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Jan 31 2019

Access to Three Years of Courses in CoursePlus

For many years, students, faculty, and staff have had access to CoursePlus sites for a maximum of two academic years. A course site was visible for the academic year in which the course was offered, and the following academic year. This met the needs of a large number of people who use CoursePlus, but not all.

Students in part-time programs and students in doctoral programs are in those programs for longer than two academic years. Not being able to see courses from more than one academic year in the past could be problematic as students prepared for capstones or oral examinations. 

In early January, the CoursePlus team quietly rolled out the ability for students, faculty, and staff to have access to CoursePlus sites for a maximum of three academic years. Therefore, if a student takes a course in the third term of AY2018-2019, the students have access to that course site through May 31, 2021 — three full academic years. This change is also retroactive, so everyone now has access to their sites from the 2016-2017 academic year.

While it would be wonderful to offer access to any course taken by any student at any time (or set up by any faculty member at any time), there are finite resources at play which make keeping sites available indefinitely a probematic proposition. We must balance the need for fast access to the sites for currently running courses with the need of a much smaller population to access courses which ran in the past.

Remember also that CoursePlus provides tools for students, faculty, and staff to quickly download all files in an Online Library, or the content of online lectures — the very materials most people have requested when wanting to view courses from four, five, six, or more years in the past.

We hope that access to three academic years worth of courses will help everyone access the content they need from CoursePlus, when they need it.

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:00 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jan 16 2019

CoursePlus Updates, Listed by Month

The CTL Blog and the @courseplus Twitter feed are two ways that you can get information about what's new and different in CoursePlus. Many people are not aware that there is also a list, updated monthly, which details all changes to CoursePlus, big and small.

The CoursePlus Updates page lists all of the changes that occur to CoursePlus each month. The list is presented in reverse chronological order, with the first entry going back to September, 2014. Most of the information on the CoursePlus Updates page is usually first presented on the @courseplus Twitter feed, but not everyone uses Twitter. Please note that the @courseplus Twitter feed contains real-time updates to problems with or unplanned outages in CoursePlus, something not listed anywhere else.

Bigger items listed on the CoursePlus Updates page usually make their way onto the CTL Blog with greater detail about the change than found on the CoursePlus Updates page. However, blog posts usually only appear after the related change is already listed on the CoursePlus Updates page. 

Additionally, the Center for Teaching and Learning offers monthly (and sometimes twice monthly) workshops about teaching with (and without) technology, often focusing on the tools in CoursePlus. These sessions also cover new and improved CoursePlus features.

We hope you take advantage of the resource(s) that best fit your needs for learning about what's new and different in CoursePlus. As always, CTL Help is happy to answer any questions you may have about CoursePlus.

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

Dec 13 2018

See the Exact Steps Taken in Calculating a Student Grade in the Gradebook

Gradebooks can be complicated things, with many activities grouped into categories and different rules about how individual grades in a category factor into a student's final grade. It can sometimes be difficult to know the exact set of steps taken in calculating a student's grade.

Fortunately, the Gradebook in CoursePlus has a tool for faculty and TAs that shows the exact steps taken in calculating a student's grade in the course Gradebook. This tool can be accessed at any time, even before the final grade in the class is calculated, and the steps shown will update when you add additional scores in to the Gradebook. 

To access this tool, go to the student view of any student in the Gradebook. For example, in this example class, we're viewing the Gradebook page for a student named Luke Cage:

Screenshot of an example student's grade book page

Click "Show Grade Calculation Details page for [student name]" at the top of the page. This reveals all the steps, in order, that the Gradebook took to calculate the current student grade in the class:

Screenshot of the calculation of an example student's grade

Both the actual current grade and the current grade as displayed to the student are shown. Remember that the grade as displayed to the student may be different than the actual, real current grade because sometimes indivdiual graded items aren't displayed to students. For example, you may have graded a midterm, but not displayed grades to students because not all students took the midterm. This is why we show calculations for both the actual current grade, and what is currently shown to students.

We hope that the information shown in this tool will help you better understand the exact steps taken to calculate a student grade in a course. You can even share this information with students who may have concerns about how their grade is calculated. 

If you have questions or concerns about how the Gradebook is calculating a student grade, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:28 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Previous Posts

Nov 27

Panopto Outage on Saturday, December 15

Posted by Brian Klaas at 1:15 PM - Categories: CoursePlus |

Nov 20

Say Hello to Signup Sheets!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 10:55 AM - Categories: CoursePlus |

Oct 29

Full Emoji Support in the Rich Text Editor

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

Oct 18

Requesting Classroom Recordings via CoursePlus

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

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