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TN eCampus Faculty

Resources for TN eCampus faculty, instructors, and developers.

1. Faculty FAQ

1.1. What's New

What's New

This page serves as a resource for a glance at some recent changes or updates (largely for Brightspace) that apply to faculty. Each item has a topic listing and a brief description. You may follow the link to review the tutorial for more detail and context. 

September 2021


Evaluating with Rubrics

Rubrics are embedded directly in the New Evaluation Experience for Assignments and Discussions. This means you can directly access the rubric and use the inline grading tools without leaving the work area. Many recent improvements have been added as well.

See the full tutorial for Rubrics to learn more.

August 2021


Brightspace Community

If you are new you might not know D2L has created the Brightspace Community new window to support users of our LMS. Everyone is encouraged to join. These resources can be found at community.brightspace.com new window. There you will find:

  • discussions posts to collaborate and engage with other users,
  • tutorial videos,
  • tech support,
  • and many other resources such as Semester Start Resources.

Instructors and administrators may view content, but you are invited to join the Community for deeper access. Members may contribute to discussion posts, suggest improvements, and take advantage of training opportunities.

New Assignment Evaluation Experience

The new evaluation experience for Assignments brings consistency to evaluating in Brightspace Learning Environment for all assessable tools. This will have the same look and feel as the New Assignment Creation Experience as well. All of these features are now default and on in Brightspace.

For a more detailed explanation, see the full New Assignment Evaluation Experience tutorial (same frame).

BrightSpace HTML Editor

The new editor is the default option for all tools. This move keeps the editor largely the same for simplicity's sake, but there are changes going forward. The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar. The editor also has an improved color picker, improved keyboard navigation, advanced table options (all WCAG compliant), word count, drag and drop images, improved mobile user experience, and a full set of Emojis. To review all of the options and changes see the full New HTML Editor tutorial (same frame).

Old toolbar items, check accessibility, spell check, edit HTML, and Preview moved to top bar.

New Attachments Toolbar

Brightspace has a new attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, QuickLink, Web Link, Google Drive, OneDrive, Record Audio, and Record Video. Look for the expanded choices in Assignments, Discussions, Assessments, and more.

new attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, QuickLink, Web Link, Google Drive, OneDrive, Record Audio, and Record Video.

June 2021


Supported Browsers

Brightspace works well with several browsers. Brightspace no longer supports any version of Microsoft Edge Legacy. You will receive a warning message if you use this browser. Microsoft Edge Chromium version is supported. You may view the full browser tutorial (same frame) to learn more.

May 2021


New Assignment Creation Experience

Presently, when you create an assignment in Brightspace, this dialog box will appear. (The first time you encounter it.) The New Assignment Experience is turned on by default. You may Leave it on or Turn it off.

You may toggle between the choices by locating the arrow menu as shown here. *Please note, the New Assignment Experience will be the only choice starting August 2021.

For a more detailed explanation, see the full New Assignment Creation Experience tutorial (same frame).

April 2021


New HTML Editor

D2L has released a new HTML editor in Brightspace. This is a rolling change to some of the toolsets now. These changes start with the New Assignment Creation Experience (same frame) and the New Evaluation Experience (new window). The editor is currently an opt-in function. You may use the new editor now or use the classic editor until December 2021. The New Editor will be added to Quiz Builder and Activity Feed in the coming weeks.

 Old toolbar set from classic view highlighted with an arrow pointing to the new tool bar.

The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar. The editor also has an improved color picker, improved keyboard navigation, advanced table options (all WCAG compliant), word count, drag and drop images, improved mobile user experience, and a full set of Emojis. To review all of the options and changes see the full New HTML Editor tutorial (same frame).

March 2021


Retake Missed Questions

With the Retake Incorrect Questions enabled, students may take advantage of this new option to retake their incorrectly answered questions from previous quiz attempts. This may be an extremely useful feature for low-stakes testing opportunities. Instructors can modify the attempts allowed and the grade calculation (Highest/Lowest/First/Last/Average aggregation functions). Look for this feature under the Assessments tab of Quizzes.

See the full tutorial for Retake Missed Questions (same frame)

February 2021


Activity Feed

Use Activity Feed to create a central place for users to engage and stay up-to-date on what's happening in a course. This is similar to Announcements, but Activity Feed is more like a social media feed where the instructor can share information in a two-way conversation format with students.

For a more detailed explanation, see the full Activity Feed tutorial (same frame) or watch a short video (YouTube).


New Assignment Creation Experience

The New Assignment Creation Experience has a similar look and feel as Quiz Builder (same frame). The page view becomes the hub of most common features accessible within 1 to 2 clicks. Please notice the layout is subdivided into panels.

  • The primary panel on the left contains frequently used fields that are always displayed. These fields are most relevant to learners and are the core details that include: assignment name, score, due date, instructions, and any attachments or links.
  • The panel on the right organizes additional, more advanced options. When these options are collapsed, the summary text provides details about which settings are active. As a result, you can see everything at a glance with little to no scrolling, and without having to navigate through any tabs.

For a more detailed explanation, see the full New Assignment Experience tutorial (same frame).


TN eCampus has added Blackboard Ally to your courses to support instructors and students. Ally works seamlessly in Brightspace and automatically checks for gaps in accessibility compliance, but it doesn't stop there. Students may choose accessible Alternative Formats such as audio from text files, text from scanned files, and electronic braille to name a few.

Sample course files and Ally icons highlighted. Sample file examples expanded in open window: PDF, HTML, ePub, Braille, Audio, and BeeLine Reader.

As the course instructor, you can help students by pointing out this new feature. Just let students know they can use this resource anytime by choosing the download icon and the alternate file format of their choice. Students have an Ally tutorial (same frame) in Knowledge Books. You may also share a brief video, Blackboard Ally for Students (new window).

November 2020


Course Content Statistics (same frame) can display the total number of users, the number of users who visited course content, and the average time users spent viewing content. You can view overall course content statistics, specific statistics for individual topics, and user statistics in one location. Course statistics can display the following:

  • Total Number of Users
  • Number of Users who visited course content
  • Average time users spent viewing content. You can view overall course content statistics, and specific statistics for individual topics.

Content tab is expanded to review modules and pages in a list view. Columns for Available to, User Visited, and Ave Time Spent highlighted.

October 2020


Brightspace Pulse App (same frame): Your course can be Pulse "friendly" by setting due dates under the Restrictions tab for assignments and discussions. This tutorial has a brief video as well.

Quick Eval (same frame): Quick Eval is a new tool in 2020 to help instructors quickly access student products for assessment. You may access Quick Eval from the NavBar, but it has also been added to Course Admin.

 

Quiz Builder (same frame): Quiz Builder brings a new look and feel for creating quizzes. Tools and features are handy in a panel you can show or hide. You can even change your mind if want another question type after you have started a question.

Ready to begin adding quiz content? Arrows pointing to Add or Import.

September 2020


Getting Started with ProctorU (same frame): You may have used ProctorU previously. It is back in our lineup of proctoring tools. PU has made some changes. Take a look at this tutorial for an update.

Captioning Video in YouTube (new window): This is not a new tutorial, but it has been updated to reflect some changes in YouTube's processes.

May 2020


Getting Started Widget (same frame): The Getting Started Widget is a customization in Brightspace to communicate with students the first time they log into the course. When students log into the course, the widget will open automatically to reveal the pages of the Getting Started content folder. Students may dismiss the widget after viewing the pages.

1.2. Smart Ideas

Smart Ideas

If you are visiting this page, you are likely a college professor or administrator in our system of colleges and universities. You are likely a curious person looking for good ideas or have some to share. This page is an area for us to share thoughtful ideas that make us all collectively smarter. If you have a good idea for a topic, please share with tnecampustraining@tbr.edu.

GRAVITY & GROWTH - A Minute of Medicine for Your Mind

 

Assessments in a Virtual Environment: You Won’t Need that Lockdown Browser!

Do you find yourself frustrated trying to assess your virtual students with quizzes, tests, exams, and lockdown browsers? Do you believe learning to learn is more relevant than mastering the testing culture?

Laura McLaughlin, EdD, and Joanne Ricevuto, EdD wrote a very interesting article, “Assessments in a Virtual Environment: You Won’t Need that Lockdown Browser!”, in Faculty Focus. In this article McLaughlin and Ricevuto explore 4 major points to consider to take assessment to another level.

Topic to Explore

Open Broadcaster Software | OBS (obsproject.com) is free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. Use it with Zoom, Teams, Skype, and other virtual platforms to supercharge meetings and presentations.

1.3. Navigating Brightspace

Brightspace Update

The look and feel of D2L’s interface has changed as of May 2018. Daylight is the project name for a visual overhaul of D2L’s Brightspace product suite. Functionality is largely the same, but navigation, widgets, banners, and images may look very different. Daylight is less cluttered and designed to be visually appealing to learners. It is also designed to be mobile friendly and fully accessible.

Navigation

The Navigation Bar (NavBar) consists of a single row of menu choices that replaces previous menus. Additionally, navigation in D2L is responsive to screen size with the move to Daylight. Full-sized monitors will display the entire menu, but items will collapse into the More menu on the right side of the window when opened in smaller displays. Smartphones and small tablets will convert to a flyout menu from the left side.


Daylight menu showing all major options except those collapsed into the More dropdown menu. Course Admins is shown here in the More menu.


Watch a demonstration of screen scaling from a monitor to a smartphone.

Animated image showing the menu choices from full screen on a desktop monitor down to a small tablet or smartphone. As the screen shrinks, menu choices collapse into the More menu. Very small screens off a flyout menu.


Course Home Page

The course home page has changed the way courses are presented. Courses automatically appear as image tiles in the widget. If a user has more than 12 courses, the user can easily pin courses to the top of the widget or search all courses.


My Courses shown as tiled images for each couse. There is a pin symbol to choose or a View All Courses button that leads to a search box for long lists.


Same Tools--Different Name

Three tools have been renamed. Each was formerly located in a sub-menu of the NavBar.

Old menu choices highlighted--announcements, quizzes and assignments.

  • News is now Announcements which appears on the home page.
  • Dropbox is now Assignments on the navbar.
  • Assessments is now Quizzes on the navbar.

Announcements Tool

The News tool is now Announcements.


Announcements tool shown as the former News tool.

Assignments Tool

Assignments tool shown as the former Dropbox tool.

Quizzes Tool

Quizzes tool shown as the former Assessments tool


Summary

D2L is constantly making updates to its products, but the move to Daylight is a new visual design. The operation looks different, but the functionality is largely the same as before. We think you will get to speed quickly and appreciate some of the changes.


Optional Video

If you prefer, this is a 2-minute video that mirrors the written content of this tutorial.


1.4. Need Help or Have Questions?

Help Desk

There are two Help Desk services. Both can be applicable to faculty.

D2L Support for Students and Faculty

D2L Help Desk services are available for technical support issues related to D2L primarily for students, but staff can also receive assistance with logging in, passwords and similar access needs. The D2L Help Desk is available 24/7 (except for a few select holidays). Simply call, email or chat to request assistance. Resources and links may also be found on the My Home and Course Home in each course for easy access.

Student Liaison same frame are not a part of the D2L Help Desk, but student liaisons can be an extremely valuable resource to students with minor technical issues and a host of other course-related topics.


TN eCampus Faculty Support

The TN eCampus Help Desk supports faculty with course-related issues. 24/7 support is available here in Knowledge Books. You can also submit a support ticket sends email in HelpSpot anytime. Completing the email form gathers and tracks important information and routes your need to the most appropriate person for a timely response.


1.5. Academic Calendar

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar new window is maintained on the TNeCampus.org website. It can be viewed as a regular calendar, but it is first presented by the semester terms.

  • 15-week courses are Full term Spring and Fall courses.
  • 10-week courses are Delayed Start term Spring and Fall courses.
  • 7-week courses are Accelerated term Spring and Fall courses. Term 1 and Term 2 run back to back not concurrently.
  • 10-week courses are also used for the Summer term.

Semester s listed with expandable menus for each type of term: 10 week, 15 week, and 7 week (term 1& 2).

1.6. Serving Students with Disabilities

Serving Students with Disabilities

Accessibility as a topic is covered in more detail in Module 3 of the iTeach course. This page provides information for instructors implementing courses for students with disabilities. You may also access more information in the Accessibility tutorials in the Knowledge Books.

Requirements

State and Federal laws, like the Americans with Disabilities Act new window require institutions and instructors to provide accessible content and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. TN eCampus strives to make all its courses accessible for all students. This initiative is harmonized with TBR’s Accessibility Initiative new window and the Tennessee Higher Education Accessibility Task Force recommendations pursuant to Tennessee State Bill 1692 new window. It is the law and everyone in higher education is obligated to appropriately serve students with disabilities.

Course Content

TN eCampus courses are designed by course developers to be accessible by everyone. However, instructors are responsible for making sure that any material created or added to a course is also accessible. Additionally, if an instructor finds content that is not accessible or has questions about accessibility in a course, contact the TN eCampus Help Desk new window for support.

Instructional Accommodation

Students with Disabilities must contact their local disability services office to make requests for accommodations. If a student is approved for accommodation, the local disability services office will provide a letter outlining the requirements of the accommodation. By law, instructors are not allowed to ask the student about their disability, but if instructors have questions about the accommodation, he/she may contact the disability services office.

You can learn more about serving students with disabilities same frame in Knowledge Books.


1.7. Final Grades and Resources

Final Grades

All final grades must be entered in the Final Letter Grade (FLG) column. This assigned grade should be a letter (A-F), which must be input prior to the Final Grade Deadline new window. Any student grades which are not entered by the specified deadline must be turned in manually using a TN eCampus Grade Change Form new window. If you have questions or need to request assistance with entering final grades (including if your course does not have the final letter grade column), please file a support ticket new window.

Steps to Enter Final Grades same frame

Quicklinks to Other Instructor Resources


1.8. Student Participation Survey and Instructor Expectations

Student Participation Survey


The Student Participation Survey is the only method approved by federal government requirements, as well as, by TBR's Oversight Committee for identifying student participation in a course. Students have 14 days from the start of classes, including weekends, to complete the brief survey. This survey requires students to acknowledge they have read the following:
  • Course Syllabus
  • Online Behavior Statement
  • Academic Integrity/Honesty Guidelines

An Announcements item is displayed across the top of the Course Homepage to notify students of the survey. It is very important this news item remains at the top of the course homepage to alert students to complete the survey. This is the only way attendance is reported. Students may access the survey by choosing the link in Announcements or by navigating to the Surveys link located in the course tools menu. The announcements will automatically be removed from the feed and the survey will be locked after the 14th day of class. See an example of the Participation Survey Example same frame.

Other TN eCampus Instructor Expectations


1.9. Best Practices for Online Learning

Best Practices for Online Learning

This chapter provides tips for effective online teaching through best practices for engaging with students as the instructor as well as how to encourage students to engage with the content and with each other.

  • Instructor Presence same frame: Creating a sense of instructor presence has been shown to encourage increased student engagement.

  • Creating a Community of Learners same frame: Students will be more successful in your course if they feel that they are in a safe, welcoming space where they are appreciated as individuals.

  • Facilitating Discussions same frameStudents will respond more if they know that someone is actively reading and responding to their posts.

  • Providing Good Feedback same frame: Meaningful feedback greatly enhances learning and improves student achievement. 

  • Understanding FERPA same frame: FERPA is not a helpful guide, but it is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.


1.10. Developer Support and Information

Developer Support

TN eCampus course developers are responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of their course(s). Course developers are required to keep the content in their course up to date to reflect changes in their field. They are also expected to work with the Campus Relations Manager to prepare the course Master Copy for cloning each semester. The Campus Relations Manager’s Master Copy Update Guide is an invaluable resource to complete these updates by the Master Copy (MC) cloning deadline.

View the first edition of Master Copy Update Guide same frame.

Quicklinks to Other Developer Resources

  • For course development support and assistance of approved and current courses, please complete a Help Ticket same frame. A member of the Instructional Design team will contact you.

1.11. Working with a Publisher

Publisher Materials

TN eCampus courses use a wide variety of publishers and content providers to meet course development needs. Services may vary from publisher to publisher. This page provides links to an introduction and table view of key points for each publisher. You may also choose to view a one page summary of top publishers in the next section.

Developers Start Here

Resources by Publisher


1.12. Course Evaluation Survey

Course Evaluation Survey

Instructors have a new resource to view course evaluation survey response data. It is accessible directly from the TN eCampus homepage. Scroll down from the top of the page to My Surveys on the right. Choose Evaluation Kit to access current survey data. 

TN eCampus homepage with arrow pointing down (bottom of the page) to Evaluation Kit under My Surveys. Fall 2018 and spring 2019 also highlighted in another button/region.

*Please note, survey data from the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019 is also available from the previous source. Choose the next widget for that date range.

View a Survey

Choose the project you want to review under Project Results. In this example, there is 1 survey and 2 participants that have completed the survey. (Your survey results will likely have more detail.) You may also monitor the survey activity from Response Rate Tracker by choosing the project or viewing the graph. Response Rate Tracker only tracks submissions and summarizes that information.

Course selected under Project Results. Response Tracker also shown with 2 results.

There is a secondary navigation option by choosing the 3 horizontal bars icon.

3 horizonal bars icon highlighted with an arrow pointing to reports. That menu is expanded to show options. 

Report Options

There are a variety of options available to review the data by choosing the Report/download icon. A menu list of report options will open. Detailed and Detailed + Comments are typically useful report types. There are 2 other report types and a Raw Data option to explore as well. Choose the report type of your choice for any of the courses listed.

Course selected with six options that include Detailed, Short, Response, Raw Data, and Feedback.

Reports may be opened as a PDF or saved to a file.

Open with PDF and Save File options highlighted

This image is a portion of a Detailed + Comments. This report defines response summaries and also graphs the data. Additionally, if the survey offers a question with a comment option, the actual comments will be presented in the report.

Sample summary reponses and an example of comments highlighted in the next question.


Student Tutorial

Students have a tutorial for surveys too. Feel free to share this link Course Evaluation Survey (new window).



2. Working with the TN eCampus Team

2.1. Course Developer

Course Developer

Each course master copy is maintained by a faculty course developer. Each course will have a "Developer Information" submodule with the contact information for the official course developer. If you have questions about course content, assignments, discussions, or activities, you should contact the developer directly.

Only course developers can make changes to the master copy or changes to assignments, activities, or the primary course content. If you find a typographical or grammatical error in your course content, please correct it in your copy of the course and notify the Course Developer to update the Master Copy (MC) for future semesters.

If your course is missing the developer information, please contact the Campus Relations Manager new window.

2.2. TN eCampus Support Staff

TN eCampus Support Staff

Student Success Manager

Callie Wise: Callie.Wise@tbr.edu sends email

Provides support for a variety of student-related issues and student resources such as Smarthinking, the Virtual Library, and the Virtual Bookstore. Serves as primary staff contact for the campus Student Liaisons.

Campus Relations Manager

Colbe Wilson: Colbe.Wilson@tbr.edu sends email

Provides support as the liaison for faculty, course developers, faculty mentors, and distance education directors. Also supports topics including tutoring, proctoring, mentoring, and plagiarism detection, and strategic training events.

TN eCampus Director of Instructional Design and Training

Nicola Wayer: NWayer@tbr.edu sends email

Provides support for Instructional Design and Training for the TN eCampus. Place a Help Ticket new window to request support and services from the IDT team.

Help Desk

D2L technical help and TN eCampus course and faculty support Help Desk sends email information. 

 

Who Does What Matrix

TN eCampus is a small team serving a large number of faculty, students, and institutions. Here is a guide to help you know whom to contact if you have questions.

 

Topic

Colbe Wilson

 

Director of Campus Relations

Callie Wise

 

Student Success Manager

Nicola Wayer

 

Director of Instructional Design and Training

Kara Byler

 

Operations Coordinator

James Dye

 

Director of Technology

Lindsey Butler

 

LMS Manager

Accessibility 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Attendance issues

 

X

 

 

 

 

CDP and iTeach training

 

 

 

X

 

 

Complaints regarding a student

 

X

 

 

 

 

Course development

 

 

X

 

 

 

Course staffing

X

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum committee

 

 

X

 

 

 

D2L system administration and tech support

 

 

 

 

 

X

D2L's end-user help desk point of contact

 

X

 

 

 

 

Embedded librarian

 

 

 

X

 

 

Evaluation data

 

 

 

 

X

 

Faculty Credentialing System (FCS)

 

 

 

X

 

 

Faculty liaison coordinator

X

 

 

 

 

 

Faculty support services and communications (triage help tickets)

X

 

 

 

 

 

Grade appeals

 

X

 

 

 

 

Instructional design

 

 

X

 

 

 

Internal operations and external academic calendars

X

 

 

 

 

 

Maestro

 

 

 

 

X

 

Master list

X

 

 

 

 

X

MC updates and semester prep

X

 

 

 

 

 

Online tutoring contact

 

X

 

 

 

 

Proctoring

X

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher integrations

 

 

X

 

 

 

Requesting MC/DC

 

 

X

 

 

 

Semester course data

 

 

 

X

 

 

Student liaison coordinator

 

X

 

 

 

 

Student technical support

 

X

 

 

 

 

Summer Academy

X

 

 

 

 

 

Textbook adoption and verification

 

 

 

X

 

 

Training Records

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Topic

tnecampus-updates@tbr.edu

tnecampustraining@tbr.edu

tnecampus-bookstore@tbr.edu

tnecampus@helpspot.edu

Staffing (instructor assignment; developer change)

X

 

 

 

Course offering

X

 

 

 

Training

 

X

 

 

Embedded Librarians

 

X

 

 

Textbooks

 

 

X

 

Any requests that are not listed

 

 

 

X

2.3. Escalate Student-Success Concerns

Report It Now

In an effort to better equip faculty and support students, TN eCampus has implemented an easy way for instructors to escalate student-success concerns.

Research indicates that early alert systems can be a key component of successful student-retention strategies and can be particularly effective when used to connect at-risk students to vital support resources.  Additionally, best practice suggests that student engagement problems tend to persist without some form of intervention.

Steps You Can Take Now

TN eCampus is dedicated to the success of its students. As such, we are asking all faculty to alert us of student engagement and performance problems as soon as they arise-- via the Report It Now button, located on each course home page.

Clicking the Report It Now button will provide feedback for students who are either not actively engaging OR who may be performing at an “at-risk” level. Your escalation will notify both TN eCampus Student Success staff and the student's home campus.

Complete the Form

A support request form will open. This is the same form you would use to complete other support requests. Complete as much information as you can in the text fields and dropdown menus.

  1. Enter your name, email address, and phone number.
  2. Choose Yes for Urgent Request.
  3. Choose Student Early Alert to categorize your request for this type of concern.
  4. Choose Instructor or another appropriate staff role.
  5. Provide specific information for the student, course section, and the concern for the student. You may attach a file if you have further documentation you would like to include.

Report form with sample data provided to encourage instructor contact information and specific information about the student, course and concern. 

Type the Security Word in the text field. (The word changes each time.)

References:

Early Alert Systems in Higher Education (Hanover Research) 

 

2.4. Filing a Help Ticket

Getting Help Fast

Filing a help ticket is quick and easy. It is also the most direct and efficient way to get your concern to the right person. From the TNeCampus.helpspot.com/faculty new window homepage, choose Submit a Request.

Submit a Request highlighted.

Sample Entry

Providing complete and descriptive information will aid in a timely and accurate resolution. Choose the menu information that best applies to the situation or leave it blank. Take a look at this example.

Sample ticket information entered in the fields and menus. Includ pertinet details and complete all fields possible or leave them blank.

Notice the optional Attach Document area. A saved screenshot or relevant document file may be helpful to attach to the ticket. Enter the Security Word in the text box provided. Choose Submit Request when finished.

