CTL Blog

A New Version of the Drop Box Coming to CoursePlus

July 12, 2011 | 2 Minute Read

In the coming weeks, CoursePlus will be updated to include the same version of the Drop Box tool that has been available to online courses for some time. The new version of the Drop Box includes some important new features which make it easier for faculty, TAs, and administrative staff to manage Drop Boxes. Some of the highlights of this new version include:

  • Multiple assignment parts per Drop Box. You can now collect up to five (5) files from each student in a single Drop Box.
  • Submit files on behalf of a student. Faculty and editors can now submit a file to a Drop Box on behalf of a student. This is very useful when a student can't submit their file in the regular fashion, but you want to take full advantage of the organizational capabilities of the Drop Box.
  • See who downloaded files, and when. Each student file in a Drop Box now shows if the file has been downloaded by a faculty or editor, and when they downloaded the file.
  • See a history of student submissions to a Drop Box. If the Drop Box is set up to allow multiple submissions, you can see a history of all submissions by the student to that Drop Box. Multiple versions of the files are not stored, however. Only the history of when students submitted a file to that Drop Box is displayed.
  • Let students see other student submissions. You can set up a Drop Box so that once files are submitted, students can see everyone else's submissions. This is useful when students need to evaluate or critique other student papers, projects, or assignments.
  • Get notified when students submit files to a Drop Box. You can optionally turn on notifications so that every time a student submits a file to a Drop Box, an email is sent to the specified address.
On the student side, there is one significant change to the Drop Box: uploading of files now requires the Flash plug-in. This requirement is in place so that students can receive visual feedback while they upload files. For smaller files, visual feedback generally has not been an issue. For larger files (PPT presentations, for example), students told us that they often did not know if the file was uploading properly because they received no visual feedback. Uploading via the Flash plug-in allows us to provide the visual feedback that students have asked for.

This version of the Drop Box has been in use in the online courses for over a year, and has received very positive feedback. We expect that those of you who use CoursePlus will be equally as pleased.