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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Online training course availability

Due to the Moodle Lifecycle Process, access to student records online training courses (e.g., Student Data Inquiry, Student Data Update) have been limited to those who are on the University campus network, effective October 1, 2016. Those who are off campus may access our online training via Virtual Private Networking (VPN).

ECAS updates

Several new updates went into the Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS) on September 25. Users will notice the following changes:
  • New functionality added to identify Twin Cities Freshman Seminars with an attribute instead of using 19xx catalog numbers or topics courses.
  • New functionality to identify Twin Cities Learning Abroad courses in ECAS.
  • New functionality to the Course Equivalency field to gather information on cross-listing as well as course equivalency.
  • Improved text descriptions for the following sections: Student Learning Outcomes, Writing Intensive, Course Syllabus, and Strategic Objectives-Consultation.

Additional ECAS improvements are in the works. The following changes are anticipated for implementation on October 23:
  • Remove the CCE Catalog Description field for all system campuses.
  • Remove 'Additional Course Information (for catalog production)' field for Morris campus.
  • Remove the Student Learning Objectives, Writing Intensive, and Strategic Objectives & Consultation sections for Rochester.
  • Improve functionality and text description of the Instructor Contact Hours field.
  • Add functionality for the Community-Engaged Learning course attribute (all campuses except for Morris).
  • Adjust which courses are routed to the Twin Cities’ Graduate School approval level.

De-combining class changes

Previously, whenever a CCS user de-combined a class, the meeting pattern(s), instructor(s), and classroom were deleted for all sections of the combined section ID. A new system modification now allows such classes to retain their meeting pattern(s) and instructor(s). Classroom assignments are affected as follows:
  • The classroom assignment will still be removed for the section that is de-combined. 
  • Any classes still left in the combined section table will keep the classroom. 
  • If all classes are deleted from the combined section, the classroom is released.

Search for online classes by Mode of Instruction

In an effort to reduce confusion on how to search for online classes, the "Online course" course attribute has been removed from the both the class and course searches. Effective immediately, users should use instruction mode "Completely Online" in the Class Search to search for online classes.

In the Course Catalog Search, the text "online sections may be available" will display in the results if the course has the ONL course attribute, but "Online course" is no longer a search option.

In CCS, users will notice that the ONL course attribute is now view only. This attribute is present when the course has been approved in ECAS to be offered online. CCS users should use the instruction mode of "CO" (Completely Online) to indicate a particular class section will be taught online.

Mid-term grade rosters

Mid-term grade rosters are available for fall term regular session classes. A quick start guide on the manual entry of mid-term grades is available. New this year, instructors have the option to upload mid-term grades from a spreadsheet. Grade upload instructions are available from a link within Faculty Center.