Skip to content

About Janice Florent

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

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.

wrench

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 Enter Grades.
  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 Enter Grades.
  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)
Troubleshoot Final Grades (video)
Adjusted Final Grades
Release Final Grades
Brightspace Tip #437: 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 credit: Image by webandi from Pixabay

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.

To manually release final grades:

  1. On the NavBar, click Grades.
  2. On the Enter Grades page, from the Final Calculated Grade or Final Adjusted Grade context menu, click Enter Grades.
  3. To release grades for all users, on the Final Grades page, from the Final Grades context menu, click Release All. To release final grades for a specific user, do one of the following:
    • Select the check box by the user name and click the Release/Unrelease link.
    • Select the check box in the Release Final Calculated Grade or Release Adjusted Final Grade column.
  4. Click Save.

OR watch this video for instructions on how to release final grades:

NOTE: There is a slight change in the video instructions. The "Enter Grades" option should be used anywhere in the video where "Grade All" is referenced.

Want more information?

Troubleshoot Final Grades (video)
Adjust Final Grades
Release Final Grades
Brightspace Tip #437: 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 credit: "final grades" by jflorent is dedicated to public domain under CC0 and is a derivative of grade by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay

extra bonus icon

I am writing this blog post as a follow up to my Brightspace Tip #440: Grade Book - Bonus Points blog post. I've received a few questions about bonus items in a weighted grading system. This blog post addresses how bonus items work in a weighted Grade Book.

Bonus refers to optional activities. Students are NOT penalized for skipping the activity. Points earned for Bonus activities will improve the student’s grade. Checking the Bonus option means that any points earned will be added onto the Final Calculated Grade. Bonus items appear in the Grade Book with a Star next to them.

Bonus grade items are not included in the maximum points for a category or final grade. They are added on top of the calculated grade. The Can Exceed option must be selected in order for users' grades to exceed the maximum points specified.

The Can Exceed and Bonus options can both be selected for a grade item.

bonus grade item

If you allow an item to exceed 100% or include Bonus items, but do not check the box "Can Exceed" in the category and/or “Final Calculated Grade” settings, then extra credit will count but it will be limited to no more than 100% for the category or “Final Calculated Grade.”

If you create a “Bonus” item with no category, limit its weight to the most you wish to add to the final course percentage. For example, if you do not want to add more than 3% to any given final grade, limit the Bonus item’s weight to 3%. The bonus points can be any number of points because the weight makes the difference in the overall calculation.

thought bubble with light blub

Refer to this Demystifying Bonus Items in a Weighted Grade Book document for example of weighted grading system with bonus item and an explanation of the final grade calculation.

Want more information?

Demystifying Bonus Items in a Weighted Grade Book
Brightspace Tip #440: Grade Book - Bonus Points
About Bonus Grade Items
Extra Credit
Create a Grade Item (video)
Brightspace Tip #437: 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: extra png from pngtree.com and image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

the word sms in talk bubble

D2L (the company that owns Brightspace) has announced a July 2024 intent to end-of-life SMS notifications. Refer to the following frequently asked questions for more information.

What are SMS Notifications?

SMS (Short Message Service) notifications allow users to subscribe to select alert bell notifications so that they are forwarded to a mobile phone number.

Why are they ending SMS Notifications?

When D2L originally built their SMS notifications, the world was a different place. We didn’t all have smart phones! They built this using a technology service available from most providers, email to SMS. Now, this service is being deprecated by providers and they are experiencing not only inconsistent delivery times but also large-scale outages at some of the largest mobile providers in North America.

How can users get mobile push notifications without SMS?

Another difference from when D2L built their SMS notifications is that their mobile app, Pulse, wasn’t available. With Pulse, users can receive the same mobile push notifications as what were available via SMS.

Email-based notifications are not going away, so users can still receive email notifications if subscribed.

What will happen to stored phone numbers after this?

Personal Data will be deleted once it is no longer needed to send notifications.

Want more information?

Intent to EOL SMS Notifications
Brightspace Tip #430: Notifications

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 OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

bonus icon

There are two ways to give extra credit in Brightspace. The first is to allow the grade item to exceed the maximum number of points for the assignment. The other option is to indicate the grade item is a “Bonus” item.

