BUG new Courses tool. very disappointing...

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Brent Hoefling | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Aug 24 2016 6:31 AM

Obviously, I am a Logos NOW subscriber, as I had been using the Courses tool for some time.  Also - I am Not disappointed in the tool, the new features are great and all.  however - I have lost my bookmarks and tracking.  

I had several bookmarks that pointed to courses that I was in process of going through/learning. Now they don't open from the hot key (CTRL-1, CTRL-2, etc), nor do they open if I open my favorites window and at the bookmarks section, clicking the link.

If I browse to them (in the new Courses tool), it has lost "tracking" what I have completed. When I open a course in Courses that I have completed, it does not show that, and makes me start again.  this is where I am disappointed that I have apparently lost all my tracking.

If I open a course that I happen to remember and know I completed from the library, it does go to the "last" location (end/final exam, usually), but has no tracking of the sections being completed. On top of that, there isn't a way for me to mark something as completed, probably for good reason, but I do not want to have to go through all my completed courses and click next through them so that the tracking is back up to date.

During the event stream, I noted this, as a Logos Subscriber, I was updated that morning when I started the system, and after it updated databases and resources, and completed the indexing, I jumped right in to my schooling, and discovered the anomaly.  In any case, on the logos, faithlife page they replied with a number to call for customer service.  so I went there (and left a message in another thread here on the forums).

And then I called support, stayed on the line with them for quite some time, explaining my issue.  they  put me on hold as they were researching, and finally they said they would email me with more information before the end of the day, and haven't heard back from them.  This is the first time I have ever had that happen.  I know the new release is out, and everyone is busy - but an email saying they are still working on it would have served to calm my impatience for at least a week. :)

So, now I am here, 3 days later, not taking any classes, so that I don't "mess up" any tracking that might be there, but not showing. and am going through withdrawals of my Mobile ED learning.

anyone out there? Beuller?

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 7:02 AM

Brent Hoefling:
If I browse to them (in the new Courses tool), it has lost "tracking" what I have completed. When I open a course in Courses that I have completed, it does not show that, and makes me start again.  this is where I am disappointed that I have apparently lost all my tracking.

I haven't got any bookmarks so couldn't check that but see exactly what you are saying about losing position in the courses 

I've just checked on my mobile device and the position is still shown correctly there so I am hopeful that the system does know the real position and it will be possible for this to be restored.

Hopefully someone from Faithlife will comment.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 7:09 AM

Brent Hoefling:
If I browse to them (in the new Courses tool), it has lost "tracking" what I have completed. When I open a course in Courses that I have completed, it does not show that, and makes me start again.  this is where I am disappointed that I have apparently lost all my tracking.

I pointed this out during beta, as I was equally disappointed. I was told that the problem was that unlike the new tool, the old Courses tool didn't actually track completion data itself. It simply used the 'read' status of the resource, and displayed that. So you could read a resource outside the courses tool, and it would still be checked off.

That works fine with MobileEd, but with the new courses tool there will be all sorts of other courses. Imagine a 'course' that took you through the Bible in a year. Under the old Courses behaviour it would look like you'd completed random bits of the 'course' (or perhaps even all of it) because of your prior reading of that Bible.

So the new tool will keep much better track in the future, but to do that all progress has been lost.

FWIW, I've been through my courses and clicked "complete" all the way through on the ones I have done. It didn't take all that long.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 7:10 AM

Brent Hoefling:
I had several bookmarks that pointed to courses that I was in process of going through/learning. Now they don't open from the hot key (CTRL-1, CTRL-2, etc), nor do they open if I open my favorites window and at the bookmarks section, clicking the link.

These bookmarks won't work either, because the new tool is entirely different to the old one. The good news is that once you've re-done your progress, you shouldn't need them because the new tool keeps track of each courses you have started and where you are in each one.

Posts 556
Brent Hoefling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 7:24 AM

Mark Barnes:

So the new tool will keep much better track in the future, but to do that all progress has been lost.

FWIW, I've been through my courses and clicked "complete" all the way through on the ones I have done. It didn't take all that long.

Is this the official answer? I hope not.

no. just no.

