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I am writing this blog post as a follow up to Brightspace Tip #327: Use Submission Views to Show Quiz Results. As you may know, Submission Views are created to allow students to go back and review a submitted quiz. The Limited Duration option allows the instructor to choose what information the student sees immediately after completing the quiz (i.e., after the student clicks on the Submit Quiz button).

Additional Views are created with a specified release date and time that allow instructors to determine what students can see when they go back to review a quiz. Currently, there isn’t an option to set an end date for a Submission View. Therefore, a Submission View is active until the system encounters a subsequent Submission View with a later date/time making it the active view.

Better practice when setting up Submission Views is to create a “Shutdown View”. This ensures that quiz questions and answers are not available past the time the instructor plans to have it available. A Shutdown View will eliminate the need for the instructor to remember to delete Submission Views when they are past their usefulness.

Well-structured Submission Views for an exam where the instructor wants students to be able to see the quiz questions and user responses for a limited amount of time could look like this:

Example of an exam that is available for a limited amount of time for students to review
Example of an exam that is available for a limited amount of time for students to review

In the example above, the testing period for the quiz ends on April 3rd at 6 PM. The “After Testing Period Ends” Submission View will be active on April 5th at 6 AM. The Shutdown View will be active April 6th at 11:59 PM. Students will be able to see the quiz questions with their responses in between April 5th at 6 AM and April 6th at 11:59 PM.

Creating a “Shutdown View” with an end of the semester date/time is good practice if you are planning to copy a course with quizzes that have Submission Views into another course. This ensures that a quiz with a Shutdown View will force you to update the Submission View settings in the course you are copying to. Thus reducing the possibility that you have a Submission View enabled before you want it to be. Even if you do not plan on reusing the exam in the future, setting up a “Shutdown View” is a better practice that can prevent future problems.

Example of an exam with an End of Semester Shutdown Submission View
Example of an exam with an End of Semester Shutdown Submission View

Did you know you can use the Manage Dates tool to edit dates in bulk? Also, the Manage Dates tool provides you with a quick way to see which quizzes have Submission Views set. You can edit Submission Views from the Manage Dates tool as well.

Example of quiz with Submission View dates displayed in the Other Dates column of the Manage Dates tool
Example of quiz with Submission View dates displayed in the Other Dates column of the Manage Dates tool

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #327: Use Submission Views to Show Quiz Results
Setting a Submission View
Customize Submission Views (video)
How to view a completed test submission (pdf)
Brightspace Tip #251: Manage Dates

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.

Image Credit: "shutdown" by jflorent is dedicated to the public domain under CC0 and is a derivative of "Image" by torstenbreswald from Pixabay

Submission views can be created to allow students to go back and review a submitted quiz. Customizing the submission view allows instructors to choose what information the student sees upon completing the quiz, as well as what they can see when they go back to review a quiz. The default submission view shows the overall score to the student (when they submit their quiz) and nothing else. To release more information to students (i.e. feedback, their submitted answers, the answers to each question, class averages and statistics, etc.) you need to either edit the default submission view or set up an additional submission view.

The Default View is what students see immediately upon submitting their quiz. The Default View typically does not allow students to see answers to a quiz, but does allow them to view their score on auto-graded items. If you adjust the Default View to allow students to see the answers to a quiz, keep in mind the Default View is what students see as soon as they submit their quiz. Thus, showing answers in the Default View while the quiz is still in progress would reveal answers to the quiz before ALL students have submitted the quiz.

submission view - additional view

Additional Views can be created with a specified release date and time that allows instructors to release information, or answers, after a certain time. For example, an Additional View could be created for after all students have submitted the quiz (i.e., after the quiz is closed) to allow students to view which questions they answered correctly and/or incorrectly, as well as answers to questions. Another Additional View could also be created to allow students to see the class statistics and could be set to release at the end of the semester. If a quiz has multiple attempts, you can also specify a score required on an attempt in order to release the submission view.

I recommend you create an Additional View and name it “Shutdown View”. For the Shutdown View you would select "No" for the Show Questions option (in the View Details section) and enter the date/time you would like the first additional view to close to your students (in the View Restrictions section). This additional view will “shutdown” the first additional view as only the most recent submission view is the active one. This will ensure that your quiz questions and answers are not available past the time you plan to have it available. You may decide that you want the submission view to be available to your students through the end of the semester. In this case, I suggest creating a “Shutdown View” with an end of semester date/time. Creating a “Shutdown View” with an end of the semester date/time is good practice if you are planning to copy a course with quizzes that have submission views into another course. This ensures that a quiz with a Shutdown View will force you to update the settings in the course you are copying to. Thus reducing the possibility that you have a submission view enabled before you want it to be.

