Oncourse is your new best friend

Oncourse, the open source learning management system that is used by IU, was created right here – and is constantly being revised, tweaked, and improved.  (Technically Oncourse is our version of Sakai).  Oncourse provides a place for collaboration and learning for faculty and students.

Every course taught at IU automatically gets an Oncourse site. The following tools are immediately available:

  • Home, where instructors post an introduction to their course. The Home tool also displays the most recent announcements, and whether or not there are new messages.
  • Announcements, useful for keeping site members up-to-date on assignments and other events
  • Assignments, for posting homework and other tasks. You can associate them with the Gradebook automatically, and choose to post an announcement when they come available.
  • CourseNetworking (beta), an external tool that encourages social interaction among classmates and others who study similar subjects.
  • Gradebook, where to record and calculate grades.
  • Library Resources, an interactive page connected to the university library.
  • Messages, an internal email system for each site than can be connected to its members’ IU email address, or automatically forwarded to any outside email address, as desired.
  • Performance Roster, a way for instructors to submit information about students’ performance in their classes.
  • Resources, a place to post documents and links related to course content.
  • Roster, which shows a list of site members (students, instructors, course assistants, and others). There’s even a roster version with everyone’s official ID photo for those of us with memory issues.
  • SIS Grade Roster, a quick way to officially post grades.
  • Site Setup, the only tool that can’t be deleted, which allows site owners (usually instructors) to change what tools are visible, who can access the site, and how basic info is displayed.
  • Syllabus, where you can post a copy of your course syllabus, as text or as an attachment.

These are by no means the only tools at your disposal, however – there are many more.  Some additional tools that might be useful:

  • Web Content, which allows you to list links to other web sites that will be listed among the tools on the left of the screen.  You can add multiple links this way.
  • Forums, a discussion board
  • Chat Room, for live chat between students – with or without the instructor
  • Presentations, a tool that helps students create learning and showcase portfolios
  • Tests & Surveys, for creating assessments

There are many more tools available that might serve your needs.  For more details on how to use Oncourse, watch our short feature demo movies and read the PDF Least You Need to Know documents, or click the blue question  marks sprinkled liberally throughout the workspace.  Watch this blog for tips and tricks to make the most of your Oncourse experience!

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