Viewing by month: July 2014

Jul 29 2014

Grading TA Role Added to CoursePlus

We're always listening to the feedback given to us about CoursePlus. One request that has come in numerous times over the past few months is the ability to have TAs who can grade papers and exams, but not do anything else within a CoursePlus site. We're pleased to announce that this new role — the "Grading TA" role — has been added to CoursePlus.

This is a special, limited role and is not intended for most TAs. TAs in this role can only do the following:

  • Access course Drop Boxes
  • Access and score quizzes (but not edit or change quiz or question setups)
  • Access and enter grades in the Gradebook (but not edit or change the Gradebook setup)

TAs in this role cannot edit the syllabus, edit class sessions, manage the discussion forum, add files to the Online Library, or do any editing to the content of your CoursePlus site. Their access is limited to the activities listed above. You can add someone in the Grading TA role by going to the "Add TAs, Editors..." tool inside of your CoursePlus site.

We hope that those of you who have requested this feature find it a useful addition to CoursePlus!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:45 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jul 22 2014

Lots of Updates to the Peer Assessment Tool

Since we introduced the Peer Assessment tool in CoursePlus in March, there have been a handful of courses which have used this tool to allow students to assess and grade each other's work. We've received some excellent feedback on the functionality and user experience of the Peer Assessment tool, and have been making subtle tweaks to the tool since its release. As of the summer term, however, we've added a few more noticeable changes to the Peer Assessment tool:

  • The Peer Assessment tool now sends a "confirmation of assessment submission" email to students when they complete and submit an assessment.
  • Faculty and TAs can see a preview of the results email that will be sent to students before that results email is sent.
  • An option to add an “Additional Comments and Feedback” row to a rubric is now available. There are no boxes to click and no points to assign in this row. It there only as an open comments/feedback box for the person filling out the rubric.
  • You can now add students to a peer assessment after it has opened. In the case of group assignments, students will be added into their groups and will be assigned as part of that group. In the case of self-assesments and faculty assessments, students are simply added to the assessment like any other student. In the case of random assignments, faculty or TAs are required to manually assign students added to the assessment after it has opened to other students.
  • Students who do not enter comments for each criteria in a peer assessment are now told that they must do so.
  • Auditors are now excluded from being assigned assessments in the random assignment assessment type.
  • Emails sent from the Peer Assessment tool now include the course number in the subject, and will alternatively use the course short if the course is not a course in the SPH course catalog.
  • When you click on a cell in a rubric to edit the text therein, the cursor now auto-focuses in the rich text editor.
  • When you edit a rubric, you can now see a substantial list of example rubrics in a new window.

We hope that all of these changes — all suggested by faculty and TAs — make the experience of the Peer Assessment tool a better one.

If you have questions about the Peer Assessment tool and how to incorporate it into your classes, please contact an instructional designer in the Center!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:07 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jul 11 2014

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning (PDF) is a new resource just added to the Flipped Classrooms page in the CTL Teaching Toolkit. It is a detailed special report from Faculty Focus, which is comprised of many individual articles on integrating online and face-to-face activities, course design, reflection, flippable moments, and more! 


0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 3:30 PM - Categories: Distance Learning | Innovation & Inspiration | Online Courses | Teaching Tips

Jul 8 2014

Reminder: The Rich Text Editor in CoursePlus Has an Equation Editor and a Drawing Pad!

If you never taught or took an online course prior to the merging of CoursePlus and the old online courses system, you may not know that the rich text editor found throughout CoursePlus has two very powerful features: the ability to render LaTeX equations and a drawing pad that lets you insert drawings right into the rich text editor.

If you look at the rich text editor in the discussion forum, quizzes, or elsewhere in an online course site, you will now see the Greek Sigma symbol as a button in the editor toolbar.

Equation Editor Button

Clicking this button will bring up the LaTeX equation editing window.

Equation Editor window

You paste in syntactically correct LaTeX markup, and the result is rendered immediately in a preview. Clicking OK to close this window inserts the equation wherever it your cursor is placed in the rich text editor box. 

The other new button in the rich text editor toolbar is the paintbrush button:

Paintbrush Button

Clicking on this button will bring up the drawing board tool, which allows you to quickly sketch or draw something (or mark up an equation or create a 2x2 table, etc).

Drawing board tool

Once you click the OK button, the image is saved, and then that image then becomes part of the content of your discussion forum post, email message, quiz question, etc. This is a great tool for marking up something that isn't possible to type.

These tools are available throughout CoursePlus, wherever there is a rich text editor, with one notable exception. The equation editor tool does not work within the class email tool. The reason for this is because the rendering of equations inside the Web browser requires code to execute. Email clients do not allow code to execute when you open an email message because that would be a major security risk. As such, the equation editor isn't available in the rich text editor inside the class email tool.

We hope that you find these additions to the overall CoursePlus toolbox useful. If you have any feedback, we'd like to hear it!

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:05 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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