Important Notes:

  • Submission Views DO NOT take effect until the quiz scores have been published. The “Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion” option must be checked. This option is found in the Assessment tab.
  • The Limited Duration option allows students to only be able to access the submission view for a short period immediately after completing the quiz. This option SHOULD NOT be used if you want students to review at a future date/time. In this case you should set up an additional view for the date/time you want the view to start AND set up a “Shutdown View”.
  • You should provide students with instructions on how to view a completed test submission.

Want more information?

Setting a Submission View
Customize Submission Views (video)
Brightspace Tip #328: Quizzes – Using a Shutdown View
How to view a completed test submission (pdf)

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.

try again directional sign

Instructors have the option to give learners multiple quiz attempts in order to improve their test scores. An option for Quizzes Attempt settings that allows learners to only retake their incorrectly answered questions from previous quiz attempts is a feature that was implemented in our November 2020 Continuous Delivery Update. Instructors can select this option in the Assessment tab of a quiz. When the Retake Incorrect Questions Only check box is selected for subsequent quiz attempts, each learner only sees the questions they had previously answered incorrectly in the same order as the initial attempt (including quizzes with random sections and random questions).

When grading a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt, the instructor can only provide a score for the questions answered on this attempt. If you are using Automatic grading, Written Response questions will be marked as 0 and included in future attempts until they are graded manually.

A learner's score for a Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt remains at minimum, the score they had on the previous attempt. Correctly answered questions on the Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt add to the learner's attempts score. The Quiz Overall Grade is calculated using the overall grade calculation option the instructor selects (i.e., Highest Attempt, Lowest Attempt, First Attempt, Last Attempt, or the Average of all Attempts).

The Retake Incorrect Questions Only option can be selected when setting Attempts Allowed
The Retake Incorrect Questions Only option can be selected when setting Attempts Allowed

The "Average of all Attempts" can be used to give the student partial marks for questions that were not answered correctly on the first attempt. For example, you create a quiz worth 100 total points, allows 2 attempts, the Retake Incorrect Questions Only option is checked, and the “Average of all Attempts” is selected for the overall grade calculation. A learner takes the quiz and scores 75 out of 100 points on the first attempt. When the learner takes the second attempt, they will only be able to answer the questions that were answered incorrectly on the previous attempt. In this case, the learner will be able to answer the incorrect questions from the first attempt. Let’s assume the learner answered a few more questions correctly and earned a score of 85 out of 100 points on the second attempt. The overall grade for the quiz is 80%, which is the average of the two attempts (75 + 85 = 160 ÷ 200 = 80%). Assume the learner did not answer any of the first attempt's incorrectly answered questions correctly on the second attempt, their overall score would be 75%. When using the Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt option the overall score will remain at a minimum, the score they had on the previous attempt.

The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz
The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz

A learner view of a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt
A learner view of a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt

If this post has piqued your interest, you may be interested in these articles that provide information on the pros and cons of allowing learners to retake tests:

Want more information?

Understanding Quizzes in Brightspace
Brightspace Tip #325: Quizzes - Question Types and When to Use Them
Brightspace Tip #324: Test/Quiz Question Generator
Brightspace Tip #264: Quiz Availability and Timing
Brightspace Tip #265: Quizzes – Set Accommodations by Learner for All Quizzes
Brightspace Tip #207: Quizzes – Special Access

Best Practices: The Quiz Tool
Quizzes Tool for Instructors (video tutorials)

Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes (workshop recording)
Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace (workshop recording)

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.

Image credit: "try again sign" by jflorent is dedicated to the public domain under CC0 and is a derivative of directory by geralt from Pixabay

question types

The Quizzes tool enables you to create and manage points-measured assessments. As part of your quantifiable assessment procedures, you can use quizzes to help evaluate students’ learning progress and learning outcomes.

Quizzes are often thought to only be useful for quick knowledge checks. However, the Quizzes tool has eleven question types that allow you to test different levels of knowledge. The question types available in the Quizzes tool are:

  • True or False (T/F)
  • Multiple Choice (MC)
  • Multi-Select (M-S)
  • Written Response (WR)
  • Short Answer (SA)
  • Multi-Short Answer (MSA)
  • Fill in the Blanks (FIB)
  • Matching (MAT)
  • Ordering (ORD)
  • Arithmetic (2+2)
  • Significant Figures (x10)

What Question Type Should You Use?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a model that is used to classify different levels of comprehension, starting with the lower levels such as remembering and understanding, and then moving upwards to create/evaluate. You should select question types according to what level of understanding you want to practice.

