Viewing by month: June 2011

Jun 24 2011

Wiki Changes for Summer 2011

The wiki tool in online courses was recently updated to include a number of changes and new features. These include:

  • If someone starts to edit a wiki page, and there are other people editing that wiki page at the same time, a notification that others are editing the page is placed at the top of the wiki page. If one of those other people saves their changes to the wiki page while it is being edited by someone else, a notification appears on the screen of those who are still editing the page that it has been saved by someone else and that saving the page at this point will overwrite the other person's changes.
  • Notification of a wiki being marked as "Finished" is now turned off by default. There is an option in the setup for each wiki to turn this on. If notifications are turned on, they go to the whole instructional team, including course primary faculty, TAs, and instructional designers.
  • The rich text editor is now used when making comments on a wiki page.
  • Viewing a history of all changes made by a specific author where the author worked on a page that was deleted no longer throws an error.


Posted by Brian Klaas at 3:42 PM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

Jun 20 2011

Change in the Way Essay Questions in Quizzes Are Answered

At the end of May, we rolled out a number of changes to the online courses, and included a whole new version of the Quiz Generator as part of that rollout. One item that didn't make it in to that rollout was a change we've been working on for how essay question answers are entered when students take online quizzes. That change has finally made it into the Quiz Generator.

Previously, when students answered essay questions in an online quiz, an overlay window would appear that contained both the question being asked and a rich text editor where the students could enter their answer. Some students who were using computers with relatively small screens would have to do a lot of scrolling in this widow, and didn't like that experience. Some people over the past year also reported random freezes or crashes when this window opened. In spite of performing hundreds upon hundreds of tests in all the supported Web browsers, we weren't able to replicate this crashing problem. Some people still reported it, so we wanted to try to find a way to resolve both of these issues.

The change that we have just made now makes the rich text editor appear immediately below the question that's being asked, on the quiz page and not in an overlay window. We've tested this extensively on all the supported Web browsers and haven't seen any problems with this. We hope that this resolves both the issues for those using small screens and those who may have experienced random browser crashes in the past.

Two small notes about this change:

  • Only one rich text editor can be opened at any time. This means that a student can only work on the answer to one essay question at a time.
  • There's no "I don't want to save the changes that I've made to this answer" button. Once changes are made in the rich text editor, the only option is to save that answer.
We hope that this change will resolve those random, un-reproducible errors that some people had in the past. If you have any problems at all while taking an online exam, please contact CTLTHelp right away!


Posted by Brian Klaas at 3:29 PM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

Jun 13 2011

New Special Events Available for Viewing

Please take a few minutes to view 3 special events, recently recorded at JHSPH, now posted on the CTLT Web Event site:

  • Peter Winch, MD, MPH: The New Primary Health Care: Principles to Guide Responses to Ecosystem Degradation, Global Climate Change, and Energy Scarcity

  • Bloomberg Leadership Series: CNN Hero Anuradha Koirala

  • Ronald D. Stall, PhD, MPH: On Syndemics and Strengths Among Gay Men


Posted by Kathy Gresh at 11:15 AM - Categories: Web Events

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