Recent Posts

Jun 11 2018

Behind the Scenes Improvements to Maintaining Connections to CoursePlus While Taking Exams

The team that builds CoursePlus has put a lot of effort into making online exams as seamless as possible. 

Even so, a common problem encountered by students taking longer exams in CoursePlus is a disconnect from the CoursePlus server cluster while taking the exam. This is most often caused by changes in the wireless connection (i.e.; a student is on a public or guest wireless network that recycles connections frequently), but can also be caused by a myriad of other issues related to the stateless nature of Web connections.

The Quiz Generator has been reworked to automatically log a student back into CoursePlus if the student is disconnected (and therefore logged out) while taking a quiz/exam. Previously, student answers would continue to be saved in the background even if a student was dicsconnected (and therefore logged out of CoursePlus) while taking an exam. This work has been extended to the much trickier problem of automatically rebuilding an entire session and all of the required information for that session.

Using a cryptographically signed hash sent on every request while taking a quiz, CoursePlus can derive the student login information and rebuild their active session in CoursePlus. This prevents students from clicking the "Submit Answers" button and then immediately being asked to sign in to CoursePlus — a frequent source of panic by students.

We expect that this change will significantly reduce the friction caused by disconnects in CoursePlus, and reduce the stress it causes to both students and faculty when taking online exams.

If you have any questions about this new change, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:05 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

May 21 2018

Planned CoursePlus Outage on Saturday, June 23 - CANCELLED

UPDATE June 11, 2018: This planned work by JHSPH IT has been cancelled. We will post notices on CoursePlus when it is rescheduled.

CoursePlus will be completely offline on Saturday June 23, from 6am-6pm EDT, due to planned work by JHSPH IT. JHSPH IT is moving the database systems behind CoursePlus to new hardware, and CoursePlus cannot be available during this time. Once the work is complete, CoursePlus will run atop a newer, faster database system.

Please plan accordingly for this outage.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:14 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

May 7 2018

Reminder: Access to AY16-17 Courses Ends May 31, 2018

Access to academic year 2016-2017 courses ends on May 31, 2018. This is in line with the policy for access to CoursePlus websites. The policy states that access to a CoursePlus site is enabled for the academic year in which the course is offered and following academic year. For example, if a course occurred in the third term of the 2016-2017 academic year, a student enrolled in the course has access to the CoursePlus site until the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. After that point, access to that CoursePlus site is terminated.

If you need materials from a CoursePlus site in the 2016-2017 academic year, please download them before May 31, 2018, as you will not be able to access the sites from the 2016-2017 academic year after that time.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 12:06 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Previous Posts

May 1

Alternative Ways of Grading Discussion Forum Posts

Posted by Brian Klaas at 2:31 PM - Categories: CoursePlus |

Apr 18

Updates to the Gradebook in March, 2018

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:31 AM - Categories: CoursePlus |

Apr 11
Apr 2

How Do I See the Current Grades for Students in My Class?

Posted by Brian Klaas at 4:05 PM - Categories: CoursePlus |

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