Information Technology Services at Algonquin College developed a resource that goes through in detail, matching question types to the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy they practice. The table below shows the question types they suggest for the level of Bloom's Taxonomy you want to practice:

TABLE 1: Mapping Bloom's Taxonomy to Brightspace Question Types
Bloom's Taxonomy Question Types
Create WR
Evaluate M-S, WR, MAT, and ORD
Analyze MC, M-S, and WR
Apply MC, WR, FIB, MAT, ORD, 2+2, and x10
Understand MC, M-S, SA, FIB, 2+2, and x10
Remember T/F, MC, M-S, SA, and FIB

If this has piqued your interest, you can find more information on mapping your questions to the best quiz question type for your assessment in this Question Types & When to Use Them resource from Algonquin College.

Additionally, the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Memorial University of Newfoundland created a Question Types in Brightspace resource that explains the question types, highlights their strengths and challenges, provide some tips to consider when choosing to use a question type, including the average time to allot for each question item type.

Some question types have grading options associated with them. It may be helpful to review this Understanding Grading Options for Question Types article from the Brightspace Community if you plan to use the Quizzes tool for your tests/exams.

ICYMI, follow these links to watch a recording of our Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes and Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

Understanding Quizzes in Brightspace
Question Types & When to Use Them
Question Types in Brightspace
Understanding Grading Options for Question Types
Brightspace Tip #324: Test/Quiz Question Generator
Best Practices: The Quiz Tool
Quizzes Tool for Instructors (video tutorials)
Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes (workshop recording)
Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace (workshop recording)

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.

Do you want your students to take a quiz or test online? Do you have a test that you normally administer on paper and you don’t want to retype all the questions into Brightspace. Learning and Teaching Services at Algonquin College developed a Test/Quiz Question Generator that provides an easy way of creating a collection of questions that can be imported into Brightspace.

the word test written in chalk on a chalkboard

Quiz questions have to be in a special format in order to be imported into Brightspace. The Test/Quiz Question Generator allows you to reformat your questions and it will create a CSV file that can be imported into Brightspace. Refer to this question types and formatting guide for information on how to format your questions.

Additionally, the Brightspace Community developed a Quiz Question Converter that you can use to add a bank of questions to the Quiz Question Library. One benefit of using the Quiz Question Converter is that you can add feedback and hints to the quiz questions you are importing into Brightspace. Therefore saving you time in importing quiz questions with feedback and hints into Brightspace.

ICYMI, follow these links to watch a recording of our Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes and Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

Test/Quiz Question Generator (Algonquin College)
Question types and formatting guide (for the Test/Quiz Question Generator)

Quiz Question Converter (Brightspace Community)

Quizzes, Surveys, and Question Libraries
Question Types and When to Use Them
Use Submission Views to Show Quiz Results

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.

Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

female student looking at laptop screen

Giving students timely, useful feedback can greatly enhance learning and improve student achievement. ICYMI, read my Give Students Feedback That Helps Them Learn blog post for information on providing better feedback.

Are you looking for ways to simplify grading and for providing feedback on assignment submissions? These Brightspace tools can help:

Annotations Tool
The Annotations tool allows instructors to provide feedback directly in submitted assignments. Feedback can be provided as text highlighting, freehand drawing, text annotation, and note annotation.

The use of a stylus is not required when using the Annotations tool. However, it could help to speed up the process of marking up the assignment submissions.

For more information, refer to this how to use the Annotations tool blog post.

NOTE: The Assignment Grader app allows instructors to make annotations on assignments. The Assignment Grader app is no longer available for download to new users. Existing users may continue to use the app if they have it installed on their device, but no further updates or support will be made available by D2L and the app is scheduled to be removed from app stores. As an alternative mobile grading option, D2L recommends using the Quick Eval tool.

Rubrics
Rubrics allow instructors to establish set criteria for grading assignments. Using the rubrics click-and-score simplicity saves time when grading. With a rubric you can provide consistent evaluation and contextual feedback to students. You can add additional personal feedback to each criterion, expanding on why you chose that level and what additional work would be required to improve on it.

For more information, refer to this using interactive rubrics in Brightspace blog post.

