Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

FAQs for Instructors


Teaching and Learning Tools

FAQs for Instructors

General Top of Page

I taught the same course last semester and I plan to use the same Content, Discussions forums, and Grade items.  Is there a way to add those to the new course without having to create each again?

Yes, there is a feature called Copy Components that will copy all but the student generated content from a previous course.  It can be found by clicking on Edit Course in the course you want to add the content to.  See our Copy Components quick guide for more information.

I have a student who needs to make up an incomplete, how can they get access after the semester ends?

At the end of the semester when the class closed, your student's access to that course is removed. The Learn@ UWSuperior Site Administrator will need to extend the access for the student. You will need to contact the Technology Helpdesk 715-394-8300 to request that he or she has extended access to the course. Please give the Course name, section number and semester when you make this request.  If the student is making up an incomplete from a previous semester but needs to be added to your current course offering please indicate that as well. 

I have a student who will be helping me with my courses this semester, how can I get him or her access to those courses in Learn@ UWSuperior?

The Learn@ UWSuperior Site Administrator will need to enroll the student in the course(s) as either a student assistant with grades access or without grades access.  You will need to contact the Technology Helpdesk 715-394-8300 to request that he or she has access to the course(s).  Please give the Course name and section number for each course and if they should have grades access or not.

What are the System Requirements for Learn@UWSuperior?

On the Learn@UWSuperior login page there is a "Check Your System" link, you can use that to see if your computer and internet connection meets the requirements.

Component

Required

Recommended

Operating System:

  • Vista, Windows 7

  • Mac OS X

  • Windows 7

  • Mac OS X

Internet Speed:

56k Modem

DSL or Cable Modem

Internet Browsers:

  • Windows - Internet Explorer 9; Firefox (newest), Chrome (newest)

  • Mac OS X - Safari 4.0, 5.0, or 5.1; Firefox (newest)

  • Windows - Internet Explorer 9; Firefox 13

  • Mac OS X - Safari 5.1; Firefox 13

Mobile* Web:

  • iOS 3, 4, 5.1 (Safari 5.1), and Newest
  • Android 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 4.0, and Newest
  • Blackberry 6

 

Note:  Some of the older browser versions will not be supported or will have limited support. As of the Summer 2012 upgrade, the most current browser is usually the preferred browser.

* The mobile version of Learn@ UWSuperior is only meant to give limited access to what can be done on a device (tablet, phone, etc.) even though there is a Desktop version. As a student, the mobile version is meant for viewing (Course Home, Content, Discussions, News, Grades, Calendar, etc.) not uploading files to the Dropbox and taking Quizzes.  As an instructor, the mobile version offers a few more functions (ability to create News items, Content Modules and Topics, Dropbox Folders, Grade Categories and Items, etc.) but there are still some limits in what can be done. 

Content Top of Page

I’m not sure how to set up my Content, what are modules and topics?  How do they work?

Think of your Content as an outline for the course materials, with modules as key subjects and topics as the supporting information.  In order to create topics, you will need to have at least one module for your Content area.  Here is an example of a Content structure that shows modules and topics.  If you are working on the Content while the course is available to your students, you can hide modules or topics so your students do not see it until it is ready.  You can also put a date restriction on a module or topic so it will only display during a certain time period.  

For more information on how to set up your Content area, we have a quick reference guide and the Desire2Learn full guide.

Is there an easy way to restrict the PowerPoint I want to have in the Content area so the information can't be changed?

In this case, the best way to post PowerPoint files is as a PDF document. Your students will be able to view the slides but not be able to make changes to them. It will also take less time for the students to download the file. See an example of this.

Here's how to do this:

  1. In PowerPoint 2010 (PC), from the File tab, select Save As. In PowerPoint 2008 (Mac), select File -> Print.
  2. PC - from the Save as Type drop-down menu, select PDF. Mac - from the PDF button select Save as PDF.
  3. PC - click the Options button and from the Publish What drop-down menu, select Handouts. Mac - from the Print What drop-down menu, select Handouts.
  4. PC - click OK. Name the PDF file and click Save.
  5. Mac - name the PDF file and click Save.

