Viewing by month: June 2009

Jun 29 2009

Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study of Urban Food Environments

Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study of Urban Food Environments has just been added to JHSPH OpenCourseWare. Taught by Anne Palmer and Roni Neff of the Center for a Livable Future, this course challenges students to look closely at the environment of Baltimore City's complex food systems and to consider what it would take to improve these systems to assure access for all to nutritious, adequate, affordable, and sustainably produced food.

Although most courses on OCW are lecture-based didactic courses, Baltimore Food Systems is built around a series of field trips, projects, and classroom discussions. Many instructors of seminar-style courses like this one are hesitant to contribute to OCW out of a concern that they don't have a sufficient amount of OCW-ready content, but Baltimore Food Systems demonstrates that this isn't necessarily true. The course includes a syllabus, a reading list, and instructions for completing an oral history project and a final term paper. It also includes four lists of brainstormed questions prepared for the field trip sites: a Baltimore corner market, a supermarket, a fast food restaurant, and a food bank.

Posted by Ira Gooding at 3:45 PM - Categories: OpenCourseWare

Jun 25 2009

New Features in the Class Email Tool

The Class Email tool in online courses has been updated with a few new features. The new features are:

  • Faculty and TAs now have access to the archive of all class emails sent during previous offerings of the course.
  • Faculty and TAs can now view all messages sent by the course instructional team in the class email archive. This means that any message sent by the course faculty, TAs, or instructional designer from the class email tool to anyone in the class can be seen by faculty and TAs. Students are still limited to seeing messages sent to the entire class in the email archive.
  • Faculty and TAs can now opt to include a message sent to individuals (not everyone) in the class email archive so that everyone in the class can see that message.
  • The rich text editor has been replaced with an updated, improved version.
As always, your feedback on new features in any of the online course tools is welcomed!


Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:06 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Jun 10 2009

Updates to the Course BBS

We've been incrementally rolling out modifications to the BBS tool found in all online courses and in some CoursePlus sites (if the faculty have requested one). The biggest update revolves around the display of student photos and profile information, but other updates have been put in to place as well.

Previously, a generic "person" icon would appear next to a person's name when they posted a message in a course BBS. These icons weren't particularly attractive, and a number of faculty, students, and TAs requested that the picture of the person who made the post appear instead. That's exactly what we've done. If the person posting a message has a photo in their JHSPH eLearning profile, that photo will be displayed next to their name in the BBS. If the person doesn't have a photo, a generic "no photo" icon is used instead. If you don't have a photo in your eLearning profile, now is the time to add one!

Additionally, if you click on someone's photo (or even the generic "no photo" icon next to their name), you will see information pulled directly from that person's JHSPH eLearning profile, including their biographical information, professional interests, Facebook page, and personal Web links — again, if any of that information is provided by the individual. 

There will also be a "new messages since my last visit" page which will show you all the threads in the BBS to which new messages have been posted since your last visit.

Finally, we've made some improvements to the display of new message indicators in the BBS. Previously, if you went in to a category in the BBS, all the messages in that category would be marked as viewed, even if you only viewed one thread in that category. This was, obviously, frustrating. The new message indicators have been revamped so that if you go in to a category with new messages, only the specific threads you view are marked as having been read. Threads in that same category which you did not view will not be marked as read. It's a little change, but the little things can make a big difference!

As always, if you have questions or concerns about these changes, please let us know!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:53 AM - Categories: Course Tools

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