Nov 20 2015

A Refresh to the Student View of the Online Library

The Online Library is the most frequently used tool in CoursePlus. We recently made some changes to the student view of the Online Library in a CoursePlus site to put the focus on the files and weblinks in the Online Library, and not the metadata about those files and weblinks.

Here's what the student view of the Online Library looked like before this refresh:

Original version of the Online Library

And here's what the same Online Library looks like now:

Updated version of the Online Library

Overall, there's less scrolling and greater clarity of information, and the focus is more on the files and links, where it should be.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:08 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Nov 3 2015

Emoji Reactions in the Discussion Forum

Since the launch of the current Discussion Forum tool in 2012, we have been asked if students or faculty could offer one-click responses other than "Agree." Students and faculty can click a simple link to agree with any post in the discussion forum, without having to create a new post stating that they agree with what is being said. However, only having a tool to allow someone to "agree" is limiting. Individuals often want to express more emotions or ideas about a post than simply agreeing to it.

We have added support for a number of other reactions to a post in the Discussion Forum. We are using emoji to help display the various reactions without taking up a lot of screen real estate. For each reaction that is selected, a counter appears next to the emoji indicating the number of people who selected that reaction. Mousing over the counter number reveals the names of the people who selected that reaction.

The reactions that we now support in the Discussion Forum are:

  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Interesting
  • Like
  • Surprising
  • Thoughtful
  • Exciting
  • Powerful
  • Confusing

We hope you enjoy the additional expressiveness that emoji reactions in the Discussion Forum now provide.

If you think there are additional reaction emoji we should add, please let us know!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:51 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Oct 27 2015

Portfolio Enhancements for October

The CoursePlus team really listens to the faculty, staff and students who use CoursePlus every day. We're always adding new features and making changes based on the feedback we receive. This especially true when a new tool gets rolled out to CoursePlus.

We've made a slew of changes to the portfolio tool which was introduced this August to CoursePlus. These changes are all the direct result of the feedback we've received from the people using the portfolio tool.

  • Students can now download all files in their Evidence Library as a single ZIP file. 
  • Portfolio touchpoint available and due dates now appear in both the student "My Calendar" view and in the daily CoursePlus notifications email.
  • The student reflection rich text editor now includes a word count display.
  • Student publishing views now include a nicely cropped JHU logo on the page.
  • System admins can now set a specific program to not use School-wide competencies.
  • Program admins can create touchpoints which do not include any competency listing for or editing by students.
  • Program admins can now reorder the display of competencies in a competency group.
  • A standard activity report for each touchpoint has been added: people who have completed the touchpoint.
  • The display of Not Submitted / Awaiting Review / Completed for each touchpoint on the main program admin page is now in the more standard "red -> yellow -> green" descending order.
  • Touchpoints which have due dates of more than 30 days in the past are now shown at the bottom of the list of all touchpoints for a cohort on the main program admin page under the header "Past Touchpoints".
  • When viewing the reports of people who have or have not completed a touchpoint, or the report of advisors who still need to review an advisee's touchpoint, administrators can click on a student name in the report and be taken directly to that student's touchpoint.
  • The alert window that appears when the import of an Excel file of faculty advisors completes now remains on the screen for 30 seconds, rather than 5, so you have time to read the names of the people who couldn't be matched.
  • The legend for competency levels in the timeline view is no longer empty.
  • The marker indicating which point in a timeline you are currently viewing is now green, instead of red, which made advisors think that there was a problem that needed to be addressed on that touchpoint.
  • Touchpoint titles in the timeline view have been simplified, removing the open date for the touchpoint and the word "Touchpoint" itself.
  • The display of headers for competency groups has been cleaned up and streamlined for easier viewing.
  • When a student opts to hide a competency group on their Dashboard, that competency group no longer shows in individual touchpoints.
  • Reordering the display of competency groups in the program admin is now correctly reflected in the student view.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 12:10 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Oct 21 2015

New Role: Course Coordinator

CoursePlus has long list of roles that an individual can assume in a given course: course faculty, TA, guest faculty, site content editor, student, guest, and so on. Each role has a distinct set of permissions that enable (or prevent) certain actions within a course website. The CoursePlus team occasionally adds new roles to the system based on the feedback we receive from you.

A new "course coordinator" role has been added to CoursePlus. This role has the same permissions in as a TA in a course, but is intended to provide clear distinction of the individual from the TAs in the course. This role is not meant as a replacement for the TA role, and should only be used by coordinators listed as such in the School's course system or administrative staff acting as a coordinator on a course.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:57 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Oct 6 2015

The Online Library Trash Can

Deleting files in the Online Library is a drag-and-drop affair. You simply drag the item you want to delete into the trash can that appears in the middle of the page. However, the trash can isn't particularly large in size and it scrolls down the page as you scroll the window. This has caused problems for people who may have motor skill impairment or aren't just really good at targeting items on the screen with the mouse.

As such, we've changed the trash can behavior in the Online Library so that the trash can now gets really big and turns red when you start dragging a file. This makes the trash can target much bigger and easier to reach for everyone.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:10 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Sep 30 2015

New Class Email Filters

Filters in the class email tool are a powerful way of selecting a subgroup of students as receipients for a message based on student activity in the course. The class email tool has long had the following filters:

  • Students who did/did not submit a file to a Drop Box.
  • Students who did/did not complete a quiz/exam in the Quiz Generator.
  • Students who did/did not attend a LiveTalk or listen to the archive.
  • Students who did/did not complete a survey.

To the above list of filters, we recently added two more class email filters in CoursePlus:

  • Students who did/did not post in a specific discussion forum category.
  • Students who have not signed in to the class website in the past [n] days. This is configurable up to the past 28 days (4 weeks).

We hope that you find these additional filters to be useful, and if you have suggestions on more filters to add to the class email tool, we'd love to hear them!

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

Sep 24 2015

Lots of Small CoursePlus Changes for the First Academic Term

The team behind CoursePlus is always making changes and adding new features based on faculty, staff, and student feedback. On the first day of the first academic term, they CoursePlus team made a whole bunch of small changes to CoursePlus, including:

  • When printing a syllabus, the class schedule now appears at the end of the document, rather than in the middle.
  • The "Why Take This Course" field in the course system now appears immediately following and in the same visual box as the course description on a course syllabus. 
  • The "Academic Ethics" section now appears on the printed version of the syllabus.
  • Discussion forum digest and individual post emails now have a "Go to Class Website" button at the end of every message.
  • The default for "Can Students See Other Student Submissions?" on the Drop Box setup form is now "No." 
  • Portfolio program administrators can now attach files to individual reflection prompts for all students to access.
  • The Portfolio Timeline view shows shows events based on their due date, instead of their open date.
  • A link to the Peer Assessment tool has been added to the Faculty Tools Quick Jump box on the course home page.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:14 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Search Archives


CoursePlus on Twitter



Monthly Archives