Why do I get a “Resource Not Found” message when I click on a Quicklink to a Learn@ UWSuperior tool?

This happens if you copied the Content Quicklinks from a previous offering but did not copy the corresponding tool item you were linking to at the same time. When you copied the components, you might have taken the Content and Course Files, but forgot the Dropbox folder, Discussions topic, or Quiz, which broke the connection with that item.

There are two ways to fix this, you can delete the Quicklinks and recopy them along with the topic, folder, quiz, etc. Or you can use the editing icon for that Quicklink to fix the problem after you make sure the topic, folder, quiz, etc is in the current course.

Why do I get a "Page Not Found" message when I click on a file?

If you copied the Content area from another course but didn't copy the course files, you and your students will get a "page not found" message. To fix this, you will need to use the copy components again but only select individual items to copy. You don't want to copy everything, just the missing Course Files from the course you originally copied the Contents from.

Classlist Top of Page

My students’ names disappeared from the Classlist, why did this happen?

If you have recently done a search in your Classlist, you will only see the results of that search. Check the Search For field for a name, delete the name if there is one and click the search button again.  This can also happen in the Enter Grades area.  

If the Search For field is empty and you can only see a few members from your class, check to make sure that the View By dropdown menu is set to Users and not Groups.

Discussions Top of Page

I have set up Discussion forums for my course and I can see them, but why can’t my students?

You have made the forum, but you need to make a topic within the forum for your students to compose posts or reply to existing messages.  If you click on the New Topic icon and follow the steps, your students should be able to post messages then.

When I click on the Compose icon, nothing happens.  I can reply to existing messages but why can’t I create my own?

Normally what happens when you click on the "Compose" icon is it opens in a new window.  If you have your browser's pop-up blocker turned on, it will look like nothing is happening.  You will want to turn off your pop-up blocker for Learn@UWSuperior. 

  • PC users with Internet Explorer: In the browser information at the top of the window, on the Tools drop-down list, select Pop-up Blockers "Turn off Pop-up Blockers" after that, the Compose window will appear after you click the "Compose" button.
  • Mac users with Safari: In the browser information at the top of the window, on the Safari drop-down list there is an option to "Block Pop-up Windows", if you uncheck that item the Compose window will appear after you click the "Compose" button.
  • PC and Mac users with Firefox: In the browser information at the top of the window, select "Options" from the Tools drop-down list.  A new window will open, on the content tab is an item called "Block pop-up windows".  Instead of unchecking that box, to the right of it is an "Exceptions" button, click on that, and add the address for Learn@ UWSuperior to the list.

How do I add Discussions topics to an existing group?

You are going to want to do this under the Groups tool. Here's how to get to the correct screen to make these group forums/topics:

1. In the course you want to work in, click on the Communications drop-down menu in the navigation bar and select the Groups link.
2. Click on the name of the group you would like to edit.
Note: You might have to use the "View Categories" dropdown menu to find the group you want to work on.
3. Click on the "Edit Discussions Restrictions" link in the Additional Options area.
4. Click on the "Automatically create restricted topics" link.

To create new topics in an existing forum, click on the "Add Another" button for the forum listed on the dropdown menu. If you have several topics that you want each group to post messages to within that forum, you will need to click the "Add Another" button for each one you want to create. I recommend changing the titles for each set as you make them to avoid mixing the group topics up.  Go to the Discussions area, click on the drop-down menu to the right of the topic name and select the Edit Topic link. Add a more descriptive title, but keep the "Group 1" or "Group 2" in the title as well so you will know which group is which (ex. Project Brainstorming Group 1, Project Brainstorming Group 2 or Case Study Group 1, Case Study Group 2, etc.).

If you need to create multiple forums as well as group topics (ex. week 1, week 2, week 3, etc.), click on the New Forum link next to the Forums dropdown menu. Once you have named the new forum, save it and then click the "Add Another" button for this forum. Keep doing this until you have the number of forums and group topics you need.

Dropbox Top of Page

Why can't I open a file submitted from a student?

