CoursePlus Updates

The developers in the Center for Teaching and Learning work continuously to improve CoursePlus. Below is a detailed list of changes made in each month.

Go to CoursePlus
2020: May

Zoom Links for Class Sessions

You can now specify a Zoom link for an individual class session on the class sessions page. (#3395) If a Zoom link is specified for a class session, it appears on both the class session display and in the Daily Course Notifications email that is sent to students. You can also specify that a single Zoom link be used for all class sessions in a class, and can change that link on a session by session basis.

Dyslexia Font Option within CoursePlus

You can now choose to view CoursePlus using a font that is specifically designed to assist individuals with dyslexia. (#3314) OpenDyslexic is a font widely used to mitigate contrast/blindness, letter confusion or rotation, and crowding. When this option is selected, OpenDyslexic is used wherever possible in CoursePlus. Some custom content generated by faculty, staff, or students cannot be changed to use OpenDyslexic. The vast majority of content in CoursePlus will display using this font, however.

Randomization of Answers to Multiple Choice Questions

You can now set up your quizzes or exams in CoursePlus to randomize the display order of answers to a multiple-choice question. (#591) Students see the answers to multiple-choice questions in a randomized order, although that order remains constant when the student leaves and returns to the quiz/exam page, receives results on screen or via email, or views the answer key. Faculty and TAs see answers to multiple-choice questions in the same order as they were originally created when viewing student responses in the "All Responses and Grades" section in the Quiz Generator. This feature can be a significant deterrent to cheating in online quizzes and exams, especially when combined with randomization of question display order or random selection of questions from a bank.

PathFinder Activities in the Gradebook and Schedule

You can now link a PathFinder activity to the Gradebook. (#3401) The completion status for a student is automatically imported into the Gradebook. If a student completed a PathFinder activity, they receive full credit for the item in the Gradebook. If they do not complete the PathFinder activity, they get zero credit.

You can now also link PathFinder activities directly to the Schedule Builder. (#3400)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The rich text editor throughout CoursePlus now has a "Code" style option for text which displays content in a monospaced font typically used for displaying programming code. (#3440)
  • Advisors and portfolio administrators can now submit student touchpoint information (including reflections and evidence) on behalf of a student. (#1993)
  • An entire Gradebook category can now be excluded from the final grade. (#2209)
  • When you select the "Group Assesses Group" option in a Peer Assessment setup, the system now automatically randomizes which groups are assigned to each other. (#2772)
  • Section .80 courses are now treated like all other fully online courses in CoursePlus. (#3447)
  • The user interface for adding tags to a quiz question has been updated to automatically add questions when the space bar or enter keys are pressed. Clicking the + sign to add a tag to a question has been removed. (#3441)
  • People who sign up for the TA training course are now automatically enrolled in the related Sandbox course site. (#3435)
  • A problem with apostrophes in course names that caused sending feedback from the Gradebook has been fixed. (#3434)
  • A problem that prevented peer assessment scores for group assessments from being displayed has been fixed. (#3406)
  • Files that became disassociated with a portfolio touchpoint no longer cause downloading all files for that touchpoint to fail. (#3432)
  • The report which shows the first and last download time for a student who downloaded a file from the Online Library no longer shows the same date for both. (#3460)
  • A change in Zoom's API that caused poll questions longer than 60 characters to fail to create has been addressed. (#3450)
  • A bug that caused survey responses to not save when multiple responses were selected for a single question has been fixed. (#3456)
  • A bug that caused the syllabus to fail to populate when setting up a new course with no previous offerings with a blank site has been fixed. (#3443)
  • The underlying application servers for CoursePlus have been updated to the latest updates and security patches. (#3409)
2020: April

Manage LiveTalk Polls from Your CoursePlus Site

You can now add, edit, and delete polls for LiveTalks from your CoursePlus site. (#2813) Previously, polls could only be created in the Multimedia studios, or via the Zoom accounts under which each LiveTalk ran. This was due a limitation in how Zoom allows polls to be created. Now, on the LiveTalk page in each online class website, a button is displayed to faculty and TAs that allows them to manage LiveTalk polls. This button displays a week prior to the LiveTalk until an hour after the scheduled start time of the session. Faculty and TAs can prepare polls ahead of time, or create them during the session if needed.

More LiveTalk-related changes include:

  • A "Contact LiveTalk Support" button now appears to faculty and TAs on the LiveTalk page just before a LiveTalk starts so that those who need urgent, immediate help can get it. (#3425)
  • Passwords for LiveTalk Zoom meetings have been improved to increase security on those sessions. (#3388)
  • LiveTalk Zoom meeting IDs now use the more secure 11-digit format. (#3414)
  • System administrators are now automatically notified when a LiveTalk Zoom recording has multiple sets, usually causing an incomplete recording to be posted to a course website. (#3379)

Quiz Generator Updates

  • You now have the option of not penalizing students for incorrect answers they choose on multiple choice, multiple answer and match-from-two-lists questions. (#66)
  • A warning is shown on the main quiz overview page, the quiz setup page, and question editing page when a quiz is set up to track students leaving the quiz page and files (which open in new windows) are attached to questions in the quiz. (#3412)
  • A list of unanswered questions is now displayed in a floating box when students take a quiz or exam. (#2645)
  • When you grade or change student scores or provide feedback on an individual student's responses page in the Quiz Generator, the change is now autosaved in the background. (#60)
  • The code which tracks students leaving an exam page has been improved to detect more instances when students may be off the page. (#3397)
  • A bug that prevented students from seeing the "you have submitted answers to this quiz" message on screen after submitting answers to a quiz where no results are displayed on screen but faculty are sent a copy of the student's entire response set has been fixed. (#3422)
  • A rare situation where the display order of questions in a quiz changed upon student submission of the quiz has been fixed. (#3393)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Faculty and TAs can now add their own anonymous evaluation to a set of student evaluations in a peer assessment. (#278)
  • There is now a button at the top of the roster page for faculty or TAs to copy all student email addresses in a single click. (#3405)
  • The "My Calendar" page now offers a filter to only show upcoming due dates. (#3355)
  • The "My Calendar" page now displays the beginning of each course title instead of just the course number. (#3355)
  • The file uploading process throughout the portfolio tool has been revised, including streamlining the steps for students to attach evidence to a touchpoint. (#3343)
  • Office hour-style Signup Sheets can now be automatically repeated for a selectable number of weeks. (#3100)
  • Students using temporary JH account IDs as their email address are now warned when they sign in to CoursePlus that the address is not a valid email address and that they should change it as soon as possible. (#3419)
  • Summer Institute courses in the next academic year can now enable Panopto recordings for their class months prior to the start of the summer institute. (#3394)
  • Improvements have been made to the accessibility of icons and keyboard navigation on the public pages, "My Courses," and CoursePlus Account information pages in CoursePlus. (#3399)
  • "Previous Section" and "Next Section" buttons now properly link back to a class sessions page when an online lecture is embedded in a class session and not linked off a Page Builder page. (#3386)
  • The Attendance Tracker tool has been updated to recognize time zone differences when students are allowed to sign in to a class. (#3382)
  • Files added to the Online Library after the "Delete Items" option has been selected at least one time now correctly get checkboxes to delete those items. (#3411)
  • A situation where conflicting permissions on a Discussion Forum topic prevented students from replying directly to an existing post in the topic has been fixed. (#3385)
  • The "busiest time of day on this site" report in the Report Center no longer shows only midnight as the busiest time of day. (#3391)
  • Online lectures embedded into a class session are no longer duplicated multiple times during a course copy. (#3396)
  • A bug that occurred with core syllabus information not being pulled from the SPH course system when setting up a new, blank course site (as opposed to copying an existing site) has been fixed. (#3424)
  • A bug that displayed edit icons next to catalog-linked sections on the syllabus when the syllabus was viewed by someone not signed in to CoursePlus has been fixed. (#3402)
  • The advisor listing for a student in a portfolio once again shows all students assigned to an advisor. (#3408)
2020: March

NameCoach Integration

NameCoach is a service that the University has utilized in the past few years to allow students to record a brief pronunciation of their name so that faculty (and those speaking at commencement) can properly pronounce a student's name. The roster page in CoursePlus now shows a button to pronounce a student's name when a student has made a recording of their name in NameCoach. (#2893) Many students are not yet aware of this feature, so current availability is sparse.

Enrollment Now Pulled for Multiple Terms

Prior to March, 2020, CoursePlus could only process SIS enrollment data for a single academic term at a time. This is because of problems uniquely identifying courses that used the same course and section number across multiple academic terms. Starting in March, 2020, CoursePlus now pulls enrollment for the current and future academic terms where there are current course registrations in SIS. (#3318) This means that CoursePlus now pulls registration information for not just the current academic term, but all future academic terms where students have registered for classes in SIS.

Get Notified About Student Adds and Drops

Faculty, course coordinators, and TAs can sign up for a daily email message which lists all of the students who added or dropped a course in the past day. (#3112) This daily email message can be enabled and disabled at will, but only appears on the Faculty Tools page in the class website once the course begins. Add/drop data is also only available once the course begins.

Delete Multiple Files from the Online Library at Once

When managing the Online Library in a CoursePlus site, it's now possible to delete multiple files at once. (#1860) By clicking a "Delete Items" button at the top of the page, you can select multiple individual items, or whole folders, or a mix of individual items and folders, to delete at one time. If you are deleting an entire folder, you are given the option of deleting just the folder or the folder and all the items therein. The "drag the item to the trash can" behavior has been removed.

Larger File Uploads to the Online Library

Traditionally, CoursePlus has limited file uploads to the Online Library to a maximum file size of 200MB. Given the current changes in how courses are taught at the University, and the increased reliance on Zoom recordings for classroom instruction, we have increased the maximum file size limit to 500MB. (#3370) This increase only occurs in the Online Library. We will evaluate other tools, including student submissions, as needed.

Syllabus Builder Change History

The Syllabus Builder tool now shows a change log of who edited an item in the syllabus and when the edit was made. (#2085) This includes changes to JHSPH course system-linked sections, contact information, and class location information. Please note that the history only begins on April 1, 2020 and is not retroactive.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now specify a word count limit on essay questions in the Quiz Generator. (#64)
  • There is now a tool to report transcription errors or lecture content errors when playing an online lecture. (#2595)
  • When viewing a student report in the Peer Assessment tool, links to the previous and next students in the roster are now displayed. (#2921)
  • Students who have signed up for office hours via the Signup Sheets tool now receive a reminder of their session the day before it occurs. The reminder includes a link to cancel their signup. (#3101)
  • Portfolio administrators can now filter by cohort when viewing the list of all students in a program. (#2420)
  • When portfolio administrators download files submitted to a touchpoint, the files are renamed with the student name and JHED ID. (#3344)
  • The list of students assigned to an advisor or reviewer in the portfolio is now grouped by the cohort to which the student belongs. (#2418)
  • You can now upload Word and Excel files via the LiveTalk slides upload page. (#3341)
  • When you add a session to the class sessions page, it is now added to the end of the page, rather than at the top. (#3329)
  • You can no longer select (or see) a cancelled offering in the list of offerings to choose on the "Class Email Archive" page. (#3368)
  • Buttons for selecting answers in multiple-choice single answer and multiple-choice multiple-answer questions in the Quiz Generator are now styled exactly the same. (#3364)
  • A bug that added additional assignment parts to Drop Boxes with only one assignment part during the course copy has been fixed. (#3348)
  • A bug that caused Online Library files with non-alphanumeric characters in their names to not be downloadable from the course syllabus has been fixed. (#3371)
  • A bug that caused the "Access of Individual Lecture Sections by Each Student" report to not display information if the class is an on-campus class that uses Schedule Builder has been fixed. (#3364)
  • The servers that power CoursePlus have been updated to the latest version of server software and underlying libraries. (#3159)
2020: February

Schedule Builder Change History

The Schedule Builder tool now shows a change log of who added, deleted, or changed an item in the schedule. (#137) Instructional Designers have long received an email message with this information on a daily basis. The same history is now available when editing in the Schedule Builder tool. Please note that the history only begins on February 25, 2020 and is not retroactive.

Import Class Email Messages from the Previous Offering of a Course

You can now import email messages sent to the entire class in the previous offering of a course directly into the rich text editor of the Class Email tool. (#3257) This time-saving tool is available to all faculty and TAs in a class, even if they did not work on the previous offering of the course. Only emails sent to the entire class are available via this tool. Any links in the message to pages in the previous class website are automatically updated to point to the pages in the current class website.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The rich text editor throughout CoursePlus now includes a word count. (#3316)
  • When a student submits answers to a proctored exam, the proctor now receives a confirmation email message that the student submitted the answers. (#2433)
  • If there is only one assessment per student in a Peer Assessment, clicking on the student name now takes you directly to the results report for that student, instead of having to click on a second link to see the results report for that student. (#3133)
  • When an Online Library file is deleted, it is no longer moved to a hidden directory, but instead remains available to previous offerings of the class that might have used that file. (#3304)
  • When an Online Library item is edited and the file for that item is replaced, the old file is now moved to a "Deleted Files" folder which, while not accessible to the faculty or TAs, does not physically delete the file from the CoursePlus file storage system. (#3303)
  • Students who have dropped a course no longer receive emails from Discussion Forum topics or categories to which they previously subscribed. (#3319)
  • Copying an Online Library from a course with one course number to a course with an entirely different course number no longer causes the copy to fail. (#3334)
  • An issue with adding multiple Signup Sheets to a single on-campus class session has been fixed. (#3338)
  • Copying the content of online trainings no longer results in an empty class schedule. (#3326)
  • Saving the content of the new Methods of Assessment field in the syllabus now causes the page to update immediately, rather than waiting for the full page to be reloaded to display updated content. (#3323)
  • Non-alphanumeric characters in the title of a Signup Sheet no longer cause the Excel export of Signup Sheet data to fail. (#3298)
  • The text in the Disability Support Services section of the syllabus has been updated with the latest information from the University's central DSS office. (#3327)
  • CoursePlus no longer collects or displays the physical mailing address of proctors. (#3313)
2020: January

Student Grade System Now Shown in CoursePlus

CoursePlus now shows the grade system under which a student is taking a class. (#256) This information is pulled directly from SIS, and is shown in the following tools:

  • Roster (#3252)
  • Quiz Generator: Responses and Grades view (#3243)
  • Gradebook (#255)

The grade system is displayed on these tools if it is something other than a letter grade. The majority of students take classes for a letter grade, and we didn't want a lot of repetitious information cluttering up these pages. The grade system is always shown on Excel exports from these tools.

In the Gradebook, a student taking the class for something other than a letter grade has the appropriate option pre-selected for you on the Final Grades page, and you cannot enter a letter grade for someone who is taking the class pass/fail.

It's important to note the following:

  • Grade systems are only visible in third term AY19-20 academic courses and beyond. Grade systems are not retroactively displayed in older courses.
  • Grade systems are only displayed in academic courses.

New Spelling and Grammar Checking Tools in the Rich Text Editor

The rich text editor found throughout CoursePlus has been upgraded to include a new check-as-you-type spellchecker as well as a grammar checker. (#3046) A small icon appears in the lower-right corner of every rich text editor that gives you access to basic grammar checking tools. Additionally, the Paste from Word feature has been updated to better remove additional metadata that Word tries adds to content pasted in to the rich text editor.

Blocking Creation of Final Grades While Grades Are Being Recalculated

When a student has a grade for an individual activity entered into the Gradebook), that student’s current or final grade goes into two queues for recalculation: one for the view of the grade as shown to faculty, and one for the view of the grade as shown to the student. The current or final grade is not instantaneously recalculated when a grade for an individual activity is entered, as this process can be quite time consuming depending on how grades are calculated for a class. Additionally, faculty can see any grade at any time. Students often cannot see their grades for an individual activity until everyone in the class has been graded. This therefore requires two queues: one for the grade as shown to the faculty, and one for the grade as shown to the student. This queue system allows the Gradebook application to be fast and responsive to the faculty and TAs who use it.

At the end an academic term, these queues can get fairly big, and it takes time to process every item in the queue. This could lead to situations where the faculty are entering final grades before all grades for an individual student have been processed, or situations where students see a "final grade" that is not reflective of their grade being fully processed.

The Gradebook now prevents faculty from editing final grades when there are students in their class who have grades sitting in either one of the queues. A large warning box is displayed describing the situation, and students whose grades are still being processed are individually highlighted. (#3232)

Peer Assessment Updates

  • If you create a Faculty/TA Peer Assessment, the dates for the assessment are set so that it opens immediately and you can get to work right away. (#3138, #3139) Previously, you had to wait at least an hour for assessments to be created.
  • If a rubric has a single performance level, it is now automatically selected when filling out the rubric. (#3144)
  • When students submit a peer assessment, a spinner now displays indicating that the assessment is being processed. (#2970)
  • When faculty or TAs add a comment to a student peer assessment, an entry is also added in the grading history indicating that person added a comment. (#2920)
  • The instructions on how to send student feedback from the Peer Assessment tool have been updated in response to faculty feedback. (#3201)
  • Peer assessments that are not currently open are now displayed in a collapsed list to students. A peer assessment that is currently open is displayed in an open list when a student accesses the Peer Assessment main page. This helps students more quickly find assessments that they need to do at that time. (#2970)
  • Group peer assessments no longer show students who were in a group but dropped the class. (#3222)
  • A rare situation where the wrong Peer Assessment would be deleted when clicking on the "Delete" button on the main Peer Assessment page has been fixed. (#3200)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now email all students in a class who do not have a proctor selected for that class. (#2797)
  • You can now download all results for a specific kind of survey (Lecture, LiveTalk, Custom) in a single click. (#2860)
  • Custom surveys linked to Schedule Builder now have an icon indicating that they are linked to Schedule Builder displayed in the Survey tool itself. (#3170)
  • If you delete a quiz, Drop Box, or Peer Assessment that is linked to an item in the Gradebook, the Gradebook now alerts you to that deletion and the need to re-link to a replacement item. (#3179)
  • When a quiz (#3224) or survey (#3241) is linked to Schedule Builder, the close date can no longer be empty or blanked out, thus causing problems in the related tool.
  • When a faculty or TA is editing a LiveTalk event in the Schedule Builder tool, they are shown the date/time of the event, but cannot edit it. (#3278)
  • The list of quizzes displayed on a Page Builder page is now displayed in alphabetic order. (#3293)
  • You are now given the appropriate option to associate a Signup Sheet with an item in Schedule Builder or the Class Sessions tool, depending on which tool your course site uses. (#3238)
  • Deleted touchpoints no longer copy from old cohorts into newer cohorts in the portfolio tool. (#3254)
  • A bug that caused the "Why Take this Course?" section to display on its own in the syllabus has been fixed. (#3244)
  • A few courses that required cleanup of old Methods of Assessment data before it would appear in the editor of the new Methods of Assessment field in the syllabus have been addressed. (#3228)
  • Display bugs with the Methods of Assessment field, particularly when awaiting change approval, have been fixed. (#3310, #3308, #3285)
  • If a TA in a class tries to access the class email archive for a previous offering in which the TA was not involved, they no longer get a blank screen. (#3275)
  • Not specifying a start or end date for Signup Sheet signups no longer causes the date to be set to December 31, 1969. (#3235, #3233)
  • Disassociating a class session from a Signup Sheet and deleting that Signup Sheet no longer prevents you from linking that Class Session to another Signup Sheet. (#3234)
  • A bug that caused new lecture pages in course offerings that have not yet started to not link properly to Schedule Builder events has been fixed. (#3223)
  • A bug that prevented updating of class session information when you had multiple tabs with different CoursePlus sites open at the same time has been fixed. (#3216)
  • Links to Drop Boxes from the "Drop Box" boilerplate Page Builder section no longer disappear when a course is copied into a new offering. (#3227)
  • The new "Student Health and Well-Being" section of the syllabus now properly displays when you print the syllabus to PDF. (#3263)
  • Editing a Publishing View in the portfolio tool no longer results in a blank page. (#3312)
  • A bug that prevented Discussion Forum category groups from being deleted has been fixed. (#3299)
  • Blank or empty responses to a matrix survey question now show up as properly empty cells in the Excel version of the survey results. (#3292)
  • Previously, when someone switched an on-campus class from using Schedule Builder to Class Sessions and back to Schedule Builder again, a warning would appear that all items in Schedule Builder and all pages in Page Builder would be deleted and replaced with information in the Class Sessions tool. This is no longer done because sometimes individuals would accidentally switch to Class Sessions and need to get back to the Schedule Builder version of a course immediately. (#3181) Now, if there is anything in Schedule Builder or Page Builder, nothing is deleted or overwritten by content in the Class Sessions tool. You can switch back and forth between the two tools with no deletion of information when switching to Schedule Builder.
2019: December

New Methods of Assessment Editing

The JHSPH course system recently switched to a new format for assembling and editing the Methods of Assessment based on specific drop-down selections and percentage values. All newly approved courses use this new Methods of Assessment format, and all course revisions will require that faculty assemble their Methods of Assessment in this new format.

Faculty and staff can now edit the Methods of Assessment in the new format inside of the Syllabus Builder tool in CoursePlus. (#2659) Instructions are provided for those who may not be familiar with this new format. (#3189) Edits can be sent to the JHSPH course system for approval and final publication.

CoursePlus now only supports this new Methods of Assessment format. You cannot format the Methods of Assessment information in the old, open text field format even if that is what exists for the course in the JHSPH course system.

