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About Janice Florent

Technology Coordinator in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development at Xavier University of Louisiana

Often instructors are looking for images to use in their courses because images can liven up the course and help students understand the course material.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it might also be worth a thousand dollars if your school gets hit with a copyright violation claim. —Eric Curts

There are many high quality pictures that can be used without any licensing concerns. These can include images that are released under creative commons, or are in the public domain, or simply are copyright-free.

Eric Curts compiled a list of free image sites and tools for schools that you may find helpful in your search for free images.

free image sites for schools

Two sites I use often that didn't make Curt's list are Creative Commons (CC) Search and the Noun Project.

Are you looking for images of diverse people? This curated list of image collections featuring diverse people by Online Network of Educators may be of interest to you.

black students working on laptop computer

Images have the power to enhance your message or story, they can also become a big distraction when used improperly. Check out this Mistakes to Avoid When Using Photos in eLearning blog post for some common mistakes.

Additionally, you may find an image you want to use, but you would like to make changes to it. You can find free photo and image editing tools in this eLearning Industry blog post by Christopher Pappas. Just make sure the image copyright gives you permission to modify the image.

If you are looking for information on copyright and Creative Commons, our Creative Commons (CC) Wiki Resource has information about CC licenses and CC licensed works that may help.

Image credits:
Image by Eric Curts is licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0
Photo by Nappy Studio from nappy.co

person of color holding a mobile phone

Students can control how they receive information about course activity through their notification preferences. They can customize which actions in Brightspace will trigger a notification.

The Notification tool allows users to:

  • Subscribe to a summary of activity for each course and receive a daily email.
  • Specify your preferred email address and mobile number for instant notifications and announcements.
  • Receive instant notifications about course activity, such as edited content, new discussion posts, assignments, grades, course announcements and upcoming quizzes.

Instructors can help their students to keep up with their coursework by encouraging them to setup their notification preferences. Additionally, there is a Getting Started for Learners Video Playlist that students should watch to get familiar with Brightspace.

Follow these steps to do it.

To customize notification preferences, users should:

  1. From your Personal Menu (located in the Minibar), select Notifications.
  2. select notifications from personal menu

  3. Select the email address and/or register the mobile phone number to which notifications will be sent.
  4. Select the course activities for which you would like to receive notifications.
  5. Click the Save button at the bottom of the screen.

Want more information?

Navigate Brightspace - Notifications - Learner (video)
Getting Started for Learners Video Playlist

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

Image credit: Photo by Alyssa Sieb from Nappy.co

Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app that can help learners stay connected and on track with their Brightspace courses. It provides one easy view of course calendars, readings, assignments, evaluations, grades, and announcement items. The app can help learners make better decisions about how to handle their workload, when to submit assignments, and when to prepare for tests. Real-time alerts can let learners know when classes are canceled, class is meeting in an alternate location, or new grades are available. The schedule view and weekly visualization enables learners to quickly at a glance view what is due today, this week, and upcoming across all their courses.

While the Brightspace Pulse app is designed for the learner, instructors can benefit too.

Brightspace Pulse App on iPhone

While the Brightspace Pulse app is designed for the learner, instructors can benefit too. When instructors enter due dates or end dates for assignments and activities the information is populated in the Pulse app enabling learners to stay connected and on track. Thus, instructors can spend less time reminding and more time teaching.

Instructors can make their courses Pulse friendly by including due dates or end dates for assignments and activities. When instructors do not enter due dates or end dates, no associated information is available in the Pulse app.

The Pulse app is great for helping students stay on track in face-to-face classes as well. Instructors can set up their face-to-face assignments and activities as events in the Brightspace course calendar. Students will get those date feeds in the Brightspace Pulse app.

Help keep students on track for success in all their courses by including a due date or end date for assignments and activities.

Want more information?

Brightspace Pulse App
Brightspace Tip #341: Due Dates
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for Content (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for an Assignment (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for a Discussion Topic (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for a Quiz (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Availability for a Calendar Event (video)
Brightspace Tip #368: Manage Dates
Brightspace Tip #248: Drip-Feeding

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

update

D2L (the company that owns Brightspace) uses Continuous Delivery to update our Brightspace system. The Continuous Delivery model gives us regular monthly updates allowing for incremental and easily integrated changes with no downtime required for our Brightspace system.

Our Continuous Delivery update occurs on the 4th Thursday of each month. D2L provides release notes to help users stay up-to-date with the changes.

Here are a few updates in the January 2023/20.23.1 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Brightspace – Supported Browsers

This release updates the list of retro or legacy browsers (specific older versions of supported browsers). If you are using a browser below the latest updates, the "Your browser is looking a little retro" warning message appears. The browsers include:

  • Chrome 107+ (released October 2022)
  • Android Chrome 107+ (released October 2022)
  • macOS Safari 16+ (released September 2022)
  • iOS Safari 16+ (released September 2022)
  • Firefox 106+ (released October 2022)

Previously this message would only show for browsers under Chrome/Edge 100, Safari 15, and Firefox 99. There are no changes to legacy browser requirements that remain at versions below Chrome/Edge 74, Safari 13, and Firefox 67.

2) Brightspace Editor – Equations render consistently for all users

To improve consistency in Brightspace Editor, this release updates the Editor so that it renders all equations during editing or creation in the same MathJax format as when published. This helps with correct formatting and spacing of equations, which makes it easier to review work prior to publishing.

Previously there were layout and styling differences during creation and editing; the former used WIRIS format rendering and the latter MathJax.

Note: There are no changes to the Equation Editor used to create an equation to insert into the editor.

The Equation Editor showing the rendering of an equation during creation after the January 2023/20.23.1 Release.
The Equation Editor showing the rendering of an equation during creation after the January 2023/20.23.1 Release.
The Equation Editor showing the rendering of an equation during creation prior to the January 2023/20.23.1 Release.
The Equation Editor showing the rendering of an equation during creation prior to the January 2023/20.23.1 Release.

3) Pulse - View topic descriptions

Building upon the Brightspace Pulse – Access links and images in module descriptions when you’re on-the-go feature originally released in October 2022/20.22.10. This feature improves the experience of learners using Pulse to review course topics by making full HTML topic descriptions available.

Previously, learners could access Content in Pulse, but could not see information included in topic descriptions that were visible in the Brightspace web application.

The View Description option for a topic in Pulse.
The View Description option for a topic in Pulse.

4) Release Conditions – Additional Replies Only release condition for Discussions

This release alters the existing release conditions for Discussions by adding a new Replies Only option to the Posts authored in topic and No post authored in topic condition types drop-down menus. This helps instructors release material, or not release material, based solely on replies.

Previously the only options were New Threads Only and Threads and Replies.

The Create a Release Condition dialog with the new Replies Only option selected from the Type drop-down menu.
The Create a Release Condition dialog with the new Replies Only option selected from the Type drop-down menu.

5) Rubrics – Discard incomplete evaluations

The Rubric evaluation workflow provides an autosave feature to streamline the evaluation process; however, if an instructor exited the partial evaluation, the automatically saved parts of the assessment were committed to the rubric and visible to the learner. To provide a better experience in Consistent Evaluation (inline and pop-out views), the instructor has the option to Publish the current evaluation, or to Save as Draft. If the instructor chooses to Save as Draft, the working copy of an evaluation is saved to a temporary file until the instructor clicks Publish, and then commits the assessment to the Rubric. If an instructor clicks the new Cancel button, the working copy is deleted. If an instructor edits a previously published evaluation and then decides to cancel before updating, all the changes in the evaluation, including the rubric evaluation changes, are discarded.

Note: Portfolio and Grade book pop out windows and the Rubric Create and Edit windows currently only support the auto-save functionality.

The Discard button on an in-process evaluation. The Saving and Saved indicators no longer appear at the top of the evaluation window.
The Discard button on an in-process evaluation. The Saving and Saved indicators no longer appear at the top of the evaluation window.

6) Rubrics – Statistics icon moved to allow more space to grade tasks

The Rubrics Statistics icon is available when the rubric tile is collapsed and expanded. When the rubric tile is collapsed, the icon appears at the bottom of the rubric tile. When the rubric is expanded, the icon now appears inside the grading task. This change provides expanded horizontal space for evaluators to complete the grading tasks.

Previously, when the icon appeared outside the expanded rubric tile, the space available to grade tasks was limited by the space used by the icon.

This change provides parity between the legacy evaluation experience and the new Consistent Evaluation experience.

Image showing how the Rubrics Statistics icon appeared before update
Previously, the Rubrics Statistics icon appeared outside the collapsed Rubrics tile.
Image showing how statistics icon appears at the bottom of the collapsed Rubrics tile
Now, the Rubrics Statistic icon appears at the bottom of the collapsed Rubrics tile.
Image shows how statistics icon appears inside the expanded Rubrics tile
The Rubrics Statistics icon also appears inside the expanded Rubrics tile.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the January Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform January 2023/20.23.1 Release Notes.

Additionally, refer to the Brightspace Release Notes for Continuous Delivery Releases, for details about current, past, and to preview upcoming continuous delivery updates.

Want more information?

View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

Instructors can use Replace Strings to personalize Brightspace. Replace strings allow instructors to customize course content and communications in Brightspace by incorporating the intended learner's personalized information, such as their first name, automatically.

Example of a personalized Course Homepage
Example of a personalized Course Homepage

Use Replace Strings to create a more personalized learning environment. For example, you can personalize a welcome message, announcement, and/or honor pledge by including the learner’s name.

Follow these steps to do it.

Enter the {FirstName} replace string variable (must be enclosed in curly bracket) in the Brightspace Editor when you want to substitute the learners’s first name. Enter the {LastName} replace string variable when you want to substitute the learner's last name.

Example #1

In an announcement, enter:

Hi {FirstName}! Welcome to this...

Replace String in an Announcement example
Replace String in an Announcement example

Example #2

In module description, enter:

Welcome {FirstName}! Welcome to the study of...

Replace String in a module description example
Replace String in a module description example

Example #3

For an acknowledgement in an honor pledge, enter:

I, {FirstName} {LastName}, acknowledge that...

Replace Strings in an honor pledge example
Replace Strings in an honor pledge example

NOTE: Not all Replace Strings are available in all areas of Brightspace and Replace Strings do not work when sending email inside of Brightspace.

Want more information?

Using Replace Strings (pdf)
About Replace Strings
Teaching Tip - Use Replacement Strings for Personalization (video)
Brightspace Tip #237: Release Conditions
Customize Learning Paths Using Release Conditions (video)
Content - Attach a Release Condition (video)
Quizzes - Attach a Release Condition to a Quiz (video)
Best Practices for Setting Release Conditions
Customize Your Course Homepage

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

An update to assignment availability dates was introduced with our December Continuous Delivery Updates. Assignment availability dates for the Assignment tool were updated to be consistent with the new availability date model that was previously added to Discussions. Instructors can now include availability dates in the Calendar and have greater control over the behavior of availability dates for their learners. As a result, instructors can:

  • Stop late submissions.
  • Let learners view assignment information and submissions after it ends.
  • Schedule the visibility of an assignment.
  • Allow learners to view an assignment while preventing them from attempting it.
  • Post the start and end of an assignment to the Calendar.

The Assignment list page for both instructors and learners now contain all activity dates and date settings, including:

  • Access restricted
  • Submission restricted
  • Hidden
The Availability Date Defaults page, the Assignment page with activity dates and date settings.
The Availability Date Defaults page, the Assignment page with activity dates and date settings

The new availability date settings will let instructors setup assignments to achieve a few different workflows for students:

  • To stop late submissions, set an end date that is submission-restricted. Learners will be able to see the assignment information after the end date, but will not be able to submit.
  • To let learners access their submissions after the assignment has ended, set an end date that is submission-restricted.
  • To prevent learners from attempting an assignment but still allow them to view details like instructions and attachments, set a start date that is submission-restricted.
  • To schedule the visibility of an assignment you want students to see at a specific time, set a start date that is hidden to completely hide it from students; or set a start date that is access-restricted to let students see the name and dates of the assignment but no other details.
  • To show the start and end of an assignment in the Calendar, include start and end availability dates on the assignment and select Add availability dates to Calendar.

Previously, most Brightspace tools restricted access to assignments outside of availability dates with a manually managed visibility toggle.

Instructors can choose the default settings for availability dates for any new assignment. The settings are available on the Availability Date Defaults page, which can be found under Course Admin.

The Availability Dates Defaults page displaying the different options for Start and End Dates in Assignments and Discussions.
The Availability Dates Defaults page displaying the different options for Start and End Dates in Assignments and Discussions.

Important: Making a change on the Availability Date Defaults page will not affect the availability dates of any previously-created assignment or discussion, but it will affect the date properties of special access dates.

New Properties of Availability Dates for Assignments

The availability dates for Assignments have new properties as described below. These new properties align and behave the same way as the same properties available to Discussions topics and forums.

The Availability Start and End Dates will each have a set of three options. Instructors will be able to select one option for each date. By choosing an option, you are deciding whether learners can see the assignment and access it. The options are:

  1. Visible with access-restricted (before start/after end)
    • The assignment will be visible to learners before the Start Date or after the End Date, but they cannot click or open it.
    • This behavior is consistent with how Classic Content, Assignments, and User Progress treat assignments outside of availability dates currently.
    • With this setting, learners can see the name, dates, and restrictions. Learners cannot see the assignment description or attachments.
  2. Visible with submission-restricted (before start/after end)
    • The assignment will be visible to learners before the Start Date or after the End Date and they can click or open it, but they cannot submit or mark it as complete.
    • With this setting, learners can see all details about the assignment including description, attachments, and rubrics, but they cannot upload files, enter comments, or mark the assignment as complete (for observed in person/on paper submission).
  3. Hidden (before start/after end)
    • The assignment is hidden to learners until the start date is reached or after the end date passes.
    • Learners will not see the assignment anywhere across Brightspace, including corresponding Calendar events and Notifications.

Assignment Special Access

The special access screens for Assignments remains unchanged when the new dates feature is enabled. However, special access dates inherit the date properties as follows:

  • When the parent assignment has an availability date set, its date property is inherited by the corresponding special access date. For example, if the assignment is hidden before a start date, then the special access start date is also treated as hidden.
  • When the parent assignment does not have an availability date, the special access date inherits its date property from the course default. For example, if the assignment does not have an end date, then a special access end date is set for a learner. This also occurs if the course default for assignment end dates is submission-restricted, making the special access end date be treated as submission-restricted.

Note: Whenever the availability date settings are changed from the Availability Date Defaults page, those changes will immediately impact the date properties of special access dates.

See the New Assignments Date Feature - Updated Date Availability, Visibility, and Access Options knowledge article for an in-depth look at all the feature and capability changes with this redesign.

Want More Information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

calendar

Instructors can use the Manage Dates tool to view, edit in bulk, and bulk offset date availability from one central location. You can also set the calendar status of all content topics and modules, discussion topics and forums, assignment submissions folders, grades categories and items, announcement items, quizzes, checklists, and surveys in their course in the Manage Dates tool.

Course objects display in a grid that you can sort by any of the column headings. You can also use the Type column to sort the Manage Dates page based on the tool-specific order and use advanced filter options to work with smaller sets of objects. If you filter your course objects, any bulk changes you make apply only to the filtered results. This enables you to update multiple availability dates based on specific criteria.

In addition to managing dates, you can open each course object in a new window by clicking on its name. This launches the object's edit page where you can edit additional properties for that object without leaving the Manage Dates tool.

The Manage Dates tool can be very useful after a course copy. For example, if you copied content from one course into another course, you can use the Manage Dates tool to easily adjust dates after the course copy. Additionally, if you've entered dates on items in your course and later need to adjust dates in bulk, try using the Manage Dates tool.

Follow these steps to do it.

To edit dates in bulk:

  1. Get into the course you want to change the dates of course objects.
  2. On the NavBar (of the course you want to change dates in), click Course Admin.
  3. Click Manage Dates.
  4. Select the check box of the items for which you want to bulk edit dates.
  5. Click Bulk Edit Dates.
  6. In the Bulk Edit Dates dialog box, update the due dates and availability dates.
  7. Click Save.

Want More Information?

About Manage Dates
Bulk edit dates in Manage Dates
Offset dates in Manage Dates
Manage Dates - Offset Dates (video)

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.


Image credit: calendar by tigerlily713 from Pixabay

copy stamp

There are a some situations where you may want to copy components of a Brightspace course OR copy an entire Brightspace course into another one. For example,

  • You have a course from a previous semester and you would like to copy the course contents into your empty course shell for the current semester.
  • You have a Master Course Shell that you input content into and would like to copy the course contents into your empty course shell for the current semester.
  • You are teaching multiple sections of a course, you created all the content in one Brightspace course section and want to copy the content into the other sections.
  • You created content in one course (e.g. rubrics, discussions, quizzes, etc.) and would like to copy that specific content from one Brightspace course into another.

Copying an entire Brightspace course OR copying components of a Brightspace course into another Brightspace course is not hard. As long as you are the instructor for both courses, it is a simple process you can do.

Notes About Copying Between Courses

Here are some things to consider when copying a course or copying components of a course.

Overwriting and Duplicating Items

In general, course components already in the destination course will not be affected by copying course components. The only course component that can be overwritten is a course file, i.e., HTML pages that have been created in the course site or files that have been uploaded to it. A course file is overwritten if one of the files being copied into the course has the same name as an existing file.

If copying components from the same source multiple times, be careful not to copy the same items more than once, or this will create duplicates that may be visible to users in the course.

Student Data

Student data is not copied from one course to another; only the course structures are copied. For example, if a Discussion topic is copied, only the prompt and discussion settings are copied, not the individual student posts.

Links and Associations between Components

If copying linked or associated components, e.g., files attached to an Assignment Submission folder or the HTML files for pages that have been created, all of the related components must be copied at the same time. To do this, be sure to select the "Include Associated Content" checkbox when it appears. As long as that box is checked, all associated components are copied and the links between them are retained.

