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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

the word update written on a chalk board

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 some of the updates in the February 2024/20.24.2 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Question Library – Removal of the question mark icon

The question mark (?) icon that appears next to questions in Question Library is removed to prevent visual clutter. However, the folder icon that appears in Question Library next to each section remains.

This change only impacts Question Library and the question mark icon remains in other areas of Brightspace.

2) Brightspace – Branded footer on main pages

With this release, a Powered by D2L Brightspace footer now appears on select pages in Brightspace. The footer appears on the following pages:

  • D2L’s login pages
  • Org and org unit homepages
  • Portfolio
  • Brightspace for Parents and Guardian
  • Discover
  • Manager Dashboard
  • Insights Portal Dashboard

This replaces the footer that previously appeared at the bottom of the login page and removes the corresponding Do not display D2L branded footer setting from the Login Page Management tool.

To learn more, refer to the Powered by D2L blog post in Brightspace Community.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the February Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform February 2024/20.24.2 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
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

young black woman looking at a computer screen

A misconception about 21st-century students is that they are proficient with all technology, even in the absence of clear instructions. Many students know how to use online platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook for fun, but have no idea how to leverage them for academic or professional use.

In an article in the Times Higher Education, Elizabeth Losh says universities must stop presuming that all students are tech-savvy. Many educators assume that young people are digital natives and they should know how to use technology. Gen Z may be savvy about using social media personally. However, they are not as savvy about how to use tech tools academically or professionally.

I don't appreciate when professors just assume because we are young we know how to use this stuff...we are learning with y'all. - Anonymous Xavier Student

In feedback from some Xavier students, they stated that their professors assume they know how to use Brightspace when in fact they do not. To better serve our students, faculty should not assume students are digital natives. Instructors can help students learn the basics for the tools that will be used in their course by providing them links to how-to resources.

Did you know that we have a list of Brightspace how-to resources for students on our CAT FooD blog? You can find Brightspace how-to resources at the following links:

Additionally, here's an example of how you might include how-to instructions for a discussion forum in your Brightspace course:

example of a Q&A discussion forum
Example of Q&A discussion forum with instructions on how to post to the forum

In this example, instructions for the Q&A forum are provided along with instructions on how to post to the forum as well as a link to a how-to video.

Including information on how to use course tools will go a long way to helping students to be successful in your course.

Image credit: image by Aspen from Nappy

Accessibility Is Not Just for Individuals with Disabilities [1:02:10]

Thanks to those of you who attended last week's "Accessibility Is Not Just for Individuals with Disabilities" workshop. The workshop, the seventeenth in our #LEX Advanced series, helps you to build on the skills you learned in the #LearnEverywhereXULA course and will give you the skills and knowledge you need to create accessible course materials that can benefit everyone.

In case you missed last week’s training session or if you attended the training session and want to recap what was covered, a copy of the workshop recording and resources referenced in the workshop are available. You can find the workshop recording and other resources in support of the workshop on the CAT+FD wiki.

Additionally, if you did not get the opportunity to earn a digital badge for participating in the workshop, it's not too late to earn that badge. We have a corresponding “Make It Accessible” module in the #LearnEverywhereXULA (#LEX) course that you can complete to earn a digital badge for this topic. The badge will count towards your #LEX Advanced certification.

#LearnEverywhereXULA (#LEX) is our Brightspace course that is organized around the eight General Standards for Higher Education set forth in the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric Sixth Edition. The information, activities, and assignments in the #LEX course aids faculty in developing high quality, well-designed, objective-driven courses on Brightspace for Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) students.

hot air ballons

When faculty complete the #LEX course, they have the opportunity to expand their horizons even more through #LEX Advanced certification. With the certification, faculty learn about using design and automation features available in Brightspace to apply better pedagogical practices within their courses by making them more user-friendly, accessible, and efficient.

#LEX Advanced takes a deeper dive into tools like Rubrics, Release Conditions, Intelligent Agents, HTML Templates, Awards & Badges, and more. #LEX Advanced certification also includes topics such as accessibility, academic integrity, securing online testing environment, alternative assessments, online discussions, group work, and video lectures.

