Using Your Sandbox

What is a Sandbox?

Sandbox courses are made available to professors so they may explore DC Connect tools and features, or develop new content, in a private space. The recommended process for copying course materials from one semester to the next makes use of the Sandbox Management Widget, found on the My Home page of DC Connect.

The Sandbox Management Widget can be used by faculty to add, edit (rename), and delete their suite of sandbox courses.

Detailed supporting documentation for this tool can be found on the CAFE website: DC Connect: Sandbox Management Tool

How do I use my Sandbox?

Check out this short video on the simplest way to copy your course into your sandbox:

Begin by creating a new sandbox for the course materials you would like to copy forward. After creating the new sandbox course, use the Edit feature to assign a unique and/or meaningful name to it. A course code and number for example.

The next step is to access the newly renamed sandbox and copy the course materials from the appropriate source.

Supporting documentation for the Copy Components tool of DC Connect can be found on the CAFE website: DC Connect: Copying Course Components

External Integrations

If your course has connections to external, third party resources (e.g online publisher assessment tools, virtual proctoring, etc.), do not enable them at this time. You will do so once your materials have been copied to the upcoming semester’s CRN.

Now It’s Time to Review and Update

Once the desired materials have been copied into your sandbox, it is time to review the content and activities and make the necessary updates.

Click on the Title or Arrow for more information on the topics below.

It is recommended that you visit your Course Announcements and delete any that were specific to the previous section. If the content of the announcement can be repurposed, you may want to expire the announcement until it is once again relevant, or assign an appropriate future start date after updating the messaging (if necessary).

Supporting documentation for the Announcements tool of DC Connect can be found on the CAFE website: DC Connect: Announcements & Notifications

The next recommended step is to review and update any date properties or restrictions that have been set on your content and activities. Rather than editing each item one at a time, we suggest you explore the Manage Dates tool that can be found on the Course Admin page of your course.

This tool lists all the content materials and activities of your course and any date properties that have been set. You can quickly delete the existing dates, or update them to the appropriate future dates. The page also allows you to filter your materials, allowing you to focus on as few or as many course tools as you prefer.

This short video on using the Manage Dates tool to bulk edit dates may be helpful:

Note that if you are using the Quiz tool for assessments and have made use of the Submission Views settings, you will want to review and update those dates as well.

This short video on customizing submission views may be helpful:

Also note that the Manage Dates tool does not pull any date information from the Intelligent Agents tool. If you are copying forward agents, you will need to review them one at a time to ensure the messaging is accurate and the run schedules are updated.

Another location to consider date information is in the course Content. If you have included date information as part of the titles of your content modules or topics (e.g. Week 1 - Monday, Jan. 7th), be sure to update them too.

In addition to the module and topic titles, you may have date information included within the Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and PDF documents that present your materials and assignment descriptions. Be sure to review those files, update those materials, and reupload them to your course.

Once the date properties and restrictions for your course materials have been addressed, review the descriptive content of your presentations, handouts, and activities such as Discussions, Quizzes, or Assignment Submission Folders, and make any necessary updates.

If you need assistance managing items in your Content, supporting documentation can be found on the CAFE website: DC Connect: Content

Now would be a good time to confirm or replace the course outline that is either attached to the Course Overview, or resides in a module under the Table of Contents. If the course outline is not present, now is a good time to add it to your course.

Course outlines can be accessed and downloaded from this portal: Online Course Outlines

Review your Grades to ensure the items present align with the published course outline. Now is also a good time to ensure your grade settings are set to release the final calculated grade, and that it is visible to student.

Page 4 of this document will assist you with confirming the release of the Final Calculated Grade: DC Connect: Final Grades Submission

This document will assist you with setting the visibility (for students) of the Final Calculated Grade: DC Connect: Release Final Calculated Grades

New Semester Available

When the new semester sections become available in DC Connect, access your new CRN and copy all the updated materials from the appropriate sandbox course.

Following the copy process, you will need to enable any necessary Intelligent Agents, re-enable Turnitin on Assignment Submission Folders, and enable third party integrations (such as Examity, and MindTap, etc.).

A Final Note

Although it is possible to copy directly from one CRN to another without using a sandbox course, using the sandbox as an intermediary allows you to carefully consider the release of materials to students and avoids a flood of confusing (and likely erroneous) notifications to your future students.