CTL Blog

Two Changes to CoursePlus Based on Student Feedback

October 22, 2020 | 2 Minute Read

CoursePlus undergoes a lot of changes in the course of an academic year. This blog is testament to that. Many people don't realize that the majority of changes to CoursePlus occur as the result of feedback from the faculty, staff, and students who use CoursePlus every day.

We’d like to highlight two specific, recent changes that came about as the result of student feedback about CoursePlus.

First, the Discussion Forum has long had the ability for anyone in the class to post an emoji-based reaction to a Discussion Forum post. Instead of creating a short, repetitive post like “I agree with Anna!,” you can instead select the “agree” emoji and that is displayed underneath the post. This is a lot like providing reactions to posts on Facebook or Instagram.

A student contacted the CoursePlus team to provide some well-observed feedback about this feature. The student pointed out the fact that the icons used for these reactions had a combination of “standard emoji yellow” colors as well as a few white skin tones. The white skin tones weren’t really inclusive, because, obviously, not everyone using that emoji reaction was white. Could we instead use the “standard emoji yellow” color on all of the emoji reactions?

Done and done:

Updated emoji reaction icons

This change was easy to make and, hopefully, makes CoursePlus feel more inclusive to everyone.

Second, students have long had the option to vary the playback speed of online lectures in CoursePlus. They can play lectures at 2x speed, 1.5x speed, normal speed, or even slow things down to half speed. Those options worked for many students, but not all. In the past few years, a number of students have expressed a desire for a 1.25x playback speed — not so fast as to potentially miss information, but just fast enough to reduce the total time they spend listening to a lecture.

Done and done. The 1.25x playback option now appears in the video player used throughout CoursePlus:

1.25x player speed in the CoursePlus video player

Feedback from everyone who uses CoursePlus is important. Students sometimes feel that their requests aren’t heard because they are, largely, only in a degree program for two years or less. Their feedback is very important to the whole CoursePlus team. We know that, oftentimes, the best ideas come from those who use CoursePlus every day.

If you have feedback about CoursePlus, or would like to see a feature implemented, please contact CTL Help!