Technology Assistance Center Newsletter
May 2020

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


Updates from the Technology Assistance Center


Contacting the TAC

Beginning on 5/18/2020, the IT and eLearning staff are working partly on campus and partly from home. We will continue to practice social distancing guidelines during our time on campus. These new hours will last, at least, through the Summer semester. Our on campus presence may be increased once we reach Phase II which begins June 1st, 2020.

Even though we may not be on campus, we are here to support you. So, if you need IT (computer hardware, software, phones, vpn, file shares, etc) or eLearning (Brightspace, Webex, Panopto, etc), please continue to call the general line at 406-771-4440, or email helpdesk@gfcmsu.edu for IT issues and elearning@gfcmsu.edu for eLearning issues.

It is sometimes easier to send instructions by email, so even if you leave a voice message please be sure to watch your email as we may respond there.


Webex Education Connector

We have integrated Cisco Webex with Brightspace, so it is now possible to add this to any of your courses and schedule and host online lectures from within your course in Brightspace. Students can also see their upcoming online lectures and join them from within the course in Brightspace. If you enable the office hours option, students can schedule online virtual office hours with you right from within your courses. The benefits of using the Education Connector are ease of use and consistency for the students. If you are interested in enabling the Webex Education Connector in your courses, please visit the links below. If you have any questions or concerns about the Education Connector, please send an email to elearning@gfcmsu.edu or call Wayne at 406-771-4444.

Figure: View of the Webex Meetings screen in the Education Connector
Figure: View of the Office Hours screen in the Education Connector

GFC MSU Mobile App Improvments

Students can now see their daily class schedule for face-to-face courses within the GFC MSU Mobile app! Clicking on the course name and then "course info" will display the description, class meeting days and times, and classroom of the course.

This comes after months of hard work and testing by several people at MSU Bozeman and our mobile app vendor ReadyEducation.

Figure: GFC MSU Mobile app displaying the "Today's Schedule" section.
Figure: Viewing course info.

In addition, there is now also a link within the GFC MSU Mobile app to the Brightspace Pulse app. Clicking on this "tile" will send the user either directly to the app (if already installed) or to the appropriate app store to install the app.

Figure: New Brightspace Pulse tile.

Brightspace Changes


Announcements - Display author information | Updated

To provide more information to users, Announcements was updated in the March 2020/20.2.0.3 release to support displaying author information (name and timestamp) on new and edited announcements.


Brightspace Pulse - Multi-account login support | New

Brightspace Pulse for iOS and Android now supports the ability to simultaneously log in to multiple Brightspace Pulse accounts. Learners can easily switch between multiple Brightspace instances without logging out from Brightspace Pulse. In addition, learners can receive notifications from all of their accounts in Brightspace Pulse.

This feature is useful to learners who may be:

  • completing more than one degree
  • supplementing a degree with a preferred course offering at a partner institution
  • simultaneously pursuing a degree and professional development at work

In Brightspace Pulse, a new menu icon or your organization's logo displays in the navigation bar. Tap the menu icon or logo to open a menu with options to switch accounts, add new accounts, and access settings. The current active account is indicated by a checkmark icon.

If there is at least one outstanding notification for any of the accounts, a red notification dot displays on the menu icon or organization logo in the navigation bar.

This feature implements PIE item D5186.

Figure: Brightspace Pulse displaying an organization's logo in the navigation bar, with a notification indicator.
Figure: Menu options that display when you tap the menu icon or organization logo in the navigation bar.

Brightspace Pulse - Pin and unpin courses | Updated

To help learners more easily find their current courses in Brightspace Pulse for Android, learners can now pin and unpin courses from the Courses screens. Pinning a course ensures it remains at the top of the screen for easy access. Previously, learners could only pin and unpin their courses in Brightspace Learning Environment and Brightspace Pulse for iOS.

To pin or unpin a course in Brightspace Pulse, do one of the following:

  • From the Courses screen, tap the ellipses (...) icon in a course tile.
  • From the Course Homepage screen, tap the ellipses (...) icon at the top of the screen.
  • From the list of actions, tap Pin or Unpin. A pinned course is denoted by a pulse_pin_iconPin icon. Unpinning a course removes the pin icon.
Figure: The Courses screen displaying an unpinned course tile with the ellipses (...) icon.
Figure: The Courses screen displaying a pinned course tile with the ellipses (...) icon and pin icon.
Figure: The Course Homepage screen displaying the ellipses (...) icon.

Calendar - Bulk delete items | New

To create parity with other tools and improve workflow, the Calendar tool now offers a Delete interface. Previously, it was impossible to bulk delete calendar items. This change enables users to multi-select and delete calendar items using the More Actions menu.

Figure: The Delete option appears in the More Actions drop-down menu..

Learning Outcomes - Transfer Rubric feedback to General feedback | New

Rubrics can be set to three types of visibility to learners: Always visible, Visible after assessment, and Always hidden. When a rubric is set to hidden, there is now a checkbox to indicate that you want the feedback provided on hidden rubrics to be transferred back to general feedback. The feedback from a rubric with this option enabled will appear to the learner as part of the general feedback on the activity. This is useful when instructors provide rubrics as a marking scheme for teaching assistants (not appropriate for learners to view), but want learners to benefit from the feedback provided on those rubrics. Instructors can also use this approach to provide learners with feedback on specific criteria listed in a rubric without knowing all the details for that criteria, such as a lab simulation for nursing.

Note: If you select the option to display hidden rubric feedback in general feedback, the content does not also appear on the Outcomes Progress page for the submitted learner evidence.


Export Course Components - Org unit codes included in exported course file names | New

The default file name for exported courses now includes the Org Unit Code of the course being exported. The new file name convention follows the format: D2LExport_{OrgUnitId}_{OrgUnitCode}_{Timestamp}.zip. Previously, exported course names followed the format: D2LExport_{OrgUnitId}_{Timestamp}.zip.


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 http://tac.gfcmsu.edu/ticketform.html,

Click here to view this email in your web browser