Rules Validation Overview

About Rules Validation

Rules Validation helps you create effective Class Rules by checking for:

  • Duplication - if the rule you’re adding for your class duplicates an existing class rule.
  • Conflict - if the rule you’re adding conflicts with either an existing class rule or a locked school policy set by your school in School Manager.

Duplicated rules

If your new rule duplicates a class rule, Rules Validation will prompt you to edit the existing rule instead. Select Yes, Edit to update the rule.

Fig. 1: An invalid rule prompt appears for a duplicate rule.

Conflicting rules

A rules conflict is when you create a rule that contradicts another rule or a locked policy, such as creating a rule that allows Spotify when you or the school have blocked it.

There are several types of conflict, each with their own resolution, and Classwize will guide you to resolve them.

Locked school policies and class rules

Locked school policies cannot be overwritten by class rules. If the rule you’re adding contradicts a Locked policy, Classwize will tell you that there’s an existing locked policy on the site and won’t let you create the rule.

Fig 2: An invalid rule prompt appears when a new rule conflicts with a Locked school policy. 

Themes and categories

You can’t add a rule for a category when a different rule already exists for its parent theme. In the following example, you can’t add an Allowed rule for the category Streaming Media because a Blocked rule exists for its parent theme, Entertainment. Classwize will prompt you to edit the rule for the theme instead.

conflicting-rule-child vs parent category.png
Fig. 3: An invalid rule prompt appears when you add a rule for a category that conflicts with the rule for its theme.

You can exempt a category from the rule for its theme by adding it first.

Categories and signatures

Just like themes and categories, Classwize won’t let you add a rule for a signature that conflicts with an existing rule for the category or theme it belongs to. For example, if you previously created an Allowed rule for the Streaming Media category, then Rules Validation will stop you from adding a Blocked rule for the Netflix signature because it falls under the Streaming Media category. Classwize will prompt you to edit the existing rule instead.

conflicting-rule-signature vs child category.png
Fig 4: An invalid rule prompt appears when a rule for a signature conflicts with the rule for its category.

You can exempt a signature from the rule that applies to its parent or child category by adding it first.

Group signatures and component sites

Group signatures combine websites and the third-party components (e.g. embedded videos, games, documents, programs) those websites need to work. Classwize will tell you if a rule you’re adding conflicts with another rule that applies to a component website of the group signature, and ask you if you want to update that rule as well.

In the following example, a teacher created a rule that blocked Vimeo, and then they tried to create a rule to allow Powerschools Learning. However, the Powerschools Learning group signature includes Vimeo because it uses Vimeo to deliver video content. Classwize won’t let you both block a resource and allow a group signature, so in the following example, it prompted the teacher that it would allow both Vimeo and Powerschools Learning.

group-signature-component-site conflict.png
Fig 5: Group signatures and component sites must have the same rules.

For more information on how Classwize Rules work, see How Classwize Rules Work and Classwize Rules FAQ.


Can I exempt categories and signatures from the rules for their parent themes or categories?

Yes, you can exempt child categories and signatures by adding them first. Delete the existing rule for the theme if you’re exempting a child category, or the rule for the category if you’re exempting a signature. Next, add the rule that exempts the signature or category, then add again the rule you’ve just deleted.

Does Classwize validate rules all the time?

Yes, Classwize always checks to make sure your rules will work as you expect and prevent you from creating rules that won’t work.

How will I know if the rule that I’m creating has a conflict or is not valid?

Classwize will tell you if your rule won’t work at the time you’re adding it. A message will appear on the Add new rule dialog if the new rule cannot be added or updated, and you can choose to edit the existing rule instead.

I want to add a rule that conflicts with a Locked policy in School Manager. What should I do?

Contact your school’s IT support staff to discuss unlocking the filtering policy. Find out more about Locked policies here.

What happens to my existing Allowed rule if my school Lock-Blocks a corresponding rule in School Manager?

The Allowed rule in Classwize will no longer work. However, the rule will remain in your Rules list until you try to edit it. Students who try to access the resource will be blocked. If the change happens while your class is in session their connection will be blocked after a few seconds, or when they attempt to navigate to another tab or open a new link within the site.

Can I check if a rule I created works before my class starts?

Yes! You can create rules and check if they work before your class starts. Any rules that you create will still be validated.

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