Viewing by month: July 2013

Jul 23 2013

Draft Email Messages in the Class Email Tool

We've been asked over the years to provide faculty and TAs the ability to compose a draft email message in the class email tool. We have added this functionality to the online course system. You can now save up to 5 different draft messages in the class email tool. (Note that this means 5 different messages, not 5 separate drafts of the same message.)

This new feature means that one faculty member on a course can compose a message that is later sent by another faculty or TA in the same course. File attachments on draft messages are supported as well.

The draft message feature is currently only available in online courses. We'll be bringing it to CoursePlus as soon as we can.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:11 AM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

Jul 9 2013

Submit Files to the Drop Box from Google Drive or Dropbox

We've just rolled out an exciting new feature for students who submit files to a course drop box. You can now select a file in Google Drive (Google Docs) or from your Dropbox or account in addition to selecting a file on your desktop or laptop computer when submitting files to a course drop box. This gives you a lot more flexibility in where you store (and how you work on) files that you eventually submit to a course drop box. Additionally, the new file picker for the Drop Box also supports dragging and dropping files from your desktop into the Drop Box file picker window.

If you decide to use Google Drive or Dropbox as the source of the file you want to submit, you'll need to give the application permission to do so. We use a third-party integration called "Inkfilepicker" for this functionality, so you may see that come up if you go this route. None of your files are stored on the Inkfilepicker servers. Files are securely stored on separate servers by the Center for Teaching and Learning. 

Please also note that if you're really pushing the deadline for submitting a file — that is, you're waiting until the literal last minute to submit your file to a course drop box — you might end up submitting the file past the deadline. Remember that you have to first authorize Google Drive or Dropbox or to access your files, and only then can you pick the file you want to use, and only after that is the file actually uploaded to the course drop box. This process can take a minute or more, so if you wait until 11:58pm to submit to a course drop box that closes at 11:59pm and you're using Google Drive, Dropbox or, you might miss the deadline.

This feature is only available in online courses at this time. We plan on bringing it to CoursePlus by the second academic term.

If you have feedback about this new feature, we'd love to hear it!


Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:19 AM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

Jul 3 2013

Printing Lecture Slides in Different Ways

With the beginning of summer term, lectures will be offered in a video-based format and the slides for all lectures will also be offered in a slightly different way. Instead of separate files for each section in each lecture, a single PDF file of all slides in the lecture will be provided. 

The single PDF of all slides in the lecture will be provided in a 1 slide per page format. There will no longer be 2 slides per page (color) and 6 slides per page (black and white) options. A single PDF will be offered.

If you don't like the one slide per page (color) format when you print your slides, you have the option of changing the print settings on your computer to print 2 slides or 6 slides or 9 slides per page. You also have the option of printing in black and white or color. This is all dependent on the driver options for your printer.

The CTL Help team has created a brief tutorial that shows you both how to print multiple slides per page and how to print in black and white instead of color. While print settings vary from printer to printer, the basics are all covered in the tutorial, so if you want something other than a single slide per page for the lecture notes in online courses, you can make that yourself!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:58 AM - Categories: Online Courses

Jul 1 2013

Embed Images into Your Online Course Syllabus and Class Emails

Back in March, we added the ability for you to upload images directly into BBS posts. Some faculty expressed an interest in also being able to do this when editing their course syllabus and when sending email messages to the whole class. As a result, we've added the ability for anyone editing an online course syllabus to embed an image directly into a syllabus section. When you edit any section in an online course syllabus (except contact information and learning objectives, which have a very specific format), you can click on the insert image button to add an image directly into that syllabus section:

You can also insert an image into an email message that you send via the class email tool. The process is exactly the same as above.

We'll be adding the ability to insert images into content into more online course tools — including the Quiz Generator — in the future.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:35 AM - Categories: Online Courses

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