HelpSpot Response

An automated reply will be sent to your email address to confirm the receipt of your ticket. The message will include your ticket number and an option to reply with any additional information. You may also view the history of your request from the included link anytime. The staff member assigned to assist you will contact you next.

Sample shows the request number and link to view the request history.

2.5. Student Liaison

Student Liaisons

Student Liaisons are an extremely valuable resource for students. Remind students of this resource anytime they need guidance or assistance for the following topics:

  • Course registration procedure
  • Course log-in and other minor technical issues
  • Questions concerning hardware or software requirements for an online course
  • Degree program and course offering information
  • Grade appeals
  • Facilitation of timely resolution for concerns and issues
  • Complaint process regarding an instructor or classmate

Student Liaison Lookup

Each campus has a Student Liaison new window to assist TN eCampus students.

3. Instructor Support and Information

3.1. Attendance FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is student attendance reported?

A: TN eCampus instructors do not report attendance. Students complete the Student Participation Survey. (See Expectations for Instructors.)

Q: How can I ensure my students are reported as attending?

A: TN eCampus instructors are encouraged to remind their students that this survey is required in order to report them as attending to their home institution and failure to do so can adversely affect their financial aid.

Q: Can the survey be reopened after the deadline?

A: No. After the 14th day of class, TN eCampus is no longer running and sending attendance reports to the campuses. If you have a student who has missed the deadline for completing the survey, please advise them to contact their Student Liaison new window. The Student Liaison at their home institution can gather data on the student's activities in Brightspace and verify the student's attendance.

Q: How do I know if my students have completed the survey?

A: Instructors can easily determine who has/has not completed the survey by following the steps outlined below:

To get started, select Surveys from the NavBar.

Course tools drop down list with arrow pointing to surveys link

Select the down arrow next to the Student Participation Survey to expand the menu and select Statistics.

Student participation survey with drop down menu expanded and arrow pointing to statistics link

Set the Restrict to filter to Users who have not taken an attempt to determine who has not completed the survey or users who have completed an attempt. Then use the magnifying glass icon to search. Students sometimes forget to click the Submit button at the end of the survey. Search for Users with attempts in progress as well. Students have an unlimited number of attempts on this survey, if you find a student has an attempt in progress, advise them to retake the survey. Remind them to complete the survey with the Submit button at the end.


Q: What should I do if a student has not participated in class?

A: Go to the Classlist to determine if they are accessing the course. If the student has accessed the course, there will be a date in the Last Accessed column next to their name as shown below.


If the student has never accessed the course, the Last Accessed column will be blank. If this is blank or it has been a while since the student has accessed the course, please reach out to your Student Liaison new window to determine the student's home institution. You or your Student Liaison can then reach out to the student's home institution or TN eCampus Student Support to gather contact information for the student to reach out and try to engage the student in a class.

3.2. Instructors Using Publisher Materials

Instructors Using Publisher Materials

In addition to course facilitation, the instructor role is also responsible for implementing publisher provided materials chosen by the course developer. Each course Master Copy is equipped with a Developer Information page, containing contact information and any special notes, tips, or expectations helpful in teaching the course. Instructors should expect the course to be completely ready, including the determination of all due dates, and clear instructions on how the materials all work, including embedded and outward linking publisher materials. It is important that both instructors and developers communicate frequently. Contact the course developer if there is any missing information or you need clarification for using publisher materials.

Publisher Information

More information about the different publisher products can be found in the TN eCampus Faculty Support Knowledge Books (new window) pages. Your instructional designer can help you to get access to instructor resources such as slide decks, quiz banks, and instructor manuals from the publisher of your selected textbook.

3.3. Final Grades Guide

Final Grades

All final grades must be entered in the Final Letter Grade column. This assigned grade should be a letter (A-F), which must be input prior to the Final Grade Deadline (new window). Any student grades which are not entered by the specified deadline must be turned in manually using a TN eCampus Grade Change Form (new window).

If you have questions or need to request assistance with entering final grades (including if your course does not have the final letter grade column), please file a support ticket (new window).

Steps to Entering Final Grades

In the course, select Grades from the NavBar. Choose Enter Grades and Switch to Standard View if needed (not Spreadsheet View). 

Grades highlighted from NavBar. Arrows drawn to Enter Grades and Switch to Standard View.

Scroll to the right until you reach the Final Letter Grade column. Select the arrow to open the drop-down menu and select Enter Grades

Page scrolled to Final Letter Grade with menu expanded to Enter Grades. 

Next to each student's name, select the appropriate final letter grade from the drop-down menu in the Grade column.

Grades page opened to student list. Grade menu expanded to view possible grades from A to F and I and NFG

After entering a final letter grade for each student, select Save or Save and Close.

Incomplete or Grade Changes

Instructions for Incompletes (grades), Grade Changes, and the required form can be found on the Submitting Grade Changes and Revising Incompletes (new window) page.

*Please note, the deadline depends upon the student's home school rather than the delivery institution.

3.4. Proctored Exams

Proctored Exams

The use of proctors for the mid-term and final exam is determined by the course developer. The instructor's role is to support students as they set up proctoring options. There are three possible paths for students to secure proctoring for exams:

Instructors can help students by reminding them well in advance of proctored events. Likewise, students should notify the instructor of the proctoring option selected. Virtual proctoring can be used with all TN eCampus courses, including accelerated courses. If students will not be proctored through a TBR site, test information must be sent to the proctor in advance of the exam. Using a TBR site or using virtual proctoring are the preferred methods.

Virtual Proctoring Instructor Set-Up

Instructors should work with the course developers to set up proctoring in their courses. Course developers may create test rules to customize the test experience just like they would in the classroom. For example, course developers may determine the length of the exam and create specific rules for test-takers. The rules page also enables course developers and instructors to assign unique accommodations, such as extended time allowances for specific test-takers.

3.5. Examity Virtual Proctoring Fall 2021

Examity Virtual Proctoring

Examity is the current virtual proctoring option for online courses through TN eCampus. Users of our past service will find this product works in a similar way. This page will provide a tutorial for course developers and instructors to setup virtual proctoring for Mid-term and Final exams.

Single Sign-on

There is no need for students or instructors to log into a website to access this service. Examity proctoring uses the single sign on process, which means once a student or instructor logs into their course there is full access to the program. To create an exam link, navigate to the submodule. Choose the Existing Activities menu. Select External Learning Tools.

 

Submodule open with Existing Activities highlighted and expanded to External Learning Tools.

Then choose Examity.

 

Add Activity window with Virtual Proctoring highlighted.

The Examity link will be placed with the mid-term or final exam.

Virtual Proctoring highlighted as an External Learning Tool.

Virtual Proctoring Dashboard

The dashboard will open after the link is selected. It offers access to four key areas starting with courses assigned to the instructor.

 

Examity dashboard with Courses highlighted and expanded to show sample course.

Courses Details identifies key information including course status. The next tabs expose more information under the course group.

 

Course Details includes fields for Name, ID and Status.

Test-taker presents details on all students enrolled in the exam. Notice the Profile completion, Status, and Accommodation columns.

Test-takers list of names, email, profile, status, and accommodation columns.

Choose a student link to see the profile and exams or choose the Courses tab to see more.

 

Individual test-taker sample page with ID picture and personal information. List of Exams at the bottom of the window.

Course Accommodations allow instructors to select specific students that need adjustments to the testing process including accommodation for persons with disabilities.

 

Course Accommodation tab expanded to choose students and add accommodations details.

Exams Info provides access to edit exam items. Notice Test Window, Exam Duration, Exam Password, and more in this window. Live Premium is the only choice for Security Level for TN eCampus courses. Choosing exam information within the Courses tab will open the Exams tab to reveal the same information.

 

Exams tab expanded to Info sub tab as described in text.

The rules tab presents the standard rules and provides an option to add Addition Rules.

Exam Rules sub tab expanded to show Standard Rules and possible Additional Rules.

Instructions can be imported from other courses or new instructions may be added. Notice instructions may be visible to the Proctor, Test-taker, or both.

 

Exam Instructions sub tab expanded. Add Another Set of Instructions highlighted and pointing to text box.

Tracking Exam Status allows instructors to track exam progress and to view videos of completed exams. If there are noted incidents in the video, there will be time-stamped flags to reduce watch time to review the incident. Notice this exam has two flags that are pending an auditor check.

Exam Results sub tab expanded to show 3 students. One each is showing scheduled, pending Auditor, and Not Scheduled. One student has a green flag and a yellow flag. See next description text.

What do the flags mean?

  • Blue alerts are reported when a technical issue arises.
  • Green flags are raised for significant steps where there is no violation.
  • Yellow flags are issued when a rule is broken but cheating does not necessarily take place.
  • Red flags are given when the student exhibits clear cheating behavior.

Essentially they are listed in ascending order of concern.

The four color flags described in previous text.

The system reports provide summaries for information found throughout the system.

  • Schedule Status: Identify test-takers scheduled or not scheduled
  • Schedule Details: Review the detail of scheduled sessions
  • Evaluations: Test-taker proctor survey results
  • Exam Status: Past exam sessions

 

Screenshot of previously described reports.

Help Communicating with Students

Use the Instructor to Student tool kit (new window) to connect with students. You may also download this file at the bottom of the page. This Word file contains editable message samples you can customize and share with students. If you need to reach a student outside of D2L, contact the student liaison (new window) at your home campus.

Have more proctoring questions?

Watch a brief video showcasing the process through Examity.

Examity Instructor/Admin Training

This video is a comprehensive training for instructors and administrators using Examity for the first time.

Examity Instructor Training V5

This video is a comprehensive training for instructors and administrators using Examity for the first time. It is for clients exclusively using Automated Premium and Automated Standard

How to Create an Exam

This video demonstrates how to create an exam from your dashboard when Examity is not integrated with your system.

 

TN eCampus has a dedicated account manager who can answer any questions you have. Please contact Brian Bell bbell@examity.com (sends email) or (855) 392-6489 EXT 761 (Faculty ONLY)


 

Student Resources

Students have their own Examity tutorial page (new window) in Knowledge Books. If a student needs assistance acquiring a webcam, please contact the TN eCampus Help Desk at tnecampus@helpspot.com (new window). TN eCampus, Campus Relations Manager, Colbe Wilson Colbe.Wilson@tbr.edu (sends email) is also available for proctoring support.

Examity has created their 5 Tips for Online Test-Taking Success (new window). This 1-page resource could be helpful for students getting started.

  • Check exam rules
  • Prep The Test Area
  • Use a Hardwired Internet Connection
  • Test Computer Systems
  • Rest Easy

Feel free to share these links with your students.

 

3.6. Respondus Virtual Proctoring for: BIOL2010, 2020, 2230

Respondus Virtual Proctoring

BIOL2010, 2020, 2230 courses use Respondus virtual proctoring. Watch this short video or download the quick start guide. 




From the course homepage NavBar, choose Quizzes and LockDown Browser to initiate the proctoring process. Read the prompt and choose Continue.

Follow the prompts to set up your browser for the exam.

Follow the prompts to complete the setup.

3.7. Virtual Tutoring

Virtual Tutoring

TN eCampus has made a change for online tutoring services to use NetTutor. Users of our past product will find similar services to assist students. It has a broader list of subjects as a bonus.

Tutoring Benefits

Tutoring establishes a welcoming environment that engages and empowers students where they are. Tutors will not give answers to problems or do the work, but they will help students become independent learners. Tutoring Overview (new window)

Getting Started

Students can find access from any TN eCampus course home page by choosing the Virtual Tutoring link in the Course Resources widget.

Course Resources widget with Virtual Tutoring highlighted.

Main Features

Logging into virtual tutoring offers 4 options for students.

  • Meet with a Tutor in a Live Session
  • Ask a Tutor a Question
  • Drop off Your Paper for Review
  • Your Locker (archive of past sessions, submitted questions, and reviewed papers)

 

Video Tutorial

 

Watch a brief video to see these features in action. Students also have access to a step-by-step tutorial (new window) here in the Knowledge Books.

 

Help and Support

 

3.8. Why Use Turnitin

Turnitin Plagiarism Checker

Turnitin offers a great package of resources for students and instructors. Turnitin is a plagiarism checker, but it is much more. Students may receive timely feedback and data about their work. Instructors save time Feedback Studio by providing drag and drop Quickmarks or voice comments right in student assignments. They may also use the rubric tool built in to make assessments. Grades also easily export to the D2L grade book. Peermark provides students an opportunity to participate in the peer review process.



Feedback Studio Features

A typical submission made to an assignment in Turnitin generates a Similarity Report. The Similarity Report is the result of the comparison between the text of the submission against the search targets selected for the assignment. There are billions of web pages and student submissions from past assignments to search. Any matching or highly similar text discovered is detailed in the Similarity Report that is available in the assignment inbox.

Plagiarism match graphic showing sources by percentage.


Save time with QuickMark custom or predefined drag-and-drop sets of customizable comments. Drag these frequently used comments right to a student's work. You may customize quick marks for an instance or use it for all. QuickMarks are easy to develop on the fly too. Share reusable comment libraries with other instructors or across your institution.

QuickMarks graphic showing comments in a tile layout


Students see source matches and instructor feedback directly on their work, or in a conveniently formatted downloadable report. The student may prefer the concise summary or the option to see comments in the context of the submitted work. 

Final grade report with instructor comments.

PeerMark is a peer review assignment tool. Encourage discussion and reflection among students in the classroom. Instructors can create and manage PeerMark assignments that allow students to read, review, and evaluate one or many papers submitted by their classmates. Instructors can choose whether the reviews are anonymous or attributed.

Peer review comment graphic.

Feedback only matters if your students engage with it. Reach your students with voice and text comments on specific phrases or entire assignments. It is also a great way to vary feedback and interaction. Consider using a mix of communication styles.

Voice and text comment by instructor graphic.

Grade objectively and consistently with standards-aligned rubrics and show students how specific parts of their work affect their grade. Grades export right to the course in D2L.

Rubric report graphic showing grade by category.

3.9. Turnitin Training Resources

Turnitin Video Resources

TNeCampus and Turnitin provided webinar training for faculty and instructors. These videos break out the major components of the webinars into small chunks. Watch the whole group if you missed the webinar.


 

How to Create an Assignment in Turnitin

How to Read the Originality Report in Feedback Studio

How to Provide Feedback in Feedback Studio

Using PeerMark Peer Review Tool

 

Turnitin Tutorial Resources

Turnitin has some excellent resources developed on the Turnitin website.

Turnitin Instructor Tutorial Group new window

3.10. Academic Honesty

Overview

All TN eCampus courses are expected to promote high standards of honesty and integrity. As the instructor, you have an important role in supporting expectations for academic honesty. Academic honesty conduct violations include, but are not limited to:

  • An attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam, to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs
  • Products prepared by another person or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.
  • Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.
  • Academic Self-Plagiarism, also known as, “double-dipping,” occurs when a student submits a whole paper or a substantial portion of a paper to fulfill a course requirement, even though that paper had been submitted earlier to satisfy the requirements for another course taught by a different professor without consent from both professors.
  • Additionally, students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, are immediately responsible to their instructor and institution for possible disciplinary sanctions, failing grades, or failing the course.

Read more about Academic Honesty (new window) and the TBR policy (new window).

Citing References

Most students are not aware of how to cite references or sources to avoid plagiarism. The following links will be helpful in determining what plagiarism is and styles you prefer students use for citation purposes.

Citation Styles


3.11. Virtual Library Services

Library Services

Through Virtual Library services (tbr.libguides.com/library/home, students and instructors have access to a vast collection of online databases, journals, reference materials, eBooks, directories, streaming video, and more!

Virtual library services also include:

  • Access to highly-trained librarians available through email, live chat, and reference desk phone support.

A Reference Librarian can assist you with:

    • Developing a research topic and strategy
    • Identifying and locating resources online or in the databases
    • Formatting your paper and citing sources
  • Inter-library loan services
    • Tennessee Academic Library Collaborative (TALC) TBR and UT libraries
    • WorldCat
  • Universal library card which provides “check out” privileges at nearby Tennessee Board of Regents libraries

Check out the TN eCampus .

3.12. Embedded Librarians

Embedded Librarians

In some courses, instructors and students may also work with a librarian. A librarian can provide course enrichment and information literacy training that may include:

  • Collecting and providing access to specialized resources
  • Developing tutorials and online activities
  • Engaging directly with students through the D2L discussion board or in virtual meetings. The discussion board is the simplest way to set up an embedded librarian so that they can fully interact with students in your course.

More information about the Virtual Library can be found at TN eCampus Library new window.

Request an Embedded Librarian


3.13. Virtual Bookstore Resources

Virtual Bookstore

Students

Open 24/7, the TN eCampus Virtual Bookstore sells textbooks, course materials, and the correct access codes required for electronic course materials needed for an online course. The virtual bookstore is open prior to the start of each semester and offers textbooks in both new and used conditions. Students can learn more about ordering from the TN eCampus Bookstore new window tutorial in Knowledge Books.

""

Instructors

Instructors are encouraged to refer students to the TN eCampus Virtual Bookstore for course texts. There are other sellers, but the only way to be students receive the current edition text and correct access codes is through the bookstore. Neither the TN eCampus Virtual Bookstore nor TN eCampus can refund or be responsible for refunds of books ordered outside of the TN eCampus Virtual Bookstore. Please notify students of last-minute changes before a course begins. Please provide the entire name, edition, and ISBN code.

Course Developers

Text editions must be updated each year. The Bookstore can confirm edition changes to assist developers and instructors. There is a tutorial for using the Textbook Verification form same frame in Knowledge Books. Please refer to the tutorial or contact the Bookstore if you have questions.

Contact TN eCampus Virtual Bookstore

3.14. Moving Your Class Online

Strategies for Moving Your Course Online Effectively and Efficiently

This page is here to share video for this recent webinar with participants and anyone that could not join the webinar. Please follow this Webinar Playlist on Youtube (new window) to view the content. You will find 3 videos that divide the content into smaller chunks.

Companion Course

We have also created a companion course (new window) the follows the content and resources shared and used in the development of the webinar. If you prefer to read or research, then this webinar companion is for you. Feel free to share this page or any of these resources with colleagues. 




4. Expectations for Instructors

4.1. TN eCampus Instructor Requirements

Instructor Requirements

Instructors are required to...

  • Post and update your contact information, bio, and office hours within 48 hours after gaining access to course shell(s) for each semester. This timeline is necessary to allow mentors time to review updates.
  • Log in to the course a minimum of every 24-48 hours. Regular instructor presence is key to student success. Contact the Help Desk or your mentor if you have trouble logging into the course. Logins are monitored to ensure the fulfillment of this obligation.
  • Respond to student emails within 48 hours including weekends.
  • Post grades on any assignment, test, or other graded material within 2 weeks of its due date. This is critical feedback for students. Give feedback beyond grades to recognize achievement and constructively encourage them in areas they struggle with. Be prepared to offer resources and opportunities for remediation wherever possible.
  • Instructors must assign grades (A, B, C, D, F, or I) in the final grade column. Learning Support courses cannot use D as a grade. NFG cannot be used for final grade entry.
  • Be diligent adhering to all course deadlines. This is very important for the flow and pace of the course. For example, if an instructor misses a deadline for posting final grades, then they must manually complete a Grade Change Form (new window) for each student in their section. Meeting deadlines will lessen your workload and stress too.
  • Get to know D2L which is our learning management system (LMS). There are many resources available (new window) to you to help you learn about D2L. Please use these resources to increase your knowledge and skill to navigate and use the tools effectively.
  • Know where to get help. Ask your mentor if the problem or question is regarding teaching or learning. Contact the Help Desk if you have technical difficulty or need help with D2L. Please file a Help Desk ticket (new window) for prompt assistance.

Instructors must also...

  • Be very mindful not to violate the privacy of a student by discussing their grades, performance, or disability status in an open course or public environment. This includes course discussion boards. FERPA (new window) regulations tightly restrict how and when we communicate with students. One of the advantages of online teaching and learning is that nearly everything communicated between faculty and students is automatically documented, whether in course communication or email. This documentation is valuable for both student and instructor should any problems arise later.
  • Instructors may not significantly alter the design, delivery, or content of any module or course that they instruct. All major changes and deletions must be handled by the Course Developer. Course Developer information can be found on the “Instructors Only Files” page. This section is in draft status just for instructors. You should have a good working relationship with both your mentor and your course developer. It is wise to touch base with both your course developer and mentor on a regular basis to keep lines of communication open in all directions.
  • All TN eCampus courses are asynchronous. Instructors may not require synchronous interactions or assignments.
  • Only Course Developers can designate exams to be proctored. Only midterm and final exams may be proctored if designated. We do offer online proctoring on a case-by-case basis. Exams should remain open during the entire exam testing time as listed on the term calendar Web page.  Proctoring is strongly discouraged.

4.2. Customizing Your Course

Master Course Model

TN eCampus works from a Master course model where a single course is developed and then copied into sections each semester, and taught by instructors from the TBR campuses. Your development work will be completed in a Development Copy (DC). Once the (re)development project is complete, the Development Copy will be renamed as a Master Copy (MC). The Master Copy is never taught from, nor does it ever carry any enrollments. All sectional copies (R50, R51, R52, etc) are copied from the Master Copy, but the content is NEVER copied from the sectional copies back to a Master Copy. Once the course is approved after the Final Review, it is listed on the website and in the campus registration systems.

Graphic showing the relationship of Mastery Copy to sections and sections to each other. The sections do not flow back to the Master Copy.

Customize a Course

  • Instructors may ADD supplemental material to the course.
  • Instructors may NOT remove any material from their course shells. The course developer determines the layout, the content, and the assessment strategy. If you have concerns about the design of your section, please confer directly with your course developer.
  • Supplemental material added to the course must PROVIDE asynchronous and nongraded opportunities for enhanced teaching and learning. The students may not be required to be present for a live study session over Web conferencing software, for instance. (Also, it should be recorded and made available to students whose schedules do not allow their synchronous attendance.) Puzzles, games, discussions, projects, and simulations are all great ways to integrate learning in a low-risk, highly social context that supports student success.
  • Instructors may NOT teach outside the D2L system or ADD inaccessible content. All instruction and correspondence with students must occur within the D2L system. Send emails through D2L to ensure all course content from the Web is linked in properly. You will be receiving accessibility training in this course as well as subsequent training. It's important that all content added to the course is ADA accessible.

Help to Maintain and Improve Courses

  • Report any course content problems to the Course Developer.
  • Personalize the Instructor Message, Instructor Information, and Course Home pages in their assigned section.

In the event a misspelling or grammatical error appears, instructors are asked to both report the error to the Course Developer and correct the error in their section immediately.

4.3. Instructor Contact Information

Instructor Contact Information

You are expected to customize the Instructor Information page in the Getting Started module of your course section before the semester begins. Please do this as soon as you gain access to your section.

Please provide the following:

Name:

Title:

Contact Information

  • Office phone:
  • Cell phone:
  • Primary course email: All course communication should take place here within D2L Brightspace discussion boards and email. To send an email message, go to the Communication menu, choose Email, and then choose Compose to create a new email message. You can use this email system to reach me or any of your classmates.
  • Alternate email: In case of emergency, please use this address outside of the course site (insert the email address that is accessible outside of D2L)

Office Hours

Office Location:

  • Virtual Office Hours: (Example: "I am available via Skype or Google Hangouts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7 pm-8 pm. Please email in advance for an appointment."
  • Communication Policy: (Example: "I typically log in each day to check e-mail. You can expect a response to your message 24-48 hours from the time you send it. Feel free to e-mail if you need to schedule a time to talk over the phone.")

Biography:

  • Enter a brief biography. (Optional)

*Please note, if you do not provide a biography, please delete this section.


4.4. Student Participation Survey

Student Participation Survey

The Student Participation Survey is the only method approved by federal requirements as well as by TBR's Oversight Committee for identifying student participation in a course.