This needs to be fixed ASAP. I would like to have an official answer from Logos please. To start my new collectors 7, I get to sit on ringing/hold for a long time, then I get no return call/email, and then to lose information without warning?  maybe insignificant to some, but not to me.  I want that "read" data to be moved forward into my courses, or at the very least to have the option that it is ported.  I should have a voice in this, and it seems I don't. now I am really disappointed. :( 

Logos/Faithlife, you have spoiled me.  I have never, ever had an issue with support, until now.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 8:29 AM

Brent Hoefling:
Is this the official answer? I hope not.

It's a summary of Eli's Evans' response to me in a very long online conversation we had when I raised the same issue. I'll ask him to respond here.

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 9:30 AM

Hi, Brent. I assume CS is swamped right now, but I agree it's unusual for them not to email back. I think I can talk you through what's going on here, though.

First, I'm really sorry for the inconvenience. We really should have done a better job communicating. This post is long, but I'm hoping to use this thread as a reference point should this come up for more users.

Previous Course Progress is Still There

You haven't really "lost" any tracking data. It's still there, it just isn't being used by this new version of the Courses tool. Yet. (Let's call them "Cousrses LN" for Logos Now and "Courses 7" for the new one in 7 for short.)

Courses LN was essentially just a reading view. It would open one Mobile Ed course and use the same technology as multiple panel views to weld the video segment and the textbook together into one view port. It used library view-tracking data to determine if you had "read" a portion of a course or not. That means the Courses LN tool was not actually storing any unique tracking data at all. Rather, it was leveraging existing view-tracking data to show which sections of a course had ever been seen before.

You can confirm this by opening the Library in the details grid view and you should see tiny ring progress graphs that still show that you have read this much or that much of a course. If you filter the library by type:Courseware, and then sort the ring column, you'll see which courses you've read and which ones you haven't. That's basically all the Courses tool did, but at a level of detail where the checkmarks appeared in the table of contents.

So, your progress is still there, it's just not shown in the Courses 7 tool.

Why We Didn't Migrate that Data

When we went to make Courses 7, we wanted to make something much more flexible, something that was more than just a way to track reading progress within a Mobile Ed course, but could take any excerpt from any resource and (eventually) content views from any tool or guide and arrange them into a pedagogical sequence and display them in a manner similar to the Courses LN tool -- one learning segment at a time, welded together when needed. (The course outline for a Courses LN course was just the table of contents of the Mobile Ed textbook/transcript resource. So it was very tightly coupled to a single resource.)

So we decooupled the learning plan -- the outline of the course content in the left pane -- from the resource and let it have an identity of its own. The learning plan can have any sections from any resources in any order. You'll notice that the learning plan for a Mobile Ed course in Courses 7 isn't just an exact mirror of the textbook resource's table of contents, but rather a synthesis of the textbook resource's contents plus sections for the required and suggested readings, plus sections for any Self Test quizzes, midterms, and finals that may be included in the course. Thus, Courses 7 is similar to Courses LN, but more complete.

This put us in a quandry about what to do with Courses LN progress, because Courses 7 progress is now decoupled from the resource view tracking system because:

  • The same excerpt of resource content can appear in multiple courses; just having read it once, perhaps a long time ago, isn't quite the same as having "completed" it within the context of a given course.

  • We want to someday pursue basic accreditation (or at least make that option possible). The explicit user action of pressing the "Continue" button is a tiny contract that says, "Yes, I'm affirming that  I finished this section" rather than "I might have scrolled past this section at some point." It's a small difference, but an important one.

  • Since Courses LN doesn't store any distinct data, but Courses 7 does, we can store a sort of "transcript" in your user account that really, truly says "User X has completed Course Y" where "Course Y" is an identifiable and definite bundle of content with a name and an identity rather than "Use X has read all of book Y" which is not as sure. (Obviously, this makes more difference with courses that are made up of collections of excerpts from multiple resources, less of an issue with Mobile Ed, which are designed to revolve around one textbook. Then again, for Mobile Ed courses that have activity books and required readings, we can more confidently assert that all that course work has actually been done.)

  • When you take a new course, and you've already read, say 20% of it, maybe you want to check off all the stuff you've already read, and maybe you don't.