Peer Assessment Enhancements

  • The "Include an additional field for faculty comments" is now included by default on all assessments. (#3138)
  • In a faculty/TA peer assessment, the name of the student who is currently being assessed is displayed at the top of the page. (#3134)
  • Adding a fourth performance level to a rubric no longer causes the layout of the rubric editor to get crushed. (#3137)
  • Manual assignments in a manually assigned Peer Assessment once again save correctly. (#3140)
  • On team and group views, clicking the "Select All" button to select members of one group no longer selects all students in all groups. (#3211)
  • A bug where some results emails that were queued to be sent did not get sent has been fixed. (#3212)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • There is now a log that shows who added or removed students to/from course groups. (#3070)
  • New boilerplate sections for officially designated Service Learning, MPH Practicum courses, Student Health and Well-Being, and LiveTalk requirements have been added to the Syllabus Builder tool. (#3085, #3074, #3202)
  • Submission confirmation emails from the Drop Box now come from the address. (#3175)
  • The "What is a syllabus?" popup that appeared the first time you edited any course syllabus has been removed. (#3193)
  • The statistics for student responses to multiple choice, multiple answer questions in quiz now only displays the unique number of individual students who answered this type of question in the "Answered" field, instead of the total of all answers given by students to this question. (#2966)
  • The link to download all Signup Sheet signups in Excel format displays correctly again. (#3171)
  • Selecting the "Did not turn in assignment" filter in the class email tool no longer displays an error message. (#3169)
  • A problem where sending class-wide email would result in the success message never appearing when there were more than 300 students in a class has been fixed. (#3162)
  • A bug that was introduced with the new Methods of Assessment editor that caused contact information on a syllabus to not be saved has been fixed (#3194), and another that sometimes caused the objectives editing screen not to load has been fixed. (#3231)
  • Editing a syllabus on a course that is not linked to the JHSPH course system no longer prompts you to send your changes to the course system for review. (#3152)
  • A bug that caused Signup Sheets from older offerings to appear in a newly copied offering has been fixed. (#3203)
2019: November

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now associate Signup Sheets with specific class sessions in the on-campus class session tool. (#3007)
  • If a faculty or TA tries to submit a very large file to an Online Library that is bigger than what is allowed by CoursePlus, they are now shown file type-appropriate guidance on how to reduce the file size of their submission. (#3124)
  • When an online course is copied from one term to the next, the "Allow faculty and TAs to edit lecture dates" option is automatically set to true for all lectures. (#3116)
  • When you add a section to the syllabus that has example or suggested text, you can now click a "Copy content into the editor below" button to copy the full example text into the rich text editor for that section. (#3074)
  • A new "LiveTalk Requirements" section has been added to the Syllabus Builder tool. (#3074)
  • References to and code involving Adobe Connect (the old LiveTalk system) have been removed from CoursePlus. (#3076)
  • An issue where the second and subsequent cc: recipients that are manually entered into a class email message did not receive the message has been fixed. (#3160, #3167)
  • Turning off group submissions after students have started submitting files to a Drop Box that originally was set to allow group submissions no longer causes students belonging to groups that had already submitted files prior to this change to submit on behalf of the entire group. (#3155)
  • A bug where clicking the "Select Listed" button after using a filter in the class email tool didn't select any names has been fixed. (#3151)
  • A rare situation where a student could sit on a signup sheet and wait until after the signup deadline had passed and still sign up on that sheet has been fixed. (#3150)
  • Non alphanumeric characters are now removed from file names in files submitted to the portfolio, avoiding download and file system problems. (#3148)
  • A bug where you could upload a new page image to a Page Builder page but it would not replace the existing page image on screen has been fixed. (#3147)
  • A problem wherein the Summary Report for a Peer Assessment would not load but instead show an "Uh-oh" error message has been fixed. (#3146)
  • A problem where results for a Peer Assessment would display intermittently has been fixed. (#3132)
  • When you update a lecture title in Schedule Builder, it once again properly updates the lecture name in the lecture evaluation survey for that lecture. (#3130)
  • Group selections for the "Everyone Assesses One Group" Peer Assessment type once again persist between visits to the assessment setup form. (#3127)
  • A situation where no answer to a numeric value question would cause the data for that student's row to shift by one cell in the Excel output of all responses and grades for a quiz has been fixed. (#3123)
  • The first visit to a course website is now properly recorded as "visit #1" in the report of the number of visits to a class website by each student. (#3120)
  • A situation where post-before-view posts would show up in the "Recent Posts on the Discussion Forum" box on the home page because they were posts in post-before-view topics inside of non-post-before-view categories has been fixed. (#3118)
  • Messages sent by TAs to individual students once again appear in the class email archive when "Include all educational team communications" is selected. (#3117)
  • Emails tagged as "cc Technical Support" in the class email tool are once again being sent to CTL Help. (#3033)
  • A situation where the course or training provider information would be deleted when new offerings of that course or training were created has been fixed. (#2954)
2019: October

Accessibility Improvements to the CoursePlus Main Pages

The CoursePlus home page, public pages, and My Courses page have slightly refreshed interfaces. We've made these changes to bring CoursePlus into compliance with accessibility standards on color contrast. CoursePlus does not meet WCAG 2.0 AA standards on color contrast for things like the academic year listing, hyperlinks, or navigation menus on the "My Courses" page and other public pages. This needed to get fixed, and that is why these changes are forthcoming. The CoursePlus team has also done a bunch of work to improve the tab order of these pages, and replaced the old tabbed navigation of the "My Courses" page with an accessible equivalent.

The CoursePlus team is committed to improving accessibility throughout CoursePlus, and has embarked on a year-long project to improve student accessibility across all tools.

Discussion Forum Changes

  • Students are now prevented from making an empty post in a Discussion Forum topic or category that requires posting before viewing. (#3081)
  • Text changes have been made to "Reply" links on the Discussion Forum topic view to make it clearer if you're replying to the topic or an individual post. (#3064)
  • The expand/collapse icons in the Discussion Forum have been updated to be consistent across all pages of the Discussion Forum. (#3048)
  • The top-left links on a Discussion Forum topic page (DF Home, Collapse All, Hide Read Posts) now scroll along with the navigation menu on the left side of the page. (#3062)
  • When you delete a post in a Discussion Forum topic, you now also see a warning that any replies to that post will also be deleted. (#3065)
  • The red exclamation point (!) icon which indicates that there are items in a Discussion Forum category that need to be graded is no longer displayed to students. (#3079)
  • The text that explains what "Post Before View" means to students has been changed for clarity. (#3063)
  • A bug where comments added to a student post in a graded Discussion Forum category would not get saved has been fixed. (#3072)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now see who switched from the Class Sessions tool to the Schedule Builder tool (or back again) in non-fully online classes. (#3018)
  • Students can now be assigned to more than one portfolio at a time. (#2959)
  • Due dates are now shown in the "Opening Soon" box on the course home page. (#3038)
  • If a student tries to submit a very large file to a Drop Box that is bigger than what is allowed by CoursePlus, they are now shown file type-appropriate guidance on how to reduce the file size of their submission. (#3039)
  • Machine-generated emails from CoursePlus are now sent from the email address. (#3005, #3019)
  • Lecture and LiveTalk evaluations are no longer available to copy when copying surveys from other courses. (#3094)
  • Faculty can no longer accidentally edit the default lecture or LiveTalk evaluations in CoursePlus. (#3110)
  • Items listed as "Other" in the JHSPH course system's Methods of Assessment for a given course now properly display in CoursePlus. (#3083)
  • Viewing LiveTalk pages and reports in classes from academic year 2018-2019 and earlier now shows information about the end of Adobe Connect and the inability to view recordings or data from that system. (#3056)
  • A scheduled task now sends information about all lectures in all courses in a given term to the CatDV media management system for data archival purposes. (#2677)
  • When you remove a student from a Signup Sheet, the student name is now correctly displayed in the confirmation window. (#3066)
  • The listing of all surveys in a non-online class now loads faster when there are hundreds of students enrolled in the course. (#3057)
  • Once a student links their CoursePlus information to JHED by signing in with their JHED ID, they can no longer edit their first and last name in their CoursePlus account as that information is synchronized with data in JHED. (#3025)
  • The text explaining the "Add additional comments" option in a Peer Assessment rubric has been changed to clarify that the option is for faculty or TA comments. (#3037)
  • The listing of Online Library folders when adding a weblink now matches the listing when adding a file or folder. (#3089)
  • A bug that caused final grades on the "Final Grades" page in the Gradebook to not save when there were more than 300 students enrolled in the class has been fixed. (#3053)
  • A bug that caused survey titles to be removed when linking or editing a survey linked to an item in Schedule Builder has been fixed. (#3097)
  • The Daily Course Notifications email no longer includes information from the class sessions tool when a non-online course switches to using the Schedule Builder format. (#3054)
  • A Page Builder lecture page that does not have any lecture content in it is now properly marked as being viewed by a student. (#3061)
  • A bug where scheduled class email messages would not go out because the sender had multiple email addresses in their CoursePlus account has been fixed. (#3082)
  • The daily email which shows instructional designers who changed what on a course schedule no longer sends empty change sets. (#2913)
  • A situation where a non-online class uses Schedule Builder, and creates Drop Boxes using the Schedule Builder tool, but the Due date for that Drop Box does not show up on a student's "My Calendar" tab has been fixed. (#3041)
  • A situation where learners who have completed an online training but cannot print the certificate because they have duplicate completion records for that training has been fixed. (#3050)
  • A situation where an older version of a course's title would display on email messages sent to an entire class has been fixed. (#3036)
  • Numerous problems with the Peer Assessment tool including summary reports not being created (#3107), scores updating intermittently (#2957), group selection not being persisted during setup (#3086), not being able to manually assign students to one another (#3051), not being able to see student assessments as a faculty member (#3042), and not being able to send results to students (#3090) have been fixed.
  • The spell checker in the rich text editor throughout CoursePlus is working once again. (#3077)
2019: September

New Methods of Assessment Information Displayed on Syllabus

All syllabi in CoursePlus now display the new, percentage-based Methods of Assessment information when that information exists in the JHSPH course system. (#3010) If information does not exist in the JHSPH course system in the new format for the course, the old Methods of Assessment data is displayed.

Course Information on Messages Sent from the Class Email Tool

Students do not always know the course numbers of the courses in which they are enrolled. They often know the course title. Messages from the class email tool display the course number as the prefix to the subject line because course titles are often very long.

The class email tool has been updated to display, at the top of the message, the following information (#2931):

  • Class name
  • Sender's first and last name
  • If the message is sent to the entire class

This will hopefully help students distinguish one class' messages from others.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The link to Panopto displayed in CoursePlus sites that use Panopto now redirects you directly to JHED sign in if you are not already signed in, and to your personal view of Panopto if you are already signed in to JHED. (#3024)
  • Students in on-demand trainings are now shown a link back to the "What do I need to do to finish this training?" tool on the main training content page when they try to access a certificate but haven't yet completed all requirements for the training. (#2995)
  • Once a student has added a JHED ID to their CoursePlus account, they can no longer edit their name in CoursePlus, as their name is pulled from JHED. (#2997)
  • You can no longer select "Group Assesses Other Group" in the Peer Assessment setup without also selecting which group assesses which other group. (#2999)
  • Peer Assessment rubrics that have more than 4 performance levels now show those levels on a separate line from the criteria description. (#2998) This allows them more space to display to students.
  • The text that faculty see when viewing the Gradebook from the "Resources" menu has been simplified and clarified to direct faculty to viewing individual student Gradebook views. (#2963)
  • CTL staff can now unlink multiple versions of lectures from one another without having to make additional changes to the content of the Lecture Materials box. (#2971)
  • The "Sign Out" button in CoursePlus now correctly changes to "Sign In" after you sign out. (#2962)
  • A situation where final grades in classes with over 300 students and that were graded via pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory only would not always save has been fixed. (#3045)
  • A problem where faculty have multiple Gradebooks open at the same time and student grades not being properly recorded when swapping back and forth between Gradebooks while entering individual student grades has been fixed. (#2990)
  • A problem with adding faculty advisors to portfolios has been fixed. (#3029)
  • A problem with faculty/TAs submitting files when setting up a timed Drop Box caused by the recent server migration has been fixed. (#3028)
  • A problem with including an email address in the "External CC" field in the class email tool and that email then not sending has been fixed. (#2961)
  • A problem with manually assigning students to one another in the Peer Assessment tool caused by non-alphanumeric characters in the student name or assessment title has been fixed. (#2993)
  • A problem with not being able to update the setup of a Drop Box when instructions include HTML has been fixed. (#2989)
  • A problem with some students entering in the required PIN number for class attendance tracking caused by the recent server migration has been fixed. (#2983)
  • A problem with the LiveTalk attendance report not always showing when students downloaded the recording has been fixed. (#2984)
  • A situation where a student could not open the Discussion Forum because there was too much information in the database about their last visit to the Discussion Forum has been fixed. (#3014)
2019: August

New Server Infrastructure for CoursePlus

The web servers which power CoursePlus (and all CTL sites) have been changed to new servers which run the latest versions of ColdFusion 2018 and Windows 2016 server. Site performance has increased with the updated versions of this core server software. Additional ColdFusion server performance monitoring has also been put into place which will provide good insight into the inner workings of the code for CoursePlus.

Email Selected Feedback in the Gradebook

The Gradebook has long offered the feature to email feedback to all students for whom grades or feedback is ready. You can now also select individual students or groups of students to send feedback to, rather than sending the feedback to all students for whom grades or feedback is ready. (#2908) This provides greater flexibility in returning feedback to students, though it is generally considered best practice to release grades and feedback to all students at the same time in a class.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The rich text editor throughout CoursePlus has been updated to the latest version, including significant improvements to table editing and the Paste from Word feature. (#2897)
  • Students in Introduction to Online Learning can now print a certificate of completion as proof that they completed the class. (#2951)
  • Links to PathFinder simulations on Schedule Builder are now updated during the course content copy to point to the link in the new (target) offering. (#2930)
  • When you switch back and forth between seeing the results of different surveys, you now always return to the top of the survey results page when switching between result sets. (#2911)
  • Speed improvements have been made to the database calls which retrieve the result information for Peer Assessments. (#2956)
  • When a faculty member attempts to delete a Drop Box assignment that is associated with a Peer Assessment, they will be prompted to confirm that they want to delete it, in the same manner as if trying to delete a Drop Box with files. (#2904)
  • A bug that caused faculty comments on student work in Peer Assessments not to be sent when sending results via email has been fixed. (#2945)
  • A bug where selecting a different Peer Assessment than the one originally selected when editing an item in Schedule Builder would not update the event title or dates has been fixed. (#2969)
  • The Submit button to submit survey responses when someone in the Course Coordinator role tests a survey now properly appears. (#2973)
  • Information on Schedule Builder once again copies correctly during the course setup copy if the class is an on-campus class but it using Schedule Builder. (#2964)
  • The "Full Provider Export" for on-demand trainings now correctly shows course titles and numbers for all registrants in their trainings, rather than repeating the same one over and over. (#2910)
  • File type metadata has been added to the audio and video LiveTalk recordings to provide better compatibility with the Firefox browser. (#2944)
  • LiveTalk sessions that were deleted from a previous offering of a class no longer appear on the "LiveTalk" tab of the survey tool in newer offerings. (#2939)
2019: July

Individual and Class-wide Feedback for Each Student in the Gradebook

The Gradebook has long supported providing either individual or class-wide feedback to each student on each activity in the Gradebook. The Gradebook now allows you to provide both individual and class-wide feedback on any activity in the Gradebook. (#2817) Icons to create, edit, or delete individual and class-wide feedback on a per-student basis are now visible when entering grades for all students in the class. You can also now delete class-wide feedback for all students with the click of one button.

Update to Digitally Signing Links to Files Stored in AWS

All links to course lecture materials and much of the other content in CoursePlus is stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3). CoursePlus digitally signs these links so that they expire after a short amount of time and cannot be re-used indefinitely by those who are not enrolled in a course.

AWS recently changed the requirements for digitally signing links that point to their CloudFront global content distribution network and links that point to S3 itself. CoursePlus has been updated to meet these new digital signature requirements (#2881), which are more secure, are valid for a shorter amount of time, and are much more difficult to crack.

Peer Assessments

The "Assessment Summary" report — the report that shows the collected responses from other students about a single student in the class — has been refreshed. (#2876) The following changes have been made to that report:

  • The report looks more like a plain-text report, and less like an interactive form. The primary text font on the report has been made slightly smaller and uses an easier-to-read font.
  • You no longer have to scroll through individual cells in the rubric to read long-form text in that cell.
  • You no longer have to scroll through long-form student comments on a criteria in a rubric.
  • A link has been added to the end of the report to jump back to the top of the report.
  • An "Add faculty feedback" button now appears at the top of the report which, when clicked, immediately jumps you to the part of the report where you can enter your own feedback for the student.
  • All all scores now consistently show to 2 decimal places.

Schedule Builder

A lot of small bugs and inconsistencies were addressed this month in Schedule Builder. These are:

  • The "Has Drop Box" option when adding or editing an event on Schedule Builder no longer appears when you select Peer Assessments, Survey, Signup Sheet, or Wiki from the "Associate Event With" drop-down, as those items should not have Drop Boxes. (#2905)
  • A bug in the course content copy where on-campus courses using Schedule Builder rather than the Class Sessions tool did not have their Schedule Builder/Page Builder content copied has been fixed. (#2894)
  • A bug where editing the "End Date" on an event in Schedule Builder two times in a row caused an additional year to be added to the "End Date" has been fixed. (#2892)
  • Events deleted from the Schedule Builder tool are no longer copied when copying the content of a course. (#2891)
  • Switching from the Class Sessions tool to Schedule Builder and back to the Class Sessions tool no longer wipes out content in the Schedule Builder and Page Builder tools. (#2890)
  • If an on-campus course uses the Schedule Builder/Page Builder setup, that information is now correctly copied when setting up a site. (#2889)
  • Linking a Schedule Builder event to a Peer Assessment no longer changes the minutes portion of the available start, available end, and due dates to the numeric value of the month. (#2917)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • A "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" grading type has been added to the Gradebook tool. (#2898)
  • Students can now send their responses to a survey to their portfolio. (#2718)
  • You can once again re-insert the "Lecture Materials" box onto a lecture page after you previously deleted it. (#2922)
  • The list of lectures that a Page Builder lecture page is a copy of and therefore linked to no longer displays lectures in the same course number. (#2919)
  • A situation where two Page Builder lecture pages should be listed as being linked (copies of each other) but were not listed as being linked has been fixed. (#2896)
  • The "Download Lecture Files" text in the Online Library section of a Page Builder page has been changed to, simply, "Download Files" as not all Page Builder pages are lecture pages. (#2915)
  • A situation where the "link" icon failed to appear next to a section of the course syllabus that was linked to the School's course system has been addressed. (#2902)
  • A bug where the same file name could be used for two separate portfolio touchpoint attachments and caused neither file to appear when viewed by a student has been fixed. (#2901)
  • A warning has been added to the hint text field when adding or editing quiz questions indicating that the hint will only display if hints are enabled in the quiz setup. (#2900)
  • The "From" field in the class email tool is now non-editable. This ensures that the message comes from the person who is signed in to CoursePlus and sending the email. (#2882)
2019: June

Sync LiveTalks to Zoom Tool

CoursePlus administrators now have a tool to sync the LiveTalks as listed on an online course schedule to Zoom. (#2867) This system automatically checks to see which of the four LiveTalk Zoom accounts are available at any given time, and assigns LiveTalks to different accounts so that no two sessions overlap. If a LiveTalk has been deleted from the course schedule, it is also automatically deleted from Zoom.

Peer Assessments

The Peer Assessment interface received another refresh. (#2770) A number of changes were made to make it easier to discover and use the many options in the tool, including:

  • It's much more obvious where faculty enter their own feedback on a student assessment.
  • Instructions on sending results are now displayed when there are results to send.
  • Details about “What to show when students are emailed their results” have been expanded and clarified.
  • The controls on the main page of the Peer Assessment tool have been reorganized to group similar functions together.
  • Checkboxes on the report page have been moved and organized to make their purpose clearer.
  • The "n/n" counter column on the main report page has been removed to reduce visual clutter.

Additionally, a new report has been added that shows who each student assessed ("Who Assessed Who"). (#2839)

Detailed Change Lists of Course Schedules to Instructional Designers

Instructional designers assigned to any class site that uses the Schedule Builder tool now receive a daily detailed listing of all Schedule Builder items that were changed by someone on the course instructional team. (#2769) All changes in all sites to which the instructional designer is assigned are listed in the email. Each item in the email shows the item that was changed, the old and new values for that item, and the name of the person who made the change.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Add/drop dates for each academic course are now displayed on the syllabus. (#2728)
  • The answer key view in the Quiz Generator now displays incorrect answers, the "Full/Partial/No Credit" banner, and faculty feedback for the student. (#2879)
  • You can once again enter a pound sign (#) in the subject line of an email sent from the class email tool.
  • Lecture and LiveTalk evaluations are no longer copied from a previous offering of a course during the course copy process, but are instead only created when students click the link to the evaluation in the current offering. (#2859)
  • The text which describes the process of switching from the Class Sessions tool to Schedule Builder has been made the same regardless if the switch is initiated inside the Class Sessions tool or from the main Faculty Tools page. (#2857)
  • The Excel export of lecture evaluations now include the lecture title (or a portion thereof) in the Excel file name. (#2863)
  • The "Who's Online" box has been removed from online training sites, to better protect learner privacy. (#2885)
  • Clicking outside the direct "Reply" overlay window when making a direct reply in the Discussion Forum topic no longer destroys the window, and any work that you may have in it. (#2872)
  • An extraneous "\r\n" string has been removed from the generation of transcripts. (#2868)
2019: May

Switch to Zoom for LiveTalks

Beginning May 19, 2019, all LiveTalks in CoursePlus now use Zoom for LiveTalks. (#2767) Adobe Connect is no longer being used for LiveTalks, and access to the JHSPH Adobe Connect server, which contains the recordings of LiveTalks from AY18-19 and prior, will end on September 1, 2019. There will be no access to LiveTalk attendance time or recordings from AY18-19 and prior after September 1, 2019.

Recordings are now provided in four formats: a MP4 video of the session, a M4A audio-only file from the session, the full text of the chat, and a machine-generated transcript of the audio from the session. The LiveTalk attendance report, the non-participating students report, student LiveTalk tracking report, and LiveTalk class email filter have all been updated to use new tracking data from attendance and recording viewing via Zoom. (#2823, #2824, #2852)

New, User Friendly PathFinder Interface

PathFinder is a simulation tool built in to CoursePlus that resembles the Choose Your Own Adventure-style books. It has existed for over a decade, but the interface was not user friendly and required a lot of cognitive load to perform basic simulation building.