Students have 14 days from the start of classes, including weekends, to complete the brief survey. This survey requires students to acknowledge that they have read the following:

  • Course Syllabus
  • Online Behavior Statement
  • Academic Integrity/Honesty Guidelines

A news item is displayed at the top of the Course Homepage to notify the student of the survey. It is very important that this news item stays at the top of the course homepage so that students are alerted to complete the survey as this is the only way attendance is reported. Students may access the survey by clicking the link in the news item or by navigating to the Survey's link located on the course tools drop-down menu. The news item will automatically be removed from the news feed and the survey will be locked after the 14th day of class.

TN eCampus runs an automated report to extract completion information from the Student Participation survey that is then sent to the student's home institution.

An example of the Student Participation Survey news item is shown below and a PDF copy of the survey is attached should you wish to review it.

Student participation news item displayed in a course

5. Best Practices for Online Learning

5.1. Instructor Presence

Instructor Presence

Community of Inquiry framework of educational experience - social presence, cognitive presence, teaching presence in a 3 circle Venn diagram

An important component of any online course is instructor or teaching presence. Students need to feel like you, as the instructor, are active and engaged in the course. Creating a sense of instructor presence has been shown to encourage increased student engagement. Here are some tips to help you create a sense of teaching presence in your course.

  • Include recorded welcome videos, module overviews, lectures, and experiments.
  • Post a photo of yourself on your Instructor Information or Instructor Welcome pages.
  • Provide substantive feedback on assignments.
  • Engage students in conversations outside of the regular discussion boards. You might have a "water cooler" or "Ask the Instructor" discussion space for additional conversation. 
  • Send regular announcements or messages with course updates and reminders. You might send one at the beginning of each module to introduce the new content and activities and one at the end of each module to recap what was discussed and covered.
  • Share current news stories, internet resources, or anecdotes that relate to course content and learning goals. This helps students to make connections between what they're learning and real-world examples.
  • Make sure you update your instructor information page. Consider adding additional information to help students get to know you better. 
  • Grade and return assignments as quickly as possible. TN eCampus policy is that all assignments must be graded within two weeks.
  • Return email and phone messages promptly. TN eCampus policy is that you should respond within 48 hours.
  • Consider scheduling regular virtual office hours. Students might contact you via phone, email, or text message, or you can video conference for a more personal exchange.
  • Participate actively in discussion boards.
  • Online instructor and e-learning researcher, Dr. Curt Bonk, provides more tips for building a sense of instructor presence and adding your voice to the course in his video, "Building Instructor and Social Presence" (new window).

5.2. Creating a Community of Learners

Creating a Community of Learners

A mixed group of animals at a watering hole. Giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, birds.

In your online course, you will find that your students comprise a mix of ages, socio-economic status, ethnicity, English-proficiency, sexual or gender identity, ability, and geographic location. Despite all their differences, your students are coming together for the purpose of learning. Students will be more successful in your course if they feel that they are in a safe, welcoming space where they are appreciated as individuals. Here are some things you can do to help build a sense of community that is open and welcoming to all students.

  • Get to know your students and help them get to know their peers in an icebreaker discussion board at the start of the semester. As you get to know students better, you may be able to help them connect with each other. For example, in responding to discussion posts, you might refer to another student's post that made a related or contrasting point. Getting to know your students and why they are taking your class can help you to better understand their needs and positively impact learning.

  • Once you know your students better, you can tap into students' backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. In helping them to make these kinds of connections, you help them to connect with the content more deeply.

  • Provide guidelines for expected behavior in the online course space. Set ground rules. This may include posting guidelines for online discussion netiquette. Because online communication can be easily misinterpreted, remind students that it is best to avoid sarcasm, to not use all CAPS as that may be taken for yelling, and to always use polite, inclusive language rather than slang or slurs. You should also make clear your expectations and hold students accountable for their behavior and make them accountable to each other. All ideas and viewpoints should be respected.

  • Be a role model. In your own communication with students, be careful not to use stereotypes. Set a positive tone that is encouraging to students. Be approachable to students and let them know that you respect them as individuals. Show appreciation when students express views from multiple perspectives. 

  • If your course contains group activities, consider assigning students to heterogeneous groups to give them experience working cooperatively with a diverse group of people. 

  • Send an announcement at the beginning and end of each module to let students know what is coming up and to summarize what has just finished. Making sure that all students are on the same page helps to contribute to a sense the individual student is part of a group, of a larger learning community. You may even have students take turns in writing a summary post, making them accountable for communicating clearly with the entire group and not just with the instructor.


5.3. Facilitating Discussions

Promoting Participation

To help students get engaged in an online discussion, you must be engaged and present in the discussion yourself. Students will respond more if they know that someone is actively reading and responding to their posts. It is also helpful to explain the purpose of discussions. This may be done as part of an instructor introduction in a module or as part of your initial post to a forum. If possible, respond to as many students' first postings as possible. Use their name to make them feel welcome and supported. If you have a large number of students, to make it more manageable you may respond to some students one week and others the following week. Send messages to those students who aren't participating to find out what is causing their limited participation. You may find that they are having technical difficulties or perhaps are feeling unsure about what to post. Finally, consider posting a summary of the overall group discussion at the end of a module. This may come in the form of a discussion post or as part of a course announcement, to sum up, what was covered and done in the just-completed module.

Promoting Interaction

Research shows that students get the most out of a course when they engage with the instructor, other students, the content, and themselves through reflection. Each of these forms of interaction is important for effective learning. As an instructor, you can help to encourage these kinds of interactions through participation and prompting in discussions and through your responses to discussion posts and assignments. It is critical that you be active and engaged in the discussions, but be careful not to dominate the conversation. Remember, you are there to be a "guide on the side". If you see the flow of the conversation veering off track, you may need to intervene, perhaps asking questions to get students thinking in the right direction.

"Student" is in a circle in the center while "instructor", "self", "students", and "content" are in circles around it. Bidirectional arrows show the back-and-forth relationship between the circles.

Promoting Critical Thinking

A good prompt will provoke an original response and provide a “jumping off point” for students. Prompts should help students to make connections between their personal experience, prior learning, and new knowledge. Providing a jumping off point gives students a point to start from. As you respond to and engage with your students in discussions, you can draw more out of them, helping them to dive more deeply into the topic.

A penguin standing at the end of diving board, looking at the water below.

Sometimes students will not know how to respond to a discussion prompt. You may need to probe to draw more information out of them. One strategy is to use Curry and Cook's (2014) MANIC strategy. Answering these questions can help to teach students how to draw supporting evidence from their readings to make a detailed, thoughtful response. 

Ask students:

  • What was the Most important thing in the reading?
  • What was something you Agree within the reading?
  • What was something you do Not agree with in the reading?
  • What was something you found Interesting in the reading?
  • What was something you found Confusing in the reading?

Setting Clear Expectations

A carnival midway basketball hoop with a sign that says $2 and with rules. No cross throwing. Direct shots only. Must see shot.

You should set clear expectations for what students should post and when. What is the timeline for initial posts and responses? Students are more likely to participate if they get responses. Require that initial posts be made early in the week, making responses to peers due by the end of the course week. Your course developer may have already set a schedule. If not, whatever schedule you choose, you should stick to the same routine throughout the course. Also, in your own posts, you should model the kind and format of responses you expect from students. You should also model how students should give feedback to one another. Rather than using emoticons, students should be encouraged to acknowledge others' contributions in writing, e.g. "I agree with your point" or "I am wondering about your last point. Could you tell me more?". Similarly, encourage students to start their responses with something positive before they add their critique or feedback. 

Curry, J.H. & Cook, J. (2014). Facilitating online discussions at a manic pace: A new strategy for an old problem. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 15(3), 1-11.

5.4. Providing Good Feedback

Feedback Tips

Providing students with meaningful feedback helps them to not only understand the content better but to understand their own thinking and learning processes as well. Meaningful feedback greatly enhances learning and improves student achievement. Here are some tips for providing meaningful feedback to students (@Rebezuniga, 2014):

  • Be as specific as possible. Phrases such as "good job" don't tell the learner what they did right and "not quite there yet" doesn't give insight into what needs to be done better. Take the time to provide your learners with information on exactly what they did well, and what may still need improvement. 
  • Give feedback sooner rather than later. Feedback is most effective when it is given immediately rather than a few days, weeks, or months down the line. The University of Minnesota found that students were able to comprehend material better with immediate versus delayed feedback. 
  • Address the learner's advancement toward a goal. Effective feedback is most often oriented around a specific achievement that students are or should be, working toward. 
  • Present feedback carefully. Situations in which feedback could be counterproductive include when the learner feels too strictly monitored, when learners interpret feedback as an attempt to control them, and when learners feel an uncomfortable sense of competition. Explain the purpose of any monitoring. Feedback is meant to help them to compete against their own personal bests.
  • Involve learners in the process. Students must be given access to information about their performance.

Infographic portraying the feedback tips on this page.

  • Start with a positive message. A positive message provides encouragement. Start with something positive before discussing areas that need to be improved.
  • Say something personal. Include examples from students' work so they know you have read it and that the feedback is personal to their work.
  • Help students to see the connection between the course and their lives. In your feedback, you can apply real-world examples to their work or as examples for them to follow.
  • Consider presenting feedback in different formats. You may choose to give feedback in writing, but you might also record a short audio or video response using the tools in D2L.
  • If your course has rubrics, use them for assessment and feedback. Rubrics help students to see where they earned or lost points against a set of outcomes or criteria and levels of performance.

5.5. Understanding FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (new window), known as FERPA, is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

  • FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records.
  • Rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are referred to as, eligible students, and have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school.
  • Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records.
  • Parents or eligible students also have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading.
  • Schools may disclose, without consent, directory information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth,  honors, awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.
  • You should never transmit protected information via email. This includes grades, test scores, transcripts, and students' personally identifiable information such as a Social Security number.


5.6. Alternate Communication Resources

Alternate Communication Resources


We strongly recommend communicating within the Brightspace learning environment. It is a central source for students and instructors and it documents all course activity.


With that said, we learned in the Spring of 2020, not all teaching and learning was planned by instructors or students to be "online" learning. Due to a rapid shift to online instruction, we encourage instructors to use tools and resources that give them the clearest path to major objectives with a minimal learning curve for them and their students. The intent of this page is to share some popular choices that are typically easy to use and have a low cost. Your institution may have access to site licenses to other products you should consider. 

Google Voice

Why use Google Voice? Voice allows you to do the following:

  • Choose a number you can share with anyone and control how you are contacted without compromising your regular phone number
  • Read and search voice messages just like email
  • Send text messages from your Voice number


Setup Google Voice Tutorial (new window) 

Google Hangouts

Why use Google Hangouts? Hangouts allows you to do the following:

  • Setup video conferencing to synchronously meet with individuals or a group
  • Make voice calls
  • Text or chat with individuals or a group


Google Hangouts – Getting Started (new window)

Screencast-O-Matic

Why use Screencast-O-Matic? Screencast-O-Matic is one of many recording tools that are free or free to try. Your computer or camera software may allow you to record videos too. This is a popular choice that allows you to do the following:

  • Record yourself talking
  • Record presentations or demonstrations displayed on your computer or both
  • Save your recording to share asynchronously, which allows students to decide when to watch
  • Save the file to your computer and upload it to Brightspace, YouTube or Screencast-O-Matic
  • Add captions to make the content to the widest group of students


Welcome to Screencast-O-Matic (new window)


6. Brightspace LMS Tools

6.1. Supported Browsers

Brightspace Supported Browsers

(Updated 09.01.2021)

Brightspace works well with several browsers. Brightspace no longer supports any version of Microsoft Edge Legacy. You will receive a warning message if you use this browser.  Microsoft Edge Chromium version is supported.

Brightspace Learning Environment's browser version check now displays warnings for browsers earlier than the following versions:

  • Google® Chrome™ 85 (released Aug 2020)
  • Apple® Safari® 13 (released in September 2019)
  • Mobile Apple Safari 12 (released in October 2018)
  • Mozilla® Firefox® 80 (released August 2020) 
  • Chromium-based Microsoft® Edge 85 (released August 2020)
  • All versions of Microsoft Edge Legacy (Microsoft Edge Chromium version is supported.)

You may be able to access Brightspace Learning Environment with older versions of the supported browsers; however, D2L does not test Brightspace Learning Environment against these older versions. You may also receive a warning that your current browser is not supported. For an optimal experience that offers better performance, accessibility, and security, D2L strongly recommends that all users access Brightspace Learning Environment with a supported browser.

Legacy Edge or Chromium Edge

Follow these steps to quickly check MS Edge. (Many browsers have similar menu options, including Google Chrome.)

 

6.2. Username and Password

New to TN eCampus?

If you are new to TN eCampus and unsure where to begin, please contact TN eCampus sends email.

Username

Usernames are in the following format based on role:

  • Instructors: firstname.lastname
  • Course Developers: dev.firstname.lastname
  • Mentors: mentor.firstname.lastname
  • Distance Education Directors: DE.firstname.lastname

Password Reset

If you need a password reset, please select Forgot Password new window. This action will send a password reset link to the email address associated with your Brightspace (D2L) account. The email address associated with your account is usually your institutional email, but it may be a personal email address. The email will come from donotreply@tnecampus.brightspace.com. Please make sure to check your junk/spam folders, if you do not receive the reset link. Please contact our office for further assistance by emailing TN eCampus sends email.

6.3. Access to Courses by Role

Access by Role

Role assignment determines the ability to create and edit courses and the view of what is shared in a course. For example, students can submit assignments and add to discussion posts, but they cannot alter the structure of a course.

Login window

Instructors

Instructor enrollments begin 10 days prior to the first day of class. Changes made during this 10 day period will be reflected in Brightspace (D2L) within 24 hours after the change has been submitted to TN eCampus by the Distance Education Director. If you have questions about your teaching assignment, please check with your Distance Education Director as TN eCampus does not make teaching assignments. (Students cannot access until the first day.)

 

Course Developers

Course developers are enrolled in all sections of their course(s) approximately 3 weeks before the semester begins. Course developers are expected to review their sections and notify TN eCampus if there appear to be any errors.

 

Distance Education Directors

Distance Education Directors are enrolled in the master copy of all courses owned by their institution and have the ability to export the course.

6.4. Getting Started Widget

Getting Started Widget

The Getting Started Widget is a customization by D2L for Brightspace designed to focus communication with students when they log into a course. This widget does not require any special setup by the instructor. The functionality is dependent on the content of the Getting Started module in the course, which typically includes: Instructor Information, Course Expectations, the Syllabus, and any other file included in that module.

*Please note, even HIDDEN FILES will populate in the Getting Started Widget. (They are hidden in the module.) Use submodules to provide additional information in this module. Read more at the end of the tutorial.

Table of contents open with Getting Starting and files in the module highlighted.

When students log into the course, the widget will open automatically to the first page of the Getting Started content. Choosing Next prompts the next file to load. Scrolling may be necessary for longer pages.

Course homepage expanded to show a sample page of the widget (Instructor Information) opened in the same frame.

Students will continue to choose Next until the last file is presented. The last file offers the option to Dismiss the widget. Choosing Dismiss will stop the initiation of the widget at the login to the course.

Typical Message from the Instructor page opened. Dismiss button highlighted as described.

Students can always see the content again even if they have previously dismissed the widget. Students will see the blue Getting Started button/bar above the announcements section and may choose Getting Started to run the widget. (Of course, they can see the module under the content tab as well.)

 

Course homepage opened with blue Getting Started highlighted. Arrows pointing to a sample page opened within the frame. Another arrow pointing from the first page to a second page highlighted. This shows the progress of the files within the widget.

Submodules and External Learning Tools

Submodules in the Getting Started module will not populate in the widget. If you have content such as, an External Learning Tool, that needs to be placed early in the Table of Contents, then use a submodule folder for those items within the Getting Started module. Students will see the items when they check course content, but the submodule content will not interfere with the widget.

 

Getting Started module expanded from Table of Contents. A submodule and External Learning Tool are highlighted as a warning to widget impact. Arrows pointing to moving ELT to submodule folder.

6.5. Announcements Tool

Create an Announcement

From the Course Home page, select Announcements. The Announcements window will open. Choose New Announcement to start an announcement.

Announcements highlighted on the course page. Opens New Announcements window. New Announcement selected.


 

Enter a Headline (title) and content.

 

Announcement availability has three decision points. Show Start Date sets when the announcement should be visible to students. Start Date sets announcements to be scheduled to run immediately or at a future time. End Date removes the availability of the announcement. Remove announcement based on end date will remove the announcement on the end date automatically.

SelectPublish to make the announcement available or Save as Draft to save your work without publishing.

General textboxes for Headline and Content highlighted. Availability textboxes Show Start Date, Start Date and Remove announcement based on end date highlighted. Publish highlighted.



The announcements page will open with a list of all announcements in the course. Announcements will be listed in the order as they appear on the course homepage. By default, a new announcement will be listed at the top. The Course Information announcement must always be displayed at the top of the course homepage. Newly added announcements must be reordered.

To reorder an announcement, select More Actions and then Reorder. The Reorder page will open. Change the order by adjusting the numeric order. Choose Save when complete.

More Options menu expanded to show Reorder. Opens Reorder Announcements window. Order numbers highlighted to change 3 to 1 and 1 to 5. Save selected.


 

Edit an Announcement

Choose Edit from the context menu of the announcement. The Edit Announcement page will open. Make any necessary edits to the content or availability. Choose Update to finish.

 

Course Information menu expanded to Edit. Opens Edit Announcement window. Update button selected.



Delete an Announcement

Select an announcement and choose Delete from the menu. A confirmation window will open. Choose Yes to continue.

Course Information menu expanded to Delete. Opens Confirmation window. Yes selected.


To delete more than one item, select each checkbox of the items you want to delete. Choose the Delete at the top of the list. A confirmation window will open. Choose Yes to continue.

Checkboxes highlighted for possible selection of existing announcments. Delete button selected to open Confirmation window. Yes selected.



Announcements can be restored. Select More Actions and then choose Restore. The Restore Announcements window will open. Check the announcement you want to restore. Choose Yes to continue.

More Actions menu expanded to Restore. Restore selected and Spring Project checked and highlighted. Confirmation Yes selected.



6.6. Navigating Course Content

Navigating Course Content

Navigate to a course by choosing a course from My Courses or the Course Selector.

Double arrow pointing to My Courses and Course Selector on the home page.

My Courses Widget

The widget has updated sort logic that presents both pinned and unpinned courses in the My Courses Widget, promoting the pinned courses to be displayed first in the widget. Pinned will not be present if no courses are pinned. Additionally, users have the ability to show courses on tabs according to the course’s Semester, Department, or Role.

Choose Content from the navbar on the course homepage to access the course content.

Content highlighted on the course navbar.

In this example, the left column contains the Table of Contents and lists all modules in the course including the Getting Started module. The right column displays the contents of a selected module. Choosing Message from your Instructor opens a sample page.

Getting Started hightlighted under the Table of Contents. Message from Your instructor selected to open.

Navigate through each page in the module by selecting the Back and Forward arrows at the top and bottom right corner of the page or use the Bread Crumb Trail to navigate back to the table of contents, a module, or page by selecting the desired location.

Content page has breadcrumb menu at the top. Page also has left/right arrows at the top and bottom for navigation options.


 

Prefer to watch a short video?

 

6.7. Creating Course Modules & HTML Files

Creating Modules & HTML Files

Course content contains modules, sub-modules, documents, and activities. Modules can be collapsed or expanded by selecting the arrow at the right of the header as shown below.

A module can be added either at the bottom of the table of contents or below the last module in the content section by selecting Add a module or Add a sub-module. Add a name for the module and select Enter/Return. Structurally, modules added to the table of contents. Submodules are added to the module highlighted in the table of contents.

Table of Contents page with a module collapsed and another expanded. Add a module textboxes with arrows pointing to open window for new module.

While it is possible to drag and drop files into the module, it is not recommended until you have verified with your regional accessibility specialist that the files are accessible.

To create an accessible HTML page, select Create a File from the Upload/Create menu.

Drag and drop area highlighted in a newly created module. New drop down menu expanded with the create a file option highlighted.

Use Enter a Title to create a descriptive title. Keep in mind, this title will be the title of the document in the table of contents and the course files.

Before entering any content, Select a Document Template for the document. General Page Structure is commonly used for common pages.

*Please note, templates must be applied appropriately to all new pages. Templates provided in the template menu are the only templates available. Browse for Template is on the menu, but you will not be able to navigate back to them since they are shared from an org unit level.

New file page with the title textbox highlighted. Document template menu expanded to display template options.

Various content types can be added to the page once the template is set. See the sample below. The next section of this chapter, Creating Accessible HTML File Content same frame, will address in greater detail adding content.

Sample page with some content added.

There are a variety of tool options highlighted at the top and bottom of this example image. Explore each by opening or hovering over each one to learn more. Additionally, Insert Stuff is expanded to reveal its contents and other options.

Tool bars top and bottom highlighted. Insert Stuff icon expanded in a separate window.

If pictures are inserted in documents, an alternative text prompt will open. If the image is meant to convey information, there must be a full description of the information in the Alternative Text box. If the image is strictly meant for decoration, mark This image is decorative and select OK to finish.

See WebAIM's site more information on Alternative Text Basics new window.

Alternative text prompt dialog box.

Content must be organized in Managed Files. After entering or adding content, select Change Path.

Create a file window with the Change Path button highlighted.

The Course Offering Files window will open displaying a list of folders in the course. It is recommended to create a folder for each module in the course. If a folder already exists for a module, highlight it, and choose Select Path. If the folder does not yet exist, select New Folder and name it appropriately. Selecting the path for the document determines where to save to keep your course organized and easy to manage.

*Please note, when creating new folders, the new folder you create will be nested within the folder that is highlighted. It is easy to inadvertently select an unintended folder within the course folder.

Select a Path dialog box displaying all folders within the course. New Folder and Select Path buttons highlighted.

Enter an appropriate Folder Name and then choose Create. (In this example, we have created a chapter overview document in module 4 of the course content with the title folder Module 04.)

*Please note, it is recommended that you keep folder names consistent to improve course management.

New folder dialog box with a title entered in the folder name textbox and the create button highlighted.

The new folder is shown in the Course Offering Files list. Highlight the folder then choose Select Path.

Select a path dialog box displaying the newly created folder.

Notice the file path shown at the bottom of the page. Review the document created and choose Update when finished, or select the Revert to Draft to save the document and return to finish editing it at a later time. Documents saved as a draft are not viewable by students.

Content page with the folder path displayed at the bottom of the page highlighted. The Publish and Revert to Draft buttons highlighted.ted


Edit a HTML File

There are two starting points to edit a file. Choose Edit HTML from the context menu of the document title or select Edit HTML at the bottom of the page.

Sample page with the Edit button highlighted and the document menu expanded to display the Edit HTML option.

Either option will open the HTML editor. Apply any additions or changes needed. This process is very similar to creating a new file. Choose Publish when finished.

Publish button hightlighted..



6.8. Quicklink

Creating a Quicklink

Choose Existing Activities to link activities into the course. Select the type of activity to be linked from the menu. In this example, we will select Discussions. The Add Activity window will open. Choose the discussion forum where the topic to link is located.

Existing Activities menu expanded to Discussions. Discussion window opens with Class Discussions always available highlighted.

The topics included in the forum will then be listed. Select the topic to be linked to the module. After selecting the topic, the window will close and go back to the module in the table of contents.

Sample module discussion selected. Inset window shows the discussion is not placed in the content module list.

The Module 4 Discussion link is now included in the Activities sub-module.

6.9. Hyperlinks in the HTML Editor

Hyperlinks in the Editor

Hyperlinks work in Brightspace much like any other web page. The linked text should be descriptive of the target location or site. Links should make sense out of context. Avoid using links that use, “click here” or “more.” Do not use headings for hyperlinks. Instead, link text in the body of the content. "For more information, see the tutorial for Hyperlinks (same frame)."

