Resolve to Learn Something New in 2018

Now would be a good time to start thinking about your 2018 resolutions. Will 2018 be the year that you finally understand how to use Intelligent Agents in Brightspace? Or, will you start scheduling meetings in WebEx so you are not crossing campus through the ice & snow when it’s -8 degrees? We have a full range of training and professional development opportunities on the schedule for January including:

  • Brightspace introduction for faculty, offered Jan. 8 from 2-4, will cover basic navigation, activating your course, adding a news item, adding content, setting up a basic grade book and adding an assignment folder.
  • Brightspace intermediate training for faculty, offered Jan. 11 from 2-4, will include setting up a basic quiz, creating and managing discussions, modifying the navigation and homepage, and monitoring student progress.
  • WebEx Training for Faculty and Staff, offered Jan. 11 from 10-12. This hands-on training session will be mainly focused on how faculty can utilize the tool for teaching synchronously, however staff can use many of the same features to schedule virtual meetings.
  • Best Practices for Teaching Online (online: Jan 8 – Jan 17): During this course you will learn strategies for managing your time in an online course, strategies for building community, tips for hosting live sessions in WebEx, grading strategies, and tips for how to make teaching online enjoyable. You will also have access to video and step-by-step tutorials for all of the tools you will need to know how to use to teach online. This course has been designed to give you a mini experience as an online student in case you have never taken an online course yourself. It is packed full of advice from experienced UA faculty who have taught online and were willing to record their experiences. This is an online course hosted in Brightspace.
  • Spring Course Tune-Ups, offered Jan. 10 from 9-1 and Jan. 18 from 12-4, will provide an opportunity to work one-on-one with an instructional designer or multimedia developer to tweak your course for spring. Design and Development Services will be there to assist you with many of the semester start-up tasks. We are requesting that faculty members register for this open lab so we know you’re coming. You are welcome to stay for as little or as long as you like during our scheduled hours.
  • Brightspace Advanced Training for Faculty, offered Jan. 25 from 10-12, will cover advanced Brightspace topics including release conditions, creating pages with embedded media, creating and using groups, intelligent agents, rubrics, checklists, the Manage Dates tool, and creating widgets.

To register for any of these sessions, please sign up here:


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Problems with D2L Assignment Grader App

A number of faculty have reported problems connecting to Brightspace when using the D2L Assignment Grader app for iPad and Android. The problem is related to our upgrade from Springboard to Brightspace and prevents the app from authenticating correctly to Brightspace. This issue has put some users into an endless loop of the app trying to authenticate and presenting an error message to the user.

First, Kill the Endless Loop

If your app is stuck in the endless loop trying to authenticate, you will need to “force-quit” the app. On an iPad, you can double-press the home button to enter the app switcher. Then, swipe the thumbnail for the Grader app up, and off the screen. That will cause the app to start from a fresh state the next time you launch it.

For additional information, reference this Apple support document:

On an Android tablet, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap on the Application Manager
  3. Scroll down to the Downloaded list until you find the Grader app. Tap on the app name.
  4. Tap Force Stop to close the application.

Screenshots of the process can be found here:

Second, Setup a New Connection to Brightspace

Now that your app is no longer in an endless loop, you’ll need to create a new connection to Brightspace using the steps below.

1. If you are logged into Brightspace and see Assignment Folders, log out of the system by tapping on the gear icon at the top-right and then choosing Logout.

Tap the gear icon in the app and then tap on logout.

2. Log back in using the EduDentity option. If you don’t have an EduDentity account, we recommend creating one so that you can take full advantage of the app.

Log in using the Edudentity option.

3. Before tapping on a linked account to continue logging in, you will first need to create a new one. Look closely at your existing account and you will probably notice that while the name may say, the URL will probably still say This is where the error comes from. Tap on the Add Linked Account text at the bottom of your list of linked accounts.

Your linked account might say Brightspace, verify that they URL also says brightspace and not Springboard.

4. On the next screen, enter as your D2L courses web address. Click connect.

Insert as the web address for your D2L courses.

5. With Brightspace connected, authenticate using your UANet ID and password. Your Assignment folders should load as expected.

Still Having Trouble?

If you are still having trouble, contact the IT Help Desk at 330-972-6888. When calling, be sure to stay on the line instead of selecting the option for Brightspace Support. You can also email

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Brightspace Insights Training

This session provides basic coverage of the Insights reporting features. We will explore how to access and use the Insights Portal, Console and Ad-Hoc reporting components of the Insights reporting tool. In addition, we will also discuss some use cases for answering key institutional questions using the available data from each set of tools. The vendor (D2L) will lead this session.


  • Explain and create reports available in the three distinct reporting areas within the Insights tool
  • Manage data availability for instructors with Insights tools
  • Explain the processes and steps required to create and generate common Insights reports at the administrative level across courses
  • Create a repository of commonly used reports.
  • Recognize and explain how these tools and interfaces can be used to answer key educational questions


Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Student Union 310
Register here:


This informative session is geared towards site administrators, technical support staff and other individuals  who will be involved with the configuration and management of the system.

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ALERT: New Assignments are Hidden By Default

Instructors can now set the visibility state to hidden on Assignments. When content is in a draft state, it is not visible to students.

Important alert: When an instructor creates a new assignment folder, the new folder defaults to the hidden visibility state. The vendor’s rationale is that this is what has always been the case for Quizzes, Surveys, and Discussions so they are trying to be consistent.

New assignments are HIDDEN by default. There is a checkbox on the restrictions tab.

New assignments are HIDDEN by default

There is a new hidden icon on assignments. The context menu also has a new option to Make Visible to Users.

New hidden icon and Make visible menu option on assignments

New hidden icon and Make visible menu option

If you import or copy your course from another course, the state of the assignment will be copied. For example, if the assignment is set to visible in the source course, it will be visible in the destination course.

You can read more about this in the release notes for version 10.7.4

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How to customize and use the notifications in Brightspace

Brightspace’s  notification tool allows users to receive instant notifications about course events, such as announcements, grades, discussion messages, and approaching end dates on quizzes. The tool also allows for a user to subscribe to summaries of course activities, received through email and/or SMS (text messages on your cell phone). The documentation below demonstrates the process of changing notification settings.

Access the Notification Tool

  • In the upper right hand corner click on your name to open the user drop down menu.
  • Click the Notifications link. This will open the notifications tool.

Contact Methods

  • Brightspace by default will use the system email you used to log into the system. If you want your notifications to be sent to a different email address click the Change your email settings link and enter a custom email.
  • If you wish to receive notification updates via your mobile phone, click the Register your mobile link.

Register Your Mobile

  • In the Register Your Mobile window answer the three required fields and click save.

  • Once you click save a confirmation code will be sent to your mobile device. (It may take a couple of minutes to receive it)
  • Enter the 4 digit code sent to your mobile device in the Confirmation Code field, then click Confirm.

Summary of Activity

  • Under the How Often drop down menu you have the option to select Never or Daily.

  • If you chose daily, select a time you wish to receive the email summary of activities.

Instant Notifications

  • Choose how you wish to receive updates, as well as what activities you would like to be updated on. Simply check off the boxes in the respective columns.

Exclude Some Courses

  • If you don’t want notifications from particular course(s) click the Manage my Course exclusion link.

  • Remove a course by clicking the X next to the course title.
  • Close the window when finished.

  • When you are satisfied with your notification settings, click Save at the bottom of the page.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

As you may have read in the UA digest, we will be upgrading Springboard and migrating to a cloud-hosted environment this summer.

What does this mean for you?