The PathFinder interface has been completely rebuilt to support visual simulation building with a drag-and-drop interface. (#2289) Faculty and TAs can easily see how one choice flows in to the other, and can rearrange content and choice flows with the drag of the mouse. The student view has been rebuilt around a card-based interface, so that students can see the choices they have made up to that point in time.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Faculty or TAs can now be notified via email each time a student signs up on a Signup Sheet. (#2741)
  • You can now link to an individual student's Gradebook page from the "Enter Grades by Activity or Group" view. (#2816)
  • "Required" and "Optional" fields have been added to the individual item editing window in the Schedule Builder tool to make it clear which fields are required. (#2814)
  • The data in the Discrimination Values report in the Quiz Generator now generates the data from the first attempt a student made on a quiz, rather than the most recent attempt by the student. This will more accurately reflect the quality and clarity of how questions are written. (#2827)
  • Example tags are now displayed to better help users understand how to format tags on quiz questions. (#2810)
  • A bug that sometimes caused "Yes" and "No" answers in surveys to sometimes appear as true and false has been fixed. (#2832)
  • A bug that would de-link a Signup Sheet from the class schedule when editing the Signup Sheet has been fixed. (#2835)
  • A bug that prevented the schedule page from being fully populated when switching from the Class Sessions tool to Schedule Builder in on-campus classes has been fixed. (#2833)
  • A user interface bug in Schedule Builder that allowed you to delete out the due date on a quiz when selecting the "Import quiz dates from the Quiz Generator" option, and which resulted in the due date being December 31, 1969, has been fixed. (#2856)
  • A bug in Schedule Builder that un-linked Peer Assessments when saving a Peer Assessment-linked item in the schedule has been fixed. (#2840)
  • Sending student reminder emails in the Peer Assessment tool no longer results in an error message. (#2848)
  • Student to student messages sent through the class email tool are no longer displayed in the class email archive when "All instructional team messages" option is selected. (#2809)
2019: April

Import Page Builder Page from Any Class You Teach

Previously, faculty or TAs could import Page Builder pages into a course from other offerings of the same course with the same course number (but the same or different section). Now, faculty and TAs can import Page Builder pages from any course that the faculty teaches, regardless of course number or section. (#2749)

Automatic Updating of Runtime of Lecture Sections

The running time displayed for sections of online lectures is now automatically updated when the the corresponding video or audio file changes. Previously, this update had to be done manually, resulting in incorrect running times when a section was changed but the running time was not manually updated. (#1035)

More Accurate Reporting of Abandoned Quiz Attempts

The code used to determine if a student abandoned an attempt on a quiz has been redone. (#2733) The code now takes in to account if the student was recently given special permission to re-access a quiz, if the student has worked on the quiz in the last hour, or had their answers cleared for a retake after the quiz deadline.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The ZIP file importer in the Gradebook has been updated to work with ZIP files created by Drop Boxes with anonymized submissions. (#2764)
  • Performance improvements have been made with survey result reporting in large classes. (#2737)
  • Faculty can now sign students up for multiple Signup Sheets in a group of Signup Sheets if the Signup Sheet group is set up to allow that. (#2736)
  • An "Add Category" button has been added to all Category Group rows in the Discussion Forum administrator. (#2781)
  • Additional word-wrap styling has been added to the display of sections on a Page Builder page to prevent long links from overflowing a two-column layout. (#2783)
  • A situation where the class email sending tool goes offline, and then comes back online but fails to send emails to staff not directly enrolled in a course has been fixed. (#2757)
  • A bug in the Gradebook setup where changes were sometimes not saved the first time they were made has been fixed. (#2799)
  • A bug where manual selection of student names for Peer Assessment assignments would not persist when leaving the manual assignment page has been fixed. (#2777)
  • A bug where "Other Web Page" reverted to "None" as the Event Type when editing an event in the Schedule Builder has been fixed. (#2792)
  • A bug where the "Include the faculty name(s)" checkbox selection would not persist when editing an event in the Schedule Builder has been fixed. (#2786)
2019: March

New Layout for Faculty Tools Page

A new layout now appears on the main Faculty Tools page which includes a new section for "Activities and Assignments." (#2720) This brings to the front many tools commonly used by faculty and Was through the course of a class that were previously scattered in different areas on the page, and, frequently, far enough down the page to require scrolling to view.

Signup Sheets to Course Groups

You can now create course groups from Signup Sheets. (#2578) There is bi-directional syncing between a Signup Sheet and its associated course group, until such time as the Signup Sheet is closed for new signups.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The "Location" field in weblinks in the Online Library now accepts links up to 5000 characters in length. (#2716)
  • TAs can now import Page Builder pages from previous offerings of the same class in an on-campus course. (#2711)
  • When faculty or TAs delete a quiz/exam in the Quiz Generator that is linked to an item in the Gradebook, the item in the Gradebook is now properly unlinked from the quiz/exam. It's up to the faculty or TAs to re-link the Gradebook item to a newly created, replacement exam. (#2778)
  • .wav files downloaded from a Page Builder page now use the sectionID as the name of the file, instead of a string representation of the section title. (#2758)
  • A bug that broke the link to a survey on Schedule Builder when the linked survey was updated has been fixed. (#2793)
  • A bug where selecting the "Description Incl Fac Name/s" checkbox when editing a Schedule Builder item was reverted when faculty or TAs edited an event has been fixed. (#2786, #2787)
  • A bug in the Gradebook that prevented scores from updating correctly for a limited number of students has been fixed. (#2766)
  • Timeouts that were not visible to students while selecting rubric scores or entering feedback on rubric criteria have been addressed. (#2687)
  • A bug where clicking the "Select All" button on the Peer Assessment setup form did nothing has been fixed. (#2763)
  • A situation where copying a page from one offering to another would break linking between copies the page in the Lecture Materials box has been fixed. (#2762)
  • A bug in the creation of manually-specified Peer Assessment assignments has been fixed. (#2760)
  • A situation where users were unable to change the overall scoring method for a Gradebook from points to percentage has been fixed. (#2756)
  • Many changes have been made to the core programming frameworks which power CoursePlus, making them ready for a new version of the underlying programming language and operating systems. (#2743)
2019: February

Portfolio Enhancements

Students can now be assigned to multiple portfolios. (#2717) Previously, students could only be assigned to one portfolio at a time. This allows students moving from a masters program to a PhD or DrPH program to still have access to the materials in their previous program. Students default to their current program in portfolio selection tools.

Administrators can now require that at least one file be attached to a touchpoint when that touchpoint requires administrator or advisor review. (#2648) This helps to ensure that students do not overlook required attachments on touchpoints when completing a touchpoint.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • An additional note about how students can complete work on an Abandoned Attempt in a quiz/exam has been added to the special permissions page. (#2664)
  • A warning has been added to the final grades page in the Gradebook reminding instructors that there is no direct interface between CoursePlus and SIS for submitting grades, and that grades must be submitted directly to SIS. (#2713)
  • A problem with sending exam passwords to more than 20 proctors at once from the Quiz Generator has been fixed. (#2734)
  • Completing a Faculty/TA assessment in the Peer Assessment tool no longer results in a "File Not Found" error. (#2740)
  • The closing date for a Signup Sheet can no longer be before the opening date of that sheet. (#2725)
  • A bug that caused grades that were not to be displayed to students to be included in their current grade calculation has been fixed. (#2738)
  • A situation where the lowest grade in an equally weighted category in the Gradebook would not get dropped as desired has been fixed. (#2729)
  • On-campus courses that have switched to using Schedule Builder will no longer have old class session-based information appear in Daily Course Notifications. (#2727)
2019: January

Access to Three Years of Courses in CoursePlus

Students, faculty, and staff to have access to CoursePlus sites for a maximum of three academic years. Therefore, if a student takes a course in the third term of AY2018-2019, the students have access to that course site through May 31, 2021 — three full academic years. This change is also retroactive, so everyone now has access to their sites from the 2016-2017 academic year as well.

Improved Management of CoursePlus Server Updates

The Web Developer team has worked closely with JHSPH Information Systems to achieve better management of the process by which CoursePlus updates are applied to the servers the CoursePlus cluster. CoursePlus is made up of a number of servers, each running the same software. When that software is updated, it requires that the server is also restarted to pick up those updates. Previously, when an individual server in the CoursePlus cluster was restarted, customers could still connect to that server while it was restarting. This would result in an error message about the service not being available, or extremely long wait times as the CoursePlus application was starting up. The Web Developer team now has the ability to remove a server from the list of possible servers in the CoursePlus cluster to which an individual user might be directed. By removing a server from this list, customers will no longer see "service not available" error messages or wait for minutes while the CoursePlus server starts up. They will only be directed to fully running servers in the cluster. This makes performing updates in CoursePlus, safer, faster, and more reliable for everyone.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • If a section of a lecture points to a video hosted on YouTube, the video player is now the same size as the video player for other lecture video sections not hosted on YouTube. Additionally, videos hosted on YouTube no longer show other suggested videos on YouTube once the original video finishes playback. (#2695)
  • Weblinks in the Online Library now have an optional description field. (#2633) Previously, only files had this option.
  • Links to Discussion Forum reports have been added to the Discussion Forum administrator page. (#2623)
  • Additional text has been added to the "Display on Syllabus" option in the Online Library to indicate that any files set with this option will be visible to and downloadable by the public. (#2723)
  • A link to the listing of CoursePlus updates and the @courseplus Twitter account have been added to the "My Courses" page. (#2705)
  • If a survey question has more than 8 options, the options are now shown in a drop-down menu, rather than a list. This improves discoverability in very long lists of options, and can significantly shorten the length of a survey page. (#2669)
  • The listing of available reports on the main Report Center page has been reorganized for better readability. (#2700)
  • A number of accessibility issues with the administrative side of creating Signup Sheets have been addressed. (#2696)
  • Students who have signed up for any signup sheet in a group of sheets no longer appear on the "Students who have not signed up" listing on other sheets in the same group. (#2702)
  • The Peer Assessment "Assessment Report," which exports all student work in an assessment to Excel, works once again. (#2690)
  • Instructor feedback on an individual student peer assessment is now properly saved when first entered, rather than only being saved the second time you try to enter feedback. (#2685)
  • If an advisor marks a portfolio touchpoint as "Returned as Incomplete" before the student clicks the "Send to Advisor for Review" button, the advisor is warned that the student hadn't yet marked the touchpoint as complete and ready for review. (#2684)
  • If an advisor marks a portfolio touchpoint as "Returned as Incomplete," that label now shows up on the student side of the portfolio, rather than a "Ready for Review" label. (#2684)
  • A rare situation where an error calculating a student's current grade in the Gradebook would cause the grade calculation for other students with a last name in a small range around the original student's name to fail has been addressed. (#2694)
  • If you start to create a new survey question, and forget to add the question itself, clicking "OK" on the alert box that appears no longer deletes all the other work you may have done on that question. (#2688)
  • A transcript order that is cancelled in 3Play now no longer appears as "In Process" on the related Page Builder page. (#2692)
  • In certain situations where the "Order Transcript" button was clicked multiple times in rapid succession, it was possible for a transcript to be ordered twice. This has been fixed. (#2703)
  • The back-end code which automatically redirects someone who is not logged in to CoursePlus from the home page to the syllabus page of an on-campus course now properly only does that to people who are not logged in. People who are logged in and are associated with that course now properly see the course home page. (#2668)
2018: December

New Video Encoding Pipeline

The behind-the-scenes system that transforms lecture videos into multiple formats and create transcripts has undergone a major upgrade to speed the process and make the ordering of transcripts more reliable. (#2378) We can now process videos of very large sizes (up to 5TB in size), and videos are now processed into the multiple formats required by students in a parallel process, rather than a sequential one. Additionally, the infrastructure is in place to have transcripts automatically ordered from our transcription partner, 3Play Media, as soon as the video is sent through the pipeline for processing. This will practically eliminate situations where a newly created or revised lecture section is left without a transcript because someone forgot to order the transcript.

Autorenumber Lecture Tool in Schedule Builder

Schedule Builder now has a tool to automatically renumber all lectures in a class that are set up to have lecture numbers with the click of one button. (#2528) Additionally, the entire automatic lecture numbering process that occurs between Schedule Builder and Page Builder has been rebuilt to be more accurate in all situations.

Slug Placeholders in Schedule Builder

Instructional designers can now put slug "placeholders" into Schedule Builder rather than having to build real items. This enables instructional designers to sketch out an entire course schedule, including lectures, without having to link to anything real or have Page Builder pages created for possible lectures in a class. These slug placeholders work just as regular lecture items do, and will automatically be renumbered as they are moved around the course schedule.

Faculty Can Edit Lecture Opening Dates

Faculty and TAs can now edit the opening dates of lectures in Schedule Builder, provided that the lecture has made it through the entire CTL production process. (#2637) Previously, faculty and TAs could only edit the title of lectures in Schedule Builder. Now, once the instructional designer has indicated that the lecture is complete and faculty or TAs can edit the open dates of the lecture, they will be able to do so. All existing lectures tied to Schedule Builder have this option turned on. All new lectures created from this point forward will have this feature turned off, and it must be turned on by the course instructional designer.

Grouping of Custom Due Dates on Touchpoints in the Portfolio Administrator

Touchpoints with custom due dates are now grouped together on the main portfolio administrator page. (#2421) Previously, when a single student or group of students were given a custom due date for a touchpoint, the touchpoint would be displayed, repeatedly, for each unique due date. This would result in a single touchpoint being listed many times on the main portfolio administrator page, causing visual clutter. Now, touchpoints which are for the same activity in the same cohort of students are displayed once, with a button to show all custom due dates assigned to students. Clicking the button opens up the full listing of repeated touchpoints with each custom due date. Aggregate information about activity on each touchpoint (waiting on student, waiting on advisor, complete) is shown for each custom due date, as before.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • A new report option has been added to the main administrative page for each portfolio: "Download All Evidence for a Touchpoint." (#2414)
  • The "Choose Touchpoint" control throughout the portfolio tool has been changed to remove the "Available Date" information listed with each touchpoint, therein allowing a lot more of each touchpoint title to be displayed. (#2647)
  • Signup Sheets now display the number of spots still available on a given sheet to students. (#2626)
  • Students can now go back and see the details of Signup Sheets even after they have closed for signups. (#2635)
  • The label for "Prepare Final Grade" in the Gradebook has been changed to "View Current/Final Grades" so that faculty understand they can see all students' current grades on that page. (#2631)
  • The public listings of all courses in CoursePlus and all online courses in CoursePlus are now stored in memory for a longer time, making the load time of those pages faster for nearly all requests. (#2683)
  • All of the servers in the CoursePlus cluster now point to a new single sign-on provider from JHU, providing added security and slightly faster JHED sign-ins. (#2603)
  • Guest Faculty no longer have access to the "Faculty Tools Quick Jump Box" on a course home page. (#2682)
  • The histograms displayed on the "All Responses and Grades" page in the Quiz Generator no longer include data from deleted attempts on quizzes. (#2654)
  • Very slow response times when requesting the "Access of individual lecture sections by each student" report have been fixed. (#2656)
  • Single quotation marks in topic titles no longer cause problems viewing individual posts in those topics. (#2658)
  • The option to link to the Peer Assessment main page has returned to the editing form for an individual item in Schedule Builder. (#2666)
  • Students who posted in a Discussion Forum topic that has the "Post Before View" restriction can once again see the posts in that topic once the course ends. (#2679)
  • A situation where Signup Sheets would not copy properly when setting up a new course offering has been fixed. (#2680)
  • A situation where custom surveys copied into a different course then copied back into the original course would fail to copy has been fixed. (#2681)
2018: November

Say Hello to Signup Sheets

This new tool in CoursePlus lets faculty set up virtual pieces of paper (or “sheets”) on which students can sign up for activity topics, office hours, groups — really anything where a list of names needs to be collected. (#2372) Faculty or TAs can create individual sheets, time-based sheets, or groups of sheets where students can sign up inside the course website.

For example, faculty can create a time-based sheet for students to sign up or office hours. The faculty fills out a form that says "I can see a maximum of 8 students between 1pm and 3pm on Thursday," and the Signup Sheets tool creates the appropriate signup form with 8 slots split equally across the 1-3pm period. Another example would be faculty in an online course creating a group of signup sheets for end of term final presentations in LiveTalks. One sheet would be for the Monday LiveTalk and one sheet would be for the Wednesday LiveTalk. Students would be able to sign up on one of the two virtual "sheets" to indicate the session at which they wanted to present.

All sheets have open and close dates so that faculty and TAs can control when students sign up. Faculty and TAs can sign up students themselves. Students can add or remove themselves to a signup sheet, or sign up on behalf of a group if that feature is enabled in the Signup Sheet setup. There is a history tool on each sheet that shows all activity by students, TAs, and faculty of signing up. Faculty and TAs can see who has (and has not) signed up with a click of a button. There is also an Excel export of all data for a Signup Sheet or group of sheets.

Students can be sent an automatic reminder that they need to sign up for a Signup Sheet, and Signup Sheet open/close dates appear in the student "My Calendar" view as well as the Daily Course Notifications email.

Quiz Generator Changes

  • Tags on quiz questions are now properly copied when you set up a CoursePlus site and copy the content of one course offering into another. (#2605)
  • Guests in a CoursePlus site who take a quiz are now shown a warning telling them that their answers will not be recorded because they are guests, not students or auditors. (#2616)
  • The student Hopkins ID has been added to the "Export all responses and grades to Excel" report in the Quiz Generator. (#2629)
  • The "Total Score" column in the "Export all responses and grades to Excel" report in the Quiz Generator now only shows the numeric points value. The total possible points denominator for the score has been moved into the header for that column. (#2629)
  • Only selecting "Display incorrect answers" and nothing else in the on-screen results setup for a quiz no longer causes the results to not be displayed. (#2630)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The process by which individual student peer assessment forms are created when a peer assessment opens to students has been rebuilt to be faster and more reliable. (#1819)
  • The LiveTalk slides form now has fields for indicating that faculty want to annotate their slides using the Wacom tablet and an open comments field for the technical support staff. (#2609)
  • A notice was added to the Daily Course Notifications email that items listed as due are there as a reminder only, and the student may have already done the work. (#2604)
  • A notice was added to the YouTube viewer in Page Builder that states that since the video is hosted on YouTube, a transcript cannot be provided at this time. (#2636)
  • A tooltip with the full lecture name has been added to each column header in the "View individual access to course lectures" report. (#2628)
  • Files that are in a hidden folder in the Online Library but set to display on the public view of the syllabus no longer display on the public view of the syllabus. (#2608)
  • An automated task is now in place to notify CTL staff if the physical files for an Online Library somehow fail to copy during the course setup process. (#2607)
  • A situation where the JHSPH course system could have multiple dummy rows for the list of primary faculty on a course which then caused multiple empty listings to appear in CoursePlus has been addressed. (#2655)
  • LiveTalk times are once again displayed on the public view of the course schedule. (#2611)
  • A rare bug related to duplicate information about the last time a person viewed a topic in the Discussion Forum has been fixed. (#2614)
  • A bug that sometimes causes lecture sections in classes that do not use lecture numbering at all to display multiple times on the "View individual access to course lectures" report has been fixed. (#2627)
2018: October

YouTube Support in Page Builder

Page Builder lecture pages have a new section type: YouTube video. (#2562) Using this type of section displays a YouTube video within a Page Builder page, instead of making students go to YouTube to view the video. This enables tracking of viewing of the YouTube video from within CoursePlus, and allows students to proceed from one section of content to the next when a YouTube video is added to a lecture. Please note that the source video remains on YouTube, so that if the source video is deleted from YouTube, the video will no longer play in CoursePlus.

Learners in a Training Shown What They Still Need to Complete

Learners in an online, on-demand training in CoursePlus are now shown a list of all the items they need to complete in order to be marked as having completed the training. (#2029) Although CoursePlus automatically puts checkmarks next to the items in an online, on-demand training which a learner has completed, this can be difficult to track in a large, complex training with many sections of content. We have added a bullet-list display of the items and activities a learner needs to complete in order to finish any given training at the bottom of the main content page in the training. This list is updated in real time as the learner completes each item in the training.

Quiz Generator Changes

  • The answer explanation field for a question now uses a rich text editor. (#2499) This enables much more detailed answer explanations, including the use of tables, LaTeX equations, or images.
  • The "Send All Passwords" and "Send Selected Passwords" options on the quiz passwords management page have been combined into a single "Send Selected Passwords" option with a one-click checkbox to select all passwords. (#2431)
  • The Excel version of all quiz proctor passwords is now a real Excel file, not a HTML file with an .xls extension, and will no longer generate a warning when opening the file in Excel. (#2593)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The display of lecture evaluations on courses where no lecture numbers are used is now ordered in the same way that the lecture appears on the class schedule. (#2594)
  • Surveys set up in the old version of the survey tool which had dates in the current academic year no longer appear in the Daily Course Notifications email. (#2586)
  • Configuration information for timed Drop Boxes is now properly copied when copying one CoursePlus site from another. (#2559)
  • The expand/collapse arrows when viewing the exact steps the Gradebook took to calculate a student's grade now animate correctly into an open or closed state. (#2565)
  • A situation where a student grade could be put in the wrong Gradebook when faculty or TAs enter grades into two different Gradebooks in two (or more) tabs in the same browser at the exact same time has been fixed. (#2584)
  • A potential division by zero error when recalculating scores in the Gradebook has been fixed. (#2599)
  • When faculty or TAs edit a lecture item in Schedule Builder, lecture numbering for that lecture no longer gets turned off. (#2601)
2018: September

Peer Assessment Improvements

  • The summary report for a student's assessed work in the Peer Assessment tool is now displayed in an overlay window, reducing repetitive page loading while reviewing multiple students' work. (#2510)
  • Multiple tooltips have been added on setup and reporting pages to improve usability and accessibility. (#2507)
  • The listing of Drop Boxes in a Peer Assessment setup is now displayed in alphabetic order. (#2553)
  • Importing final Peer Assessment scores into the Gradebook now occurs automatically. (#2568)
  • A bug where the number of peer assessments each student would complete was incorrectly set to zero when no students are enrolled in the course has been fixed. (#2554)

Wiki Improvements

  • The "Embed Media" plugin to the rich text editor in the wiki has been streamlined so that you only have to provide the URL of the media you are trying to embed. (#2489)
  • When faculty unmark a wiki as finished, the student who marked the wiki as finished is now notified via email. (#2492)
  • The comments field has been changed to a simple rich text editor, as the full rich text editor was overkill for such work. (#2493)
  • A situation where you could an image to a wiki without also including an ALT text description for the image has been fixed. (#2488)

Discussion Forum Changes

  • Faculty can no longer set a Discussion Forum category to be both "Post Before View" and prevent students from creating new topics in that same category. (#2546) Doing this makes it so that students can't post in that category at all.
  • A rare situation where students could see posts in "Posts Before View" topics on the course home page even if the student had not yet posted in that topic has been fixed. (#2549)
  • The "Add Topic" button now correctly appears if a category is set to "Only Faculty, Staff, and TAs can post" and the person viewing the Discussion Forum is a course coordinator. (#2572)

Gradebook Changes

  • The current or final student grade displayed on the student view of the Gradebook is displayed to two decimal places, just as it is for faculty, and is no longer rounded to the nearest whole integer. (#2547)
  • An error caused by accessing the Gradebook via the student view of the Gradebook when no students are enrolled in a course has been fixed. (#2539)

Quiz Generator Changes

  • Extremely long choices in a match-from-two-lists question now wrap to conform to the current display device. (#2542)
  • A rare situation where converting a submitted set of quiz answers back into an active quiz would not also carry over essay responses and answer explanations has been fixed. (#2576)
  • A situation where converting a submitted set of quiz answers back into an active quiz and then preventing students from changing any existing answers via the special permissions tool would cause unanswered multiple choice questions to be locked for student response has been fixed. (#2577)
  • LaTeX equations entered as part of the question text in a quiz question are no longer aggressively and improperly escaped when you go to edit the question. (#2538)

Emoji Support in the Rich Text Editor

The rich text editor found in CoursePlus now has support for a wide range of emoji characters found on modern smartphones and operating systems. Typing the colon character ( : ) now brings up an emoji menu, as it does in many Web-based rich text editors.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The name of the person who submitted syllabus changes for review to the JHSPH course system, and the date/time on which those changes were submitted, is now displayed at the top of the Syllabus Builder page while you have changes pending review. (#2504)
  • Online courses can now opt to display a link to the eReserves in the "Resources" menu of their course website, just as face-to-face courses can. (#2556)
  • Once you turn on Panopto recordings in your on-campus site, the date and time of your request is displayed until integration with Panopto for your course is completed by JHSPH IT. (#2540)
  • Editing options for Timed Drop Boxes are now presented inline, instead of making you go to a separate page. (#2463)
  • Faculty who still had email addresses in CoursePlus have had their accounts updated to use their email addresses. (#2561) This significantly reduces the chance of messages sent by them via CoursePlus from being marked as spam in Gmail.
  • The link to the course evaluation system displayed at the top of the "Content" page in on-campus class sites has been updated to point to the newest version of the course evaluation system. (#2537)
  • Surveys are now available as an option for email filters in the class email tool in on-campus class sites. (#2530)
2018: August

The Return of the Peer Assessment Tool

After many months of work and refinement, the Peer Assessment tool has returned to CoursePlus. The core of the work has been on improving both the reliability and speed of the tool. Many core processes related to generating individual student assessments and assigning students to one another have been rebuilt from the ground up.

