Release notes for 1.10.0
- Analytics. There is now a single button to turn on Course Builder Analytics for your course. It is located in Dashboard > Settings > Course > Enable Student Analytics.
- Certificates. The Certificate setting now has its own page under Settings in the Dashboard.
- Content Availability. There is a new page in Dashboard > Publish called Availability. This page controls both registration and the visibility of your course content.
- Content Editor. The toolbar of the rich text editor will only show when you click into the content area.
- Dashboard > Outline. To edit content, click on the link instead of the pencil icon, which was removed.
- Datepicker. There is now a Datepicker for fields in which you have to enter dates.
- Delete Course. You can now delete a course completely, not just its contents.
- Embeddable Assessments. You can now embed Assessments into arbitrary web pages.
- ETL. Google App Engine’s ClientLogin was deprecated earlier and will soon have its API disabled. ETL will now use OAuth2 for authentication.
- Help Text. The help text and field labels in Course Builder were improved and updated.
- Help Text: Tooltip. Help text for fields are wrapped in a tooltip icon next to the field. Hover over icon to see the help text.
Localhost/Development Server. If you decide to run Course Builder on
localhost/development server and don’t have a C compiler installed, the
common.shscript will error and provide you instructions on how to get it.
- Navigation Menu. Items under the Dashboard navigation menu were rearranged.
- Navigation Menu: Site admin. As a part of the Dashboard navigation menu rearrangement, the Site admin menu was placed under Settings as Site Settings.
- Performance. Pages throughout Course Builder now load faster.
- Questions. You can now create a question directly in an Assessment or Lesson instead of only being able to create questions in the Question Bank.
- Skills. The Skills Table and Skills Graph were placed on one page where you can toggle between the two views.
- Skills Graph. There is now a Reset Graph button to put the graph back to its default view.
Release notes for version 1.9.0
- Admin: Site Settings. The setting names are changed for clarity.
- Analytics. When you launch an analytics job, you see a visual spinner to indicate the work is in progress and when it is done.
- Analytics: Skill Maps. A new subtab that visualizes the skill competencies of students.
- Assessments and Lessons: Components. Question/content components that were once encapsulated in the red toolbox have been taken out of the red tool box. Now these components are all listed in the Insert Item section of the the content editor.
- Assessments and Lessons: Preview. Preview your content with the “eye” icon instead of clicking into the lesson or assessment.
- Browser Support. In line with official Google policy, we will only support the latest two versions of Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer 10 and 11.
- Content Editing. The default editing mode for new content is now Rich Text, not HTML. For example, if you are creating a new Lesson, your editing experience in the content area will start in Rich Text mode.
- Dashboard. The Dashboard is completely re-organized. The top navigation bar is encapsulated into the navigation drawer on the top left corner. The pages and subpages (tabs and subtabs) have also been re-organized into more logical groups.
- Dashboard: Various Pages. Many of the pages in the Dashboard are updated to increase usability. For example, icons show up to the left of tiles in Outline, optional fields do not show until chosen, small help text is removed as is duplicate page headings, and more.
- Google App Engine: Files API. Google App Engine turned down their Files API service. This only affected running Analytics in Course Builder and we no longer use the Files API service.
- Lessons: Editing. Optionally edit lessons directly in the lesson view as opposed to going to the Lesson Editor.
Localhost. When running on localhost, users who did not have the
lxmllibrary received an error: “ImportError: No module named lxml.html”. This is fixed.
- Skill Maps: Questions. Skill tagging is now available on questions.
- Skill Maps: Student Progress. Students can see their skills progress and skills competency on their Progress page.
- Student Data Deletion. Students have the option of deleting all their course data when they unenroll. If they re-enroll, it will be as if they had never registered nor taken the course.
- Syllabus Page. Choose whether Units or Assessments are visible on the syllabus page when they are marked private.
Release notes for version 1.8.0
- Admin Page. The Admin section was moved to the Dashboard and can be accessed through its own tab in the Dashboard.
- Analytics: Certificates. See how many students received certificates.
- BigQuery. There is now a pipeline to Google Big Query within Course Builder.
- Course Homepage. The course homepage is now titled “Syllabus” instead of “Schedule”.
