Changes to the CoursePlus Class Sessions Tool
At the end of the current academic term, the class sessions tool in CoursePlus will get a major update. The CoursePlus team has been receiving feedback about the class sessions tool from faculty and editors since CoursePlus launched in 2005. We pulled out the most frequently-requested changes and have made those the core of this update. Here are the highlights:
- Drag-and-drop ordering of sessions: Many people who have used the class sessions tool told us that they really did not like having to use numbers to order class sessions and that they had to reorder sessions one at a time. Worse yet, if you wanted to move a session between other sessions, you had to renumber every session below the insertion point one at a time. This was a major hassle. The updated class sessions tool allows you to drag-and-drop class session listings to reorder them. Simply click on the blue title bar for any session and drag it to a new location. Everything gets reordered for you with no extra work.
- Update all session dates at once: When you copy a CoursePlus site from one academic year to the next, you have to update all the dates on the class session by hand. The updated class sessions tool allows you to enter in the number of days by which you want to update every date in every session. If you enter "365," then all class session dates are updated by 365 days. This saves a lot of time, particularly on classes with a lot of sessions!
- Session objectives: As the School moves to link department/program objectives with course objectives and individual class session objectives, the class sessions tool now has an easy-to-use session objectives tool. You can enter as many session objectives as you would like, and you can reorder the display of session objectives as you see fit. Entering session objectives is totally optional.
- Download all files for a session: Students and faculty have told us that they would like to be able to download all the files for a given session in one click, rather than having to click on the link to each file to download the files. The updated class sessions tool allows you to do this. You can still download files one at a time if you want.
- Download all sessions to your calendar: Since we launched CoursePlus, students have been asking for the ability to easily import class session information into their desktop or online calendars. The student view of the class sessions tool now allows students to download basic information about each session in the .ics format, which can be dragged and dropped into Outlook, Entourage, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird, or imported in to Google Calendar. If there are changes to class sessions after the initial student download, the student is notified that there are updates to download.
- Create a survey for the session when you create the session: When you create a new session in the class sessions tool, you have the option of also creating a survey from a template at that time. CoursePlus now offers a number of template evaluation surveys for you to choose from, or you can create a template survey for just your course or a template survey that can be used by any class in CoursePlus.
- Session numbers are no longer required: Because the ordering of sessions was previously based on the session number, session numbers were required for each session. This is no longer the case. You can include session numbers or not — it's totally up to you. When you link a file from the Online Library or a Drop Box to a session, you select the topic of the session instead of the session number in those tools.
These are the highlights of the update to the class sessions tool. There are additional, smaller changes, which will be detailed when the update is live and available on CoursePlus.
The CoursePlus team has really tried to make these updates as simple to use as possible. We understand that some people were perfectly happy with the class sessions tool as it was, but we also have to accommodate the needs of faculty, editors, and students who were clamoring for change. We hope that, in the end, everyone will find these changes beneficial.
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please let us know!