Category: Course Tools

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

Jun 24 2014

New Quiz Generator Features for Those Coming from the Old CoursePlus

With the launch of the merged CoursePlus, faculty who had never taught an online course before now have access to a wide variety of new features and improvements to the tools that they had used in the old CoursePlus. The Quiz Generator has some significant new features which were not available in the old CoursePlus, but had been available in the online course system since the 2012 academic year. These include:

Multi-Access Graded Quizzes

  • Faculty are able to set up a quiz as graded, but then specify only allowing students access to the quiz once, or as many times as needed.
  • As students work on a multi-access quiz, their answers are automatically saved while they work. If the student leaves the quiz and comes back to the quiz, their answers appear exactly as they left them.
  • Students can submit their answers only once, regardless of the number of times they can access a graded quiz.
  • Faculty can set up a quiz so that students can access it as many times as needed, but have a countdown timer just as they could previously, so the student only has a total of [n] minutes to be on the quiz page.
  • Faculty can set up a quiz so that students can access it as many times as needed, but only have a set period of time (ie; 90 minutes) to work on the quiz. That time starts counting down the moment the student first access the quiz and continues to count down even if the student leaves the quiz page. At the end of the set period of time, the quiz is automatically submitted, even if the student isn't on the quiz page.

Allow Students to Continue Work on Single-Access Graded Quizzes

  • If a student can't complete a quiz that can only be accessed once (technical difficulty, etc.), faculty have an option on the special permissions page to let the student continue working on the quiz.
  • If a student is given special permission to continue working on the quiz, faculty have the option of "locking down" the existing student answers so the student can't change them.
  • If a student is given special permission to continue working on the quiz, the countdown timer (if one is used) will continue from the time the student last communicated with the server (so if they had 25 minutes left when they had a problem, they will have 25 minutes when they get special access again).
  • Note that if a student already submitted their answers to a quiz/exam, there is no option to let the student back into the quiz to change their work. (This is a feature that we will add in the coming months.)

Log of Student Activity in a Quiz

  • You can now see a log of all activity by a student when taking a quiz. This includes:
    • Starting and leaving a quiz
    • Selecting or changing answers
    • Snapshots of answers to essay questions as they are written
    • Warnings given to students about leaving a single-access graded quiz
    • Submission of answers Email messages sent by the system to the student

If you have questions about how to use any of these new features, please contact your course instructional designer or CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:34 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus

Jun 2 2014

Two Things all JHSPH Faculty and Students Should Do...

With all of the recent migrations and changes to @JHU email and CoursePlus, there are a couple key things that we should all do:

1. Update your Email address (to @jhu.edu) on the CoursePlus eLearning Account page. Once you have been migrated on email, this important step will help ensure that your emails come from and go to the correct address.

2. Change all bookmarks and/or reference links from distance.jhsph.edu to courseplus.jhsph.edu. This will help ensure that students or others attempting to reach a particular class or destination will be able to. Keep in mind that your saved passwords will also be tied to the old address, so you will likely want to re-save any passwords in your preferred browsers.

Also, if you experience oddities or abnormalities while using CoursePlus, here are some tips to try before contacting CTLHelp:

  1. Clear your browser cache: http://ctl.jhsph.edu/help/index.cfm/go/faq.display/faqID/75/
  2. If that does not work, please ensure that you don’t have any kind of “on startup, pick up exactly where I left off” settings turned on. Google Chrome has this in the Chome Preferences, under “Settings” -> “On Startup.”

Of course, if trouble persists, please use the CTL Help resources or open a help call

0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 2:02 PM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus | Distance Learning | General | Online Courses | Tech Tools

May 22 2014

Change to the "Preview Quiz" Page in the Quiz Generator

When a faculty, TA or staff member previews a quiz in the online course system, they have two options to choose from: "Test the Quiz as a Faculty/TA/Staff member" and "Test the Quiz as a Student.” These two options are nearly identical, and the separate links were only added after we received feedback years ago from a handful of people who weren't sure what things would look like to students vs. faculty who were taking or testing a quiz.

The only functional difference between "Test the Quiz as a Faculty/TA/Staff member" and "Test the Quiz as a Student” on that page is that clicking the "Test the Quiz as a Faculty/TA/Staff member" link resets your attempt on the quiz every time, whereas the "Test the Quiz as a Student" link lets you pick up where you left off on a multi-access quiz. Even so, if you access a multi-access quiz on the "test as student" link, you're presented with the option to start over with a new copy anyway. There's no real difference between the two links.

As such, we have combined the "Test the Quiz as a Faculty/TA/Staff member" and "Test the Quiz as a Student” links on this page into a single link titled “Test the Quiz."

The single “Test the Quiz” link will act the same as the current "Test the Quiz as a Student” link in that if you access a multi-access quiz on the "Test as student" link, you're presented with the option to start over with a new copy anyway.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:10 AM - Categories: Course Tools | Online Courses

Apr 29 2014

Two Changes to the Class Email Tool

As part of the work merging the online course system and CoursePlus, we've made a couple of small and (hopefully) helpful changes to email messages sent from the class email tool.

First, all courses (online or on-campus) will list the course number in the subject line of every message. Currently, online courses display a shortened version of the course name in the subject line. Many students do not know what these shortened versions of the course name mean. Messages sent through CoursePlus currently display the course number in the subject line. By making all courses, regardless of modality, use the same format for the subject line, we'll eliminate some confusion and create a more consistent experience.

Second, all email messages sent through the class email tool will be framed in a nice, gray box and will include a “Go to the class website” button at the bottom of all messages.

This is a small visual change, but makes the messages look nicer. With the addition of the “Go to the class website” button, everyone receiving the message now has an easy way to get to the class website from the email message.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:45 AM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus | Online Courses

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