- Dashboard. The Dashboard visual style was refreshed. See [Dashboard Dashboard].
- GIFT format. Write questions and answers in the GIFT format.
- Google App Engine Launcher on Mac. Fixed bug on Mac OS where Course Builder launch fails if there is no PyCrypto library.
- HTML Hooks. The hooks are now turned off by default.
- Lessons. The 1MB lesson size limit was increased to 4MB.
- Lessons: Feedback. You can optionally turn on a rating widget to permit students to give feedback on each lesson page.
- Lessons: Questionnaire. Create questionnaires in lessons. Questionnaires are ungraded.
- Localhost. We suggest you deploy Course Builder to Google App Engine after downloading all the software. If instead you wish to explore Course Builder on localhost, you may need to download the lxml Python package.
- Registration emails. Customize and Internationalize welcome emails.
- Skill map. Added ability to create skill labels and map those labels onto lessons. Corresponding analytics were implemented to support this feature. See [CreateSkillMap Create Skill Maps].
- Tab: Add arbitrary tabs. Added ability to add arbitrary tabs on the navigation menu bar through the User Interface.
Release notes for version 1.7.0
Note: To run 1.7.0 locally, you must download the Python pycrypto package. You do not need to do this if you only want to download and deploy to Google App Engine.
- Activities. Import old style (version 1.2 and earlier) questions into modern question types. This is handled automatically when click the Import button.
- Analytics. New visualizations and a way to cancel or re-run individual analytics jobs.
- Assessments. You can now place assessments within units at the following locations: at the beginning, end, or both. That is, you can now submerge assessments within units as long as they are either at the beginning or end of the unit.
- Breadcrumb. If you have multiple courses, you can switch courses by selecting one from the breadcrumb navigation.
- Certificate generation. Optionally generate certificates based on specified criteria.
- Course tracks. Use labels to allow your students to take particular tracks or paths through your course as opposed to taking the entire course.
- Course Builder roles. Create different roles and associate them with particular emails and permissions. Currently, the role is limited to a translator role.
- Dashboard. The Dashboard now has sub-navigation tabs in the Analytics, Assets, and Settings tabs so sections can have their own page. A new top level navigation tab for Roles is also available.
- Dashboard: Assets. Reorganized presentation into a five column, sortable table. Sort the table by clicking on the column headers. Preview questions through the eye icon. Use the pencil icon to edit the question or question group.
- Dashboard: Assets. Filter the question and question group through the filter button so you see only the items you want to see.
- Dashboard: Assets. Preview a question directly from the Dashboard with the eye icon.
- Dashboard: Outline. Make units and lessons private or public with a click of a icon.
- Documentation: Course Author. The “Course Author” section was moved from the documentation and has separately become Online Course Kit.
- Email specification. Separate multiple email specification anywhere in Course Builder by tabs, commas, newlines, spaces in Admin > Settings and Dashboard > Settings.
ETL. You no longer need to manually create a custom script that
lists all the needed libraries and calls ETL indirectly. Now you can use the
- ETL upload. ETL can upload all the entity types that it can download.
- Google Drive. Integrate Google Docs on Google Drive into Course Builder.
- Gradebook. See results on individual student scores. The Gradebook is available as a separate sub-navigation tab under Analytics.
- HTML customizations. Edit your course HTML with custom text, links, and graphics through the browser instead of through YAML files or HTML files.
- Internationalization. A translation console that allows translators to translate your original course content.
- Internationalization: Locale Picker. If you translate the course into different languages, students can select one of those particular languages in which to take the course.
- Invitations. Students can send course invitations to other students from Course Builder.
- Lessons. You can now add unit links on the lesson navigation bar. The navigation bar itself is collapsable (accordion style).
- Lessons. Added option to disable auto numbering of lessons.
- Lessons. You can optionally show all lessons in a single unit.
LTI. You can now add Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) tools
into Course Builder. The LTI module is a separate module and you can import it by
- Markdown. Optionally use Markdown for content in the Lesson Body.
- Math component. Add math symbols and equations in LaTeX as a custom component.
- Mobile. Course Builder’s design is now adaptive down to 7 inch viewports.
- Pagination in assessments. You can suppress the “Next” button.
