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Issue 8 Creating an Online Course for Your Community

NCIP Hub “Courses” allows you to design, customize and administer online classes! You can upload lecture videos, add graded assignments, design exams and provide credit for course completion. If you’re just looking to learn, you can take any of the NCIP Hub’s publicly-available classes. Interested? Let’s take a closer look!

What are NCIP Hub Courses?

Courses are a way for you to teach your community, or other cancer researchers, about the specialized knowledge that your group creates and curates on the NCIP Hub, or elsewhere. Through NCIP Hub Courses, you can:

  • Create custom course overview pages
  • Add multiple instructors or managers
  • Build a course outline and add content
  • Add automatically-graded assignments
  • Embed educational videos

If you’re interested in starting an online course on NCIP Hub, submit a support ticket with some background information on the course you’d like to start and why. The NCIP Hub admin team will get back to you with instructions and next steps in the approval process.

Setting Up Your Online Course

Once you’ve been approved to create your course, you can build and customize it as you see fit from the Course Dashboard (final course content may still be subject to approval and NCIP Hub’s terms of use.) You can access your Course Dashboard from your own personal Hub dashboard, or by going to Follow these steps to completely build out the course: 

  1. Add a course title and a short description: Make sure your course title clearly conveys the content of the course. The short description should be a 1-3 sentence description of what students should expect to learn and the credit they will receive.
  2. Add a long description: This description will be located on the overview tab of the course. It should include a general outline of course content, the amount of work/time needed to complete the course, credit received for the course, and any other information you think may be useful for students to know before signing up.
  3. Define offerings: Offerings are the organization of your course materials. Each offering is considered a “Unit” of the course. Take a look at the example below:

Click on the “Create an Offering” button to add your first offering, give it a title and input any necessary metadata, then click “Save.” Navigate to the “Offerings” tab and click on “New” to add the next offering. Note: You will not be adding your actual materials here, just defining the sections they fall under.

  1. Build Your Overview Pages: Click on any of the “Overview” pages and click “Edit” to update the content. You can add more overview pages by clicking the “Add Page” button. Use the Overview pages to not only organize the content you’d like potential students to see, but the order in which they view the information.
  2. Add instructors and assign roles: Click on the “Manage” button to add users and give them a specific role within the course. While “Instructor” and “Manager” are the default roles, you may ask NCIP Hub administrators to create custom roles based on your use case.
Adding Course Material

Once you’ve set up your course with complete and accurate information, it’s time to start adding course materials. The NCIP Hub allows you to do this by creating a “Course Outline,” and filling it in.

Start by navigating to the Course Dashboard and clicking “Outline,” then, “Build Outline.” Your course outline is broken up into Units (think of units as your Offerings from the course set up.) Each unit consists of default categories: Lectures, Homework & Exams. To edit a category, hover over it and click ‘Edit.” Once you’ve made all your edits, click “Save.”

Next, create asset groups under each category. You’ll add your course materials under these asset groups. Take a look at this example:

Pro Tips – These are the various materials you may add to your asset groups:

  • Add links by typing the url into the edit box.
  • Embed Youtube or Kaltura videos by pasting the video embed code.
  • Add a wiki by creating a new wiki page.
  • Upload files directly to the category. Users will be able to download these documents. This option needs to be used when creating a gradable PDF document (see below).
Adding Graded Assignments

The NCIP Hub courses functionality allows you to create assignments or exams that can be automatically graded. First, create a PDF document with questions and their corresponding answers; then:

  1. Go to your Course Dashboard and upload the PDF to the appropriate Asset Group.
  2. You’ll be asked what to do with the file – select “Create quiz/exam.”
  3. Click and drag your cursor to select an entire question and its answer choices. This will create a yellow box around the area of the question.
  4. Click next to each answer to create radio buttons for the choices students can select.
  5. Click the radio button next to the correct answer, then repeat this for all of the questions.
  6. When you’re done creating the answer bubbles, click “Save and Close”.

Once you’ve defined your questions and answers, you’ll be asked to add deployment settings. You can select an assignment time limit and the number of completion attempts allowed. Finally, choose what you’d like the student to see after they complete the assignment:

  • Confirmation that their submission was accepted (they won’t see their scores until after the session is closed)
  • Their score (they’ll be able to see their score but not the answers)
  • A complete comparison of their answers to the correct answers (they’ll be able to see their score and the answers)

Click “Create deployment” to save the settings for the gradable document to complete the upload. If you need to make changes to the assignment, click the small pencil icon next to the document’s name.

NCIP Hub September Announcements

Call for NCIP Hub Webinar Topics

Have a burning question about NCIP Hub that you’d like to know more about? Let us know! We’d like to hear from you about subjects that you’re interested in learning about. Your topic may be chosen for the next NCIP Hub webinar! Use the contact information on the right to forward us your requests.

NCIP Hub Office Hours

When: Tuesday, September 19, 12-1pm

Add to Calendar

Bring your questions directly to the NCIP Hub team! We’re happy to provide personal support for your community.

HUBZero Community Meeting: Presentation from PlantingScience Hub 

When: Wednesday, September 27, 10-11am

Add to Calendar

Please join us for this month’s HUBzero Community meeting. The PlantingScience Hub team will be presenting on the work taking place on their Hub. Hope to see you there! 

You are receiving the monthly NCIP Hub Newsletter because you’ve opted to receive occasional updates from the NCIP Hub. You may opt-out at any time by changing the email notifications setting at the bottom of the Profile tab on your personal dashboard.

Have you attended an NCIP Hub Office Hour yet?

NCIP Hub office hours are an opportunity for you to bring your questions or comments directly to the NCIP Hub admin team. This may be a more helpful option in some cases than submitting a support ticket. NCIP Hub office hours are held at the end of every month. You can find more details in the September Announcements section or on the NCIP Hub User Group

How do I Start an Online Course?

If you’re interested in starting an online course on NCIP Hub, submit a support ticket with some background information on the course you’d like to start and why. The NCIP Hub admin team will get back to you with instructions and next steps in the approval process.

Ask This!

Can I add prerequisites to my online course? Absolutely! Prerequisites, or course items that need to be completed before accessing other parts of your course, can be enabled for Units and Asset Groups under their “Prerequisites” sections. Note that creating prerequisites may change the original order of course completion.

Need more information on Building Online Courses?

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