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Now that you have one semester of using our Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS) behind you, you may be thinking it would have been helpful if I had known this about Brightspace beforehand.

An article in the Brightspace Community provided insights on what professor Lori McIntosh-Belanger wishes she had known about Brightspace when she got started. In the article she provides insights on using Quizzes and Question Libraries, Discussions, Widgets, Rubrics and Marking Assignments. If this has piqued your interest, you should read the article, “What I Wish I Had Known as a Brightspace Instructor”.

As you prepare to teach this summer, now is a good time to get started setting up your Brightspace courses. According to our Information Technology Center (ITC), summer courses will be created in Brightspace this week.

To get started, you can post your syllabus, course documents, announcements, and setup your Grade Book in your Brightspace courses. You can also customize your course homepage and/or course image/banner.

checklist

If you teach a course that is cross listed you will have a Brightspace course for each cross listing. You can combine the cross listed courses into one Brightspace course so that you can post course materials and grades to one combined Brightspace course. Combining courses may also work for you if you are teaching different sections of the same course and would like to have the different sections combined into one Brightspace course so that you can post course documents and grades in the one combined course. The beginning of the semester is the best time to submit a request to merge your Brightspace courses before you add course materials or grades to the courses.

Additionally, Master Course Shells are available for faculty who want to get a head start on building their courses before the actual summer courses are created. You can copy the Master Course Shell contents into your “empty” Brightspace course once the course becomes available. Alternatively, if the summer course you are teaching is the same as your spring course you can copy the entire spring course (or copy components) into your "empty" Brightspace summer course.

Follow these steps to do it.

Listed below are links with instructions to:

Want more information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery Updates
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.

in case you missed it

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

Additionally, here's a link to my Brightspace Tip #16: Help Resources blog post.

**NOTE: Brightspace Tip #23 has additional/updated training information on the Grades Tool.

classroom with empty chairs

As we approach the end of the semester there are a few things you can do in Brightspace to wrap up for the semester.

Release final course grades

Unlike other grade items and categories in the Grade Book, final grades are not available to students by default. Final grades must be released. If you did not choose to enable the automatic release of final grades when setting up your Grade Book, you will have to manually release final grades in order for students to see their final grade.

Export your Grade Book

Student access to courses is removed two weeks after the end of a semester. During this process all Grade Book records are deleted. You should export (download) your Grade Book to your local computer after you submit your final grades.

NOTE: The export file that is created will NOT contain any student work. The grades in your Grade Book are exported.

Create a master copy of your course

Courses remain on the Brightspace system for three semesters before they are removed. You can request a Master Course Shell that you can use to develop and maintain your course materials. Master Course Shells will not be removed from the Brightspace system.

Follow these steps to do it.

Instructions are available for releasing final course grades, exporting your Grade Book, and requesting Master Course Shells.

Want more information?

Release Final Grades
Export your Grade Book (video [2:03])
Master Copies of Courses
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery Updates
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: Classroom/Learning/Lecture | CC0

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s "Get Your Game On: Gamify Your Brightspace Courses" training focused on how using gamification can engage and motivate students. This training session also covered how instructors can selectively release content to students using release conditions.

in case you missed it

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

  • Homework that was to be completed before the workshop
    • Gamification Learning Challenge*

*NOTE: The Gamification Learning Challenge and the hands-on workshop activities are available. If you are interested in getting access to the challenge and activities you must be enrolled in the Brightspace Instructor Training Course. Xavier faculty who are not enrolled in this course can email Janice Florent and ask to be enrolled in the course.

To access the challenge and workshop activities, Xavier faculty should:

  1. Login to Brightspace
  2. Select the Brightspace Instructor Training course
  3. In the NavBar, click on Content
  4. In the Table of Contents, click on Workshop Hands-on Activities and then
  5. Click on Gamification Workshop. (You will find the activities in this module.)

Our Brightspace training will continue next fall. 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 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.

Download Conversation #69


Xavier students talk about Brightspace.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #69: Xavier Students Talk About Brightspace"

Unlike other grade items and categories in the Grade Book, final grades are not available to students by default. Final grades must be released. When setting up the Grade Book, the instructor can choose to automatically release final grades so that the students can see their final grade throughout the semester. If you did not choose to enable the automatic release of final grades when setting up your Grade Book, you will have to manually release final grades in order for students to see their final grade.

Additionally, you can selectively release final grades for some students now and release the final grades for other students later. For example, you can release the final grades for graduating seniors on one date and release the final grades for everyone else on a later date.

Follow these steps to do it.

Watch this video for instructions on how to release final grades:

Want more information?

Release Final Grades
Final Grades FAQs
Grades FAQs
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.

D2L (the company that owns Brightspace) uses Continuous Delivery to update our Brightspace system. The Continuous Delivery model is different from the previous update model we had with Blackboard. We used a system of “Big Bang releases” (large updates released once or twice a year) with Blackboard.

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 2018/10.7.10 Continuous Delivery release that were added to our system:

1) HTML Editor – Advanced Image Editing

The HTML Editor has been updated to include expanded image editing capabilities. Users can now edit images in place (including flipping, rotating, and adjusting brightness, sharpness, and color), edit the image description, and edit the size of the image.

Advanced image editing screen in the HTML Editor
Example of Advanced image editing screen in the HTML Editor

2) Question Library – New Question Import Workflows

This feature adds new ways for instructors to search the Question Library when adding questions to a quiz. Using a slide in panel featuring the questions in a tree structure enables easy navigation of questions to be added to quizzes. The ability to sort questions by their source collection, question type, points value, and question text has also been added.

Browse Question Library Import window
Example of the Browse Question Library Import window

3) Quizzes - Due dates available

To improve the consistency of dates across tools in Brightspace, due dates are available for quizzes. This allows instructors to better communicate when quizzes are due, and better identify when a learner submits a quiz late. This change impacts when quizzes are marked as late. A quiz is now considered late if it is submitted after the due date is reached. Previously, ‘late’ referred to attempts submitted after the time limit of an ‘enforced time limit’ quiz was exceeded. Quizzes submitted after the due date are labeled ‘submitted late’. Quizzes submitted after the time limit is reached are now labeled as ‘exceeded time limit’.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the February Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform February 2018/10.7.10 Release Notes.

Additonally, refer to the Brightspace Release Notes for Continuous Delivery Releases, for details about all 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.

Have you ever met with a student and wanted to review that student’s grades with him or her, 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?

Grades Tool training recap
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.

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s "Using the Grades Tool" training focused on setting up your Grade Book in Brightspace.

in case you missed it

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

Our Brightspace training continues next month. The next training session will focus on how using gamification can engage and motivate your students. Participants will learn how they can gamify their Brightspace courses. 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 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.