Viewing by month: February 2017

Feb 22 2017

Publicly Viewable Page Builder Pages

Sometimes when faculty create their syllabus in CoursePlus, they have projects or assignments which require detailed instructions that really don't belong in the syllabus itself. In the past, there's been no way for faculty to create a whole page to detail a project, assignment, or related issue to the course that they want everyone to be able to see before the course begins.

Faculty, TAs, and staff can now create publicly viewable pages in Page Builder. These pages work just like any other page in Page Builder, except that you can link them to your syllabus (or an email, or anywhere) and then anyone in the world can see the content of those pages. This allows faculty and course teams a lot of flexibility in setting up detailed task lists, or reading lists, or project pages that can be read as students browse for courses or before the courses begin.

These pages can't be full lecture pages, as most lectures are private only to students who have registered for the course. We hope, though, that this new feature will provide even more flexibility to course teams who are looking to provide lots of information about their course to anyone who wants to see it.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 2:47 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Feb 16 2017

Full CoursePlus UI in Lecture Playback

Many students have asked us why the full CoursePlus user interface and navigation controls disappear when they watch lecture presentations in CoursePlus. This is really a holdover from a time when lecture presentations used to play back in Adobe Presenter format, and Adobe Presenter would stretch to fill the screen when possible. We wanted to make the presentations as big as possible when you viewed them, so we opted to remove all elements on the screen that would cause the presentations to display at a smaller size. That meant that the whole CoursePlus interface should be hidden to maximize the size of lecture presentation playback.

Now that we deliver lecture presentations as pure video, and those videos are set at a fixed size, it makes little sense to hide the whole CoursePlus user interface when playing back lectures. Showing the whole CoursePlus user interface when playing back lectures provides a more consistent user experience and easier navigation overall. You'll now see the full interface when you watch lecture presentations inside CoursePlus.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:18 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Feb 13 2017

CoursePlus 101: Give TAs, Editors, or Guests Access to Your CoursePlus Site

In this updated entry in the CoursePlus 101 series, we look at adding an editor (TA, administrative assistant, guest faculty) to your CoursePlus site.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 3:38 PM - Categories: CoursePlus | CoursePlus 101

Feb 8 2017

One-Click Conversion of Class Sessions to Page Builder + Schedule Builder

Many faculty and TAs have put long hours into populating the Class Sessions tool in their CoursePlus site with lots of information for students. Students appreciate the organization of all session-specific activities, files, and information in one place. Yet some faculty want more flexibility in how content is built, more control over when specific content opens to students, and want the full set of tracking tools that CoursePlus provides for pages in online courses. Students want the one-click, visual progress tracking available in the Schedule Builder tool used in all online courses.

Converting a detailed class sessions page into Page Builder pages and Schedule Builder entries is possible, but would have been a manual process — until now.

We've introduced a new tool to convert your existing class sessions information into a fully populated Schedule Builder entries and Page Builder pages. All it takes is one click, and you've saved yourself hours of work. To make this change, go to the Class Sessions tool in your on-campus course site and click on the "Actions" button at the top of the page:

Menu option to convert class sessions to Page Builder.

In the menu that appears, select "Convert to Schedule Builder/Page Builder." You'll then get a warning dialog to ensure that this is what you actually want to do:

Menu option to convert class sessions to Page Builder.

The key thing to take away from this warning box is that none of your class session information is deleted in this process. If you go through the conversion process and decide that you want to go back to the Class Sessions format, you still can, with no loss of information.

Once the process completes (it can take a minute), you'll end up with:

  • A Page Builder page for every class session
  • An entry in the Schedule Builder tool for every class session
  • Online Library files, quizzes, and surveys linked to the correct Page Builder page
  • Full lecture pages for linked online lectures produced by CTL, including all tracking features
  • Open dates for each Page Builder page that match the date of the class session in the Class Sessions tool

Once this change is made, students will see the Schedule Builder version of the schedule, and will only have access to individual session content on the date which is specified as the "Available" date in the schedule. Additionally, students will be able to track the completion of their work with one click of the "Complete" button next to each item in the class schedule.

While converting class sessions to the Schedule Builder/Page Builder combination is now a one-click process, you may want to reconsider how content and activities are listed on the main course schedule. To help students stay on track, it's a good idea to pull assignments off each class session Page Builder page and make them individual entries in the Schedule Builder. This way, students get reminders about due dates for each item via email, can more clearly see all the individual activities for a course, and can mark off when they have completed each individual activity. The Instructional Design team in the Center for Teaching and Learning is always happy to work with individual faculty and TAs on making this transition a smooth one.

We hope that this new tool will make the process of stepping up to the more powerful Schedule Builder/Page Builder combination in your CoursePlus sites an easy one. If you do run into any problems, or have any questions about how the conversion tool works, please contact CTL Help!

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

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