Viewing by month: November 2014

Nov 26 2014

Reminder: University Closure for the Thanksgiving Holiday

The University will be closed on Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28, 2014, for the Thanksgiving holiday. CTL Help will not be available during this time. CTL Help will resume normal operations on Monday, December 1, 2014.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:35 AM - Categories: General

Nov 24 2014

Fall Updates to the Peer Assessment Tool

We've received a lot of feedback about the Peer Asessment tool in CoursePlus since its introduction back in March of this year. The CoursePlus team has already made a number of significant changes to the tool, and as we continue to get feedback, we continue to make changes. During the last few months, the following changes were introduced:

  • The main peer assessment report page for faculty has undergone a significant revamp in order to make it clearer what each student in the class did, if they completed all of their assessments, and what assessments are still outstanding by each student.
  • Load time of the main peer assessment page has been markedly improved by calculating scores and means or medians when students submit peer assessments, rather than dynamically at runtime when the main peer assessment page is requested by faculty or TAs.
  • All peer assessments are now displayed on the "My Assessments" page for students if the person viewing that page is faculty/TA/staff.
  • Faculty and TAs can now see the "My Assessments" page for any student and see exactly what that student sees when they complete an assessment.
  • If a peer assessment is linked to a Drop Box, the main peer assessment report page for faculty now shows a box titled "Students Who Did Not Turn in Drop Box Files." This box lists the students who did not turn in Drop Box files for the linked Drop Box.
  • If a peer assessment is linked to a Drop Box, the main peer assessment report page for faculty now shows a box listing "Students who cannot complete their assessments because someone else did not turn in a file."
  • An "incomplete" marker is shown on the main peer assessment report page for any assessment which is not 100% complete.
  • The overall scoring method is no longer pre-selected. Faculty or TAs must choose which scoring method they prefer to use on a peer assessment.
  • If students do not click on a performance level when filling out a peer assessment, performance levels are automatically selected based on the points value entered by a student.
  • A student can no longer award more points than the maximum allowed for a given criteria.
  • Faculty and TAs can now leave additional comments/feedback on the summary report for peer assessments where a group is evaluated (by everyone or by their own group members). 

We look forward to your continued feedback on the Peer Assessment tool, and are already working on more changes!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:05 AM - Categories: Course Tools

Nov 17 2014

Reminder: CoursePlus Will Be Offline This Weekend

As we learned in late September, Facilities Management must make a repair to the substation which provides power to the part of the Wolfe Street building which houses the JHSPH data center. In order to perform this repair, they must turn the power off. This means that all websites housed in the JHSPH data center will be shut down, including CoursePlus.

CoursePlus will therefore be offline begining at 3pm Eastern time on Saturday, November 22, 2014 until 8am the next day, Sunday, November 23, 2014.

All faculty and students should plan accordingly for this outage of CoursePlus. You will not be able to access CoursePlus or any of the content on CoursePlus during this time. If you need materials from CoursePlus during this outage, you should download those materials prior to this outage.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:50 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Nov 10 2014

Two New Drop Box Features: Automatic Reminders and an Honor Pledge

We've added two new features which we hope will make the CoursePlus Drop Box even more useful to faculty and TAs.

First: automatic reminders. You can now schedule automatic reminders that will be sent to students who have not yet turned in a file to a Drop Box that the Drop Box due date is approaching. You specify the number of days before the due date of the Drop Box that you want the reminder to be sent, and it is automatically sent to students who have not yet turned in a file for that Drop Box. This is the generic message that is always sent:

This email message is to remind you that you have not submitted [Name of Course] [Name of Drop Box].
Due Date: [Due date for Drop Box]

Second: an honor pledge indicator. You can now opt to require that students click a checkbox next to a statement about completing work in compliance with the School's policy and procedure memorandum pertaining academic ethics before they can submit a file to a Drop Box. While clicking a checkbox cannot literally enforce that students complete their work in an appropriate manner, it does help to serve as a reminder to all students of their obligations when it comes to academic ethics.

The honor pledge, written by the Associate Dean for Academic Integrity, reads:

I have completed this assignment in accordance with the School's Policies and Procedures Memorandum Students-1 pertaining to Academic Ethics.

One other change that we made to the Drop Box was to limit the size of submitted Microsoft Word or PDF files. In the first academic term, there were a handful of students who submitted Word documents or PDF files that were over 300MB in size. That's fairly huge for a Word document or PDF file, especially as the vast majority of students submit files that are less than 10MB in size. The problem with these large files was that they'd take a longer than normal time for faculty or TAs to download, and would significantly slow the creation of the ZIP files for all files submitted to a Drop Box. In order to improve the overall experience for everyone, we've limited the maximum file size of Word and PDF files that can be submitted to a Drop Box to 50MB. Students who have files larger than 50MB can use any number of techniques to reduce the file size, and can seek asssitance for doing this from the CTL Help team.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:55 AM - Categories: Course Tools

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