Classwize Rules FAQ

This topic answers common questions about Rules and provides troubleshooting advice for common problems.  

How do Rules work in Classwize?

Classwize Rules are a temporary override of your school’s day-to-day content filtering rules. 

  • You can use an Allow Rule to let students in your class access websites or use applications that would otherwise be blocked by your school’s content filter. 

  • You can use a Block Rule to stop students from accessing content during your class that may be disruptive or off-topic. 

How quickly do Classwize Rules take effect?

New Rules will start working immediately. However, what happens on your students’ side will differ depending on which version of Linewize Connect is installed on their device.

For Connect for Chrome
  • If a student is on a page that you want to block, turning on a Block rule will immediately kick the student off of that page. The tab will close, and the student will get a message at the top of the new tab telling them that you closed a tab.

For Connect for Windows or macOS, or no Connect installed
  • The student will still be able to access the blocked website until they go to another page or reload the one that they are currently viewing.

    This is due to caching, which allows browsers to save temporary files for quicker loading the next time the user opens a web page.

  • Videos will not close immediately, but buffering or loading will stop eventually as the new rule takes effect. 

If you create a Rule for a class that is not active, the Rule will apply the next time the class becomes active.

Do Classwize Rules work in all classes?

The rules you create are unique to each of your classes, and they only take effect while that specific class is running. 

For example, your school’s filter may normally stop students from accessing Youtube. If you wanted students in your class to access Youtube in support of their learning, you could create an "Allow Youtube" rule in Classwize. The students in your class will be able to access Youtube until the class ends or you disable the rule, whichever happens first.

I’ve made an Allow Rule but my students still can’t access the site.

There are a number of reasons why the new rule might not work, including: 

  • You have another active Classwize rule that blocks the site.

  • The signature is Locked Blocked by your school.

  • The site that you want students to access belongs in a blocked category.

  • The site has a parent category that has a Blocked rule.  

Contact  your school’s IT support for help or to check if there is a technical issue with the site.

I made an Allow Rule but the site is not working properly or looks wrong.

This can happen when you use an Allow Rule on a specific URL instead of on the website’s domain, subdomain or Signature. Try making the Allow rule at the signature, domain or subdomain level, rather than on the specific URL.

domain and subdomain

If your Rule is at the Signature, domain or subdomain level and the site is still not working properly, contact your school’s IT support team .  They can check to see if it’s a technical issue with the site, if they've Locked Blocked a site that you need, or if we need to create a new Group Signature.

What’s a Group Signature?

Many websites rely on other websites in order to work, and sometimes those other websites are blocked by your school. For example, your school may block access to Facebook, but another site you want your students to access may use Facebook to provide features and services. If you Allow that site without also Allowing Facebook, the site won’t work properly. 

A similar thing can happen when a single site or application has a different version of itself for different platforms or devices. For example, Youtube has a site designed for computers (www.youtube.com) and one designed for mobile devices (m.youtube.com) and also has android and iOS apps. If you use Classwize to allow the desktop url https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ, students on mobile devices may not be able to access it because the url is specifically for the desktop version.

Since it’s hard for you to know what other sites need to be Allowed for that one site to work properly for all of your students,  we create special containers called Group Signatures that include the site and everything it needs to work. Group Signatures always apply at subdomain or domain level. You can select the Group Signature for a site by typing the name of the site or application into the ‘This Rule Controls’ box and selecting it from the drop-down list.

I’ve made a Block Rule but my students can still access the site.

There are a couple of reasons why students may still be on a website after you’ve blocked it.

  1. Your School always Blocks this site.

Just as your school can Lock Block a site, which stops Classwize Allow Rule from temporarily unblocking it, your school can Lock Allow a site. This prevents you from using Classwize to Block the site. This is usually done for things like Google Docs, where blocking them can accidentally stop other sites from working.

  1. You have an Allow rule on the same signature.

If you have both Allowed and Blocked a signature, the Allowed rule always wins.  For example, if you create a rule to Allow Youtube for your class and then create a second rule that Blocks it for a single student, the student will still be able to access Youtube. 

  1. You may have an Allow rule on a parent category.

In Classwize, Allow rules always beat Block rules. If you Allow a parent Category Signature and Block a child category, the block won’t work. You’ll need to Block the parent category or turn off the Allow rule.

For example, if you create an Allow rule for the parent category Gaming and then set up a Block rule for the child category Online Gaming, then Online Gaming will still be allowed. That is because the child category inherits the rule from its parent category. In order to block the Online Gaming child category, you need to block its parent category (Gaming) first. 

Are my Rules saved from class to class?

Classwize Rules are made and saved on a class-by-class basis.  If you set a rule for one class, it will be saved for that class only and applied each time the class runs. The rule will switch off when you turn the rule off or delete the class. The rule will not apply to any other classes you have.

Can I create rules even if the class isn’t in session?

Yes!  In fact, it’s good practice to set up base rules for a class before it starts. However, remember that the rules you make for a class only apply to it, and only take effect while the class is active.