If the file contains one of the special characters listed below that the system does not allow or has a consecutive period in the name, you will not be able to open the file. 

! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) : ;

If you download the file to your computer and use the program (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) to open the file it should work properly.  If it does not open after downloading the file, the student will have to resubmit the file to the Dropbox without the special characters in the name.

Another reason you might not be able to open a file your student has submitted is because you do not have the program (Microsoft Works, Word Perfect, or Pages) on your computer.  If you download the Works file to your computer and open Microsoft Word, you should be able to open that student's file.  It might contain symbols or random characters, but if you scroll down the page, you should start seeing the student's work.

How can I let a student submit a file to the Dropbox after the deadline?

There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • Change the folder end date to a later date, which would open the folder for all the students in the course.
  • Add special access to allow the one student to access the folder and keep it closed for everyone else.
  • Set up a separate folder for late assignments and have all students submit any late work to this folder. If you want them to use this folder throughout the semester, do not set an end date for this folder.

Is there a way to have the Dropbox grades go directly to my Grades tool?

Yes, when you set up the Dropbox, there is a Grade Item dropdown menu that appears in the settings.  Select the grade item you wish to link to from this menu.  When you are reviewing each students submission, you can click on the Leave Feedback link to add the student's grade and leave any feedback for the student.

Why do the submitted files in the plagiarism detection enabled Dropbox folder not seem to be processing?

Dropbox folders with longer names or special characters (!@#$%^&*) do not function properly during the integration between the two products. It is recommended that you use a short name for Dropbox folders, then use the custom instructions area to give your students more information on that Dropbox folder.

For example, a Dropbox folder with "Lesson 1: Uploading & Downloading in Learn@UWSuperior using Content & Dropbox" would need to be changed to "Lesson 1" as the name and "Uploading and Downloading using Content and Dropbox" in the custom instructions area.

Why can’t I download the video file my student(s) submitted to the Dropbox?

 The Dropbox doesn't have a restriction on file size, but the video file might be too large for your internet connection to download all at once. You might need to have your student compress the file to a smaller file size. If that doesn't work, they might need to break the video down into smaller sections. If the video needs to be a higher quality for grading purposes, you might want to have them make a DVD copy or save it on a Flash drive for you.

If you receive an error message while downloading a video file, write the message down and contact the Technology Helpdesk at 715-394-8300 for assistance.

Why can't I print the Word document that my student submitted on my Mac?

It could be that extra characters were added to the file name, which could cause the file not to print on Mac computers. For example: "Reading Assignment One.docx" could become "Reading%0Assignment%One.docx". What you would need to do is download the file to your computer and rename it so there are no spaces in the name, like "ReadingAssignmentOne.docx".

Why Can't My Students Submit a File Using Their Mobile Device?

The mobile version of Learn@UWSuperior is only meant for viewing (Course Home, Content, Discussions, News, Grades, Calendar, etc.) not uploading files to the Dropbox and taking Quizzes even though they can go to a Desktop Version.

Because of the way files are stored and accessed on some mobile devices, such as an iPad, there really isn't a way to uploading files into a Learn@UWSuperior Dropbox other than to e-mail the file to themselves and use a computer (personal, on-campus, or at a public location like the library) to upload the files into the Dropbox folder.

There are a few mobile devices, such as the Windows Surface tablet, that are able to upload a file to a Dropbox folder successfully, but that is because the Surface tablet functions like a computer does when storing and accessing files.

Quizzes Top of Page

Why are the students only getting 1% of the point for questions they answered correctly?

This is happening because the weight on the correct answers is 1 instead of 100. For Learn@UWSuperior to know what the correct answer is, you have to put 100 as the weight for it or the system will think it's only a partial answer and gives only partial credit.

I plan to create several quizzes in my class, is there a way I can shorten the time it takes creating them?

Quizzes have many settings. Chances are, you select many of the same settings repeatedly for each quiz you create i.e. "time limit", "grace period", "submissions", "# of attempts", etc. Instead of making these choices every time you create a new quiz, create a quiz template which has these settings, but has no questions. Start by creating a new quiz. Type template in the "name" field and save your quiz. Make all of the selections that will be the same in your other quizzes, and save the quiz again. Do not set an availability or add any questions.