The interface of the tool has been refined to be less complex during the setup process, and to provide additional status about an assessment once it has been set up. New example rubrics designed by the CTL instructional design team are available during the rubric design process for guidance. (#2508) Calculation of student scores is now done at the time a student submits an assessment, resulting in faster overall score calculation for students. Reporting is faster (with additional improvements expected in the future), and has been streamlined to reduce redundant clicks back and forth between the main reporting page and individual student reports.

The CoursePlus development team remains deeply committed to improving the Peer Assessment tool based on the feedback of the faculty, TAs, students, and staff who use the tool. The team has already begun to collect suggestions for user interface improvement, and will continue to iterate on the Peer Assessment interface -- and performance -- in the months ahead.

Request Panopto Recordings from Within CoursePlus

Faculty or TAs can now request that their course use Panopto for classroom recordings. (#2393) Panopto is a classroom recording system used throughout the University. Panopto records the audio from a classroom podium computer along with whatever is displayed on the podium computer screen.

Faculty or TAs can send a request to use Panopto in their class from within their CoursePlus site. Once the request is received, JHSPH IT (who manages Panopto for JHSPH) will create the appropriate integrations with both Panopto and SIS. Each course receives its own unique folder in Panopto and student access to the course folder is synchronized with enrollment data in SIS. Once requested, a single link to the unique course folder in Panopto is added to the CoursePlus site. Students access all of the Panopto recordings through this single link.

Faculty or TAs can turn off the link to Panopto recordings at any time. This will remove the link from CoursePlus but will not delete any recorded content in Panopto.

Wiki Updates

  • The "View History by Author" tool now shows all versions for an individual author, instead of the most recent version by that author. (#2485)
  • A link to the main page for a wiki was added so that you can get to the main page of a wiki when you are on a sub-page of a wiki without having to go back to the main listing of all wikis in a course. (#2487)
  • The "Do not send an email to the instructional team...finished/unfinished" option now has its own header to better distinguish options when creating/editing a wiki setup. (#2458)
  • Administrative icons on the main listing of course wikis have been changed to match those used elsewhere in CoursePlus. (#2458)
  • The text of numerous alerts in the wiki tool have been rewritten for clarity. (#2458)
  • The button for "Insert Link to PageBuilder Page" has been removed because students don't have access to Page Builder. (#2458)

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Overall quiz feedback is now only displayed to students when the "Display instructor feedback" option is selected in the quiz setup. Previously, it would always display to a student if provided for that student, regardless of the setup. (#2482)
  • The title of the main faculty view of Drop Boxes has been changed to better distinguish that page from the main student view of the Drop Box. (#2501)
  • An explanation of what "Sign in as a Guest" means has been added to the IOL LiveTalk page. (#2532)
  • When you select a filter drop-down from the class email tool, a spinner is now displayed to indicate that filtered data is being retrieved. (#2531)
  • The phone number field has been removed from CoursePlus account information. This brings CoursePlus in line with best security practices, as phone numbers have become unique identifiers that hackers have used to steal personal information. (#2523)
  • Standalone Drop Boxes once again display in due date order. (#2509)
  • You can once again change the "Allow Group Submissions" option when editing a Drop Box setup. (#2524)
  • Faculty can once again move entire schedule categories up and down the schedule page. (#2526)
  • The "Surveys" button at the top of the student view of the on-campus class sessions listing now correctly takes you to the student listing of all surveys in the class, even if you are faculty or staff. (#2515)
  • Clicking the PDF button when viewing survey results no longer generates an error. A spinner has also been added indicating that the report build is in progress. (#2521)
  • Instances where a survey shows a 0% response rate but students have taken the survey have been fixed. (#2519)
  • A bug that caused the list of class sessions to which a survey was linked to not properly display has been fixed. (#2514)
  • Files associated with a portfolio touchpoint are once again copied when touchpoints are copied from one cohort to another. (#2491)
2018: July

Proper Extra Credit Support in the Gradebook

Individual items in the Gradebook, as well as entire categories, can now be marked as being for extra credit. Previously, a Gradebook item or category would need to be set up so that a score could exceed 100% (in the case of percentage-based items) or the maximum possible points for an item (for points-based items) in order for extra credit to be factored in to a student's grade. Faculty can now simply mark an item, or category, as being for extra credit, and the calculations are done automatically for you.

Extra credit items and categories do not count toward the student's current grade in a course while the base calculation for the grade is being made. They are only added in after a grade for an item, category, or overall grade is calculated.

Extra credit items are labeled as such on both the faculty and student views of the Gradebook.

Three additional changes have been made to the Gradebook:

  • As faculty and staff sometimes have questions about how, exactly, a student's final grade is calculated, there is now a tool that shows the exact steps used in calculating a student's grade. This tool can be accessed by viewing any individual student's Gradebook page. The exact steps for calculating that student's grade will then be displayed./li>
  • On the student's individual view of the Gradebook, if categories are used in the Gradebook, the student's current grade per category is now displayed. (#2351) For example, the Gradebook now shows not only that a category is worth 20% of a student's grade in a class, but also that the student currently has a score of 92% for that category alone.
  • CoursePlus also now displays the student's current grade on the individual "Grade by Student" view in the Gradebook. (#2466)

More Granular Control Over the Display of Quiz Results

Over the past few years, faculty and TAs have made a number of requests asking for greater control over what is (or is not) displayed in the results that students see both on-screen and in email after taking a quiz or exam.

Previously, you had the option in the quiz setup to "Display all correct answers" in both the on-screen and emailed results. Selecting this option would also show the "correct/incorrect/partial credit" banner, the incorrect answers (along with the correct answers), any answer explanation provided, and any faculty feedback provided.

Now, these items have been separated out (#43, #74, #75). There are now separate options for:

  • Display correct/incorrect/partial credit banner
  • Display correct answers (which also displays the answer explanation, if any)
  • Display incorrect answers
  • Display instructor feedback

These options exist for both the on-screen notifications and the email notifications.

This means that you can now do things like collect answers to a quiz, and give students feedback without giving them a grade. You can have quizzes or exams where each question is headlined as being correct or incorrect (or partial credit given), but not show the correct answer for the question. You can also show only the incorrect answers a student gave in their response set, but nothing else.

All quizzes that had the "Display Correct Answers" option set prior to this change have all four of the above options selected with this change. This preserves the previous behavior of the quiz.

Drop Box

  • An "Instructions" field is now available in the setup of all Drop Boxes. (#2435) Previously, this field was only available to timed Drop Boxes. Faculty and staff no longer need to use the "Assignment Description" field in Schedule Builder for the display of Drop Box-specific instructions.
  • When you create a new Drop Box linked to the course schedule, a warning appears stating that the Open and Due dates for the Drop Box will be inherited from and edited in the Course Schedule for the Drop Box. (#2434)
  • If the honor pledge is required in the Drop Box setup, the Honor Pledge now has a larger header when students access the Drop Box to submit a file. (#2434)
  • In a Drop Box in which students can submit on behalf of a group and the honor pledge is required, the honor pledge statement has been pluralized to represent the fact that the file is being submitted by a group. (#2434)

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The number of students who have taken each survey is now displayed on the main survey page. (#2448)
  • In the class email tool, if the sender of a message is a student, and the message is not for the entire class, the student now automatically receives a copy of the message. (#2365)
  • A new "Proctor Information" section has been added to the Syllabus Builder tool. (#2422)
  • The icon used for expanding Course Group details has been changed to match the expander icon used in other tools in CoursePlus. (#2408)
  • "Submit" buttons in the Portfolio that used to appear on the right side of the screen now appear on the left, making them consistent with the placement of submit buttons throughout CoursePlus. (#2412)
  • The new survey tool no longer shows links to surveys for lectures that are not being used in an online course. (#2445)
  • If a file is submitted to a Drop Box on behalf of a group, the group name once again appears on the list of all student submissions for that Drop Box. (#2450)
  • Tools that list Schedule Builder events once again correctly include events that do not belong to a schedule group. (#2426)
  • If a faculty member sets up a scheduled email, and selects individual students as recipients rather than the "Everyone" option, students who drop the class before the scheduled email is sent no longer receive the email. (#2230)
  • You can no longer move syllabus items below the Disability Support Services section in the Syllabus Builder. (#2496)
  • The core video player used throughout CoursePlus has been updated to the latest version, which includes many small bug fixes and performance improvements. (#2373)
2018: June

Rebuild of the Survey Tool

The survey tool has been rebuilt with a new, modern code base that focuses on reliability and speed. (#2143) While the UI is slightly different, the core functionality of the survey tool is the same.

The CoursePlus team did add two new pieces of functionality:

  1. There is now a log of all changes made to the setup of each custom survey.
  2. If you click on the title of a survey, you can immediately see both the number of students who have completed that survey and a direct link to the survey should you need to pass that link on to students.

One small piece of functionality from the old survey tool was removed: it is no longer possible for students to see the results of surveys immediately after completing a survey. This functionality was used only a handful of times in the past eight years, and was last used by a course in 2015.

The new survey tool uses queues to calculate the results of surveys in order to make the load time of survey results significantly faster. This does have one side effect: updated results will not appear immediately when a student completes a survey, or when a set of student responses to a survey is cleared. There is a delay of approximately three (3) minutes between the time a student submits responses to a survey (or has their responses cleared) and when the updated results appear in the results view.

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You now have the option to create a wiki when you create or edit a course group. (#2254) This option is available both when manually creating/editing a course group or when creating groups from the "Randomly Create Course Groups" tool.
  • If there are student changes to proctor information on the "Proctor/Password Information" tab of the "Special Permissions" page in the Quiz Generator, faculty/TAs are now shown a large warning box indicating that changes must be reviewed and saved. (#2407)
  • Syncing course contact information on the course syllabus page with information that has changed in the JHSPH course system before a CoursePlus site is set up has been improved. (#2382)
  • A bug with uploading files for students to then download via a timed Drop Box has been fixed. (#2415)
2018: May

Use of the Preferred Student Name from SIS

CoursePlus has long synchronized the first and last name of a student as displayed in SIS, the official University system of student records, with how the first and last name of a student is displayed in CoursePlus. After discussions with the CTL Faculty Advisory Board, and after a number of related requests from transgender students at the University, CoursePlus now displays the "Preferred Name" value for a student's first name instead of the student's legal first name as shown in SIS. (#1658) This brings CoursePlus in line with other systems at the University which display the preferred name rather than the legal first name, and helps to make CoursePlus a more inclusive place to students who prefer to use a name other than their legal first name.

Post Before View on Categories

The behavior of setting the "Post Before View" option on a Discussion Forum category has changed. When you turn on the "Post Before View" option in a category, students will not be able to see any topic and any post in any topic in that category until they create a new topic in that category. (#2022) Previously, the "Post Before View" option would require that a student post in a topic to see all the posts in that topic. A post would have to be made in every category in that topic for students to see the posts in every topic. Now, if the "Post Before View" option is turned on at the category level, a student needs to create a topic in that category and then will be able to see all the topics and posts in that category.

"Post Before View" on the topic level works as before.

Fine-Grained Control on Notifications for Portfolio Touchpoints

On a number of occasions, we've been asked if there is a way to exclude one person (an advisor, a program admin, etc) from getting email notifications that a student has submitted a touchpoint (or other email notifications about a touchpoint). This is now possible from within the portfolio administrator. (#2044) Portfolio admins can specify, on a touchpoint-by-touchpoint basis, that selected individuals normally assigned to be notified about student completion of a touchpoint do not receive notifications for that touchpoint.

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The Discussion Forum administrator now displays the Page Builder pages that a category is linked to, if the category is linked to any pages. (#2319)
  • The code which tracks students switching away from a quiz/exam page has been improved so that you should no longer see "Switched away from the quiz page." messages in the activity log after the "Submitted answers" entry. (#2366)
  • An explanation has been added to the "Files from the Online Library" syllabus section that in order to add/remove the display of files in this syllabus section, you must do that work in the Online Library. (#2306)
  • Fully online lectures that are included in the display of individual, on-campus class sessions are once again correctly copied when setting up an on-campus course website. (#2340)
  • The "Use of Turnitin" template section in the Syllabus Builder no longer shows the words "No Example" right above the example text. (#2360)
2018: April

New Text Chat App

The Text Chat app has been rebuilt to run in the browser without any need for Flash or other plug-ins. (#90) The rebuilt app features a modern interface and uses the photo in an individual's CoursePlus account as their avatar in the chat. Now that the Text Chat app does not rely on the Flash plug-in, all tools in CoursePlus can be utilized without using Flash.

Improved Gradebook Setup Change Logging

The log of changes to the Gradebook setup has been significantly improved (#2241). Previously, the log only showed the name of the person and the name of the item that was changed. The log now shows details about the specific options for a graded item or category that was changed. This includes re-weighting equally weighted categories and other graded-item specific options.

Additionally, on the "Final Grades" page, if the student does not have grades for all items in the Gradebook, add an asterisk ( * ) next to their grade box in the list of student names. (#2321) At the bottom of the page, it reads: "* This student has not been given grades for all items in the Gradebook. The final grade only reflects items that have been graded."

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Lecture materials that are outside of CoursePlus linked in a "Lecture Materials" box now open the target links in a new window. (#2292)
  • If a quiz is set up with the "High Stakes Exam" flag enabled, and the student switches away from the exam page or tab, that information now automatically triggers the warning flag for the student on the "All Responses and Grades" page. (#2326) Previously, that information was stored in the log of actions by the student while taking the quiz, but it did not automatically trigger the warning flag.
  • When a student chooses to re-take a quiz that allows multiple attempts, the "complete" flag for that item on the course schedule is now automatically removed. (#2300)
  • The email that is sent to learners in an on-demand training 30 days before the training ends now selects both those who enrolled in the training and those who did not print a certificate of completion (if one is available for the training) as the recipients.
  • If the "Surveys" section is inserted into a Page Builder page, and there are no surveys associated with that page, the "Surveys" header no longer shows on the student view of the Page Builder page. (#2334)
  • When you delete a Discussion Forum category that is private to a Course Group, the "Create a private Discussion Forum category for this group?" option in the Course Group setup is now set to "No." (#2339)
2018: March

Quiz Generator

Student and Proctor Signatures

You can now require that a student sign their name to an academic ethics statement as part of a quiz. (#2236) The academic ethics statement, developed by the Office of Academic Integrity, appears at the top of the quiz and reads:

With my typed signature below, I pledge that the following assessment was completed in accordance with the applicable Academic Ethics Code of my Institution. I have neither given nor received aid in completion of this assessment, nor used any course or other materials, unless specifically authorized by the Instructor.

Previously, faculty added a single question to their quiz that asked the student to sign their name to an academic ethics statement written by the faculty. That question would then be excluded from scoring. Faculty are still free to do this if they prefer language different from what is provided by the Office of Academic Integrity.

Additionally, for exams that use proctors (and therefore require a password), you can now require that the proctor signs their name and enter their job title before a student submits their answers to an exam. (#2239) The statement that the proctor agrees to, approved by the Office of Academic Integrity, reads:

With my typed signature below, I certify that the examination has been completed in my presence and in accordance with the instructions provided.

If either of the above options are selected in the quiz/exam setup, the student signature or proctor signature as entered by the student or proctor appears at the top of the faculty view of an individual student's responses to the quiz/exam.

Automatic Relogin if Disconnected During an Exam

A common problem encountered by students taking longer exams in CoursePlus is a disconnect from the CoursePlus server cluster while taking the exam. This is most often caused by changes in the wireless connection (i.e.; a student is on a public or guest wireless network that recycles connections frequently), but can also be caused by a myriad of other issues related to the stateless nature of Web connections.

The Quiz Generator has been reworked to automatically log a student back into CoursePlus if the student is disconnected (and therefore logged out) while taking a quiz/exam. (#2275) Using a cryptographically signed hash sent on every request while taking a quiz, CoursePlus can derive the student login information and rebuild their active session in CoursePlus. This prevents students from clicking the "Submit Answers" button and then immediately being asked to sign in to CoursePlus -- a frequent source of panic by students.

Additional Changes
  • The labels on confirmation buttons that appear when you delete a question have been rewritten for clarity. (#2279)


  • There is now an option on the "Enter Grades" page to give all students who don't have a grade for that item a zero. (#2211)
  • In Gradebook categories where one or more of the lowest/highest scores are dropped when calculating the final grade, percentage values for each item in the category on the Gradebook setup page are no longer shown. Instead an (i) icon appears with the following help text: "Items in this category will be assigned an equal weight that is based on how many items remain when the lowest and/or highest grades are dropped. This value may vary from student to student, and at different points during the term." (#2317)
  • In Gradebook categories where one or more of the lowest/highest scores are dropped when calculating the final grade, grades that are dropped are now shown with a "Dropped" label, instead of the percentage that they would have contributed to a category, on the individual student view of their Gradebook. (#2317)
  • If feedback has been sent to a student, the score and feedback for that item is now automatically displayed to the student on their view of the Gradebook. (#2269)
  • When grading by student (seeing all the graded items for an individual student, instead of a single graded item for the whole class), links now appear at the bottom of the page which take you to the previous or next student on the roster. (#2246)
  • The percentage weight that an item has for a category is now shown to two decimal places on the student view of their Gradebook.
  • A bug where clicking the "Send Feedback" button once and then clicking it a second time without leaving the page and the second click does not result in an email being sent has been fixed.
  • A bug where the summary of changes made to an individual item in the Gradebook setup was not being properly passed to the change log viewer has been fixed. (#2277)
  • A bug where "Exclude Item from Grading" would sometimes not save has been fixed. (#2318)

Page Builder

Page Builder now has the option to archive pages. (#2003) When you archive a page, the page goes into an "Archived Pages" folder and is no longer accessible via any existing links. CTL staff can un-archive a page at any time, or even edit the page while it is in the Archived Pages folder. Links to Online Library files, discussion forum categories, quizzes, or peer assessments are removed from a page when it is archived. Archived pages do not show in the list of items you can link to from the Online Library, Discussion Forum, Quiz Generator, or Peer Asessments.

Only CTL staff can archive pages. Faculty, TAs, and editors can view the pages in the Archived Pages folder, but cannot edit them or move them out of the archive.

Additional Page Builder changes:

  • Non-CTL staff working on on-campus sites that use Schedule Builder (instead of the class sessions tool) can now import pages from other sections of the same course or other courses that they teach. (#2123)
  • The built-in Page Builder section for displaying quizzes linked to a Page Builder page now has the header "Quizzes" instead of "Quiz Generator," and the header is no longer a hyperlink. (#2303)

Drop Box

The file upload tool that is used to pull files from your desktop/laptop, Google Drive, DropBox, or has been updated to the latest version. (#1936) This version has significant performance and reliability improvements across browsers, particularly on mobile devices. Additionally, the entire Drop Box backend has been rewritten to adhere to current coding practices and has minor performance improvements.