Creating Links

Select the text in your content that is the topic, web page name, or URL (the address) of the desired web page. Long or complex URLs are cumbersome to read visually and use with assistive technologies, such as screen readers. Many URLs will populate the main page with the core address. For example, gotoclass.tnecampus.org is enough to open the TN eCampus courses login page. Test the core URL in a separate browser before using it.

Select the desired text without any additional spaces.

Sample page with text selected to be converted for a hyperlink.

 

Choose the Link symbol on the menu.

 

Link symbol highlighted on the tool bar.

 

A new window will open. Scroll down to the URL at the bottom of the menu.

 

Insert Quicklink menu opened. URL highlighted to start a link.

 

A blank form will open. Add the full address in the URL field. The selected text should be in the Title field. You can edit this information if changes are needed.

 

Quicklink page open. URL and Title highlighted for new information.

 

Presenting Content

There are 3 options for presenting web content:

  • Whole Window (full page)
  • Same Frame (the frame the current content resides)
  • New Window (opens a new page or window)

Choose the matching radio button and add the target type selected in parenthesis. New Window is used in the example below. This choice is typically used when the link leads to another web site. Same Frame is often used when linking inside the same website. Whole Window is typically used within the same website, but the full window is preferred over Same Frame. Choose Update (to save changes) when finished entering the link content.

 

Quicklink information populated in URL and Title. Radio buttons for Whole Window, Same Frame and New Window highlighted. Choosing New Window in this example with Update button highlighted.

 

Check the Link

With the link content complete, choose Update to finish. 

 

Update button highlighted.

 

Check the link to confirm the target chosen is working correctly and the desired page opens.

Sample page with hyperlinks ready to test.

Link to Playlist

Pro tip: Links to individual files can change and should be checked. A playlist is more likely to stay the same. New or updated videos may be added and have a new URL. Consider linking to an available playlist instead.

 

6.10. Accessible HTML File Content

Creating Accessible HTML File Content

 

Brightspace courses may contain many different types of sources for course content.  Some of the most common include the following: web pages, document files, tables, audio clips, images, and video. Text content may be introduced by copying and pasting into course files. Plain text is preferred to avoid unexpected formating. Other sources should be imported into Managed Files (in an organized fashion) and inserted into the course files. Each type of content has its own accessibility component to be considered. In the tutorial, Creating Course Modules & Files same frame, the steps to create content pages are outlined. This section will focus on making sure the content is accessible and Section 504 compliant.

 

Behind the Scene

Course files in Brightspace are referred to as HTML Files because HTML code is the structure behind the scene. The HTML code is hidden, but accessible in the edit mode through the code icon </> located on the bottom row of tools of the editor window. Some users may prefer to use create and edit content through the HTML code, but it is not necessary to be an HTML code expert to create and edit pages in Brightspace. If you are interested in learning more about HTML coding, there are numerous sites on the web designed to quick-start users with HTML. A couple of examples include w3schools.com new window and Way2Turorial.com new window. Both sites have a similar approach to introducing and explaining the foundations.

 

Steps to Build Accessible Course Files

As also described in Creating Course Modules & Files same frame, start by using Create a New File in the module/submodule.

Create File highlighted from the Create/Upload menu.

 

Before entering any content, Select a Document Template for the document. Add a descriptive title for the file in Enter a Title.

*Please note, templates must be applied appropriately to all new files. Templates provided in the template menu are the only templates available. Browse for Template is on the menu, but you will not be able to use them.

 

New file page with the title textbox highlighted. Document template menu expanded to display template options.

Depending on the template chosen, sample headings and text will populate. Select and replace the text for the course.

*Please note, the sample text has the H1 followed by a horizontal rule. This is a part of the template design. If the content is pasted to the page has a defined H1 tagged, the heading will hold and the horizontal rule will remain in place. On the other hand, pasting plain text will appear without headings or rules. Once the headings are tagged, the horizontal rule will reappear. Continue to make updates.

Heading 1, horizontal rule and sample text highlighted.

 

Source Options


Plain Text Editor

The clearest and cleanest method is to copy text content into your course file is from a plain text editor, like Text Edit for Mac or Notepad for PC. In this example, a web page has been copied into Notepad. The plain text has no formatting, hyperlinks, or images. Everything beyond the text can be made accessible by using the page editing tools in Brightspace. It may seem faster and easier to paste content directly into the page, but it may require advanced skills and knowledge to recognize and repair the inaccessible issues.

It is possible to copy and paste images and insert files from your computer into the HTML Editor in Brightspace (and the process seems quite efficient), however, TN eCampus courses are set up on the Master Course model. To add files to course content, files must be uploaded to folders in Managed Files. This is the only way to successfully clone content from the Master Copy to section copies. Keeping modules and content organized in the Managed Files tool gives confidence all of the work is saved and easily edited if needed.

""

With the new text copied and pasted into the course file, select and set the headers for each section with the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) tools on the course page.

HTML editor opened with sample text. Text menu expanded to H2 Heading 2.

Headings must remain in a logical order to be accessible to everyone. The course page content typically will start with (H1). Major subheadings should be tagged with as (H2) and so on. Each may have detailed content or even deeper subheadings (H3-H6). The important thing is to keep them consistent with the layers of content as outlined in this image found on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative new window website. Please see this website for even more detailed information on headings.

Outline of document heading starting with H1, H2 with H3s following under the appropriate subheadings.

 

Make style changes as needed. Typical tools are shown. Check the menus for more options.

Text selected in the HTML editor for style changes.

 

Lists

Lists are a very powerful way to convey information in a structured way. Such structural information allows assistive technologies to announce the number of items on the menu and provide corresponding navigation functionality.

  • Use an Unordered list (bullets) when the menu items are not in a specific order.
  • Use an Ordered list (numbered or lettered) when the sequence of the menu items is important. (Consider this optional carefully. An ordered list is the most often misused of the two types.)

Correct ordered lists in new content by selecting the list and choose Ordered or Unordered from the toolbar. (Unordered is the default button on tools the row. Expanding the menu gives the Ordered list option.) Initially, the list will start as one bullet or number. Carefully, add a line after each item by placing the mouse at the end and press Enter/Return. Then, move the cursor to the blank line of the new list line and press Delete to bring the last line to that row.

Cascading graphics of ordered lists created as described in the text.

Make any other edits with the tools and the Accessibility Checker to confirm the page is accessible. See the accompanying page in this chapter for more information on the Accessibility Checker same frame

 

HTML page in edit mode. Accessibility Check icon highlighted in the bottom tray.


 

The Other Stuff

Audio clips, images, videos, and other non-text artifacts must be uploaded to Managed Files.

Course Admin expanded to Managed Files with window expanded to tree list of course files. Upload icon highlighted.

Insert Stuff is the first button on the toolbar. Use this option to import objects from Course Offering Files. There are other choices including, Enter Embed Code to embed video content from outside sources. The Camera icon adds images. Be sure to follow the same path of Course Offering Files. It is tempting to import from your computer or other sources, but this will not work in courses to be cloned. The third icon is the Link icon. Use this icon to add hyperlinks. Insert Stuff can also add hyperlinks.

Insert Stuff menu expanded to My Computer.

 

Copy and Paste Source Document Content from Microsoft Word and Others

Brightspace has updated the way text from Microsoft Word content can be pasted to course pages. In most situations, the text and some formatting will carry over as seen in the original document. On the surface, this may seem to be easy and the content may look just the same as the source. In the previous process, each step created correctly from the text content. Pasting content from Word, web pages, or other content sources will require a step by step check of each topic.

Copying from Word typically applies headings if they were applied from an accessible source document, but the headings may not be in the correct order. In some cases, headings may just be bold text. Look at this example of a web page copied to a course page.

Pulse web page copied to HTML in Brightspace. H1 transfered, but bold text transferred as headings.

Some portions are correct and there are others that "look okay" visually. Errors must be corrected to be accessible.

Lists may look like lists. This is easy to check. Try to select the bullet or number along with the text. In an actual list, the number or bullet cannot be selected. Delete the numbers or bullets and update the list as described previously.

 

7 numbered sentences highlighted with the numbers included--not an accessible ordered list.

Additionally, Hyperlinks may not remain linked after pasting into course files. Try each link and update it as needed.


 

Conclusion

Creating accessible documents in Brightspace can be tackled in different ways with varying skill levels, experience with accessibility development, and knowledge of HTML coding. It is important to recognize that copying content from many sources has improved, but still requires vigilance and a basic understanding of accessibility standards and content layout. The surest and simplest way to create clear and accessible content is to build it from plain text and format the content with the WYSIWYG tools. Copying directly from other sources will require the content to be checked to be sure it is more than just visually appealing. It must be Accessible!

6.11. Ally Overview

Ally Overview

TN eCampus has made Blackboard Ally accessibility checker available for all partnership courses. Ally works seamlessly with Brightspace to gauge the accessibility of course content. Ally can point out many kinds of compliance issues, provide a step-by-step guide on how to fix many issues, and can even help you decide where to begin.

Getting Started

To get started from the NavBar, open the More menu and choose Ally Course Report.

Ally Dashboard

The dashboard has 4 key information sets to help you decide how much needs to be done and where it might be best to begin.

  1. The snapshot graphic gives an overall grade
  2. The course content tallies the content by file type
  3. Choose this option to remediate the easiest files
  4. Choose this option to remediate the greatest need file

 

From the Overview tab choose View or Start to access the specific report path that works best for you. You may want to remediate by groups of file types, the easiest files, or the files with the biggest problems. In this example, we will explore low-scoring content.

Choose a course file from the list. Notice the document type, file name, and score information provided in this view. The next window will highlight the problem areas if possible, the percentage score, and options to learn more about the accessibility topic and possible solutions. (Some recommended solutions are still in development.) TN eCampus Knowledge Books have accessibility tutorials (new window) available 24/7 as well.

Also, be sure to notice the All Issues button. Using this feature expands all issues with a file.

Steps to Remediation

There are a couple of exceptions, but remediation is not intended directly inside Ally. Ally will show you where the problem exists but you have to make those changes in the HTML file or the source file and re-upload the corrected file. Ideally, have the page or source file open in another instance to make the corrections, save your work, and upload or edit the course as needed.

Receive Accessibility Feedback

When Ally was installed, it checked every course in the system, but Ally checks also checks every course update and edit. Notice these symbols next to content Ally can check. Like the course report, this is a snapshot of the file's accessibility status.

  • Red dial guage pointing to the low side.Low: The file is not accessible and needs immediate attention.
  • Orange dial gauge pointing to the middle.Medium: The file is somewhat accessible and could use improvement.
  • Light green dial guage pointing to the high side.High: The file is accessible but could be improved.
  • Dark green dial guage pointing to the end of the scale for perfectPerfect: The file is accessible. No improvement was detected.

Page list view of two pages with Ally dial icons.

Need Help

Knowledge Books has a chapter for Accessibility tutorials (same frame). There you will find a variety of tips, checklists, and how-to's you can review anytime. If you need help with an accessibility problem, you can always file a ticket through the TN eCampus Help Desk (new window).

 



Prefer a short video? This video demonstrates Ally's functionality in the Blackboard LMS. This is very similar to the overall functionality in Brightspace.


 

Alternative File Formats for Students

In addition to providing course developers and instructors with insight into your content accessibility, Ally automatically creates alternative versions of your files. This allows students to choose the type of file they want that best suits their needs. 

Alternative Format icons highlighted in a list of pages.

While you're in the process of improving files, students can access alternative document types. For example, Ally can convert a scanned document to a text document using OCR technology that can be read by a screen reader or Ally can convert that same document to electronic braille or an ePub book.

List of Alternative Formats includes: docx, tagged PDF, ePub, electronic braille, audio, Beeline Reader, HTML, translation

 

Share with Students

This resource creates more accessible and more useful content for students of all abilities. Please share this feature with students to increase their awareness. Students have tutorial information in the TN eCampus Knowledge Books (new window). You may also share a brief video, Blackboard Ally for Students (new window).

 

6.12. Ally and Students

Ally and Students

TN eCampus has added Blackboard Ally to your courses to support instructors and students. Ally works seamlessly in Brightspace and automatically checks for gaps in accessibility compliance, but it doesn't stop there. Students may choose accessible Alternative Formats such as:

  • audio from text files,
  • text from scanned files, and
  • electronic braille to name a few.

Everyone Likes Choices

Ally is a support to all students that need choices to access course content on the go, regardless of disabilities. Choosing the Alternative Formats icon is the first step to making content easier to access and more compliant.

Sample course file list. Each has Alternative Format icon highlighted.

This list of choices depends on the original file type. Students may choose an alternative file type from the options presented. See the example list of alternatives for a text file. Choosing an alternative format does not change the original content of the course. Students may view the original content or try another format anytime.

Alternative file window lists Tagged PDF, HTML, ePub, Electronic braille, Audio, and Beeline Reader.

Share with Students

This resource creates more accessible and more useful content for students of all abilities. Please share Ally information with students to increase their awareness of these new features in Brightspace. Students have tutorial information in the TN eCampus Knowledge Books (new window). You may also share a brief video, Blackboard Ally for Students (new window).



6.13. Text/HTML Editor (New)

New HTML Editor

D2L has released a new HTML editor in Brightspace. The goal was to create an editor that felt similar but was more modern. This was a rolling change that now spans all the Brightspace tools from Assignments to Rubrics. The first visual change you will notice is the removal of the lower toolbar. Those features were moved to the top bar.

Old  HTML Editor

Updated Tool Bar

Changes to the Editor

The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar. Other changes include:

  • More and different formatting options.
  • An improved color picker with WCAG compliance checking.
  • A full and standard set of Emojis and Symbols
  • The move of footer options like 'preview' ' source' 'accessibility checking' and 'expand' to the main toolbar.
  • Updates to our font size menu
  • A refreshed Accessibility checker

Additions to the Editor

  • New Advanced Tables that include sorting options.
  • Contextual menus for editing text, links, and images (image editing is not available in all areas still)
  • Word Count including character and selection word count
  • Advanced Source Code Editor that includes code suggestions and color coding for tags.
  • Lato font
  • An 'Other Insert Options' menu for overflow items. 
  • Copy/paste and/or drag and drop images are now available when the consistent evaluation experience is on for assignment feedback.
  • Design improvements to enhance the use of the Editor on mobile devices and improve general usability.
  • Accessibility improvements – Improved keyboard navigation for keyboard users and toolbar icons are spaced out more in accordance with WCAG standards. LaTex is supported in the editor as well.

Not included in the Editor

These items were not carried over from the classic editor.

  • Spellcheck functionality. D2L recommends using your browser spellcheck functionality.
  • Cut/Paste functionality. D2L recommends using your browser hot keys/menus for this functionality.

 

 

6.14. Equation Editor

Equation Editor

Add graphical, MathML, and LaTeX equations to your content using the Graphical Equation Editor. The Equation Editor is available within the Brightspace Text/HTML Editor. Using this feature allows users to insert mathematical and statistical equations into their content in the Brightspace platform tools that have HTML content creation capabilities, such as discussion topics, custom instructions for assignment folders, content topics, and more.

Graphical Editor
 
The Graphical Editor features a toolbar equipped with a selection of tool buttons. This toolbar provides the neces­sary elements to construct your equations quickly and easily. Each button in the Equation Editor toolbar opens a palette of related mathematical symbols. This editor is the most visual of the three options and it is best suited for those that only write equations occasionally.

Editor opened to the first tab for common operations. Sample problem started square root..

LaTeX
 
LaTeX is a typesetting system based on TeX. Although there’s a bit of a learning curve, it’s compact and efficient once you’re familiar with the commands. Advanced users find that this is the fastest input type.
 
There are two possible modes for LaTeX entry: text mode and math mode. MathJax supports math mode only. If you add LaTeX using the Equation Editor, allow for the following differences in math mode:

  • Most spaces and line breaks are not recognized and have to be specified with special commands such as \quad.
  • Empty lines are ignored, only one paragraph per formula.
  • Each letter is considered to be the name of a variable and will be typeset as such. If you want normal text within a formula (normal upright font and normal spacing) then you have to enter the text using dedicated commands.

LaTeX sample problem with mixed operators and preview shown.

MathML
 
MathML is a standard adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It uses XML to describe mathematical notation by capturing both its structure and content. This enables MathML to support the visual display and assistive technology access. 
 
Its appearance is similar in structure to HTML. Unlike HTML, MathML is not designed to be hand-written. It is recommended that you compose equations in a visual editor and paste its MathML output into the Brightspace Equation Editor.

MathML code for sample problem along with a preview.

 

Prefer a short video?

6.15. Course Files, Quicklinks, & Outside URLs

Add a File from Manage Files

Course files are stored and organized in Managed Files. Select Course Admin from the navbar. Then choose Managed Files from the Course Administration list. Managed Files opens and displays folders and files in a tree format. Files can be uploaded from your computer or course content can be created and saved to Managed Files. It is tempting to save files directly into course content, but that method will not propagate to new sections through cloning each semester. All course content should be organized and saved in Managed Files.

Course Admin highlighted on Navbar. Arrow pointing to Managed Files. Arrow pointing toward opened page for Managed Files.

If there are files in the Managed Files to link the course's content, select the module's menu where the new file should be displayed and choose Add from Manage Files from Upload/Create.

Upload/Create menu expanded to display the Add from Manage Files option.

The Add a File window will open. Select the folder where the file is stored.

Add a file dialog window displaying the folders within the course files area.

Mark the checkbox for the file and select Add.

Add a file dialog window with a course file from the module 01 folder selected and the Add button highlighted.

The document will be added to the bottom of the current module or sub-module and will be titled exactly as it is in the course files. Use the document handle (the three gray lines next to the document title) to drag the document to the correct position.

File chosen from the course files displayed in the course content area. File being moved in the course content area with the gray bar indicating the locating highlighted.

The document title may be edited by choosing Edit Properties In-place from the menu of the document. Select the Title of the document to edit it.

*Please note, it is NOT recommended to set dates and restrictions on documents, links, or modules in the content section of the course.

Menu for the document expanded to display the edit properties in place option. The Title of the document, Dates and restrictions options and Add a description are highlighted.


Add a description of the document. The WYSIWYG editor will open. Enter the description and choose Update.

Description textbox expanded with the Update button highlighted.

Quicklink to an Activity

Choose Existing Activities to link activities into the course. Select the type of activity to be linked to the menu. In this example, a Discussions topic is selected. Add Activity will open. Choose the discussion forum where the topic to link is located.

Existing Activities menu expanded to display list of options, including Discussions highlighted. Add activity dialog window with Class Discussions highlighted.

The topics included in the forum will then be listed. Select the topic to be linked to the module.

After selecting the topic, the window will close and go back to the module in the table of contents. The Module 4 Discussion link is now included in the Activities sub-module.

Add Activity window with the Module 4 Discussion topic within the forum selected listed. Course content area with highlighted discussion topic linked.

Create a Link to an Outside URL

To create a link to an outside web page, choose Create a Link from the Upload/Create menu in the module where the link should appear. The New Link window will open. Enter the desired Title and the URL. Choose Create when finished.

The window will close and the link will be displayed in the module. Please test all links once they are created to ensure they work properly.

Upload/Create menu expanded to display the Create a Link option. New link dialog window with the Title and URL textboxes and the Create button highlighted. Link to external website displayed in the course content area.


6.16. Accessibility Checker

Brightspace Accessibility Checker

The HTML editor has many functions to assist in content development. On this page, we will look at the Accessibility Checker function. Begin by choosing Edit HTML.

Lower tool bar with Edit HTML highlighted.

 When the edit window opens, a short row of icons will appear in the lower right corner. Choose the Accessibility Checker icon.

 

5 icons in group that include: Spell Check, Accessibility Check (highlighted), HTML Code viewer, Preview, and Full Screen.

 

The Accessibility Checker will open and begin to review the content. If there are accessibility errors, the checker will flag the error for review.

Take a look at an example:

 

Error report showing image found without alternative text. Field for text presented and options offered include: Repair, Ignore, Previous, and Next.

 

If there are no errors, this message will appear.

 

 

No accessibility issues detected highlighted.

 

 

The accessibility checker cannot alert you if a video does not have captions. This is a valuable tool, but the user still needs to be aware of accessibility issues and not rely solely on this feature. The Brightspace Community (new window) has a 7 step article demonstrating additional examples using this tool.

Optional Resource from D2L

 

6.17. Pulse App for Brightspace Courses

Pulse App for Brightspace Courses

The Brightspace Pulse app is intended to help students organize and plan for upcoming course activities through their mobile devices. It provides one easy view of course calendars, readings, assignments, evaluations, grades, and announcement items.

Course Friendly for Students

Your course can be Pulse "friendly" by setting due dates under the Restrictions tab for assignments and discussions. Quizzes, at a minimum, must have an end date to be set to be recognized in the Pulse app. The other settings are fine to use with quizzes.

Due Date, Start Date and End Date highlighted

Pulse for Instructors

Instructors can use Brightspace Pulse too. Many course features are editable and function quite well in Pulse. You can update content, add announcements, and complete assessments directly in Pulse as well. Pages not only resize for mobile screens, but the page layout will adjust to make the most functional space for the portion of the work you are engaged in.

Phone capture with course content modified to easily read on the small screen.

Added Functionality for Students and Instructors

Brightspace Pulse for Android now displays in Dark mode when Dark mode is enabled on your Android device. Using this mode can reduce eye strain and conserve battery power on your device.

Capture of sample dark mode app content.

6.18. Discussion Forms

Discussion Forums

Use forums to organize your discussion topics into categories. Your course can have multiple forums and topics, but you must create a forum before you can create a topic since all topics belong to forums.

Create a Discussion Forum

All discussions are organized into forums. Select Discussions from the NavBar. Choose New Forum from the New menu on the Discussions page.

From the navbar, Discussions is highlighted. From the Discussions page, the New menu is expanded to New Forum.


Enter the Title and Description.

There are posting options below the description textbox. If students should post their responses prior to reading responses of their peers, select the Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads in each topic checkbox.

*Please note, selecting options at the forum level will apply the setting for all discussions in the forum. This can be a step-saver if the same options are used every time, but it may be confusing and produce unexpected results if a variety of settings are used for individual discussions. It is not recommended to make forum level choices unless all discussions will be the same.


Properties tab of the new forum window with the title and description text boxes highlighted. Discussion forum options located below the description textbox on the new forum page.

Availability or Locking Options at the forum level are strongly discouraged. Either one used at the forum level will apply to every topic within the forum regardless of other settings. Consider only using these settings at the topic level.

Availability and locking options crossed out on the new forum page.


Forum Level Settings

While forum settings are universally applied, users will not see the configuration settings at the individual discussion level. Checkboxes and date ranges will be blank, but configurations will be applied through the forum settings. The example below is a discussion with the highlighted topics selected. Each is setting is blank in the discussion, but will be applied as described in the discussion forum settings.

Blank options and locking options highlighted.

Restrictions

Restrictions may be configured during this stage in the process. Choose to Attach Existing conditions or Create and Attach new release conditions. Choose Save and Close when finished. The page will refresh and return to the discussions list where the new forum will be displayed.


From the Restrictions tab Attach Existing, Create and Attach and Save and Close highlighted.


Edit a Discussion Forum

Navigate to the forums list and choose Edit Forum from the menu of the discussion forum to edit. The Edit Forum window will open. Make any changes, then select Save and Close when finished.


Forum menu expanded to the Edit Forum option. Dotted arrow pointing to Save and Close highlighted.

Delete a Discussion Forum

Navigate to the discussions list and choose Delete from the menu of the forum to delete. A confirmation window will open to confirm the deletion of the forum. Select Yes to continue.

Forum menu expanded to the Delete option. Delete forum confirmation window with the Yes highlighted.

Restore a Discussion Forum

When a forum is deleted, all topics within the forum are also deleted but can be restored. Choose Restore under the menu for More Options.

More Actions menu expanded to highlight Restore.

