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Technology Assistance Center Newsletter
November 2020

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


News From The TAC

Course Evaluations

Course evaluations for full term and 2nd block courses will run from 8:00 a.m. on 11/16 through 11/30 at 11:59 p.m. Students will receive an initial email, sent to their preferred email address, the morning of the 16th with instructions for accessing the course evaluations. They will receive a reminder email regularly during the evaluations period until they have completed their evaluations.

If students experience any trouble accessing their course evaluations, please ask them to contact the TAC by filling out the support form at http://tac.gfcmsu.edu/ticketform.html

New A/V Equipment

The Technology Assistance Center is installing audio/video technology in most of the classrooms between Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. It will be standard for all classrooms except B101 and HH. Our intention is to make it easier for all faculty to have the same functionality for delivering a lecture to remote students, in every room. There will be some trainings scheduled for January 7th & 8th. Times will be communicated in the near future so, please be checking your email. We will also try to produce a manual to follow as well as post a short video training if you cannot attend in person.


Brightspace Upcoming Changes

Assignments - Date picker change | Updated

This feature updates the date picker component for the new assignment creation experience. The new date picker has a more streamlined design and requires a slight workflow change: to clear a date/time, the X alongside the time field has been replaced by a Clear option inside the calendar.

Instructors can find the date picker in Due Date, Start Date, and End Date fields on the Create and Edit Assignments page.

Figure: New date picker component on the Create and Edit Assignments page.

Content - Enhancements to course content statistics | New

To provide instructors with additional insight about their courses, statistics in the classic Content experience now include more information.

To view course content statistics, as an instructor, navigate to Content, and then select Table of Contents > Related Tools > View Reports.

From the Reports page, the Content tab includes the following changes:

  • The summary panel uses less vertical space, enabling instructors to view detailed information more quickly.
  • A new Available To column that displays the number of users (from the class list) that the content is available to. This value takes into account the following: release conditions, special access (assignments and quizzes), group access (assignments and discussions), availability dates, hidden/visible state, and if the module parent is "available."
  • For modules, the following information displays:
    • Available To - the number of users that the module is available to.
    • Users Visited - the number of unique users who visited one or more topics within the module.
    • Average Time Spent - the average time spent in each topic within the module.

From the Content tab on the Reports page, clicking a value under the Available To or Users Visited columns for a module displays a new Module details page, which includes the following information:

  • Available - indicates if the module is available to the user.
  • Last Visited - the last date the user visited a topic within the module.
  • Number of Visits - the total number of visits across all topics in the module.
  • Total Time Spent - the total time spent in each topic within the module.
  • Average Time Spent - the average time spent in each topic within the module.

From the Reports page, the Users tab displays a new Content Topics Available column, which includes the number of content topics available to each user. From the Users tab on the Reports page, clicking a user displays the following information on the User Details page:

  • Content type and availability icons now display, ensuring consistency with the Content Statistics - By Content view.
  • For modules, the following information displays:
    • Available - a new column that indicates if modules and topics are available.
    • Visits - the total number of visits across all topics in the module.
    • Average Time Spent - the average time spent in each topic within the module.
    • Last Visited - the last date the user visited a topic within the module.

In addition, the Class Progress tool now displays an icon to indicate if a topic or module has release conditions associated with it for the specified user.

Figure: New content statistics that display on the Content tab of the Reports page.
Figure: The new Available column that displays on the Module details page.
Figure: The new Content Topics Available column that displays on the Users tab of the Reports page.
Figure: New content statistics that display on the User Details page.

Grades - Display total points in Manage Grades | Updated

To improve usability of the Grades tool and reduce calculation errors, Manage Grades now includes total points for grade categories and Final Calculated Grade. Previously, there was no indicator of the total points while users were managing their grade book, and instructors were required to manually add up the points from all grade items to check if the total matched their syllabus.

For weighted grade books, the total weight is displayed in addition to the total points. For formula grade books, the manually-entered max points is displayed instead of the total points. Totals do not include bonus grade items and do support grade item dropping.

Quiz Builder - Quiz preview | New

Instructors can now view a preview of their quiz from Quiz Builder. Clicking the new Preview button on the Add/Edit Questions view of the quiz opens a quiz preview attempt in a new tab for a complete view of how the quiz appears to learners.

Figure: The Preview button appears in Quiz Builder.

Quizzes - Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts | New

This feature introduces a new option for Quizzes Attempt settings that allows students to only retake their incorrectly answered questions from previous quiz attempts. Instructors can select this new option in the Assessment tab of a quiz. When the Retake Incorrect Questions Only check box is selected for subsequent quiz attempts, each learner only sees the questions they had previously answered incorrectly in the same order as the initial attempt (including quizzes with random sections and random questions).

When grading a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt, the instructor can only provide a score for the questions answered on this attempt.

A learner's score for a Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt remains at minimum, the score they had on the previous attempt. Correctly answered questions on the Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt add to the learner's attempts score. The Quiz Overall Score is calculated using the existing Highest/Lowest/First/Last/Average aggregation functions. The "Average" aggregation function can be used to give the student partial marks for questions that were not answered correctly on the first attempt.

Figure: The Retake Incorrect Questions Only option can be selected when setting Attempts Allowed.
Figure: A learner view of a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt.

Webex Updates and News

Remove Background Noise from Meetings and Events

In case you missed the Remove Background Noise from Meetings and Events feature that came in the 40.10 update, here’s how it works. In this update, we have enabled this feature to remove the background noise. So, you can continue collaborating without noisy background disruptions. When the Remove background noise setting is turned on, your desktop app will remove your barking dog or home improvement project noise, while enhancing your voice.

HughesNet Internet Service - Intermittent Issue

We have discovered that HughesNet Internet customers may not be able to utilize the Webex Education Connector intermittently. This applies to both instructors and students. From the two cases we have seen so far the end user is able to see and use the Education Connector most days but may click on the link in the course and see an "unable to connect" message within their D2L window. The problem seems to resolve itself by the next day.

If this problem occurs for you or one of your students, please know that Webex meetings that you have previously scheduled in the Education Connector will still work through Webex directly. So, if you, the instructor, can't reach the Education Connector, you can login to http://gfcmsu.webex.com to host your meeting and the students will still join from the Education Connector. If one of your students is unable to view the Education Connector for this reason, you can login to Webex at http://gfcmsu.webex.com and either invite the student to the meeting or copy the meeting information and paste it into an email to the student.

We believe that this type of issue will be very rare as it only seems to affect HughesNet customers, but wanted to make our instructors aware of it. If you have any questions please contact Wayne or Dave in the Technology Assistance Center.

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.

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