LearningStudio Gradebook Enhancement Announcement

An early enhancement to the Pearson LearningStudio Gradebook just launched!

Email & Expand/Collapse Comments from within the Gradebook

New Grade Detail View: allows instructors to send an email directly from the gradebook and expand/collapse the comments window. The Grade Detail view appears when you select a student name from an assignment in the gradebook or dropbox, or when you select a student score/grade.

Selecting the Email button will open a separate window to compose and send an email to the student directly from the gradebook.

Grade Details View: Email and Expand or Collapse Comments window

Selecting the new Comments button from within the Grade Details View will expand the comments box

Click the Comments button to expand the window to provide comments and feedback to the students.

Performance improvements:
Previously, when any data was changed, all of the data on the screen would refresh. Now, only the data that was changed is refreshed, reducing the data load on the servers.

Performance for courses with a large number of enrollments is improved, mitigating timeouts for programs offering large courses.

What enhancements are coming December 16th?

We anticipate the launch of the features below to be December 16, 2013.

  • Send email directly from an assignment view in the Gradebook
  • User Interface changes
  • Auto scoring
  • Assign Zero grade for work not submitted
  • Hide Item Summary
  • Rubrics: Build and Assess

We will continue to offer webinars December 11 and in January on these enhancements. View the full schedule on our website.

Documentation and detailed information about the gradebook enhancements will be sent next week.

Outlook Email Tips

In the course of researching something else, I came across Purdue University’s Reflections on Teaching and Learning blog, run out of their Instructional Development Center. What a great resource!

We’ve written a lot about email in the course of talking about other technology tools, but I want to draw your attention to two very helpful posts from the above blog all about Outlook. Managing communication and related tasks more efficiently can help you keep better records, be more attentive to student needs, and leave you more time for teaching and research. Sign me up!

First, check out this double-topic post on managing how Outlook suggests email addresses and on how use the task manager. Did you know you can change how Outlook suggests email addresses as you type the contact? You can tell Outlook to remove certain entities from the drop-down list, to search your contacts (instead of the global address book) first, and even turn off suggestions all together. Likewise, if you’re a user of the task tracking within Outlook, this post tells you how to create and edit the tasks resulting from an email – and how to do so with and without the related attachments.

Second, have you ever wanted to create threaded email conversations on your desktop / laptop version of Outlook (the way the iPhone, iPad, and Gmail do by default)? You can! Likewise, if you’re a meticulous user of email folders, there’s a way to copy and file one email in multiple folders at once. Now you can easily organize those emails that cover a host of issues! Details, how-to, and screen shots are all in the Reflections on Teaching and Learning blog post.

The price is right

Here are a few free items that might make your eLearning life a little easier.

1. From Enspire Learning, a free ebook on case studies for the medical and healthcare fields. These are snapshots of the custom ecourses Enspire has created for healthcare industry firms, but a clever instructor could adapt the problem-solving paradigm in order to make these scenarios applicable to a classroom setting. (Note that there’s also a free End-of-life Nursing scenario on their demo page.)

2. Mobile email can be associated with sloppy proofreading and short, brusque sentences. No more! Read about free text expansion options – including something super-easy for iOS5 users. Now you can compose your own shorthand for “please carefully review your paper for spelling, grammar, and citation errors” when you answer multiple student emails on the go.

3. Quick tech tip for Office 2010 users: did you know there’s a built-in screen capture feature? The screenshot tool is located on the Insert tab, and you have the option to snag your whole screen or just one open window. The selected image is then automatically pasted into your Office document and the image editing menus appear. Cool, huh? Talk about an easy way to get tables, charts, etc. into your documents or presentations!