6.19. Discussion Topics

Create a Discussion Topic

Add a Topic

Discussions are nested within discussion forums. Select Add Topic from a forum context menu to create a new discussion.

 

Forum menu expanded to display Add Topic.


Add Details

Enter the Title and Description of the discussion topic in the corresponding text boxes under the Properties tab.

Properties tab, Title and Description textboxes are all highlighted


Post Requirements

There are three options for student posts. Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads is typically used, but it may not suit every situation. There are options to allow anonymous posts or require approval before posting. These options are not recommended.

*Please note, if you selected any options at the forum level, those options will automatically apply to all topics within the forum.

A student may also rate discussions by using Five Star, Up/Down Vote, Up Vote Only, or No Rating method.

Discussion topic options displayed below the description textbox. Rating schemes Five Star, Up/Down Vote or Up Vote Only are highlighted.


Availability

Availability in Brightspace is synonymous with visibility. If availability dates are set, students will have restrictions to be able to view/access the topic before or after the specified dates. To manage this process, go to the Restrictions tab and set the Availability options.

(Previously, this function in Brightspace used Locking Options. They are now consolidated with the Availability date options.)

 The Availability Start Date and End Date options and display as the following new options:

  • Visible with access restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date, but they cannot access it. Previously, Classic Content was the only tool to make discussions visible without access.
  • Visible with submission restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date and they can access it, but they cannot post new threads or replies. This effectively makes a discussion read-only. Previously, this was accomplished with the lock option or unlock dates.
  • Hidden before/after start/end. The topic/forum is hidden from learners until the start/end date. This is a new feature. Calendar events for Availability Starts and Availability Ends are hidden until the start/end date. Notifications are also not sent until the start/end date. Previously, the hidden status of a discussion topic was decided by the tool displaying the topic.

From the Restrictions tab, the Display in Calendar option is now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options, which adds the start date and end dates to the calendar. Previously, the tool decided which calendar event should be added to the calendar. With this change, calendar events for availability dates may change and additional events for Availability Start Dates may be added.

  • Calendar events for unlocked dates are now hidden from learners.
  • Where Discussions and User Progress may have previously hidden a topic or forum when outside of availability dates, those tools now may show them as visible, but inaccessible.
  • From Discussion Settings, instructors can now set the default visibility and access behavior for new discussion forums and topics. The defaults can be set at an organizational level.

Availability options under the Restrictions tab. Has Start Date and End Date options described in the text.

 


 

Restrictions

Select the Restrictions tab at the top of the Edit Topic page.

Restrictions include Release Conditions and Group and Section Restrictions. Release conditions can be set on a variety of tools, including discussion topics. The release conditions allow specific actions a student must take prior to the discussion topic becomes viewable or actionable. When Group and Section Restrictions are enabled, only members of the specified groups or sections will have access to this topic.

Restrictions tab highlighted. Segment topics, Release Conditions and Group and Section Restriction highlighted on the page.


 

Release conditions may be applied toward awards, checklists, classlists, competencies, content, discussions, assignments, grades, quizzes, and surveys. Each has other variables to provide specific circumstances to release portions of the course to students. In the next example, a discussion is restricted until the student scores 100% on a quiz.

Score on a Quiz, Select Quiz Sample Quiz all highlighted. Arrow point toward Create a New Release Condition page expanded. Criteria menu expanded with arrow pointing to show other symbol choices that include: <=, <, >=, >, =, Between, != and Not Between. Grade set to 100. Create button highlighted.

 

All conditions must be met is the default choice, but if more than one condition has applied, Any condition must be met could be selected if appropriate.

All conditions must be met highlighted in the menu.


 

Groups and Sections may also be restricted. Check the box and add groups or sections as needed. Choose Save to continue.

On the Group and Section Restriction page, checkbox for Restrict this topic to the following group and section and Add Groups and Section are highlighted. Save button highlighted.


 

Assessment

Select the Assessment tab at the top of the Edit Topic page.

If the gradebook has already been set up, select the corresponding grade item from the Grade Item drop-down menu. In Score Out Of, enter the maximum possible points for the discussion topic.

*Please note, if you are using a weighted grade scheme, the possible points will always be 100.

 

Expanded grade item with arrow pointing toward the menu on the Assessment tab. Score Out Of highlighted.


 

Choose Add Rubric to open the rubric list or search by name. Create Rubric in New Window can be used here if the rubric was not previously created for the course. Rubric development is covered in another section.

Student discussions can be assessed uniformly as an assignment group or they can be assessed individually. Select the Allow assessment of individual posts checkbox and select the appropriate calculation method from the Calculation drop-down menu.

If unassessed posts should be included in the grade calculation as zero, mark the Include unassessed posts checkbox next to the Calculation drop-down menu. Choose Save when finished.

Add Rubric highlighted. Arrow pointing toward the Posts menu expanded to Select a Calculation Method. Individual post assessment with the include unassessed posts option selected and Select a calculation method highlighted with arrow pointing toward the open window. Save button highlighted.


 

Edit a Discussion Topic

Navigate to the discussions list and choose Edit Topic from the menu of the topic to edit.

 

Discussion topic menu expanded to Edit Topic.

 

The Edit Topic window will open. Make any needed changes. This process is very similar to creating topics. Choose Save and Close when finished.

Save and Close button highlighted.


 

Delete a Discussion Topic

Navigate to the discussions list and choose Delete from the menu of the topic to delete.

A window will open confirming to delete the topic. Choose Yes to continue. The discussions list page will refresh and the topic will be removed.

 

Discussion topic menu expanded with the delete option displayed. Arrow pointing toward Confirmation window. Yes button highlighted.

 

Choose Save and Close when finished.

Save and Close button


 

 

 

Discussions Grades are Synchronized in Gradebook

When an instructor enters a grade for a discussion in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the discussion post in Discussions. Previously, grades entered in the Discussion were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for discussions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Discussions tool. This change ensures data consistency between Discussions and Grade Book. 

 

6.20. Discussion Evaluation Experience (New)

New Discussion Evaluation Experience

This feature updates the user evaluation experience when assessing a topic or an individual learner, allowing instructors to better review and evaluate discussion contributions. The evaluation interface for Discussions has a similar layout as the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.

Evaluation tools like Grades, Rubrics, and Feedback are moving to the Right-Hand panel to display in the same way. No more scrolling up and down to see both the rubric and the post at the same time! The rubric component will drop down the side panel or pop out into a new window for grading.

Feedback highlighted in the right panel. Rubric expanded to reveal check boxes for  grade sliders

Also consistent with Assignments is the header panels with the activity name display, navigation - either back or iterating through submissions. The draggable divider works the same here allow you to customize the space. The adaptive mobile view is just as useful in this view with the evaluation tools tucking into a neat drawer when the screen gets smaller.
 
Described in text. Overall grade, overall feed back and comments can be hidden or expanded in one click.
 

Evaluation in Pulse

Many have been waiting for mobile evaluation improvements. The new mobile evaluation experience is more than just responsive, it is fully adapted to smaller screen sizes. While using smaller screens, such as a phone or a smaller tablet in portrait mode, the entire panel from the right side of the screen tucks into a neat and tidy drawer so that you can see and annotate files you’re grading without trying to manage unwieldy horizontal scroll bars.


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6.21. Groups

Groups Tool

Groups are a means of organizing learners within a course offering into a smaller unit. Groups are individual org units that exist below course offerings in the org structure.

Why Use the Groups Tool?

The Groups tools can be used for:

  • Any group assignment or activity that requires users to interact, submit or share materials within the Learning Environment.
  • Collaborative activities.
  • Peer editing and assessment.
  • Creating smaller or differentiated learning cohorts within a course offering.

How to Create Groups

Groups can be created before all users have been added to a course, but it is considered a best practice to wait until all users are enrolled. This prevents manual user additions to groups later on. Groups is not on the NavBar, choose More/Course Admin and Groups.

Course admin window expanded to show Groups.

In the Groups tool, create a New Category for this set of groups. As an effective practice, the category is generally the assignment/activity the groups relate to. Choose the Enrolment Type based on the following criteria:

  • Will the group enrolment be based on the number of people per group, the number of groups in the class, or both?
  • Will you allow students to self-enroll in a group?
  • Will you manually assign students to groups?

Depending on the enrolment type, you will be asked for the number of students per group or the number of groups you wish for the class. You will also be asked for a Group Prefix, which will be given to each group in this category and will allow for easier searching. 

The described input fields and menus highlighted.



For a deeper dive, refer to the Groups Quick Reference Guide (new window) or watch one of these videos for more information.





6.22. Assignments - New Creation Experience

New Assignment Creation Experience

Brightspace has a new assignment tool experience with a more consistent navigation experience to almost all tool sets from Assignments to Rubrics. The layouts have been simplified and organized around typical workflows to streamline your work. The classic tabbed view has been transformed into a new, fully immersive page layout.

Select Assignment from the Navbar. The Assignment Submission Folders list will open. Choose New Assignment and enter an appropriate name in the Properties tab. Include a description of the assignment and instructions for the student to follow.

Assignments highlighted from the NavBar with arrow pointing to New Assignment.


New Assignment

In the New Assignment Experience, the page view becomes the hub of most common features accessible within 1 to 2 clicks. Please notice the layout is subdivided into panels.

  • The primary panel on the left contains frequently used fields that are always displayed. These fields are most relevant to learners and are the core details that include: assignment name, score, due date, instructions, and any attachments or links.
  • The panel on the right organizes additional, more advanced options. When these options are collapsed, the summary text provides details about which settings are active. As a result, you can see everything at a glance with little to no scrolling, and without having to navigate through any tabs.

From a single point, arrows pointing to Name, Score, Due Date, Instructions, Availability, Submission, and Evaluation.

Availability Dates & Conditions

Expanding Availability Dates & Conditions exposes calendar entries for Start and End Date. Adding Release Conditions allows you to Create New or to Add Existing if there are previously created conditions. After choosing the Condition Type. Choose the Condition Details that match the need.

Availability Dates & Conditions window expanded to Start/End Date and Release Conditions. Arrow pointing to new Release conditions window. Condition Type and Condition Details choices available.

Dates on the Calendar

It is no longer necessary to explicitly choose "Display in Calendar" while setting up dates for assignments. An assignment date will populate automatically, but there is a priority.

  • If the Due Date, Start Date, and End Date are used together. The Due Date will be the date added to the calendar.
  • If the Due Date is not used, but the Start Date and the End Date are used together. The Start Date will be added to the calendar.
  • If the End Date is used by itself, it will be added to the calendar. The use of this date type also limits a student's opportunity to review and should only be used when necessary.

It is recommended that you use the Due Date as a minimum choice. 

Due Date, End Date and Start Date highlighted

Special Access

 

Manage Special Access is an important feature to deal with emergencies and to meet accessibility needs. The option to Allow only users with special access is strongly discouraged.

Manage Special Access window radio button Allow users with special access as described.

Submission & Completion

There are several choices to make here starting with Individual or Group Assignment. Once selected, choose the category or create a new category. Submission Type includes File, Text, On paper to Observed in Person submission options. Choose the Files Allowed Per Submission and how Submissions are handled. Students may make one to multiple submissions and you may choose to only keep the last one. Enter an email address for Notifications.

Submission & Completion window with choices for Assignment Type, Files Allowed, and Submissions.

Restricting File Extensions for Submissions

Instructors can now specify the extensions of files that learners can upload as assignment submissions. When an instructor is creating a file submission assignment. In this drop-down list, instructors can choose the restrictions they want. 

Restrictions menu expanded to Custom Restrictions

Choose Custom File Extensions and enter file extensions that are allowed for file submissions. When this restriction is set, learners are presented with a list of acceptable file extensions for their assignments. When a learner attempts to upload a file submission for an assignment of a file extension type that the instructor has restricted, an error message appears.

Field open to list allowed extensions separated by a comma.

Annotatable files, which include all file types that are supported by the Annotation tool in Assignments. For more information, see File types supported by Annotations (Brightspace Community

Align Assignments to Categories

The new assignment creation experience supports the alignment of assignments to categories. Instructors can add new or existing assignment categories when creating or editing a new assignment.

Category menu expanded to reveal Quiz and Assignment

Evaluation & Feedback

Rubric Create New expands to calendar. Manage Turnitin expands to Enable Grademark and Originality Check options.

 


Prefer a short video?

6.23. Assignments - Create a Select Box Item

Create a Select Box Item

With this release, the new assignment creation experience supports creating new select box grade items. Previously, only numeric grade items could be created from the new assignment creation experience.

The following labels have been renamed in the new assignment creation experience:

  • Score out of is now Grade out of
  • In Grades is now In Gradebook
  • Choose in Grades is now Edit or Link to Existing
  • Remove from Grades is now Not in Gradebook

New Assignment

When creating a new assignment as an instructor, under Grade Out Of, choose Ungraded. Select In Gradebook, and then select Edit or Link to Existing.



From the Edit or Link to Existing dialog, the following options may display under Create a new grade item:

  • If the Grades tool has available grade categories, then choose Grade Category option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade categories for association.
  • If the Grades tool has multiple grades schemes, the Change Grade Type & Scheme option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade types and schemes for association.
  • Choose OK, and then Save.

6.24. Assignments - New Evaluation Experience

New Assignment Evaluation Experience

The new evaluation experience for Assignments brings consistency to evaluating in Brightspace Learning Environment for all assessment tools. 

Getting Started

No changes have been made to page navigation.  The user context bar now includes a menu to choose a learner or to choose a submission.

Traditional navigation tabs visible as described in text.

Learner Submissions

The Learner Submission List is the list that an evaluator will see when entering the evaluation experience for an assignment. It lists the files that the learner has submitted to the assignment, along with the time, date, and any comments entered by the learner. On the user submission list, files are now grouped by submission without repeating comments to make it easier to distinguish between submissions.

Multiple submissions listed for assignment and cover page files. 1 is flagged. Rubric is available. Overall Grade and Overall Feedback fields are open.

File Conversion

Opening a submission will initiate a conversion of the file to the submission reader. A message appears to users when viewing a file that has been converted to .pdf from a different file type in Assignments. The message states "This file has been converted and may have inaccuracies. This will not apply to files that were already .pdf.

Label: This file has been converted and may have in accuracies

User Profile Card

Use your mouse to hover over a learner's profile in the new Assignment Evaluation Experience, the User Profile card now displays the value of the Org Defined Id field.

User Profile Card Expanded to reveal check boxes for profile items and user information.

Navigation

The evaluation pane divider is now draggable to suit a user’s preferences and screen size. Rubrics are now located at the top of the page, and assignment details are in the ellipsis menu. The overall grade remains as an icon that indicates if that grade is tied to the gradebook. The divider is easily accessible via keyboard, meaning that evaluators using assistive technology or keyboard shortcuts will be able to adjust panel sizes without using a pointer.

Arrows pointing left and right from center slider handle.

Inline Rubric

Instead of always opening in another window or dialog, it now expands down the evaluation panel, allowing the evaluator to see both the rubric and the submission at the same time. Instructors with complex rubrics will be able to pop out the rubric into a larger view using the button in the top right of the component.

Rubric window expanded revealing sample criterion text and a large slider to change values.

New Mobile View

The new mobile evaluation experience is more than just responsive, it is fully adapted to smaller screen sizes. While using smaller screens, such as a phone or a smaller tablet in portrait mode, the entire panel from the right side of the screen tucks into a neat and tidy drawer so that you can see and annotate files you’re grading without trying to manage unwieldy horizontal scroll bars.

Phone screen with an assessment page pictured. Sample text is shadowed in the background. In the foreground there are buttons for Rubric, Score and Publish.

Prefer a Short Video?

 

 

6.25. Rubric Tool

Using the Brightspace Rubric Tool

Once you have created a discussion or an assignment dropbox, students' work may be assessed using the rubrics tool. To access the rubrics tool, select Course Admin (may be located under More) on the navbar. The Course Administration page will open. Choose Rubrics to continue.

More and Course Admin highlighted on the navbar. Arrow pointing toward Course Admin page. Rubrics highlighted.

The Rubrics page will open. If you have already created rubrics in your course, they will be listed on this page. Choose New Rubric to start a new rubric.

New Rubric and existing rubric highlighted.

New Rubric Experience

The next improvement is the Inline Rubric component which is now the default option for rubric design and use. Instead of always opening in another window or dialog, it now expands down the evaluation panel, allowing the evaluator to see both the rubric and the submission at the same time. The new Brightspace Editor is fully functional as well. All of the feature changes in Rubrics is consistent with the "New Experience" changes for 2021.

Steps to Create a Rubric

Name the rubric. Leave it in Draft status while you are developing it, but it will need to be Published before it can be linked to a tool. Additional columns and rows can be added as needed.

Edit Rubric expanded to show 3 rows of starter Criterion and 4 Level columns. Name and Add Criterion are highlighted. Status menu expanded to Draft.

Choose the Rubric Type

  • Holistic: Single criterion rubrics (one-dimensional) used to assess participants' overall achievement on an activity or item based on predefined achievement levels. Holistic rubrics may use a percentage or text only scoring method.
  • Analytic is used when a rubric breaks performance into multiple criteria which are each assessed separately. For an Analytic rubric, set up the number of levels of performance (e.g. Excellent, Meets Expectations, Developing, Needs Improvement) and the number of criteria (e.g. Organization, Grammar, Introduction, Body, Conclusion).

Performance levels can be assigned Points but the performance level points will be the same for each criterion. With custom points, different point values can be set to the levels of each different criterion.

Menus expanded for Type and Scoring. Criterion handles highlighted with arrow pointing to opposite ends. Trash can icons highlighted.

Customize the Rubric

Customize the levels, criteria, and other details. Notice the new text editor tools highlighted. Name each Criterion Name and describe the details required to meet each criterion.

Copy or Delete Criterion

Activating the triple dot menu offers a choice to copy or delete a criterion.

Print or Save to PDF

You can print or save your rubric in 3 easy steps. From the Edit menu choose Preview.

Arrow from menu for Edit Menu.

A copy of the rubric will open. Choose Print Rubric. Your device may default to a printer or PDF. Choose the one you prefer.

Update the Status when it is time to post the rubric. Choose Save when finished.

Prefer a Short Video?

Evaluating with Rubrics

Rubrics are embedded directly in the New Evaluation Experience for Assignments and Discussions. This means you can directly access the rubric and use the inline grading tools without leaving the work area. Many recent improvements have been added as well.

Increased Accessibility

To provide a better experience to clients using screen readers, criterion levels now indicate the level name and point value of each radio button when it has the focus. In addition, the mobile view of Rubrics now has radio buttons implemented to describe the level name and point value of each criterion level, consistent with the view on a larger screen.

Criterion row highlighted. 1 check box in the focus.

Inline Grading Improvements

Toggling the Rubric arrow expands or hides the rubric in the assessment window. A mouse or keyboard can be used to make selections for each criterion. The arrows at either end of the evaluation slider change the selection.

Enter Criterion Feedback if appropriate and continue to the next criterion

2 Criteria revealed with a grade but the feedback is open.

When an instructor using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience opens a rubric in a new window, the Overall Score displays for each rubric. The instructor can override the level if necessary. 

Grade Tiles

When a rubric is collapsed, instructors can now see if the rubric is complete. If the rubric is complete,
the collapsed rubric shows the overall level of the rubric. Previously, it was only possible to see the overall score of the rubric when the rubric was expanded.

Old view of ungraded item

If the rubric is not complete, the number of unscored criteria appears on the tile.

Current grade and the number of items not graded.

New Experience collapsed tile for completed rubrics (points-based and text-only rubrics)

Grade complete for level 3

Additionally, customers using rubrics with the New Evaluation Experiences can see Rubrics Statistics from within the evaluation panel.

Detaching a Rubric

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 is a serious step and should be considered carefully.

Once the rubric is detached, all previous assessments of the rubric will be deleted.

6.26. Annotations for Assignments

Assignment Annotations

Instructors can now use the built-in Annotation toolbar in Assignments to provide contextual feedback with highlighting, freehand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting. This allows instructors to complete all their evaluation and feedback work directly in Assignments, without the need to use any external tools or applications. Annotations remain editable until the feedback is published by the instructor. If instructors want to add additional feedback after publishing, they can update the annotations and re-publish them.

Choose Annotations for New Assignments

Before saving a newly created assignment, add a checkmark to Make annotation tools available for assessment. Edit previously created assignments the same way to add the annotation tools.

Navigate to the Annotation Tools

Open an assignment. Choose Submissions and select a student assignment.

Tool Overview

After opening a submission, the course’s NavBar disappears to make more room for the grading tools. The new tools are placed directly above the submission. The right side of the window shows information about the submission. Scrolling to the bottom of that panel reveals the place to use rubrics, enter grades, and the traditional feedback text and audio tools. The annotation tools can be used separately or in conjunction with the legacy tools.


Feeback window highlighted with Record Audio circled

To accommodate mobile and small screen users, the toolbar will collapse to fit screen space. Choose the Annotations icon (pencil/paper) to open the tools menu to see the expanded set of options typically available on full-sized screens.

The right arrow on the left side of the toolbar acts as a toggle. Many of the tool options will revert to the previous state or offer more options when clicked. This becomes intuitive with a little practice.

Paper and pencil icon highlighted and expanded to show Pen/Highlight, Text, and Shapes menu choices

In the fully expanded view, you can see the tool groups for Sidebar, Document, and Annotations in this illustration. You may also hover over icons to read the name of the tool.

Toolbar labeled from Sidebar on the left to Document View, Annotations, Print, Search and Download on the right. Details are further described in the next section.

Sidebar and Document Tools

The Sidebar tools allow users to see the assignment in a Thumbnail or Outline view. Bookmarks may also be added. Clicking the Sidebar icon returns to the 1-page view. The Document tools offer familiar page scrolling and zoom features typically offered in other programs.

Sidebar menu expanded to reveal Thumbnails, Outline and Bookmarks.

Annotation Tools

The Pen (freehand draw) and Highlighter are nested in the first icon of the toolbar. Choosing specific tools always opens a submenu to customize options that include color and line thickness.

Pen menu expanded to show drawing and highlighting options. Handdrawn circle used as an example.

Annotations are also editable. Choosing Trash will prompt a decision to delete the last item added. Choose OK to delete. The Pan Mode (hand) icon allows users to select any annotation. With items selected, the submenu tools may be applied to simply edit the annotation. The blue line could be changed to a different color or change the opacity for example. It could also be deleted by using the Trash icon.

Pan symbol highlighted and used to selected a drawn line on student paper. Trash icon selected and OK highlighted.

Selecting Notes opens a list of options in the submenu. Any symbol may be used to start a Note. They remain icons until the mouse hovers over one. The notes window will open to type a message. Notes are editable and can be relocated by choosing Pan, then click and drag to a new location.

Note icon selected to open hidden note. Image symbol items selected to be moved with the Pan icon.

Textboxes are very similar to Notes, but they are constantly visible. The submenu has a large set of customizing options as well. Click anywhere on the page and start typing. Text may be edited or deleted as shown previously. The Rectangle icon offers Lines, Arrows, and Rectangles (of course). Select any items and use the submenu tools to add or modify them as needed.


Sample text and drawn boxes demonstrated on sample student work.

Files and File Types

Previously, annotations enabled instructors to use highlighting, free-hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting to provide feedback to learner assignments of the following file types: DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT, PPT, PPTX, PPSX, ODP, XLS, XLSX, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, and GIF. Now, instructors can provide feedback for TXT, in addition to the existing types.

The Annotations viewer now includes the Download drop-down menu. When using annotations in an assignment, instructors can use this menu to download the original file without navigating to the submission list. Instructors can also download the annotated PDF file.

Download icon and menu choices described in the text.

In Conclusion

This is a powerful and user-friendly way to communicate with students about their assignment submissions. Students can see exactly where there are concerns and kudos in their assignments. Instructors do not need to write a detailed narrative to explain, which is a time saver. The entire product is inside the course and linked to rubrics and gradebooks as well.