A #LEX Advanced badge can be earned for participation in a #LEX Advanced workshop OR for completing its corresponding module in the #LEX course.

Our #LEX Advanced certification has four levels. Faculty can move up a certification level with every fourth #LEX Advanced badge they earn. Complete four modules to earn the #LEX Advanced Level 1 certification. Complete eight modules to earn the #LEX Advanced Level 2 certification. Complete twelve modules to earn the #LEX Advanced Level 3 certification. Complete sixteen modules to earn the #LEX Advanced Level 4 certification.

Faculty can view the badges they've earned by clicking on Activities in the NavBar and then click on Awards within the #LearnEverywhereXULA course.

Are you interested in becoming #LEX Advanced certified? Attend one of our upcoming #LEX Advanced workshops to start earning your badges. Alternatively, you can earn badges by completing modules in the #LearnEverywhereXULA course.

NOTE: Faculty who are not enrolled in the #LearnEverywhereXULA course can request enrollment using this enrollment request form.

#LEX Advanced Certifications

#LEX Advanced certificate

Congratulations to those faculty who have earned #LEX Advanced Certification!

#LEX Advanced Level 1 Certificate Awardees

  • Ayyad, Dr. Ahlam
  • Bailey-Wheeler, Dr. Janel
  • Bellone-Hite, Dr. Amy
  • DiMaggio, Dr. Stassi
  • Earls, Dr. Martha
  • Edwards, Dr. Andrea
  • Farudi, Dr. Giti
  • Gaudin, Dr. Wendy
  • Gstohl, Dr. Mark
  • Laborde, Dr. Katheryn
  • Ma, Dr. Timmy
  • Manley, Dr. Elizabeth
  • McFerrin, Dr. Harris
  • Nguyen, Dr. Nam
  • Plaisance-Meyers, Dr. Sierra
  • Ratnayaka, Dr. Harish
  • Rousselle, Dr. Elizabeth
  • Salm, Dr. Steven
  • St. Julien, Dr. Danielle
  • Taylor, Dr. Ashley
  • Todd, Dr. Jason
  • Verma, Dr. Abha

#LEX Advanced Level 2 Certificate Awardees

  • Ayyad, Dr. Ahlam
  • Bailey-Wheeler, Dr. Janel
  • Earls, Dr. Martha
  • Edwards, Dr. Andrea
  • Gstohl, Dr. Mark
  • Ma, Dr. Timmy
  • Todd, Dr. Jason

#LEX Advanced Level 3 Certificate Awardees

  • Ayyad, Dr. Ahlam
  • Ma, Dr. Timmy
  • Todd, Dr. Jason

#LEX Advanced Level 4 Certificate Awardees

  • Todd, Dr. Jason

Image credits:
image by PDPhotos from Pixabay
"#LEX Advanced Certificate of Completion" by jtodd1 | CC BY 4.0

the word update written on a chalk board

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 2024/20.24.1 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Assignments & Discussions – Improved tooltip for unsaved changes to evaluations

In the Assignments and Discussions evaluation experience, the tooltip for reporting evaluation errors is updated to include clearer language. The tooltip appears when a user enters over 300,000 characters into the Overall Feedback field or enters an invalid grade into the Grade field.

The new tooltip reads "There is one or more errors in the information entered". Previously, the tooltip read "There are invalid grades on this page", excluding various errors that may have caused the tooltip to appear. The new language makes the types of errors clearer as it encourages users to review the entire evaluation.

2) Awards – Export achievements as digital credentials

Learners can now export their earned awards in a standards-compliant format using the new Export Digital Credential option. This feature allows the download of certificates or badges as an industry-standard Open Badges 2.0 compliant Badge for their own record keeping or sharing.

Badge Baking is the process of embedding digital credentials within the badge image. This approach ensures that the user has legitimately earned the badge by including a verification link used to check the integrity of the embedded information. To learn more about Badge Baking, refer to Open Badges Baking Specification.

