, it will link to class websites specific to each semester the course is offered.

As basic pages, the course landing pages use the Just The Class framework.

Class Websites

The department strongly encourages instructors to set up a class website. 

While we encourage instructors to set up websites with extensive materials, we ask those who wish to continue to primarily use bCourses to set up a minimal site with syllabus information. The minimal site could also include pointers to external resources (such as Ed, Gradescope, DataHub, etc.) and course staff. 

With the goal of helping students during course shopping and encouraging enrollment, ideally at least some syllabus-style information would be posted by the time classes start or even better before the semester starts. 

We provide instructions below for setting up both minimal and full-featured websites using the SCF-developed department course website templates below. 

To get started with a website for your class, please email the SCF at and let us know whether you'd like to set up a fully-featured site (and let us know if you'd prefer to use Quarto or MyST) or if you'd like to set up a minimal site. We'll then set up the structure of the site and point you to how/where you can start adding content.

Course websites will be found at{semester-year}, e.g.,

To see class websites that used the department template, see the spring 2024 sites for Statistics 133 and Statistics 151A.

SCF staff can provide assistance as needed, in person or via

Full-featured Websites

For instructors wishing to provide a full website and course materials, the SCF provides both a Quarto template and a MyST template. The README files found when navigating to each of those templates provide full instructions for setting up the course website.

In both cases, one can edit Markdown-style or notebook-style files as the source files for pages on the site. We anticipate that course staff will use Git to manage their materials. 

Some features of the templates include the ability to:

  • Create a website by modifying content in a GitHub-based repository.
  • Create documents either using Quarto Markdown (qmd), Jupyter notebook (ipynb), or Markdown files.
  • Include LaTeX (including LaTeX macros) for mathematical notation.
  • Include code chunks that are dynamically evaluated and whose output is included in the document (qmd or ipynb files only).
  • Include external webpages (such as Google calendars) as iframes within a page.
  • Have documents be rendered to HTML or PDF (the latter for documents that students will download).
  • Render a course schedule, with links to course materials, from a plain text file of information.
  • For Quarto-based sites, set up timed release of course content/pages, using functionality developed by Andrew Bray for Statistics 20.
  • Have the website be searchable.

Minimal Websites

The SCF provides a template for a minimal class website using a consistent department style, illustrated with this dummy site. An instructor can follow these directions in the template README, editing the pages for the website in a browser window. The content is managed by GitHub (and you'll need a GitHub account), but knowledge of Git or GitHub is not required.