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Did you know Special Access is an option available in the Assignments tool that allows the instructor to grant learners special accommodations? Special Access permissions allow instructors to set different availability dates and times for specific learners. For example, you could extend the deadline for learners who require remedial help or who are submitting work beyond the original scope of the assignment. You can also add Special Access after an assignment’s end date has passed for learners who have a legitimate excuse for missing the deadline or for learners you want to submit additional material, such as planning notes or a bibliography.

Special Access using the New Assignment Creation Experience
Add Special Access in the New Assignment Creation Experience

Special Access using the classic experience
Add Special Access in the classic experience

manage special access options

  1. Select Allow users with special access to submit outside the normal availability dates for this folder if you want to give certain students different submission options from the rest of the class.
  2. Select Allow only users with special access to see this folder if only certain students are allowed to see this folder.
  3. Click Add Users to Special Access to select students who will get the special access.

Want more information?

Allow Special Access for Assignments
Set Release Conditions and Special Access in Assignments
Brightspace Tip #142: Simplify Assignment Collection

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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.

The 'Observed in Person' assignment submission type is for situations where a learner needs to present something or demonstrate something and an instructor needs to confirm that it was completed. This submission type allows instructors to create assignments for a wide variety of activities and provide evaluation and feedback for these assignments in Brightspace.

assignment submission types

The ‘Observed in Person’ submission type is meant for scoring and evaluation of a learning activity such as demonstration, presentation, lab test, etc.

There are four submission types to choose from when creating an Assignment in Brightspace. The submission types are:

  • File submission: learners upload and submit a file to the assignment.
  • Text submission: learners post text, image, or a link to their work in a text box within the assignment.
  • On paper submission: learners submit a physical copy of their assignment directly to their instructor. No file upload is required to complete the assignment.
  • Observed in person: allows instructors to observe learners as they perform tasks, such as in-class presentations, and evaluate the observation. No file upload is required to complete the assignment.

There are three options to mark an ‘Observed in Person’ assignment as completed:

  • Automatically on due date – Brightspace marks the assignment as completed on a pre-set date.
  • Automatically on evaluation – Brightspace automatically marks the assignment as complete when the instructor evaluates the assignment using any of the assessment methods in Brightspace.
  • Manually by Learner – The student will mark the assignment as complete.

The assignment can be assessed using text/audio/video feedback, Brightspace interactive rubric, or by assigning a grade.

Want more information?

What is an ‘Observed in Person’ assignment?
Create assignments and assess submissions
Brightspace Tip #142: Simplify Assignment Collection
Brightspace Tip #204: Interactive Rubrics
Brightspace Tip #102: Video Notes
Brightspace Tip #157: Video Notes - Closed Captions
Brightspace Tip #169: Video Notes - Recording Limit

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
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.

The Assignments tool is an efficient way to manage and collect your student's individual and group assignments digitally. Students use the Assignments tool to upload and submit assignments directly in Brightspace, eliminating the need to mail, fax, or email their work to instructors. On paper submissions, and observed in person assignments are also available and do not require file submissions to be made in Brightspace.

Did you know that you can quickly create new assignments from existing assignments using the Copy Assignment option? The Copy Assignment feature copies all settings of an existing assignment except the associated grade item and Turnitin settings.

Example of the Copy Assignment option as it appears in the drop-down menu for existing assignments
The Copy Assignment option appears in the drop-down menu for existing assignments

Follow these steps to do it.

To copy an existing assignment, you should:

  1. On the NavBar, click Activities and then click Assignments.
  2. From the drop-down menu of the assignment you want to copy, click Copy Assignment.
  3. A new assignment, Copy of [original assignment name], appears at the bottom of the assignments list.
  4. Click Edit Assignment to update the name, score, due date, instructions and other settings of the copied assignment.
  5. Click Save and Close.

Want more information?

Copy an existing assignment
About Assignments
Create assignments and assess submissions
Brightspace Tip #142: Simplify Assignment Collection
Brightspace Tip #143: Annotate Assignment Submissions
Brightspace Tip #178: New Assignment Creation Experience

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
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.

The new Assignment creation experience was one of the changes that we saw beginning with our June 2020 Continuous Delivery update. While this new experience simplifies the creation of assignments, it currently does not have all the options that are available in the old experience. You can toggle between the new assignment creation experience and the old experience by clicking on the down arrow in the upper right corner of the New Assignment or Edit Assignment pages. Here are some screenshots:

Turn off the new assignment creation experience
Turn off the new assignment creation experience
Switch from old experience to the new assignment creation experience
Switch from old experience to the new assignment creation experience

D2L is building on the functionality of the new assignment creation experience. Expect additional functionality to be added to the new assignment creation experience in the coming months. Any changes to the new assignment creation experience will be made as a part of our Continuous Delivery Updates.

Want more information?

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.

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.

As you know, our Brightspace system is automatically updated once a month. Our June Continuous Delivery Update (scheduled for Thursday, June 25th) will include a change to the Assignments Tool. The create and edit Assignments page will have an updated look and feel. The classic tabbed view will be transformed into a new, fully immersive page layout.

