HTML Editor – Emoticons available | New

Emoticons are now available across Brightspace Learning Environment in the HTML Editor. Use them to express feelings or mood in announcements, instructions, discussion posts, and anywhere else the HTML Editor is available.

Figure 1: Insert Emoticon

Figure 1: Insert Emoticon

Posted in Announcements, brightspace, Release Notes | Tagged , , | Comments Off on HTML Editor – Emoticons available | New

Grades – Linked discussion threads are now available | New

When assessing a discussion post in the Assess Post pop-up, an instructor can now see a link to the original discussion post. This allows instructors to see more information about why the user posted that reply, or what other learners replied to their post. Previously, there was no hyperlink, and instructors had to open Discussions and manually find the information.

Figure: The Access Topic pop-up now includes a hyperlink to the full discussion post you are grading.

Figure 1: The Access Topic pop-up now includes a hyperlink to the full discussion post you are grading.

Posted in Announcements, brightspace, Release Notes | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Grades – Linked discussion threads are now available | New

Quizzes – Question pools replace random sections | New

Question pools are now available to improve the process of creating quizzes with randomized questions, and are an effective way of reducing cheating on quizzes. All the functionality random sections provided is now located on a single screen, with a simplified workflow. When creating a question pool, instructors enter a title, the number of questions to select, and the points per question. On the same page, they can browse the Question Library to select the desired questions to add to the pool. Instructors are also able to edit or delete questions in place.

Figure: Select Question Pool from the available options when adding new components to a quiz

Figure 1: Select Question Pool from the available options when adding new components to a quiz

 

Figure: Enter a title, number of questions to select, and points per question

Figure 2: Enter a title, number of questions to select, and points per question

 

Figure 3: Select questions from the Question Library and add them to the quiz

Figure 3: Select questions from the Question Library and add them to the quiz

Posted in Announcements, brightspace, Release Notes | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Quizzes – Question pools replace random sections | New

Fall 2018 TOPR Call for Submissions

The editorial board of the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) is pleased to announce a call for submissions for new TOPR entries from now until September 15, 2018. Authors will receive feedback on their submissions by October 31, 2018. Selected entries will be announced in December 2018.

Please consider submitting an entry using the submission form at: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1z7Syo449Vszpv7

As you may know, this scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) resource is a go-to destination for faculty/designers in search of ideas for online and blended courses. Each entry is highly focused on one teaching practice with a solid description, concrete example(s), relevant professional practice or research literature, and key words connecting to other practices.

If you have any questions or access difficulties, please feel free to contact topr@ucf.edu.

Sincerely,
TOPR Managing Editors
Baiyun Chen
Aimee deNoyelles

Posted in Announcements | Tagged , | Comments Off on Fall 2018 TOPR Call for Submissions

Eureka! The Header Row & Names Now Freeze in the Gradebook!

Ice

Death to Stock Winter Texture

It is finally Spring, so why does this post include ice? At long last, we have some exciting news about the Brightspace gradebook. Version 10.8.1 (applied on 5/24/18) introduces the locked Name column and header row. This is also known as freezing a row or column in a spreadsheet. Instructors can now scroll through student grades without losing the student name or grade item name. You will find this new behavior in the following pages within Grades:

  • Standard View
  • Spreadsheet View
  • Grade Category
  • Grade Individual Item
  • Final Grades

Important caveat for those using old browsers: The old behavior that repeats the Name column and header row every x columns / rows is only available on legacy web browsers (Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge). The new locked Name column / header row is present on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari web browsers and is not present on Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge web browsers. The locked Name column /header row will also not be active when using a small screen space such as a mobile device.

Posted in Announcements, brightspace, Tips | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Eureka! The Header Row & Names Now Freeze in the Gradebook!

Summer Open Labs for Faculty

sketch_sm

Need some time to work on your Summer 2018 Brightspace course? Would you like an opportunity to work one-on-one with an instructional designer or multimedia developer? Sign up for our Summer Course Tune-Up to get some assistance with getting your Summer semester courses ready to go! Register for a session today.

