Technology Assistance Center Newsletter

April 2022

A look at the upcoming changes and improvements to Brightspace that will take effect this month, Webex updates, I.T. news, and more!

I.T. News

Phishing Emails

If you receive an email that you suspect may be a phishing attempt, please remember to forward the email to

For those who aren’t aware of what phishing is or what phishing attempts look like:

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

Some common features of phishing emails include:

  1. Too Good To Be True  Lucrative offers and eye-catching or attention-grabbing statements are designed to attract people’s attention immediately. For instance, many claim that you have won an iPhone, a lottery, or some other lavish prize. Just don’t click on any suspicious emails. Remember that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is!
  2. Sense of Urgency – A favorite tactic amongst cybercriminals is to ask you to act fast because the super deals are only for a limited time. Some of them will even tell you that you have only a few minutes to respond. When you come across these kinds of emails, it’s best to just ignore them. Sometimes, they will tell you that your account will be suspended unless you update your personal details immediately. Most reliable organizations give ample time before they terminate an account and they never ask patrons to update personal details over the Internet. When in doubt, visit the source directly rather than clicking a link in an email.
  3. Hyperlinks – A link may not be all it appears to be. Hovering over a link shows you the actual URL where you will be directed upon clicking on it. It could be completely different or it could be a popular website with a misspelling, for instance – the ‘m’ is actually an ‘r’ and an ‘n’, so look carefully.
  4. Attachments – If you see an attachment in an email you weren’t expecting or that doesn’t make sense, don’t open it! They often contain payloads like ransomware or other viruses. The only file type that is always safe to click on is a .txt file.
  5. Unusual Sender  Whether it looks like it’s from someone you don’t know or someone you do know, if anything seems out of the ordinary, unexpected, out of character or just suspicious in general don’t click on it!

*Information above is from

eLearning News

Course Evaluations For Spring 2022

Course evaluations will be going out to students for Spring full-term and 2nd block courses on April 22nd and closing on May 6th. Faculty reports will be available at 8:00am on May 11th. Students can, and should, access their course evaluations by going to any of their active courses in Brightspace and clicking on “Course Evaluation”. If you have students who tell you they cannot see their course evaluations, please direct them to contact the Technology Assistance Center as soon as possible. We are not able to re-open the course evaluation administration once it closes, so it is imperative that they contact us during the administration period for the best chance at resolving the problem in time.

Brightspace News

Group/Section Management – Asynchronous Group Creation | New

This feature moves group creation and enrollment to background task, minimizing risk of timeouts when creating large numbers of groups requiring enrollments.

When instructors create and save a new group category, the Groups tool displays the category and prompts instructors that their group or groups are being created in the background; further, it indicates that the instructor will be notified once the groups are created. The instructor who created the group receives a subscription alert in the minibar that indicates that the groups for their courses have been created.

While this is in process, the Brightspace UI indicates that “Group creation is in progress”. While processing, users are unable to make changes to groups or enrollments.

To facilitate these changes, and the potential for allowing clients to make much larger numbers of groups in a category, this feature introduces pagination to the Groups tool, that limits each page to a maximum of 200 groups. In addition, the header row for the category has been moved to above the grid and the Delete and Email options are added to the Category dropdown menu.

Figure: The updated Groups page with the 'Group Creation in Progress' message highlighted.
Figure: The updated Groups page with the ‘Group Creation in Progress’ message highlighted.
Figure: The updated Groups page with the Category dropdown menu and the Delete and Email options highlighted.
Figure: The updated Groups page with the Category dropdown menu and the Delete and Email options highlighted.

Intelligent Agents – Create Agent page facilitates more flexible scheduling and frequency options | Updated

Building on the Intelligent Agents – Agent List page changes | Updated feature released in February 2022/20.22.2, this feature changes the Intelligent Agents Create Agent page to facilitate additional scheduling options and frequency options to allow for improved flexibility.

The changes to the Create Agent page include:

  • A modernized user interface. This is a visual upgrade and does not impact functionality.
  • Scheduling options have been moved to the top of the page.
  • The ability to expand/collapse each section on the agent creation page (Scheduling, Criteria, Actions) to improve usability.
  • Two new agent frequency options:
    • One-Time Run allows instructors to choose a single date and time to run.
    • Hourly allows instructors to choose a date and time to run between. If no dates are chosen, the Hourly agent runs every hour with the first time being “now” (that is once the agent is saved and enabled).
  • The existing Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Annually options all now have a Scheduled Time option that users complete to determine what time that the agent will run on the dates scheduled for the agent to run.
  • The Subject line of the agents’ emails now supports up to 128 characters. This brings it inline with the Email tool. Previously, the character limit was 100 characters.

This feature implements PIE items D7457 (increase Intelligent Agent email character limit to 128); D5830 (Allow easier ‘once off’ intelligent agent scheduling); D5208 (Add “Time’ Option to Restriction to Schedule of Intelligent Agent); and D7726 (Ability to Run Intelligent Agents Multiple Times Per Day).

Figure: The Intelligent Agent scheduling page with the Hourly option selected.
Figure: The Intelligent Agent scheduling page with the Hourly option selected.

Rubrics – Customize language terms in Rubrics | Updated 

It is now possible to update the language package for the Rubrics tool with client-specific terminology. Using Language Management, administrators can apply the d2l-rubric lang term collection to apply language translations and create custom overrides to rubric web components. This enables instructors, learners, and other users to see language in Rubrics that more closely resembles the institutional policies for assessment language.

Figure: The tool package and language term collection for the Rubrics update.
Figure: The tool package and language term collection for the Rubrics update.

SCORM – Edit dates and associated grade items for LOR based SCORM packages | New

SCORM packages added from the LOR using the New Content Experience now have an improved editing experience. When the new create and edit experience is enabled, instructors see a new edit page for LOR sourced SCORM packages. The editing page allows instructors to edit dates and associated grade items (like Imported SCORM topics) and edit LOR details and version information (like other LOR topics). This brings greater consistency to the create and edit workflows for all activities in Brightspace.

Previously, in the New Content Experience, only topic titles were editable for LOR based SCORM.

Figure: The new edit page for LOR based SCORM packages in the New Content Experience
Figure: The new edit page for LOR based SCORM packages in the New Content Experience


Webex News

Put a name to the voice—Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android

If you have closed captions during your meetings, you now get a speaker label included in the closed captioning box that appears above your meeting controls, letting you know who’s speaking. We’ve also enhanced closed captions to include more lines so it’s easy to catch up if you miss something that was said. Your Closed Captions & Highlights panel gets updated as people speak, pushing previous lines up.

See Show or hide automated closed captions during a Webex meeting and webinar

Improve Lobby notifications for hosts or cohosts—Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android

When a meeting is locked, people have to wait for you to let them into your meeting. You can then choose who you want to let in, and who you want to keep out. Hosts and cohosts can expel or reject participants from the lobby.

See Know who you’re letting into your Webex meeting

New virtual backgrounds and animated background support—Windows and Mac

We updated the default library of virtual backgrounds. In addition to the most frequently used, we added a few new backgrounds, including two animated ones. You can also now upload your own animated backgrounds in the GIF, MOV, or MP4 format.

See Webex App | Use a virtual or blurred background in calls and meetings

Pug dog wearing bunny ears with baby ducks