The differences between the two options are explained here:

  • Can Exceed means in grading an item you are able to add extra credit to the assignment, quiz, or any item in the Grade Book. You indicate this by checking the Can Exceed box.
    • The Can Exceed option can boost student’s score on activity making it feasible to earn more than 100%. For example, on a grade item where the maximum points is 10 and the Can Exceed option is selected, a grade of 12/10 is a perfect score with 2 extra credit points added.
    • When you choose Can Exceed for a grade item in the Grade Book, you should also select Can Exceed for the Category in which the grade item resides.
  • Bonus refers to optional activities. Students are NOT penalized for skipping the activity. Points earned for Bonus activities will improve the student’s grade. Checking the Bonus option means that any points earned will be added onto the Final Calculated Grade.
    • Bonus items appear in the Grade Book with a Star next to them.
    • Bonus grade items are not included in the maximum points for a category or final grade. They are added on top of the calculated grade. Bonus grade items cannot make users' grades exceed the maximum points specified, unless the Can Exceed option is selected.

The Can Exceed and Bonus options can both be selected for a grade item.

bonus grade item

NOTE: When you place bonus items in a category in your Grade Book, you should make sure to edit the category and select "Can Exceed" for the category because you want the category to exceed 100%. This way the student’s bonus points will count toward their final grade, and not just the category.

Want more information?

About Bonus Grade Items
Extra Credit
Create a Grade Item (video)
Brightspace Tip #437: 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 credit: bonus png from pngtree.com

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 March 2024/20.24.3 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Brightspace Editor – Consistent link creation with the ability to choose link format

As of this release, inserting a link into Brightspace Editor opens the Add Link dialog which allows users to determine if their links open in a new window (set as the default) or in the current window. The text box in the Add Link dialog also allows users to add text to their link. This provides users with a consistent workflow and control over how links respond in their content.

The Add Link dialog opens when inserting links with the context menu or with keyboard shortcuts (for example, ctrl+K or command+K).

Additionally, the dialog includes a new Insert Quicklink option, allowing users to easily insert a quicklink. When using Insert Stuff > Insert Link or Insert Quicklink > Link, the same Link, Text, and Open In options are displayed ensuring consistent link creation.

Finally, this feature updates the icons shown in Insert Quicklink to ensure all icons use the new style.

Previously, adding links throughout the editor resulted in different workflows, different fields, and different behaviors in the way that links would open. The previous Whole Window option is removed, as it was being treated as the current window and thus cause inconsistent behavior. Several options have been renamed from the previous version to improve consistency:

  • The option to have links open in the current window was previously called same frame.
  • Link was previously named URL.
You can access the new Add Link dialog using the context menu, or with keyboard shortcuts.
You can access the new Add Link dialog using the context menu, or with keyboard shortcuts.

This feature implements the following PIE items:

  • D9265, D7107, and D10615 (Ability to set links to “open in new window” when inserting a link via the context menu)
  • D8186 (Link target is not available except from the Quicklinks menu)
  • D8051 and D8279 (Enhancements and better hyperlink options in HTML Editor)
  • D10602 (Consistent process for adding URL)
  • D10475 (Making Insert Quicklinks smoother and faster)

2) Quizzes - Improved experience for generating quiz reports

This release introduces a better experience for instructors when running and exporting quiz reports with large amounts of data. To avoid time-out failures and screen freezing, the following report types now run asynchronously:

  • Attempt Details
  • Question Statistics
  • Question Details
  • User Statistics
  • User Attempts

When reports are ready for downloading, Brightspace generates a notification that instructors can access from the bell icon in the navbar.

Quiz reports are generated asynchronously. Instructors are notified when they are ready for download via the bell notification icon in the navbar.
Quiz reports are generated asynchronously. Instructors are notified when they are ready for download via the bell notification icon in the navbar.

Previously, quiz reports were generated slowly and would time-out in large classes.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the March Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform March 2024/20.24.3 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

Secure the Testing Environment and Protect the Integrity of Online Tests [1:03:48]

Thanks to those of you who attended last week's "Secure the Testing Environment and Protect the Integrity of Online Tests" workshop. The workshop, the eighteenth in our #LEX Advanced series, helps you to build on the skills you learned in the #LearnEverywhereXULA course and is designed for faculty who want to secure the online testing environment and protect the integrity of students' work.

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 “Securing Testing Environment” 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.

three pies

Pi (π) Day is celebrated on March 14th (3.14). Did you know the Brightspace Community has a PIE? Yes, there is a PIE (Product Idea Exchange) in the Brightspace Community. The PIE is a system that allows Brightspace users to share their suggestions on how to make Brightspace better. I invite you to take a few minutes to explore the Brightspace Product Idea Exchange (PIE).

We’ve put together this collection of PIE ideas you can consider upvoting so that we can add our voice to the community to make the Brightspace experience better. To get you started, here are links to articles on baking a better PIE and what makes an idea great. You can also search the PIE for ideas to upvote or submit your own idea to the PIE. Let us know if you submit your own idea to the PIE so that we can upvote it.

Want more information?

How can I access the PIE?

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: "073/365 - Pi Day Pies, 2012" by Dennis Wilkinson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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?

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.

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

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 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