For Baked Badge, the supported format in Brightspace is PNG only, and the recommended pixel size of the badge should be no smaller than 200 px x 200 px.

Note: Not all applications support Open Badges 2.0 Badge Baking. Some third-party applications strip meta-data from images, causing baked badges to be non-compliant with Open Badges 2.0.

To download an award, learners must navigate to the My Awards page, select the desired award, click Share, and then click the new Export Digital Credential button. In the opened window, learners must provide their email address to link to their award and ensure verification, and then click Export.

Exporting a digital credential downloads badges or certificates as a .png file with the award data embedded in the image.

Click the new Export Digital Credential option in Awards.
Click the new Export Digital Credential option in Awards.

Previously, awards could only be exported as a public URL or through the LinkedIn and Badgr integrations.

This feature implements PIE item D6128 (Awards: Incorporate Open Badge Standards).

3) Brightspace Editor – Insert Stuff uses new file picker when uploading from users' computer

This release updates the Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker with the version currently used in the Insert Image workflow, which allows drag-and-drop file uploads from the user's computer.

Previously, the Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker used an older file picker that did not support drag-and-drop of files.

Users can drag-and-drop files using the new Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker.
Users can drag-and-drop files using the new Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker.

This feature implements the following PIE item:

  • D10875 (Drag and Drop Option for Files in Insert Stuff)

4) Brightspace Virtual Assistant – Enhanced user interface and experience

With this update to Brightspace Virtual Assistant, clients who are subscribed to End User Support (EUS) Services can now enter their search string or question in the new text field at the bottom of the tool. Previously, users would need to select the I have a different question option to have access to a freeform field where they could then type in a query to receive Brightspace Community resources.

Type Brightspace-related queries in the textbox to receive recommended resources from Brightspace Community.
Type Brightspace-related queries in the textbox to receive recommended resources from Brightspace Community.

5) Quizzes – Written response questions remain as pending evaluation until being manually graded

When instructors grade quiz attempts, any ungraded written response questions remain as pending evaluation until the instructor manually grades them. Previously, when instructors clicked Publish or Update for a quiz attempt, the written response question's pending evaluation status would be removed.

If a written response question is not graded, the status shows a pending evaluation message for both the learner and instructor view. In the learner view, learners always see the message "This question has not been graded" until the instructor grades the question. The instructor view displays the message "not auto-graded; a default value of 0 was assigned" until they grade the question.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the January Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform January 2024/20.24.1 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
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 now set up quizzes that start and end at the same time for ALL learners with the new synchronous quizzing option. This feature was introduced with our September 2023 Continuous Delivery updates.

The addition of synchronous quizzes enables instructors to set up a quiz where the quiz timer starts on the start date for all learners rather than when the learner launches the quiz (asynchronous). The quiz timer then ends for all learners at the same time. This facilitates quizzes where the instructor requires all learners to take the quiz at the same time similar to in classroom learning and supporting medium-high stakes quizzing.

Example of settings for a synchronous quiz
Example of settings for a synchronous quiz

A synchronous quiz starts at the Start Date and ends when the time limit has lapsed, regardless of any action taken by the learner. For example, if a learner clicks "Start Quiz!" 15 minutes after the start date on a 1-hour quiz, they only have 45 minutes left to complete it. To indicate when a quiz becomes available, learners have a countdown timer on the Quiz Information and Start Quiz pages. The Start Quiz! button becomes available when the start date and time is reached.

A countdown timer on the Start Quiz page
A countdown timer on the Start Quiz page

Note: If no start date and time is set for the synchronous quiz, the No Start date set alert appears under the selected option, and you cannot save the quiz. The Due Date option is disabled for synchronous quizzes because students do not choose the time frame of when to take the synchronous quiz, therefore there is no need to set a due date.

To ensure that learners are aware of upcoming synchronous quizzes, instructors should create instructional or manual solutions. For example:

  • Make a synchronous quiz visible in the calendar:
    • Instructors should use the Start Date parameter when setting up a synchronous quiz and leave the End Date field empty.
    • Instructors can select Add availability dates to Calendar or set up an event showing the whole time.
  • Create an announcement with information about the synchronous quiz.
  • Set up an event and give a link to the quiz to provide more context.

Note: Instructors must modify or review quizzes one-by-one to avoid accidentally modifying quiz availability dates for synchronous quizzes.

Instructors should provide learners with information about a synchronous quiz before it starts. Learners can also access information about synchronous quizzes in the Quiz Information page.

Follow these steps to do it

To set up a synchronous quiz:

  1. From a quiz page, expand the Availability Dates & Conditions accordion.
  2. Set Start Date and Time.
    NOTE: Leave the End Date field empty.
  3. Expand the Timing & Display accordion.
  4. Click Timer Settings.
  5. In the Timing dialog, under Quiz Start, select Synchronous: Timer starts on the start date.
  6. Click OK.

Want more information?

Quiz Timing Improvements
Quizzes FAQ: Hot Tips and Workarounds
Brightspace Tip #254: Tests and Quizzes
Resources for the Quizzes Tool

View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
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.

Instructors can grant quiz accommodations to learners through the Classlist tool. Instructors can assign accommodations to specific learners that apply across ALL quizzes instead of applying them on a quiz-by-quiz basis. The accommodations option allows the instructor to give the learner more time to complete quizzes at the course level.

The Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist
The Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist
The Edit Accommodations dialog box
The Edit Accommodations dialog box

Once granted, the accommodations apply to all quiz activities in a course for that learner. The additional time can be applied in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5 x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes) on every quiz in a course.

Accommodations for Instructors:

  • An icon appears next to the learner’s name in the Classlist to indicate that the learner has an accommodation.
  • Instructors can filter the Classlist by Accommodations.
  • Instructors can also Print or Email a list of users with accommodations by adding the filter to those pages.

Accommodations for learners:

  • An icon appears next to learners’ own names in the Classlist to indicate they have an accommodation. To view accommodation details, learners can click My Accommodations from their learner context menu.
  • When commencing a quiz, the accommodation icon appears next to a learner’s quiz time to indicate that their accommodation has been applied. If a learner’s time accommodation has been overridden by a quiz-specific special access, this icon does not appear.
Example of a Classlist page highlighting the Learner has Accommodations icon
Classlist page highlighting the Learner has Accommodations icon
Example of accommodations reflected in the quiz's time allowed.
Learners can see accommodations reflected in the time allowed when taking quiz

Quiz-specific special access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. When you overwrite an accommodation and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting the accommodation appears. Accommodations set for learners in Classlist are displayed in the Special Access for the quiz.

Accommodations indicator in Special Access
An example of how Accommodations set for a learner in Classlist will show up in the Special Access for a quiz

Want more information?

Set Up Brightspace Accommodations by Learner for All Quizzes
Brightspace Tip #207: Quizzes – Special Access
Special Access in Quizzes
Quizzes FAQ: Hot tips and workarounds
Brightspace Tip #254: Tests and Quizzes
Resources for the Quizzes Tool

View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
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.

bonus red badge

Quizzes can include bonus/extra-credit questions. Bonus questions are questions that will not hurt the learner’s overall score if they do not answer them correctly, but can improve the learner’s overall score if answered correctly.

Questions randomly drawn from a question pool cannot be set as bonus questions.

Points for questions that are ‘bonus’ will not calculate into the total points for the quiz but are added on top of the overall points. For example, you have 11 questions in a quiz and each question is worth 1 point. One of the eleven questions in the quiz is a bonus question. The total point value for the quiz will be 10 points and not 11 points. This is because learners would be able to get 1 extra credit point for the bonus question if they answered it correctly and are not penalized if they skip or do not answer the bonus question correctly. In my example, a learner who answered all eleven questions correctly would have an overall score of 11/10. While a leaner who answers the 10 non-bonus questions correctly but skips or does not answer the bonus question correctly would have an overall score of 10/10.

Quizzes clearly mark bonus questions with the word "Bonus" so that learners understand that the question is a bonus question.

Learners completing a bonus question now see Bonus.
Note: Bonus questions are shown to learners with the word (Bonus) displayed.

When should you use "Can Exceed" for a grade item or grade category?

If your goal is to have the Bonus question replace a missed question in the quiz (in other words, the highest score that can be earned on the quiz is 100%), then you do not have to do anything else in your Grade Book for the overall score to calculate correctly. This assumes you have created a grade item in your Grade Book and have associated the quiz with the grade item already.

If learners can earn higher than 100% on the quiz, then you have to make sure your grade item in the Grade Book is configured to be able to receive a score greater than 100%. The same holds true for the category if the quiz’s grade item is in a category and the category can be greater than 100%.

Let’s assume for the example above, you want the learners to earn higher than 100% for the quiz and the quiz’s grade item is in a category in the Grade Book. When setting up the corresponding Grade Item in the Grade Book, you would enter 10 as the maximum points for the quiz and also check the “Can Exceed” checkbox for the grade item, because it is possible for a learner to earn more than 10 points on this quiz.

The Can Exceed option is checked for this grade item.
The "Can Exceed" option is checked for this grade item.

If your grade item is a category in the gradebook and you want any bonus points to replace missed points in that category (in other words, if the max score students can earn for that category is 100%), then you do not have to do anything else for the overall score in the category to calculate correctly. If you want students who earn higher than a 100% in that category to bump up their final grade, then you must edit the category and check the “Allow category grade to exceed category weight” checkbox for the category. Doing so will allow the category to exceed 100%.

Grade category is set to allow it to exceed the category weight.
Grade category is set to allow it to exceed the category weight.

Important:

the word important and an exclamation mark

Having ALL the questions in a quiz marked as a bonus creates a problem when the system calculates the overall score for the quiz. Therefore, if you have a quiz where the entire quiz will count as extra credit (i.e., all questions are bonus questions), then DO NOT set ANY of the questions as bonus in the quiz itself. Instead, you should identify the associated Grade Item in the Grade Book as a bonus grade item. When you set the quiz up with all the questions as non-bonus questions and the associated grade item in the Grade Book as a bonus, the system will calculate the overall score for the extra credit quiz correctly.

The Bonus option is checked for this grade item.
The "Bonus" option is checked for this Extra Credit Quiz grade item.

Follow these steps to do it.

To create bonus questions in a quiz:

  1. Select Activities and Quizzes from the NavBar.
  2. Edit the quiz you want to create bonus questions.
  3. Select the extra-credit (bonus) question(s).
  4. Click More Actions and select Toggle Bonus from the dropdown menu. The text “BONUS” appears under the point value of the question (far right).
  5. De-select the question(s) when done.
  6. Click Save.

Note: If you no longer want the question to be a bonus question, repeat steps 3-5 to remove the bonus setting. By clicking the Toggle Bonus option, you can add or remove the bonus setting.

Select Toggle Bonus from the More Actions drop-down menu.
Select Toggle Bonus from the More Actions drop-down menu.

Want More Information?

About Brightspace Quizzes
Manage Quiz Questions
How do I change a quiz question to a bonus question?
Demystifying Bonus Items in a Weighted Grade Book

View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
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 credits: bonus by DegenerSumon from pngtree and image by Pixaline from Pixabay

feedback scale

Our November Continuous Delivery Updates introduced a new negative grading option in Quizzes that allows instructors to deduct a percentage of a question's point value for incorrect answers submitted.

