April 02, 2020

This week: Extend your course dates, how to sync Quercus to Crowdmark, and upcoming Quercus and Bb Collaborate release dates.

In this Weekly Update:

  1. Upcoming Releases
  2. Are you using Bb Collaborate and Mac OSX 10.15 Catalina?
  3. Crowdmark Activation and Support Model
  4. Get excited! MS Teams Integration
  5. Reminder: Extend your Course Dates to reflect a term extension

Upcoming Releases

  1. Canvas (Quercus) Update (April 18, 2020) - See Release Notes - Highlights include a new rich content editor, ability to mute notifications by course, and (if you've enabled it) New Quizzes has multiple answer partial scoring question type (this is untested as of yet, so recommended not to rely on this for your final assessments).
  2. BB Collaborate Ultra Update (April 09, 2020) - See Release Notes - A few planned roll outs are delayed, including the ability to download poll results and updated Whiteboard features. A head's up that some features have been removed (e.g. Timer, chat indicator) to decrease bandwidth use in sessions.

Are you using Bb Collaborate and Mac OSX 10.15 Catalina?

You're not losing it if you are thinking that screensharing is not working for you - it might be a reported issue! If you are using Mac OSX 10.15 Catalina, you might have experienced that when you try to share your applications while using Collaborate Ultra that something is preventing you from sharing properly and the screen is not loading as it should. If you've experienced this, the cause is that the privacy settings for the screen recording have not been enabled for the browser. (If you are experiencing this, and perform this workaround, please let us know - we'd love verification that this worked for you!)

You can enable them by using this resolution:

  1. Select the Apple in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preference.
  3. Select Security and Privacy. (Note: You will need to unlock this window to make changes by clicking on the lock in the bottom left corner of this window.)
  4. Select the Privacy tab at the top of the dialog box.
  5. Scroll down on the left hand side of the screen to Screen Recording.
  6. Check the box next to Google Chrome (recommended browser) or whichever browser you are using.

Crowdmark Activation and Support Model

Typically, there's quite a process for you to use Crowdmark in your course. It involves Departmental bugeting and some back and forth between administrative offices to get accounts set up, etc. But, if there's any good news during this time, it's that many EdTech tools are available to instructors for use without fee (for a limited time). If you're using Crowdmark for your final assessment, you can create your account and sync your Quercus enrollment all on your own by following these steps (This process will work for all of the courses where you are enrolled as the Instructor on Quercus. See the full guide to managing courses from Canvas/Quercus.):

COVID-19 Process: To sync your Quercus course to a Crowdmark course, please follow these steps:

  1. Sign into Crowdmark using your UofT Quercus credentials.
  2. Click "Import Course" from your "My Courses" page.
  3. Select the Quercus course you'd like to sync, click "Import course" and then proceed to enrolling students by clicking "Enroll students from Quercus."

Get excited! MS Teams Integration is coming!

Many have reported that while Bb Collaborate Ultra (see "How to enable Bb Collaborate Ultra in my course?") works well enough for "push" type course activities (lectures, a main speaker, etc.), it leaves something to be desired when it comes to smaller, more conversational activities. Due to demand, an integration between Teams Video and Quercus as been fast tracked and will be (fingers crossed) available as of the end of next week (Easter weekend). When available, you'll be able to schedules Teams "conversations" from your WYSIWYG editor (see the release notes for the full details).

Reminder: Extend your Course Dates to reflect any term extensions you are implementing

You can manually extend your term by modifying the default start and end dates for your course (see the course lifecycle for more information on access details). This might be particularly relevant this term depending on your deadlines. (Before extending anything course related, you should check with your Department's policy regarding syllabus changes). There's a bit of a tricky bit to what should be a pretty straight forward thing to do. In addition to extending the course dates, you allow want to make sure that in addition to specifying a new end date [1] that the option "students can only participate in the course between these dates" [2] (see How do I set my own start and end dates on a course?") is selected. If you don't select this, it will actually prevent students from seeing the course.


Have a Quercus (or EdTech) question? Please contact FASE's EdTech Office.

Article Category: Quercus Updates