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Our February 2021 Continuous Delivery Update included a new feature that enables instructors to grant quiz accommodations to learners through the Classlist tool. Instructors can assign accommodations to specific learners that apply across all quizzes instead of applying them on a quiz by quiz basis.

The new Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist
The new Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist

Accommodation options currently available include: more time to complete quizzes at the course level and the ability to bypass right-click restrictions in quizzes. The right-click restriction in quizzes is the ability for learners to right-click in the quiz while taking the quiz.

The new Edit Accommodations dialog box
The new Edit Accommodations dialog box

Once granted, these accommodations apply to all quiz activities in a course for that learner. The additional time can be applied in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes) on every quiz in a course.

Quiz-specific Special Access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. You will see the learner's accommodation when you view the Special Access for the quiz.

Accommodations indicator in Special Access
An example of how Accommodations set for a learner in Classlist will show up in the Special Access for a quiz

When you overwrite an accommodation (through Special Access) and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting an accommodation appears.

D2L has announced that further accommodation options and enhancements are planned for this year.

Want more information?

Set Up Brightspace Accommodations by Learner for All Quizzes
Brightspace Tip #207: Quizzes – Special Access
Resources for the Quizzes Tool

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keyboard with a preview key

The instructor’s view of grades is not the same as the learner's view of grades. Did you know you can get a preview of what a learner sees when they view their grades in your course?

To verify what a learner sees when they view their grades, an instructor can Preview the learner's grades.

Follow these steps to do it.

To Preview a learner's grades you should:

  1. On the NavBar, click Grades.
  2. On the Enter Grades page, select "Preview" from the contextual menu associated with a learner name from the table. The Grades will appear in a new pop-up window.

NOTE: If you are meeting with a student and want to hide the grades of the other students, you should use the Grade Book Search to do so.

Want more information?

Preview Learner Grades
Brightspace Tip #109: Grade Book
Brightspace Tip #211: Grade Book – Search
Understanding the Grades Tool

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Image credit: "preview key" by jflorent is licensed under CC BY 4.0 and is a derivative of "Education Keyboard Button" by GotCredit used under CC BY 2.0

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 February 2021/20.21.2 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Accommodations – Quiz accommodations

This new feature enables instructors to grant quiz accommodations to learners through the Classlist tool. Instructors can assign accommodations to specific students that apply across all quizzes instead of applying them on a quiz by quiz basis.

Accommodation options currently available include: more time to complete quizzes at the course level and the ability to bypass right-click restrictions in quizzes. The right-click restriction in quizzes is the ability for learners to right-click in the quiz while taking the quiz.

The new Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist
The new Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist
The new Edit Accommodations dialog box
The new Edit Accommodations dialog box

Once granted, these accommodations apply to all quiz activities in a course for that learner. The additional time can be applied in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes) on every quiz in a course.

Quiz-specific Special Access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. When you overwrite an accommodation and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting an accommodation appears.

Further accommodation options and enhancements are planned for this year.

2) Assignments - Save progress and visual enhancements

This feature builds on the Assignments – The new assignment creation experience | Updated feature that was released in the January 2021/20.21.1 release.

  • Now, the Save button in the new assignment creation experience enables an instructor to save their progress while creating or editing an assignment. Previously, Save and Close was the only option.
The Save button in the new assignment creation experience
The Save button in the new assignment creation experience
  • The scrollbars on the main and right-hand panels now appear thinner and less noticeable, providing more vertical space when creating or editing an assignment.
  • The name of the assignment appears in the immersive navbar along the top of the page.
The name of the assignment on the immersive NavBar and the less obtrusive scrollbar in the new assignment creation experience
The name of the assignment on the immersive NavBar and the less obtrusive scrollbar in the new assignment creation experience

3) Quick Eval - Homepage widget

Quick Eval can now be added to organization and course homepages as a widget to allow instructors to view and access any submissions awaiting evaluation. The Quick Eval widget displays a list of up to six activities with submissions to evaluate. The activities are sorted by due date, with the earliest date first. The icon indicator in the widget shows the type of activity (assignment, discussion, or quiz), and the number of unevaluated submissions for each activity. The due date and course information are also visible below the title of each activity. Course information is only shown if the widget is accessed from the organization homepage.

Activities dismissed in the Quick Eval tool are not displayed by the Quick Eval widget.

The Quick Eval widget on course homepage displaying no submissions needing evaluation
The Quick Eval widget on course homepage displaying no submissions needing evaluation
The Quick Eval widget on the Organization homepage displaying unevaluated activities from multiple courses
The Quick Eval widget on the Organization homepage displaying unevaluated activities from multiple courses

NOTE: Are you interested in Customizing your Course Homepage with widgets? You can find information explaining how in this blog post.

4) Rubrics - Warning dialog for partial evaluations

Previously, if an instructor attempted to publish a partially completed rubric evaluation, the partial evaluation dialog appeared. If the instructor tapped Enter on their keyboard, the partial evaluation was published.

Now, the default button behavior has changed so that tapping Enter on the page returns the user to the rubric to complete the evaluation. This change adds a verification layer to reconsider their action and ensure that instructors are not mistakenly publishing incomplete evaluations.

The partial evaluation warning dialog appears the same, but has updated default behavior.
The partial evaluation warning dialog appears the same, but has updated default behavior.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the February Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform February 2021/20.21.2 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
View all the Brightspace training recaps
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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

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 #109: Grade Book
Understanding the Grades Tool

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
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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: "Search Key" by GotCredit licensed under CC BY 2.0

bonus with confetti flags

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

Want more information?

