Viewing by month: October 2011

Oct 31 2011

Course Highlight: Life Course Perspectives on Health

Life Course Perspectives on Health (380.604.81)

The culminating assignment for this course was development of a conceptual framework for a health outcome illustrating a life course approach.
A “Conceptual Framework Fair” will be hosted both on-site and online to share and discuss student developed frameworks and related processes.

As the lead faculty put it –
…as you've discovered, learning about Conceptual Frameworks is an ongoing process and it always helps to see others' ways of thinking and drawing… - ME

Course site:

Posted by Rohini Vanchiswaran at 10:39 AM - Categories: General | Online Courses | Course Highlight

Oct 31 2011

BBS Updates for Second Term Courses

With the start of the second term, we've made a few changes and additions to the BBS which we hope you'll find useful:

  • References to websites (ie; ) in a post are now automatically converted into active hyperlinks.
  • Basic emoticon support has been added to the BBS. Listed below are supported emoticons:
    • :) or :-) = 
    • :( or :-( = 
    • :/ or :-/ = 
    • ;) or ;-) = 
    • :p or :-p = 
  • If a course BBS is new and has no categories, a "General" category is automatically created for you and a message is displayed indicating that additional categories can and should be set up in the BBS admin.
  • If a course BBS has only categories and no topics in those categories, a message is displayed instructing you to start adding topics by clicking the "Add Topic" button in the upper-left corner of the BBS.

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

Oct 24 2011

Important Note About Browser Support and the New Online Library in CoursePlus

By the end of the month, the new Online Library tool will be available in CoursePlus. It is very important to note that the new Online Library tool will not work in Internet Explorer 7. We know that there are some faculty and staff who still use Internet Explorer 7 to access CoursePlus. However, the Center stopped supporting Internet Explorer 7 for online courses and CoursePlus in June, 2011. For a recap of the reasons why support for IE7 was ended, please see this blog post.

While it's quite possible that some of the functionality in the new Online Library will work in Internet Explorer 7, we know that not everything does work in that browser. We have tested the Online Library against a number of modern Web browsers, and found no problems. Tested and supported browsers include:

All of these browsers are free and download quickly. If you do not wish to upgrade Internet Explorer out of concerns about what it may do to your computer, you can use Firefox or Chrome. These web browsers do not interfere with your operating system in the same ways that Internet Explorer does. (As a matter of fact, the Center strongly recommends the use of Firefox or Chrome instead of Internet Explorer.)

If you have questions or concerns about this, please feel free to contact the CTLT Help team for assistance.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 4:47 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Oct 24 2011

Lots of Tool Updates for Online Courses in the Second Term

Just in time for the second academic term, we've rolled out a slew of updates to the tools in online courses. In addition to the improved mobile support, rich media embed tool, and BBS updates which were blogged about previously, listed below are the highlights of the rest of the changes:

Online Library

  • Dragging and dropping files across folders has been significantly improved. When you drag a file over a closed folder, that folder no longer immediately springs open. This significantly improves dragging files far down the list of files and folders in the Online Library. If you want to drag a file into a closed folder, you can drag the file on top of the folder name, wait about one second, and the folder box will flash and then spring open, revealing the contents of the folder.
Quiz Generator
  • In the "Quiz Preview" section, if you click on the "Test as Faculty" link, you always start with a blank slate, no matter what the quiz setup. If you test as a student, you either start with a blank slate if the quiz is a single-access quiz, or you continue to work on previous responses if the quiz is a multiple-access quiz.
  • Optional answer explanations are now stored and displayed in the log of student activity in a quiz.
  • If a student is taking a multi-access quiz and has an essay answer rich text editor open, and tries to leave the page, the student is given a warning about leaving the page with an unsaved answer.
  • We've improved the detection of and notifications to students who have had their wireless Internet connection reset while taking a quiz.
  • Writers are now displayed before readers in the "Edit Settings" page for a wiki. Most of the time, the writers group needs to be managed, not the readers group. 
  • Groups are now displayed before individual student names in the "Available Users and Groups" list when you manage writers or readers. 
  • Student names in the "Available Users and Groups" list are now displayed by last name, then first name. 

Drop Box

  • You can now see the "limit file type" setting for a Drop Box on the main "Manage Assignment Parts" page, rather than having to click "Edit" to see that setting.
  • If the event to which a Drop Box is linked has a start due and end due date, both are now displayed on the main Drop Box page for students. Previously, only the end due date was displayed.
  • Multiple items due on the same day now show up in the same order as on the course calendar.


  • When you are viewing results or editing a lecture evaluation, and go back to the main survey page, the "Lectures" tab will be automatically selected. When you are viewing results or editing a LiveTalk evaluation, and go back to the main survey page, the "LiveTalk" tab will be automatically selected.


Posted by Brian Klaas at 4:45 PM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

Oct 13 2011

Enhancing the Virtual Classroom: Communicating with VoiceThread

Online education has the necessary advantage of technology to overcome the challenges one encounters outside the traditional classroom. One such challenge is how to enable students and instructors with a method of communication that compares to, or if possible, exceeds the kind of interaction one finds in the classroom.  VoiceThread, an online communication tool, is an excellent example of one method of using technology to meet this challenge. 


Posted by Rick Ivy at 1:24 PM - Categories: General | Online Courses | Distance Learning

Oct 12 2011

New Online Library Coming to CoursePlus

For the past few years, the online course system has been using a different version of the Online Library than CoursePlus. With the start of the second term, that's about to change.

The new Online Library in CoursePlus will match its online course counterpart in features and includes some powerful, new ways to work faster and organize files better. These include:

  • A merge of the old Online Library and Web Links tools. You now manage both files and weblinks in the same place. Students also see files and weblinks on the same Online Library page in CoursePlus sites.
  • Drag and drop reordering of files and folders in the library.
  • Record an Audio Note (brief audio recording) directly into the Online Library. That Audio Note is then automatically converted into an MP3 file for students to download.
  • Upload of multiple files at once.
  • Visual feedback while uploading files so you know how long the upload will take.
  • Replace a file with a new version without deleting the file from the library.
  • Open/close dates on folders as well as individual files.
  • Send an email to the entire class when you've uploaded a new file.
  • Block individual students from viewing specific files (good for hiding an answer key from students who have not completed a homework exercise.)
  • Track which students have downloaded which files or clicked on which weblinks in the library.
  • A streamlined, single-page interface for doing all the work you need to do in the Online Library.
We'll detail some of these new or improved features in upcoming blog posts. 

We expect that the new Online Library will be in CoursePlus by the end of October.


Posted by Brian Klaas at 4:45 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Oct 11 2011

Rich Media Embed Tool for Adding Content in Online Courses

You can now embed rich media from a number of Web-based services into the following types of content in online courses:

  • BBS posts
  • Wiki pages
  • Quiz Generator questions and quiz instructions
  • Class email

The following services are supported:

The button to insert rich media into the above types of content can be found in the rich text editor when adding or editing those pieces of content, and looks like this: 

Note that for class email messages, embedded content will not show in the students's email client due to security restrictions in most email clients. However, students will be able to see the full content on the class email archive page.

If there are additional services you would like to see supported, please let us know!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:45 AM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

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