Classwize Rules FAQ

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

How do Classwize Rules work?

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 or Global Rules. 

  • You can create 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 on their screen telling them that you closed a tab.

For Connect for Windows or macOS, or devices without 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 when 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 to support 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: 

  • 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.  

See How Rules Work for more information. If the issue continues, contact  your school’s IT support for help. 

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

You should only create Rules at the signature level, rather than on the specific domain, subdomain or url. If you create a Rule for a domain, subdomain or url, there is a chance that the page still needs to get data from other sites, and those sites may be blocked. By allowing only a single domain or url, the content sourced from other domains will remain blocked, resulting in a webpage with missing content. 

For example, if you allow Khanacademy.org while videos from Vimeo or Youtube are blocked, then the site will not show instructional videos. However, it you allowed the Khan Academy signature instead, the videos would appear because the signature includes everything Khan Academy needs to work, including Vimeo and Youtube.  

Why do Rules don’t apply to individual URLs?

We don’t have Signatures that are only URLs because we can't always see and filter full URLs before the page reaches the student. 

domain and subdomain

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

See What is a Signature? for more information on how you can create Classwize Rules based on signatures.

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 Allows this site.

Just as your school can Lock Block a site, which stops Classwize Allow Rules 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 some essential websites where blocking them can disrupt classes and even non-teaching activities at school.

  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.  If you want to Allow Educational Games (for example) but Block other Gaming you should block the parent category and allow the child. Ie: Block generically and Allow specifically.

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! 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.