- Question Groups. Add questions to question groups directly from the dashboard.
- Question Groups. Create empty question groups.
- Registration notification. Option to send welcome emails to students upon their registration.
- Roles and permissions. You can create arbitrary roles and assign them particular permissions. Currently, most permissions relate to translator.
Scripts. There are new scripts to test Course Builder on your local
machine, bring in external modules, and use the core version of ETL without creating
a custom script. These are located in the
- Unit Numbering. You can now suppress unit numbering.
- Welcome flow. If you haven’t created a course yet, you will now get a Welcome screen that allows you to create a new course or explore the sample course through a Welcome screen.
- Whitelisting. You can now restrict who can register for your course.
Release notes for version 1.6.0
Starting from Course Builder 1.6.0, you must download the zip from here: Course Builder Zip Files.
- Admin: News. A new tab was added called “News.” This links to Course Builder announcements.
Appstats. Google App Engine Appstats, a feature that profiles an
app’s Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs), is now available in Course Builder. In your
app.yamlfile, turn the
true. See [UploadCode#EnableGoogleAppEngineAppstats Enable Google App Engine Appstats].
- Assessments. The viewing permissions for assessments were not being checked before they were shown to students. This bug was fixed. Peter Reutemann from the community contributed this fix.
- Bug Fix: Accessibility. There were various accessibility fixes, including adding roles and labels to elements on course pages.
Bug Fix: Embedding Google Groups in Firefox. There was a bug in
which embedded Google Groups did not show up specifically in Firefox. This was fixed
when you deploy to Google App Engine. On your local computer (using the SDK), the
problem will persist on Firefox. The fix for this on localhost is to change
“localhost” with “127.0.0.1” in the
extensions/tags/gcb/__init__.pyfile. The comment in that file will reiterate these instructions.
- Bug Fix: Import questions and question groups. There was a bug that did not import questions and question groups in the user interface. This was fixed.
- Dashboard: Breadcrumb. The breadcrumb in the Dashboard is now hyperlinked.
- Dashboard: Support. A new tab was added in the Dashboard called “Support.” This links to the Course Builder Google Group that can help you get answers from other community members.
- Datastore Optimization. An optimization was made that decreased the number of Google App Engine datastore operations on the Dashboard > Assets page under particular circumstances. Specifically, there is a reduction in the number of required datastore operations when uploading assets. This optimization helps decrease process time and quota, compared to previous releases.
- ETL: Question and QuestionGroup entities. Downloading or uploading a course will now include Question and QuestionGroup entities.
Google Analytics. You no longer have to copy and paste the entire
course.yamlfile. Instead, add your Google Analytics Tracking ID in the new
google_analytics_idsetting in the same
- Google Docs. You can now have anchors in Google Docs links.
- Google+ Hangouts. Add Google+ Hangout to any page.
- Google Tag Manager. You can now use Google Tag Manager with Course Builder. This allows you to capture analytics at the event level, as opposed to the page level with just Google Analytics.
- JsontoCsv. The JsonToCsv converter did not flatten all string fields. The converter will now allow trailing commas. There was also a bug in unpacking nested JSON content. This bug was fixed.
- MapReduce. MapReduce moves a small amount of code to run near the data it operates on, rather than pushing data to a specific processor. Course data is ideal for this due to a large number of nouns (students, questions, events, lessons, answers to questions, etc.) with fairly simple relations to one another. Mapreduce gives us a way to collect, aggregate, and analyze data comparatively inexpensively and quickly. The current version is just a proof-of-concept: it estimates how difficult a question is by simply averaging the scores of all students that answered that question.
- Navigation. You can now hide the Previous Page and Next Page navigation buttons at the bottom of lesson and activity pages.
- Video. YouTube videos will no longer show related videos at the end of the video. Steve Midgley from the community contributed this feature.
Views Directory. Here are the template files that were changed under
- XBlock Module. A new module was created that allows the use of XBlocks within Course Builder.
Release notes for version 1.5.1
- Analytics for Student Progress. You can view student progress, at an aggregate level, at Dashboard > Analytics.
CSS Files. The
assets/css/have changed. Manually update any customizations you made in these files.
Delete Course Data. Delete all of a course’s data from the datastore
- Documentation. Added example on how to add a custom module.
