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signpost with old name and new name signs printed on them

Instructors have the ability to change the names of their Brightspace courses to suit their needs. For example, if you teach two sections of English 1010, you can personalize the names to become ENGL1010 – 9 MWF and ENGL1010 – 1:15 TR.

Follow these steps to do it.

To change the name of your Brightspace course, you should:

  1. Get into the course you want to change the name of.
  2. While in the course, goto the NavBar and click on Course Admin.
  3. Click on Course Offering Information.
  4. Enter the new name in the Course Offering Name field and and click Save.

Note: Care should be taken to make sure the new name of the course can be easily recognized by the students enrolled.

Want more information?

Brightspace Migration FAQs
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.

Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing for this blog professor, author, and social critic Corey Dolgon. I had heard Professor Dolgon speak at an IARSLCE conference, the International Association for Research on Service-Learning, and I was intrigued by his critique of certain universities' historic and ongoing actions that have disenfranchised or otherwise harmed the very communities the schools purport to serve. The talk was both wide in scope and specific in researched detail, the ability to achieve which is a defining characteristic of public intellectuals I admire, such as Henry Giroux, Robert Reich, as well as Professor Dolgon. The work of these scholars manages to clarify in plain language vast and intricate socio-political-and-economic movements in order to distill their tangible effects on our day-to-day lives.

Now Professor Dolgon has a new book out called Kill It to Save It: An Autopsy of Capitalism's Triumph over Democracy that traces the corrosive effects of recent (read post-Vietnam) political discourse and the public policy that flows from it regarding the civic institutions that uphold democracy, and thus on the common well-being of the citizenry. Such concerns, such considerations, may or may not play a part of any given service-learning course, depending on the discipline and academic level of the course. A capstone course in environmental sociology may well include as primary this type of far-reaching discussion, while a 1000-level English course designed to improve writing ability while engaging with community elementary schools may include such theoretical material in a limited, introductory amount, if at all. Yet whatever the service-learning course, the social disparities, deficiencies, and injustices addressed by community action are likely created or exacerbated by these larger forces operating just beyond our view. While teachers often internalize these realities, while they may inform our work in very close, almost second-nature ways, students may be only first learning about such broad historical contexts. Part of what we teach then in service-learning is not only course content or even the value and necessity of civic engagement, but also a larger awareness of, and a questioning of, the very real series of human choices that led to the situations the class addresses.

Kill It to Save It takes apart several myths of modern American life that have allowed public policy to work against the public good. The first to go is the idea of the rugged individual, free to succeed on his own terms without need of governmental assistance. As policies purport individual freedom and economic opportunity, the vast amount of economic gains go to a smaller and smaller few. At the same time, the sacrifices required to make this upward wealth transfer possible are to public education, public health care, and public resources. The public is sold a bill of goods about the boundlessness of upward mobility in this country, while the shrinking of public resources needed to support such mobility make it less and less likely. All investments in the public good are cast as socialistic handouts to the lazy, while the holders of wealth need only to keep the policy-setting system rigged in their favor to keep the subsidies, negative actual tax rates, and other forms of corporate welfare flowing their way.

We needn't look further than our own communities to see the damaging effects of years and years of such neoliberal policies. The homeless people on our streets are permanent communities within communities, structurally forever shut out of integration. Our poorest neighbors are crammed into the least funded schools, almost ensuring by design their failure. Entire neighborhoods bear the marks of years of redlining, employment discrimination, and racist law enforcement policy, from the war on drugs to stop-and-frisk. Professor Dolgon traces these situations back to the public discourse and propagandized ideologies that shaped the policies that created them.

No matter what aspect of social injustice our service-learning course seeks to address, it's worth remembering that no form of injustice is naturally occurring. Our society was made by us, and can be changed by us as well.

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s “Keep Students Engaged Between Class Meetings” training focused on how faculty can communicate and collaborate with their students outside of the classroom in order to enhance the instructional environment.

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training sessions or if you attended one of the training sessions and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

Our Brightspace training continues through the end of the semester.

Next week's training sessions will focus on collecting and grading student work using the Assignment Tool in Brightspace. Please visit our events page for workshop details and to RSVP for upcoming Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Migration FAQs
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.

