Aug 20 2014

A Slew of Summertime Updates to CoursePlus

In addition to the new features in the Gradebook, Quiz Generator, and Peer Assessment tool blogged about previously, there have been a slew of smaller changes to CoursePlus this summer. These changes include:

  • When you create a survey from a template, you can now specify the number of copies you want to make. This allows you to make 5 or 8 or 16 copies of a custom class session evaluation, for example.
  • You can now manually enter email addresses in the CC: field in the class email tool.
  • If there are graded categories in the discussion forum, and there are posts in that graded category that haven't been graded, an icon is shown to faculty/TAs on the discussion forum home page indicating that the category has posts which need grading.
  • Auditors who have not submitted a file to a Drop Box are now grouped and listed at the bottom of the list of students who have not submitted a file and they are automatically deselected from receiving the reminder email.
  • The course number of a course is displayed next to the course name on the Course Quick Jump drop-down tool.
  • It is now possible for developers to un-delete a Drop Box that has been deleted through the CoursePlus interface by faculty or TAs. 

All of these changes are documented in the CoursePlus guide for faculty and students. If you have any questions about how any of these features work, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 7:54 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

Aug 12 2014

Assign Grades by Group in the Gradebook

The Course Groups tool in CoursePlus enables you to set up groups of students that can then be utilized in many ways throughout your CoursePlus site: private discussion forum categories for each group, having a single student submit a file to a Drop Box on behalf of a whole group, and more. Now there's a new Course Groups-enabled feature in CoursePlus: the ability to assign a single grade to a group of students.

When you go to the "Enter Grades" page in the Gradebook for a given activity, a separate box appears on screen that lists all the Course Groups in the CoursePlus site for that course. Clicking on a group brings you to a screen where you can enter a single grade for every member of that group. You can even return a file for each member of the group.

You can override the grade of an individual group member if you want, but now you have a tool for quick and easy assignation of grades to all members of a group in the class!

If you have feedback about this new feature, we're always interested in hearing what you have to say.  

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:05 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

Aug 5 2014

Copy Quizzes from Other Sections of the Same Course

Many faculty who use the Quiz Generator in CoursePlus teach multiple sections of the same course. These faculty frequently use the same quizzes in each section of the course. In the past, you had to manually re-create quizzes in the Quiz Generator across different sections of the same course as there was no way to copy quizzes from one section of a course to another.

You can now copy quizzes from one section (offering) of a course to another in the Quiz Generator. To do this, go to the Quiz Generator in your CoursePlus site and click the "Copy Quizzes from Other Offerings" link.

Copy from Other Offerings Link

You will then see a list of all quizzes in all other offerings of that course from the past two years. You can select one or more quizzes to copy into the current CoursePlus site. When you copy a quiz, the title of that quiz is appended with ""Copy of Quiz from [ course number, course term, course academic year ]" so that it's easy to identify the copies. You can, of course, change the titles of the quizzes at any point.

There's one limitation to this feature: you can't copy the same quiz from the same offering of a course into the current CoursePlus site twice. Once a quiz is copied from a given offering of a course, it cannot be copied into the current CoursePlus site again.

If you have feedback about this new feature, we'd be happy to hear it!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:26 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

Aug 4 2014

CoursePlus Will Be Offline Starting at 5pm on Tuesday, August 12 Until 5am Wednesday, August 13

Due to electrical inspections which must occur every five years, the JHSPH data center must be shut down and be offline from 5pm on Tuesday, August 12 Until 5am Wednesday, August 13, 2014. The JHSPH data center houses most School servers including the servers for CoursePlus. This means that CoursePlus will not be available during this time. If you try to reach CoursePlus during this time, you will receive a "This website cannot be found." message in your Web browser.

We know that any outage of CoursePlus is a big interruption in your daily academic life. We simply have no choice in the matter, nor does JHSPH IT, who operates the JHSPH data center.

We ask that you please plan for this outage acccordingly.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 1:13 PM - Categories: CoursePlus | General

Jul 29 2014

Grading TA Role Added to CoursePlus

We're always listening to the feedback given to us about CoursePlus. One request that has come in numerous times over the past few months is the ability to have TAs who can grade papers and exams, but not do anything else within a CoursePlus site. We're pleased to announce that this new role — the "Grading TA" role — has been added to CoursePlus.

This is a special, limited role and is not intended for most TAs. TAs in this role can only do the following:

  • Access course Drop Boxes
  • Access and score quizzes (but not edit or change quiz or question setups)
  • Access and enter grades in the Gradebook (but not edit or change the Gradebook setup)

TAs in this role cannot edit the syllabus, edit class sessions, manage the discussion forum, add files to the Online Library, or do any editing to the content of your CoursePlus site. Their access is limited to the activities listed above. You can add someone in the Grading TA role by going to the "Add TAs, Editors..." tool inside of your CoursePlus site.

We hope that those of you who have requested this feature find it a useful addition to CoursePlus!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:45 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jul 22 2014

Lots of Updates to the Peer Assessment Tool

Since we introduced the Peer Assessment tool in CoursePlus in March, there have been a handful of courses which have used this tool to allow students to assess and grade each other's work. We've received some excellent feedback on the functionality and user experience of the Peer Assessment tool, and have been making subtle tweaks to the tool since its release. As of the summer term, however, we've added a few more noticeable changes to the Peer Assessment tool:

  • The Peer Assessment tool now sends a "confirmation of assessment submission" email to students when they complete and submit an assessment.
  • Faculty and TAs can see a preview of the results email that will be sent to students before that results email is sent.
  • An option to add an “Additional Comments and Feedback” row to a rubric is now available. There are no boxes to click and no points to assign in this row. It there only as an open comments/feedback box for the person filling out the rubric.
  • You can now add students to a peer assessment after it has opened. In the case of group assignments, students will be added into their groups and will be assigned as part of that group. In the case of self-assesments and faculty assessments, students are simply added to the assessment like any other student. In the case of random assignments, faculty or TAs are required to manually assign students added to the assessment after it has opened to other students.
  • Students who do not enter comments for each criteria in a peer assessment are now told that they must do so.
  • Auditors are now excluded from being assigned assessments in the random assignment assessment type.
  • Emails sent from the Peer Assessment tool now include the course number in the subject, and will alternatively use the course short if the course is not a course in the SPH course catalog.
  • When you click on a cell in a rubric to edit the text therein, the cursor now auto-focuses in the rich text editor.
  • When you edit a rubric, you can now see a substantial list of example rubrics in a new window.

We hope that all of these changes — all suggested by faculty and TAs — make the experience of the Peer Assessment tool a better one.

If you have questions about the Peer Assessment tool and how to incorporate it into your classes, please contact an instructional designer in the Center!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:07 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jul 11 2014

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning (PDF) is a new resource just added to the Flipped Classrooms page in the CTL Teaching Toolkit. It is a detailed special report from Faculty Focus, which is comprised of many individual articles on integrating online and face-to-face activities, course design, reflection, flippable moments, and more! 


0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 3:30 PM - Categories: Distance Learning | Innovation & Inspiration | Online Courses | Teaching Tips

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