Recent Posts

Jan 27 2015

A Couple of Gradebook Changes for the New Year

The Gradebook received a couple minor updates over the holidays. 

First, all feedback sent from the Gradebook now uses ?ctlhelp@jhsph.edu as the "From" email address rather than the email address of the person who clicked the "Send Feedback" button. This should cut down significantly on Gradebook feedback being marked as spam in student email accounts and makes the sending of feedback anonymous, which has been requested a number of times in the past. The person who clicked the "Send Feedback" button is still listed as the sender on the "Enter Grades" view of the Gradebook, but students will only get feedback from ?ctlhelp@jhsph.edu.

Second, scores from a quiz or peer assessment linked to an activity in the Gradebook are now automatically pulled into the Gradebook when a student's answers for a quiz are fully graded or when a final grade is assigned for a peer assessment. Previously, you had to click on the linked activity in the Gradebook in order for final quiz or peer assessment grades to be pulled into the Gradebook. This sometimes caused confusion because faculty would see that everything was graded in the Quiz Generator, but the Gradebook would show zero grades having been entered because no one had gone into that activity in the Gradebook before. Now it all happens automatically. Please note that display preferences in the Gradebook still control the visibility of that score in the Gradebook, just as before.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:15 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jan 20 2015

Schedule the Sending of Class-Wide Emails

The class email tool is a powerful and heavily used part of CoursePlus. Not only can you send messages to the entire class, or groups of students, or even individuals, you can also create draft messages for instructional team review or sending at a later time. Starting today, you can even schedule the sending of messages for the entire class.

Faculty and TAs frequently find themselves needing to compose a message for the entire class but not wanting to send it until some time in the future. Previously, a faculty member could create a draft of a message and then have a co-instructor or TA go into the CoursePlus site for their course and send the message at the appropriate date and time. Now when you create a draft message, you can specify the date and time on which the message should be sent. The message will be sent to everyone in the class at the selected date and time (or within 5 minutes of the selected date and time) with no additional action required. Please note that once you click "Send" on a scheduled email, that message cannot be edited or recalled.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:35 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jan 16 2015

A New Way of Handling Large Course Drop Box Downloads

Downloading all the files in a Drop Box in courses with 200+ students or in courses where students upload large (200MB+) files has been problematic. You would click the "Download ZIP file" link and wait and wait and wait and wait, and sometimes you'd even eventually get an error message instead of a ZIP file. This is becuase it takes time to ZIP up large files or large numbers of files. Go ahead and try making a ZIP file of a 1.7GB folder on your computer. It takes about 7 minutes, which is much longer than a normal request should run on CoursePlus. The CoursePlus team has been looking at ways of working around this issue, and we've come up with a solution which unltimately benefits everyone.

If the total file size of all the files submitted to a Drop Box exceeds 300MB, you will get an email message when your ZIP file is ready. If the total file size of all the files submitted to a Drop Box is under 300MB, the ZIP file will start to download shortly after you click the "Download ZIP file" link in the Drop Box. By taking this route, we avoid the problem of requests for the ZIP file for large Drop Box downloads from timing out.

A side effect of this change is that the total time it takes to create ZIP files of all submissions to a Drop Box has been reduced. We're using a totally new system behind the scenes to create the ZIP files, and it's much faster overall than the old way in which ZIP files were created. Although you may have wait for an email to come in to actually get the ZIP file of all submissions to a Drop Box, the total time it takes to create that file will be shorter than if you sat and waited and waited and waited on the Drop Box page.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:08 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Previous Posts

Jan 14

What Devices Students Are Using to Consume Course Lectures?

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:38 AM - Categories: General |

Jan 12
Jan 6

Go Ahead, Duplicate a Quiz

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:55 AM - Categories: Course Tools |

Dec 23

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