Category: Course Tools

Oct 21 2014

Schedule Course Announcements

We've added two new small, but helpful, features to the Announcements tool in CoursePlus.

First, you can now schedule announcements in advance. You can set a date in the future for the announcement and the announcement will not appear on your class website until the date and time you've selected. Previously, all announcements would appear immediately, as soon as you created them.

Second, you can now select the number of days for which you want the announcement to appear. Announcements can appear for 1 to 7 days. (An announcement that needs to appear for more than 7 days should really be added as a class email or go into the Discussion Forum.)

Hopefully these small improvements make announcements more useful for you in your classes!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:24 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

Oct 14 2014

Numeric Value Question Type Added to the Quiz Generator

The Quiz Generator tool in CoursePlus has long supported five question types — multiple choice, true/false, match from two list, fill-in-the-blank, and essay — as well as the ability to insert blocks of text that aren't questions at any place in a quiz. We're pleased to announce that we just added a sixth, and long-requested, question type to the Quiz Generator: numeric value questions.

Numeric value questions allow you to specify a single numeric answer to a question which students much match exactly to get the question scored correctly. You can provide a range of values within which the student answer can fall and still get the question scored as being correct. Negative values and decimal values are supported. Best of all, the Quiz Generator automatically scores this type of question for you.

There are a couple of limitations to this question type: you can't specify a value in scientific notation, and you can't use percentage signs as part of the response.

A recommended best practice for using this new question type is to be very explicit about the number of decimal places which a student should include in their answer, and how rounding should work. Providing clarity on this will reduce the likelihood that a student would enter "80" for "80%" (which would be rejected by the system) instead of ".8" as an answer. However, the acceptable range feature will help alleviate problems where students might not use the correct number of decimal places or round incorrectly.

We think that this new question type will be a major boon for courses where mathematical computation is required, and will replace a lot of multiple choice questions that are currently used to ask students to perform a calculation and then pick the correct answer from a list of options. Using this new question type provides the benefit of autograding without having to come up with a series of incorrect multiple choice answers which may give students hints as to the correct answer in the process.

If you have questions about how the numeric value questoin type works, CTL Help is just a click away!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:14 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Oct 10 2014

Deleting Wiki Comments

The comments feature in the wiki tool allows anyone in a class to leave comments on a wiki page. This can be great for faculty evaluation of a wiki or peer-to-peer evaluation of a wiki. Previously, however, the only faculty and TAs could delete their own comments. There have been situations where students have wanted to use the commenting tool to leave comments for each other, but delete them before finalizing the wiki. There was no way to do that, until now.

Anyone who posts a comment in a wiki can now delete their own comments. Faculty and TAs can even delete any student comment on a wiki, in addition to being able to delete their own comments.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:21 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Oct 8 2014

Get Your Discussion Forum Subscriptions in Daily Digest Format

You can subscribe to any of the categories or topics in a course Discussion Forum so that all messages posted in that category or topic are immediately sent to you via email. We've been asked if there was a way to compile all those messages into a daily message. This makes things more manageable if your course Discussion Forum has lots of activity. Rather than getting 30 individual messages, you would get one email message containing all 30 posts.

You can now do this in the CoursePlus Discussion Forum!

To subscribe to a daily digest of messages rather than receive immediate delivery of messages, go to "Discussion Forum Options," look under the "Subscription Delivery Options" header, and select the "Send a digest email of posts added to categories and topics once per day." option.

Please note that this preference does not carry over from one course Discussion Forum to another. If you are taking multiple classes and want to have Discussion Forum posts sent in daily digest format in all your classes, you will have to set this option (one time!) in each of your class Discussion Forums.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 12:27 PM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

Oct 2 2014

Lecture and LiveTalk Tracking Tools for Students

Faculty have long had the ability to track which lectures are viewed by each student in an online class and to track which LiveTalks each student attended. Students have asked us if they could have access to this same data as it helps them to keep track of their activity in a course. This is particularly important when a portion of their final grade in a class depends on some kind of minimum LiveTalk attendance or viewing of all course lectures.

The CoursePlus team has introduced a lecture view tracking tool and a LiveTalk attendance tool for students in online courses. Both of these tools can be found in the "Resources" section of every online course website.

For lectures, students can see:

  • Each lecture section in the class
  • How many times they watched the lecture in the class website
  • If they downloaded the MP4, MP3, Slides or Transcript (if any)

For LiveTalks, students can see:

  • Each LiveTalk attended
  • Length of time spent in the LiveTalk
  • If they didn't attend the session, if they watched the archive

We hope that these two new reports give students better insight into the work that they do in online courses and give greater visibilty into the data that is collected about their activity — especially when it relates to their final grade in a class.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:31 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

Sep 9 2014

Using Online Lectures in Your On-Campus Courses

For years, some faculty who teach both online and on-campus versions of the same course have used their online lectures as reference material in their on-campus courses. In some cases, they even replaced in-class lectures with the lecture from their online course. This was always a manual process that involved the assistance of CTL.

Starting in the first academic term, you can now use lectures from online courses in your on-campus class with the same course number without any assistance by CTL. When you create a class session, you will see an option to include a lecture from the online (.81) version of the course in that class session. You can choose to use the whole lecture, as is, or only use specific sections. 

Students then see a "Lecture Materials" box very much like the one used in online courses. Students can see the same lecture video, and download the MP4, MP3, text transcript for each section of the lecture just as they do in online courses. The same set of rules applied to each online lecture in terms of what is downloadable apply to the display of the lecture on the class sessions page.

Faculty and TAs will even get the same report that exists in online classes which shows which students accessed each lecture, if they downloaded files, and so on.

There is one caveat to using this new feature: if you opt to not use all sections of an online lecture in a class session, the PDF for that lecture will not be displayed. This is because PDFs for online lectures in online courses are a single file of all sections in the lecture. If you opt to not use all sections of the lecture, the PDF will contain sections and content which you did not want to give to students. This will lead to confusion and potential problems in course content sequencing. You can, however, take the PDF from your online class, delete the pages which contain the materials you didn't want to show students in your on-campus class, and then upload that edited PDF to the Online Library. You can then even link that updated PDF to the same class session as the lecture.

We hope that those of you who teach both online and on-campus find this new feature to be very useful for both you and your students!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:47 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

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

Search Archives

Subscribe

CoursePlus on Twitter

JHSPH Sites

Categories

Monthly Archives