 

6.27. Quick Eval for Assignments

Using Quick Eval

Quick Eval is a new tool in 2020 to help instructors quickly access student products for assessment. Working from the NavBar, choose Quick Eval. Assignments are listed in Quick Eval’s Submissions or Activities tabs to review unevaluated learner submissions.

Quick Eval is highlighted on the NavBar. Window is open with no new items. Sleeping cat in front of computer monitor.

The Submissions view will list all student submissions regardless of the topic. All columns and may be combined with the filter options to narrow the visible list. Select the student submission to evaluate. Course content will be limited to the course Quick Eval is opened. Choose More Options to expand that option.

You may also access Quick Eval from Course Admin.

Course Admin page expanded with Quick Eval highlighted.

Choose Submissions or Filter to find items to review.

 

Under submission tab Name and Activity are both highlighted. The Filter is expanded to reveal Activity, Course and Date are also highlighted.

The score is entered on the lower right side of the window. Instructors may Publish now or Save as Draft. Choose Back to Quick Eval to go back to the list.


Sample assignment with score of 80/100 highlighted. Publish and Save Draft marked as options.

The Activities view organizes learner submissions by topic. This view makes it easy to complete all assessments for one assignment, discussion, or quiz, before moving on to the next task. This feature helps evaluators who prefer to evaluate submissions in the context of an activity. Activities view displays indicators to show the progress on submissions, progress on evaluations, and progress on publishing feedback to learners. It also includes links to the evaluation page, submission page, and publish all action.

With Activities highlighted. New submissions and posts are highlighted. Graphic indicators of progress of submissions.

Dismiss Activities

Instructors may remove items from their Quick Eval. Originally, this could be set a specific date or forever. Now dismissed items can be restored when there is a new submission. The removed activity appears on the Dismissed Activities list and can be restored at any time. Once a new submission arrives in the Quick Eval list, the previously dismissed activity reappears there. Choose the menu icon above the filter/search to choose Dismissed activities.

Triple period/menu icon highlighted expanding Dismissed activities in the Quick Eval window.

If there are no new submissions, "You're all caught up!".

 


6.28. Turnitin Originality Checking

Turnitin Originality Checking

Navigate to the Assignments on the NavBar.  Open the menu and choose Edit Submission Folder of an assessment.

Assignments on the navbar highlighted. Menu and Edit Submission Folder highlighted.



Choose the Turnitin tab and check Enable Turnitin for this folder. Choose More Options in Turnitin.

Turnitin tab, Enable checkbox and More Options in Turnitin highlighted.



The information on this page will reflect information already set for this assignment. Choose Optional Settings.

Optional Settings hightlighted.



In this window select any options for Submission Settings, Compare Against, Similarity Report, and Additional Settings. Choose Submit when finished with optional settings.

Page headings and Submit highlighted.



Check Allow learners to see Turnitin similarity scores in their submission folder and Automatic originality checking on all submissions if appropriate.

Checkbox and radio button highlighted.


Choose Save and Close when finished.

Save and Close highlighted.

6.29. Question Library

Question Library

The Question Library stores and archives questions that can be accessed by the Quizzes, Surveys or Self-Assessment tools. Questions can be created directly in quizzes, but the best practice is to build questions in the Question Library to be used in multiple assessments. Building questions in the Question Library allows you to:

  • Share questions between assessment tools and activities within a course.
  • Utilize the Random Section feature of Quizzes (see the Quizzes Tool Guide for more information).

Additionally, edits and updates made in the library can be updated to other quizzes simultaneously. To see this in action, take a look at this video.

*Be advised, TN eCampus courses do not support Learning Objects Repository (LOR). If you need to export question content to another course or an MC, file a support ticket (new window) in HelpSpot to make that request.


Start or Edit a Question Library

Select Quizzes from the navbar to access the Question Library. Choose the Question Library tab in the quizzes window.

Quizzes highlighted from the navbar. Quizzes page opened with Question Library highlighted.


The question library will open. (In new course development, this area will be empty.) It is recommended to maintain a good organizational structure when creating questions in the question library. This will make it easy to reuse questions in future quizzes.

Two images:   New  Question library with no folders displayed or a Question Library with folders listed.


Sections

Create a new folder or section for questions. Choose New and then Section from the menu.  Enter a descriptive Section Name and add a Message if needed. You may create questions directly, but you will lose the organizational opportunity if the library just has lists of questions.

From the Question Library the New context menu is highlighted. Section is highlighted and opens New Section window. Section Name and Message textboxes highlighted to enter text.


In the New Section, Add a File is a commonly used option. Shuffle questions in this section may also be set on this page, or Add a File can be added individually in each quiz. Review other options and choose Save when finished.


Second image of the New Image page with Add a File and Shuffle questions in this section highlighted.



Questions

The New Section page will close and return to the Question Library. The newly created section folder will be displayed below any existing folders. Open the new library. Choose the New menu to create new questions by selecting the type of question to be used.

Question library with the newly created section displayed.  New menu expanded to display 14 question types with Multiple Choice Question highlighted.

Prefer a short video?

Question development is covered in the next module, Quiz Builder.



Resources

Question Library for Instructors (new window) Entire video series for quiz questions.

Guide to Question Creation for Quizzes (new window)

Question Library Quick Reference Guide (new window) 

Quizzes Tool Quick Reference Guide (new window) 

How To's for Quizzes (new window)


6.30. Quizzes: Create with Quiz Builder

Create a Quiz

Navigate to Quizzes from the NavBar. Manage Quizzes will open. Choose New Quiz.

NavBar displays the Quizzes button. Arrow points to expanded Quiz list page with the New quiz button highlighted.

Enter an appropriate Name for the quiz. Use categories to organize your quizzes and graded items. Choose from the Category menu or add category if categories are not already created. The Description field is available for any information about the quiz.

Fields for Name and Description

Quiz Questions

New questions may be created from the New menu by following the same steps outlined when creating a question in the Question Library, but this example will cover importing questions from the question library. It is recommended all questions be created in the question library and imported into quizzes. Select Add/Edit Questions to create questions directly in the quiz.

Add/Edit Questions button

 Brightspace Resource Change

Quiz Introduction Field Phased Out

To reduce redundancy in the Quizzes tool, the Introduction field has been phased out.  When an instructor creates and/or edits a quiz, the Introduction field is no longer available. If any quiz previously had text in the Introduction field, the text is automatically appended to the Description field. A message appears indicating that these two fields have been merged. Instructors can review the modified quiz description prior to saving the quiz.

Quiz Builder

The new Quiz Builder experience is an updated workflow within the existing Quizzes tool for creating, importing, editing, deleting, and reordering questions, question pools, and sections within quizzes. It streamlines the quiz creation and editing process without compromising advanced features.

Get started by choosing Add or Import.

Ready to begin adding quiz content? Arrows pointing to Add or Import.

Add a New Question, Section, or Question Pool 

Choosing Add opens three more choices. A New Question is the simplest way to begin, but consider if this assessment material could be used again. (Developing a rich Question Library is a strong solution for detailed assessment development. Question Library is developed in an upcoming section.)

There are many question types to choose from. Consider whether you prefer auto-graded questions, such as Multiple Choice or Matching, or question types that will require a human touch, such as Short Answer or Fill in the Blanks.

Add button expanded to New Question, expanded to list of question types from True or False to Significant Figures.

Change Your Mind

A nice feature in this update is the option to change your mind. Let's say you started to write a Multiple Choice question, but a True or False question would better serve the need. Even after the question is written and possible answers are inserted, the question type can be changed.

Choice menu shows Multiple Choice question and answers are already populated. Arrow pointing to expanded menu of question types hovering inside the image. True or False is highlighted.

Go back to the question menu and make the change. The answer fields will be deleted and repopulate with the empty answer fields. The question content will remain the same. This only applies to questions that have not been saved.

True or False selected with arrow pointing updated answer options True or False.

Options

While creating or editing questions, notice the Options menu. This group of options was moved to a menu to make a cleaner work area. These are important functions that can be accessed or hidden as you need them.

Options expanded to show Add Feedback, Add Hint, Remove Short Description, Add Custom Weights, and Add Enumeration.

Choose More Actions after selecting 1 or more questions. Questions can also be Deleted here.

Questions with check marked and More Actions expanded to Toggle Bonus, Mandatory and Set Points.

The Section and Question Pool options go deeper into the process. Sections can be used to create groups of questions for content topics or they can be associated with learning objectives.

Section window open with Title highlighted. Section text has a sample. Check boxes for hiding text from students and shuffle questions in the section.

Choosing Question Pool allows users to randomly draw a select number of questions from a pool. Questions must be imported from the Question Library. After the import, users may select the number of questions and set the value if different from the default settings in the question library.

Browse Question Library button with arrow pointing to expanded window. Sample questions checked to add. Number of Questions to Select and Points per Question highlighted.

LaTex Math Questions

This feature renders inline LaTex equations 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.

Math question typed out and preview reveals the question reads as it should without a special editor.

Browse Question Library or Upload a File

Import is the second half of the question options. Import allows two options: Browse Question Library or Upload a File. There is a Knowledge tutorial page in this chapter for the Question Library (new window). It is highly recommended to utilize this feature to organize and efficiently use assessment resources to their fullest.
Choosing  Import and Browse Question Library assumes questions have been created in the Question Library. If not, consider developing and organizing questions in the library first. It may seem like an extra step, but it will be a time-saver in the long run.

Import expanded to reveal Upload a File or Browse Question Library which is highlighted.

*Please note, Brightspace now supports import to a Section.

Import options include Top of the Quiz and Import to Section.

Upload a File is only recommended if the user is very familiar with CSV spreadsheets or zipped course packages. You may download a CSV template to see if creating questions in this manner works best for you, or if you have exported questions in this format. The other methods described above are typically more user friendly to all.

Drag and drop window open. Under Support Formats, Download template CSV highlighted.

Select Back to Settings (quiz name) when finished. The questions section will close and go back to the Properties tab of the Edit Quiz page. All questions added are listed there.

Back to Settings highlighted.

From this view, new questions can be added or point values can be edited. Choose Edit Values to change the value. On the right of each question, a numerical difficulty value (Diff) may be assigned. The question can be mandatory by selecting the Mandatory checkbox. Select the Bonus checkbox to indicate bonus questions. (These changes were also noted under Question Pool.)  

Edit values section with the textbox for the point value of a question highlighted.  Arrow pointing toward question page with Difficulty, Mandatory, and Bonus options highlighted for each question.

Choose Save and Close when finished. 

Quiz Preview Update

Creating questions offers an option to review the question. Brightspace now offers an option to Preview the quiz directly from the question set window. 

 

Sample question set with Preview highlighted.

Prefer a Short Video

 

6.31. Edit or Delete a Quiz

Edit a Quiz

Select Quizzes on the NavBar to edit a quiz. The Quizzes page will open. Select a quiz and choose Edit. Follow the previous steps to Create a Quiz (same frame) and make any necessary changes.

Quizzes highlighted on navgar. Arrow pointing to the Quizzes page. Quiz context menu and Edit highlighted.

Editing Quizzes with Previous Attempts

Points for all past quiz attempts are no longer modified when edits are made that affect the overall points and/or the grading calculations for a quiz. Now, all previous quizzes with attempts will display the quiz and grading calculations that appeared to the learner at the exact time they made the attempt. Quizzes — User Experience with Previous Attempts (new window)

Setup Reports

The Report Setup tab on the Edit Quiz page is now available on the context menu of a quiz and reads as Setup Reports. The Reports option available on the quiz context menu is also updated and reads as View Reports.

Quiz context menu expanded to Setup Reports

Delete a Quiz

Navigate to the quiz list. There are two methods to complete this process. Select the context menu of the quiz and choose Delete, or mark the checkbox of a quiz or quizzes to delete and choose More Actions. Choose Delete from the list. Either method will prompt a Confirmation window to open. Choose Delete.

Context menu expanded with Delete highlighted. Second method highlighting Sample Quiz and checkbox. More Actions menu expanded with Delete highlighted. Confirmation window with Delete highlighted.

 

6.32. Quizzes: Restrictions & Submission Views

Setting Restrictions

Select Quizzes from the NavBar and choose a quiz.

Choose the Restrictions tab. This will open the Dates and Restrictions section. Set the status to Active. Set date restrictions by marking Has Start Date and Has End Date. Select the appropriate date and time. Choose Display in Calendar checkbox so students will see the quiz begin and end dates in the course calendar.

*Please note, the standard start time is 12:00 a.m. and the standard end time is 11:59 p.m.

Choose Attach an Existing or Create and Attach to start a new release condition.

Quizzes highlighted from the navbar with arrow pointing to the Edit Quiz page opens with Restrictions tab highlighted. Status menu, Due Date, Availability, Display in Calendar and Create and Attached highlighted.



Use the Condition Type menu to choose the appropriate condition. This example uses Visited content topic. Determine the appropriate content from the Topic menu. Choose Create to add the condition.

Condition Type, Topic menus and Create button highlighted.



If necessary, select Expand optional advanced restrictions. If the exam will require a proctor, enter a Password for the quiz. Time limits must be specified in minutes. Enter the Time Limit. To use the Exceeded Time Limit Behavior options, choose Prevent the student from making further changes. The Grace Period is time in addition to the time limit the student will be allowed before the Exceeded Time Limit Behavior options take effect.


Exceeded Time Limit Behavior options:

  • Allow the student to continue - Allows the student to take as much time as needed to complete the quiz, but flags the quiz as late.
  • Prevent the student from making changes - Allows the student to complete the quiz, but after the Time Limit + Late Limit expires, they will receive a zero grade for the quiz.
  • *Please note, the instructor does have the ability to manually grade the quiz to change the zero.

  • Allow the student to continue working, but automatically score the attempt as zero after an extended deadline. - the student will be prompted to submit the quiz and will be unable to make any further changes.

*Please note, the auto-submit attempt does not automatically submit the quiz. This option prevents the student from making any further changes and may require the instructor to submit the attempt. 

Password textbox highlighted.  Timing options with the time limit and grace period textboxes and the enforced checkbox highlighted.    Exceeded Time Limit Behaviour  with Prevent highlighted.



Customize grading from the Assessment tab. Grades may be provided instantly by checking Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately up completion. Add a Grade Item by selecting from the menu or use [add a grade item]. To populate grades automatically in the grade book check Allow automatic export to grades.

Assessment tab highlighted. Checkboxes selected for Automatic Grades and Auto Export to Grades


Students may have multiple attempts to complete a quiz. Set the number in Attempts Allowed and choose Apply. The Overall Grade Calculation can be determined by the highest, lowest, average, first, or the last attempt. In this example, this quiz has two attempts and the highest grade will be used for the grade book.

Advanced Attempt Conditions are optional and will not apply if left blank.

Choose Save and Close to complete the choices. 

The Attempts section has Attempts Allowed, Overall Grade Calculation and Min% and Max% along with Save and Close highlighted.



Special Access options are used to Allow selected users special access to a quiz. Select the radio button and then Add Users to Special Access.

*Please note, it is strongly discouraged to select Allow only users with special access to see this quiz because this option will lock ALL students out of the quiz except those specifically selected.

Allow only users with special access to see this quiz and Add Users to Special Access highlighted.






Submission Views

The submission view is the message presented once a quiz is completed. The default submission view displays a message stating the quiz has been successfully submitted and the score earned by the student.

The default view content may be edited. Navigate to the quiz and select Submission Views. Choose the Default View to edit the content.

Additionally, restrictions and views can be set for students to either view questions answered correctly or incorrectly, their responses, and the correct answer if desired. In this example, Show all the questions with the user responses and Show question score and out of score are set so the student knows which questions they marked correct or incorrect.

Choose Save and Close to complete the edit.


Default View highlighted with arrow pointing toward open View Properties window.  Submission views tab on edit quiz page highlighted."Your quiz has been submitted."  View Details options all highlighted. Save and Close highlighted.



An Additional View allows an alternative to the default view. This could be set for various reason that typically may include:
  • Students need to be able to view the correct answers only after the quiz period is over.
  • Students are allowed multiple attempts but are not allowed to view the answers until the final attempt is completed.

Choose Add Additional View to create a new view.

Enter a descriptive Name for the view. You may enter an optional Message as well.


Under Submission Views, Add Another View is highlighted. An arrow points toward the Add View properties window with the Name and Message textboxes highlighted.



6.33. Quizzes: Retake Missed Questions

Retake Missed Questions

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).

Attempts Allowed must be 2 or greater for this function to work. It is greyed out until the number is applied.

Retake Incorrect Questions Only checked.

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 a 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.

Attempts Log with sample student highlighted.

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.

User progress window with retaken attempt 2 highlighted.

Resource

Retake Incorrect Questions Only (brightspace.com)

6.34. Quizzes: Attempts in Progress, Resetting Quiz Attempts & Ungraded Questions

Find and Submit a Quiz Attempt in Progress


Sometimes there can be a malfunction and a quiz attempt gets "stuck". Follow these steps to locate and submit the attempt. Navigate to the quiz list and select Grade from the quiz menu.

 

 

Quiz context menu expanded and highlight Grade.


 

Choose Users with attempts in progress from the Restrict to menu. Enter a name in the Search field. The list will show quiz attempts in progress. Select the Impersonate icon next to the student's name. Choose Yes in the confirmation window to continue.

 

Search and Users with attempts in progress highlighted. Student with a quiz attempt in progress and the Impersonation icon highlighted. Yes highlighted in Confirmation window.


 

The quiz will open as it would for a student. It may be necessary to navigate to the last page. Scroll to the bottom and choose Go to Submit Quiz. A confirmation window will open to confirm. Choose Submit Quiz when finished.

 

Go to submit quiz button located at the bottom of the last page of the quiz.   Warning and quiz submission confirmation page with the submit quiz button highlighted.

 

The page will refresh and return back to the Attempts tab and display the completed attempted. Choose Save and Close to return to the quiz list.

Save and Close highlighted


Reset a Quiz Attempt

The quiz period is often passed by the time an instructor is notified a student has experienced technical difficulty or needs help. Please be aware of this and make sure to reset the quiz attempt AND grant special access for them if the quiz period has passed. If BOTH steps are not completed, the student will NOT be able to access the quiz.

Navigate to the quiz list and select Grade from the menu for the quiz.

 

Quiz context menu expanded and highlight Grade.


Select Users who have completed an attempt from the Restrict to menu. Select Search to view a list of students who have completed an attempt. Select the checkbox next to the quiz attempt to be delete and choose Trash to finish.

Restrict to menu highlighted.  List of students with their completed quiz attempts. The checkbox next to the attempt and the trash icon are highlighted.

A confirmation window will open. Choose Yes to confirm. The page will refresh and the attempt will be deleted.

Confirmation window open with Yes highlighted.

Ungraded Questions

To support instructors who need to manually score questions within quizzes, the following quiz status and quiz grading workflow updates are available:

  • For quizzes that contain questions that need to be manually scored (such as Written Response questions) AND that have the "Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion" option disabled, a new Pending Evaluation status appears beside the quiz attempt on the Grade Quiz page.
  • While evaluating a quiz attempt with unevaluated questions, the instructor can now select Pending evaluations in the Question View drop-down menu to filter for only the questions that require manual evaluation.
  • Instructors can now filter the Users tab by status. The available filters are: Published, Saved as draft, Pending evaluation, and an empty status. The empty status denotes a quiz with auto-scored questions, where all questions are evaluated and there is no question evaluation pending.

The new Pending Evaluation filter appears in the Question View drop-down menu to easily locate questions requiring manual evaluation by the instructor.

The updated quiz status filters appear on the Attempts tab.


 

6.35. Quizzes: Assessment

Quiz Assessment

Choosing a quiz will open the Edit Quiz page. Select the Assessment tab. Automatic grading and auto export to gradebook are typically setup with quizzes. Check Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion under Automatic Grade.

Select the grade item to associate the quiz with from the Grade Item menu and check Allow automatic export to grades.

*Please note, if you have not yet set up the gradebook, grade items will not appear in the Grade Item drop-down menu. It is recommended that you set up the gradebook before creating any quizzes, assignments, or discussion topics.

Assessment tab highlighted on the Edit Quiz page.  Grade item drop down menu and the auto export to grades checkboxes highlighted.  Automatic grade checkbox that allows the attempt to be graded immediately.

Enter the number of attempts to be allowed from the Attempts Allowed menu and choose Apply. Choose which grade will be used from the Overall Grade Calculation menu, if multiple attempts are allowed. See the expanded menu for all choices. Advanced Attempt Conditions offers options to apply minimum, maximum, or both scores. Choose Save and Close when finished.

Attempts drop down menu with the apply button highlighted. Arrow from Overall grade calculation menu to expanded menu displaying: Highest, Lowest, Average, First and Last Attempt. Save and Close button highlighted.



6.36. Grades

Create a Category

Gradebook categories enable easy organization of the gradebook which enables both students and instructors to easily locate specific grade items. Navigate to the gradebook by selecting Grades from the navbar. Choose Category from the New menu.

 

Grades highlignted on the navbar. New menu expanded to Category.


 

Enter a descriptive Name for the category, such as Assignments, Quizzes, or Discussions. The grade items that will later be created will be associated with the category according to the tool they are associated with. A Description and student view are optional. The use of Short Name is discouraged. If it is used, remember to make it descriptive and consistent with the other names.

*Please note, additional categories such as exams and essays are an option.

 


Category name and description are highlighted. Short Name is highlighted but discouraged. Allow users to view description is checked.

 

Check Distribute points across all items if the points for the grade items to be included in the category vary from other grade items. It is recommended that nothing is marked under Display Options.

*Please note, while the Restrictions tab has options to set Visibility dates and Release Conditions, these options should not be used on Grade Categories or Grade Items.

Choose Save and Close when finished.

 

Grading checkboxes Can Exceed, Exclude from Final Grade Calculation and Distribution highlighted. Display Options highlighted with a red circle white bar don't use graphic.


 

Create a Grade Item

Choose Item from the New menu to create a grade item. There are several types of grade items to choose from, but the most common is numeric. In this example, we will select Numeric from Choose a Grade Item Type. 

New menu expanded to display Item. New Item window open. Numeric highlighted with Selectbox, Pass/Fail, Formula, Calculated, and Text shown as options.


Enter a descriptive Name for the grade item. The use of Short Name is discouraged. If it is used, remember to make it descriptive and consistent with the other names. Select the appropriate Category for the grade item from the Category menu. Only categories created will be listed in the Category menu. Categories may be created here, but it is recommended to set them up in advance in the gradebook to keep everything logical and consistent.

 

Item name and category menu are highlighted. Short Name has a same SI. There is a comment sharing that short name is vague and confusing.

If Distributed points across all items are set when the category created, there will not have the option to change the Maximum Points. Set the appropriate point value in Maximum Points, if not previously setup.

Grade Scheme and Rubric information may be adjusted in this section as well. Select Save and Close when finished. The New Item window will close and return to the gradebook with the newly created grade item displayed under the category.

Add Categories for Grade Items--Update

Categories may be added for text, calculated, and formula grade items. This feature enables faculty to better organize the grade book. This improved organization does not impact the calculation of the category these grade items are in. The totals in these categories do not contribute to the final grade.

Grading

10 Maximum points textbox under the grading option. Grade Scheme (Default Percentage), Add Rubric, Create Rubric highlighted. Save and Close highlighted.

Bulk Edit

You can make edits across selected items using Bulk Edit.

  1. In a course offering, access the Grades tool
  2. From Manage Grades, create a few grade items of different types (numeric, text, formula, calculated)
  3. On the Manage Grades screen, select the checkboxes next to the grade items
  4. Click the "Bulk Edit" option
  5. See that Category column does not have option to edit in bulk screen. Other items are editable as well.

Editable fields highlighted, including categories, grade scheme, points and title.


