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Respondus LockDown Browser image

Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) is a customized browser that increases the security of test delivery in Brightspace. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser to access an exam, they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. Once an assessment is started, students are locked into it until it's submitted for grading.

Respondus Monitor image

Respondus Monitor builds upon the power of LockDown Browser, using a student's webcam and industry-leading video analytics to discourage cheating during online exams.

RLDB / Respondus Monitor Resources

You may find these resources helpful if you are planning to use Responus LockDown Browser / Respondus Monitor:

Practice Quiz

If you are using Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) / Respondus Monitor for online exams, you should require students to take a practice quiz before the first test that requires RLDB/Respondus Monitor. The practice quiz should have a few questions in it to simulate what the student would experience when taking an actual exam. By taking the practice quiz the student can ensure that their computer, webcam and internet are working properly. Allow unlimited attempts on the practice quiz, so students can take it whenever their device or networking environment changes. Here are some tips on how to run a successful practice quiz.

Respondus 24/7 Live Chat

24/7 Live Chat is available for students who may experience problems while taking an exam that requires RLDB/Respondus Monitor. Students can access built-in troubleshooting and live chat from within Respondus Monitor if they encounter a technical problem when taking an exam that requires RLDB/Respondus Monitor. You should provide your students with the link to the RLDB/Respondus Monitor Student Resources which includes information on how to access the 24/7 Live Chat (by Respondus Tech Support).

RLDB Settings in Copied Courses

If you copy a course that has tests/exams with RLDB enabled, you will have to access the LockDown Browser Dashboard once after the copy to update the RLDB settings in the destination course. This has to be done before students will be able to take exams that require RLDB.

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For Instructors:

For Students:

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push pin

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

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

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

Follow these steps to do it.

To pin/unpin a course, you should:

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

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

  6. To unpin a course click the Pin icon beside the course.

Change the order of your pinned courses:

If you want to completely change the order in which your courses are displayed, unpin all your courses and then pin them in the reverse order of how you want them to appear in the My Courses widget. The course that is pinned last will appear first.

Want more information?

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

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Image credit: image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The Assignments tool is an efficient way to manage and collect your student's individual and group assignments digitally. Students use the Assignments tool to upload and submit assignments directly in Brightspace, eliminating the need to mail, fax, or email their work to instructors. On paper submissions, and observed in person assignments are also available and do not require file submissions to be made in Brightspace.

Did you know that you can quickly create new assignments from existing assignments using the Copy Assignment option? The Copy Assignment feature copies all settings of an existing assignment except the associated grade item and Turnitin settings.

Example of the Copy Assignment option as it appears in the drop-down menu for existing assignments
The Copy Assignment option appears in the drop-down menu for existing assignments

Follow these steps to do it.

To copy an existing assignment, you should:

  1. On the NavBar, click Activities and then click Assignments.
  2. From the drop-down menu of the assignment you want to copy, click Copy Assignment.
  3. A new assignment, Copy of [original assignment name], appears at the bottom of the assignments list.
  4. Click Edit Assignment to update the name, score, due date, instructions and other settings of the copied assignment.
  5. Click Save and Close.

Want more information?

Copy an existing assignment
About Assignments
Create assignments and assess submissions
Brightspace Tip #142: Simplify Assignment Collection
Brightspace Tip #143: Annotate Assignment Submissions
Brightspace Tip #178: New Assignment Creation Experience

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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.

Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app that can help learners stay connected and on track with their Brightspace courses. It provides one easy view of course calendars, readings, assignments, evaluations, grades, and announcement items. The app can help learners make better decisions about how to handle their workload, when to submit assignments, and when to prepare for tests. Real-time alerts can let learners know when classes are canceled, class is meeting in an alternate location, or new grades are available. The schedule view and weekly visualization enables learners to quickly at a glance view what is due today, this week, and upcoming across all their courses.

While the Brightspace Pulse app is designed for the learner, instructors can benefit too.

Brightspace Pulse App on iPhone

While the Brightspace Pulse app is designed for the learner, instructors can benefit too. When instructors enter due dates or end dates for assignments and activities the information is populated in the Pulse app enabling learners to stay connected and on track. Thus, instructors can spend less time reminding and more time teaching.

Instructors can make their courses Pulse friendly by including due dates or end dates for assignments and activities. When instructors do not enter due dates or end dates, no associated information is available in the Pulse app.

The Pulse app is great for helping students stay on track in face-to-face classes as well. Instructors can set up their face-to-face assignments and activities as events in the Brightspace course calendar. Students will get those date feeds in the Brightspace Pulse app.

Help keep students on track for success in all their courses by including a due date or end date for assignments and activities.

Want more information?

Brightspace Pulse App
Brightspace Tip #112: Due Dates
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for Content (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for an Assignment (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for a Discussion Topic (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Restrictions for a Quiz (video)
Pulse Dates - Set Date Availability for a Calendar Event (video)
Brightspace Tip #74: Manage Dates
Brightspace Tip #176: Drip-Feeding

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Join the Brightspace Community.
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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.

crane lifting the letter G into place in the word change

Occasionally, you may want to overwrite a file with a newer/updated version. It is easy to replace or overwrite files in your Brightspace courses.

Follow these steps to do it.

To overwrite an existing file, you should:

  1. From the context menu of the topic, select Change File. This will prompt you to upload a new file.
  2. Drag and drop the new file into the upload space or click Upload to browse for the new file.
  3. If you would like your students to receive a notification of the updated content, check the Notify students that the content has changed button. Students must have notifications turned on in their personal settings to see the notifications.

example of change file

Want more information?

Deliver Course Content

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call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

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Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

copy stamp

There are a some situations where you may want to copy components of a Brightspace course OR copy an entire Brightspace course into another one. For example,

  • You have a course from a previous semester and you would like to copy the course contents into your empty course shell for the current semester.
  • You have a Master Course Shell that you input content into and would like to copy the course contents into your empty course shell for the current semester.
  • You are teaching multiple sections of a course, you created all the content in one Brightspace course section and want to copy the content into the other sections.
  • You created content in one course (e.g. rubrics, discussions, quizzes, etc.) and would like to copy that specific content from one Brightspace course into another.

Copying an entire Brightspace course OR copying components of a Brightspace course into another Brightspace course is not hard. As long as you are the instructor for both courses, it is a simple process you can do.

Notes About Copying Between Courses

Here are some things to consider when copying a course or copying components of a course.

Overwriting and Duplicating Items
In general, course components already in the destination course will not be affected by copying course components. The only course component that can be overwritten is a course file, i.e., HTML pages that have been created in the course site or files that have been uploaded to it. A course file is overwritten if one of the files being copied into the course has the same name as an existing file.

If copying components from the same source multiple times, be careful not to copy the same items more than once, or this will create duplicates that may be visible to users in the course.

Student Data
Student data is not copied from one course to another; only the course structures are copied. For example, if a Discussion topic is copied, only the prompt and discussion settings are copied, not the individual student posts.
Links and Associations between Components
If copying linked or associated components, e.g., files attached to an Assignment Submission folder or the HTML files for pages that have been created, all of the related components must be copied at the same time. To do this, be sure to select the "Include Associated Content" checkbox when it appears. As long as that box is checked, all associated components are copied and the links between them are retained.
Copying VoiceThreads
If the course copy contains any VoiceThreads, they will need to be "re-linked" in the destination course. After the copy, go into the destination course and click on the VoiceThread links and re-select the VoiceThread.
Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) Settings
Copied courses that have tests/exams with RLDB enabled require instructors to access the Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard once after the copy to update the RLDB settings in the destination course. This has to be done before students will be able to take exams that require RLDB.
Turnitin PeerMark Assignments
Our Turnitin integration does not support copying of PeerMark Assignments. You will have to recreate your PeerMark assignments in the destination course.

Follow these steps to do it.

If you want to copy an entire Brightspace course OR copy components from a Brightspace course into another course, you should:

  1. Get into the course you want the content copied into.
  2. In the NavBar (of the course you want the content copied to), click on "Course Admin".
  3. Click on the "Import/Export/Copy Components" link.
  4. Click on the "Copy Components from another Org Unit" radio button.
  5. In the Course to Copy option, click the "Search for Offering" button.
  6. Click on the magnifying glass in the "Search for" field OR enter the name of the course you want to copy from in the search field.
  7. Click on the radio button to the right of the course you want to copy content from and then click on "Add Selected".
  8. Verify your selections are correct before proceeding.
  9. At the bottom on the browser window you will click on either "Copy all Components" OR "Select Components" and follow the prompts.

Important:

Double-check to make sure that you are in the course you want the content copied into AND that you have selected the correct course you want to copy content from. There is no way to reverse the copy process once the wrong course is selected and the copy request is submitted.

Want more information?

Copy Course Components
Import/Export/Copy - Copy Components video [1:31]
About Copying Course Components

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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: "copy stamp" by jflorent is licensed under CC BY 4.0

VoiceThread (VT) announced their transition plan to move to new VoiceThread assignments. The new VoiceThread assignments are a major overhaul and redesign of the entire experience. VoiceThread has added lots of new features, tightened the integration with our learning management system, and streamlined workflows to better guide everyone through the assignments process.

new interface for the three VoiceThread Assignment types
The new interface for the VoiceThread Assignment types

October 2020 through June 2021 is the official transition period for the new VT assignments. During this time institutions and instructors can adopt the new assignments. On June 30, 2021, all courses and institutions that have not yet adopted new assignments will be upgraded automatically.

Instructors can transition to the new VT assignments now. What happens when you update? First and foremost, none of your past assignments will break! You and your students will start seeing the upgraded interfaces described in the video below, but no work will be lost, and everyone can continue completing and grading existing assignments without interruption. Just keep in mind that old assignments will retain old features and policies. To take advantage of all new policies and features, instructors will need to build a new assignment. Once you update, the new assignments you create will use all new features.

Updates to Assignment Setup - For Instructors

Updates to Student Submission

Updates to Grading - For Instructors

If you are ready to transition to new assignments before the automatic upgrade that will occur on June 30th, you should enable the option to start using the new features for the course on your course's VT Home Page. You have to enable the option for each course that you want to start using the new assignment feature. Watch this video for instructions on how to enable new VT assignments feature.

Want more information?

Transition plan for new VT assignments
How to transition
Enable new VT assignments feature video [8:09]
How to use new VT assignments
Submitting new VT assignments - Students

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update

D2L (the company that owns Brightspace) uses Continuous Delivery to update our Brightspace system. The Continuous Delivery model gives us regular monthly updates allowing for incremental and easily integrated changes with no downtime required for our Brightspace system.

Our Continuous Delivery update occurs on the 4th Thursday of each month. D2L provides release notes to help users stay up-to-date with the changes.

Here are a few updates in the December 2020/20.20.12 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Quizzes – Improvements to the ability to retake incorrect questions in quizzes

Building on the Quizzes - Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts | New, there are several improvements to increase the value of the feature:

  • Administrators and Instructors can now identify retaken attempts in the Attempt log.
  • Instructors can now identify a Retaken Attempt while grading a quiz in the Quizzes tool on the User tab and the Attempts tab.
The Attempt log indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz
The Attempt log indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz
The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz
The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz

2) Quizzes – Improved workflow for creating multi-select questions

As part of the ongoing initiative to improve the quiz creation experience for instructors, this release streamlines the interface for creating multi-select questions, making the workflow simpler and more intuitive.

When instructors initially launch the Question Editor to create a multi-select question, the interface displays the two main components of a multi-select question: the question and potential answers. Selecting a field displays a pop-up toolbar for formatting the text and adding images, links, and graphical equations. As each field is completed, the preview pane displays how the question and answers appear to learners.

Next, instructors can choose to click Options to add the following optional information to the multi-select question: Add Feedback, Add Hint, Add Short Description, and Add Enumeration.

Instructors can then choose to randomize the order of answers, assign points, and determine how points are assigned to blanks.

For determining how points are assigned to blanks, a new grading type is available in the classic and new multi-select question experience: Correct Answers, Limited Selections. For this grading type, points are evenly distributed across correct answers only. The number of selections allowed is limited to the number of correct answers. Learners earn partial points for each correct answer selected.

Question text and answers in the new multi-select question experience
Question text and answers in the new multi-select question experience
Question text in the classic multi-select question experience
Question text in the classic multi-select question experience
Feedback, Hint, Short Description, and Enumeration options in the new multi-select question experience
Feedback, Hint, Short Description, and Enumeration options in the new multi-select question experience
The new Correct Answers, Limited Selections grading type in the new multi-select question experience
The new Correct Answers, Limited Selections grading type in the new multi-select question experience

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the December Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform December 2020/20.20.12 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
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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.

Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

I usually get a lot of questions from faculty related to setting up their Brightspace courses. In the spirit of starting the new year with less stress, I offer the following infographic with course design suggestions to reduce your course setup and management stress:

course design zen infographic

Accessible PDF version of Course Design Zen infographic.

Want more information?

Course Design Suggestions
Merging Courses
Setup your Spring Courses
Setup your Grade Book
Use Date Management
Using Quicklinks
Copy Course or Copy Components

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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.

why merge road sign

Faculty can request to have two or more of their courses combined into a single course. Combining courses can be useful when you are teaching multiple sections of the same course or when you are teaching a course that is cross-listed. Merging courses allows you to have all the students in a single Brightspace course which can be useful for collaborative work. Merging courses reduces the number of courses an instructor has to manage within Brightspace, especially when each section has identical content.

Once your courses are merged, you can upload your course content and assignments into the merged course; communicate with the students in the merged course; setup collaborative course work; and have one Grade Book for the merged course. You can create groups within your merged course that correspond to the original course sections. This way you can target a particular course section (group) of students for specific things (e.g. send email to a specific group, make content available to specific group, enter/view Grade Book entries for a specific group, etc.)

NOTE: Merging of courses is typically done at the start of the semester before content is added and before students submit course work. You should wait to request your courses be merged if there is a possibility that there will be last minute changes to instructor course section assignments. You can request a Master Course Shell to build your course and then transfer the content into your merged course.

You should carefully consider whether merging courses is right for you. Some disadvantages to merging courses are:

  • Course enrollments for the merged courses will be combined which can make grading student work a challenge. If you create groups for the different sections, you will be able to view your Grade Book by groups to make grading easier.
  • Only one due date and start/end date can be assigned to an assignment, discussion, quiz, etc. Therefore you will not be able to assign different due dates and start/end dates to the activity (e.g., assignment, quiz, discussion, etc.).
  • If you decide you want to unmerge courses after students have submitted course work, student work and grades will be lost. Only student enrollments are retained when courses are unmerged.

Follow these steps to do it.

A system administrator will have to merge your courses. Send an email to Yamlak Tsega (ytsega@xula.edu) if you want to merge courses. You should include the course ID (including CRN) for all the courses you want merged together. The course merge process requires that a brand new empty Brightspace course be created that will serve as the primary course for all the merged sections. If you have any course content that needs to be retained in one of the courses to be merged, it will have to be exported and then imported into the newly created combined course. Please include that information with your request to merge courses.

Want more information?

Merge Courses
Working with Groups

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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: "why merge" by jflorent is dedicated to the public domain under CC0 and is a derivative of merging by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay