Courses being offered at institutions that license Ares may have more than one individual designated as an instructor and have other individuals assigned a disparate role of course proxy. Ares will reflect this distinction by allowing multiple users to be assigned the role of instructor for a single course.
Broader Options for Assigning Instructor Privileges
- The current one-to-one requirement between courses and instructors has been removed, creating the ability to have courses with one, multiple, or no course instructors.
Expanded Role Mapping
- The LTIMapping table will include the option to assign both CourseProxy and Instructor roles to course users. CourseProxy users will be able to create a course without assigning themselves as the instructor.
Automated Displayed Instructor Generation
- When empty, the course record's Displayed Instructor field will be automatically generated by concatenating all course users designated as "Instructor" in the CourseUsers table, assigned in and formatted as "LastName, FirstName; LastName, FirstName..."
- The ability to assign multiple users an instructor role will clarify the difference between ProxyUsers and Instructors and provide more accurate and normalized data that better reflects institutional practices.
Augmented Notification Options for Item Templates
- Three new tags will be available to specify the type of instructor-level user that should be included in emails generated from item records in the Ares Client. Each will insert comma-delimited email addresses for course users with roles of either course instructor, a full proxy of the course instructor, or course proxy.
Modified Course Record View in Staff Client
- The instructor username will no longer appear on the default course record's Details tab. The Course Users tab will have a new sub-tab for Course Instructors that will replace the current Course Proxies and Full Proxies tabs. This new sub-tab will contain a master-detail grid with the current contents of the Course Proxies and Full Proxies sub-tabs, as well as a table for all course instructors. The relationship between each course instructor and the corresponding full proxies will be illustrated. The existing search will be replaced with a search option similar to the search course option on the item form.
- The Courses without Instructors line within the System Information panel will show the current number of courses with no instructors assigned. The Courses without Instructors will work like any other system group in Ares. Double-clicking the line item will open a new Course search for all the courses with no instructors.
- The Course Users tab on the Course form has been redesigned to include a new master-detail view of all the instructors and their full proxies for each course. The first three course users tabs include search controls that can be used to look up users by Username, Name, or external ID. By default the Course User's tab now has four sub-tabs:
- Instructors and Full Proxies - this displays Instructors and their Full Proxies together in a master-detail view.
- Course Proxies
- Enrolled Students
- Authorized Users
- A user can be added to the Instructors and Full Proxies tab by selecting the user record and clicking "Add User", or by dragging and dropping them into the grid.
- The Authorized Users tab still contains a text entry field, so that users who are not in Ares yet can be added by their external ID.
Field Size Limit
- To support courses with several instructors and/or proxies, the size limit on the EmailTo, EmailFrom, EmailCC, and EmailBCC fields in the EmailCopies table has been increased to navchar(Max). Prior to implementing support for multiple instructors, these fields were limited to 500 characters.
- Three new email tags have been created to use in email templates to pre-populate email addresses in the 'To:' or 'CC:' fields of an email based on the instructor and/or proxy user privileges for the course. Multiple tags can be combined in the same field. When configuring the email templates, there is no need to separate the tags with spaces or punctuation; the tag processor will handle the separation. The email tags include:
- Course.InstructorsEmail: Creates a list of all Instructors' email addresses for a given course.
- Course.FullProxiesEmail: Creates a list of the Full Proxies for all the Instructors' email addresses for a given course.
- Course.CourseProxiesEmail: Creates a list of the Proxy Instructors (not including Full Proxies) email addresses for a given course.
- Support for User tags in Item-type email templates has been removed since it's no longer possible to link an item to a specific individual when courses may have more than one individual as an instructor. The default email templates have been updated accordingly for new installs. Current installs upgrading to v5.0 will need to update their existing Item email templates. See FAQ for details.
- When cloning a course, the course creator can select any or all of the original course's instructors and proxies to be copied over. Additional users can be added to the cloned course from the Course Detail form, which will open once the cloned course is created.
Course User Loads
Courses created through the Ares Course Load process can now have zero instructors or multiple instructors.
- In previous versions:
- If there was not an instructor listed within the imported course data, a ValidationUser was assigned as the default instructor.
- If more than one instructor was listed in the imported data, the first instructor would be used as the course instructor and the rest would be designated as Course Proxies for validation purposes.
- As of Ares v5.0:
- If there is no instructor listed within the imported data, the ValidationUser would be left blank.
- If a ValidationUser is explicitly listed as the course instructor in the imported data, that user would be assigned as the default instructor.
- All users listed as Instructors will be listed as instructors for the new course and assigned instructor privileges.
Instructor & Full Proxy Course Roles/Privileges
- Users who are currently a proxy for a course can also be added as an instructor. Their new instructor role will supersede their previous status of proxy.
- Users who are both an instructor and a full proxy for another instructor will be considered an instructor for the course. If they are removed as an instructor, they will still remain as a full proxy (unless the instructor they are a proxy for is removed as well).
- In the Courses table, the instructor's display name will show for each instructor associated with the course.
- If there is no value in the instructor field, a database trigger that monitors the CourseUsers table will auto-generate and set a default value in the new Course.InstructorDisplayName field and the <#COURSE name="Instructor"> web page tag. This field can't be manually set in the web pages.
- In previous versions:
- The parameter was used to read and set the Courses.Instructor field. This field would determine the readable format string in which the instructor's name would display (e.g., lastname, firstname). The Course.Instructor field used to be set in the default web pages as <#PARAM name='CourseInstructor'>.
- As of Ares v5.0:
- You can no longer set the Course.Instructor field from the web. The Course.Instructor field can only be set from the Ares Client.
- The new behavior for the CourseInstructor tag is as follows:
- When loading the CourseInstructor(s) on the page, the display name will be populated with with the value of the Course.Instructor field. If the Course.Instructor field is left blank, the Course.InstructorDisplayName parameter will display.
- When submitting course-related forms, the CourseInstructor parameter will be ignored.
- The changes provide a backwards compatibility for existing pages by maintaining the current functionality for display purposes while ignoring any older pages' attempts to set the Course.Instructor field. The default Ares web pages have been updated to remove the CourseInstructor inputs from the course-related pages. These pages still have the instructor drop-down for selecting which instructor a course is created for.
CourseSearch Web Page
- For existing installs:
- We removed the restriction on the UserType 'Instructor' in the Users table for the Instructor drop-down. The drop-down will now display all users who are listed as an instructor in the CourseUsers table.
- For new installs:
- The instructor drop-down has been replaced with a text field that searches for instructor's by their first and/or last name. The search function can handle commas (eg. Last, First) and spaces (eg. First Last). If more than one term is provided, all terms must match a part of an instructor's first or last name. For example, when searching with the key terms 'John Smith', the results would not return courses under 'Bob Smith'; however, a search for 'Smith' would return both results.