2. Juniper release notes: Educator Experiences

2.1. Course Authoring Experience

2.1.1. Content Authoring

Course Outline & Structure

In-Context Unit Naming: You can now quickly edit the name of a Unit page directly from the Studio Course Outline page, speeding up course scaffolding and authoring in this quick edit page where changes are applied without needing a draft or publish step, as is the case on the Unit Pages today.

Learning Sequence Authoring

Educator Jump Navigation: To start, we plan to update the Unit page title area breadcrumbs adding dropdowns that let you jump to other sections or subsections. Read more about this at Viewing the Unit Page.

New navigation with dropdowns in the breadcrumbs.

Educator Sequence Bar Navigation: On the unit page we introduced a representation of the learner-facing sequence bar, helping authors more quickly jump to the unit pages before or after the one they are currently authoring. Additionally educators can create new units within this learning sequence bar. This update replaces the navigation links that were further down the page on the right sidebar of Unit pages.

Screenshot of Studio showing the learner-facing sequence bar.

Studio & Insights Links within Learner Experience Instructor Toolbar: The instructor bar in the learner experience now includes two actions linking to Studio and Insights. As part of this work we have removed the “View Unit in Studio” button that rendered previously in the content area of the learner experience.

Display Name Editing: Courses often contain thousands of components, so any time we can save course authors on an individual component we expect that time will add up! We have updated the component editing window to allow you to edit the component display name in context in the title area of the window, meaning you no longer have to go to the Settings tab to update the display name.

Course Enrollment Page Publishing

Publisher Tool: A new micro-frontend was built which integrates with the course discovery and ecommerce services as a new catalog publishing and configuration tool. Publisher can be used to manage ecommerce products, marketing information, and the creation of new course runs within a course. This tool also replaces the course creation action within Studio when enabled, and a link to the Publisher tool settings for a given course run is also provided with the authoring experience.

Screenshot of the new Publisher tool.

Weekly Highlights

This feature has been updated to also be available for both self and instructor paced courses. This change will make it easier for course teams to pre-program weekly communications in their Instructor-paced courses. Weekly nudging emails are disabled for instructor-paced courses if they choose to use weekly highlight emails. This is to prevent duplication and oversaturation of communications from course teams, making each email more valuable to the learner.

2.1.2. Learning App Configuration

Teams Configuration

Team Management Improvements: The Teams application has been improved to provide a way for instructors to create and manage teams and team memberships within the Teams application. Staff can also bulk view, create, and modify team membership via CSV download and upload.

Staff (including TAs) can now create “instructor managed” team sets. Only course staff can create teams and manage team membership in these team sets. Students cannot create teams or leave and/or join teams in these team sets.

Configuring Private & Public Team Sets: Instructor managed team sets can either be Public or Private. In Public team sets, students can view other teams, their membership, and their team discussions. In Private team sets, students cannot view other teams, nor the membership or discussions of these other teams.

2.2. Content Blocks & Interactives

2.2.1. Core Course Content Blocks

Common Problem Blocks

Problem Markdown Editor Learnability & Usability: Problem authoring can be time intensive, especially as problems become more complex through hints, feedback, and explanations. We have updated the icons in the common problem markdown editor so that the name of the problem template is more obvious. For new course authors we also hope this improves the learnability of this markdown editor.

Problem Markdown Reference Sheet Visibility: Another set of changes relates to the markdown reference sheet, which will now be visible by default. As part of this change we have made the component editing modal window larger, ensuring the authoring space was not reduced with the addition of the reference sheet.

Screenshot of the problem editor, with the markdown reference sheet visible on the side.

Open Response Assessments

Improved File Management: It is now possible to incrementally add and delete individual files while submitting an ORA problem that has file upload enabled. Learners also can see the file name for their uploads as well. As part of this work the file size limit was increased to 500MB (from 20MB).

Staff Graded Team Assignments: As referenced in the Teams application area, instructors can now create team ORA assignments whereby groups of students can collaborate on the assignment and submit a team response, and instructors then evaluate the submission and assign a team grade. Staff can enable an Open Response Assessment for team submission and attach a team set to it. Only students on a team in that team set will be able to submit a response. One team member can submit for the group. Staff can assign the same assignment grade and provide the same feedback to all members of a team.

2.2.2. External Content Blocks

LTI Content Block

Interactive Content Icon: Previously LTI blocks were not recognized as graded content, meaning that in the learning sequence bar LTI unit pages were represented as text. The icon is now the problem / assessment icon which makes it clear that this page in the sequence bar has interactive content.

LTI v1.3 Base Implementation: Initial support behind the scenes for LTI v1.3 was merged in March, though the full functionality requires updating the LTI consumer xblock to its June release to fully support this additional specification option. Once enabled educators will be able to configure LTI ungraded components relying on the LTI v1.3 specification. Koa will include full LTI v1.3 support including graded passback support.

LTI Plugin Parameters: A community contribution added the ability to pass extra parameters such as the team and cohort of a student to the LTI provider, enabling rich integrations that take into this metadata in their embedded learning content.

Custom External Graders

Python 3 Support for CodeJail:

2.2.3. Specialized, Experimental, or Advanced Blocks

Additional details to follow about improvements to this platform area.

2.3. Course Operations

2.3.1. Grading Tools

Additional details to follow about improvements to this platform area.

Course Team Roles & Membership

Institutional Course Data Researchers: A new role has been created to provide more granular controls for the ability to download learner information through reports in the data downloads tab. When the role is enabled, you must have this role configured to see the Instructor Dashboard’s Data Downloads tab. This new role of “data researcher” can be set at either the organization level in Django admin or for a specific course run in the Course Team Management area of the Membership tab of the Instructor Dashboard by a course administrator.

Data Downloads

Offline Report Download Age-Off: A change was introduced to the table of downloaded instructor dashboard reports that seeks to limit the offline use and presence of learner data. After 90 days downloaded reports are now removed from the list of report downloads and a summary of this policy change is described near the downloaded report area.

2.4. Program Operations / Console

Additional details to follow about improvements to this platform area.