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

Aug 9 2018

Use of the Preferred Student Name from SIS in CoursePlus

CoursePlus has long synchronized the first and last name of a student as displayed in SIS, the official University system of student records, with how the first and last name of a student is displayed in CoursePlus. After discussions with the CTL Faculty Advisory Board, and after a number of related requests from transgender students at the University, CoursePlus now displays the "Preferred Name" value for a student's first name instead of the student's legal first name as shown in SIS. This brings CoursePlus in line with other systems at the University which display the preferred name rather than the legal first name, and helps to make CoursePlus a more inclusive place to students who prefer to use a name other than their legal first name.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 1:34 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

Aug 5 2018

Planned CoursePlus Outage on Saturday, August 25

CoursePlus will be completely offline on Saturday August 25, from 6am-6pm EDT, due to planned work by JHSPH IT. JHSPH IT is moving the database systems behind CoursePlus to new hardware, and CoursePlus cannot be available during this time. Once the work is complete, CoursePlus will run atop a newer, faster database system.

Please plan accordingly for this outage.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 1:56 PM - Categories: CoursePlus

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