Viewing by month: August 2017

Aug 28 2017

Reminder: IE 11 is No Longer Supported for CoursePlus

As we start the first term of the new academic year, we wanted to remind everyone that Internet Explorer Edge is the only version of Internet Explorer supported in CoursePlus. This is stated on the terms of service page for CoursePlus.

Internet Explorer Edge only works with Windows 10 — now the preferred version of Windows for the Johns Hopkins University. If you are running Windows 8 or Windows 7, you need to use Chrome or Firefox to access CoursePlus. Using Internet Explorer 11 to access CoursePlus is possible, but it will result in numerous problems. Chrome or Firefox are much better (and more frequently updated) alternatives to Internet Explorer 11.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:59 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Aug 21 2017

Let CoursePlus Randomly Assign Students to Groups

Assigning students to groups in your classes can sometimes be a tedious process. There a nearly infinite number of permutations of how you assign students to groups. Sometimes all you want to do is randomly assign students to groups. CoursePlus can now do that work for you.

On the main Course Groups page in your CoursePlus site, there is now a "Assign Students Randomly" button:

The assign students randomly button on the course groups home page.

You can either specify existing groups to randomly assign students into, or you can create new groups and randomly assign students to them. You can specify the number of groups to be created, and CoursePlus will equally divide students into those groups. Alternatively, you can specify the number of students to have in each group, and CoursePlus will create the correct number of groups to accommodate groups of the specified size.

The options available when creating course groups with random student assignment

You even have the option to create private discussion forum categories for each new group you create, or hide those groups from student view upon creation, just as you do when creating individual groups one at a time.

We hope this makes life easier for those of you who work with groups in your courses. If you have feedback on or questions about this new feature, please let CTL Help know!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 1:45 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Aug 9 2017

Pulling the Peer Assessment Tool for a While

Peer Assessments have been available in CoursePlus for the past couple of years. To be honest, though, the tool has never been particularly stable. In half the courses that used the Peer Assessment tool, the peer assessment would go off without a hitch (provided, of course, that the peer assessment was set up properly). In the other half, though, some kind of manual intervention by the team in Center for Teaching and Learning was required. That's not the kind of experience that we want faculty, TAs, and students to have.

After long discussions within the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), we've decided to pull the Peer Assessment tool from CoursePlus for the next few months for a lot of under-the-hood retooling. We're focusing on making the tool completely reliable, requiring no manual intervention by CTL team members — the kind of experience you've rightfully come to expect from all the tools in CoursePlus. There are also performance optimizations around reporting in the Peer Assessment tool that we plan to make because no one gets upset when an application runs faster.

This change most directly affects first and second term courses in the 2017-2018 academic year. CTL instructional desigers have reached out to affected fauclty. If you have not been contacted by a CTL instructional designer and are using the Peer Assessment tool in the first or second academic term, please contact CTL Help right away. We'll connect you with an instructional designer who can work with you on equally effective alternatives.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 2:52 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Aug 7 2017

Drop Boxes for Specific Course Groups

Over the past academic year, we received a number of requests to allow course Drop Boxes to be visible to and submittable by specific groups of students. This lets administrators set up a Drop Box only for those students in the "DrPH Program" group in a site, or faculty to only allow the groups "Presentation - Sustainable Cities" and "Presentation - Built Environment" to submit to a specific course Drop Box. 

To create a Drop Box that can only be seen by specific groups of students, you first have to set up a group (or groups) in the Course Groups tool. Once you do that, the list of course groups appears when you create or edit a Drop Box:

The option to limit a Drop Box to select course groups.

You can select one or more course groups to have access to the Drop Box. Only the students in the selected groups will see the Drop Box on the Drop Boxes page in the class website, and only the students in the selected groups can to submit files to that Drop Box.

We hope that this new feature makes Drop Boxes and CoursePlus even more flexible! If you have questions about this new feature, please contact CTL Help.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:02 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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