Viewing by month: September 2013

Sep 24 2013

Anonymize Student File Names in the Drop Box

In late August, we added a feature to the Drop Box tool in online courses that allows you to anonymize the file names of student files which you download from a course Drop Box. This means that instead of the file names having the student name in them when you download the files from the Drop Box, the file names have a random string of characters. For example, instead of a file being named "Homework_1-Brian_Klaas.doc" the file would be named "Homework_1-7URT-BQIK-J8AJ-KAN3.doc" if (and only if) you turn on this option in the setup for the Drop Box.

How is this feature useful? This feature has been requested by a handful of faculty over the past few years who have their TAs grade student papers and want the grading process to be totally anonymous. If the student name is in the file name, it's not going to be anonymous. With these anonymized file names, TAs will not know whose paper they are grading (provided, of course, that the student does not put their name in the body of the paper.)

If this option is selected in the setup for a Drop Box, a key listing all students and the file names for their files will be available from within the Drop Box. This allows faculty to know which file belongs to which student. Additionally, if you upload a ZIP file of files with these anonymized file names into the Gradebook, the Gradebook uses that key to correctly assign each file to the proper student so you don't have to do that work.

This feature exists only in online courses right now, but is coming to the CoursePlus Drop Box before the second term.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:04 AM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

Sep 18 2013

More Announcements on the Course Home Page

Announcements are a handy way to let everyone in the class know about something important as soon as they arrive on the online course home page. Previously, only one announcement was displayed on an online course home page at a time. Announcements normally stay visible for five days from the posting of the announcement. If you posted another announcement before those five days expired, however, the previous announcement (or announcements) would disappear from the course home page.

We've changed the announcements tool so that you can now have up to five (5) announcements dispalyed on an online course home page at a time. This means that if you post an announcement on Monday, another on Tuesday, and another on Wednesday, all three announcements will be visible until the first announcement "expires" five days after it was posted.

If you have feedback on the announcements tool and how it works, we'd love to hear it!

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

Sep 10 2013

9/11 & 9/20 CTL Workshop: Accessibility

Did you know?

  • JHSPH currently has more students registered with the disability support office than any other graduate school at JHU?
  • During 2012-13 there were 39 students registered with a disability.  Some of the accommodations provided included:
    • 25 students received extended time on exams,
    • 8 required flexible/extended deadlines;
    • 5 required note takers/scribes in the classroom;
    • 3 required a reader to record scientific articles and book chapters (needed for dissertation work) in audio format; and
    • 4 required enlarged print (minimum 14 pt font) for all course materials. 
    • Some students received multiple accommodations. 

Please join CTL for our first workshop of the new academic year, and please feel free to forward and invite your TA's:

This workshop will feature special guests, Abigail Hurson, JHU Disability Services Officer and Betty H Addison, JHSPH Senior Director of Student Life Services. The session will summarize current legal obligations and strategies surrounding classroom and online accessibility, and will provide specific steps faculty can take to ensure student access to course materials. Designing course strategies and materials from the start with accessibility in mind will enhance the learning experience of all students, including students with disabilities. This workshop will provide resources to help faculty develop and update class materials (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, PDF) to create an accessible and inclusive learning environment while ensuring JHU’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As always, you can register to participate either in person or remotely via Adobe Connect:

Wednesday, September 11, 12:15-1:15 Wolfe Street

Friday, September 20, 12:15-1:15 – Hampton House


Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:16 AM - Categories: Teaching Tips | General | Online Courses | Distance Learning

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