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You are now shown a warning if you try to upload slides on the LiveTalk page and the file is too big to transmit to the CoursePlus servers. (#2208)
  • The LiveTalk attendance report now only shows the first date/time on which a student watched a recording of a LiveTalk, not the most recent. (#2305)
  • The "Lecture Materials" box that appears in an on-campus class session listing when you include an online lecture for display in an on-campus class session listing now uses accessible text colors. (#2301)
  • CTL Help tickets now have an option to track if the request is for an OPAL program. (#2272)
  • The core video player in CoursePlus has been updated to the latest version, and has improved thumbnail viewing as you scrub along a video timeline. (#2278)
2018: February


  • If categories are used in the Gradebook setup, the weight of each category and the items in each category are now shown both on the student view of the Gradebook and the Export of all Gradebook information to Excel. (#1611)
  • Changes made to the final grade scale on the "Final Grades" page are now saved between visits to the page. (#2134)
  • When you move an item in the Gradebook setup, a modal dialog no longer appears confirming the move. Instead, the item turns green and a checkmark with "Just moved" appears in the item. (#2221)
  • Deleting items throughout the Gradebook previously caused a modal popup to appear to confirm the deletion. Delete confirmations now appear immediately next to the delete icon or button. (#2142)
  • The "Enter Grades" page for an item is now paginated in classes with more than 75 students.
  • A button to "Edit the Gradebook" is now shown on the student view of the Gradebook if the person looking at the page is faculty, TA, or staff. (#2276)
  • Bug Fixes:
    • Standalone Drop Boxes with nothing in the description field no longer show as blank lines in the "Link to Drop Box, Quiz, or Discussion Forum" drop down in the setup. (#2257)
    • ZIP files with special characters in the folder names no longer cause the ZIP upload of feedback to fail. (#2249)
    • Empty ZIP files with no files in them no longer cause the ZIP upload of feedback to fail. (#2263)
    • A division by zero error in grade calculations where there are categories with no item weight. (#2245)
    • Occasional long lags in the importing of Quiz Generator scores have been addressed. (#2233)
    • It is no longer possible to manually manipulate the data on the Gradebook setup page and mark an item as deleted that does not belong to the Gradebook for that specific course offering. (#2253)
    • There was a brief period where imported quiz scores were showing up as percentages instead of points on points-based items. (#2240)
    • There was a brief period where letter grades could not be entered. (#2227)
    • Items not in any category and without any grades correctly show on the faculty preview of a student's personal Gradebook page. (#2226)
    • Situations where the Gradebook was saving files with a _ instead of a . separating the file name from the file extension have been fixed. (#2224)
    • Imported Quiz Generator scores now correctly translate into pass/fail values (0 or 100 only). (#2223)
    • A situation where some older browsers would not properly send individual feedbacks has been fixed. (#2214)
    • If a score imported from the Quiz Generator is deleted out of the Gradebook, the score once again properly re-imports from the Quiz Generator. (#2150)

Discussion Forum

  • The Discussion Forum Individual Activity Report now shows the category in which a post was made. (#1989) It previously only showed the topic.
  • The Discussion Forum Individual Activity Report now has an option to see the original post in the topic in which a post was made. (#2197)
  • If a private Discussion Forum category is set so that only faculty/TAs can create new topics, the "Only Faculty/TAs Can Create New Topics" icon is displayed on the main Discussion Forum page for that category. (#2231)

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Plain text areas in PathFinder for objectives, introduction, and path object body text have been replaced with the rich text editor. (#2212) The "Add Weblink" field on these forms has been removed because you can add weblinks inside the rich text editor.
  • The Published/Unpublished flag has been removed from Page Builder. (#1999)
  • You can now copy pages from cancelled course offerings in Page Builder. (#2041)
  • A section titled "Tracking of Your Activity When Taking Online Quizzes/Exams in CoursePlus" with language approved by the Office of Academic Integrity has been added to the Syllabus Builder. (#2190)
  • Online Library files linked to the syllabus are now displayed on the syllabus in alphabetic order. (#2188)
  • The Expectations Status and Advisor Comments have been added to the student "Review Complete" email message sent from the portfolio. (#2043)
  • Email messages notifying students about new files posted to the Online Library are no longer sent if the file is not open to students until a later date. (#2149)
  • A template mid-term course evaluation survey for SPH courses has been added. (#2265)
  • An "Undo" button has been added to the default configuration of the rich text editor in CoursePlus. (#1930)
  • Core scripting libraries used on every page of CoursePlus have been updated to the latest version to improve performance and stability. (#1938)
2018: January

Gradebook Rebuild

The Gradebook tool has been rebuilt with a new, modern code base that focuses on reliability and speed. While the UI is slightly different, the core functionality of the Gradebook is the same. The setup, grading, and sending of grades and feedback works in the same way as it did before.

One new feature has been added to the Gradebook: the ability for students to see their current grade in the class based on the grades they currently have in the Gradebook. This is different than the already existing "final grade" feature of the Gradebook. The current grade reflects both a) the student's grade as determined by the grades entered for them in the Gradebook, and b) the student's grade as determined by the items visible to the student at that time. If an item is not visible to a student in their view of the Gradebook, it will not be included in the current grade calculation.

Additionally, there is now a log of all changes made to the setup of each Gradebook. (#2048)

The new Gradebook uses queues for managing score import from the Quiz Generator and the calculation of current/final grades for an individual student. This has implications for seeing changes immediately in either quiz-linked graded items or in final grade calculations:

  • Quiz Generator scores are imported automatically, in the background, on a scheduled task that runs every 5 minutes. Scores are no longer imported when you open up the "Enter Grades" view for a quiz-linked graded item. This normally won't present any problems because as individual quizzes are graded, the QG import task will pick up the grades and put them in the Gradebook. However, if someone changes a student score and recalculates a student grade in a quiz, and then goes immediately into the Gradebook, the new score will not be there (unless the scheduled task happens to run that second).
  • Final/current grade calculation works in a similar way: when a grade is updated for any student in any graded item in a course Gradebook, that student goes into a queue. Every couple minutes, the queue is checked and the batch of students gets pulled off the queue to have their current and final grade recalculated. This means that you won't have to wait for everyone's final grade to get recalculated when you pull up the final grades view because that work has already happened behind the scenes. However, again, if someone changes a student grade on an item and then immediately goes to the final grades page, the new grade won't be there immediately. It may take a couple minutes, or longer, depending on how busy the Gradebook is.

End of Access to CoursePlus Using Internet Explorer 11

While support for Internet Explorer 11 ended in January, 2017, customers could still sign in to CoursePlus using Internet Explorer 11. Using IE11 caused significant problems taking quizzes, in the Gradebook, and with other administrative functions.

As of January, 2017, customers trying to sign in to CoursePlus using Internet Explorer 11 are given a message that they are using an unsupported Web browser and are unable to sign in. (#2126)

Better Handling of Add/Drop Combinations in the Same Course

A long-standing problem for us in the processing of enrollment data from SIS has been the ordering of data based on the exact date and time a student added or dropped a course in SIS. This normally does not affect the vast majority of students. However, for courses where multiple sections of a course use the same CoursePlus site, a student who dropped one section of the course but then added the other section of the course would end up having the DROP processed after the ADD in CoursePlus. This is because the data from SIS lacked an original transaction date that could be used for sorting. This predominantly affected the Biostats 140.62x courses.

We have worked these past few months with the SIS team to get the information we need to prevent the issue where a student drops one section of a merged CoursePlus class and adds the other section, but then has the DROP processed after the ADD in CoursePlus. The SIS team now provides us with the exact date and time on which an add or drop is created in SIS. This gives us the ability to ensure that records for courses that have multiple sections using a single CoursePlus site are always processed in the correct order.

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Items in the Schedule Builder that are marked as hidden now have a "closed eye" icon next to them so it's more obvious that the item is hidden. (#2119)
  • A section titled "Use of In-Class Recordings" has been added to the Syllabus Builder tool, and includes example text for courses using Panopto for classroom recordings. (#2072)
  • Faculty in on-campus classes that use Schedule Builder (instead of the class sessions tool) for organizing content can now see the "Edit" link to each Page Builder page listed on the main listing of all Page Builder pages. (#2185)
  • Individuals in the "Course coordinator" role on a course can now see and download the source PPT/WAV files for an online lecture. (#2194)
  • If you are editing a LiveTalk item in the Schedule Builder tool, the option to give that event a Drop Box is no longer available. (#2089)
  • Faculty on the TA Training course now get a weekly report of new enrollees in the past week in that course. (#2189)
  • Open/close dates on copies of quizzes are once again adjusted correctly according to the start/end date of the offering from which they were copied. (#2202)
  • Open/close or show/hide buttons throughout CoursePlus have been standardized. (#285)
2017: December

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • When the last section of a lecture an online course finishes playing, an overlay appears on top of the lecture video which directs students to complete the lecture evaluation. (#1942)
  • If a student embeds an image into an essay question response in an exam, the "Export all Responses and Grades" report no longer errors out. (#2099)
  • Numerous bug fixes to individual course Gradebooks. (#2110, 2118, 2125, 2122, 2121, 2107, 2098 ,2101, 2106, 2108, 2121, 2093, 2113)
2017: November

Additions and Bug Fixes

  • If a transcript has been ordered but is not yet available for a given lecture section, the following text appears below the video player for that section: "The transcript for this lecture has been ordered, but is not yet complete. We expect it to be available after [expected arrival date in ddd, mmm dd (Tuesday, October 17) format]." (#2071)
  • Information about the first and last time a student viewed a lecture is now shown by default on the "Individual Access of Lecture Sections" report. (#2095)
  • The LiveTalk slides form now includes a message that customers should expect an email confirming the upload of their slides, and to contact CTL Help if they do not receive a confirmation email. (#1948)
  • Alt text is now displayed when you hover over the "student took a short time to complete," "student visited other pages in CoursePlus," and "results history" icons on the main "Responses and Grades" view in the Quiz Generator. (#2097)
  • There is now a "Getting Started" guide for portfolio administrators linked from the main portfolio admin page. (#2042)
  • The "Linked to Schedule Builder" information when editing the master information about a Page Builder page is no longer blank for all pages. (#2094)
2017: October

Updated Video Player

The video player used throughout CoursePlus has been updated to the latest version. The player has a new skin, including the display of speed controls right in the video player UI. (#2028) The new version of the player provides better overall performance, particularly on mobile devices.

UI Improvements

  • The main Discussion Forum page now has a "Collapse All Categories" button to quickly collapse the topic listings within all categories on the page. (#2001)
  • The mini navigation control for the Discussion Forum now scrolls down the page as you scroll down an individual topic page or the "My Discussion Forum" page. (#170)
  • The on-campus sessions main editing page now has a "Collapse All" button to quickly collapse the detailed content of all sessions on the page. (#1929)
  • Select delete confirmation dialog boxes in the Quiz Generator have been replaced with inline confirmations of the same. (#1413)

Quiz Generator

  • The "Time Elapsed on Quiz" text has been changed to "Time Elapsed on Quiz Page" to more clearly indicate that the time tracked while a student takes a quiz is the time the student spends with the quiz page open, and does not count time when the student is not actively on the quiz page. (#2054)
  • Line breaks in long answer explanations are now properly rendered when a student views their results on a quiz. (#2068)
  • A small amount of time spent on the quiz is now added when a faculty member or TA enters quiz answers on behalf of a student to ensure that the score and time histograms on the "All Responses and Grades" view displays correctly. (#2009)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • A template "Student Assistance and Well-being" section has been added to the Syllabus Builder as an optional section listed under "Course Information and Policies." (#1908)
  • The faculty advisor comment box now appears after the student work when advisors review an individual student touchpoint. (#1997)
  • A number of old, infrequently-used JavaScript libraries have been replaced with alternatives. (#1937)
2017: September

Client-Side Error Tracking

CoursePlus now uses Rollbar to track client-side errors with JavaScript. (#1920) This will assist both CTL Help and the developer team in tracking down problems that our clients have while using CoursePlus.

Syllabus Updates

  • Printing on the syllabus now uses a single, "Print to PDF" option, rather than two separate buttons which essentially accomplished the same thing. (#1919)
  • The "Room Location" field in the syllabus for on-campus courses is now larger, to accommodate detailed room location instructions. (#1934)
  • The "Copy Text from another section of this course" option has been removed from the Syllabus Builder for courses that aren't linked to the JHSPH course system (that was the only place it still appeared). (#1928)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • LiveTalk scheduling link in Faculty Tools now points to the Acuity Scheduling tool. (#1943)
  • The default reference to "EST" on the main course content page of online courses has been changed to "Eastern Time" to avoid student confusion. (#1970)
  • Hidden folders in the editing view of the Online Library are now highlighted in a more obvious way. (#1968)
  • The date on which a learner printed their certificate of completion is now shown in the online trainings completion report. (#1956)
  • When an online course is copied, the available date for LiveTalks is automatically hidden so that instructional designers have a clearer indication that LiveTalk dates for the new offering need to be scheduled. (#1895)
  • The public view of an online course schedule no longer shows extra dashes when an item does not have an end available date. (#1969)
  • The editing view of Timed Drop Boxes now includes a note that all information will be saved once a file has been selected for the Timed Drop Box. (#1933)
  • A rare bug where students would get incorrectly graded on multiple choice, multiple answer questions where they selected all correct answers but some incorrect answers has been fixed. (#1931)
  • Wikis opening to specific groups of students are now only listed in the Daily Course Notifications email if the recipient is a member of that group. (#1935)
  • The first visit to an online course home page no longer shows the link to the "Sessions Tool" instead of Schedule Builder in the Faculty Tools Quick Jump Box. (#1921)
2017: August

Quiz Question Tagging (and Searching by Tags)

You can now add tags to questions in the Quiz Generator. (#81) This enables faculty and TAs to add simple words or hashtag-style phrases to their questions, making possible labeling and organization of all kinds. Tags can be added which link a question back to a lecture or course objective, or identify a question as being a part of a particular content area.

On the "Add/Edit/Remove Questions" page for a quiz, you can now search or filter based on selected tags that have already been assigned to questions. (#544) This allows faculty and TAs to more quickly build larger or comprehensive exams where a wide range of topic areas must be covered.

Quiz Generator Changes

  • You can now change individual student scores on the "Grade All Responses to a Single Question" page. (#44)
  • A new option has been added to the quiz setup that allows the system to automatically flag students who visit pages in CoursePlus other than the quiz page while taking a quiz/exam. (#1863) This is designed for high-stakes exams where a student should not leave the quiz page for any reason while taking the exam.

Printed Syllabus Changes

  • On the printed and PDF version of the syllabus, the base font is now slightly larger, space between sections of content has been shortened, and the word "Syllabus" had been removed from the document title. (#1893)
  • In the footer of the printed and PDF version of the syllabus, the course title and time of last update have been removed, the page number has been moved onto the same line as the rest of the footer, and the font size increased. (#1898)
  • The phrase "Online Course" no longer appears in the printed version of the syllabus if the course does not have a room number assigned. (#1887)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • When you upload LiveTalk slides, the history box once again only shows the history of uploads for that LiveTalk, not all LiveTalks. (#1871)
  • When you add a section to the syllabus from the "New Section" tool, that section is removed from the list of options in the "New Section" tool drop-down. (#1904))
  • The "Why Take This Course" section of the syllabus now always appears before the official course description in the editing, student, and printed views of the syllabus. (#1907)
  • LiveTalks are now run over https to ensure better security and compliance with security models in modern web browsers. (#1927)
2017: July

Question Difficulty Statistics in the Quiz Generator

A new report is now available on the statistics view: question difficulty. (#264) Two different kinds of data are reported for each question:

  1. The difficulty index of the question on a scale of 0-1 as measured by the percentage of students who got full credit for the question.
  2. The discrimination value for the question. The discrimination value refers to how well an individual question in an assessment differentiates between high and low scorers. The discrimination value can be in the range of -1 to 1. If the majority of students whose overall performance on the quiz was in the top 50% of all scores answered the question correctly, the value will be closer to 1. If the majority of students whose overall performance on the quiz was in the bottom 50% of all scores answered the question correctly, the value will be closer to -1.

The report automatically highlights questions which may be too difficult, or questions which fall significantly outside of the desired discrimination value range of .4-1. This report also allows you to download the source data for separating students in to the top or bottom 50% in Excel format.

Convert Class Sessions into Page Builder Pages

In order to make it easier for faculty who teach on-campus classes to move to using Schedule Builder and Page Builder, we have built a tool which converts the content of all class sessions to a Page Builder pages, makes a corresponding entry in Schedule Builder for each class session, and adds a link to the Page Builder page from the Schedule Builder entry. (#1740)

This tool will convert all on-campus class sessions in a course. It will not convert on a session-by-session basis. It also will not sync information between the tools. Faculty can switch back to using class sessions at any time if they would like.

Quiz Generator Changes

  • You can now reorder questions in a quiz question block via drag and drop. (#181)
  • You can now opt to send students a copy of their responses (and only their responses) when they submit answers to a quiz, even if the quiz requires manual grading. (#42)
  • Correct/incorrect answer highlighting and the student response are now displayed on questions that are excluded from scoring in the student results views (screen/email). (#51)

MyCourses Admin App

  • You can now include TAs as recipients of a message sent to all teaching faculty.
  • You can now check on the IOL completion status of students listed in an Excel file. The tool can match a JHED ID, email address, or first and last name. The tool shows if a student completed IOL, if they have registered but not completed IOL, if they have a CoursePlus account but no IOL registration, or if there is no match in CoursePlus to the provided student information.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The faculty page and faculty page editor tool in Page Builder is now available to all courses, not just online courses. (#1824)
  • You can now flag a Drop Box as being for an exam, which will prevent students from downloading a copy of their submitted file or sending their submitted file to their portfolio. (#1834)
  • When a new on-campus course site is set up, CoursePlus automatically creates class sessions for every session in the course according to the JHSPH course system. CoursePlus now also creates Online Library folders for each session that are linked to the appropriate class session. (#750)
  • Deleting a section from a Page Builder page is now recorded in the history of actions on the page. (#1762)
  • The attendance sign-in button is no longer shown to guests in a course. (#1861)
  • Class session information once again appears when you print a course syllabus to PDF format. (#1874)
2017: June

Scoring Statistics in the Quiz Generator

New statistics are now displayed on the question statistics report for each quiz (#846). For each question, the following data is shown:

  • Number of students who answered the question
  • Number of students who skipped the question
  • Percentage of students who answered who received full credit
  • Percentage of students who answered who received partial credit
  • Percentage of students who answered who received no credit

This data is shown for all question types, including essay and fill-in-the-blank questions. (#41)

Additionally, basic statistics about overall student grades on a quiz are shown on the quiz overview page and on the page "Responses and Grades" page once students start taking the quiz. (#71) These are the same statistics currently buried on the third tab of the "Statistics" page for a quiz.

The points value for each question in a quiz is also now shown when taking or editing a quiz. (#70)

Distributed Caching Across Servers in the CoursePlus Cluster

Some frequently accessed data in CoursePlus is now cached across all the servers in the CoursePlus cluster. (#1664) Specifically, when changes are made to the following data, the changes show up within seconds on other servers in the cluster:

  • Schedule Builder information, including the display of the main content page in online courses
  • Peer Assessment scoring and report results
  • Survey information for a course offering
  • Login/authentication redirect information

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The date and time that a student watched a LiveTalk recording is now displayed on the LiveTalk attendance report. (#1809)
  • When copying Page Builder pages from one course to another, the Online Library files linked to that page are now correctly copied into the destination course Online Library. (#1816)
  • The "Edit this Page" button now appears on public Page Builder pages if you are signed in to CoursePlus and authorized to edit Page Builder pages in that course. (#1818)
  • Starting a new attempt on a quiz now correctly checks any special permissions for the number of attempts allowed for that student on that quiz. (#1822)
  • Clicking on the "History" button when editing a Page Builder page no longer causes the main course navigation buttons to stop working. (#1811)
  • The text entry field where students provide text-based feedback on an individual criteria in the Peer Assessment tool now scrolls if you enter more than 8 lines of text. (#1786)
  • The start date for a training is no longer displayed when students self-register for an on-demand training. (#1838) Start dates from 2016 were confusing students registering for on-demand trainings.
2017: May

Drop Boxes for Specific Course Groups

You can now create Drop Boxes that are visible to and submittable by only specific groups of students set up in the Course Groups tool. (#214) Once you set up Course Groups, you can specify that one or more groups are the only ones who can submit to a Drop Box. Only the students in the specified Course Groups will see the Drop Box listed on the main Drop Box page in the class website, and only those students can submit to those Drop Boxes.

Reminders for Students to Sign in to Classes via the Attendance Tracker Tool

In asking for feedback from faculty who use the attendance tracker tool in April, 2017, a very common theme was figuring out a way to remind students that they needed to sign in during the class. Faculty now have the option of providing reminders to students that they need to sign in to a given class session using the Attendance Tracker tool. (#1767) If reminders are turned on for a given session, students get three different reminders to sign in:

  1. A reminder to sign in is included in the Daily Course Notifications email which students receive each day.
  2. A reminder to sign in is included in their "My Calendar" tab.
  3. An alert box is placed at the top of their "My Courses" page which reminds them that they need to sign in to a class if they have not already done so.

In each case, a link to the course home page of the appropriate course, where they must click the "Sign In" button, is provided.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Students can now create topics in Discussion Forum categories that have been set to "Post Before View." (#1790) Those topics will require students other than the topic creator to post before they can view the responses in that topic.
  • Faculty and TAs now see a big warning box after selecting LiveTalk slides for upload that reminds them that they also need to submit the form for their slides to be correctly processed. (#1793)
  • The title of each lecture section is now displayed when playing back a course lecture. (#1785)
  • Training administrators can set a customizable passing grade for quizzes in their trainings, instead of having to use the default of 80% for all trainings. (#1690)
  • If a training does not have a printable certificate of completion, a note to that effect is displayed on the main content page. (#1802)
  • The question number of each question is now displayed in the question display order tool in the Quiz Generator. (#1764)
  • The question number of each question is now displayed on the "Grade all responses to a single question" question selector in the Quiz Generator. (#1788)
  • A "Final Exam" recommended section has been added to the Syllabus Builder tool, per CAS recommendation. (#1784)
  • CTL staff can now hide the link to the recording for a specific LiveTalk in case the faculty do not want it to be shown. (#267)
  • The default sign in time window for the Class Attendance tool is now set to one hour, and the verbiage about customizing this time window has been made clearer. (#1768)
  • The sign in button once again appears on the course home page of on-campus classes using the Attendance Tracker tool and using Schedule Builder instead of the class sessions tool. (#1773)
  • The "Link to Page Builder Pages" option once again appears when editing Online Library items in on-campus classes that use Page Builder. (#1808)
  • If you link a Drop Box to a Page Builder page, the "Drop Box" section once again correctly displays on the Page Builder page. (#1795)
  • Unescaped Unicode characters generated by copying and pasting from PowerPoint no longer appear in the "Next Section" and "Previous Section" section title tooltips when watching course lectures. (#1806)
2017: April

Course Groups: Random Assignment

You can now randomly assign students to course groups. (#1742) You can either specify existing groups to randomly assign students into, or you can create new groups and randomly assign students to them. You can specify the number of groups to be created, and CoursePlus will equally divide students into those groups. Alternatively, you can specify the number of students to have in each group, and CoursePlus will create the correct number of groups to accommodate groups of the specified size.

Quiz Generator: Setup Logging

You can now view a log of all changes made to a quiz setup, and to the questions selected for a quiz. (#188) Changes to all options on the quiz setup form are logged, though differences between versions of pre- and post-quiz instructional text are not logged. Adding or removing questions to a quiz (either by creating new questions for the quiz or via the Question Bank) is also logged.


  • Printing of quizzes in the faculty preview/student take view has been significantly improved. (#1623)
  • The current question number of each question is now displayed in the quiz "Manage Question Display Order" view. (#1764)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Faculty can now copy surveys from any course which they teach. (#1618)
  • Attending a LiveTalk or watching the recording now automatically marks the appropriate schedule item as "Complete" on the online course schedule page. (#1701)
  • The time of the class, as specified in the JHSPH course catalog, is now included when downloading on-campus class sessions in iCal format. (#1739)
  • User portfolio assignment information is now shown in the "My Courses" admin app, and is part of the account merge tool. (#1671)
  • Accented characters in a course title no longer cause an error when printing a syllabus to PDF format. (#1749)
  • If there is one hidden Online Library folder linked to a Page Builder page, subsequent Online Library folders also linked to that page will once again correctly appear on the page. (#1748)
  • Clicking on the link to "Surveys" in the Faculty Tools Quick Jump box in on-campus courses no longer takes you to the student list of surveys in the course. It correctly takes you to the main survey administration page. (#1720)
  • Problems updating faculty images in Page Builder have been fixed. (#1780)
2017: March

Reporting Improvements

The report of all students and which lecture sections they watched now includes two new sets of data:

  • The percentage of all students in the class who watched lectures in the course site, downloaded MP4s, MP3s, the PDF of the slides, or the transcript is now displayed. (#233)
  • The number of sections completely skipped by each student is now displayed. Skipped sections are now highlighted in yellow. (#244)

You can now export the contents of a Discussion Forum topic or category to Excel. (#1159)

Tracking of CoursePlus Activity When Disconnected

  • Data about viewing of online course lectures is now persisted even when a student is disconnected from CoursePlus or goes offline while watching a lecture in a course website. (#1613)
  • Storing of quiz/exam answers in the background while a student works has been improved to continue to function even when a student gets logged out of CoursePlus in the background. (#1662)


  • Portfolio admins can now optionally add a "review by date" for advisors on a touchpoint. (#1624)
  • Touchpoint completion emails have been reworded to make the intent clearer, per faculty feedback. (#1625)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now email all students who are marked as absent for a given class session in the Attendance Tracker tool. (#1187)
  • The "Upload LiveTalk Slides" tool now shows if someone has already uploaded files for that session, who uploaded the files, and when the files were uploaded. (#374)
  • Names and addresses in the "To" or "CC" fields in the class email tool are now shown in pillbox style, making it easier to delineate one address from another. Clicking the X at the end of any pillbox removes that person from the recipient list. (#184)
  • The default passing grade for quizzes in online trainings is now 75%, per training administrator feedback. (#1706)
  • If you make changes to a syllabus and do not submit those changes to the JHSPH Course System within 5 days, you will receive an automatic reminder that you need to do so for the changes to be approved and published. (#1635)
  • The open date for a Drop Box is now displayed next to the due date for the Drop Box. (#1724)
  • "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs in PathFinder have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons. (#1414)
  • An occasional bug with page footers while printing the syllabus to PDF format has been fixed. (#1703)
  • Numerous bugs with the Schedule Builder, Page Builder, and On-Campus Sessions tool which were introduced in the February 2017 release have been fixed. (#1723, #1722, #1717, #1711, #1708, #1707, #1706, #1699, #1688, #1687, #1686, #1685, #1684, #1670, #1669, #1668, #1667)
2017: February

On-Campus Courses Can Use Schedule Builder

All CoursePlus sites now have access to the Schedule Builder tool. (#808) This allows any course which is not a fully online academic course or on-demand training the opportunity to build out a schedule for the course using the Schedule Builder tool in the same way that online courses can. The one exception to this is that on-campus courses cannot add LiveTalk events to their course schedule.

Additional changes to Schedule Builder:

  • The sectionItemID of the first section of a lecture is now displayed on the main faculty tools page in courses that use Schedule Builder when a lecture is listed on that page. (#1485)
  • Fixed a condition that prevented descriptions of LiveTalk events from showing on the main faculty tools page in courses that use Schedule Builder. (#1458)
  • The consistency of syncing dates between Schedule Builder and other modules has been improved.
  • The Schedule Builder cache can now be cleared from the Peer Assessment, Quiz Generator, and Survey tools.
  • Linking to a survey from the Schedule Builder tool no longer gives a false error about dates being invalid. (#1509)
  • The "link to LiveTalk" flag is no longer reset if a non-CTL staff member edits a LiveTalk event on the schedule. (#1477)

Page Builder

All CoursePlus sites now have access to the Page Builder tool. (#808) In combination with utilization of Schedule Builder, on-campus courses can now build out sites very similar to fully online courses. CTL staff can now also build full, standard online lecture pages for lectures used in flipped and blended on-campus classes. Links can be made to Page Builder pages from either the Schedule Builder tool or the Class Sessions tool. As with Page Builder in fully online courses, faculty, TAs, and editors cannot create lecture pages, but can edit the content of lecture pages except for the Lecture Materials box.

Faculty can also import pages from any course that they teach (e.g.; on which they are listed as primary faculty), not just other sections of the same course.

Logging has been added to Page Builder which shows basic information about what has been changed, and by whom, in a given class. (#223) While Page Builder will not store revisions of pages or sections within pages, it will show if someone added or removed pages, updated the content of a section, or changed the layout of a page.

Finally, faculty and TAs can now grant special access to a Page Builder page to a student in the class. (#197) This enables them to allow individual students early access to a page in their course, before that page becomes available to all students. It also allows them to grant individual students access to a page after it is no longer available to students in the class.

Additional changes to Page Builder:

  • When you play back a lecture in Page Builder and revisit the same lecture, playback automatically continues from where you left off. (#1580)
  • There is now a tool to copy all section IDs for a lecture to the clipboard when editing the sections of content in a lecture. (#1564)
  • A button to download the source .wav file for a lecture section is now displayed on the lecture materials box to faculty/TAs/staff next to the icon for downloading the corresponding PPT file. (#1587)
  • A report now exists that shows lecture sections in the PPT Archive that do not have a corresponding .wav file in the same archive folder. (#1562)
  • When you search for other offerings to import a page, you can now search on both the course number and title. (#1614)

On-Campus Class Sessions Tool UI Revamp

Many changes have been made to the on-campus Class Sessions tool to make editing of sessions easier, re-ordering of sessions more intuitive, and to provide greater consistency between the different pages in the tool. You can now link to Page Builder pages from the Class Sessions tool and preview surveys from on-campus class sessions. Multiple actions have been combined into a single "Actions" menu, rather than repeating them for every class session or hiding them behind layers of information.

Additional changes to the On-Campus Class Sessions tool:

  • The reordering of sessions has been completely redone, matching the reordering process of syllabus sections and quiz questions. You will no longer get stuck in the process of dragging and dropping class session boxes.
  • On-campus class sessions can now use both a default session evaluation from a template and have multiple other surveys linked to that session.
  • Items in subfolders of subfolders in the Online Library now display properly when linked to a class session. (#1602)
  • Template surveys linked to on-campus class sessions now use real, independent copies of the template survey rather than submitting data to the template.
  • Editing a class session no longer deletes existing links to lectures in online courses.

Gradebook Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Gradebook reports now generate and download slightly faster.
  • Real-time notifications about what Gradebook feedback is ready to be sent (or cannot be sent) have been improved. (#1447)
  • Gradebook setup copy during the course site setup process has been improved and will result in vastly fewer corrupt setup files. (#1568)
  • The display order of information in Gradebook reports in Excel format now matches the display order in the Gradebook setup. (#1489)
  • If an error occurs while working in an overlay window in the Gradebook, the alert warning of the problem is now shown clearly in the overlay window, and not on the page underneath the overlay window. Additional user actions are also prevented so that no one thinks they made changes when they, in fact, did not. (#1461)
  • The handling of non-alphanumeric characters in file names in the Gradebook has been improved. (#1448)
  • Added a monthly archiving task for data in the Gradebook setups table that is more than 3 years old.

Survey Tool UI Cleanup

Many small changes have been made to the survey tool to improve the overall user experience. Buttons and overlay windows are now more standard in relation to the rest of the buttons and overlays in CoursePlus.

Additional survey fixes include:

  • LiveTalk surveys no longer reproduce on each visit until someone submits a LiveTalk evaluation for that LiveTalk.
  • Lecture evaluations can no longer generate links to surveys in old offerings of the same course. (#1465)
  • Confirmation dialog boxes in the survey tool have been replaced with inline equivalents of the same. (#1412)

Training Updates

  • If a learner is being asked to sign in to CoursePlus inside a training, the sign in box now defaults to the CoursePlus login instead of the JHED view, as most participants in trainings will not have JHED IDs. (#1663)
  • Links to the main content page for a training have been added to the end of the self-enrollment process and to the confirmation of enrollment emails for fully online trainings. (#1636)
  • Learners in a training are now told that they need to score 80% to pass a quiz that is required for completion of a training, and are given the link to take the quiz again on the results/score page after taking a quiz if they do not pass. (#1644)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The process of capturing and persisting form data when you are logged out of CoursePlus and are asked to log in again immediately after submitting a form has been vastly improved. (#1466)
  • You can now set a date on which a discussion forum category becomes visible to students. (#1504)
  • You are now given an on-screen warning alert if you edit JHSPH course system-linked sections of a syllabus but do not send those for review to the JHSPH course system. (#1432)
  • The Peer Assessment tool has undergone significant testing to resolve a number of intermittent problems with linked Drop Boxes as well as UI problems with setting up rubrics.
  • Labels in the portfolio that referred to "Ready for Advisor Review" have been changed, simply, to "Ready for Review" because many times advisors won't be reviewing that particular item. (#1406)
  • New global UI features have been added for spinners on images and use of Bootstrap icons in jQuery UI buttons and dialogs. jQuery UI graphics have also been updated.
  • Added a properties component object to Online Library, Gradebook, Survey, Rubrics, Peer Assessments, ScheduleBuilder, CPScheduleBuilder to allow easier access to properties in facades and service-layer components outside the framework.
  • The rich text editor used throughout CoursePlus has been updated to the latest version. (#1595)
2017: January

Captions in Lecture Video Playback

Captions are now displayed when playing back online lectures produced by CTL. (#1446) Captions are displayed in a box to the right of the lecture video, and can be turned on or off as desired by learners. Captions are also searchable (within that video only, not across all videos in a course), and clicking on specific words in the captions will jump video playback to that point in the video. Note that captions are being rolled out to all online lectures produced by CTL, and will not be available for all lectures until Spring 2018.


  • You can now see a report of enrollments in any training offered by your provider organization. The report is filterable by date ranges. (#1077)
  • You can now see a report of all learners who completed a training within a given date range. The report also includes data from a survey that is required before accessing course content, if applicable. (#1080)
  • You can now download an Excel file of basic information about all learners who have registered for any training offered by your training provider in CoursePlus. (#1079)
  • Learners must now score a minimum of 80% on any quiz that is required for completion of a training in order to successfully complete the training and print a certificate of completion. (#1556)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now drag + drop questions to reorder them in a quiz. (#54)
  • You can now download all files from the Online Library for a given Page Builder page on the page itself. (#155)
  • The "print to Word" option has been removed from both the public and editing views of the syllabus. (#1575) This was supposed to have been done in September, 2016.
  • Additional HTML landmark tags have been added to the main templates for both the public side of CoursePlus and course pages to improve accessibility. (#1552)
  • Faculty listings in Page Builder are no longer duplicated in the copy from a previous offering step of course site setup. (#1583)
  • Adding an attachment to a comment on a touchpoint in a portfolio no longer fails if you have an apostrophe in the file name. (#1567)
  • An error that occurred after confirming a new CoursePlus account, and then clicking the BACK button on your web browser to go back to pages in CoursePlus prior to creating a CoursePlus account has been fixed. (#1560)
  • Creating a new event in the Schedule Builder which also simultaneously creates a new Page Builder page no longer ignores the "Event Type" information entered when automatic numbering of lectures is turned on. (#1617)
  • The report which shows which students have/have not posted in a specific Discussion Forum category no longer uses color as the sole distinguishing characteristic for the display of that information, making it accessible to color-blind individuals. (#1561)
  • The tooltip for download icons in the lecture materials box no longer all say "Download Section A" when section letters are hidden next to each item in the box. (#1576)
  • Improperly formatted dates from the JHSPH Adobe Connect server no longer cause occasional errors when displaying the LiveTalk page in an online course. (#1603)
  • Deleted attempts on a quiz are no longer shown on the "All Responses and Grades to Excel" report. (#1600)
  • A rare error that would occur on submitting answers to a quiz when the referring page that started the quiz does not include the course offering ID or course ID in the URL or FORM scopes has been fixed. (#1599)
  • The most recent update to the Rich Text Editor in CoursePlus caused an invalid "missing text" alert to appear when adding new questions in the Quiz Generator. This has been fixed. (#1579)
  • When making a folder in the Online Library a hidden folder, the color of the folder in the UI now correctly changes. (#1558)
  • Courses which do not have sites set up in the current academic year but did have sites set up in previous academic years will no longer generate entries in the Daily Course Notifications email. (#1609)
  • The main navigation menus now work once again on the "Number of Visits to the Course Website" report page. (#1610)
2016: December

Marking an Item as Completed on the Main Course Content Page

Students can now mark any item on an online course content page as being completed. (#1527) In August, 2016, we added a system where a checkmark appeared next to lectures that the student had watched on the main course content page. This wound up causing more confusion than we expected, and was inflexible as students could not mark things like quizzes, Drop Box assignments, or surveys as being completed on this same page. This new system automatically marks a lecture that the student has watched, or quizzes or surveys that the student has completed, as done. Students can mark any other item on the main course content page as done as they see fit, and can even un-mark an item as completed.

Full CoursePlus UI in Lecture Playback

The full CoursePlus user interface is displayed when playing back course lectures. (#1548) Not showing the complete UI was a holdover from the days when we wanted Adobe Presenter presentations to fill up as much space on the screen as possible. MP4 videos are of a fixed size, so it makes little sense not to display the full CoursePlus UI for easier navigation. The lecture playback view also now includes a link to return to the main page for a lecture at any point in the lecture, not just at the end of the last section.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now set the number of times a student can access a single-access, single-attempt quiz on the special permissions page for the quiz. (#1538) Previously, you could click a checkbox to give students one more access to the single-access quiz, but couldn't do anything beyond that.
  • The LiveTalk page now has an "Important Technical Notes" box for up-to-the minute tech issues to highlight to students. (#1539)
  • Copying a course from another offering no longer results in a reversed order of multiple-choice and Likert responses in surveys. (#1520)
  • Instructional Designers now have access to the CTL Help Tickets tool. (#1555)
  • The "View All Help Calls" report in the CTL Help tickets tool now only shows tickets from the last six months. (#1547)
  • When you switch a survey away from being required to access course content, you are now notified that you have to provide an open date for the survey. This was not clear before. (#1507)
  • The special access page in the Quiz Generator now gives instructions how to give extra time for a student to work on a quiz. (#1537)
  • The link to a lecture displayed in the sectionID search results no longer takes you to the old Page Builder "Edit" view. (#1543)
  • The rich text editor throughout CoursePlus has been updated to the latest version, which includes many "Paste from Word" improvements. (#1531)
2016: November

Automated Transcription Processing Workflow

WDs can now order transcripts for lectures from within Page Builder. (#1444) When ordered, Page Builder will make a request to 3Play Media to create captioning and a transcript for a given file. If the corresponding lecture is set to open more than two weeks in the future, the order has an "extended" turnaround time. Otherwise, the order is on a normal turnaround time. Once the order is complete, 3Play makes a request to CoursePlus to download the transcript (and, in the future, caption file). CoursePlus then adds the appropriate footer, moves the file to the appropriate location on S3, and marks that section as having a transcript in Page Builder. The WD does not have to do anything beyond starting the ordering process.

Publicly Viewable Page Builder Pages

You can now create Page Builder pages that are viewable by the public. (#1483) Note that only activity pages can be made public, not lecture pages. You can only add custom sections to this page, so sections like "Files from the Online Library" and "Linked Drop Boxes" are not available on publicly viewable pages.

Synced Lecture Sections Across Courses

When you copy an online lecture page from one course to another, the individual sections and content of that lecture are now synced across courses. (#1493) You have the option to un-link the two copies of the lecture, enabling you to make changes to one lecture but not the other. If you try to edit a linked lecture, you are warned that you will be breaking the link between the copies of the lecture.

Drop Boxes

  • You can now associate Drop Boxes with specific Page Builder pages in online courses. (#1455)
  • You can set the "Allow Submissions After Due Date" option for the whole Drop Box, not just on a part-by-part basis. (#1454)


  • The "Available" column on the course schedule is no longer displayed in online trainings, as all content will be available from the launch of the training. (#1529)
  • The "From the Course Schedule" box on the course home page is no longer included in online trainings, as all content will be available from the launch of the training. (#1529)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • The system-generated lecture evaluation box for online lectures now shows a light gray background, making the link to the evaluation readable and accessible. (#1510)
  • The UI no longer hangs when you save Online Library viewing options. (#1508)
  • Responses from quiz attempts that were deleted and where special permissions were given to the student no longer appear in the "Grade All Responses to a Single Question" view. (#1523)
  • The default "Type question text here" text has been removed from the rich text editor when creating new quiz questions.
  • The public view of on-campus class sessions now correctly shows the description of the session after the objectives. (#1518)
  • Links to the Admin Panel now default to the Who's Online Dashboard view. (#1524)
  • You no longer see the default error message in the "Recent Tweets" box on the course home page when Twitter is down. (#1502)
  • The new name for the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering has been updated in the system. (#1495)
2016: October

Quiz Generator

  • The log of activity for a quiz now shows if a student accessed other pages or content in the same course while taking the quiz. (#1474) This is only available to quizzes that are flagged as being part of the student's final grade in the course. Additionally, because this is a computationally very expensive process (merging multiple accesss logs that contain gigabytes of information on a monthly basis), this additional, non-quiz-specific activity can take a few hours from the time a student completes a quiz to appear in the log of student activity while taking a quiz.
  • A chart of the range of scores and the time taken to complete the quiz is now shown on the "All Responses and Grades" page. (#1136)

Attendance Tracker

Faculty can now require that a 4-digit unique code be entered by students when they sign in to a class using the Attendance Tracker tool. The code is the same for every student in the class, but different for each class session. As such, it is expected that faculty would say the code during the class, or display it on screen (in a PowerPoint slide, for example). (#1188)


  • There is now a report which displays aggregate user activity in a training, including all videos watched, quizzes or surveys taken, and when the user printed their certificate of completion. (#1083)
  • There is now a public listing of on-demand trainings. (#1063)
  • All trainings listed as such in the My Courses admin app now allow for self-enrollment. (#1497)
  • A setting for using a certificate of completion has been added to the My Courses admin app. If a course does not allow a certificate of completion, the standard "Completion" section of the content page in online trainings is not shown. (#1512)
  • Numerous changes to the list of faculty tools links have been made for online training class sites. (#1480, #1481)


  • A report showing when all reminders for a touchpoint were sent to students or advisors has been added to the main program administration page. (#1479)
  • A "Mark as Done" or "Mark as Ready for Review” button now appears on all touchpoints set up by program administrators. This will ensure that completion information shows up in the administrative reports even if the touchpoint doesn’t require advisor review or administrator notification.
  • Notification to admins that a student has completed a touchpoint is no longer tied to the touchpoint requiring advisor review. Admins can be notified that a student has completed a touchpoint even if the touchpoint does not require advisor review. (#1469)
  • Clicking on the link to a student touchpoint in the "Ready for Advisor Review" email message no longer redirects you to the My Courses page immediately after logging in to CoursePlus. (#1468)
  • A link to Faculty Self-Service in SIS has been added to the advisor dashboard in the portfolio. (#1467)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • When someone opens a help call with CTL Help, they now get a copy of that help call via email. (#1456)
  • When someone tries to access a quiz that has been deleted, they now get a specific message that the quiz has been deleted, instead of the generic "Uh-oh" error message in CoursePlus. (#1484)
  • The registration deadline for IOL is now 11:59pm on the second Monday of the course. (#1501)
  • The file upload tool in the LiveTalk Slides uploader has been updated to the latest version. (#1475)
  • The default, catch-all error message emailer has been removed from CoursePlus, resulting in faster response times when an error is thrown. (#1486)
  • A number of buttons that are not needed have been removed from the Page Builder "Overview" toolbar. (#1449, #1450)
2016: September

Syllabus Builder

  • There is now a "Methods of Assessment Details" section on every course syllabus. It immediately follows the display of the "Methods of Assessment" section. The content in this section is not tied to the JHSPH course system. (#1350)

Drop Box

  • Drop Boxes in online courses now have an "Open" date that is matched to the open date for the Drop Box on the online course schedule. (#1453) Students cannot submit files to a Drop Box before that open date. This ensures that Drop Boxes work the same way (with an "Open" date) in both online an on-campus courses.


  • A "My Trainings" tab is now displayed on the "My Courses" page when you sign in to CoursePlus if you are enrolled in any trainings. (#1053)
  • Each training listed on the "My Trainings" tab shows the date on which you completed the training, or if your work on the training is currently in progress, or if the training will end in the next 30 days. (#1055)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can edit the room number that a course is assigned in the Syllabus Builder.
  • The display of contact information in the syllabus has been revamped to reduce whitespace. (#1404)
  • "Page-specific section" is now the default choice when creating new Page Builder sections. (#1440)
  • When you create an activity page in Page Builder and then edit information about that page in Schedule Builder, the page title and subtitle will no longer get reversed. (#1439)
  • The student sign-in button in the Attendance Tracker has been re-engineered to be even more reliable.
  • You no longer have to save a faculty image twice to get it to show up on an online course home page. (#1441)
  • Drop Boxes that were linked to an online course schedule but were deleted are no longer copied when you set up a course site. (#1438)
  • You can no longer enter feedback on questions that are excluded from scoring in the Quiz Generator. (#1408)
  • The sectionID of a lecture section is now displayed on the basic lecture section information editing form. (#1403)
  • The link to the "Overview" has been removed when editing Page Builder pages, as it was an artifact left over from pre-WYSIWYG Page Builder editing. (#1450)
  • The "Edit / View / Delete" buttons no longer appear when you are creating a new Page Builder page. (#1449)
  • An occasional error when TAs or faculty printed a topic in the discussion forum has been fixed.
  • The rich text editor has been updated to the latest version. (#1445)
  • The CTL Help address has been changed to throughout CoursePlus. (#1452)
2016: August

Table Tools in the Rich Text Editor

The rich text editor found throughout CoursePlus has an all-new, easily discoverable set of tools for creating tables! (#1276) We heard from some faculty that they didn't know that they could add tables to rich text editors in CoursePlus, and that editing table layout and properties was just too hard. The new tools make setting up a table, adding or deleting rows and columns, and merging rows and cells much easier.

Syllabus Builder

The Syllabus Builder UI has been refreshed to make it easier on the eyes by removing some of the visual clutter. (#1275) Specifically, we've:

  • Taken the sidebar of suggested sections and put it into a drop-down button at the top of the page
  • Removed some of the suggested sections in the sidebar because they were never used in the past two years
  • Reduced the box sizes and font sizes of section headers
  • Reduced blank space between sections
  • Provided a "Collapse/Expand All Sections" tool so you can quickly see all the sections on the page
  • Removed the "See Student View of the Syllabus" button because that's available from the "Syllabus" menu at the very top of the page

Also, options for the prefix text to course learning objectives have been removed so that all "Course Learning Objectives" sections begin with: "Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:" (#1409). That is the only option allowed by the CAS.


  • There is now a "Return to Student as Incomplete" workflow for touchpoints which require advisor approval. (#1265) If an advisor marks a touchpoint as "Incomplete - Send Back to Student," the student is notified and can see the faculty feedback on the relevant touchpoint page. The student can then make adjustments and return the touchpoint to the advisor for additional review. A history of student reflections and advisor comments is displayed to both students and advisors.
  • Touchpoint display on the main student view has been modified so that if there are more than five (5) touchpoints in a program, only touchpoints that are due in the next 16 weeks (two academic terms) are shown, rather than all touchpoints at once. (#1351) There is a button to show all touchpoints, grouped by academic year, at once. Any touchpoints that have a status of "Waiting for Student" or "Returned as Incomplete" are always shown.
  • The "All Touchpoint Completion for a Cohort" report can now be exported to Excel. (#1363)
  • The text of each reflection prompt has been removed from the main listing of touchpoints in a student portfolio. (#1352) This makes the page significantly more readable.
  • If a student has set up a bio-sketch publishing view, a link to that bio-sketch is now also available in the program administrator when you look at students in a cohort. (#1385)
  • When a student selects a level for a competency, a checkmark briefly appears next to that competency, indicating that it has been saved. (#1259)
  • The touchpoint type (Reflection/Task) has been removed from the main touchpoint view for students. (#1384)
  • The time stamp on personal journal entries now displays in 12-hour format, instead of 24-hour. (#1405)
  • Custom due dates now appear in the timeline view of a student portfolio, instead of the default due date for that touchpoint. (#1425)

New Course Banner Design

All courses have a new design for the course title banner on the course home page. (#1349) This banner allows for dynamically updated course titles, displays the divisions or provider(s) responsible for each course, and scales better across a wide range of devices. The banner includes the JHU logo by default if there is no custom image provided for that course.

Note that the banner is no longer shown on the syllabus page of online courses.

Credit Card Processing

The ability to charge for a specific course or training has been added to CoursePlus. (#1054) This is currently limited to fully online trainings which allow for self-enrollment. When a student tries to self-register for a fully online training which has a credit type that is not "free" (zero payment), the student must first select the credit type they want to enroll with. (#1070) If there is a fee involved, then the payment processing system takes over and requires the leaner to pay before proceeding. Once the payment has been received and approved by PayWire, the University's credit card processing partner, the student will be able to access the course content.


  • Once a learner completes all content in a training, a link to print a certificate is displayed. (#1345) If the current user is a training administrator, they can see the link to print the certificate at any time.
  • The system now emails learners when they complete all the content in a fully online training module. (#1072)
  • The system now emails learners 30 days before the end date of a training that the training will end in 30 days. (#1052)
  • A report on aggregate enrollments across all training providers has been added to the My Courses admin app. (#1078)
  • A credit card payment report has been added to the My Courses admin app. (#1076)

Peer Assessments

  • Significant improvements have been made to the speed and reliability of class-wide assessment assignment creation. (#1398)
  • The load time of report information in the Peer Assessment has been improved. (#1397)
  • Group/team scores for a peer assessment now properly display on the main reporting page for a peer assessment. (#1323)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Courses that have more than 600 questions in the quiz question bank no longer cause errors when trying to select quiz questions for use, even if most of those questions are duplicates and really should be deleted. (#1390)
  • Quizzes listed in a class session now link directly to the specific quiz, instead of the list of all quizzes, if the quiz is open and available to students. (#1366)
  • Weblinks in the Online Library now open in new tabs/windows. (#1437)
  • sectionItemIDs now appear on the Lecture Material Info editing view in Page Builder. (#1403)
  • The search on the page which lists all courses no longer lists AY15-16 as the current academic year. (#1386)
  • The Gradebook now properly shows that feedback was sent if you send feedback to a student without a grade entered for that student. (#1400)
  • Deleting a student attempt on a quiz, then immediately clicking the browser back button no longer causes an error. (#1381)
  • Tracking the completion of a student watching a lecture has been improved. (#1374)
  • Page load times of the Schedule Builder tool and the main faculty tools page have been improved. (#1344)
  • Printing an entire discussion forum category to PDF format no longer results in some topics in the category being repeated in the PDF output. (#1394)
  • The "Last Edited" time stamp on syllabus sections no longer shows the seconds value in the timestamp. (#1377)
  • When two accounts are merged in the "My Courses" admin app, duplicate enrollments are automatically removed and IOL completion is correctly carried into the remaining account.
2016: July

Training Support

  • Activities which are complete (lectures, quizzes, surveys, viewing Page Builder activity pages) are now displayed with a checkmark on the training main content page. (#1056)
  • The system can now check if all lectures, quizzes, and required surveys in a training have been completed by a learner. (#1060)


Touchpoints can now be flagged as being reflection-oriented or task-oriented. (#1234) The student view of reflection-oriented touchpoints remains the same as it has been. The student view of task-oriented touchpoints is different in that instead of providing a reflection, there is a completely optional "Task Notes" section.

Every touchpoint now has the option to not include supporting evidence/files along with not showing competencies. If supporting evidence is selected to be shown in a task-oriented touchpoint, the "Provide Evidence" label is instead "Supporting Files."

Advisors can still provide comments on task-oriented touchpoints if they so desire. Student-created touchpoints can only be reflection-based touchpoints.

  • A file library for advisors in a program is now available. All advisors in a program see all files in the library for that program. (#1219)
  • The system now automatically removes everything after a username in the Facebook and LinkedIn fields in a publishing view.

Quiz Generator

A nasty bug where all background AJAX calls in a quiz would fail after 5.2 minutes of inactivity in Safari + Firefox and 7.2 minutes of inactivity in Chrome has been fixed. This is because events such as recordElapsedTime and setPageVisibiltyStatus didn't return anything in their AJAX request response. This caused the F5 to insert a piece of JavaScript tracking code which ultimately caused such requests to fail because they were interpreted as a zombie attack. The requests would fail in cascading sequence, ultimately bringing the browser to a halt with no available sockets. Adding a simple text response to these AJAX requests prevented the F5 from doing the automatic script insertion. (This was also added to the lecture watch tracking in Page Builder, where similar failures were occurring.)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • A VoiceThread lecture section type has been added to Page Builder. (#1281) When students click on the link to a VoiceThread, that section of content is marked as having been viewed.
  • A "Last Edited" date appears on each section of the syllabus. (#1291)
  • The "Linked to JHSPH Course System" text on sections of the syllabus linked to the JHSPH course system has been replaced by an icon. (#1291)
  • The default spacing between paragraphs in the rich text editor has been reduced. (#1274) The rich text editor now automatically strips out leading or trailing line or paragraph breaks. (#1277)
  • "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs in the Gradebook (#1315) have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons.
  • New example text, including information on accessibility, has been added to the "Instructional Technologies that will be used" section of the Syllabus Builder. (#1371)
  • When you delete the last draft from the draft email window in the class email tool, the window now closes automatically. (#1303)
  • You now receive a confirmation warning if you try to delete the Lecture Materials box from a Page Builder page. (#1364)
  • Display bugs in the "which lectures have students accessed?" reports have been fixed and the reports no longer repeat the same section/column header multiple times. (#1356, #1357, #1359)
  • The download of lecture PDFs in on-campus class sessions with very long class session titles no longer fails on Windows machines. (#1355)
  • A bug which caused repetitive display of upcoming touchpoints with custom dates in the portfolio administrator has been fixed. (#1362)
  • Students downloading a file submitted to a Drop Box immediately after submitting a file no longer throws an error. (#1358)
  • A link to the CoursePlus terms of service have been added to the home page. (#1372)
  • References to JHU's ISIS system have been changed to SIS, per University guidance. (#1375)
2016: June

Page Builder

  • If a student has watched a specific lecture section, this is indicated with a checkmark next to the lecture section in the lecture materials box. (#1057, #1059) A student must watch at least 50% of the video presentation (if it's an inline MP4) for the section to be marked as complete.
  • If a student has watched all sections of a lecture, the lecture is marked as having been viewed on the main content page in the course. (#1058)
  • The CTL PPT Archive has been moved into Amazon Simple Storage service. (#821)
  • If a lecture section has a PPT file in the S3 PPT archive, a button to download that PPT file is displayed on the "Edit this Page" view of a Page Builder lecture page. (#1239) That button does not appear on the student view.
  • If a section A of a lecture is moved to a different order in a lecture or is deleted from that lecture, Page Builder now knows to rename the corresponding PDF file. (#1240)

Printing the Syllabus

Significant improvements have been made to the printed version of a course syllabus. (#1244) A cleaner font, better overall layout, improved whitespace management, and a JHU watermark are all part of the revision. Additional refinements will be made to the printed version of the syllabus as requests and feedback continue to come in.

Note that the "Print to Word" option in the syllabus will be removed as of September 1, 2016. Please see the comments for this ticket to see data usage which drove this decision.


  • Students now have a private journal page in their portfolio, visible only to them. (#1218) Students can add private reflections about their time in the program to the journal, giving them a sense of how they're moving through their program.
  • A student can mark any publishing view as a bio-sketch, which can then be viewed by their advisor with a single click from the main advisor dashboard. (#615)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • If a student without a JHED ID in their CoursePlus account clicks the "Sign in With JHED" button, they are given a warning that they need to add their JHED ID to their CoursePlus account or end up with duplicate accounts. (#1309)
  • Objectives are listed with numbers rather than bullets in the Syllabus (#1292), Page Builder (#1293), and class sessions (#1294) tools to align with how objectives are displayed in other School systems.
  • The date of a class session is now displayed first in the row which contains the class session date, title, and speaker. (#1273)
  • "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs in the Drop Box (#1226), wiki (#1227), News Feed (#1317), Twitter Tracker (#1316), and Course FAQ (#1318) tools have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons.
  • The "Post Agreed With" column in the discussion forum contribution report has been retitled "Posts Reacted To" to reflect that students can do more than just agree with a post. (#1249)
  • A rare bug where the proctor for a student who dropped a course would receive a quiz password email even though the student dropped the course has been fixed. (#1332)
2016: May

QG: Multiple Attempts on Quizzes, Change Answers Back into an Active Quiz, Special Access Change Log, and More

Multiple Attempts on Quizzes

The Quiz Generator no longer treats "graded" and "review" quizzes differently. (#73) All quizzes are handled in the same way and you can specify that students get one or more attempts on a quiz, even if that quiz is part of the student's final grade. You can have a quiz that is not part of the student's final grade in a course which can be attempted 50 times by each student. You can have a quiz that is part of the student's final grade in a course which can be attempted only once, or three times. Students can have access to a quiz only once per attempt, or multiple times per attempt, just as they could previously.

If students are allowed multiple attempts on a quiz, and have completed an attempt on the quiz, they are asked if they want to take the quiz over again, starting from scratch and eliminating any existing answers and score for that quiz. If the student says "yes," then the student begins a new attempt as if they had never taken the quiz before.

Change Answers Back into an Active Quiz

After a student submits their answers, a new option has been added to the the view of the student's responses and scores: "Change Answers Back Into an Active Quiz." (#62) Once you click this link and confirm your choice, the students answers will be changed back into a working set, and the student can access the quiz again (given the proper permissions) to continue working on the quiz.

If the quiz is a single-access, single-attempt quiz, students are also automatically given permission to access the quiz one more time. It is strongly recommended, however, that faculty/TAs still review any other special permissions needed for the student to complete the quiz. Students may need more time, may need to have access to the quiz if it's already outside the normal dates for taking the quiz, or faculty may want to lock down any answers the student did submit themselves before running into a technical problem. Those permissions are not set automatically and must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

It's also important to note that when answers are changed back into an active quiz, any scores or feedback for the student on that quiz are deleted.


  • There is now a log showing the granting/removal of special permissions to take a quiz, including when students had their answer set cleared for a full retake or had their answers changed back to an active quiz, on the Special Access page. (#67)
  • The log of activity for a quiz now shows if a student switches from one tab or browser window to another while taking a quiz. (#561)
  • The total time taken to complete a quiz is now displayed on the Excel file of all responses and grades for a quiz. (#991)
  • The Excel file of all responses and scores for a quiz no longer generates a warning from Excel that the file might be corrupt, and has fixed some rare issues where score values would appear in scientific notation in Excel. (#88)
  • When you click "Edit" next to a question block on the "Add/Remove/Edit Questions" page when working on a quiz, you now return to that same page after editing the question block. (#194)
  • A bug where grading feedback on an individual question could be deleted if all students were given credit for a question after feedback had been entered has been fixed. (#1156)


  • A student's Evidence Library is no longer visible to advisors, per the request of a number of program leaders. (#1224)
  • The rich text editor in the portfolio now has paragraph alignment tools, but has lost the drawing pad. (#1252)
  • You can now fully remove a profile photo from a publishing view, not just replace the image. (#1251)
  • There is now a link to view all student competencies at the bottom of a faculty advisor's view of a student touchpoint. (#1254)
  • Folders in the Evidence Library can now be expanded or collapsed as you work. (#1262)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Sections of the syllabus which are linked to the JHSPH course system are now labeled as such. (#1232)
  • If you upload a file to the Gradebook to return it to a student, the name of the file uploaded for each student is now displayed. (#1173)
  • "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs in course groups (#1229) and class email (#1228) tools have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons.
  • The listing of reports on the faculty tools main page has been reorganized for better discoverability.
  • A link to the sectionID lookup page has been added to the Faculty Tools Quick Jump box for CTL Staff. (#1283)
  • The "Event Due" field has been eliminated from the Schedule Builder and related tools. There is now only, simply, a "Due Date" for items in online course schedules. (#1175)
  • The Peer Assessment setup page now requires that there be 30 minutes between the time a peer assessment is created and when the peer assessment actually opens to students. (#1282)
  • Core JavaScript and CSS libraries have been updated to the latest version. (#1286, #1285)
2016: April

Faculty Access to Schedule Builder

Faculty now have access to the Schedule Builder tool in online courses. (#131) Faculty cannot do everything that a course instructional designer can do, but they can:

  • Access the Schedule Builder tool
  • Reorder the items in the schedule
  • Add new items that are not lectures or LiveTalks. Those must still be added by the course instructional designer.
  • Add and edit group headers for items on the schedule.
  • Change available and due dates on any item except for lectures or LiveTalks.
  • Change the Assignment Description for lectures or LiveTalks.

Edits that are made by faculty are compiled into a daily digest email and sent to the course instructional designer.

Tracking Non-Lecture Course Content Pages

A new report has been added to the report center in faculty tools: Access of course content pages (#195). This report looks identical to the "Individual access of course lectures" report and shows all of the Page Builder pages that each student has visited in an online course.

On-Demand Training Support

  • All courses within CoursePlus are now assigned a training provider. (#1064, #1065) This is important for future online payment processing in CoursePlus, reporting across trainings for a provider, and organization of the display of all trainings around providers.
  • You can now create credit types in the My Courses administrator and assign them to on-demand trainings. (#1069) Credit types define the monetary cost and credit hours available for a given training.

Discussion Forum

  • You can now choose to hide all topics that you have read from being displayed on the main discussion forum view. (#109)
  • A new column has been added to the "Discussion Forum Contributions" report -- number of views of individual topics in a discussion forum. (#206)


  • The main touchpoint interface for students has been revamped, providing clear, step-by-step instructions on what to do in a single touchpoint. (#1220)
  • Program administrators can now download all evidence (student files) associated with a single touchpoint in a single ZIP file. (#858)
  • Program administrators can now download the content of all reflections for a single touchpoint as an Excel file. (#1263)
  • The words "Student Portfolio" have been removed from the top of published views in the portfolio. (#1217)
  • A link to view all reflections for a given touchpoint has been added to the main portfolio admin page. (#1231)
  • Print output of all pages within the portfolio has been cleaned up, eliminating the display of many URLs that were previously only visible in the print view. (#1256)
  • Numerous changes to the user interface have been made to make the display of selected competency levels clearer across all views (student, advisor, and administrator). (#1257, #1258, #1261)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • Showing or hiding academic terms or years on the "My Courses" page now also ensures that you have the same display on the Course Quick Jump tool. Changes made to visibility on the Course Quick Jump tool also affect the display on the "My Courses" page. (#1197)
  • Score calculation and reporting in the peer assessment tool has undergone significant rework, making the loading of pages and reports faster. (#1177)
  • If a student is assigned a custom due date for a portfolio touchpoint, that custom due date now appears in the "My Calendar" view when a student signs in to CoursePlus as well as the Daily Course Notifications email from CoursePlus. (#1214)
  • The faculty name of the primary lecturer is now displayed on the "Lecture Materials" listing in Page Builder. (#1216)
  • When you copy an online library from another class, the course number is now displayed instead of simply "Online" or "On-Campus" in the list of offerings to choose from. (#1189)
  • "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs in the syllabus builder (#1202), schedule builder (#1203), discussion forum (#1204), and announcements (#1230) tools have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons.
  • You are now given a warning if you go over the allowed character limit for a JHSPH course system-linked section of the syllabus. (#1207)
  • People who try to sign in to CoursePlus with a JHED ID that does not have an email address in the JHED account are now shown a special warning explaining how they must rectify the issue before being able to sign in to CoursePlus. (#1192)
  • The Disability Support Services text on the syllabus has been updated per DSS request. (#1236)
  • Saving drawing board images via the drawing board tool in the rich text editor works once again in Firefox. (#1250)
2016: March

Automatic Updating of Dates When Setting Up a Site

When you set up a CoursePlus site and copy from an existing site, dates in the following tools are automatically updated to reflect the start date of the term of the site that is being set up (#792):

  • Schedule Builder
  • On-Campus Sessions
  • Quiz Generator
  • Drop Boxes
  • Peer Assessments
  • Surveys
  • Discussion Forum open/lock dates
  • Online Library open/close dates

Note that the system does not take into account holidays or leap years which may cause dates to shift onto weekends or holidays. Dates should still be confirmed by the course instructional team.

Page Builder

  • WYSIWYG editing has come to Page Builder! (#1133). When you edit the content of a Page Builder page, you now get a live preview of the content of the page, and you can drag and drop sections around on the page.
  • All pages are now published by default. (#1169) Previously, only activity pages were published by default.


  • Custom touchpoint due dates can now be assigned on a per-student basis. (#949) If a custom touchpoint due date is not used, the default due date for that student will be used.
  • All reflections for a touchpoint can be downloaded into a single web page or Word file. (#1129)

Prerequisites for Self-Enrollment Courses/Trainings

  • Courses or trainings which allow for self-enrollment can now require that the student has completed one or more prerequisite trainings. (#1067) Prerequisites are defined in the offering setup for the course. A student can have completed any offering of a prerequisite course to meet the prerequisite requirement for that course.

Syllabus Builder

  • When setting up a CoursePlus site for an academic course from JHSPH, the most up-to-date version of JHSPH course system-linked sections is always used, instead of the content of those sections from when the course was last offered. (#1190)
  • "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons. (#1202)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now link an entire Online Library folder to a Page Builder page or class session. (#1167)
  • If you are CTL staff, you can now pick lectures from any course when linking a lecture to an on-campus class session. (#1191)
  • The "Has Not Logged into the Course Website" class email filter now correctly includes students who have never signed into the course website. (#1200)
  • Deleted class sessions no longer appear on the "All Attendance in all Sessions" report immediately after deleting the class session. (#1168)
  • File attachments on the class email tool larger than 20MB in size are now rejected by the class email tool. (#1153) 20MB is the maximum file size allowed for attachments via the JHU mail gateways.
  • File attachments on the class email tool with bracket characters ( [ ] ) in the name no longer prevent a message from being sent. (#1199)
  • People who try to access CoursePlus immediately after having a duplicate account deleted no longer get an error message or have to clear their cookies. (#1194)
  • .86 courses are properly handled as fully online courses. (#1176)
2016: February

Lecture Numbers and Page Builder

Based on instructional designer feedback, significant changes have been made to the way lecture numbers are handled in Page Builder (#881). Specifically:

  • Lecture numbers are now determined by the order in which a lecture page is displayed in the schedule.
    • Lecture pages that do not have a corresponding event on the schedule will not have a lecture number.
  • Upon changing the order of events in schedule builder (via drag/drop), lecture numbers will change, depending on the order.
  • Lectures can opt to not follow the above rules by suppressing the lecture number. There is a checkbox in both Schedule Builder and Page Builder to suppress the lecture number for a given lecture.
  • To allow for custom naming and numbering of lectures, lectures now have a subtitle field in Page Builder. This field controls the way that a lecture is titled (i.e.; 'Lecture' or 'Topic'). This will sync up with Schedule Builder's "Assignment Type" field.
  • Lecture sections are labeled in reports based on their use of lecture numbers. If a lecture number is used, then the lecture number is displayed in reports. If no lecture number is used (because it's been suppressed using the checkbox in either Schedule Builder or Page Builder), then an abbreviated page title is displayed instead of a lecture number.
  • An additional tab is now displayed in Page Builder, titled "Lecture Materials," which displays all sections in all lectures in the course along with the sectionItemIDs of each section as defined behind the scenes in Page Builder.
    • All source Captivate and PPT files will be stored using the sectionItemID of that section. This eliminates inconsistencies in source Captivate and PPT naming, and removes the need for renaming files in the archive when lecture numbers change, and removes the need for the double letter code in the production workflow process.
    • Lectures with no lecture number show up after lectures with numbers in this list.
    • You can also search by a specific sectionItemID to see the lecture and section which that sectionItemIDs currently belongs to.
  • You can now set a flag to automatically publish all pages in a course. (#1047)

Page Builder UI

Based on feedback from the CTL team about simplifying the Page Builder UI, the following changes have been made (#1049):

  • The "Created," "Current Status" and "Published Status" columns in on the listing of all pages have been removed.
  • If the course is an online course, a column which shows the event on schedule builder to which the page is linked has been added.
  • For each page in the listing of all pages, a checkbox indicating published status appears. If the checkbox is selected, the published status bar turns yellow with the published page URL. If the checkbox is deselected, the published status bar turns red with the words "Not published" in bold.
  • The "Change Status" link for each page has been removed as that workflow is now handled in JIRA.
  • The order of the items in the action box for each page (Edit Basic Info, Manage Sections, etc.) has been redone to bring the most commonly used links to the top of the list.
  • The page.preview event has been eliminated. If faculty or staff copy a page URL, that link will work for everyone once the page is published. (Copying the old page.preview event would result in unauthorized messages for students if they were given a URL with that event in the URL.)
  • The link to "List Old Pages" has been removed.
  • Course options (eg; colors, LiveTalk ID, etc) have been moved to a new tab visible only to CTL staff.
    • The "auto publish pages" option is available on the "Course Options" tab.
    • The "Links Embedded in Page Builder Pages" tool was moved to the "Course Options" tab.
    • On the "Links Embedded in Page Builder Pages" tool, links in pages which have a coID reference which is not the current coID are flagged in red, indicating a likely problem with the link.
  • The faculty listing is now always displayed on the "Faculty" tab, instead of being hidden inside an expandable panel.