- File Uploading. You can now allow students to upload text files through the Upload component. The maximum file size is 1MB.
- Google App Engine SDK. For Course Builder version 1.5.1, you should use Google App Engine SDK version 1.8.2.
JSON to CSV and XML Conversion. You can now convert a JSON file into
a CSV or XML file through a custom job using
- Page Load Performance. The speed of page loads was increased on average by roughly 40% from a contribution by Thomas Grenfell Smith.
- Peer Review. There was a bug in those cases when a reviewer reviewed multiple assessments, only the last assessment that was submitted or saved as draft was recorded. This bug was fixed although the fix required a backwards-incompatible change that will break your course if you deploy 1.5.1 on a course that has preexisting review data.
Privacy. You can obfuscate personally identifiable information with
- Question Answer Fields. You can control the size of the answer field by specifying the number of rows and columns.
- Search. All users can now search over a course through the search box. There is a new tab, Dashboard > Search where you index your course.
Views Directory. Here are the template files that were changed under
Here is an informal video to show the highlights: 1.5.1 (running time: 4:18)
Release notes for version 1.5.0
- Announcements tab. The Announcements tab is always visible.
Activities. You can now record activities. Turn the
gcb_can_persist_activity_eventssetting on in Admin > Settings.
Analytics: tags. The
gcb_can_persist_tag_eventsflag in AdminPage Admin > Settings specifies whether events from components (tags), like YouTube videos, should be recorded in a datastore.
Butter Bar. Two new files were added explicitly for the butter bar:
/assets/lib/butterbar.js. The butter bar is the floating, yellow, rectangle, textual information box that displays near the top of the browser. The butter bar will not work if you just drop these files into a previous release; you must start from the 1.5.0 release and bring any customizations into it.
Course Explorer. You can now use the
gcb_enable_course_explorer_pagesetting in AdminPage Admin > Settings to route the root URL (
"/") to a page that lists all your courses. This page is called Course Explorer and by default it is turned off.
course.yamlfile is now separated into two parts:
CSS (main.css). The
assets/css/has changed. Manually update any customizations you made in this file.
Custom Jobs. There is a new
--disable_remoteflag so ETL jobs that execute without remote procedure calls do not force authentication nor a remote environment setup.
- Dashboard: Assets. You can now make edits to the HTML and CSS directly in Dashboard > Assets section. Previously, you had to develop on your development server and deploy the changes you made.
- Documentation: Developer’s Guide. A new section was added to the documentation for Developers. This section aids those who want to programmatically and safely customize Course Builder.
- Documentation: Custom Jobs. The Custom Jobs section was moved to the Developer’s section.
- Google App Engine SDK. For version 1.5.0, you should use Google App Engine SDK version 1.8.1.
- Component: iframe. A new component type, inlined frames (iframe), was added. You can add iframes as a component in activities as part of a lesson or assessment.
- Lessons: saving the lesson. There was a bug when you edited a lesson, clicked the Save button repeatedly, and then refreshed the page in your browser. In this case, the course information becomes lost in the datastore. This bug was fixed. Now after you click Save, the button will be unavailable until you make new changes.
- Memcache with multiple courses. There was a bug if you run multiple courses in one instance where it was possible to access cached objects in one course from another course. This bug was fixed.
- Navigation: Logo. Clicking the institution logo will now take you back to the course page.
Registration: Course Browsing. There is now a setting,
course.yamlthat allows students to browse the course without registering. By default this setting is
- Registration: Navigation. Now you are taken to the course page after you register.
Student Profile. The new
gcb_can_share_student_profilein AdminPage Admin > Settings determines whether to share the student profile between different courses. It also enables single click registration for those instances with multiple courses on one instance.
Upload Data. The ETL command now has the
--force_overwriteflag that completely overwrites all the existing data in the target system with the uploaded data.
Views Directory. Here are the template files that were changed under
- assessmenthtmlcontent.html (new)
- base_course.html (new)
- ~~base_registration.html~~ (removed)
- ~~confirmation.html~~ (removed)
- registration_module.html (new)
Here is an informal video to show the highlights: 1.5.0 (running time: 3:45)
Release notes for version 1.4.1
KNOWN ISSUE. If you run multiple courses in one instance go to
__Admin > Settings > gcbcanuse_memcache__ and keep it at its default
false. Otherwise, it is possible to access cached objects in one course from another course. Objects include student, course, lesson, unit, activity, and assessment. This issue will be fixed in version 1.5.0. See Fix to 1.4.1 Memcache Issue.
