Viewing by month: September 2015

Sep 30 2015

New Class Email Filters

Filters in the class email tool are a powerful way of selecting a subgroup of students as receipients for a message based on student activity in the course. The class email tool has long had the following filters:

  • Students who did/did not submit a file to a Drop Box.
  • Students who did/did not complete a quiz/exam in the Quiz Generator.
  • Students who did/did not attend a LiveTalk or listen to the archive.
  • Students who did/did not complete a survey.

To the above list of filters, we recently added two more class email filters in CoursePlus:

  • Students who did/did not post in a specific discussion forum category.
  • Students who have not signed in to the class website in the past [n] days. This is configurable up to the past 28 days (4 weeks).

We hope that you find these additional filters to be useful, and if you have suggestions on more filters to add to the class email tool, we'd love to hear them!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:10 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Sep 24 2015

Lots of Small CoursePlus Changes for the First Academic Term

The team behind CoursePlus is always making changes and adding new features based on faculty, staff, and student feedback. On the first day of the first academic term, they CoursePlus team made a whole bunch of small changes to CoursePlus, including:

  • When printing a syllabus, the class schedule now appears at the end of the document, rather than in the middle.
  • The "Why Take This Course" field in the course system now appears immediately following and in the same visual box as the course description on a course syllabus. 
  • The "Academic Ethics" section now appears on the printed version of the syllabus.
  • Discussion forum digest and individual post emails now have a "Go to Class Website" button at the end of every message.
  • The default for "Can Students See Other Student Submissions?" on the Drop Box setup form is now "No." 
  • Portfolio program administrators can now attach files to individual reflection prompts for all students to access.
  • The Portfolio Timeline view shows shows events based on their due date, instead of their open date.
  • A link to the Peer Assessment tool has been added to the Faculty Tools Quick Jump box on the course home page.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:14 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Sep 14 2015

The On-Campus Attendance Tracker

Every few months, the CTL Help team gets asked if there's a way to keep track of attendance in on-campus classes from within CoursePlus. We're always listening to our faculty, staff, and students, and when a certain feature is requested often enough, we know it's time to turn that request into reality. 

Faculty can now enable an attendance tracking tool for on-campus courses from wihtin CoursePlus. The attendance tracking tool enables faculty to keep very simple records about who attended a specific class session. A super-short video demonstration is below, followed by a more complete description of the tool:

The attendance tracking tool automatically pulls information about a course's meeting dates and times from the JHSPH course system and builds out a simple grid of checkboxes where faculty can mark if a student attended that class. Faculty can enable or disable attendance tracking for individual class sessions or add additional sessions to the attendance tracking grid. This data can be exported to Excel at any time.

Faculty can also allow students to mark themselves as attended in the class website, if they so choose. If student check-in is enabled, students will see a button on the course home page which, when clicked, marks them as having attended the class. Faculty control when this button appears and disappears on the course home page by setting a start and stop date/time when this button should be displayed. Faculty can set this to be at the start of class, or at a random time of their choosing during the class.

If the attendance tracking tool is enabled, students can see a report of their attendance as it's been recorded in CoursePlus. This report is available under the "Resources" tab in a CoursePlus site where attendance tracking has been enabled.

It's really important to note that no additional verification methods of student physical presence in the classroom (i.e.; swiping a badge, facial recognition in the room, geolocation of the device used to check in) are provided. CoursePlus cannot guarantee that a student is sitting in a classroom at the time that they check in for a course. Even though geolocation is built into most smartphones, it's only accurate within a few hundred feet (not good enough for ensuring that a student is in a classroom) and students have to grant access to CoursePlus to see their location -- something that could easily be denied by the student. 

That said, we hope that this will be a useful tool for faculty and TAs. Students don't have to check themselves in. Faculty and TAs can take attendance the old-fashioned way, but store that data quickly and easily in CoursePlus.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:22 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Sep 10 2015

Harvesting The Commons: Finding & Using Open Images for Teaching

CTL recently hosted a lunch and learn workshop, called Harvesting the Commons: Finding and Using Open Images for Teaching (slides). In the session, we discussed open images: what they are, what Creative Commons licenses are, how to locate openly licensed images, and the importance of continuing to contribute to the pool of open resources. For those who missed it, here's a link to the 60-minute recording from the session. 

One of the key takeaways was the ease with which you can limit searches on Google Images or Flickr by license type, so that you can locate openly licensed images. Here's a handout on to do this, as well as the Open Image Resources handout from the Johns Hopkins Open Education Lab, which lists a great number of other possible places to find open images. 

To participate in upcoming workshops, please visit the CTL Events and Workshops page, and follow @courseplus and @jhsphctl on Twitter for all the latest news and updates.



0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:45 AM - Categories: Teaching Tips | General | Online Courses | OpenCourseWare | Innovation & Inspiration | Tech Tools | Course Tools

Sep 1 2015

Sending Content to the Portfolio Tool

The new portfolio tool in CoursePlus allows students to create a map of their intellectual development at time at the School. Part of that map is the evidence that students provide to show that they achieved certain competencies at certain points in their degree program. Evidence can take many forms, but it most often comes in the form of work done in classes. 

CoursePlus now has the ability to send class work in a number of formats to a student's portfolio with a click of a button. If a student is in a program that uses the portfolio tool, a button appears in the following tools to send that file or content to their portfolio's Evidence Library:

  • Drop Box: any file a student submits to a Drop Box can be sent to the portfolio.
  • Discussion Forum: individual discussion forum posts which a student has made or a topic in which a student has participated can be sent to the portfolio.
  • Peer Assessments: peer assessment results can now be sent to the portfolio.
  • Wikis: any page on which the student is a writer can be sent to the portfolio.

Any evidence which is sent to the portfolio from a course will include the course number, title, term and academic year wherever that evidence is displayed in the student portfolio. This makes it simple to associate specific evidence (files, posts, assessment results) with a specific competency in the portfolio.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:32 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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