Additionally, many "Are you sure you want to delete this?" dialogs have been replaced by inline confirmation buttons. (#286)

My Courses Page

  • You can now expand and collapse individual academic term listings on the "My Courses" page. When you leave the page and return, the expanded/collapsed state of each term will remain. (#998)

Class Email Tool

The class email tool now has an option labeled "I need technical support." (#1022) If this checkbox is selected, CTL Help and the course instructional designer are automatically included on the message. Additional information about the web browser being used is also sent to the CTL Help team. Adding this option to the class email tool allows screenshots to be embedded into the message to better explain the problem.

JHED Sign In

  • If you try to request a page in CoursePlus in a non-secure (http://) manner, you will automatically be redirected to a secure version of that page (https://). This resolves an endless login loop with JHED. (#1107)
  • If you try to sign in to CoursePlus using a group JHED account (i.e.;, you will not be allowed to sign in. Only JHED accounts assigned to a single person can be used to sign in to CoursePlus. (#1141)
  • CoursePlus accounts created with JHED now properly include Baltimore, Maryland, United States as the individual's city, state, and country information. (#1108) Individuals can update this at any time.
  • If a CoursePlus account is created for someone when signing in via JHED, they are shown a message asking them to update their CoursePlus profile. (#1109)


  • An online library for documents specific to a given program and cohort is now available. (#948) These documents appear to all students in a cohort in a "Program Library" tab inside of their portfolio.
  • A program coordinator can now be set as the "advisor" to all students for any touchpoint. That person can then review and check off that touchpoint for any student in the cohort. That person will also get email notifications, just as faculty advisors would, when students mark a touchpoint as ready for review. (#1044)
  • Students can now send survey results to their portfolio. (#700)
  • Students now get an email notification when advisors comment or leave feedback on a touchpoint. (#1013)
  • The reports which show students waiting faculty review and students who have completed a touchpoint now shows the date on which a student sent a touchpoint to a faculty advisor for review, and flags in red those who did so after the due date for that touchpoint. (#1130)

Peer Assessments

  • If you create a Peer Assessment linked to a Drop Box, that peer assessment cannot open less than one hour after the due date/time of the Drop Box. (#1128) This ensures that the system has adequate time to assign students to one another before the peer assessment opens.
  • If a peer assessment is linked to a course group, and the peer assessment is open and students have been assigned their assessments, you can no longer change the group setup in the course groups tool. (#1164) Group setup can only be changed once the peer assessment closes to students.

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • You can now set a survey as being required before students can access the content page of a course website. (#1062)
  • If you use the Twitter Tracker in your course, the most recent tweets now appear on your course home page. (#1105)
  • When you replace a file in the Online Library with a new version of the file, the posted date is also updated. (#1099)
  • Self-enrollment in a course can now be restricted to people who have a specific email address domain in their CoursePlus account. (#1071)
  • The next and previous years are now automatically collapsed on the "Online Courses" public page, just as they are for the "Course List" page. (#1100)
  • The "Course Info" box on the visitor's view of online courses has been replaced with a simple button to course registration information or a button to enroll in the course, if the course allows self-enrollment. (#1135)
  • The label for "Discussion Forum Options" has been changed to "View/Subscribe Options." (#1115)
  • Subscription email messages from the Discussion Forum now use the course number instead of the course short in the subject line. (#1132)
  • When you select a file in the Gradebook "Upload File Feedback" window, the name of the file you select in the file browse window correctly appears once again. (#1172)
  • The rich text editor when editing faculty bios in Page Builder has been updated to the same version as found throughout the rest of CoursePlus. (#1166)
  • You can once again provide a caption to faculty images displayed on the course home page. (#1157)
2016: January

JHED Authentication

You can now sign into CoursePlus using your JHED ID! (#1)

The main CoursePlus login has been revamped to put focus on signing in via JHED, just as you sign in to or JHU Webmail. When you click the "Sign in with JHED" button, you are taken to the standard JHED sign-in. If you're already signed into JHED, you don't have to sign in again. You'll just get routed automatically back to CoursePlus.

If you have your JHED ID in your CoursePlus account, we'll automatically link your JHED login with your CoursePlus account, and you'll be good to go. If we can't find a matching JHED ID in an existing CoursePlus account, we'll create a new CoursePlus account for you.

It's important to note the following:

  • The CoursePlus account will still exist for people who don't have JHED IDs.
  • Once you successfully sign in with your JHED ID, you can't sign in with your CoursePlus account any more. This is done to ensure a high level of security for your JHED account information.
  • You need to have your JHED ID in your CoursePlus account in order to have an existing CoursePlus account linked up when you sign in via JHED.

We are also ending the use of the my.jhsph sign-in for faculty and academic coordinators in CoursePlus. Faculty and academic coordinators can sign in via JHED and see their courses just as they did before, using the my.jhsph sign-in. JHED sign-in completely replaces the my.jhsph sign-in.

Video Thumbnails

Course lectures, videos in the Online Library, and other videos played in a course website now display thumbnails as you scrub over the playback bar. (#1046)

Page Builder

  • When you link a file to a Page Builder page in the Online Library, the "Files from the Online Library" section is automatically added to the linked Page Builder page if it's not already there. (#1017)
  • Activity pages are set to published by default. (#1048)
  • If there are no objectives for a lecture, the Objectives box is no longer shown on the final, published view of a Page Builder page. (#1018)

Help and Faculty Notification

If a customer is signed in to CoursePlus and clicks the "Help" link on any page, their account information is passed on to the CTL Help tool. This is then used to automatically fill out the customer name and email address on the CTL Help form, and is used to automatically cc the course instructional designer and all primary faculty on the email generated by CTL Help. (#1023)


  • Advisors can now attach files to a reflection review. (#853)
  • A "Program Coordinator" role has been added to the type of advisor roles someone can be assigned. (#1043)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

  • A "Sign In" button has been added to publicly accessible course pages. (#1096)
  • To meet accessibility requirements, ALT text is now required on all images added to any instance of a rich text editor in CoursePlus. (#1038)
  • If you are not signed in to CoursePlus, your name and the button to quickly jump to your other courses no longer appear on publicly accessible pages, as this was a source of confusion for some people. (#1096)
  • If you are not signed in to CoursePlus, buttons to edit the syllabus, schedule or visitor's view no longer appear on publicly accessible pages, as this was a source of confusion for some people. (#1096)
  • If a course is offered by the School of Medicine, the SOM course number appears on the course syllabus. (#1092)
  • If a course is offered by the School of Medicine, the SOM disability support services notification appears on the course syllabus. (#1087)
  • Guests to a course site can no longer submit files to a Drop Box. (#1030)
  • The Who's Online Dashboard in the Admin Panel now displays an indicator if a course is an online training module. (#1093)
  • Cross-site Request Forgery protection has been re-added to the CoursePlus login. (#749) It was previously disabled when the CoursePlus domain changed from to People with bookmarks pointing to and using the CoursePlus login will automatically be logged out and forced to the correct login on
  • The core JavaScript library used on every page in CoursePlus has been updated to the latest version, bringing many performance improvements and bug fixes. (#111)

2015: December

Using Online Lectures in On-Campus Courses

Upcoming Schedule Dates on the Course Home Page

The "From the Course Schedule" section of an online course home page has been split into two sections for greater clarity: first, a section titled "Upcoming Due Dates" which lists items on the schedule with a due date in the next seven days, and, second, a section titled "Opening Soon," which lists items on the schedule which are opening to students in the next seven days. (#975)

Peer Assessments


Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: November

Discussion Forum Grading

If you have a graded category, three new features have been added (#406):

  1. A list of all students who have not posted in that category is shown and you can a zero/fail value to all of them at once.
  2. You can click on a link to automatically scroll you to the first post that still needs to be graded.
  3. You can click on a link to take you to the Gradebook "Enter Grades" view for that graded discussion forum.

Page Builder

Many ongoing sync issues with lecture/activity/page titles and subtitles between Page Builder and Schedule Builder have been fixed. You can now also edit both the page title and subtitle in Page Builder. (#933)


New Report: Non-Participating Students

Faculty and TAs in online courses now have a report which shows students who have not:

This report only appears one week after the start of the course. (#215)

Peer Assessments

Quiz Generator


On-Campus Class Sessions

When a blank site is created for an on-campus class, a skeleton class sessions page is automatically created which includes placeholders for all class sessions based on the dates/times that the class meets in the JHSPH course system. (#791)

The Certificate Framework

A framework has been added for allowing students access to print a certificate of course completion if specific criteria (defined on a course-by-course basis) have been met. This was put in place to move the Research Ethics training in TRAMS that is required as part of 550.860.82 -- Academic and Research Ethics at JHSPH -- into CoursePlus. This framework could be used to bring additional trainings from TRAMS into CoursePlus in the future. (#960)

.82 Courses Use the Online Course Setup

82 courses now use the online course setup in CoursePlus (#960), with the following exceptions:

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: October

Emoji Reaction Support in the Discussion Forum

Since the launch of the current Discussion Forum in 2012, we have been asked if students or faculty could offer one-click responses other than "Agree." Students and faculty can click a simple link to agree with any post in the discussion forum, without having to create a new post stating that they agree with what is being said. However, only having a tool to allow someone to "agree" is limiting. Individuals often want to express more emotions or ideas about a post than simply agreeing to it.

We have added support for a number of other reactions to a post in the Discussion Forum. We are using emoji to help display the various reactions without taking up a lot of screen real estate. For each reaction that is selected, a counter appears next to the emoji indicating the number of people who selected that reaction. Mousing over the counter number reveals the names of the people who selected that reaction.

The reactions that we now support in the Discussion Forum are:

Online Library

The student view of the Online Library has been updated for greater visual clarity and emphasis on the files and weblinks in each folder. Information like file size, date posted, and required/optional flags have been made smaller and moved to the side. The result is a page that is clearer and requires less scrolling by students. (#869)


Peer Assessments

Class Email

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: September

Course Coordinator Role

A new "course coordinator" role has been added to CoursePlus. This role has the same permissions in as a TA in a course, but is intended to provide clear distinction of the individual from the TAs in the course. This role is not meant as a replacement for the TA role, and should only be used by coordinators listed as such in the School's course system. (#857)


Discussion Forum

Peer Assessments

Page Builder

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: August

New Domain Name has been moved to to better reflect the site's role as a service to multiple divisions across the University. The domain name will still work until March 1, 2016, at which time all requests to will result in "Site Not Found" errors in any Web browser.

On-Campus Attendance Tracker

Faculty can enable an attendance tracking tool for on-campus courses. The attendance tracking tool enables faculty to keep very simple records about who attended a specific class session.

The attendance tracking tool automatically pulls information about a course's meeting dates and times from the JHSPH course system and builds out a simple grid of checkboxes where faculty can mark if a student attended that class. Faculty can enable or disable attendance tracking for individual class sessions or add additional sessions to the attendance tracking grid. This data can be exported to Excel at any time.

Faculty can also allow students to mark themselves as attended in the class website, if they so choose. If student check-in is enabled, students will see a button on the course home page which, when clicked, marks them as having attended the class. Faculty control when this button appears and disappears on the course home page by setting a start and stop date/time when this button should be displayed. Faculty can set this to be at the start of class, or at a random time of their choosing during the class. No additional verification methods (i.e.; swiping a badge, facial recognition in the room, geolocation of the device used to check in) are provided.

If the attendance tracking tool is enabled, students can see a report of their attendance as it's been recorded in CoursePlus.


Syllabus Builder

Peer Assessments

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: July

CTL Help Tracking and Metrics Module

A new CTL Help tracking and metrics module has been added to CoursePlus. This module lets the CTL Help team track currently open help requests and creates on-demand reports about help request data.

Syllabus Builder

Class Email

Peer Assessments

Discussion Forum


Drop Box

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: June

Portfolio Tool

The portfolio is a tool which allows students to share with faculty advisors, program administrators, and, ultimately, anyone in the world, their progress through the a degree program. The portfolio has tools to let students reflect on key events during their degree program, indicate which competencies they've achieved thus far (and at what specific level), and use evidence from the classes they've taken to support what they write in their reflections and how they self–evaluate on program competencies.

The portfolio is organized around touchpoints. Touchpoints are established by program administrators and are targeted towards specific events in the program. Touchpoints are made up of three key components: reflections, which allow students to reflect in writing about a specific event or milestone in the program; competencies, which show what specific skills a student can now demonstrate based on the activities the student discusses in their reflection; and evidence, which are files, links, or other documents which concretely demonstrate that the student achieved the competencies they say that they have achieved. Some touchpoints are designated as requiring review by advisors. When work is complete on such a touchpoint, advisors will then review student work and offer commentary and feedback. Students can add their own touchpoints to a portfolio, covering significant personal events in the program, such as an internship or activity not covered in a touchpoint created by program administrators.

As the portfolio places heavy emphasis on the achievement of specific program competencies, students have two ways of looking at which competencies they have achieved at any point in the program. The timeline view lets students page though all touchpoints in a portfolio and see what specific competencies were achieved (and at what specific level) at that point in time, along with the reflections and evidence for a particular touchpoint. The dashboard view shows a student all competencies in the program and the most current level that the student has selected for those competencies.

The Evidence Library is where students can store files or weblinks that are provided as evidence towards the achievement of specific competencies in their reflections. There are tools throughout CoursePlus that make it easy to send files from a Drop Box, wiki page, discussion forum post, or peer evaluation result to a portfolio.

Finally, students have the option to create publishing views for anyone in the world to see. Publishing views are targeted towards future employers, giving them an opportunity to see an officially–branded JHSPH page which lists the skills a student gained while in a program and the evidence which shows that the student can actually perform those skills. Students have full control over publishing views. Students decide what goes on each view, and students decide who can see each view. Students will have access to their portfolio and the publishing views therein for five years after graduation.

Peer Assessments

Quiz Generator


Drop Box

Class Email Backend Changes

Support for Processing SOM Registrations from ISIS

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: May

New Syllabus/JHSPH Course System Integration

A new workflow for editing sections of a CoursePlus syllabus linked to the JHSPH course system has been implemented. (#378)

The goal of this change is to provide consistency between the course system and CoursePlus in what students and accreditors see while maintaining flexibility for faculty to edit this content in CoursePlus.

The six core sections are:

  1. Course Description
  2. Why Take This Course
  3. Course Learning Objectives
  4. Methods of Assessment
  5. Intended Audience
  6. Prerequisites

Note that Learning Materials (formerly, “Required Text(s)”) will not be editable within CoursePlus at this time. Due to the way in which learning materials are added to the course system and then linked to a given course, this information can only be edited within the course system at this time. JHSPH IT is reviewing the way in which learning materials are added to the course system to hopefully enable editing from CoursePlus at some point. This section may also be renamed to “Learning Materials and Software.”

In the student/public view of a CoursePlus syllabus, CoursePlus will always pull the content of the seven core sections from the course system database for any course in AY14-15 and beyond. This information is updated every 12 hours as part of our (CTL) normal course system database integration. This way, there will be no differences between what students and the public see in a CoursePlus syllabus and what is in the course search or course database.

Below is the new workflow for making changes to any of the seven core sections linked to an academic course in the JHSPH course system. Please note that “faculty,” below, means faculty, TAs, academic coordinators, and instructional designers.

  1. Faculty sign into CoursePlus and begin work on their course syllabus.
  2. Faculty opt to edit one of the seven core sections of content in their syllabus.

    Note that editing of these seven core sections will be deactivated at the end of the add/drop period in the term in which the course is offered. Faculty who still need to make changes to these seven core sections will have to work within the course system or with their academic coordinator to make changes after this time.

  3. When faculty opt to edit one of these seven sections, they are first shown the current version of that content in the course system. They are then shown a statement along the lines of:

    You can make changes to this content here, but those changes must be submitted through the JHSPH course system approvals process before they will appear in your CoursePlus site.

  4. Faculty make and save their edits to one of the seven core sections in CoursePlus. Note that they can no longer edit section titles (ie; “Course Description” or “Methods of Assessment”) as those must match what is in the course system.
  5. Once one of the core seven sections has been edited, the official content from the course system is displayed under the subhead “Public View,” followed immediately by the version that the faculty just changed under the subhead “Your Draft.” A note indicating that this content will not be shown to students until the change goes through the JHSPH course system approvals process will also be shown.
  6. Once one of the core seven sections has been edited, a large button appears in the upper-right corner of the syllabus tool that says: “Send your changes to the course system for approval.”
  7. Once one of the core seven sections has been edited, another button will appear that says “See Student View of Syllabus” so that faculty can see exactly what students see.
  8. Faculty can continue to make edits as often as they want.
  9. When faculty click the “Send your changes to the course system for approval” button, they are shown a confirmation screen that warns them that if they proceed, editing of any of the seven core sections will be turned off until the JHSPH course system approvals process is complete.
  10. When faculty click the “Proceed” button, the changes to these sections are sent to the course system web service to be put into the review workflow. The email address of the person who clicked the button is sent to the course system for auditing purposes.
  11. Once the changes are sent to the course system, the edit buttons for the seven core sections are removed from the Syllabus Builder tool for this course. A notice is also placed at the top of the Syllabus Builder page indicating that the changes for this course are currently under review as part of the JHSPH course system approvals process and that faculty can contact their academic coordinator to facilitate that process. The current official version of each of the seven core sections is displayed along with any changes immediately below each section.
  12. Each time the Syllabus Builder page is loaded, the current status of the course in the course system is displayed. This way, faculty can see what the current status of the changes are (in addition to receiving standard emails about the change process through the course system).
  13. Once the changes are approved in the course system and the status of the course returns to "active" in the course system, the draft changes and the status notifications disappear from the Syllabus Builder tool because the changes have been approved and are now in CoursePlus. Faculty can once again edit any of the seven core sections for their course in CoursePlus.
  14. CoursePlus will also run a scheduled task to see if it's been more than 7 days since changes have been made to the seven core sections, but those changes still have not been sent to the course system for the approval workflow. If this happens, the entire course team (faculty, TAs, instructional designer) will receive an email reminding them that their changes still need to be sent to the course system.

Peer Assessments


Link to eReserves in the "Resources" Menu

If the link to the Welch eReserves system is turned on for an on-campus course, or if the standard "eReserves" Page Builder section is used on any page in an online course, an "eReserves" menu item now automatically appears in the "Resources" menu of a CoursePlus site. (#343)

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: April

Twitter Tracker

You can now specify Twitter accounts and hashtags to follow in your CoursePlus site. CoursePlus will assemble the 50 most recent posts across all hashtags and accounts listed and put them in a single view for everyone in the course. (#89)

Peer Assessments

Drop Box

Class Email Backend Changes

Schedule Builder


Discussion Forum

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: March

Syllabus Updates for School Accreditation

In preparation for the School's accreditation site visit, a number of changes have been made to the syllabus builder tool:

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: February

Automated Reminders to Students Who Haven't Completed a Quiz

Syllabus Builder

Grading Discussion Forum Posts

Notification of Course Cancelation

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2015: January

My Calendar

Who Dropped the Course

Syllabus Builder


Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2014: December

Class Email

Drop Box

The process by which a ZIP file of all files submitted to a Drop Box has been rewritten to better handle very large ZIP files. (#3318) In the past academic year, students have been submitting larger and larger files, with some files being as large as 340MB in size. While the CTL team has taken steps to minimize this by limiting the maximum file size for Word and PDF files to 50MB in size (#3317), classes with 300+ students can have ZIP files that are multiple gigabytes in size. Creating a ZIP file of this size often takes longer than what the CoursePlus servers will allow, so we have rewritten the way the ZIP download process works to accommodate this reality. If the resulting ZIP file will be under 400MB in size, it can be downloaded immediately. If the resulting ZIP file is larger than 400MB in size, the faculty or TA who requests to download the ZIP file of all files in the Drop Box will receive an email message when the ZIP file is ready.

Peer Assessments



Course Groups

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2014: November

The My Calendar Tab

Upon login to CoursePlus, a new "My Calendar" tab is displayed right next to the "My Courses" tab. The "My Calendar" tab shows you all of the online class events and all of the in-class session titles from all of your courses. (#3300) Additionally, any quiz/exam, Drop Box, survey, and peer assessment due dates are displayed in this list, regardless if the course uses a class sessions page. (#3259) Additionally, these due dates are now automatically included in the daily course notification email message sent to everyone involved in currently running courses. (#3259)

LiveTalk Slides Uploader

Faculty, TAs and CTL staff can now upload slides for LiveTalk sessions directly from the LiveTalk page in their class website. (#3098) When they opt to do this, additional information about the session (i.e.; number of student presentations, use of the webcam, etc.) is also requested. Once this information is submitted, the ID and WD working on the course receive an email with this information, as does the majority of the Multimedia team assigned to run support for LiveTalks.

Peer Assessments

Online Library

Syllabus Builder



Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2014: October

Quiz Generator

A new question type has been added to the Quiz Generator: numeric value. (#886) The features of this question type are:

All other features of quiz questions (exclude from scoring, hint, answer explanation, associated file) are supported.

You can also now duplicate any quiz in a course. (#890)

Drop Box

Peer Assessments

Discussion Forum

Other Additions and Bug Fixes

2014: September

Student Progress Tracking Reports

Students have been given two new reports which help them track their activity in a course:

  1. Lecture viewing report: students now have the same report on lecture viewing that faculty have. (#2863) Students can only see their activity, and not the activity of anyone else in the course.
  2. LiveTalk attendance report: students can now see which LiveTalks they attended, similar to the view that faculty have. (#2864) Students can only see their activity, and not the activity of anyone else in the course.

Peer Assessments

Discussion Forum



Quiz Generator

Other Additions and Bug Fixes