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Mosaic Update

Student Functions
November 27, 2015

Building on our previous message, this update summarizes the ongoing work on five issues of concern to those who work with Mosaic’s student functions:

A complete list of the current top priority issues related to student functions in Mosaic is available and updated weekly.

Improved tools for reviewing applications for graduate studies

When someone applies to a graduate program they submit lots of information, as do their references, all of which needs to be provided to review committees and reviewers for evaluation. Last week, the Mosaic team introduced several new features that will make processing graduate student applications easier, including the ability to produce a single PDF file containing all application material.

Training to use the new tools has been provided to departmental graduate administrators and drop-in labs to assist users will continue be offered on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in T-13, room 124 beginning next week and continuing until March. Thanks to the many users who provided suggestions during the consultations for this work. Further improvements will be released in the coming months.

Grade submission in Mosaic

There have been modest but important changes to the grade submission function in Mosaic. Most importantly, all instructors should be able to submit grades directly from Avenue to Learn to Mosaic. To support instructors, grade entry labs will be available in December. Instructors who need assistance are encouraged to bring their grades to one of these labs.

As McMaster approaches the grade entry period for the fall term, a number of other changes are being prepared and are scheduled to be ready by December 4.

  • For undergraduate classes instructors will only be able to submit fully completed grade rosters
  • Only Faculty Office (or similar) administrators will be able to place a grade of incomplete “INC” UPDATE Dec. 8 — instructors may place a grade of "INC" for graduate courses only. For undergraduate courses "INC" grades must be placed by the faculty office.
  • A new tool for departmental and faculty office (and similar) administrators will list instructors in their area who have outstanding grade rosters
  • Faculty office (or similar) grade approvers will receive email notifications of grade changes awaiting approval
  • New ability to add a note to a grade change

Finally, administrators are reminded that teaching assistants do not have access to the classes they are assisting with by default in Mosaic. An instructor who needs a teaching assistant to enter grades in to Mosaic must specifically request access for their TA to the class. Instructors are directed to submit their requests to department administrators who can make the assignment.

Deferred exams

With exams starting soon not only will there be grades to enter, there will be students who wish to know the outcome of their application for a deferred exam. The Mosaic team and the Faculty Work Group have a small working group examining the deferred exam process and the subsequent collection of deferred grades. This group will look for opportunities to improve the process.

Information for academic advising

Several academic advisors have expressed concerns that finding a student’s academic information in Mosaic is inefficient. The Mosaic team are working to provide academic advisors with improved way to find the information they need. Several options are under discussion with the assistant deans and other stakeholders.

In addition, a new guide to help students understand their advisement reports was recently released.

Performance

Everyone hates the spinning wheel. The Mosaic team has an ongoing effort to identify the causes of system slowdowns. Performance slowdowns are frequently the result of specific tasks or actions in Mosaic that need to be optimized. Thus, if you encounter a slowdown please report it to the UTS Service Desk (ext. 24357) with the time and specific details about what you were doing, describing the page and action. This information helps us identify problems for investigation.

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Support

A full list of support contacts is available in Mosaic's Support tab. Further information is available in the Documentation tab

General Contact

mosaic@mcmaster.ca


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