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
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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?
- New Assignments Date Feature - Updated Date Availability, Visibility, And Access Options
- Brightspace Tip #208: Assignments - Special Access
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