Viewing by month: March 2014

Mar 25 2014

"About the Course" is Becoming "Syllabus"

Since the launch of both the online course system and CoursePlus, the "About the Course" section of each class website has been a constant. The main "About the Course" page is really the course syllabus, and as online course syllabi have become common at the School, more people are looking for the word "Syllabus" when they access a course website.

With the launch of the merged CoursePlus/online course system, we're renaming the "About the Course" tab to "Syllabus." The same content will be available (syllabus, schedule, and faculty listing (online courses only)), it's just the title of the section that has changed. This change will make it easier for everyone to quickly find the course syllabus.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:39 AM - Categories: Online Courses | CoursePlus

Mar 19 2014

Questions about the Migration of JHSPH Email to JHU and CoursePlus

With the migration of email addresses to the main JHU email system, there have been a number of questions about how this impacts CoursePlus. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the email migration as it relates to CoursePlus.

Can I sign to CoursePlus in via the faculty login using my new account?

No. The faculty login in CoursePlus asks for your my.jhsph username and password. While this was the same as your email username and password before the migration, my.jhsph accounts still exist and will exist for the foreseeable future. The School’s course database is tied directly to my.jhsph accounts, and the courses you teach as a faculty member are tied to your personal my.jhsph account. As such, you will still need to sign in to CoursePlus via the faculty login using your my.jhsph account username and password.

Will you be changing all eLearning account email addresses to their new counterparts?

No. We will not change anyone’s eLearning account information, including the email address an individual may have entered. 

CoursePlus uses whatever email address students put into their JHSPH eLearning account. For many students, this is an email address. For many students, it’s a Gmail or Yahoo address. CoursePlus will not change student email addresses automatically once a student’s email account is migrated to If a student wants to update their eLearning account with an email address, they are welcome to do so, but we will not do this for them. Students can update the email address in their JHSPH eLearning account whenever they want to, and that change is reflected immediately in CoursePlus.

Emails sent to addresses that have been migrated over to will still make it to the appropriate email address for the next year. At some point, however, emails sent to will no longer work, and it will be up to each individual to update their eLearning account with a new address.

Can CTL Help assist me with problems with my new email account?

Unfortunately, CTL Help cannot assist you with your email accounts. Just as CTL Help has no access to your JHED information, so too do we lack the ability to see anyone’s email account other than our own. The IT@JH team will help you with your email account should you need it.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:19 AM - Categories: Online Courses | CoursePlus

Mar 18 2014

What Will the Merged CoursePlus System Look Like

We've announced that the online course and CoursePlus systems are merging at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year. The major changes to the site were covered in a previous blog post, but one thing that was not included was how things will look in the merged system. 

While the entire site is getting a visual refresh, most of the individual tools that faculty, TAs, and students currently use will look more or less the same. The site home page and individual course home pages, however, are going to look a bit different. The functionality of these pages is largely the same. They'll just have a shiny new user interface to make them look better on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

First, let's take a look at the new CoursePlus home page:

You can see that the overall look is cleaner and more open, with bigger fonts. Links to the various course lists are easier to find, and types of courses (from the catalog, online, non-catalog) are easier to find. We've also made it easy to get to other, related tools (course search, eLearning account management, ISIS) from the CoursePlus home page.

There will be future posts about how the course listing and post-login pages will look, but for now, let's move on to an individual course home page:

Again, there is a much more open look and feel to the page. While we've retained the same information architecture for course sites, we've replaced the tabs on the top-right of the page with simple text links and drop-down menus for each sub-section of the site. This means you can jump directly to the roster page in a site from the course home page.

For faculty, TAs, and site editors, there is also now a "Quick Jump" box which lists nearly all the tools available to you on the course home page. You no longer have to go from the site home page to another gateway page to get to the tool you want. You can jump in a single click from the course home page.

The display of the course term and academic year is also more prominent at the top of the page. Knowing which year's version of a course site you are working on is very important, especially to faculty who teach multiple courses in multiple terms each year.