Video Notes
Audio and video feedback can provide richer and more detailed feedback than may be possible through written comments. Visual or audio feedback also provides a more personal way of giving feedback. You have the option to provide audio and/or video feedback in Brightspace. Use Video Notes to provide short, video-based feedback, comments, or instructions.

Here are a couple of blog posts with more information:

Quick Eval
Quick Eval allows evaluators to see a list of unevaluated learner submissions from all their courses. Submissions from Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes are displayed in one location to improve efficiency when locating work that requires evaluation and providing feedback to learners.

For more information, refer to this blog post on using Quick Eval.

The Orange Room

Have you visited The Orange Room (Brightspace Educator Share Showcase)? The Orange Room is a community where educators can learn from each other about efficient and innovative ways to use Brightspace. Several of your colleagues shared tips and suggestions already. Here are two contributions that may be of interest to you:

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #255: Simplify Assignment Collection
Brightspace Tip #143: Annotate Assignment Submissions
Brightspace Tip #204: Interactive Rubrics
Brightspace Tip #299: Video Notes
Brightspace Tip #320: Video Notes – Closed Captions
Brightspace Tip #120: Quick Eval

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.

Photo credit: photo by #WOCinTech Chat is licensed 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 May 2022/20.22.5 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Audio/Video – Manual transcoding option to optimize video files

Depending on the file format of audio and video files, they might not play in a web browser by default. Previously, all uploaded audio and video files were transcoded; now, transcoding only occurs when necessary, All MP3 and MP4 video files are saved in their original form because they can play in a browser without transcoding. Other files, such as WMV and AVI, which would not play by default, continue to be automatically transcoded.

With this update, the new Optimize for Streaming option in the editing tool enables users who want to manually transcode original versions of the files, for example, to reduce the file size or enable multi-bitrate streaming.

Note: This feature applies to uploading audio and video files in Content, Lessons, and Video Note upload. Original versions of videos are used for editing and playback. This feature does not apply to Video Note web cam recordings, which continue to be transcoded automatically.

This image shows the location of the Edit Video button on the Video Topic properties page.
In your Video Topic properties, access the Edit Video button.
This image shows the location of the Advanced Editing link in the Audio Video Editor.
The Advanced Editing link in the Audio-Video Editor
The Video Editing tool showing the new Optimize for Streaming button and the Language selector.
The Video Editing tool showing the new Optimize for Streaming button and the Language selector.

This feature has accessibility impacts, including:

  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria 1.2.1 Audio-only or Video-only (Prerecorded)
  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)

2) Brightspace Learning Environment – Updated default font and color stylings for improved accessibility

This feature introduces a color change to fonts and icons in Brightspace Learning Environment to meet WCAG guidelines.

Previously the dark grey font #494c4e did not meet the 3:1 contrast ratio with the color of our links. The new font #202122 (still grey!) is darker and meets the WCAG link contrast criteria for accessibility. This change is visible in most locations in Brightspace Learning Environment.

Before and after showing the updated font color visible in the My Courses widget.
Before and after showing the updated font color visible in the My Courses widget.
Before and after showing the updated font color visible in text and inline links.
Before and after showing the updated font color visible in text and inline links.

This feature has accessibility impacts, including:

  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.1 Use of Color
  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)

3) Brightspace Pulse – Added @mentions push notifications

Brightspace Instructors (depending on their role definition within their institution) can now use @mention push notifications to direct a message to Learners using Pulse. Originally, @mentions came through Brightspace Learning Environment but were only visible if the user opened Pulse and viewed their Subscriptions tab under Notifications. Now, the new functionality sends a push notification to the user when they are @mentioned.

Note: These notifications are available in the Pulse Notifications > Subscriptions area and are still available in Discussions. @Mentions are currently not supported in Activity Feed.

4) Brightspace Pulse – Updates and subscriptions now align with all update subscription Alerts in Brightspace

In Brightspace Pulse, the Updates and Subscriptions tab is now aligned to show the same items as the Alert Bell and Discussions in Brightspace Learning Environment.

All Brightspace alerts now display within the Pulse Updates and Subscriptions tab. Improved logic in how alerts are sent to Pulse ensures that alerts are no longer sent from courses that are inaccessible (courses that are inactive or past their end date).