When you are ready to create a quiz with questions, instead of selecting "New quiz", select "Copy" from the More Actions drop-down menu. Select the template quiz you created from the "Quiz to Copy" drop-down menu. Type in the New Quiz Name. Place a check mark in the "Edit Quiz after Copy Completes" box, and click the "Save" button. All of the changes you made for your template will already be selected in your new quiz. Simply add your questions, set any applicable availability, and save your quiz. You can even copy your template quiz from one course to another.

Grades Top of Page

My students’ names disappeared from the Enter Grades area, why did this happen?

If you have recently done a search, you will only see the results of that search. Check the Search For field for a name, delete the name if there is one and click the search button again.  This can also happen in the Classlist area.

If the Search For field is empty and you can only see a few members from your class, check to make sure that the View By dropdown menu is set to Users and not Groups.

Why are there calculator icons next to the students' Final Grades?

What that calculator icon means is that your students' final grades are out of date because you have added/removed grade items or added grades for assignments and need to update this information. There are two ways to fix this:

  • On the right side of your Grades area, select Grade All from the Final Calculated Grades drop-down menu or the Final Adjusted Grades drop-down menu. Select the Recalculate All from the Final Grades drop-down menu. This will temporarily update the final grades for each student. Next time you add/remove grade items or add grades for assignments, they will be out of date again.
  • On the left side of your Grades area, click on the Settings link and click on the Calculation Options tab. In the Grade Calculations section, check the "Auto Update: Automatically keep final grades updated" box. This will permanently keep your Final Grades up-to-date. One drawback is if you have a large class or a lot of grade items, it might take the system a few extra seconds to load your Grade area when you click on the Grades icon in the navigation bar.

How do I make a Mid-term grade for students?

In the Manage Grades area, create a new grade item using Calculated as the grade item type. Give it a name like "mid-term grade" and select the grade items from the list you would like to include. Your list might look something like this (in Learn@ UWSuperior the highlight will be green):

  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3
  • Assignment 4
  • Quiz 1
  • Quiz 2
  • Quiz 3
  • Essay 1
  • Essay 2
  • Essay 3
  • Essay 4
  • Group Project 1
  • Group Project 2
  • Peer Review 1
  • Peer Review 2

When you have selected your items, click on the Save button.

I give extra credit on some assignments, why is it only showing 10/10 instead of 12/10?

In order for extra points to appear for an assignment, you have to check the "Can Exceed" box for the grade item. This will let the system know to include those extra points above the max points for that grade item. If you use categories, make sure you check the "Can Exceed" box for that category as well.

Groups Top of Page

How do I add Discussions topics to an existing group?

You are going to want to do this under the Groups tool. Here's how to get to the correct screen to make these group forums/topics:

1. In the course you want to work in, click on the Communications drop-down menu in the navigation bar and select the Groups link.
2. Click on the name of the group you would like to edit.
Note: You might have to use the "View Categories" dropdown menu to find the group you want to work on.
3. Click on the "Edit Discussions Restrictions" link in the Additional Options area.
4. Click on the "Automatically create restricted topics" link.

To create new topics in an existing forum, click on the "Add Another" button for the forum listed on the dropdown menu. If you have several topics that you want each group to post messages to within that forum, you will need to click the "Add Another" button for each one you want to create. I recommend changing the titles for each set as you make them to avoid mixing the group topics up.  Go to the Discussions area, click on the drop-down menu to the right of the topic name and select the Edit Topic link. Add a more descriptive title, but keep the "Group 1" or "Group 2" in the title as well so you will know which group is which (ex. Project Brainstorming Group 1, Project Brainstorming Group 2 or Case Study Group 1, Case Study Group 2, etc.).

If you need to create multiple forums as well as group topics (ex. week 1, week 2, week 3, etc.), click on the New Forum link next to the Forums dropdown menu. Once you have named the new forum, save it and then click the "Add Another" button for this forum. Keep doing this until you have the number of forums and group topics you need.


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