Viewing by month: October 2018

Oct 29 2018

Full Emoji Support in the Rich Text Editor

Although not always appropriate for professional work, emoji represent a rich system of communication in any online environment. Students (and many staff) use them frequently. They provide an expressivness and emotional clarity that text alone often cannot.

The rich text editor found in CoursePlus now has support for a wide range of emoji characters found on modern smartphones and operating systems. Typing the colon character ( : ) now brings up an emoji menu, as it does in many Web-based rich text editors.

Screenshot of the emoji menu in the rich text editor in CoursePlus

Once you type the colon ( : ) character, you then need to follow that with typing the start of the emoji character name — "smiling_face_with_halo," for example. There is a full list of the emoji available in the rich text editor in CoursePlus, and that list includes the official names for each emoji symbol.

We hope that this broad support of emoji helps to make CoursePlus a more expressive place for all types of interactions. If you have any questions about this new feature, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:45 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Oct 18 2018

Requesting Classroom Recordings via CoursePlus

If faculty wanted to have classroom sessions recorded in the past, a request for these recordings would have to be made through JHSPH's Multimedia group. These recordings would be provided in MP3 (audio-only) format, and would generally be posted to your CoursePlus site within 24-48 hours.

Starting with AY18-19, there's a new system and new process for requesting classroom recordings. Classroom recordings are now captured via a system called Panopto — a tool that's been used by the rest of the University for a number of years. Panopto captures not only the audio of the speaker at the podium but also whatever is being shown on the podium computer screen. Everything is automatically synchronized and played back to students. Recordings are available within minutes of the end of class.

JHSPH IT offers training classes throughout the year on how to use Panopto to record your classroom sessions. 

Using Panopto is easy, and telling JHSPH Multimedia that you want to have your classroom sessions recorded is even easier. There's a tool in all on-campus CoursePlus sites titled "Panopto Recordings" that lets you request Panopto recordings for your class:

Screenshot of location of Panopto Recordings tool in Faculty Tools

Click the button in this tool to turn on Panopto recordings for your class and notify Multimedia that you'll be using Panopto. Once you've activated Panopto recordings for your class, students will have a quick-access link to all of the Panopto recordings for your course from the main content page in your CoursePlus site:

Screenshot of location of student access to Panopto Recordings

Panopto recordings of class sessions are a big improvement on the old recordings, and are greatly appreciated by students.

If you have questions about using Panopto or your Panopto recordings, please contact JHSPH IT.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:34 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Oct 10 2018

Peer Assessments Back in CoursePlus

After many months of work and refinement, the Peer Assessment tool returned to CoursePlus back in August of this year. The core of the work focused on improving both the reliability and speed of the tool. Many core processes related to generating individual student assessments and assigning students to one another have been rebuilt from the ground up.

The following specific changes have been made:

  • The interface of the tool has been refined to be less complex during the setup process.
  • The interface now provides additional status about an assessment once it has been set up.
  • New example rubrics designed by the CTL instructional design team are available during the rubric design process for guidance.
  • Calculation of student scores is now done at the time a student submits an assessment, resulting in faster overall score calculation for students.
  • Reporting is faster, and has been streamlined to reduce redundant clicks.
  • The summary report for a student's assessed work in the Peer Assessment tool is now displayed in an overlay window, reducing repetitive page loading while reviewing multiple students' work.
  • Multiple tooltips have been added on setup and reporting pages to improve usability and accessibility.
  • Importing final Peer Assessment scores into the Gradebook now occurs automatically when a score is marked as final in the Peer Assessment tool.

The CoursePlus development team remains deeply committed to improving the Peer Assessment tool based on the feedback of the faculty, TAs, students, and staff who use the tool. The team has already begun to collect suggestions for user interface improvement, and will continue to iterate on the Peer Assessment interface — and performance — in the months ahead.

If you have any questions about how to use the Peer Assessment tool, please contact CTL Help. The CTL instructional design team is also available to provide guidance on how to create an effective Peer Assessment activity in your course.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:32 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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