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There are two changes in our Brightspace system that you should be aware of and plan for.

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Brightspace Virtual Classroom

Brightspace Virtual Classroom is tool that delivers face-to-face classroom experiences over the internet. Virtual Classroom can be used to schedule live discussions and office hours.

We have the free version of Brightspace Virtual Classroom. Not all features of this tool is available in the free version. Refer to this Brightspace Virtual Classroom features chart to see if this tool meets your needs.

New as of May 8, 2020, limits for the maximum number of participants, session duration, and session recording availability were adjusted. Here is an overview of the new limits, compared to the previous limits.

New limit in Free version
(effective May 8, 2020)
Previous limit in Free version
Maximum # of participants 50 100
Session recording availability 14 days 4 months
Session duration 60 minutes 90 minutes

Refer to this Brightspace Virtual Classroom Knowledge Base for more information on this web conferencing tool.

Note: Brightspace Virtual Classroom is different from Zoom Web Conferencing. Both tools are available in our Brightspace system. However, we recommend you 1) choose the tool that best meets your needs and 2) you are comfortable with.

Video Notes

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 HTML Editor’s Insert Stuff option is available. To help ensure all users can learn without barriers, closed captions are automatically created.

To assist institutions during this period of disruptions, self-isolations, and quarantines, D2L increased the maximum video recording limit from 3 minutes to 30 minutes. The video file upload size was increased from 5 MB to 1 GB. This means more face-to-face time for everyone, and more ability to record and share lectures.

The new 30 minute/1GB configuration will remain in place until at least July 1, 2020. D2L will monitor Video Note usage and assess whether the new settings will remain after July 1. If the video length or file size values will be changed after this, it will be communicated via their regular release process. Video playback will not be impacted by the recording limit. Video playback will continue to work after July 1 should D2L decide that changes are required.

For more information on this change to Video Notes, refer to this Enhancing Learner Connection by Increasing Video Note Recording and Upload article in the Brightspace Community.

Want more information?

Brightspace Virtual Classroom
Brightspace Tip #102: Video Notes

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
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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: image by geralt from Pixabay

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Video Notes is a built-in media recording tool in Brightspace that allows instructors and learners to record short videos (up to 3 minutes) 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 HTML Editor’s Insert Stuff option is available.

Instructors can use Video Notes to:

  • Create a new Topic in Content area
  • Add a Description to a Module or a Topic in the Content area
  • Create an Announcement
  • Provide instructions when creating a Submission Folder for Assignments
  • Provide a feedback on students’ Assignments
  • Give a description of a new Topic in Discussions or make a post on a Discussion topic
  • Give students feedback in the Grade Book
  • Compose an email inside of Brightspace
  • Anywhere HTML editor is available

Students can use Video Notes in these areas of Brightspace:

  • When adding comments to uploaded assignments in a Submission folder
  • When posting a new thread or replying on someone’s thread in Discussion topic
  • Composing an email inside of Brightspace

Follow these steps to do it.

To create and insert a video note in the HTML Editor:

  1. In the HTML Editor, click the Insert Stuff icon.
  2. Click Video Note.
  3. Select Record Webcam Video, or Upload File.

    If Record Webcam Video is selected, follow these steps:

    1. Click New Recording.
    2. Record up to 3 minutes of video and click Stop Recording.
    3. To view the video note, click the play icon.
    4. If you are satisfied with the video, click Next.
    5. Enter a title and description for the video note, and click Next.
    6. Click Insert.

    If Upload File is selected, follow these steps:

    1. Click Choose File and select the file you want to upload from your computer.
    2. File format must be MP4, FLV, F4V, or MOV, and file size can be no larger than 5.00 MB.
    3. Click Next, and enter a title and description.
    4. Click Next, and then Insert.

insert stuff icon on HTML Editor toolbar

insert video note window

Want more information?

Create Video Notes
Create and insert a Video Note in HTML Editor
Reuse Video Notes
Understanding the HTML Editor
Add closed captions to a Video Note
Edit Video Notes closed captions

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.

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.

Video is one of the most powerful, motivating, and visual ways to learn. You can use videos to promote critical thinking and active learning.

There's a big difference between watching a video and learning something from it.

Emily A. Moore, M.Ed., instructional designer in the online learning office at Texas State Technical College – Harlingen Campus, gives suggestions to help increase the educational effectiveness of an online course video. Read more in her article, "From Passive Viewing to Online Learning: Simple Techniques for Applying Active Learning Strategies to Online Course Videos."

Additionally, you can ask students to create videos to demonstrate learning. If you are interested how to use videos to demonstrate learning, read my “Video Assignments” blog post.

PowerPoint slide with a video assignment

Video can easily and effectively be incorporated inside your Brightspace courses to provide just-in-time feedback and/or to build in spontaneous interaction.

There are several ways to add videos to your Brightspace courses. Brightspace supports embedding and/or linking to video from many other systems and solutions. Sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, or other video repositories can be embedded easily by clicking the Insert Stuff button in the HTML Editor, choosing the Enter Embed Code option from the list, and then pasting the embed code.

image showing Embed Video using HTML code

The benefit of embedding video into a course is that it enables the students to stay within the context of the course and within the sequence of instruction, rather than linking out away from course content.

It is a good idea to embed or link to videos rather than uploading video files to your course. You can upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, or other media server and then embed or link to the video within the course as explained above. Detailed instructions on recording, uploading, and sharing videos on YouTube can be found in the "Want more information?" section below.

Lastly, you can create Video Notes in Brightspace. Video Notes is a built-in media recording tool that allows instructors and learners to record short videos (up to 3 minutes) 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 HTML Editor’s Insert Stuff option is available.

Want more information?

Simple Techniques for Applying Active Learning Strategies to Videos
Best Practices for Posting Video Announcements
Video Assignments
Record, Upload, and Share Video on YouTube

Create Video Notes
Create and insert a Video Note in HTML Editor
Understanding the HTML Editor

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.

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.