Design and Development Services will assist you with many of the semester start-up tasks, such as:

  • Previous semester clean-up, removing old files before copying
  • Requesting your course merges
  • Importing your previous semester Brightspace content into your new Summer course
  • Demonstrating easy ways to update all of the start and end dates in your course through the Manage Dates tool
  • Provide instructional design advice on how to ensure that your course runs smoothly in Brightspace
  • Updating of links to external resources
  • Updating your welcome message / email to students
  • Assisting with publisher content integration
  • Re-requesting copyrighted materials from eReserves
  • Migrating Panopto videos and StudyMate lessons
  • Updating your office hours dates in the WebEx Widget
  • Setting up online proctoring for quizzes and exams (for online courses)
  • Updating your gradebook and content organization
  • Updating Intelligent Agents and/or Release Conditions
  • Providing additional resources to further enhance your Brightspace course such as adding H5P interactions or YouSeeU video assignments

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.

Important note: If these hours are not convenient, you can also stop by Leigh Hall 506 any day from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm and someone will assist you!

To register, please visit: http://uakron.edu/itl_seminars

We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in Announcements, brightspace, Panopto Focus, Technology Training | Tagged , | Comments Off on Summer Open Labs for Faculty

Just in Time for End of the Semester Grades

New Brightspace feature allows instructors to add feedback in bulk!

This feature enables instructors to add generic feedback on learners’ grades in bulk. Instructors can use replacement strings to personalize their feedback. Instructors can also sort the Feedback column in the Gradebook and quickly determine which learners require feedback.

Add feedback in bulk

Figure: Add feedback in bulk

Options to sort the Feedback column in the Gradebook

Figure: Options to sort the Feedback column in the Gradebook

The following instructions provide the steps to take to create feedback to multiple students at once:

  1. Select Assessment on the navbar.
  2. SelectGrades.
  3. On the Gradebook page click the arrow next to the grade item you want to add feedback to and select Grade All.
  4. Use the first column to select the students who you want to give feedback. The top box will select all students on the page. (Make sure your entire class is displayed on the page by toggling the number of students displayed on the page with the drop down menu at the bottom.)
  5. Select the Add Feedback button to type generic feedback for all the students you selected. 
  6. Use Replace Strings to personalize their feedback.
  7. Click Save.
Posted in Announcements, brightspace, Tips | Comments Off on Just in Time for End of the Semester Grades

Replacement Strings

Automatically customize course content using replace strings

A replacement string allows instructors to customize course content and communications in Brightspace Learning Environmentby incorporating the intended learner’s personalized information, such as their name, automatically. This feature can help instructors build better relationships with learners, increase engagement levels, and improve the overall learning experience.

Replace strings, sometimes referred to as display configuration variables, are configuration variable names enclosed in curly braces {} that are automatically replaced by the corresponding configuration variable values. For example, if you enter the text {OrgUnitID} into a document, when you view the document you will see the Organization Unit ID (ou #) of the course.

Replace strings are used in all tools that use HTML Editor. However, evaluation rules for the replace strings vary with the tool as follows:

  • For the Content tool, curly braces are stripped even if the string is not a valid configuration variable or a replace string that does not apply to the Content tool. Then, replace strings are evaluated only once when first entered. Thereafter, there is no record of a replacement string having been entered. For example, if you enter {OrgUnitID} into a Content topic in course ‘A’ and later copy that topic into course ‘B’, the ou # of course ‘A’ course will display in the topic in course ‘B’.

For all other tools, any curly braces are NOT stripped if the string is not a valid configuration variable or a replace string that does not apply to the tool. Then the replace string is evaluated each time the document containing the replace string is viewed. For example, if you enter {OrgUnitID} into a Discussion topic in course ‘A’ and later copy that topic into course ‘B’, the ou # of course ‘B’ will display in the post in course ‘B’.

  • Not all replace strings apply to all tools as described below.

Replace strings are particularly useful within the following:

  • Course Homepage Widgets
  • Custom Navigation Bar Links
  • Navigation Bars
  • Mail Templates
  • Gradeswhen adding bulk feedback
Posted in brightspace, Tips | Comments Off on Replacement Strings

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
5/23/2018 Archive all 2014 courses
7/23/2018 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.

Posted in Announcements, brightspace | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Time to Delete 2014 Courses

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 🙂

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on By Popular Demand: Rubrics Open in a New Window (Pop-up)