Alert! Summer 2019 Start Dates Reset to PeopleSoft Dates

If you are not teaching this summer, or if you do not modify your summer course dates, you can disregard this notice.

In our conversion to IPSIS in Brightspace, we accidentally chose end dates that were too early. We just discovered this after the Spring term ended. This past week, we corrected the Fall 2019 end dates. Unfortunately, the IPSIS system only has one option – it can change all of the start AND end dates, or it does not change any start and end dates.

Because the current Summer 2019 term and the upcoming Fall 2019 term are both in progress, all of the summer dates were also changed to match PeopleSoft. If you had previously modified your summer start or end date, it will now be set back to the PeopleSoft dates. If you want to make changes you will need to:

  1. Open the Edit Course [Course Admin]option from your MyTools menu.
  2. Select Course Offering Information.
  3. Modify your start and end dates as desired.
  4. Click Save.

I apologize for any trouble this change may have caused.

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Courses Activated By Default

Good news! Due to a recent change in Brightspace, courses are now Activated by default. This actually changed in January, but with a combination of scheduling challenges, we did not get an announcement posted.

Even though courses are automatically activated, students will not be able to open your course until after the start date. It’s much less confusing for students, because they see your course in their My Courses panel with a notation that your course opens on the start date.

Courses are now displayed with their start date or, in cases when a course is open, their end date.

In addition to displaying the start date of your class, classes that have not yet opened display with a “greyed-out” thumbnail image. Once your class opens, the thumbnail will switch to full-color and will also display the end date of the course.

As always, you can still make changes to these settings by using the Edit Course [Course Admin] button from the My Tools menu and then clicking the Course Offering Information.

Due to this and other recent changes in Brightspace, we have cleaned up the My Tools menu. We removed options that are now easier to get to (eg. Homepages) or that are no longer needed (Activate course). We also added the new QuickEval option.

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Quick Eval is the Gift you did not know you wanted!

Quick Eval is a new tool that allows instructors to see a list of ungraded student submissions from ALL of your courses. Submissions from Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions are displayed in one location. You can sort, filter, and search submissions to prioritize your grading. Sorting can be done using the first or last name of the student, Activity Name, Course Name, and Submission date. Filtering can be done using one or more of the following categories: Activity Name, Course Name, and Submission Date. Clicking on a user’s name opens an evaluation screen directly from the Quick Eval list where you can grade it. The search function in Quick Eval allows you to locate submissions for evaluation by searching for a specific user, assignment, quiz, discussion topic, or course.

Location of QuickEval

When learner submissions are evaluated and published, they no longer show up in the Quick Eval list. An empty Quick Eval list gives you confidence that you are all caught up!

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Finally – You can Annotate Assignments in Brightspace!

Instructors can now use the built-in annotation toolbar in Assignments to provide contextual feedback with highlighting, free hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting. This allows instructors to complete all of your evaluation and feedback work directly in Assignments, without the need to use any external tools or applications. You can edit Annotations until you publish the feedback. If you want to add additional feedback after publishing, you can update the annotations and re-publish them.

Document viewer toolbar
Figure: Document viewer toolbar
Annotation tools when grading assignment submissions
Figure: Annotation tools when grading assignment submissions
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New H5P Interactive: Branching

There’s a new H5P Branching interactive. This allows faculty to create learning experiences that changes based on the learner’s choices. It may be used for adaptive learning, for allowing the learner to pick their own paths or to create dilemmas where the learners get to experience the consequences of their choices. Branching Scenario is also the first H5P interactive that provides full screen editing, preview mode and utilizes a left menu that categorize options in a better way.

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Tip of the Week: Viewing Sent Mail in Brightspace

Did you know that it is possible to view a log of sent email messages in Brightspace? To view your Sent Mail in Brightspace:

  1. While logged into Brightspace, select the Message Alerts icon from the minibar at the very top of the screen.
  2. Select Email.
  3. Select the Sent Email button at the top-right of the Compose New Message screen.
  4. A list of your sent messages will be displayed. To view details of a particular message, select the subject line of the message.
Sent mail
Viewing Sent Mail in Brightspace

One thing to note is that the log of sent email messages goes back until approximately May of 2013.

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Exciting Summer Vacation Options

beautiful scenery

Thinking 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 21 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 22 from 1-3, 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 23 from 1-3, 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 17- June 28 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 3- June 7): 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 will post our August sessions soon. Please check back after your break.

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

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Activity Feed – Learners can create posts | New

Learners can now create Activity Feed posts on a course homepage. Previously, learners were only able to comment on posts created by their instructors. A new posting option in the Manage commenting and posting widget dialog allows instructors to enable or disable learners from posting in their course feed.

Open the Manage commenting and posting to control whether students can create a post
You can change the posting permission in the Activity Feed Widget

As part of the Learners can create posts update, user profile images now display beside each post to provide a visual representation of the contributor. Previously, a message or assignment icon displayed to indicate the type of post.

User profile images now display beside each post
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Brightspace Eportfolio–Sharing Your Work Within Your Group

Brightspace ePortfolio is a personal portfolio tool for storing, organizing, reflecting on, and sharing items that represent your learning. You can include items such as documents, graphics, audio files, videos, presentations, and course work to demonstrate your improvement or mastery in certain areas.

You can control what items you want to include in your portfolio, how they are organized, and who you want to share them with. When you share items with your peers, mentors, or potential employers, you can give them permission to view items, edit items, see or add comments, and see or add assessments to receive feedback.

Create a Presentation to Showcase Your Knowledge

Presentations let you compile Brightspace ePortfolio items into a web project to showcase your achievements. The presentations can have multiple pages. Presentations provide a polished, professional medium to demonstrate your learning and accomplishments. There are more than 40 templates that you can choose for your presentation.

Build a New Collection to Organize Ideas, Discoveries, and Accomplishments

Collections are groups of artifacts, reflections, presentations, and learning objectives. An item can belong to multiple collections at the same time. For example, you can add a short story to a collection called “Fiction” as well as a collection called “Creative Writing 101” and there will only be one copy of the story (artifact). You can add multiple items in any collection.

Add a Brightspace Accomplishment as an Artifact in Eportfolio

When you finish an assignment, a quiz, or earn a grade, or more, you can add these items to your ePortfolio as an Artifact to share with the others. Your achievements can also be added to a presentation and collection.

Share Your Work With Instructor, Group and External Users

After you created the ePortfolio, you can share it with your instructor and classmates. Log in your course, click on My Tools—ePortfolio. Click on the down arrow button right next to the ePortfolio that you want to share. You can also export your items/presentation as an ePortfolio package or HTML version.

Please contact Design & Development Services (Ext. 4455)  for further information or assistance about ePortfolio. Thank you!

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UA-Wide Testing Website Announced

Counseling & Testing Center, Computer Based Assessment and Evaluation, and related offices are announcing a consolidated landing page for all testing resources across campuses. Beginning with Spring semester (2019), will host information for students, faculty, staff, and community members about all testing services that are available at the university. This new site is intended to direct users to the appropriate office for their needs to improve access and communication.

Individual offices will retain their websites for more detailed information, and main campus testing locations are here:

For further information about specific testing services, accommodated testing, and satellite campus testing information, please visit Please review your departmental websites to assure any links for testing services direct to this new site.


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