- Accessibility. Added more ARIA landmarks and removed inappropriate headers.
- Assessments: Weighted scoring. You can now weight questions in assessments. You can specify that some questions are “worth more points”. This is also available on multiple choice questions with multiple answers.
- Internationalization. Added additional error strings to the i18n language module.
- Power Searching Course. The default Power Searching with Google course had dates next to the units on the course listing page. These were removed.
- Security: HTTPS. Course Builder will now always connect through HTTPS.
Here is an informal video to show the highlights: 1.4.0 & 1.4.1 (running time: 5:30).
Release notes for version 1.4.0
- Administrator Page: Student page interactions. You can now record student interactions for each of your Course Builder pages. This is off by default.
- Administrator Page: Counter values. You can now aggregate and record counter values in memcache. This is off by default.
- Announcement Emails. Now when you create or update an announcement, you can optionally email it to students.
- Custom Jobs. Course Builder allows you to create and execute custom jobs. You can perform arbitrary computations on your data and then feed it into programs like the R statistics package or a MySQL database.
Dashboard: Settings. A new form based editor was added to help edit
course.yamlfile. See the [Dashboard#Settings Settings section of Dashboard].
- Dashboard: Students. This tab was renamed to Analytics. Bar charts were added to support the visualization of peer review statistics.
Download/Upload Data. The archive path is now specified as an
argument to an option,
- Footer text. “Powered by Course Builder” is now in the footer of pages that are not student facing. You can delete this text.
- Google App Engine. For version 1.4.0, you must use Google App Engine version 1.7.7.
- Lessons: Adding components in Objectives. When you create or edit lessons through the browser, you can now add various components through the rich text editor. Components include YouTube videos, your course forum, Google Doc, Google Spreadsheet, and Course Builder Activity. See the video (4:48).
- Peer Review. You can now use peer review as a grading mechanism. See the video (7:38).
- Updating Course Builder. When updating Course Builder, you must now update your index.
Release notes for version 1.3.1
- Announcements. There was a bug in the Announcements editor when you typed text in Rich Text mode and switched to plain text mode. The text would be lost. This bug was fixed.
- Export and Import Data. You can now export and import the files that constitute your Course Builder course. You can also export all Google App Engine datastore entities.
French language. There was a bug when using the French language
locale: 'fr'). Some activities were truncated. This bug was fixed.
- HTTPS. You can now access Course Builder through HTTPS.
Lesson Notes. If you do not specify lesson notes in your
lesson.csvfile or lesson editor, the Text Version button in the lesson will not show.
- Multiple Correct Answers. You can now have questions that have multiple correct answers.
Release notes for version 1.3.0
Many of the updates in version 1.3.0 enable course authors and administrators to edit their courses entirely online without the need to redeploy to Google App Engine.
- Administrator Page: Create courses. You can now create new courses through the Administrator Page.
Dashboard: course.yaml. You can now edit the
course.yamlfile directly through the Dashboard.
- Dashboard: Create assessments. You can now create assessments through the Dashboard.
- Dashboard: Create external links. You can now create links to external sites through the Dashboard.
- Dashboard: Create lessons and activities. You can now create lessons and actitivies for those lessons through the Dashboard.
- Dashboard: Create units. You can now create units through the Dashboard. See [Dashboard#Outline Dashboard Outline].
- Dashboard: Import courses. You can now import an existing course to a new, empty course. See [Dashboard#Outline Dashboard Outline].
- Dashboard: Organize course structure. You can now organize the structure of your course through the Dashboard. See [Dashboard#Outline Dashboard Outline].
- Dashboard: Upload images. You can now upload images through the Dashboard. See [Dashboard#Assets Dashboard Assets].
The following are more updates for 1.3.0:
- Announcements. There is a rich text editor to edit the body of Announcements.
- Datastore clearing. When developing on your development server, you should no longer clear the datastore between deployments to your live site. If you do so, you may lose any new courses that you created.
- Documentation structure. The structure of the documentation was changed.
- Internationalization. Course Builder now supports Zulu.
- Student State. Students can now track their progress on the course, activity, and assessment through progress indicators.
- Tabs. The current tab (the tab for the page on which you are currently on) is now underlined.
Here is an informal video to show the highlights: 1.3.0 (running time: 13:36).
Release notes for i18n language pack
- Internationalization. Course Builder now supports 57 languages.
Release notes for version 1.2.1
- CSV and international characters. There was a bug that prevented you from uploading CSV files that contained international characters such as accents. This update fixes the issue.
- course.yaml and international characters. There was a bug that disabled the Settings section in the Dashboard when course.yaml contained international characters such as accents. This update fixes the issue.
Release notes for version 1.2.0
- Accessibility. A variety of accessibility features were added. See Accessibility.
- Administrator Page. A new page was added for administrators who manage Google App Engine for Course Builder.
- Announcements. You can now create and edit announcements directly in the Announcements tab. Furthermore, you can save announcements as drafts and publish them later.
- Bulk uploading. You no longer have to manually upload the unit and lesson CSV files with the bulkuploader. The uploading of these files is now done automatically.
course.yaml file. The
course.yamlfile is a new file where you make course customizations. You no longer have to edit each individual template file in the
- Dashboard. A new dashboard was added for course authors to see a broad range of information about their course in one place.
- Event Recording. Course Builder now allows recording of all assessment and activity interactions attempted by students. This feature is off by default and can be enabled in Admin > Settings.
- Internationalization. An Internationalization framework was added so you can translate the student viewable text in a custom language. New translations in Spanish and Russian were also added.
Third Party Libraries. Course Builder now uses several open source
third party libraries. The libraries are located in the
- Security. Cross-site request forgery, also known as XSRF or CSRF, is a malicious attack that tries to exploit the relationship between a website and a user’s browser. Course Builder implements protection against XSRF using transient user-action specific tokens for all state-modifying HTTP operations supported by the product. Note that full in-depth security review has not yet been conducted. You should conduct independent security testing and take additional steps to secure your production site. If you find an issue, please report it immediately to the development team for assessment and resolution.
Release notes for version 1.1.1
- Windows platform support. Course Builder version 1.1.0 contained a bug specific to running a development server on Windows platforms. This update fixes the issue.
Release notes for version 1.1.0
- New tabs. Course Builder 1.0 contained two tabs: Course and Forum. CB 1.1 adds two new tabs: Announcements and My Profile.
Announcements tab. The new Announcements tab gives you a place that
you can put course announcements, without having to create a separate forum. The
content of the announcements tab is in
- My Profile tab. The new My Profile tab displays basic student information, such as their name and scores on various assessments. It also provides a place for the student to un-enroll from the course or to change their name.
- Arbitrary number of assessments. Course Builder 1.0 supported exactly three assessments per course: a pre-course assessment, a mid-term, and a final. In Course Builder 1.1, you can create any number of assessments for each course, each with its own scoring algorithm. See [CreateAssessments Create Assessments].
- Support for multiple courses. In Course Builder 1.0, you could only host one course per Google App Engine application instance. That is, in the GAE Launcher, you needed a separate application for each course and running each course started its own copy of the GAE binary. Two courses could not share any of the same code. CB 1.1 allows you to host multiple courses simultaneously.
- List of existing courses. This documentation now includes a list of courses people have created with Course Builder. If you have created a course and wanted it listed, fill out the form on that page.
- Course syllabus before registration. In Course Builder 1.0, students had to register for a course before they could see the syllabus of the course. Course Builder 1.1 removes this restriction.
- Page caching. Course Builder 1.1 caches pages displayed to students during production (but not during development). This should reduce the latency perceived by students and can also reduce Google App Engine costs.
- Changes to assessment data. Course Builder 1.1 changes how it stores information about student assessments.
Testing. Course Builder 1.1 includes a set of functional tests in
testsdirectory. If you make significant changes to Course Builder’s source code, consider running (and possibly changing) these tests.
Release notes for version 1.0
- First public release. Course Builder is our experimental first step in the world of online education.