CTL Blog

Vastly Improved Printing of the Syllabus

August 29, 2016 | 2 Minute Read

Faculty haven't always been happy with the printout of the syllabus in their CoursePlus sites. The CoursePlus team has been gathering feedback about this issue, and we're pleased to announce that we've made significant improvements to the printed version of the course syllabus in CoursePlus. Some of the changes include:

  • A cleaner font throughout the document. When alternate fonts are used on the webpage version of the syllabus, they are substituted for the standard font in the PDF version.
  • Font size is reduced overall, especially in headers. This results in fewer pages in the printed document.
  • Whitespace has been significantly reduced, including the automatic removal of leading or trailing whitespace in the webpage verison of the syllabus.
  • Page numbers have been added to each page.
  • A footer has been added to each page which shows the course number, title, academic term and year, and the last updated date/time.
  • Sections of the syllabus or even standard pieces of content like the days/times of the class that are not used or are blank are suppressed in the printed syllabus.
  • The layout of the "Contact" section has been redone to reduce unused space.
  • Email addresses in the "Contact" section are now active hyperlinks.
  • Class time notes are imported from the JHSPH course system and displayed next to the class dates/times.
  • Objectives are numbered, not bulleted.
  • If a course's learning objectives are "Information not required for this course type" or "No objectives have been defined," the Course Learning Objectives section is not shown.
  • Links to files in the Online Library appear as active weblinks.
  • The list of class sessions has been vastly improved, reducing whitespace and listing Online Library files in a multi-column list, rather than a single column list that took up a lot of vertical space.
  • The date of the class session now appears before the faculty name (if any).
  • Class session dates now use the full name of the day and the month of the session, rather than an abbreviation.
  • A JHU watermark has been added to the first page of the printed syllabus.

If you haven't tried printing your course syllabus recently, please do so! Additional refinements will be made to the printed version of the syllabus as requests and feedback continue to come in.

Please note that the "Print to Word" option in the syllabus will be removed as of October 1, 2016. The main reason for this is the "Print to Word" option is both expensive to maintain and used by a very small number of people. Of the 1,321,906 visits to course syllabi pages between January 1, 2015 and June 13, 2016, only 2426 of those requests (0.18%) were for the Word version of the syllabus. As it is expensive to maintain the Word version, and difficult to implement some of the above changes to the Word version of the syllabus, we will be removing that option from CoursePlus as of October 1, 2016.

Your continued feedback about the syllabus tool is important to us. We want it to be a great tool for everyone, so please contact CTL Help or your course instructional designer with additional concerns, questions, and feedback about the syllabus tool.