New course software features

The last month has been focused on developing new features for the online course management software for fall courses. Several instructors have signed up to use the software, and we’re excited to receive helpful feedback on what future developments will be most useful.

Below is a summary of what is new this month:

  • Manage Course. Teachers may specify a time zone and view a list of registered students.
  • Quiz Utility. Quiz timers are defaulted to 30 minutes but are adjustable in the range of 15-60 minutes. Instructors may also, if they desire, prevent students from taking a quiz more than once (but students may still view the quiz). Instructors may also view a summary of student performance. Students may review their performance on quizzes, which we hope will aid in studying.
  • Question Bank. The end-of-chapter-exercises from three additional book chapters have been entered into the Public Question Bank.
  • Archiving. By the end of a course, instructors will have dozens of elements that they have distributed to students but that they may no longer wish to see on their homepage. To this end, we offer an Archive option, which allows instructors to hide quizzes, assignments, labs, and links that have already been posted. These archived elements are remain easily accessible on the instructor’s homepage by the Show Archived button (shown when at least one element is archived). Note that archiving has no influence on the appearance of student pages.
  • Highlighting Deadlines. Quiz, Assignment, and Lab due dates are now highlighted on students homepages when the due date is within 3 days, which will help students manage fast-approaching deadlines.

We have also posted a Labs page that will stage the release of labs in R and RStudio this fall. The first labs will be released later this month, and eight labs and their source are scheduled for release before the start of 2012 classes.

Send us an email and let us know what you think about our current products and planned expansions. We’re always looking for more input on what we should do next or what should take highest priority.


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