About Bonus Grade Items
Bonus Marks FAQs
Extra Credit
Create a Grade Item (video)
Brightspace Tip #109: Grade Book

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
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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.

Image credit: image by vivs4e from Pixabay

I usually get a lot of questions about quiz availability and time restrictions. In particular, I am asked to clarify the quiz availability and timing options. I’m writing this blog post to provide some clarification on this.

The availability settings are used by Brightspace to determine when to make the link to the quiz available for the students to click on to start the exam. The timing options are used to determine how much time the student will have to take the exam. Availability and timing work independently of each other. If the availability date/time is set for a two hour exam window, then the student will be able to start the exam anytime during that two hour window and the timing will determine how long they have to take the exam. Brightspace IS NOT going to subtract the time the student started the exam and then limit the testing period to the remainder of the time. A student will have the entire time to take the exam regardless of when they started it.

Example of availability dates for an exam
Example of availability dates for an exam

The way in which the availability and timing options work may be more of a concern for faculty who are teaching a remote class and their students are expected to take their exams on a given day at a given time. For example, you have a course that is being taught remotely. Your class meets 8:00 am until 9:15 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your students are expected to take their exams during the regular class meeting time. You can restrict the time students have to start the exam. You will have to decide how long students would have to start the exam. Let’s assume you are okay with the students starting their exam during the first 15 minutes of the class meeting time. The start time for this example would be 8 am on the testing day. The end time would be set to 8:15 am on the testing day. This means the students would have this 15 minute window to start their exam.

Example of an enforced time limit for an exam
Example of an enforced time limit for an exam

Your timing options would be set to give the students 75 minutes to complete the exam once they start it. A student who starts the exam at 8:10 am would have until 9:25 am to complete it.

A student who tries to start the exam after 8:15 am will NOT be able to start the exam because the link will no longer be available. Likewise, a student who has an internet connectivity issue while taking the exam will not be able to get back into the exam after 8:15 am (to pick up where they left off) because the link will no longer be available. In those cases, you would have to use the “Add Users to Special Access” option to grant the student access to the exam. The Add Users to Special Access option would allow you to change the length of time the student has to take the test and/or to open the exam back up for a student who had connectivity issues.

Continuing with my example, you have a student who notifies you at 8:30 am that they are late and want to be able to take the exam. You would edit the exam, click on the Add Users to Special Access button (on the Restrictions tab), and change the timing to allow the student the remaining 45 minutes to complete the exam. You would also have to change the end date/time for that particular student's special access in order for the link to the exam to be available to that student.

NOTE: The type of access would NOT be changed when allowing the student to take the exam. The “Type of Access” would still be “Allow selected users special access to this quiz”. More information about Special Access for quizzes can be found in this blog post.

Example of special access for an exam
Example of special access for an exam

Finally, I think it is a good idea to explain the availability and timing options that you decide to set for your exams to your students. This could eliminate confusion about the testing options and what to expect when taking the exam.

Want more information?

About Quizzes
Birghtspace Tip #207: Quizzes - Special Access
Grant Special Access to Users for a Quiz (video)
Best Practices: The Quiz Tool
Quizzes FAQ

View all the Brightspace training recaps
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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.

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.

Did you know Special Access is an option available in the Quizzes tool that allows the instructor to grant learners special accommodations? Special Access allows the instructor to assign specific learners a different set of quiz availability dates, late submission properties, and/or time limits. The instructor can change Start, End, and Due dates; the "Recommended Time Limit" and "Enforced Time Limit" timing settings; and the number of attempts allowed for a quiz to provide allowances for different needs of learners.

special access options in quizzes
Special Access options in Quizzes

  1. Select Allow selected users special access to this quiz 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 quiz if only certain students are allowed to see this quiz.
  3. Click Add Users to Special Access to select students who will get the special access.

NOTE: Instructors can exempt individual learners from the requirement to use the Respondus LockDown Browser when taking a quiz. Follow these instructions to add Special Access to quizzes that require Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB).

Want more information?

Special Access in Quizzes
Grant Special Access to Users for a Quiz (video)
Add Special Access to quizzes that require Respondus LockDown Browser
Brightspace Tip #214: Quizzes – Set Accommodations by Learner for All Quizzes

View all the Brightspace training recaps
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Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
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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.

Updated: 2/28/2021

Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) has a new remote proctoring option that works with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and other web based video systems. The new 'Instructor Live Proctoring' option uses LockDown Browser to prevent cheating on the computer itself, while the instructor watches students via video conferencing. The Instructor Live Proctoring method is recommended for small class sizes (20-25 students max) where instructors can effectively observe and track students during the exam.

Zoom Class Meeting

When Respondus LockDown Browser is used with Instructor Live Proctoring, the instructor and students meet in the video conferencing application at a specified time. When ready, the instructor provides students a start code for the online exam – students start LockDown Browser from there. The instructor can then watch students via the video conference system for the duration of the exam. Note that Instructor Live Proctoring DOES NOT record the student video, nor does it alert the instructor to suspicious events. Those features are only available with Respondus Monitor, the automated proctoring solution.

The RLDB Instructor Live Proctoring option is supported on Windows, MacOS and the new Chromebook Extension. LockDown Browser for iPad doesn’t directly support the Instructor Live Proctoring option (the iPad assessment mode doesn’t allow multiple apps to run simultaneously), but similar results can be achieved if a second device is used.

Want more information?

Instructor Live Proctoring with LockDown Browser (video)
About LockDown Browser - Instructor Live Proctoring
Instructor Live Proctoring Quick Start Guide
RLDB Instructor Live Proctoring FAQ
Brightspace Tip #200: Respondus LockDown Browser / Respondus Monitor

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
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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 '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
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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.