Example of the updated Assignment creation screen
The updated look and feel of the new Assignment creation screen

The primary panel on the left contains frequently used fields that are always displayed. These fields are most relevant to learners and are the core details instructors want to add; a due date, instructions, and attachments.

The panel on the right organizes additional, more advanced options such as start and end dates, rubrics, annotation tools, and Turnitin. When these options are collapsed, summary text provides details about which settings are active and subtle hints that aid in the discovery of additional settings. As a result, you can see everything at a glance with little to no scrolling, and without having to navigate through any tabs.

The new experience streamlines the process of linking assignments to your gradebook and builds on a pattern first introduced in Activity Feed. When you enter a score, your assignment is added to Grades, and the name and score are automatically synced for you. If you traditionally create grade items in advance, support for selecting existing grades and categories is also available.

Example of the new add to grades workflow in Assignments
The new add to grades workflow

I think you are going to like the changes to the Assignments Tool. The new interface will simplify your workflow.

Want more information?

Continuous Delivery release notes
Simplify Assignment Collection
Engage Learners with Activity Feed

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 provide feedback directly in submitted assignments using the Annotations tool. Previously the only option for annotating assignments was by using the Assignment Grader app on your mobile device.

Features available in the Annotations Toolbar are:

  • Text Highlighting
  • Freehand Drawing
  • Text Annotation
  • Note Annotation

The ability to annotate on assignment submissions will assist instructors in providing valuable feedback to students.

Instructors will see the Annotations toolbar within the Assignments Evaluation Submission screen.

Example of an assignment with annotations made by the instructor
Example of an assignment with annotations
Annotations Toolbar
Annotations Toolbar

NOTE: The following file types are supported by the Annotations tool:

  • .doc
  • .docx
  • .rtf
  • .odt
  • .ppt
  • .pps
  • .pptx
  • .ppsx
  • .odp
  • .xls
  • .xlsx
  • .txt
  • .jpg
  • .jpeg
  • .png
  • .tif
  • .tiff
  • .gif (once converted to a PDF, only the first frame of the .gif displays)
  • .pdf

Students have to submit their assignments in one of the supported file types in order for the instructor to use the built-in Annotations tool.

ICYMI, read my blog post on how you can simplify assignment collection by using the Assignments tool.

Want More Information?

Instructor Annotations for Brightspace Assignments (pdf)
Using Annotations for Instructor Feedback (video)
Add Feedback and Evaluations to Assignments
Simply Assignment Collection
Assignments Tool Training Recap
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Continuous Delivery release notes
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.

1

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

email inbox showing there are 6763 unread messages

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.

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 using the old assignment creation experience:

  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.
    • Choose the option to hide student names during assessment, if appropriate.
  6. Click Save.

Follow these instructions if you are using the New Assignment Creation Experience.

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
Continuous Delivery release notes
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 gabrielle_cc from Pixabay

1

film strip, film reel, and clap board

Traditional writing assignments are appropriate for many types of assessments, but there is no law that says traditional writing assignments are required for all.

In a Faculty Focus article, Dr. John Orlando explains how student videos can be used to demonstrate learning. He writes,

A good video assignment is to put students into small groups with instructions to make a video that teaches a key concept related to class. If done well, the video not only demonstrates students’ understanding of the concept, but also serves as a resource that can be used by others.

Recent technologies have made video creation remarkably easy and video assignments can be shared in Brightspace. However, you should opt to have the students upload their video files to a video sharing site like YouTube and just provide a link to the video inside Brightspace.

If you are interested in video assignments, you can read more in Dr. Orlando’s “Ask Your Students to Create Videos to Demonstrate Learning” article.

Additionally, I prepared some instructions for recording, uploading, and sharing video on YouTube that you should provide to your students to help them post a link to their video in Brightspace.

We have early access to the new Annotations Toolbar for Assignments. You will see this new toolbar within the Assignments Evaluation Submission screen.

Instructors can provide feedback directly in submitted assignments using the Annotations tool. Previously the only option for annotating assignments was by using the Assignment Grader app on your mobile device.

Features available in the Annotations Toolbar are:

  • Text Highlighting
  • Freehand Drawing
  • Text Annotation
  • Note Annotation
Example of an assignment with annotations made by the instructor
Example of an assignment with annotations
Annotations Toolbar
Annotations Toolbar

The ability to annotate on assignment submissions will assist instructors in providing valuable feedback to students.

ICYMI, read my blog post on how you can simplify assignment collection by using the Assignments tool.

Want More Information?

Instructor Annotations for Brightspace Assignments (pdf)
Using Annotations for Instructor Feedback (video)
Simply Assignment Collection
Assignments Tool Training Recap
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Continuous Delivery release notes
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.

2

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

hand drawing email represented as letters flying through the air

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.

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.
    • Choose the option to hide student names during assessment, if appropriate.
  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
Continuous Delivery release notes
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