Copying VoiceThreads

If the course copy contains any VoiceThreads, they will need to be "re-linked" in the destination course. After the copy, go into the destination course and click on the VoiceThread links and re-select the VoiceThread.

Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) Settings

Copied courses that have tests/exams with RLDB enabled require instructors to access the Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard once after the copy to update the RLDB settings in the destination course. This has to be done before students will be able to take exams that require RLDB.

Turnitin-enabled Assignments

When you copy course components from one course to another, confirm that all settings are configured for the Turnitin-enabled assignments in the destination course.

Turnitin PeerMark Assignments

Our Turnitin integration does not support copying of PeerMark Assignments. You will have to recreate your PeerMark assignments in the destination course.

Follow these steps to do it.

If you want to copy an entire Brightspace course OR copy components from a Brightspace course into another course, you should:

  1. Get into the course you want the content copied into (i.e., the target course).
  2. In the NavBar (of the course you want the content copied to), click on "Course Admin".
  3. Click on the "Import/Export/Copy Components" link.
  4. Click on the "Copy Components from another Org Unit" radio button.
  5. In the Course to Copy option, click the "Search for Offering" button.
  6. Click on the magnifying glass in the "Search for" field OR enter the name of the course you want to copy from (i.e., the source course) in the search field.
  7. Click on the radio button to the right of the course you want to copy content from and then click on "Add Selected".
  8. Verify your selections are correct before proceeding.
  9. At the bottom on the browser window you will click on either "Copy all Components" OR "Select Components" and follow the prompts.

Important:

Double-check to make sure that you are in the course you want the content copied into AND that you have selected the correct course you want to copy content from. There is no way to reverse the copy process once the wrong course is selected and the copy request is submitted.

Want more information?

Copy Course Components
Import/Export/Copy - Copy Components video [1:31]
About Copying Course Components

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

Image credit: image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I usually get a lot of questions from faculty related to setting up their Brightspace courses. In the spirit of starting the new year with less stress, I offer the following infographic with course design suggestions to reduce your course setup and management stress:

course design zen infographic

Accessible PDF version of Course Design Zen infographic.

Want more information?

Course Design Suggestions
Merging Courses
Setup your Spring Courses
Setup your Grade Book
Use Date Management
Using Quicklinks
Copy Course or Copy Components

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

why merge road sign

Faculty can request to have two or more of their courses combined into a single course. Combining courses can be useful when you are teaching multiple sections of the same course or when you are teaching a course that is cross-listed. Merging courses allows you to have all the students in a single Brightspace course which can be useful for collaborative work. Merging courses reduces the number of courses an instructor has to manage within Brightspace, especially when each section has identical content.

Once your courses are merged, you can upload your course content and assignments into the merged course; communicate with the students in the merged course; setup collaborative course work; and have one Grade Book for the merged course. You can create groups within your merged course that correspond to the original course sections. This way you can target a particular course section (group) of students for specific things (e.g. send email to a specific group, make content available to specific group, enter/view Grade Book entries for a specific group, etc.)

NOTE: Merging of courses is typically done at the start of the semester before content is added and before students submit course work. You should wait to request your courses be merged if there is a possibility that there will be last minute changes to instructor course section assignments. You can request a Master Course Shell to build your course and then transfer the content into your merged course.

You should carefully consider whether merging courses is right for you. Some disadvantages to merging courses are:

  • Course enrollments for the merged courses will be combined which can make grading student work a challenge. If you create groups for the different sections, you will be able to view your Grade Book by groups to make grading easier.
  • Only one due date and start/end date can be assigned to an assignment, discussion, quiz, etc. Therefore you will not be able to assign different due dates and start/end dates to the activity (e.g., assignment, quiz, discussion, etc.).
  • If you decide you want to unmerge courses after students have submitted course work, student work and grades will be lost. Only student enrollments are retained when courses are unmerged.

Follow these steps to do it.

A system administrator will have to merge your courses. Send an email to Yamlak Tsega (ytsega@xula.edu) if you want to merge courses. You should include the course ID (including CRN) for all the courses you want merged together.

NOTE: When courses are merged, one of the existing courses will serve as the "merged" course. If all the course sections are empty, it won't matter which one is used as the "merged" course. If you have already created content in a course, you should request that the course with the content be the "merged" course. This will reduce the need to copy content.

Want more information?

Merge Courses
Working with Groups

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

Image credit: "why merge" by jflorent is dedicated to the public domain under CC0 and is a derivative of merging by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay