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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

You can be among the first to submit a contribution to The Orange Room, a community where instructors can learn from each other about efficient and innovative ways to use Brightspace. The Orange Room is a place where you can share your tips, suggestions, knowledge, and expertise to help your colleagues use Brightspace to improve their teaching and to inspire the next generation of learners.

Orange Room

Are you doing something innovative? Have you discovered a handy tip? Please share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning. Give a brief description of what you are doing in Brightspace along with some reflections on why it has worked well for you. Perhaps you might even suggest how others can use it.

Use this form to submit your innovation and/or Brightspace tip to The Orange Room.

Note: We appreciate all contributions. We plan to post contributions to our CAT+FD web site.

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or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

classroom with empty chairs

As we approach the end of the semester there are a few things you can do in Brightspace to wrap up for the semester.

Release final course grades

Unlike other grade items and categories in the Grade Book, final grades are not available to students by default. Final grades must be released. If you did not choose to enable the automatic release of final grades when setting up your Grade Book, you will have to manually release final grades in order for students to see their final grade.

Export your Grade Book

Student access to courses is removed two weeks after the end of a semester. During this process all Grade Book records are deleted. You should export (download) your Grade Book to your local computer after you submit your final grades.

NOTE: The export file that is created will NOT contain any student work or instructor feedback. Only the grades in your Grade Book will be exported.

Create a master copy of your course

Courses remain on the Brightspace system for three semesters before they are removed. You can request a Master Course Shell that you can use to develop and maintain your course materials. Master Course Shells will not be removed from the Brightspace system.

Follow these steps to do it.

Instructions are available for releasing final course grades, exporting your Grade Book, and requesting Master Course Shells.

Want more information?

Release Final Grades
Export your Grade Book (video [2:03])
Master Copies of Courses
View all the Brightspace training recaps
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.

Photo Credit: School/Classroom/Inside | CC0

Brightspace calculates final grades for each student based on the grading system and the students' grades that are entered into the Grade Book. If the instructor wants more control over the final grades, perhaps to adjust the final grade for a student that is on the cusp of a higher grade, then adjusted final grades can be used and released to students instead of the calculated final grade.

adjustment

If the instructor decides to use adjusted final grades for one student in the course, adjusted final grades must be used for all students in the course. This does not imply, however, that final grades must be manually adjusted for all students.

Adjusting final grades are implemented by the instructor for only the student or students that are deemed to need an adjusted grade. The remaining students final grades would be the final grade as calculated in the Grade Book.

Note: The Grade Book must be configured to use adjusted final grades. If you plan to use adjusted final grades, you should make the adjustments before you release final grades.

Follow these steps to do it.

To adjust final grades for all students:

  1. Get into the course where you want to adjust final grades and click Grades in the NavBar.
  2. Click on the Enter Grades link.
  3. Scroll over to the Final Calculated Grade column and click on the arrow on the right of the column name and select Grade All.
  4. In the Final Adjusted Grade section for each student, enter the adjusted grades and then click Save.
  5. Once you have ensured that students' grades are accurate, you can release the final grades.

To adjust final grades for one or more specific students:

  1. Get into the course where you want to adjust final grades and click Grades in the NavBar.
  2. Click on the Enter Grades link.
  3. Scroll over to the Final Calculated Grade column and click on the arrow on the right of the column name and select Grade All.
  4. Click on the arrow on the right of the Final Grades and click Transfer All, then click Yes.
  5. In the Final Adjusted Grade section, enter adjusted scores where necessary and click Save.
  6. Once you have ensured that students' grades are accurate, you can release the final grades.

Want more information?

Understanding the Grades Tool (video)
Adjust Final Grades
Release Final Grades
Final Grades FAQs
Grades FAQs
View all the Brightspace training recaps
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.

final grade

Unlike other grade items and categories in the Grade Book, final grades are not available to students by default. Final grades must be released. When setting up the Grade Book, the instructor can choose to automatically release final grades so that the students can see their final grade throughout the semester. If you did not choose to enable the automatic release of final grades when setting up your Grade Book, you will have to manually release final grades in order for students to see their final grade.

Additionally, you can selectively release final grades for some students now and release the final grades for other students later. For example, you can release the final grades for graduating seniors on one date and release the final grades for everyone else on a later date.

Follow these steps to do it.

Watch this video for instructions on how to release final grades:

Want more information?

Adjust Final Grades
Release Final Grades
Final Grades FAQs
Grades FAQs
Grades Tool Training Recap
View all the Brightspace training recaps
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.

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 November 2018/10.8.7 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Assignments - Anonymous Marking in Brightspace updated

Anonymous marking in Assignments features the following updates:

  • Instructors can see a new icon associated with assignments that have anonymous marking enabled
  • User names are revealed to instructors once feedback is published
  • A Publish All Feedback button is available in assignments with anonymous marking enabled to ensure anonymity when publishing feedback
  • Improved confirmation messaging appears to remind instructors to complete feedback for all anonymous users. If Publish All Feedback is selected before providing feedback for all anonymous submissions, the confirmation window will state the number of users with feedback and the total number of users

Example of Anonymous Marking icon
An assignment displaying the anonymous marking icon for instructors

Example of Publish All Feedback option
The Publish All Feedback button confirmation dialog box

2) Content - Add new submission types to content updated

The On paper submission and Observed in person submission types available in Assignments can now be added to Content from the Existing Activities menu.

3) Quizzes - Quizzes display in full screen

Quizzes now display in full screen. When a learner clicks Start Quiz, the navbar disappears. This provides additional screen space for the quiz by removing unnecessary navigation elements from view.

4) Video Note - Closed caption support

Users can now add files containing closed captions to their video notes. The captioned text displays when viewing the video note, if users selected the closed caption option.

To add captions, select Video Note Captions from the Admin Tools. Admin Tools are accessed from the cog icon in the top right corner of the page.

Video Note Captions link
Video note captions link as shown in Admin Tools

More information on how to add closed captions to a video note are available.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the November Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform November 2018/10.8.7 Release Notes.

Additonally, 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
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.

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 October 2018/10.8.6 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Assignments – Anonymized learner names

To avoid unconscious bias in the grading and feedback process, instructors can now configure assignments to use anonymous learner names. When the feature is turned on, instructors can only see an anonymized learner name on the assignment submission.

To ensure that assignments remain anonymous during the grading process instructors should ask the learners not to put their names or other identifying information on their assignment submissions. More information about anonymous markings is available.

Note: Anonymous markings are not available in Turnitin. When you access the submitted paper in Turnitin, the name of the learner who submitted the paper will be displayed in Turnitin Feedback Studio.

Example of Anonymous Marking checkbox
Anonymous Marking option when creating an assignment submission folder

Example of Anonymized Users
Anonymized users as shown when viewing submissions

2) Assignments - New assignment types

On paper submission and Observed in person assignment submission types are now available in Assignments. These new assignment submission types do not require users to make a file submission for them to be completed. This allows instructors to create assignments for a wide variety of activities, not just written work, and provide evaluation and feedback for these assignments.

On paper assignments are submitted directly to instructors in class, but allow evaluation and feedback to be completed in Brightspace. A presentation can also be observed in person and evaluated in Brightspace. Both new assignments can be marked as complete by learners, automatically marked as complete on their due date, or marked as complete upon evaluation by the instructor, depending on how the assignment is configured.

Example of On Paper Submission Option
On paper submission and Observed in person submission types

Example of marked as complete for observed in person option
Marked as completed options for Observed in person assignments

Example of marked as complete for on paper submission option
Marked as completed options for On paper submissions

3) Quizzes- Auto-save during quiz taking

Learners' quiz responses are now automatically saved during the quiz taking process. For forced response questions (such as Multiple Choice and True or False), learner responses are saved automatically when they select the radio button or checkbox. Text input questions autosave every 10 to 15 seconds, and html-enabled questions save when the mouse cursor is clicked outside the quiz response input area. Autosave sends save timestamps to the quizzing log, as the manual save function previously did. For quizzes with multiple pages, quiz responses automatically save upon navigating to a new quiz page.

The Save all Responses and Go to Submit Quiz buttons have been removed, and are no longer visible on the quiz page. The only button now visible on the quiz page is Submit Quiz. If internet connectivity is lost during the quiz-taking process, learners can answer questions but are unable to autosave questions or submit the quiz until the connection is restored.

Example of the quiz auto save function
The autosave function as it appears beside questions, and a simplified left navigation panel

4) Quizzes - Removal of Rubrics

Instructors can no longer attach a rubric to a quiz or grade rubrics already attached to a quiz. Any data stored in rubrics is retained.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the October Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform October 2018/10.8. Release Notes.

Additonally, 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
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.

Individuals lined up to form the letters NDLW

November 5-9, 2018 is National Distance Learning Week (NDLW). In association with NDLW, the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is offering free webinars on a variety of topics related to online teaching and learning. A few other organizations are offering free webinars during NDLW as well.

For more information on the activities and to register for the webinars visit NDLW 2018.

keyboard with a search key

Have you ever met with a student and wanted to review that student’s grades with the student, but couldn’t because the Grade Book shows the grades of all the other students? This isn't a problem in Brightspace. You can use the Grade Book search to temporarily hide the grades of all the other students and only show the grades for a single student.

Follow these steps to do it.

To display one row in the Grade Book:

  1. On the NavBar, click Grades.
  2. On the Enter Grades page, enter the first and last name of the desired student in the Search For field and then click on search icon.
  3. When done, you should only see the selected student.

Note: If you have more than one student with the same name, you can enter the 900 # of the desired student in the Search For field. Ultimately, your search results should yield the row with the desired student's record.

Manage Grades tab with Search For field identified

To display all rows in the Grade Book:

  1. On the Enter Grades page, click on the Clear Search link.

Manage Grades tab with Clear Search link identified

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #63: Grade Book
Grades Tool Training Recap
View all the Brightspace training recaps
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.

1

grade book page

The Brightspace Grades Tool is useful for providing students with up-to-date information about their current standing in the course. For instructors, it’s useful for assigning and keeping track of student grades. Students can view grade entries and monitor their progress throughout the course.

As an instructor, you can determine how to set up your Grade Book to best reflect your approach to evaluation, including the grading system and grade scheme that is most appropriate for your course. You can select how grades display to learners, how they update in the Grade Book, and how you want to deal with ungraded items. You can create grade items for projects, assignments, discussions, quizzes, etc. to include in your Grade Book, and even associate them with other tools (e.g. Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions).

Follow these steps to do it.

Listed below are links to how-to documents to help you to use the Grades Tool:

Want more information?

Grades Tool Training Recap
View all the Brightspace training recaps
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.

Photo Credit: Grade book by David Mulder | CC BY-SA 2.0

Use the Assignments tool to help you set and manage deadlines, unclutter your inbox, and save trees.

The Assignments tool is an efficient way to manage and collect your student's individual and group assignments digitally. Brightspace's Assignments Tool allows instructors to create a secure location for students to submit class assignments.

email inbox showing there are 6763 unread messages

The Assignments tool allows instructors to set up a place for students to submit their assignments digitally, with the ability to:

  • Control the window for submission
  • Facilitate individual submissions or group submissions (provided the groups have been set up using the Groups tool first)
  • Collect and assess submissions (with a connection to the Grades tool, if needed)
  • Enable plagiarism detection through Turnitin

Follow these steps to do it.

To create an assignment submission folder:

  1. On the NavBar (of the course you want to create a submission folder), click Activities and then choose Assignments from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click New Submission Folder.
  3. Enter a Name for your submission folder.
  4. Select a Folder Type.
  5. Do any of the following:
    • Select a Category or click New Category to organize your assignment submission folders.
    • Select a Grade Item, or click New Grade Item.
    • To assign a score, enter a value in the Out Of field.
    • To associate a rubric to the folder, click Add Rubric, or Create Rubric in New Window.
    • Enter instructions in the Instructions field.
    • Add attachments in the Attached Files area.
    • Expand Show Submission Options and select the appropriate settings.
    • Enter your email address in the Notification Email field to receive an email message when a new submission is uploaded to this folder.
  6. Click Save.

Note: You can add the Turnitin plagiarism detection feature to the assignment submission folder using the options in the Turnitin tab. Follow these instructions to enable Turnitin for the assignment submission folder.

Want More Information?

Assignments:
Turnitin:

Assignments Tool Training Recap
View all the Brightspace training recaps
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.