  • We want to add teacher/student collaboration at some point, which means that a teacher may have multiple copies of the same course running simultaneously with different progress points in each, and we have to let them keep that separated.

  • Courses LN didn't have the ability to generate a calendar schedule (like Reading Plans) but Courses 7 does.

This represents a significant expansion of the charter for Courses tool, and (we hope) turns it from a boutique/special interest tool in LN into a core feature of 7 and beyond. Trouble is, this expanded charter isn't really compatible with the LN version of the tool.

What We Plan to Do About It

Which brings me to the solution that we landed on, and I wish we had been able to complete in time for launch but didn't: Add a button to the settings page for a course to automatically pre-mark anything you've already read according to resource view tracking. This would allow you to import your Courses LN "data" into a given Courses 7 course at will. (Unlike the Courses LN tool, the Courses 7 tool does in fact store its own separate data distinct from anything else in the system.)

The development team didn't get to that feature in time for the launch date. (As a general rule, we set release dates in stone and then adjust the feature set as needed, not the other way around.)

We looked at the usage statistics for the Courses tool. Less than 100 unique Logos Now users have ever opened the Courses tool in Logos Now. A small handful have opened it very often. If you've used it a lot and really liked it, you are a member of a very elite club. Smile 

Normally, I wouldn't recommend that we ship a feature if it didn't have a complete data migration strategy for existing users. User data is very important to us. The most important thing, actually. But in this case:

  1. There wasn't any distinct data to migrate, just resource view tracking data that was really meant to be used for another purpose;
  2. The resource view tracking data that is there is still there, available for its original purpose;
  3. The data that could be migrated isn't really compatible with the new tool;
  4. We can build the import button and ship very soon after 7.0 (I'm lobbying for it going into 7.1, but no promises);
  5. The number of users affected will be very, very small.

What Can You Do Now?

The good news is, you won't mess anything up by using the Courses 7 tool. The Courses LN data is there in the resource view tracking system, and it's not used by the Courses 7 tool at all. (Which is the bad news.)

  • For completed courses, wait until there is a version that will let you open the corresponding course and them auto-mark it (the aforementioned button) from resource view tracking.

  • For courses that you haven't completed yet, start the corresponding course and find out where you were in the course and start from there in the new Courses 7 course. You can either a) wait for that button, or b) hit "Continue" a lot to mark them off and catch up to where you were. (You may want to start them over anyway, because Courses 7 has the ability to create a calendar schedule where Courses LN didn't.)

  • For new courses, just start them in Courses 7 and full speed ahead.

Again, I'm sorry for the hiccup here. I hope it's a temporary interruption and that it doesn't sour you to the potential of the new Courses tool, which I think is already pretty amazing and is only going to grow from here.

 

Posts 556
Brent Hoefling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 11:04 AM

Eli Evans:

Hi, Brent. I assume CS is swamped right now, ...[clipped]

Thank you.

Seriously - this helps a lot, and has served to reduce my frustrations tremendously.  I appreciate your taking the time to document all this, especially so that it can be referenced by others that don't know if this affects them or not.

With that said, if "we" are indeed an elite (unique) group of people, Might I suggest not taking development time on an import tool that really would only be for us.  and instead, have something available that we can notify you that want that to happen and it is done on the back end, with no user intervention (with our permission, so to speak - especially if there is less than 100 of us - I used the tool a lot.).  the "resource view tracking data" in the Courses LN was an awesome feature (not knowing what was coming, of course).  and at least for me - I used it for the Mobile Ed courses very intentionally.

my learning/studying and pedagogical paradigm from the Logos tool was to go through the videos, and then read each of the Suggested reading resources (I make sure to buy them if I don't already have them) whether I have read them or not.  Then I read the See Also resources if I have them - again, whether I have read that part or not - and make a judgement call on whether I want to buy one of these resources if I don't have it (doesn't happen often). then the guides and other links back to Logos.  I do this for each and every lesson, and the resource view tracking for the course material helped a lot, in tracking progress; especially when I was doing more than one course at a given "time".

Thanks you again for the explanation..  I will "fast forward" on my current mobile ed course on archaeology and go from there.

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 24 2016 12:57 PM

Good to hear, Brent. Happy to help. We'll get that import button in as soon as we can.

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