5) HTML Editor – Improved context link menu supports previewing of quicklinks in Brightspace Editor

This feature implements a new and improved context link menu in Brightspace Editor. The new menu has the same functionality as before – enabling users to highlight text and create a link, edit the link, remove the link, and preview the link – but now also enables support for the previewing of quicklinks that contain replace strings while editing their HTML. The new formatting context menu continues to allow users to highlight text within the editor and apply formatting or create links.

Previously, when a user created a new quicklink within the editor that contains a replace string, this proved not replaceable by the context menu. Clicking to preview the link resulted in a 404 Error.

The layout of the new Content link menu.
The layout of the new Content link menu.
The layout of the old Content link menu.
The layout of the old Content link menu.
The layout of the new formatting context menu.
The layout of the new formatting context menu.
The layout of the old formatting context menu.
The layout of the old formatting context menu.

6) Manage Files – Improved error message when invalid files are uploaded

Building on the Manage Files – Users receive warning message when uploading a file blocked due to security | New feature added in the November 2021/20.21.11 release, this feature adds an improved error message to the File Upload dialogue. When a user attempts to upload a file containing one or more illegal characters in the file name, this message explains to the user the reason why the upload failed.

Previously, users received a generic "Oops! Your file could not be uploaded" message, which did not explain the reason the file upload failed.

The File Upload dialogue with the new error message displayed.
The File Upload dialogue with the new error message displayed.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the May Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform May 2022/20.22.5 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
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
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

Would you like to send your students a welcome to the course email, or congratulate your students for a job well done or give them a nudge when they might need to work harder -- without having to do a lot of extra work to make it happen? The Brightspace Intelligent Agents tool can help automate this process for you.

security camera

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. Intelligent Agents can be used to both recognize student achievement and warn of potential problems. For example, you can use Intelligent Agents to:

  • Check for users that have not logged into the course
  • Check for users that have not logged in within a specific number of days
  • Notify users with grades below a certain level
  • Congratulate users with grades above a certain level
  • Check for users that view a specific content topic

The automatic notifications that are generated when specified course performance criteria are met can be sent to instructors, advisors, and/or students.

NOTE: Last month's Continuous Delivery Update added new features to the Intelligent Agent Create Agent page to facilitate additional scheduling options and frequency options to allow for improved flexibility. Changes to the Create Agent page include:

  • Two new agent frequency options:
    • One-Time Run allows instructors to choose a single date and time to run.
    • Hourly allows instructors to choose a date and time to run between. If no dates are chosen, the Hourly agent runs every hour with the first time being "now" (that is once the agent is saved and enabled).
  • The existing Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Annually options all now have a Scheduled Time option that users complete to determine what time that the agent will run on the dates scheduled for the agent to run.
The Intelligent Agent (IA) scheduling page with the Hourly option and IA will be run every 8 hours for a specified period.
The Intelligent Agent (IA) scheduling page with the Hourly option and IA will run every 8 hours for a specified period.

Repetitive emails may lose their effectiveness, so use Intelligent Agents sparingly. Consider using Intelligent Agents when there isn't a better way of communicating. Ask yourself,

  • Would an announcement work better?
  • Would a personally crafted email work better?
  • Would a discussion board posting work better?

If the answer is no, then consider using an Intelligent Agent!

Follow these steps to do it.

To create an Intelligent Agent:

  1. On a course NavBar, click Course Admin.
  2. Click Intelligent Agents.
  3. On the Agent List page, click New Agent.
  4. On the New Agent page, enter a name.
  5. Enter a description into the Description field.
  6. If you want to assign a category to the agent, select an option from the Category drop-down menu or create a new category by clicking the Add Category link.
  7. If you want the agent to be active, select the Agent is enabled check box.
  8. Expand Scheduling, and under Frequency schedule how frequently agent criteria is evaluated. Choose a frequency option from the dropdown menu and complete the schedule dates and repetition options as needed.
  9. Expand Criteria, and under Role in Classlist do one of the following:
    • If you want the Intelligent Agent to be applicable to all roles in the Classlist, select the All users visible in the Classlist check box.
    • If you want the Intelligent Agent to be applicable to select roles, select the Users with specific roles check box and select the respective roles.
  10. Select your criteria (login activity, course activity, or attach Release Conditions).
  11. Under Actions > Repetition, select how often you want the agent to take action.
  12. If you want the agent to send an email when the set criteria are satisfied, expand Actions, and under Send an Email, select the Send an email when the criteria are satisfied check box and enter your email details and relevant attachments.
  13. Click Save and Close.

NOTE: You can perform a practice run or a manual run of an Intelligent Agent at any time in a course.

