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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.

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

1

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 September 2018/10.8.5 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Content – Print/Download Function added to Overview

Users can now download and print an uploaded syllabus from the Course Overview area of Content.

print/down in overview buttons
Download and Print buttons as they appear in the Course Overview area

2) Discussions – Create groups and section threads in existing topics

Instructors can now associate existing discussion topics to a new group or section during the group or section creation process. In addition, users can associate existing discussion topics to groups or sections not associated with any other discussion topic.

Setup discussions area option
Set up discussion areas option

Attach to existing topic option
Attach to existing topic option

3) Groups and Sections – Differentiate between similar learner names in groups and sections

Instructors can now differentiate between duplicate learner names by displaying the username or Org Defined Id beside a learner's name.

Example of Learner Org Defined ID
Learner Org Defined Id, as it appears beside the learner’s name

4) HTML Editor - Add quicklinks to content modules, submodules and course overview

Users can now link directly to content modules, submodules, and course overviews directly from the Insert Quicklink option in the HTML editor. This change allows users to insert quicklinks directly to specific portions of course content within any tool with the HTML Editor. Previously, only a link to the Content tool was available from the Insert Quicklink option in the HTML editor.

5) HTML Editor - Chemistry equation writing function available in the equation editor

A chemistry equation writing function is now available in the HTML Editor. Users can select this feature directly within the equation editor.

HTML Editor Chemistry Equation Writing Function
HTML Editor - Chemistry Equation writing function option

6) Import/Export/Copy Components - Copy awards between courses

When copying components between courses, instructors can now choose to include awards and their release conditions. This allows instructors to reuse awards across different courses and sections in Brightspace.

7) Release Conditions - Released final grade score condition type

The "Released final grade score" is a new release condition type. Instructors can now release items such as content and awards to learners either based on the learner’s final grade being marked as released or based on their final grade being marked as released and the grade meeting a set threshold. For example, a course survey could be released to a learner once their final grade is released or an award could be released to a learner once their final grade is released and they have received a certain grade. This can be completed everywhere a user can create and attach release conditions.

Intelligent agents allow instructors to delegate some of the course communication and notification tasks to the system, based on specific triggering activities in the course. Instructors can now use intelligent agents to complete certain tasks based on a learner’s final grade. For example, with the released final grade score condition type, an intelligent agent can now identify students whose final grade did not meet a set threshold and automatically send a notification to interested parties.

released final grade release condition drop down menu
"Released final grade score" release condition

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the September Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform September 2018/10.8.5 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.

what is ePortfolio word cloud

An electronic portfolio (also known as an eportfolio) is a collection of electronic evidence (artifacts) assembled and managed by a user, usually on the Web. Such electronic evidence may include electronic files, images, multimedia, blog entries, and hyperlinks. If the ePortfolio is online, users can maintain it dynamically over time.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recently published a study on "Fulfilling the American Dream: Liberal Education and the Future of Work." In it, they report:

78% of executives and 81% of hiring managers find ePortfolios useful when evaluating recent graduates, versus 51% of executives and 48% of hiring managers who find college transcripts useful.

Students gain a number of benefits from incorporating portfolios in their learning. Here are a few benefits from an Educational Technology and Mobile Learning article:

  • Portfolios enable students to record their learning and document their growth over a period of time.
  • They provide students with a venue through which they can showcase their learning.
  • They can be used as a tool for self-assessment, self-reflection and personal development.
  • They help students focus on the process of learning rather than the end product.
  • They promote deeper learning as students actively engage in the learning process.
  • They develop students metacognitive skills (reflective practices) and help them take control of their learning.
  • They empower students' voice.
  • They are a ‘method of self-discovery and confidence building’.
  • They help students develop personal and academic identities.
  • They assist students in locating their strengths and weaknesses and plan for future improvement.
  • They invite teachers' feedback and input from peers.
  • They help students develop their writing skills.
  • A portfolio presents concrete evidence of the learner's work and achievements to prospective employers.

A good ePortfolio is both about being a product (a digital collection of artifacts) and a process (of reflecting on those artifacts and what they represent).

collection of ePortfolio artifacts

Our Brightspace system includes an ePortfolio tool that is available to all users. The Brightspace ePortfolio tool is typically used by learners to collect samples of their work ("artifacts"), write about experiences they have ("reflections") and then choose whether to share them with others (like peers, instructors, or even potential employers).

We’ve prepared this ePortfolio FAQ to provide you with answers to questions about the Brightspace ePortfolio tool.

Additionally, if you're interested in learning more about Brightspace's ePortfolio tool or if you want to learn more about ePortfolios in general, you should attend the upcoming CCE: Introducing ePortfolios workshop.

Want More Information?

ePortfolio Introduction video [3:28]
Document and share ideas and achievements
ePortfolio FAQ
ePortfolio how-to documents
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.

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 August 2018/10.8.4 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Quizzes – Dynamic preview available in question pools

Question pools now include a dynamic preview. The preview displays questions randomly selected from the current question pool. A refresh button allows instructors to navigate through several selections to ensure the question pool is working as expected.

question pool - refresh preview
Dynamic Preview in Question Pool

2) Rubrics - Improvements to rubric feedback for learners

To provide learners with more detailed feedback on activities and apply a consistent look and feel to rubric feedback, this release includes the following improvements:

  • User Progress displays general feedback, score, and a graded rubric for Grades, Discussions and Assignments. Feedback displays to learners as soon as instructors save rubric and overall feedback assessment.
  • Content tool for Assignments displays general feedback, score, and a graded rubric. This replaces the previously displayed Instructor Feedback.

Rubric feedback for assignments progress
Rubric feedback for Assignments Progress in the User Progress tool

Rubric feedback for discussions progress
Rubric feedback for Discussions Progress in the User Progress tool

3) Turnitin - Improvements to Turnitin Integration

The following improvements have been made to the Turnitin (TII) integration:

  • Learners can view GradeMark feedback in User Progress under Grades and in Content.
  • Error and status messages are being improved upon.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the August Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform August 2018/10.8.4 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.

1

Use due dates in Brightspace to help students stay on track. Students will see due dates when they look at entries in the course calendar.

Due dates and availability dates are generally entered when the instructor creates assignments, assessments, discussion topics and forums, etc. The dates automatically populate into the course calendar.

calendar with due date emphasized

Instructors can use the Manage Dates tool to view, edit in bulk, and bulk offset date availability from one central location. You can also set the calendar status of all content topics and modules, discussion topics and forums, assignment submissions folders, grades categories and items, announcement items, quizzes, checklists, and surveys in their course in the Manage Dates tool.

Course objects display in a grid that you can sort by any of the column headings. You can also use the Type column to sort the Manage Dates page based on the tool-specific order and use advanced filter options to work with smaller sets of objects. If you filter your course objects, any bulk changes you make apply only to the filtered results. This enables you to update multiple availability dates based on specific criteria.

In addition to managing dates, you can open each course object in a new window by clicking on its name. This launches the object's edit page where you can edit additional properties for that object without leaving the Manage Dates tool.

The Manage Dates tool can be very useful after a course copy. For example, if you copied content from one course into another course, you can use the Manage Dates tool to easily adjust dates after the course copy. Additionally, if you've entered dates on items in your course and later need to adjust dates in bulk, try using the Manage Dates tool.

Follow these steps to do it.

To edit dates in bulk:

  1. Get into the course you want to change the dates of course objects.
  2. On the NavBar (of the course you want to change dates in), click Course Admin.
  3. Click Manage Dates.
  4. Select the check box of the items for which you want to bulk edit dates.
  5. Click Bulk Edit Dates.
  6. In the Bulk Edit Dates dialog box, update the due dates and availability dates.
  7. Click Save.

Want More Information?

About Manage Dates
Bulk edit dates in Manage Dates
Offset dates in Manage Dates
Manage Dates - Offset Dates (video)
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.

G Suite Apps

Xavier provides all faculty, staff, and students with a G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) account, which includes Mail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms.

With the Google Apps integration into Brightspace, you can upload files from your Google Drive into Brightspace. Google Drive is a service for storing, syncing and sharing files.

Before you can take advantage of the Google Apps integration, you must authorize Brightspace to access your XULA Google account. The authorization will link your Google and Brightspace accounts so that you can upload files from your Google Drive into Brightspace.

Follow these steps to do it.

To enable Google Apps integration:

  1. Login to your Brightspace account.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the main landing page (the "My Home" page) and locate the Google Apps widget.
  3. Click on the Link to your Google Apps account and follow the prompts.
link to Google Apps

To upload a file from your Google Drive into Brightspace:

  1. Click on the Upload/Create button and then choose the Upload Files option.
  2. From the Add a File window choose Google Drive and follow the prompts.
Upload/Create button
Upload/Create button

Want more information?

Getting Started with Google Apps
Google Apps integration
Add a Google document to Brightspace
Adding Google documents to Brightspace - Learners
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

A Quicklink is a way for instructors to insert a direct link to content that is inside or outside of their course.

insert link in HTML Editor

Quicklinks are useful because they allow instructors to provide students with a direct link to content in the course. For example, instructors can create an announcement or email for students with links that take students directly to specific content files or assignments inside of the course.

Instructors should take advantage of Quicklinks, they are useful for pointing students to specific content in the course!

Follow these steps to do it.

Watch this short video for instructions on inserting Quicklinks:

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #43: HTML Editor
HTML Editor Quick Reference (pdf)
Making Use of the HTML Editor (video)
Format HTML course content
HTML Editor Basics
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.

push pin

The My Courses widget (on the My Home page) uses tile-based images to make finding your courses easier. Users can choose which courses they see in their My Courses widget by pinning and unpinning courses.

  • Pinning a course makes it appear in the My Courses widget.
  • Unpinning a course makes it disappear from the My Courses widget.
  • Pinning a course also makes it rise to the top of the Select a Course list and on the My Courses widget.

Search through all of your courses and manually pin and unpin courses to ensure that your most relevant courses are visible on the My Home page.

Follow these steps to do it.

To pin/unpin a course, you should:

  1. From the Minibar, click Select a course (i.e., the waffle icon).
  2. Select a Course

  3. Type the name of the course that you want to pin or find it by searching in the Search for a course field or scroll down to find the course.
  4. Click the Pin icon beside the course. The pinned course will move to the top of the Select a Course list and to the first position in the My Courses widget.
  5. pin/unpin course

Note: To unpin a course click the Pin icon beside the course.

If you want to completely change the order in which your courses are displayed, unpin all of them and then pin them in the order you want them to appear. The most recently pinned course will always appear first.

Want more information?

Pin courses to the top of the Select a Course list
How to Pin Courses (pdf)
How to Reorder Pinned Courses
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.