You may be wondering what is the rationale for using negative grading on a test. Deducting points for incorrect answers on a test is a common practice that serves several important purposes:

  • Encourage careful consideration and discourage guessing: When students know that incorrect answers will result in point deductions, they are more likely to carefully consider each question and only answer if they are confident in their response. This discourages guessing, which can lead to inaccurate assessment of students' true understanding of the material.
  • Accurately measure student knowledge and understanding: By deducting points for incorrect answers, tests can provide a more accurate assessment of students' knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. This is because it prevents students from getting credit for answers they do not actually know, which can artificially inflate their scores.
  • Promote deeper learning and discourage superficial memorization: When students know that simply memorizing facts or formulas will not guarantee them a good grade, they are more likely to engage in deeper learning strategies that promote understanding and application of concepts. This leads to more meaningful learning and better retention of information.
  • Identify areas for improvement: Incorrect answers can provide valuable information about students' misconceptions or gaps in knowledge. By analyzing incorrect responses, instructors can identify areas where students need additional support or instruction.
  • Promote accountability and encourage academic integrity: Deducting points for incorrect answers sends a message to students that they are accountable for their learning and that they need to demonstrate their understanding in order to succeed. This can foster a culture of academic integrity and discourage cheating or other dishonest practices.

While deducting points for incorrect answers can be effective in promoting accurate assessment and encouraging deeper learning, it is important to use this practice judiciously. In some cases, it may be more appropriate to provide partial credit for incorrect answers that demonstrate some understanding of the material. Additionally, it is important to provide students with clear feedback on their incorrect answers so that they can learn from their mistakes and improve their understanding.

About Quizzes With Negative Grading

Negative grading applies specifically to question types that can be auto-graded, for example, multiple-choice, multi-select, and true/false questions. The only question type that cannot be auto-graded is written response.

Under Evaluation & Feedback, instructors can select Deduct points for incorrect answers and enter a Deduction percentage.
Under Evaluation & Feedback, instructors can select Deduct points for incorrect answers and enter a Deduction percentage.

Instructors can also enter negative values when manually grading individual quiz questions or manually updating all quiz question attempts from the Quizzes tool.

Instructors can manually enter negative grades when grading quiz questions.
Instructors can manually enter negative grades when grading quiz questions.

To ensure that instructors can view accurate quiz statistics, Question Statistics are also updated to account for this new functionality. Therefore, if negative grading is enabled, Question Statistics may display the following differences in statistics:

  • Point Biserial results may be lower when negative grading is enabled.
  • Standard Deviation has a wider distribution to account for negative grading.
  • Questions with a negative average score appear below zero in the Grade Distribution graph.
Question Statistics displays updated values to account for negative grading, including a below zero average score.
Question Statistics displays updated values to account for negative grading, including a below zero average score.

To ensure that learners are fully aware that negative marking is enabled for a quiz, the Summary page of a quiz explicitly notifies the learner that for each question answered incorrectly, a percentage of that question's point value is deducted from the final attempt grade. Even though a notice about negative grading will be on the Summary page, we recommend that the instructor also include this information in their quiz instructions for the learners.

Quiz start summary page showing negative point values are deducted from final grade attempt
Before starting a quiz, learners are notified on the Summary page that point values are deducted from the final attempt grade for incorrect answers.

Also, learners are given the opportunity to explicitly clear previously-selected answers to auto-graded questions by clicking Clear Selection. This gives learners the opportunity to leave the question blank and receive a mark of zero (0), instead of forcing them to guess and enter an answer that could possibly incur a percent deduction. Also, see the note about Mandatory questions below.

Learners can select Clear Selection to remove their answer from a multiple-choice or true or false question.
Learners can select Clear Selection to remove their answer from a multiple-choice or true or false question.

Learners who are given the ability to view questions after submitting their quiz by their instructor can review questions that received negative score deductions for incorrect answers.

Learners can review incorrect questions with negative deduction grades when they submit a quiz.
Learners can review incorrect questions with negative deduction grades when they submit a quiz.

Note:

  • The overall quiz score cannot be negative and caps at zero.
  • We strongly recommend that you do not add Mandatory questions to quizzes with negative grading AND auto-submit enabled. This is because forcing learners to answer mandatory questions before submitting their quiz may also force learners to guess and incur an unfair point deduction.

Want More Information?

About Brightspace Quizzes
Create a quiz with negative grading
Manage Quiz Questions

View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
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 Sabine Kroschel/Pixaline from Pixabay (image cropped)

focused female professional looking at 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
Change Personal Settings in Brightspace

View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
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: Photo by Aspen from Nappy.co