Technology Assistance Center Newsletter
February 2020

A look at the upcoming changes and improvements to the Brightspace learning environment that will take effect during the last week of February and more!

Assignments - Streamlined access to inline feedback | New

Students will now be able to see their feedback inline from the User Progress, Grades, and Assignments tools. When the student clicks on the "View Inline Feedback" link they will be taken directly to the annotations view or Turnitin viewer, if feedback was provided through Turnitin.

Figure: Class Progress view for instructors and students displaying the View Inline Feedback link, which now opens directly in the annotation view.
Figure: Grades view for students displaying the View Inline Feedback link, which now opens directly in the annotation view.
Figure: Assignments view for students displaying the View Inline Feedback link, which now opens directly in the annotation view.

Course Administration - Course Reset | New

Course Reset is a new tool that will enable an instructor to reset a course shell back to its original empty state. Course Reset permanently deletes course content, activities, associated files, user grades, user progress records, and interaction data from the course in a single bulk process. Instructors will be able to optionally choose to include course groups, widgets, navbars, and homepages as part of the course reset process, or to leave them in the course.

The Course Reset process does not affect user enrollments, sections, email sent to or from users in a course, LTI tool provider information, or Activity Feed posts.

Course Reset permanently deletes the course data and it will not appear in any reporting or data sets after the course reset process is complete. After performing a course reset, an Audit Log will maintain a record of the course reset action, including the date and time of the course reset, the data that was selected for deletion, the user who performed the course reset, and any errors that occurred during the reset process.

Please Note: There is no restore or undo function to bring the content back once a shell has been reset, so please use with caution. If you are unsure if you should use this function, please contact Wayne in the Technology Assistance Center.

Brightspace Wiggio - End of life | Removed

Effective February 2020, Brightspace Wiggio is no longer available to users.

MathJax - Ability to choose global MathJax settings | Updated

MathJax is a cross-browser JavaScript library that renders mathematical equations using MathML, LaTeX, and ASCIIMathML markup. MathJax, rather than the Equation Editor in Brightspace determines the rendering size of the equation based on the text surrounding it. Previously, the default scaling provided to MathJax was 130% of the surrounding text.

Now, a configuration variable allows us to change the default scale percentage. Please contact Wayne in the TAC if you have questions regarding this.

Outcomes Management - Levels of achievement are mapped to rubric levels | Updated

Levels of achievement, used to measure progress towards learning outcomes, can now be mapped to rubric levels. Instructors no longer have to use a precentage score to translate rubric levels to levels of achievement. This means they can use text-only rubrics, as well as points-based rubrics, to automatically identify a suggested level of achievement for the learner's performance.

Please see the February 2020 Release Notes for additional information.

Figure: Rubrics dialog enabling instructors to adjust the outcomes mapped to the rubric levels.

Quick Eval | New

Course Level Filtering

When opening Quick Eval within a course, only the list of activities and submissions related to that course display. This helps instructors easily view and evaluate submissions on a course-by-course basis. If an instructor wants to view all submissions across all their courses, they can still use the More Options menu to see the Multi-Course Quick Eval, or open Quick Eval from outside of a course.

Dismiss Activities Until Next Submission

Instructors can now remove items from their Quick Eval list until a new submission is received for the activity. The removed activity appears on the Dismissed Activities list and can be restored at any time. Once a new submission arrives to the Quick Eval list, the previously dismissed activity reappears there.

Previously, instructors could only select a specific date or forever when dismissing an activity. This new option provides instructors with an additional option to manage the submissions on their Quick Eval list.

Quizzes - Learning Outcomes can be aligned to Quiz questions | New

In the new Quiz Builder, questions can be aligned to learning outcomes. After you align an outcome to a quiz question, that outcome is aligned for all quizzes in which the question appears. This feature builds on the availability of learning outcomes with other tools, including content items, assignments, and rubrics. After instructors align learning outcomes to one or more questions in a quiz, they can evaluate levels of achievement against learner quiz attempts. Suggested outcome achievements are provided for questions that are auto-graded with the ability to overwrite the suggestion. The default outcome achievement suggestion is based on the default outcomes achievement scale for the course. After the learning outcomes are published, quiz attempts appear in the outcomes progress page as individual demonstration of the learners' achievement toward the outcomes. They are also visible to instructors when evaluating or reviewing attempts from within Quizzes and visible to learners within Quizzes if a submission view is set up to show quiz questions, responses, and associated outcomes to learners.

Please see the February 2020 Release Notes for additional information.

Video Note | New

About Video note

Video note is a new tool, located in the Evaluate Assignment Submissions screen, that allows instructors the ability to record video feedback for students on their assignment submissions. The video is recorded within your web browser and video notes can be up to 3 minutes long. This tool is available to instructors currently.

Automatic Closed Captioning

With our February Brightspace update, the Video Notes tool will provide automatic closed captioning for newly created videos and the ability to manually add or update closed captioning for all previously recorded videos. After video processing, users can view closed captions using video player controls.

In addition, users will be able to download a transcript of the closed caption file associated with a video independent of Video Notes.

Localized closed captioning is available for the following languages: US English, British English, Canadian French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Italian, Spanish, Modern Standard Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Turkish, Dutch, Chinese Mandarin.

Figure: A video with closed captions.

Other News

Video Assignments

Bongo, the company that develops the Video Assignments tool currently in use in Brightspace, is changing some of the details of what is provided in their free version (which we have been using). The most important change that affects us is changing their video retention timeframe from 90 days to 14 days. This is, most likely not an adequate amount of time for the types of assignments instructors may be using the tool for. That's the bad news.

The good news is that we have found that another tool we already have access to provides some of the same functionality. Panopto, a tool used on campus for lecture capture and instructor video recording, has a Video Assignments feature which allows students to install the Panopto software on their computer or mobile phone and record and submit video assignments to courses which have the feature enabled. Instructors can also choose to allow all students in the course to view the submitted videos in a folder for the purposes of peer review.

Please see this article for instructions regarding how to enable video assignments within Panopto or contact Wayne in the Technology Assistance Center for a walk through.

This article provides instructions for students in how to use the software to submit video assignments.

Personnel Changes & Response Time

With the recent personnel changes in the Technology Assistance Center, faculty and staff may experience minor delays in response times and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we adjust to the changes. Please continue to use the support form to submit helpdesk requests as this will help to ensure that your request is handled as quickly as possible.

New Way To Report Phishing

Starting Monday, 10-February, 2020, IT Services will have a group of students working on processing spam and phishing or suspected phishing emails.  Depending on the type of email, they may be in touch with you to ask follow-up questions, gather more information or pass on next steps type of information.  I will introduce the students in a future email.

Please report any suspected phishing or questions about phishing to

We're Happy to help!

If you have any questions about the upcoming changes, troubleshooting questions, or anything else related to Brightspace or the Technology Assistance Center, please let us know!

Visit us in G100,
give us a call at 406-771-4440,
or fill out our support form at,

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