  1. Existing Springboard courses will be migrated to the new environment. We will post a timeline for this very soon.
  2. Your courses will continue to function as they do now.
  3. You will have new functionality available to you. We will announce training and course tune-up opportunities (open labs and walk-in support) by mid-July.
  4. With new fonts, layouts, and a fresh colour palette, the site will look very different. The Brightspace software has been rebuilt using responsive  design so it will adapt to different screen sizes to provide an improved user experience on computers, tablets and smartphones.
  5. Even though it looks different; in most cases, the steps you have been using will continue to work.  Once you get past the new look, you should find that your steps look very familiar. In some cases, you should find that you have fewer steps to get things done.
  6. After we complete the migration; the vendor (D2L) will provide support to all faculty, staff and students. This will be available 24 hours per day via phone, email, and chat.  We will announce this once after the migration is complete.
  7. If you are excited to get started and you are willing to be patient as we learn about the new system, we do have access to a trial site. Simply send an email to ‘‘ to request access to a Brightspace Sandbox.
  8. On a side note, the Brightspace Community sent an email to current members indicating that they are updating their site and you may need to download information. Please ignore this message if you received it. The Brightspace Community migration does not impact anyone at The University of Akron. There are no plans to delete anything from Springboard.
  9. As it becomes available, we will post announcements, timelines, FAQs, documentation and more to the upgrade website:

Thank you for continuing to use Springboard. We appreciate everything you do to support teaching and learning. We look forward to working with you to make the transition to Brightspace!

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Panopto server will be offline for update on Monday, June 5th between 6AM and 9AM

The Panopto server will be offline for an update on Monday, June 5th between 6AM and 9AM. Recordings can still be created and uploaded when the server is back online. Recordings will not be viewable during the time of the update.

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Springboard Training Sessions Available

University Libraries will host a series of Springboard training sessions over the next two weeks. If you’re a new faculty member and would like to learn about Springboard, please register for a training session. Here is the schedule:

  • Springboard Introduction for Faculty — Thursday, May 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Bierce 154.
  • Springboard Intermediate Training for Faculty — Monday, May 22, from noon to 2 p.m. in Bierce 154.
  • Springboard Advanced Training for Faculty – Tuesday, May 23, from 10:00 am to 12 noon in Bierce 154.

To see other training opportunities and to register to attend, please visit the Training Seminars website.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Kaufman at

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Last Change to Backup any 2013 Courses

As a reminder, we will begin DELETING ALL 2013 courses on May 14th. Once those courses are deleted, there is no way to recover them.

Currently, all 2013 courses have been TEMPORARILY archived. If you need to make a backup of a 2013 course, we will need to know the exact course number. Please keep in mind that there are almost 100,000 courses in Springboard and the course number is the only way we can find your course. You can check MyAkron if you need to lookup the course number for any courses you taught in 2013. Please send any requests to ‘‘.

For additional information, please review this announcement:

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DDS Workshop Summer 2017 – New and Improved

Once again we will be hosting our two-week summer workshop – Designing and Developing your Online Course. We have made some changes and improvements, so check out the details below. Because we are making changes to reflect the new features coming in Springboard, we do not yet have the daily schedule, but we will post it as soon as we can.

Designing and Developing Your Online Course: A Hands-On Workshop

  • Meets: Monday-Friday from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Starts: Monday, June 19th
  • Ends: Friday, June 30th
  • Location: Bierce 154

This workshop will teach you how to develop a fully online or hybrid course. This workshop includes hands-on experience and covers all of the steps in designing and developing your course. Design and Development Services (DDS) staff will lead hands-on instructional sessions on how to complete each of the tasks and then you will have time to work in small groups with a designer to practice and implement these new skills.

If you were familiar with the previous incarnation of the “DDS 40 Hour Workshop”, you will be excited to know we’ve made some updates. We will be teaching you how to use all the newest features of Springboard and revising the session order  to better reflect the course development process. We have also reduced the overall time by 10 hours to make attendance a little more manageable with your other responsibilities. The most exciting update is that we have added the official QM training to this workshop so you will graduate with a QM Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) certificate, in addition to your workshop completion certificate. 

Pre-reqs: You should be comfortable using the basic features of Springboard. You should come prepared with your existing syllabus for the course you plan to develop.

Register here:

If you have questions, email Steve Kaufman at

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