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

Sep 26 2018

New Behavior for the "Post Before View" Option on Discussion Forum Categories

The "Post Before View" option in the CoursePlus Discussion Forum tool is a powerful way to get students to contribute to a Discussion Forum activity without the influence of other student work. When enabled, this option makes it so that students cannot see anyone else's post in a topic until they post something in that topic themselves.

We want to let you know that the behavior of setting the "Post Before View" option on a Discussion Forum category has changed. When you turn on the "Post Before View" option in a category, students will not be able to see any topic and any post in any topic in that category until they create a new topic (with a post) in that category.

Previously, the "Post Before View" option would require that a student post in a topic to see all the posts in that topic. A post would have to be made in every category in that topic for students to see the posts in every topic. That could be tedious, requiring much more work on the part of the student than originally intended.

Now, if the "Post Before View" option is turned on at the category level, a student needs to create a single topic in that category and then the student will be able to see all the topics and posts in that category.

"Post Before View" on the topic level works as before. This change only affects "Post Before View" on categories.

If you have any questions about how the "Post Before View" functionality works, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:06 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Sep 12 2018

More Gradebook Updates for the First Term

Since the launch of the new Gradebook in CoursePlus in January, 2018, we've received a lot of positive feedback along with a stream of requests for enhancements. In addition to the changes detailed in previous blog posts (including vastly improved extra credit support), the CoursePlus team has made the following changes to the Gradebook tool:

  • As faculty and staff sometimes have questions about how, exactly, a student's final grade is calculated, there is now a tool that shows the exact steps used in calculating a student's grade. This tool can be accessed by viewing any individual student's Gradebook page. The exact steps for calculating that student's grade will then be displayed.
  • On the student's individual view of the Gradebook, if categories are used in the Gradebook, the student's current grade per category is now displayed. For example, the Gradebook now shows not only that a category is worth 20% of a student's grade in a class, but also that the student currently has a score of 92% for that category alone.
  • CoursePlus also now displays the student's current grade on the individual "Grade by Student" view in the Gradebook.

All of these changes are live in CoursePlus right now. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 7:46 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Sep 4 2018

More Granular Control Over the Display of Quiz Results

Over the past few years, faculty and TAs have made a number of requests asking for greater control over what is (or is not) displayed in the results that students see both on-screen and in email after taking a quiz or exam.

Previously, you had the option in the quiz setup to "Display all correct answers" in both the on-screen and emailed results. Selecting this option would also show the "correct/incorrect/partial credit" banner, the incorrect answers (along with the correct answers), any answer explanation provided, and any faculty feedback provided.

These items have been separated out. CoursePlus now has separate options for:

- Display correct/incorrect/partial credit banner
- Display correct answers (which also displays the answer explanation, if any)
- Display incorrect answers
- Display instructor feedback

These options exist for both the on-screen notifications and the email notifications.

This means that you can now do things like collect answers to a quiz, and give students feedback without giving them a grade. You can have quizzes or exams where each question is headlined as being correct or incorrect (or partial credit given), but not show the correct answer for the question. You can also show only the incorrect answers a student gave in their response set, but nothing else.

All quizzes that had the "Display Correct Answers" option set prior to this change have all four of the above options selected with this change. This preserves the previous behavior of the quiz.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 2:53 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Aug 27 2018

Proper Extra Credit Support in the Gradebook

Individual items in the Gradebook, as well as entire categories, can now be marked as being for extra credit. Previously, a Gradebook item or category would need to be set up so that a score could exceed 100% (in the case of percentage-based items) or the maximum possible points for an item (for points-based items) in order for extra credit to be factored in to a student's grade. Faculty can now simply mark an item, or category, as being for extra credit, and the calculations are done automatically for you.

Extra credit items and categories do not count toward the student's current grade in a course while the base calculation for the grade is being made. They are only added in after a grade for an item, category, or overall grade is calculated.

Extra credit items are labeled as such on both the faculty and student views of the Gradebook.

If you have questions about how extra credit works in the CoursePlus Gradebook, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:09 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Aug 21 2018

Drop Box Updates for the Summer

The team that builds CoursePlus is continually looking for ways to improve your experience using CoursePlus. We receive detailed feedback from faculty, staff, and students, and we try to incorporate that feedback into ongoing updates to CoursePlus.

Based on your feedback, we have made a number of small (but hopefully useful) changes to the Drop Box tool:

  • An "Instructions" field is now available in the setup of all Drop Boxes. Previously, this field was only available to timed Drop Boxes. Faculty and staff no longer need to use the "Assignment Description" field in Schedule Builder for the display of Drop Box-specific instructions.
  • If the honor pledge is required in the Drop Box setup, the Honor Pledge now has a larger header when students access the Drop Box to submit a file.
  • When you create a new Drop Box linked to the course schedule, a warning appears stating that the Open and Due dates for the Drop Box will be inherited from and edited in the Course Schedule for the Drop Box.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 1:24 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

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