Viewing by month: January 2020

Jan 29 2020

New Student Health and Well-Being Section on All Course Syllabi

The University takes student health and well-being very seriously. Multiple initiatives exist across the University to make sure that students in need are aware of their options and receive care exactly when they need it.

In the second half of 2019, the SPH Committee on Academic Standards (CAS) discussed how to best include student health and well-being information in a place that students visit every day: CoursePlus. To that end, CAS approved the inclusion of a "Student Health and Well-Being" statement that will appear on every course syllabus in CoursePlus.

The statement reads as follows:

Johns Hopkins University is committed to helping you thrive personally and professionally and providing an environment that supports your health and well‐being. The Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program (JHSAP) provides free services to help students identify and manage challenging issues. Services include:

  • short-term counseling,
  • crisis response, and
  • school-life coaching and adjustment.

Additional information and appointment scheduling is available online at Confidential and free support is available 24/7. To talk to someone immediately, call 443-287-7000.

CoursePlus already includes mandatory statements on academic ethics and disability support services. These statements appear at the end of every syllabus in every course (academic or otherwise) in CoursePlus. They cannot be removed or hidden. The "Student Health and Well-Being" statement will appear along with these two other statements.

Faculty who wish to include longer student health and well-being statements in their syllabus are free to do so, though it is recommended that they appear under a different heading given that the mandatory "Student Health and Well-Being" statement is not editable.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:29 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jan 21 2020

Student Grade Systems Now Shown in CoursePlus

When faculty view class rosters in SIS (the University's Student Information System, and official system of academic record), they can see the grade system under which a student is taking their course. Grade systems can include letter grade, pass/fail, satisfactory/unsatisfactory, audit, and no grade. This information hasn't been available to faculty in CoursePlus — until now.

CoursePlus now shows the grade system under which a student is taking their course in the following tools:

  • Roster
  • Quiz Generator: Responses and Grades view
  • Gradebook

The grade system is displayed on these tools if it is something other than a letter grade. The majority of students take classes for a letter grade, and we didn't want a lot of repetitious information cluttering up these pages. Not showing "Letter" next to each student taking a class for a letter grade also helps to highlight those students who are taking your class under a different grade system. The grade system is always shown on Excel exports from these tools.

In the Gradebook, a student taking the class for something other than a letter grade has the appropriate option pre-selected for you on the Final Grades page, and you cannot enter a letter grade for someone who is taking the class pass/fail. No more worrying about accidentally assigning someone a pass/fail grade who is taking the class for a letter grade!

It's important to note the following:

  • Grade systems are only visible in third term AY19-20 academic courses and beyond. Grade systems are not retroactively displayed in older courses.
  • Grade systems are only displayed in academic courses. If you are using a CoursePlus site for a site that is not in the JHSPH course directory or SIS, grade systems are not displayed, even if you are using the Gradebook in that site.

The CoursePlus team is excited to bring you this additional level of detail student information in your classes. If you have any questions about how this new feature works, feel free to contact CTL Help!

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

Jan 7 2020

New Methods of Assessment Tool in the Syllabus

Last year, the Office of Academic Affairs, in conjunction with the Committee on Academic Standards, rolled out a long-developed revamp to the way in which the methods of assessment are specified for a course in the School of Public Health's course system. Previously, faculty and TAs could enter whatever text they wanted into the "Methods of Assessment" field for a course in the SPH course system. There was a standard style expected in this field, but it was difficult to enforce standards in this free text field. It was also difficult for the school to ask questions like "How many courses use presentations as a method of assessment?" given the variance in which any given method of assessment could be specified. 

CoursePlus now allows you to edit a course's methods of assessment in this new format in the Syllabus Builder tool. 

Screenshot of new Methods of Assessment editor

The new methods of assessment tool allows you to select the individual method for assessment from an approved drop-down list and specify the percentage that the method contributes to the course final grade. You can select up to two "Other" items from the drop-down and provide your own description for the activity, but you are encouraged to use items from the drop-down list whenever possible. The total of all methods of assessment must add up to 100% (or 99% if there are three methods and each is weighted equally). As with other sections of the syllabus that are linked to the course system, any changes to the Methods of Assessment field will require submission to the course system for review and approval.

It's important to note that there was no automatic conversion of a course's methods of assessment from the old format to the new. This means that when you first update the Methods of Assessment field in a course in CoursePlus (or the SPH course system), you will need to recreate the full list of methods of assessment using the new tool. Once you do that, however, any future changes will start in the new format using the new tool.

Standardized display of methods of assessment is good for students and good for the School. If you have any questions about using this new tool, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:25 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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