Each course home page also lists upcoming events from the course schedule (or class sessions tool for on-campus courses), recent posts in the discussion forums, and recent items added to or updated in the Online Library. If students, faculty, TAs or staff involved in the course are currently visiting the course website, their names are listed in the "Who's Online" box on the left side of the page. All of this information makes the course home page a more dynamic place and gives everyone in the course a quick overview of what's going on in the course.

While each online course has a custom banner at the top of the course home page, on-campus courses will get a standardized banner which lists the course title, number, term and academic year in big, bold letters. 

We hope you like the changes that we've made. We think they make the whole site easier to navigate and easier to look at. We'll be detailing additional changes to the look, feel, and functionality of the merged CoursePlus in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, we welcome your feedback!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 1:45 PM - Categories: Online Courses | CoursePlus

Mar 13 2014

March Workshops: 3/19 Peer Learning, 3/26 Plagiarism Prevention

You are invited:

The 2014 JHSPH Faculty Symposium: Peer to Peer: Engaging Students in Learning and Assessment
Wednesday, 3/19/14 12-4:30 in Feinstone Hall and online via Adobe Connect

The Office of Academic Affairs and Center for Teaching and Learning invite you to the 2014 JHSPH Faculty Symposium. The symposium will feature:

  • Lunch
  • An introduction to peer learning
  • a virtual presentation and Q&A with Howard Rheingold, Stanford lecturer, author of Net Smart: How to Thrive Online and editor of The Peeragogy Handbook (,
  • hands-on peer learning in science activity with Laura Foster, Assistant Director of Academic Support at JHU Krieger,
  • a panel of JHSPH professors on their successes and challenges with peer learning and assessment in the classroom and online
  • data from thousands of student participants in JHSPH Coursera course peer assessment assignments
  • an introduction to the new CTL peer assessment tool that will be available in CoursePlus for Summer 2014

Register for this event


Turnitin and Plagiarism Prevention
Wednesday, 3/26/14 12-1 pm in W4013 and streaming online via Adobe Connect

Plagiarism is a problem that has affected all of us at some point. The School is pleased to announce the general availability of Turnitin -- a website with tools that can help you detect plagiarism in your courses and which and helps students improve on their source referencing and source paraphrasing. CTL and the Office of Academic Integrity are partnering on this workshop to introduce you to Turnitin and how to most effectively use the tool. We strongly encourage you to attend to get a solid understanding of what Turnitin does and does not do, and to get a better understanding of the School's policy on Turnitin usage. The CTL team will also discuss how to help prevent plagiarism in assignments by creating assignments which make it fundamentally difficult for students to plagiarize.

Register for this event


Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:51 AM - Categories: Teaching Tips | General | Online Courses | Distance Learning | Tech Tools

Mar 4 2014

New Peer Assessment Tool in Online Courses

We're very excited to announce that a new peer assessment tool has been added to the online course system. Developed with a lot of great input from faculty and TAs here at the School, the peer assessment tool allows faculty to set up rubrics against which students will be assessed. There are a number of configurations available for organizing students for assessment:

  • Students can assess themselves
  • Students can assess [n] random other students
  • A student can assess everyone in her group
  • One group of students can assess another group of students
  • Everyone in the class can assess one group of students
  • Faculty and TAs can assess students individually

Assessments can be linked to course drop boxes, so that students are automatically assigned the appropriate files from those drop boxes to assess. Assessments can be points-based or not, and points-based assessments can be linked to the Gradebook for automatic import of final assessment grades into the Gradebook.

The peer assessment tool delivery process works like this:

  1. Create the basic parameters for the asssessment (when it starts/ends, what kind of assessment, etc.).
  2. Create a rubric or copy from an existing rubric against which students will be assessed.
  3. Students assess each other's (or their own) work using the rubric.
  4. Faculty and TAs review student assessments and release results to students.

The peer assessment tool is currently available only in online courses, but will be coming to CoursePlus in June.

There is extensive help documentation built into the new peer assessment tool, but if you're interested in using the tool, we strongly encourage you to talk about creating a great peer assessment with your course instructional designer!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:26 AM - Categories: Online Courses | Course Tools

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