Viewing by month: April 2016

Apr 20 2016

WYSIWYG Editing in Page Builder

Page Builder is a tool for (obviously) building web pages in fully online courses in CoursePlus. Once the domain of CTL staff alone, the tool became available to all faculty, TAs, and editors in an online course a few years ago. The interface of the tool, however, wasn't updated from its origins as a tool for CTL technical staff only.

We're pleased to announce that the Page Builder interface has undergone a lot of changes, and that WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing has come to Page Builder.

Screenshot of the main Page Builder Page editor

The main editing tool for a Page Builder page has been redesigned to allow for real-time previews of the page, and for extensive on-page editing. You can even re-order the layout of the page via drag and drop using the "Edit Layout" tool. This makes editing a Page Builder page much easier, and much more intuitive.

Additionally, many other parts of Page Builder have received an interface refresh, specifically:

  • The "Created," "Current Status," and "Published Status" columns in on the listing of all pages have been removed.
  • If the course is an online course, a column which shows the event on schedule builder to which the page is linked has been added.
  • For each page in the listing of all pages, a checkbox indicating published status appears. If the checkbox is selected, the published status bar turns yellow with the published page URL. If the checkbox is deselected, the published status bar turns red with the words "Not published" in bold.?
  • The order of the items in the action box for each page (Edit Basic Info, Manage Sections, etc.) has been redone to bring the most commonly used links to the top of the list.
  • The page.preview event has been eliminated. If faculty or staff copy a page URL, that link will work for everyone once the page is published.
  • The faculty listing is now always displayed on the "Faculty" tab, instead of being hidden inside an expandable panel.
  • Many "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons.

These changes make Page Builder a much easier to use tool. We hope that you agree!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:18 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Apr 6 2016

Required Surveys Before Accessing Course Content

Sometimes faculty want background or demographic information about the learners in their course so that they can a) better know their learners and their work or academic experiences and b) better tailor course content to the learners in the class. We've just introduced a new feature to CoursePlus which can aid in this process.

Faculty and editors can now select one survey in a CoursePlus site that students must complete before being allowed access to the content of a CoursePlus site. Students can click around the syllabus, resources, or communication sections of a CoursePlus site, but if there is a required survey for the course, they will not have access to anything under the "Content" tab of the site until they complete the survey. Learners are told that they need to first complete a survey before they can have access to the content. Once the survey is complete, students have access to anything under the "Content" tab.

Only one survey in a course can be set as required before students can access the content of a CoursePlus site. If other surveys are required, they should be set as required activities in the course, or you can consider combining multiple surveys into a single, required survey.

This feature is completely optional, as requiring completion of a survey before accessing course content may not be the right experience for most courses. However, we hope that faculty and editors on courses that do need this kind of required survey find this new feature to be useful!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:35 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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