Technology Assistance Center Newsletter

June 2021

A look at the upcoming changes and improvements to Brightspace that will take effect during the last week of June 2021, Webex updates, I.T. news, and more!

eLearning News

GFCMSU Mobile App

The GFCMSU Mobile app has been updated to give it a more consistent look and feel. For those who may not be familiar with the mobile app, it runs on Android and iOS and provides different “experiences” for different groups. Students and faculty can login to the app using their Brightspace login information. For students, the app combines their course information from Banner with their Brightspace course information. This gives students quick access to see their course schedule for the day at a glance and also keep track of due dates and receive push notifications for course announcements. It also gives students quick, mobile access to the digital eLearning Guide, campus directory, knowledgebase and tech help from the TAC, student resources, academic calendars, building hours, and more.

Figure: GFCMSU Mobile app showing links to student resources
Figure: GFCMSU Mobile app home screen

Instructors and staff can use the app too! To get started, download the app from your device’s app store, open it, and click Get Started. Instructors should select Faculty and login with their Brightspace credentials, while staff should select the Staff experience, which does not require a login. Please note, for logged-in users there is a campus wall which is visible and usable by both instructors and students.

Summer Course Evaluations

Student course evaluations for Summer semester courses will be available from June 25, 2021 at 8:00am – July 9, 2021 at 11:59pm. Students can access their course evaluations by going to any one of their courses in Brightspace and clicking on Course Evaluations on the navigation bar. Students will also receive an email, sent to their “preferred” email address the morning of June 25th and every other day until they complete their course evaluations.

Any students who have trouble accessing their course evaluations or who do not see courses they believe should be listed, should contact the Technology Assistance Center at 406-771-4440 for assistance prior to the end of the evaluation period. Course evaluations cannot be re-opened after the evaluation period has ended.

Brightspace Upcoming Changes

Brightspace Editor – Additional functionality | Updated

This update improves upon the May 2021 release with the following functionality:

  • Format Painter – You can now copy and apply text formatting.
  • @mentions – In discussion posts, users can now tag other users within the same course using @mentions depending on permissions. Tagged users are notified by alerts in the minibar. External notifications are not yet available. 

Brightspace Platform – LaTex rendering in quiz questions | New

This feature renders inline LaTex equations in the HTML Editor and in the new Brightspace Editor. As a result, scientific and mathematical equations are rendered seamlessly without the need to use the LaTeX equation option in the Equation Editor.
This configuration variable is turned ON by default for new clients and is turned OFF by default for existing clients. 

When enabled, any existing inline LaTeX equations render as expected. When disabled, these equations no long render. However, the equation remains unaltered.

Figure: A Content topic with some inline LaTex equations and a learner’s view of the equations

Email – Auto save outgoing messages | New

When users send email messages, these sent messages are automatically saved in the Sent Mail folder. As a result, the User Account > Email Settings > Save a copy of each outgoing message to the Sent Mail folder check box is no longer available.

Figure: The Email Settings page before this email setup improvement
Figure: The Email Settings page after this email setup improvement

Rubrics – Detach rubric warning for feature assignment creation experience | Updated

When an attached rubric is deleted from an evaluated assignment, if evaluations of that rubric have been performed, the user now receives a detach rubric confirmation message for the assignment. This change applies to the New Assignment Creation Experience. 

Figure: The Rubric Detachment confirmation dialog.

Rubrics – Reorder criterion groups | Updated

In order to increase the value of rubric criterion groups, it is now possible to reorder those criterion groups in the New Rubric Creation Experience. If more than one criterion group appears in your rubric, direction arrows appear to the left of the criterion group header to reorder the criterion groups in the rubric. If only one criterion group appears in your rubric, the direction buttons do not appear.

Figure: Direction arrows located beside the criterion group header

Attendance – Delete and restore registers | Updated

This feature complements the Attendance – Manage registers | Updated feature released in the May 2021 / 20.21.5 release.
Instructors can now restore mistakenly deleted attendance registers and associated session data. You can delete registers individually on the Attendance Registers page or in bulk.

Figure: The Attendance Registers page with the More Actions drop-down menu > Delete functionality

Webex Updates and News

Optimized Shared Content Dialog

Webex is updating the look and feel of the Share Content dialog, in an attempt to make it easier to the find the options you’re looking for.

Figure: Webex Meetings Optimized Shared Content Dialog