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New Features: OER Metadata and Editing Instructors

In addition to our homepage overhaul, today we’re also launching a few targeted improvements in how we catalog and display the fast-expanding number of courses on the Commons.

As we increasingly open up education on the Commons, it is now possible to mark your Group and/or Site, including a course group or site, as one that uses Open Educational Resources. This way, Commons users can search and filter the Courses Directory for groups, sites, and courses that host or create OER materials. 

You can also edit the instructors displayed alongside your course Group and/or Site in the directory. With this update, any Commons user who is an admin of the Course can be listed as the instructor of the course, including multiple users.

The instructor and OER updates can be applied to new and already existing Groups and Sites. For a Site, in the Dashboard go to Settings > General  and scroll down to view both the new Instructors field and the OER checkbox, as seen in the screenshot below. For a Group, view the new options in the Manage > Details area.

When creating a new Group or Site, the OER checkbox will be available in the creation portal (available when logged in). 

For the Instructor field, by default a new teaching Group or Site instructor will be the Commons user who created it, but this can always be changed later using the instructions above. 

Finally, we’ve also added a new field for “Class Project” in the drop-down menu when creating or changing a Site or Group’s  Primary Purpose settings. The “class project” purpose  is intended for students creating sites or groups on the Commons for one of their courses, and should be distinct from the “Teaching” field intended for teachers setting up actual course sites. We want to make sure that only Sites and Groups with the “Teaching” purpose are displayed in our Courses directory.

Contact us here with any questions or feedback. Your participation is what helps bring about upgrades like this, and we’re constantly on the lookout for what the Commons can do better.

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