Want more information?

Intelligent Uses of Intelligent Agents
Intelligent Agents Tool Quick Reference Guide (pdf)
Create an Intelligent Agent
Delete and Restore Intelligent Agents (video)
Perform a Practice Run for an Intelligent Agent (video)
Manually Run an Intelligent Agent (video)
Brightspace Tip #237: Release Conditions

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.

Image credit: "TPE-DORTS-SDPO plate & security camera 20190813.jpg" by DuinaI woungheu used under CC BY-SA 4.0 | image cropped

celebrate GAAD heading with disability icons

Thursday, May 19th, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD aims to get you talking, thinking, and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different abilities and talents.

Accessibility is about everyone. It is extremely important for students with disabilities to have access to accessible course content.

Video Notes is a built-in media recording tool in Brightspace that allows instructors and learners to record short videos with a webcam. This makes it easy to personalize the learning experience with short, video-based feedback, comments, or instructions. Video Notes can be added where video attachments are supported and when the Brightspace Editor’s Insert Stuff option is available.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on captions and subtitles to understand video content. But there are a lot of other great reasons for using captions. For example, you may have some learners who choose not to use the sound or they cannot use it without disturbing those around them. You may have some learners who are not native in your language or who have trouble understanding you. Closed captions and subtitles will allow these individuals to receive your message and understand it.

Did you know you can generate automatic closed captions for newly created Video Notes AND you have the ability to manually add or edit closed captions for all previously recorded Video Notes?

Follow these steps to do it.

To generate automatic captions:

  1. Select Add Video Note from the Insert Stuff option in the Brightspace Editor.
  2. Click on New Recording, click Stop Recording when done recording.
  3. Click on Next
  4. Enter a title and description for the Video Note.
  5. Choose the audio language.
  6. Check the "Automatically generate captions from audio" box.
  7. Click Next and follow the prompts.
  8. After video processing, you can view the closed captions using video player controls.
example of automatically generate captions from audio checkbox
Video Notes - automatically generate captions from audio

Note: As with any automatically generated captions, you should verify the accuracy of the automatically generated captions.

To edit/update Video Note captions:

  1. Select Audio/Video Note Editor from the Admin Tools. Admin Tools are accessed from the cog icon in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Locate the Video Note you would like to review the captions for.
  3. Select the Video Note from the list.
  4. Edit the captions in the Captions Editor.
  5. Click on Save Captions.
Admin Tools with Audio/Video Note Editor highlighted
Audio/Video Note Editor
example showing update to automatic captions
Video Notes - update automatic captions

To add Video Note captions:

  1. Select Audio/Video Note Editor from the Admin Tools. Admin Tools are accessed from the cog icon in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Locate the Video Note you would like to add captions to.
  3. Select the Video Note from the list.
  4. Click on the Closed Captions tab.
  5. For automatic captions, select the audio language and then click Auto-Generate OR select Upload to add a captions file.
  6. After video processing, you can view the closed captions using audio/video player controls.
example showing how to generate automatic captions
Video Notes - add captions

Reminder: As with any automatically generated captions, you should verify the accuracy of the automatically generated captions.

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #299: Video Notes
Create Video Notes
Create and insert a Video Note in Brightspace Editor
Reuse Video Notes
Understanding the Brightspace Editor
Add closed captions to a Video Note
Edit Video Notes closed captions

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.

Image credit: "celebrate GAAD" by jflorent is dedicated to the public domain under CC0 and is adaption of "disability symbols" by National Park Service in the public domain

celebrate GAAD heading with disability icons

Thursday, May 19th, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD aims to get you talking, thinking, and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different abilities and talents.

Accessibility is about everyone. It is extremely important for students with disabilities to have access to accessible course content.

The Brightspace Editor has a built-in accessibility checker that makes it easy to check for issues or offer suggestions to fix identified accessibility issues.

Follow these steps to do it.

To check for accessibility issues:

  1. After you add content to the Brightspace Editor, click the accessibility checker icon.
  2. Brightspace Editor accessibility checker icon

  3. The checker indicates if the content is free of accessibility issues, or offers suggestions to fix them.
  4. accessibility issues detected

Want more information?

Brightspace Accessibility Checker
Improve Your Course with Brightspace Accessibility Checker
Brightspace Accessibility Lab

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
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.

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: "celebrate GAAD" by jflorent is dedicated to the public domain under CC0 and is adaption of "disability symbols" by National Park Service in the public domain