CTL Blog

Updates to the Course BBS

June 11, 2009 | 2 Minute Read

We've been incrementally rolling out modifications to the BBS tool found in all online courses and in some CoursePlus sites (if the faculty have requested one). The biggest update revolves around the display of student photos and profile information, but other updates have been put in to place as well.

Previously, a generic "person" icon would appear next to a person's name when they posted a message in a course BBS. These icons weren't particularly attractive, and a number of faculty, students, and TAs requested that the picture of the person who made the post appear instead. That's exactly what we've done. If the person posting a message has a photo in their JHSPH eLearning profile, that photo will be displayed next to their name in the BBS. If the person doesn't have a photo, a generic "no photo" icon is used instead. If you don't have a photo in your eLearning profile, now is the time to add one!

Additionally, if you click on someone's photo (or even the generic "no photo" icon next to their name), you will see information pulled directly from that person's JHSPH eLearning profile, including their biographical information, professional interests, Facebook page, and personal Web links — again, if any of that information is provided by the individual. 

There will also be a "new messages since my last visit" page which will show you all the threads in the BBS to which new messages have been posted since your last visit.

Finally, we've made some improvements to the display of new message indicators in the BBS. Previously, if you went in to a category in the BBS, all the messages in that category would be marked as viewed, even if you only viewed one thread in that category. This was, obviously, frustrating. The new message indicators have been revamped so that if you go in to a category with new messages, only the specific threads you view are marked as having been read. Threads in that same category which you did not view will not be marked as read. It's a little change, but the little things can make a big difference!

As always, if you have questions or concerns about these changes, please let us know!