24 August 2008

Seeing the Student Perspective

There are a couple of ways for an instructor to explore a course offering from a student perspective. The first is through the Role Switch widget, which is available on the default course homepage. Pick the student role and click the Change Role button and you will see your course offering from a student perspective. To switch back to your instructor role, you can use the same widget on the course homepage or click on the link to My Home. You can use this role to see what it looks like to submit a file to any of your dropbox folders. Here are the steps, with the appropriate role in square brackets:
  1. [Student] Go to the dropbox area and submit files to a folder
  2. [Instructor] Go to the dropbox area and provide feedback to the submission you did while in student role
  3. [Student] Go to the dropbox area to see the feedback you submitted while in instructor role
If you associated the dropbox folder with a grade item, you can see the grade and feedback also in the grades area while in the student role. Role switching does not allow you to take a quiz while in student role. You can do this (and see feedback) while in instructor role by using quiz preview:
  1. Click the Preview icon in either the quiz list view or edit quiz view
  2. Click the Start Quiz! link (note that in preview mode, all of the restrictions to quiz access are turned off)
  3. Take the quiz, answer any questions you wish, and click the Go To Submit Quiz button at the bottom of the page
  4. On the submit page, remember to click the box to allow the preview to be graded if you want to see students' feedback view
  5. After you see the submission receipt, click on the Quizzes link and then the grade icon for the quiz you previewed
  6. On the grade quiz page, limit your search to users with preview attempts and click the Search button (you do not have to type anything in the Search For: box)
  7. Click on the preview attempt, make any changes you wish to the automatically scored questions (including adding feedback), and click the Save button
  8. Click the Preview link again and then the Submissions button to see your preview attempt and the feedback you provided (you will see the most recent submission view you have set up for your students)

23 August 2008

Email formatting bug shows HTML codes

An email sent from inside Desire2Learn includes the HTML formatting codes, which makes it difficult to read. Our technical staff is working on this bug. For a workaround you can use the email system built on the Contact Students tab in the OGS system (inside.losrios.edu). That text box does not have this bug and the email addreses and roster are exactly the same as in D2L.

12 August 2008

Calendar Visibility for Course Items

For a course item to be visible in the calendar, the course offering must be active. Events in an inactive course are not visible to enrolled students and enrolled instructors. Instructors can see an item's calendar visibility by editing the item.

File Types and the Dropbox

Dropbox folders will not accept as uploads files that have an .exe or .vb extension. These are program files and are treated as a security risk. In order to submit these files to the dropbox, students should first archive them into a zip file. The instructor can then download them and unzip them on a local computer.

04 August 2008

Organizing Content (Modules and Folders)

Each time you create a Topic in your Content area, that item exists simultaneously in two areas:
  1. The Content area, where you control student access to the material
  2. The Manage Files area, where you can upload files directly from your local computer
The organizational structure for each of these areas is distinct. In the Content area, "Modules" are used to control the flow of information as it is presented to students. In the Manage Files area, you can use "Folders" to make the list of files easier to view. There is no automatic relationship between Modules and Folders, so a Folder will not be created for each Module. When you remove a Topic or Module from the Content area, you are asked whether you want to remove the corresponding files from the Manage Files area at the same time: If you choose the default (top) option, the files will remain in your Manage Files area but will no longer appear in the Content area. You can make them reappear by selecting the Course File option when you create a new Topic (anything in your Manage Files area is a Course File eligible for selection). The Manage Files area is a convenient place to upload files from your local computer, like PowerPoint presentations and Word documents. Those files are then available to be linked as Course Files, either as a Topic or as a QuickLink within a New File Topic.