By now, Xavier faculty have received an email from ITC asking them to identify the courses they have in Blackboard that they want to have migrated over to Brightspace. Brightspace's parent company, D2L, will be doing the actual migration for us, but we need to tell them which classes we wanted migrated. The email from ITC links to a form that asks for some very specific information for each course you want migrated (if you want to have more than one course migrated, you'll need to refill and resubmit the form for each course). This post will show you how you can quickly find all the information you need. ...continue reading "How to Find the Information to Request a Course Migration"

Download Conversation #63


A conversation with Randy Stoecker of University of Wisconsin-Madison on liberating service learning.

Randy Stoecker is a Professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, with a joint appointment in the Center for Community and Economic Development. This position has taken him into expanded work in academy-community partnerships and community leadership development. He has been involved in work trying to amplify the community voice in service learning, and provide strong information technology support for nonprofit organizations, and build community power. Most recently, Dr. Stoecker and his students have worked with Community Shares of Wisconsin, SouthWest Madison Community Organizers, and The Natural Step Monona.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #63: Randy Stoecker on Liberating Service Learning"

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s “Getting your Feet Wet: An Introduction to Brightspace” training focused on providing faculty with an introduction to the Brightspace learning management system (LMS).

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training sessions or if you attended one of the training sessions and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

Our Brightspace training continues through the end of the semester.

Next week's training sessions will focus on how to keep students engaged between class meetings using communication and collaboration tools in Brightspace. Please visit our events page for workshop details and to RSVP for upcoming Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Migration FAQs
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.

Humanized learning increases the relevance of course content and improves students' motivation to log-in to your course week-after-week. Whether you are teaching a face-to-face, hybrid, or online course, humanizing and personalizing your Brightspace course can go a long way to providing an inviting space for your students.

One of the ways you can humanize your Brightspace courses is to add a profile picture. By default, when you do not setup your profile picture it will appear as a blank avatar in the Brightspace system. Rather than having this faceless image, faculty and students can upload a profile picture to represent them throughout the Brightspace system.

profile picture

You can only have one profile picture at a time to be used throughout the entire Brightspace system. The recommended pixel size for a profile picture is 150 by 150. Larger images should be clipped.

NOTE: The University has the following policy regarding profile pictures:

Users may not send, display or receive pictures or other media which are copyrighted, abusive, obscene, sexually inappropriate, threatening, racially offensive, or considered harassment or offensive to human dignity.

Faculty should include this statement about what is not an acceptable profile picture when they ask students to upload a profile picture.

Follow these steps to do it.

To upload a profile picture:

  1. Click your name in the Brightspace minibar and then select Profile from the dropdown menu.
  2. Click Change Picture.
  3. Navigate to find the image you want to use as your profile picture.
  4. Click on the Save and Close button when you are done.

Want more information?

You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit the 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 6-10, 2017 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 2017.

Brightspace @ XULA logo

Brightspace (formerly called Desire2Learn or D2L) will replace Blackboard as our learning management system (LMS) starting spring 2018.

Brightspace training sessions start next week (the week of October 16th). Now is the time to sign-up for training sessions. You can sign-up for trainings on our events page.

Sandbox courses will be used in the Brightspace training sessions. Fill out the Brightspace sandbox course request form to request a sandbox course.

Additionally, our Brightspace Migration FAQs have been updated. Please review the updated FAQs, they should be able to answer your questions about our migration plan.

Want more information?

Brightspace Migration FAQs
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions

Download Conversation #62


A conversation with Moustapha Diack of Southern University on open educational resources.

Professor Moustapha Diack is the Assistant Vice President for Online Services of the Southern University System as well as Chair of the Doctoral Program in Science/Mathematics Education (SMED) and interim Director of Online Learning and Professional Development for Southern University Baton Rouge. His research interests at Southern University are in the areas of Instructional Design, cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the strategic planning and deployment of online learning systems to enhance student learning outcomes. Dr. Diack has extensive experience in the areas of online learning design and delivery and has played a global leadership role in the areas of Open Education and Open Access. He was the recipient of the International MERLOT eLearning Innovation Award in 2009. He is a member of the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching) Faculty Development Editorial Board and Co-Founding Director of the MERLOT Africa Network (MAN), a network of African higher education institutions and digital scholars engaged in the research, development and implementation of open education. At the Southern University System, Dr. Diack oversees the development and implementation of integrated digital library services, the Southern University Online Library for Education (SUOL4ed), to facilitate quality online programs development and college affordability through the adoption of open education resources and open textbook. Dr. Diack is a member of the Louisiana Board of Regents Task Force On Electronic Learning and Past President 2003-2006 of the Louisiana Academy of Science.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #62: Moustapha Diack on Open Educational Resources"