Time to Delete 2014 Courses

In keeping with our current practice of maintaining 3 years of courses in Brightspace, we will soon begin deleting 2014 courses from Brightspace. Instructors sometimes report that their list of courses has grown too long. In those cases, we can manually unenroll the instructor from older courses, but this is a cumbersome process. Certain tools in Brightspace pull information from all of your courses (whether you see it or not), which in turn slows down the system and negatively affects your experience. For these reasons, it is time to begin deleting old courses from Brightspace. This will help to keep the system running smoothly and efficiently and to reduce the amount of clutter on your Brightspace homepage.

As we have done in the past, we are going to approach this in 3 steps:

  1. We will identify and label the 2014 courses that will be deleted. This will give you an opportunity to make your own backup of these courses.
  2. After 30 days, we will archive the 2013 courses for 60 days.
  3. We will delete the 2014 courses.
Date Action
4/23/2018 Label 2014 semesters to be deleted
5/23/2017 Archive all 2014 courses
7/23/2017 Delete all 2014 courses

Step 1: What happens when a course is labeled?

When a course is labeled, no other changes to it will be made. This will provide an opportunity for you to make your own backup of any courses that you would like to keep.

How will I know a course has been identified?

On your Brightspace homepage, look for semester headings that include the note ** TO BE DELETED ** – any courses listed with those semester headings will be affected.

If you do not see any 2014 courses on your homepage, you can click on the View All Courses link and then filter by the ** TO BE DELETED ** semesters.

Step 2: What happens when a course is archived?

When a course is archived, the course will no longer appear on your Brightspace homepage. All student submissions and data will no longer be available. During this 60-day time period, a copy of the archived course can be made available in a zip file format. The zip file will contain all of the course structure, layout, and course materials. It will not contain grades or student submissions. You will need to request a copy of the archived course using a Footprints ticket.

Step 3: What happens when a course is deleted?

When a course is deleted, the course is completely removed from the system with no method for retrieving it. This includes all course materials, files, and student data.

FAQ

What courses will be affected?

It has been our practice to maintain all course materials and student data for 3 years. Therefore, all 2014 courses will be deleted. On your Brightspace homepage or list of courses, look for semester headings that include the note ** TO BE DELETED ** – all courses located under those semester headings will be affected.

I have several courses that are listed as Ongoing. Will those be affected?

No. Courses in the 0001_Ongoing semester heading will not be affected.

Will removing old courses affect my current course materials?

In cases where a course is offered on a regular basis by the same instructor, the instructor typically copies course materials from a previous semester to the current semester. Since the materials have been copied, removing the source course will not affect the current materials.

How can I make a copy of my course structure and materials?

To make a copy of your course, you can export the course to a ZIP file. Please note that this will not include any student data or submissions.

How do I make a copy of my students’ grades?

To make a copy of your gradebook, you can export grades to a CSV file.

How do I backup student assignments?

To make a backup of assignments submitted by your students, visit the Assignment Folder for each assignment you wish to backup. You can select all of your students with submissions and then Download their assignments as a ZIP file. Brightspace will automatically append the user’s name to the name of each file included in the ZIP.

Who can I contact for questions?

You can contact the IT Help Desk at support@uakron.edu, or by phone at 330.972.6888.

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By Popular Demand: Rubrics Open in a New Window (Pop-up)

If I had a dollar for every time a faculty member complained about not being able to see rubrics and assignments at the same time, I could probably buy some new shoes.

DollarsSo this is a very brief announcement. When grading assignments, rubrics will now default to opening in a new pop-up window. I hope that’s good news. If you are as excited as Patrick was to hear this, you can send your dollar to Wendy at x6240.

In all seriousness, stay tuned for more great announcements soon about big improvements to Manage Dates, freezing header rows and name columns in the Gradebook and more. No bribes required 🙂

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Exciting Summer Vacation Options

beautiful sceneryThinking about your summer vacation plans?  Sure, anyone can go to the beach or the mountains, but have you considered that as a UA faculty member, you are the only people who could choose to spend your summer with your friendly DDS team learning about the newest features in Brightspace?   DDS has posted our summer training schedule.  We have a full range of training and professional development opportunities on the schedule including:

  • Brightspace introduction for faculty, offered May 15 from 1-3, 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 May 16 from 12-2, will include setting up a basic quiz, creating and managing discussions, modifying the navigation and homepage, and monitoring student progress.
  • Brightspace Advanced Training for Faculty, offered May 17 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.
  • Designing and Developing Your Online Course: A Hands-On Workshop (June 18- June 29 from 9:30 AM -3:30 PM): This workshop is designed to teach faculty how to create a fully online or hybrid course. This workshop will give you hands-on experience going through all 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. We have added the official QM training to this workshop so you will graduate with a QM Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) certificate. We will also provide updated course templates and there will be useful tech prizes for everyone who finishes the workshop. Pre-reqs: You should be comfortable using the basic features of Brightspace. Please plan on having a course in mind to work on during the workshop and come prepared with your existing syllabus.
  • Best Practices for Teaching Online (online: June 4- June 3 11): 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.

Still think your family needs a vacation?  We understand. Have you considered bringing someone from DDS with you? No?  If that’s really not an option, we have also posted some additional options for August.

To register for any of these sessions, please sign up here: https://share.uakron.edu/itl_seminars/index.php

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Win Valuable Prizes at the NEXT Conference!

Slots Open for Steal My Idea at NEXT Conference

Apple PrizeDo you have a great idea that’s working in your classes? Is this an idea that other faculty should try out? Can you explain your idea in 6 minutes and 40 seconds or less!? Sign up to present a Steal My Idea session and have a chance to win an Apple Watch or an Amazon gift card! To submit your presentation idea, click here.

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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: https://share.uakron.edu/itl_seminars/index.php

 

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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: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201330

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: https://mobileroadie.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/200091926-How-To-Force-Quit-Android-Apps

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 brightspace.uakron.edu, the URL will probably still say springboard.uakron.edu. 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 https://brightspace.uakron.edu as your D2L courses web address. Click connect.

Insert https://brightspace.uakron.edu 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 support@uakron.edu.

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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.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • 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

LOGISTICS

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Student Union 310
Register here: https://share.uakron.edu/itl_seminars/index.php

AUDIENCE

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 ‘support@uakron.edu‘ 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: http://www.uakron.edu/it/instructional_services/dds/brightspace/

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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