Dec 16 2014

Fall Updates to the Survey Tool

The survey tool in CoursePlus has received a number of small but important updates in the past couple of months. These include:

  • You can now set both open and close dates on the survey. Each is optional, but the links to the survey will not be active to students before the open date and after the close date (if either are specified). You can still have students access the survey after the close date by sending them the direct link, which is available when you edit a survey.
  • You can send a boilerplate reminder to complete a survey to all students who haven't yet completed a survey from the "Who Has/Has Not Completed the Survey" page in your CoursePlus site.
  • You can now preview the content of system-wide template surveys.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:21 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Dec 10 2014

A New "My Calendar" View, with All Your Courses Listed

One of the best things about CoursePlus is that it is shaped by the people who use it every day: the faculty, students and staff here at the School. The team in the Center for Teaching and Learning is continually getting feedback about what works and what doesn't work in CoursePlus. One of the biggest pieces of feedback we've heard in the last year from students is the need to see upcoming events across all of their courses in a single location. Previously, CoursePlus listed only events for the upcoming week in a small "My Calendar" box when you signed into CoursePlus.

We're pleased to announce that there's a whole new "My Calendar" tab when you sign into CoursePlus that displays all activities in all your courses in the coming month. This much expanded list of course activities includes due dates for quizzes, Drop Boxes, surveys (if they have a due date) and peer assessments, as well as links to each course website for each item in the list. We hope that this new "My Calendar" tab provides students with a much better picture of what's coming up in their courses.

We're considering additional changes to this view for the future, including the option to view up to 8 weeks of activities, and the option to download the current list of activities to your calendar application. Remember that you can go into any course website and download the full, current list of acitivities to your calendar application right now. This has been a feature of CoursePlus since 2012!

We hope that this new feature makes things easier for students, and everyone who uses CoursePlus!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 2:40 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Dec 3 2014

Upload Your LiveTalk Slides Directly Into the Course Website

For years, slides used in LiveTalks for online courses had to be emailed to the course instructional designer who would, in turn, manage the conversion and posting process. While this helped to foster communication between the couse team and their instructonal designer about the content of LiveTalks, it left a lot to be desired from a workflow perspective. It was also problematic if the instructional designer was on vacation or out sick.

We've added a tool to online courses which now lets the faculty and TAs on an online course upload the slides directly into their online course website. This new LiveTalk slides upload tool is on the LiveTalk page in your online course, and is available up to a week prior to any scheduled LiveTalk. 

In addition to being able to upload up to 10 PPT or PDF files, you can also provide the LiveTalk team valuable infomation about your LiveTalk, including:

  • Number of people in the studio
  • Number of student presentations, if any
  • Expected running time of your session
  • Remote faculty or phone call-in speakers
  • And more

Providing all of this information will make it much easier for the Multimedia team who provides technical support for LiveTalks.

We think this process revamp will ensure that your slides get to the right people in a timely manner and will make setting up for LiveTalks go a whole lot smoother. The deadlines for submitting your LiveTalk slides remain the same, however, so be sure to upload those slides by noon on the day of your LiveTalk!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:27 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Dec 2 2014

Four Updates to the Discussion Forum

The discussion forum tool has been getting quite a bit of attention this fall. We've just released a number of new features for the discussion forum, all of which are available right now in your CoursePlus sites:

  1. A discussion forum topic can now be marked as "answered." Only the person who originally posted the topic or faculty or TAs can mark the question as answered. A topic can have more than one reply marked as the correct answer.
  2. If a course faculty or TA has responded to a topic, there is now an icon on the main discussion forum page which indicates this.
  3. Posting dates less than five days old are displayed in relative format. If a post was created 5 minutes ago, the date/time of the post reads "5 minutes ago." If a post was created 2 days ago, the date/time of the post reads "2 days ago." Posts older than 5 days show the date and time on which the post was created. This display of dates in relative format can be turned off in the admin section of each discussion forum.
  4. You can now search for posts marked as "Important."

Finally, students outside of the US now have the name of their country properly displayed in discussion forum posts. Hooray!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:07 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Nov 26 2014

Reminder: University Closure for the Thanksgiving Holiday

The University will be closed on Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28, 2014, for the Thanksgiving holiday. CTL Help will not be available during this time. CTL Help will resume normal operations on Monday, December 1, 2014.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:35 AM - Categories: General

Nov 24 2014

Fall Updates to the Peer Assessment Tool

We've received a lot of feedback about the Peer Asessment tool in CoursePlus since its introduction back in March of this year. The CoursePlus team has already made a number of significant changes to the tool, and as we continue to get feedback, we continue to make changes. During the last few months, the following changes were introduced:

  • The main peer assessment report page for faculty has undergone a significant revamp in order to make it clearer what each student in the class did, if they completed all of their assessments, and what assessments are still outstanding by each student.
  • Load time of the main peer assessment page has been markedly improved by calculating scores and means or medians when students submit peer assessments, rather than dynamically at runtime when the main peer assessment page is requested by faculty or TAs.
  • All peer assessments are now displayed on the "My Assessments" page for students if the person viewing that page is faculty/TA/staff.
  • Faculty and TAs can now see the "My Assessments" page for any student and see exactly what that student sees when they complete an assessment.
  • If a peer assessment is linked to a Drop Box, the main peer assessment report page for faculty now shows a box titled "Students Who Did Not Turn in Drop Box Files." This box lists the students who did not turn in Drop Box files for the linked Drop Box.
  • If a peer assessment is linked to a Drop Box, the main peer assessment report page for faculty now shows a box listing "Students who cannot complete their assessments because someone else did not turn in a file."
  • An "incomplete" marker is shown on the main peer assessment report page for any assessment which is not 100% complete.
  • The overall scoring method is no longer pre-selected. Faculty or TAs must choose which scoring method they prefer to use on a peer assessment.
  • If students do not click on a performance level when filling out a peer assessment, performance levels are automatically selected based on the points value entered by a student.
  • A student can no longer award more points than the maximum allowed for a given criteria.
  • Faculty and TAs can now leave additional comments/feedback on the summary report for peer assessments where a group is evaluated (by everyone or by their own group members). 

We look forward to your continued feedback on the Peer Assessment tool, and are already working on more changes!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:05 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Nov 17 2014

Reminder: CoursePlus Will Be Offline This Weekend

As we learned in late September, Facilities Management must make a repair to the substation which provides power to the part of the Wolfe Street building which houses the JHSPH data center. In order to perform this repair, they must turn the power off. This means that all websites housed in the JHSPH data center will be shut down, including CoursePlus.

CoursePlus will therefore be offline begining at 3pm Eastern time on Saturday, November 22, 2014 until 8am the next day, Sunday, November 23, 2014.

All faculty and students should plan accordingly for this outage of CoursePlus. You will not be able to access CoursePlus or any of the content on CoursePlus during this time. If you need materials from CoursePlus during this outage, you should download those materials prior to this outage.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:50 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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