Delete a Grade Item or Category


IMPORTANT

The Final Letter Grade - Do Not Remove grade item should NEVER be removed from ANY course. This is where the instructor will enter the final grade for each student and TN eCampus will pull the grade reports to be sent to the campuses from this field.


Navigate from Grades on the navbar to the Manage Grades tab in the gradebook.

If a grade item is tied to an activity, it must disassociate that activity with the grade item before it can be deleted. The Association column of the gradebook will indicate the tool the grade item is associated with if it is linked to an activity.

Select Delete from the More Actions menu.

 

 

Manage grades in the gradebook page. Manage grades page with the association column highlighted. More actions drop down menu expanded to display delete option.


 

Mark the checkbox next to the grade item or category to be deleted and select Delete to remove.

A Confirmation window will open. Select Delete to finish and return to the manage grades tab.

 

Item checked with Delete hightlighted. Confirmation window with delete button highlighted.

Manually Entered Grades

Question types with selectable answers may be graded automatically. Written response question types must be graded manually. If you quiz or assessment has a mixture of question types, the final grade cannot be processed without instructor input. To get started choose an item to grade.

Choose the item and the appropriate Attempt.

To support instructors who need to manually score questions within quizzes, the following quiz status and quiz grading workflow updates are available:

  • For quizzes that contain questions that need to be manually scored (such as Written Response
    questions) AND that have the "Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon
    completion" option disabled, a new Pending Evaluation status appears beside the quiz attempt
    on the Grade Quiz page.
  • While evaluating a quiz attempt with unevaluated questions, the instructor can now select Pending evaluations in the Question View drop-down menu to filter for only the questions that require manual evaluation.

  • Instructors can filter the Users tab by status. The available filters are: Published, Saved as draft, Pending evaluation and an empty status. The empty status denotes a quiz with auto-scored questions, where all questions are evaluated and there is no question evaluation pending.

Gradebook Library Group (12)

D2L has a series of videos on grade tools that start with this video.

6.37. Final Letter Grade Display

Final Letter Grade Display

A recent change in D2L has caused manually entered Final Letter Grades (FLG) to report as No Final Grade (NFG). There is an easy fix that should be applied to Mastery Copy (MC) course and Accelerated Mastery Copy (AMC) courses. Open Grades from the NavBar. Choose the Gear/Settings icon.

From Grades, arrow points to Settings.

Select the Org Unit Display Options tab. Under Managing View Display Options, enter 5 in Number of decimal places to display. Choose Save to finish.

Org Unit Display Options and Number of decimal places to display are highlighted.



6.38. Course Content Statistics

Course Content Statistics

Course statistics can display the total number of users, the number of users who visited course content, and the average time users spent viewing content. You can view overall course content statistics, specific statistics for individual topics, and specific user statistics.

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

From the TOC view, Related Tools is expanded to View Reports.

 

Topics Displayed

Course statistics can display the following:

  • Total Number of Users
  • Number of Users who visited course content
  • Average time users spent viewing content. You can view overall course content statistics, and specific statistics for individual topics.

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 module parent is "available"

Content tab is expanded to review modules and pages in a list view. Columns for Available to, User Visited, and Ave Time Spent highlighted.

Modules

For modules, the following information displays:

  • Available To
  • Users Visited
  • Average Time Spent


User tab is expanded to review list of students. Columns for Content Topics  and Content Topics Visited are highlighted.

*Please note the following:

    • A user who visits multiple times is only counted once.
    • A user whose connection timeout or drops will not count.
    • The total number of users counted in statistics does not include users who have permission to Manage Content.
    • Calculated time users spent viewing overall content or individual topics does not include user session timeouts and users currently visiting content and topics as you view statistic details.

Reset Course Statistics

  1. On the Table of Contents page, click  View Reports from the Related Tools drop-down list.
  2. Click  Statistics.
  3. Click Reset Statistics.
  4. Click Delete.

Export Course Statistics

You can export statistics to a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet or database.

  1. On the Table of Contents page, click  View Reports from the Related Tools drop-down list.
  2. Click  Statistics.
  3. Click Export Statistics.
  4. Click the CSV file to begin download.

6.39. Checklist

Create a Checklist

Select Course Admin from the navbar and choose Checklist from the page that opens.

Course Admin highlighted from navbar with arrow pointing to Course Admin page with Checklists highlighted.



Choose New Checklist to start a new list.

New checklist button highlighted.



Enter a Name for the checklist and an appropriate Description in the textboxes. Check New Window to have the checklist open in a New Window.

Select Save to finish.

New checklist page with the Name and Description textboxes highlighted. New Window checkbox and Save highlighted.



The page will refresh. Scroll to the Categories and Items section. Categories (examples highlighted in yellow) will enable grouping of checklist items like reading, assignments, or research. Items (examples highlighted in green) are the tasks on the checklist that can be marked as complete. Items are indented as a subset of each category in this layout.

Choose New Category to create a category.

New category button highlighted. Category and Items are visible.


New category button highlighted. Category and Items visible.




Enter a Name for the category and select Save.



The page will refresh with the new category. Select New Item to add items for the checklist.

New item button highlighted.



Select the Category context menu to associate the item with the new category.

Enter a Name for the new checklist item and any relevant description or instructions.

*Please note, links should not be placed in the description textbox. When master courses get updated, links in the checklist tool often get overlooked and cause trouble for students. Use the content section of the course to link materials instead.

Below the description is an option to set a Due Date. If a due date is set, it will be displayed in the course calendar. Be careful when using the checklist item due dates as it can become confusing when dates are appropriately set in the assignment, discussions, and other areas.

Select Save to finish.

New category page with the Name textbox and Save button highlighted.



The Restrictions tab provided options to create and attach Release Conditions. Choose Create and Attach to start a new release condition. Choose the Condition Type from the menu and other Condition Details as appropriate. Choose Create then Save and Close. This process is very similar to other restrictions throughout D2L.

Restriction tab highlighted. Create and Attach highlighted with arrow pointting toward Create a New Release Condition window. Menus highlighted with sample choices. Create and Save and Close highlighted.

Edit a Checklist

To edit a checklist item or category, mark the checkbox next to the item/category, and choose Edit. The process to edit an item or category is similarly creating a new item or category.

Edit button is highlighted.



Delete a Checklist

To delete a checklist item or category, mark the checkbox of the item or category, and choose Delete.

A confirmation window will open. Choose Delete to finish.

*Please note, if a category is selected to be deleted, all items within that category will also be deleted.

Delete button highlighted. Arrow pointing toward Confirmation window. Delete highlighted here too.

6.40. Grant Special Access

Special Access to Assignments

Special access allows the instructor to set different parameters for individual students without affecting those set for the class as a whole. This tool can be used to extend the deadline on a quiz or assignment and may be used to provide ADA accommodations such as extended testing time.

Steps to Adjust Access

To grant special access to an assignment, navigate to Assignments on the NavBar, and select Edit Submission Folder from the context menu of the appropriate assignment.

Assignments highlighted on the navbar. Assignment folder context menu expanded to highlight Edit Submission Folder.



From the Edit Folder page select Restrictions.

Find the Special Access options. Make sure the Allow users with special access to submit files outside the normal availability dates for this folder option is selected. Select Add Users to Special Access.

Restrictions tab is highlighted.  Special access options with the allow users with special access to submit files outside the normal availability dates for this folder option selected an the add users to special access button highlighted.



Under Availability, check the date in the Has End Date field and add any needed extra time.

Under Users, locate the student that requires an extension of the date and mark the checkbox next to the student's name. There is a search box if there is a long list. Select Save to finish.

Date availability options for special access with the Has End Date options highlighted. Users list with a student selected and the Save button highlighted.



The page will return to the Restrictions tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the student granted special access is listed below the Special Access options. Select Save and Close to finish.

Save and Close button highlighted.



Special Access to a Quiz

Navigate to the Quizzes list from the navbar. Manage Quizzes will open with the list of quizzes. Choose the menu of the appropriate quiz and select Edit.

Manage Quizzes highlighted. Quiz context menu expanded to display Edit.



Select Restrictions to set up special access and additional quiz attempts.

From Special Access the default choice is Allow selected users special access to this quiz. (The other option is not recommended.) Select Add Users to Special Access to add special access.

Restrictions tab highlighted.Radio button for  Allow selected users special access to this quiz and the button for Add Users to Special Access are also highlighted.



Set the Date Availability to grant an extension.

Date availability options for special access highlighted..



If a student requires additional time to complete a quiz, mark the Assign a special time limit checkbox and enter the minutes in the Time Limit textbox. Enter the Grace Period and Late Submissions options, if applicable.

*Please note, any options not set in the Special Access properties will assume the settings previously applied to the quiz.

Attempts Allowed can be checked and values set if additional attempts are needed. Under the Users section, select the checkbox next to the student needing special access. Then, select Add Special Access to continue.

Access options for granting additional time or quiz attempts for a student.  Users list with the student selected and the Add Special Access button highlighted.



The Special Access Properties page will close and return to the Restrictions tab of the quiz. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the student granted special access listed under the Advanced Availability options and the access information.

Select Save and Close to finish.

Updated Special Access info highlighted on the Restrictions tab. Save and Close highlighted.





This video covers restrictions and special access for assignments.




6.41. View User (Student) Progress

View User (Student) Progress

The Class Progress page lists the learners enrolled in a class. Instructors may view performance indicators to view and compare learners' progress at a glance.

Choose Class Progress from the navbar to begin.

Class Progress highlighted on the NavBar



The Class Progress page displays 4 of 9 available indicators. In this example, Content Completion, Objectives, Login History, and Grades Performance summary indicators are displayed. Indicators for assignment submission folders, checklists, discussions, quizzes, and surveys are also available.

Class Progress columns headings, Content, Objectives, Login, and Grades highlighted.



Place your mouse over indicators to get more detailed information. Choosing a student opens the User Progress report.

Graphical representation of grades highlighted. Mouse over graphic provides preview information.



Navigate the report by choosing Summary, or one of the indicators listed on the left side.





Select Settings to change which indicators are displayed and the order displayed. Open the context menu and choose Move or Replace to replace an indicator.



In this example, choose one of the remaining indicators to replace the previous selection.



In this view, Assignments Performance Summary is updated as one of the 4 indicators which replaced Content Completion. Choose Save and Close to complete the update.



Optional Resources from D2L




6.42. Email Communication in Brightspace

Brightspace Email

One of the advantages of online teaching and learning is that nearly everything communicated between faculty and students is automatically documented, whether in course communication (announcements, activity directions, or other content information) or course email. This documentation is valuable for both student and instructor to understand and to review communicated information and may be useful as documentation if any problems arise.

Use Course Email

D2L provides a means of communication by email (course email in D2L) within the course, but this is a closed email system. Instructors and students are highly encouraged to use the internal communication platform instead of external sites, such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Outlook.

Getting Started with Brightspace Messages

A direct link to your Brightspace email is provided at the top of your course homepage located on the minibar. Select Email from the expanded menu.

Email icon selected on the minibar opens a menu with another email icon linking to the page.

Email Preference Settings

Before getting started sending and receiving messages, setup Email Settings by choosing Settings with the gear icon. 

Settings gear icon highlighted.

*Please note, in a previous version of Brightspace, there was an option to save Sent Messages by checking the preference. That is a default option and requires no changes by the user.

Once this feature is activated, it is very easy to check the message activity. Select a sent message and choose View Recipient Activity. The date, time, and action will populate in a new window.

View Recipient Activity selected and Read Email highlighted in new window.

Compose or Read Messages

This system works much like other email products. Choose the Compose button to start a new message or select a message to read from the list.

Compose and sample message highlighted.

Message to Class

Messages can easily be sent to individuals from the email tool. To send messages to the entire class, instructors may use the Classlist tool to send group messages. The Classlist same frame tutorial is also found here in the Knowledge Book pages.

Using External Email

As noted, communicating directly in the course through course tools is the preferred method. There are times when a student has not logged into the course for the first time or is not responding for long periods that using an external email makes sense to make contact in the interim. 

This information can be difficult to access if the student is not on your home campus, but Brightspace has a solution to access external email addresses if provided. Previously, the Classlist offered no additional information.

Search items to check include Frist and Last Name but not email.

Now, any email address listed will populate.

Email search checkbox highlighted. Email column highlighted in classlist.

It is necessary to copy the email address from the Email column. Clicking a student's name will open an email window, but it will populate the Brightspace message address, not the external email. If there is not another way to contact the student or there is no response, take advantage of the Report it Now button on the course homepage. You can learn more about it through a short tutorial in (Knowledge Books)

6.43. Release Conditions

Release Conditions

Release conditions can be set on discussion topics, quizzes, assignments, and even content modules. The release conditions allow specific actions a student must take prior to the discussion topic, quiz, assignment, or content module becomes viewable.

Examples of Using Release Conditions

  • Release conditions may be set on modules so that subsequent modules do not become viewable until the student has viewed the current module.
  • Release conditions may be set on a quiz to prevent students from accessing the quiz until they have visited all topics in the corresponding content module or have submitted an assignment to the assignment folder.
  • Release conditions may be used to restrict access to prevent access to any course object until the student achieves a specified score or makes an attempt on a quiz.

Each topic with a release condition option has an instructional section. See the specific topics for more information. D2L also offers this brief video.



Additional Resource from D2L


Add Restrictions to an Assignment

Select Edit Submission Folder from the menu of the assignment.

Sample Folder context menu expanded to Edit Submission Folder.



Select the Restrictions tab. Check or uncheck Hidden from users. Choose Has Due Date if the assignment should be displayed in the course calendar but not accessed until it is time. Select the appropriate start and end dates for the assignment to open and close. Set Release Conditions by choosing Attach Existing or Create and Attach.

Availability for start, due, and end dates on the restrictions tab highlighted. Attach existing and create and attach options under the release conditions section of the restrictions tab.
Choose Save and Close when you are finished.

Save and Close highlighted.



Add Restrictions to a Discussion

Restrictions include Release Conditions and Group and Section Restrictions. Release conditions can be set on a variety of tools, including discussion topics. The release conditions allow specific actions a student must take prior to the discussion topic before the next discussion becomes viewable or actionable. When Group and Section Restrictions are enabled, only members of the specified groups or sections will have access to this topic.

Restrictions tab highlighted. Segment topics, Release Conditions and Group and Section Restriction highlighted on the page.



Release conditions may be applied toward awards, checklists, class lists, competencies, content, discussions, assignments, grades, quizzes, and surveys. Each has other variables to provide specific circumstances to release portions of the course to students. In the next example, a discussion cannot be accessed until the student scores 100% on a quiz.

Score on a Quiz, Select Quiz, and Sample Quiz highlighted. Arrow points to Create a New Release Condition page expanded. Criteria menu expanded to show symbol choices that include: &lt;=, &lt;, &gt;=, &gt;, =, Between, != and Not Between. Create highlighted.



All conditions must be met is the default choice, but if more than one condition is applied Any condition must be met could be selected if appropriate.

All conditions must be met highlighted in the menu.



Groups and Sections may also be restricted. Check the box and add groups or sections as needed. Choose Save to continue.

Checkbox for Restrict this topic to the following group and section and Add Groups and Section are highlighted. Save button highlighted.

Add Restrictions to a Quiz

Select Quizzes from the navbar and choose a quiz.

Choose the Restrictions tab. This will open the Dates and Restrictions section. Set the status to Active. Set date restrictions by marking Has Start Date and Has End Date. Select the appropriate date and time. Choose Display in Calendar checkbox so students will see the quiz begin and end dates in the course calendar.

*Please note, the standard start time is 12:00 a.m. and the standard end time is 11:59 p.m.

Quizzes highlighted with arrow pointing to the Edit Quiz page. Opens with Restrictions tab highlighted. Status menu, Due Date, Availability, Display in Calendar and Create and Attached highlighted.



Either choose an existing release condition or choose Create and Attach to start a new condition. A window will open. Use the Condition Type menu to choose the appropriate condition. This example uses Visited content topic. Then choose the appropriate content from the Topic menu. Choose Create to add the condition.

Condition Type, Topic menus and Create button highlighted.



If necessary, select Expand optional advanced restrictions. If the exam will require a proctor, enter a password for the quiz in Password. Time limits must be specified in minutes. Enter the Time Limit. To use the Exceeded Time Limit Behavior options, select Prevent the student from making further changes. The Grace Period is time in addition to the time limit the student will be allowed before the Exceeded Time Limit Behavior options take effect.

Exceeded Time Limit Behavior options:

    • Allow the student to continue - Allows the student to take as much time as needed to complete the quiz, but flags the quiz as late.
    • Prevent the student from making changes - Allows the student to complete the quiz, but after the Time Limit + Late Limit expires, they will receive a zero grade for the quiz.

*Please note, the instructor does have the ability to manually grade the quiz to change the zero.

  • Allow the student to continue working, but automatically score the attempt as zero after an extended deadline. - the student will be prompted to submit the quiz and will be unable to make any further changes.

*Please note, the auto-submit attempt does not automatically submit the quiz. This option prevents the student from making any further changes and may require the instructor to submit the attempt.

Password textbox highlighted.  Timing options with the time limit and grace period textboxes and the enforced checkbox highlighted.    Exceeded Time Limit Behaviour  with Prevent highlighted.

Customize grading from the Assessment tab. Grades may be provided instantly by checking Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately up completion. Add a Grade Item by selecting from the menu or use [add a grade item]. To populate grades automatically in the grade book check Allow automatic export to grades.

Assessment tab highlighted. Checkboxes selected for Automatic Grades and Auto Export to Grades.



Students may have multiple attempts to complete a quiz. Set the number in Attempts Allowed and choose Apply. The Overall Grade Calculation can be determined by highest, lowest, average, first, or last attempt. In this example, this quiz has two attempts and the highest grade will be used for the grade book.

Advanced Attempt Conditions are optional and will not apply if left blank.

Choose Save and Close to complete the choices.

The Attempts section has Attempts Allowed, Overall Grade Calculation and Min% and Max% along with Save and Close highlighted.



Special Access options are used to Allow selected users special access to a quiz. Select the radio button and then Add Users to Special Access.

*Please note, it is strongly discouraged to select Allow only users with special access to see this quiz because this option will lock ALL students out of the quiz except those specifically selected.

Allow only users with special access to see this quiz and Add Users to Special Access highlighted.



6.44. Intelligent Agents

Use Intelligent Agents

Intelligent agents allow you to auto-send personalized emails to students based on the criteria specified by the instructor.

To access intelligent agents, select Course Admin from the NavBar. (It may be located under More.) Choose Intelligent Agents from the Course Administration page.

 

More and Course Admin highlighted from the navba. Arrow pointing to open Course Administration page. Intelligent Agents highlighted.


 

Select New from the Agent List page.

Give the agent a descriptive name in Agent Name. The Description is optional, but this can be helpful information to keep track of multiple agents. For this example, the agent created will send an email to students who score below 85% on the Second Essay Exam. Instructors may include a link to review material here.

Check Agent is enabled under the Status option.

New button highlighted with arrow pointing to New Agent window. Agent details page with the agent name and description textboxes highlighted. Status checkbox highlighted.


In the Agent Criteria section, it is not recommended to use the Login Activity criteria as the emails are sent to D2L email addresses. Course Activity criteria are more useful because it will initiate an email to students who have logged into D2L but have not accessed the course for the specified number of days.

Release Conditions enable a set of very specific conditions for the intelligent agent. Choose Create and Attach to develop new conditions.

 

Login Activity has a No symbol to discourage use. Course Activity is highlighted with 3 days as an example. Release Conditions has the Create and Attach button highlighted.


 

In this example, the purpose of this agent is to send review materials to students who score below 85% on the Module 2 Quiz by selecting Grade Value on a Grade Item from the Condition Type menu. The steps are as follows:

  • Choose the Module 2 Quiz grade item from the Grade Item menu.
  • Choose the Less Than symbol (<) from the Criteria menu.
  • Enter 85 in the Grade textbox, then select Create.

Condition type drop down menu expanded to display the grade value on a grade item option.  Grade item drop down menu expanded to select second essay exam.    Criteria drop down menu expanded and the less than symbol selected. Grade textbox and Create button.


 

The Create a New Release Condition window will close and the new release condition will be displayed. The following steps are necessary to complete the agent.

  • Under Actions, choose whether the intelligent agent should take action only the first time the criteria is met by a user or every time the criteria is met by a user.
  • In the To: textbox, enter the replace string {InitiatingUser} so that the email address of the student who scores below 85% on the second essay exam will be placed in the field.
  • Enter an appropriate email Subject. Then, enter the Message content. Personalize the message by entering the replace string {InitiatingUserFirstName} or similar. (See more information on Replace Strings at the end of this tutorial.)
  • Choose the HTML option selected under the Email Format options. 

Action repetition options. Email format options    To textbox with a replace string entered to fill in the students name.


 

The Schedule option may be used to send reminder emails to students about projects or assignments. Check Use Schedule and the Update Schedule button. The Update Agent Schedule window will open. Choose the options for how often the reminder should repeat. Choose Update when finished. Select Save and Close to finish the agent setup.

The New Agent window will close and the newly created intelligent agent will be displayed in the agent list.

Update Schedule  highlighted with arrow pointing toward Update Agent Schedule window. Settings and Update button highlighted. Save and Close highlighted.


 

 

Replace String List for Organization
Organization replace string Description
{OrgId} ID number of the organization
{OrgName} Name of the organization
Replace String List for Org Unit
Org Unit replace string Description
{OrgUnitName} ID number of the organization unit
{OrgUnitId} Name of the organization unit
{OrgUnitCode} Code for the organization unit
{OrgUnitTypeID} ID number of the type of the organization unit
{OrgUnitPath} Path to files for the organization unit
Replace String List for User

User replace string

(Unavailable in the Content tool)

Description
{UserId} ID number of the user. This value is used internally by the system
{UserName} Full name of the user or the username entered to log on
{OrgDefinedId} Organization ID. This is an identifier specified by the campus for the user
{FirstName} First name of the user
{LastName} Last name of the user
{Email} User's internal email address
{ExternalEmail} User's external email address
{InternalEmail} User's internal email address
Replace String List for Role

Role replace string

(Unavailable in the Content tool)

Description
{RoleId} Internal ID number for user's role
{RoleCode} Code for user's role
{RoleName} Name of user's role
Replace String List for Mail Template
Mail Template replace string Description
{HelpDeskEmail} Email address of the Help Desk
{HelpDeskName} Name for the Help Desk
{LoginPath} URL of the login path for this site
{PasswordResetLink} Link for users to reset their passwords

 

6.45. Brightspace Community

Brightspace Community

D2L has created the Brightspace Community new window to support users of our LMS. These resources can be found at community.brightspace.com new window. There you will find:

  • discussions posts to collaborate and engage with other users,
  • tutorial videos,
  • tech support,
  • and many other resources.

Instructors and administrators may view content, but you are invited to join the Community for deeper access. Members may contribute to discussion posts, suggest improvements, and take advantage of training opportunities.

 

7. Developer Support and Information

7.1. Textbook Adoption

Textbook Adoption Verification Form

Developers are responsible for choosing textbooks and other course materials. Working hand-in-hand with the bookstore, developers can ensure students have the right textbooks and materials on time for each course launch. You are asked to complete this form each semester to confirm your selection with the bookstore.


7.2. Creating a Pulse Friendly Course

TN eCampus recently launched a new mobile app called Brightspace Pulse Opens in new window . This app is intended to help students organize and plan for upcoming course activities through their mobile device.

In order to make sure your course activities show up in the Brightspace Pulse app, make sure you set due dates for each dropbox or discussion. Settting due dates for these activities allows students to submit after the date should you wish to allow late submissions. Quizzes however, require an end date to be set.

Brightspace (D2L) has provided a quick tutorial on how to make your course Pulse friendly below.


7.3. Course Clean Out Procedures

Course Clean Out Procedures

In some circumstances, it is necessary to remove all elements of a course back to the basic shell. This document serves as a checklist. Following the steps in order will ensure complete removal and save steps. For example, grades cannot be removed until associated items like discussions and quizzes have been removed.

Announcements

Select Announcements on the course homepage. The announcements page will open. Choose the Select All (top checkbox). This will select all checkboxes at one time. Select Delete to remove all visible announcements. If there is more than one page of announcements, the screen will refresh and display the next page. Repeat until all items are deleted.

Cascading images of homepage with arrow pointing from Announcements to check all check box in the announcements list. All items checked and Delete is highlighted.

*Please note: for very long lists, the setting to display up to 200 items per page (located at the bottom of the page) can be used to reduce steps. This applies to other tools discussed in this tutorial as well.

Drop down menu expanded to 200 per page.

Confirm the deletion by choosing Yes. The announcements page will display a message when all are deleted.

Cascading images with Yes highlighted and an arrow pointing to the announcement.

Content

Open Content from the NavBar. Select the Table of Contents module at the top of the content listings. From the Table of Contents menu, select Delete All Modules.

Content highlighted with an arrow pointing to Table of Contents. TOC menu expanded to delete all modules..

It is critical to choose Permanently delete all modules, topics, and all associated files and activities from the course. The other option does not remove all files.

Permanently delete all modules highlighted.

Discussions

Open Discussions from the NavBar. Open the More Actions menu and choose Delete.

More Actions menu expanded to Delete.

Choose the Select All check box, which will check all forums and topics. Select Delete to complete the task.

All items selected has a checkmark. All items below are checked.

Quizzes

Open Quizzes from the NavBar. Choose the Select All check box. From the More Actions menu, select Delete. In the confirmation window, select Delete.

All items selected through the top check box. Delete highlighted.

Choose the Question Library after deleting all quizzes. Choose the Select All checkbox and then select Delete. Repeat these steps until all questions are removed. 

Cascading windows highlighting Question Libary with an arrow pointing to check all check box.

*Please note: for very long lists, the setting to display up to 200 items per page (located at the bottom of the page) can be used to reduce steps. This applies to other tools discussed in this tutorial as well.


Assignments

Open Assignments from the NavBar. Select the Select All checkbox. Choose Delete from the More Actions menu. Select Delete in the confirmation window.

Cascading windows with all items checked. Delete is highlighted.

Grades

Open Grades from the NavBar and select Manage Grades.

*Please note: before taking any further action, check the Association column. A grade item cannot be deleted if it is associated with an activity. To delete a grade item associated with an activity, leave Grades, and open the specific tool to make changes either remove the association or delete the activity item. (Delete is the preference for this process.) 

Choose Delete from the More Actions menu if all associations are removed.

Grades open to Managed Grades. Delete selected with the Association column highlighted.

In other tools it is necessary to check Select All items first, but for grades, items are checked after choosing Delete.

All items selected with Delete and confirmation highlighted.

Surveys

Open Surveys from the NavBar and select Delete from the More Actions menu.

Surveys opened to Managed Surveys. Delete selected. Items not checked.

As with grades, it is not necessary to select items before choosing Delete.  Choose the Select All checkbox after choosing Delete. Choose Yes in the confirmation window.

Cascading windows with all items checked. Delete highlighted and confirmed.

Course Files

Open Course Admin from the NavBar or open More if the screen is not full-sized. Select Manage Files from the tools list.

Course Admin open with Manage Files highlighted.

Choose the Select All check box. Select the Trash icon. Confirm Yes in the next window.

All items checked and yes confirms the deletion.

Calendar

Open Content from the Navbar. (It might seem logical to start with Calendar, but items cannot be removed here. Additionally, past and future events require more effort to view. There may be more than one calendar available as well.)

Red X across image indicating not to choose calendar.

Select Course Schedule and then Full Schedule.

Content open with Course Schedule highlighted. Arrow points to Full Schedule.

Any manually entered calendar dates will be displayed. These must be removed one by one as there is no way to bulk delete them. If nothing is displayed, then the calendar is empty. Select Delete Event from the item menu.

Full Schedule open with arrow pointing to menu. Delete Event highlighted.

Choose Yes to confirm. Repeat steps until all entries have been deleted.

Yes highlighted for confirmation

Checklist

Starting from Course Admin, open Checklist. Select More Actions and choose Delete.

Checklist expanded. More Actions expanded to reveal Delete.

Choose the first checkbox to select all items. Choose Delete Selected.

All checklists checked and highlighted to Delete Selected.

Groups

Open Course Admin from the Navbar. Select Groups from the list of tools.

Course Admin selected and expanded. Groups is highlighted from the list.

Choose the Select All checkbox. Select the Trash icon. Select Delete Groups/Categories from the confirmation window.

Manage Groups expanded with checkboxes selected for each and Delete highlighted.

Rubrics

Open Course Admin from the Navbar. Select Rubrics from the list of tools.

Course Admin open with Rubrics highlighted.

Choose the Select All checkbox. Select the Trash icon. Select Delete in the confirmation window.

All items selected. Delete highlighted.

Wrapping Up

If you have worked through the list to this point you have tackled the most likely areas to clean up. This image highlights some additional tools you may have used in the course. If so, open each to select and delete any remaining objects.

The remaining tools highlighted are Competencies, Intelligent Agents, Self Assessments, FAQ's, Awards and Chat.

Following all of these steps will return a course to the initial shell status. It is a good idea to make a quick review of the tools from the NavBar and Course Files to be sure all items are removed.

8. Managing Files for Success

8.1. Why Get Organized?

Managing Course Files to Avoid Headaches

Do your course’s managed files appear a bit “unmanaged”? Good file management includes an orderly way to develop module folders and files. In this tutorial, you will find strategies to return “managed” back to Managed Files and keep your course up to date and headache-free.

Why Organize and Streamline Your Course Files?

Using an organized file structure helps to keep the course manageable. When files are structured in a hierarchy of folders, it is easier to know which image, table, or video is the one for a specific course page. Updates and improvements are easier to make and implement. Even experienced developers may have trouble keeping track of course files and which files need updating if they neglect to put them in the correct folders from the beginning. Keeping files organized and updated in folders will resolve this problem and ultimately develops the type, of course, we want our students to experience.

Get Started in Managed Files

What is Managed Files? It is the behind the scene area of the course just for instructors, course developers and admins to organize HTML pages, presentations, images, and other media files. Just as your computer has a collection of folders and individual files. Courses are also arranged in a similar way. Keeping them managed is the challenge.

Open Course Admin from the NavBar and choose Managed Files to review course contents.

The course's folder tree is on the left. Choosing a folder expands the contents on the right, which may include subfolders.  Standard course folders, such as Developer Information and Getting Started are typically followed by module folders from 1 to the maximum number of modules in the course. Each module typically has subfolders for Images, Media, and other necessary folders to group like items. It is recommended to use a consistent folder hierarchy to organize each of the modules. In this example, Module 01 is highlighted. Notice, the list of subfolders with the remaining course pages of the module “nested” within the module folder.

Each of the column headings (Name, Size, and Type) are sortable. Sort by Name and scroll through the list in the right side of the window. Selecting root folder (/content/enforced/________) will display all of the unassigned files not included in a folder. Choosing each folder will display the list of assigned files and subfolders.


An average course may have hundreds of files. This example has 2 tables and 3 logo files in the base folder of the course. File names are usually generated on the spot, leading to examples like Table and Table 2. To resolve this problem, files in the base folder will have to be tracked back to the course page to determine which is which and if the file is in use and can be safely removed.

Look for files that should be associated with a module or course folder. Notice this example has presentations and videos from different modules. Each presentation should be stored in a module folder. Additionally, this type of file would typically be assigned to a media subfolder within the module folder.

For example, the Chapter 10PPT.pptx would be assigned to the Module 10 folder with a M10 Presentation subfolder. To move the file, select the menu and choose Cut. (Copy will leave an extra copy in the old location.) Open the new folder location and choose Paste. Before you try a moving file, also check out the tutorial Course Files and Broken Links same frame unless you are already experienced with developing and correcting file links.

*Please note, the toolbar shown here (Cut, Copy, Trash, etc.) is not visible until files are selected and remains at the top of the window. Scroll to the top after selecting files to see the tools.

Remember, files stored in the correct and logical folder will make future reviews, edits, and updates much simpler. Students will also have a smoother experience without encountering mismatched files and content that may need last minute corrections.

8.2. Course Files and Broken Links

Course Files and Broken Links

The ideal course development workflow includes uploading images, videos, presentations, and other files to the course folders in Master Files. After creating an HTML page, it would be ideal to use the page tools to insert images, videos, presentations, and other files by choosing Course Content and drilling down to the appropriate file. D2L offers a variety of ways to add content, such as pasting images into the course page, but this can be problematic for maintaining and cloning courses in the long run. In the remainder of this tutorial, we will examine how to repair breaks in this process.


Moving Files

Moving the files to the correct folder/location is an easy task, but if the files are actively linked and in use in the course, moving them will break the link to the content page. Broken links are easy to repair, but it is very important to correct each link as you go.

Moving multiple files and linking them after the fact may lead to problems. One way to make this easier is to have two windows open for the course. One window will be used for the content page. The other window will be used for Managed Files.

After moving a file, go to the content window and choose Edit HTML. In this example, an image is missing from the page because the file was moved from the base course folder to a module folder. Delete the old placeholder and reinsert the image to recreate the correct link.

Here is another time saving tip. Copy the alt text before deleting the link to save time later. In the previous screenshot, the image link was broken leaving a placeholder. You can see the Alt Text, but it is not selectable. To access alt text, left-click the placeholder or any image when editing a course page. A small menu will appear. Choose the 3 horizontal bars menu to view and edit Image description (alt text). The text can be copied or edited from this location.

How to Relink Your Files

Relinking may look very similar to creating pages because the process is nearly identical. Navigate to the content page with the broken link. Choose Edit HTML. To insert an image, select the camera icon as shown in the screenshot. Choose Course Offerings and drill down to the correct Module and/or Submodule. In this example, the M1 Images folder is selected within Module 1.

Relocating the image will prompt a request for Alternative Text. Previously copying the old text before deleting the placeholder saves time if the alternative text is needed and appropriate for the image. See the example here.

Relink a Course Page

In the previous example, only an image link was broken. The course page itself was in the right place and linked correctly. If the course page was moved, choose Edit HTML. Scroll to the bottom of the window and select Change Path. The Select a Path window will open. Select the correct folder and Select Path.

In Summary

In Why Get Organized? same frame and this tutorial we looked at why keeping your course manageable starts with an orderly hierarchy of the Managed Files tool and correctly linked files throughout the course. Think of your course as a tree of folders with a trunk and branches for folders for each major component and individual files linked to the right page. Organizing the course folders and files makes it easy to check resources and update new information. Avoid headaches by building new courses in this fashion and cleanup existing courses moving forward.

In the next tutorials, we will look at the benefits of "pruning" unneeded files from courses and using compression to greatly reduce course file storage.

8.3. “Pruning” for Growth and Strength

“Pruning” for Growth and Strength

Do you have a course with large files or outdated files no longer needed? Courses with unnecessary files that can be removed or files that could easily be compressed require valuable storage in the D2L system. Pruning courses can easily resolve the problem. In the previous tutorial Why Get Organized? same frame and Course Files and Broken Links same frame, we looked primarily at the structure of folders and files to create an orderly way to manage your course. In this section, we will look at how large file size and unnecessary files challenge good course management and may have a dramatic impact on the efficient operation of the course.

Understanding File Size Units

Course file storage needs will vary by course, but entire courses should rarely exceed 1 GB (Gigabyte). This table provides a description of the units and abbreviations that categorize file sizes. Generally speaking, files in the Megabyte or higher units are the main concern, but Byte and Kilobyte file sizes can be problematic if they create a lot of clutter with unneeded files.

File Size Units Table
Units Abbreviation Description Concern
Bytes Bytes smallest typical unit This size is irrelevant unless there are large numbers of unnecessary files of this size, which create clutter and disorder.
Kilobytes KB 1024 Bytes Also, less concerning, except unnecessary files create clutter as well.
Megabytes MB 1024 Kilobytes This is where it is important to watch the number of MB’s and extra files. These add up much quicker.
Gigabytes GB 1024 Megabytes This is not a typical file size unless you have a large media file or PowerPoint. Use compression and scrutinize for unneeded files. 1 GB file would exceed a typical course size.

Methods to Prune the Course

Return to Managed Files. Ideally, the course will already have the file and folder organization covered in the Why Get Organized? same frame tutorial. This is a good organization practice, and it makes it much easier to check for unrelated, outdated, and large files that can create a “bloated” course. This is not only a general storage issue, but it can lead to problems cloning courses each semester. Lean courses are much easier to update and maintain and much easier for students to access on mobile platforms.

Before beginning this task, it is helpful to have another browser window open. The other window can be used to review the content of the module as you compare the modules and files in Managed Files.

Before deleting files, download the files to create a backup. Backed up files are easier to replace than deleted files! Keep the files on a computer, thumb drive, or cloud services, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, for a few months or until after the course has run once to ensure all is well. Please do not store the files in D2L. This will defeat the efforts to organize the course.


The files in the next example have been sorted by Size. Selecting the menu carat/arrow reverses the order. In addition to the checking files in the base folder, check each folder for large files and no longer needed files. Choose each subfolder and sort the contents by size and review the files there as well. Check each level of subfolders.



The link symbol is highlighted in the previous image. Many files may have this symbol throughout Managed Files, but it can be a bit tricky to understand its use. It is an important clue to find active files in a course, but it is not the exclusive way to recognize active files.

Course page files, in an ideal structure, will have the file located in the module folder that matches the content structure and has the link symbol. A Module 1 content will have the matching file in the Module 1 folder in Managed File with a link symbol.

In a less than ideal structure, a Module 1 file may have been stored in Module 2 but linked to Module 1. In that situation, the file will appear to be missing from the Module 1 folder. The file may appear to be an extra and possibly an orphan file in Module 2 or another folder. Working from the content page, a quick check of the path will confirm the file's actual location. To check the path, open a course page, and choose Edit. In this example, the course file is in Module 1.

The entire file path may be hidden. Choose Change Path to see the file structure in a "tree view". Expanding the module folder exposes the subfolders. If the file was already located in a subfolder, that folder would be highlighted in blue instead of the module folder. 




To find a more detailed explanation for checking the path information, review the tutorial  Course Files and Broken Links same frame.

Images, videos, and presentations inserted into course pages will not have the link symbol because each is typically inserted into a course page. The presentation examples in the screenshot were linked to the course as standalone content and not a course page. Similar examples do have the link symbol for that reason. Use the link symbol as a starting point to understand the files linked and active in the course. 

Duplicate Files

Duplicate files require additional storage too. It can be difficult to know which file is in use with duplicate files. In this example, we have 3 presentations with the same file name except for years appended to the title. This suggests a new file was uploaded each year leaving old outdated files in the module folder. It is not only a good practice to have a good structure for course files, but it is also important to remove old files as new ones are added. The added space and confusion are serious inhibitors to a smoothly running course.

In addition to unneeded files, you may find duplicate folders created with files intended to replace content, but the old files were not removed. These items may have similar dates and names. This can be challenging to correct, but well worth it in the end. A duplicate folder may have been started to methodically work through a cleanup process. This can be a very useful method to deal with courses with significant issues, but remember to remove unneeded files. Keeping it straight as you go is the best method.

8.4. File Compression Solutions

Compression Options

Many software programs offer compression options. Compression reduces file size with little loss of quality and is very helpful for students who need to download media files to view them. Overall, the course is more responsive too.

PowerPoint Compression

In this example, PowerPoint multimedia (audio, video, screencasts) components can be compressed by choosing File/Info and Compress Media. Follow the prompt to compress the presentation media. Compression options will not be visible if there are no multimedia files or if they were already compressed.

Powerpoint ribbon File menu expanded to Info. Compress Media button is present.

PowerPoint compresses image files separately from other media. Image compression can be set for the entire presentation by default. Go to File and then Options. Selecting Advanced will open a window to set Image Size and Quality. Typically, choosing the Default Resolution to 150 ppi is satisfactory for most needs.

Advanced window expanded. Default resolution is set to 150 ppi.

Images can be compressed separately. Select each image and choose the Picture and Format, then choose Compress Pictures (images).

From the Format button on the ribbon menu, an arrow points to Compress Pictures.

Choose OK. If the document already has a default setting documentation resolution will limit choices.

Compress Pictures window expanded to reveal compression options and Target Output, which is set to Use Document Resoultion.

Also, consider the resolution of videos. HD video sounds exciting and high tech, but 720p looks about the same as 1080p on a small screen but 1080p takes much longer to download than 720p. In some circumstances, average video quality may look worse in higher resolution. Consider the source material and final output when deciding, but 720p typically works well for course pages.

Editing Dimension with Maximun 720p selected.


Compressible File Types

It may be more practical to compress images before inserting them into HTML pages. Image editing programs offer compression options under Save As or Export to another file type. JPEG and PNG are good choices to reduce the file size of uncompressed image files. In this example, a TIFF file type image can be Saved As a JPEG file.

Save as type expanded from TIFF to JPEG.

When you choose the JPEG file type, the JPEG Options screen will open. The menu or the slider may be used to choose the level of compression. The software will preview the file and its projected size from your choices. It is a good idea to experiment with the result of the compression. For most needs, the smallest file size produces satisfactory results for course pages and may be hard to distinguish from the largest file size (least compression). In this example, using JPEG compression resulted in a reduction from the original 6 MB to a few hundred KB in one image.

Slider in the mid position with the Quality 6 or Medium. The size of the file is previewed as well.

PDF Compression

PDF compression does require the use of the professional version of the program. “Reader” level PDF programs will not have that feature. Using Adobe Pro, add the Optimize PDF tool if it is not already setup. Choose Optimize PDF.

Acrobat file with Optimize PDF highlighted.

Reduce File Size option will be presented on the upper toolbar. Choose it and OK to reduce the PDF file.

Reduce File Size highlighted. Window expanded and showing Make Compatible with existing file. Ok is highlighted.

Zipped File Package

Zipping files is a way to reduce file size but this primarily impacts moving and uploading files.  Remember to remove any Zipped file packages from Managed Files once the files have been unzipped (unpacked). The package can be quite large even though it is compressed. Check the package file and choose Delete to remove the package from Managed Files.

File list with Trash icon highlighted . File for deletion is checked..

In Conclusion

Searching Managed Files for unnecessary or duplicate files is a fast way to free up storage. (Remember to backup files before deleting them.) Compression can be used to reduce the storage needs of large but needed files. Combining pruning efforts and good course file structure practices produce a winning effort to reduce headaches and keep courses updated and efficient. Finally, this provides students with a better experience and improved learning opportunities through online courses.


Please review our other file management tutorials if you have not already viewed them.

Why Get Organized? same frame

Course Files and Broken Links same frame

“Pruning” for Growth and Strength same frame


9. Working with a Publisher

9.1. Publisher Introduction

Broad Choices

TN eCampus courses use a wide variety of publishers and content providers to meet course development needs. Services vary from publisher to publisher. Through publisher offerings, you may find access to the basics in electronic texts, interactive homework, and adaptive quizzing outside of the D2L environment. You may also find turn-key courses embedded seamlessly within the course. TN eCampus has maintained a collaborative role with publishers, the Virtual Bookstore, instructors, and course developers in the successful implementation and use of publisher materials.

Textbook Verification

Textbook Verification Form (new window)

New or Changing Tools

Course developers should always keep the TN eCampus Instructional Design team updated on new materials or textbook changes. This ensures the learning management system (LMS) is fully prepared for a successful launch of the integration. The course developer should also communicate with the Virtual Bookstore about new or changing texts. The Virtual Bookstore needs plenty of lead time to order and stock texts before the next semester start.

Instructor Support

The need for good communication continues between the course developer and the instructor. All course materials, publisher supplements, the information page for instructors, which contains developer contact information and any special notes, tips, or expectations in teaching the course materials. Beyond the development phase, it is important that course developers serve as a resource for instructors and communicate with them as needed.

Resources by Publisher

The table at the bottom of this page provides an at-a-glance view of publisher resources. Subsequent pages also provide a one-page view of each publisher. You will find most content is hosted outside of the course. There may be a login or course pairing procedure to activate the information in a course. Products may or may not offer automated grade migration back to your course. Others are fully integrated and functional within the course. One is not necessarily better, but understanding these differences may help you pick the best product for your course.

Publisher Grid View

This grid provides an at a glance view of publishers. All this table’s content and more can be viewed on the individual publisher pages. The last column also links to the subsequent Knowledge Book (KB) pages for each with more detail.

  • Hosting Environment generally refers to how the course materials are accessed from D2L. Many simply link to an outside product through a sign-on process and function more like an LMS. After an initial pairing process, most courses simply connect directly to the hosted content. Some others will require a sign-on with each access. Some publisher materials operate directly inside the course.
  • Dashboard/Data Tools are generally available for all publisher products. The extent and ease of use for instructors and student varies
  • Adaptive Learning generally refers to the base of Interactive Multimedia, plus a variety of formal and informal assessments. These activities are designed to redirect learners to mastery of content before advancing to the next level. Learners are offered the opportunity to take another approach to master skills.
  • Mobile Friendly generally refers to the ease of use of smartphones and tablet vs. desktop or laptop computers. Many courses are dependent on Flash and other technologies not compatible with smartphones. Others require at least a 7" screen at a minimum. While most publishers are trying to increase the mobile friendliness of their products, a desktop or laptop computer is recommended for much of the course offerings. Lumen's Waymaker is the closest exception. The content presents within D2L, but it can appear small on mobile screens.

Publisher Product Website Hosting Environment Grade Sync Mobile Friendly
Jump to KB Page
Carnegie Mellon University Online Learning Initiative (OLI) (new window) Course materials accessed at OLI
No Most language courses--not all tested
Online Learning Initiative (OLI) (new window)
Cengage MindTap (new window) Course material accessed in D2L (new window)
Yes Mobile app
MindTap (new window)
Lumen Waymaker (new window) Course material accessed in D2L w/adaptive learning features
Yes Yes, all HTML content within D2L
Waymaker (new window)
McGraw-Hill Connect (new window) Content imported into D2L (new window)  w/adaptive learning features and a true single sign-on
Yes Tablets 7" or larger
Connect (new window)
McMillan Learning 
Sapling Learning (new window) Course material accessed in Sapling
Yes Some components are not mobile compatible
Sapling Learning (new window)
Pearson CourseConnect (new window) Course material accessed in D2L (new window)
Yes Tablets or larger
CourseConnect (new window)
Pearson MyLabs (new window) Course material accessed in D2L (new window) Yes Some components are not mobile compatible MyLabs (new window)
Pearson Revel (new window) Course material accessed in Revel w/adaptive learning features
Yes Mobile app Revel (new window)
TestOut LabSim (new window) Course material accessed in LabSim w/ a true single sign-on
Yes Instructional videos only LabSim (new window)
TopHat TopHat (new window) Course material accessed in TopHat
Yes Interactive polling during class instruction
TopHat (new window)



Back to Working with a Publisher (same frame)


9.2. Carnegie Mellon University: Online Learning Initiative (OLI)

CMU Online Learning Initiative (OLI)

Carnegie Mellon University’s Online Learning Initiative (OLI) courses are used at four-year universities, community colleges, high schools, and in home-schooling environments. Courses are created in a flexible and modular fashion, allowing educators to use the sections that apply to their content needs. Courses are designed with learning activities dispersed throughout the content. OLI courses provide targeted feedback to students and capture data about student learning, along with helpful tools for interpreting the data. OLI does not offer grade synchronizing back to your course.

Web Address: Get to Know OLI (new window)

Subject Range: Broad (new window)

Hosting Environment: Course materials accessed at OLI

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Other: (OLI) is known for its language courses. There is no cost for students. Some Accessibility concerns with past courses.

Mobile Friendly: Most language courses--not all tested

Grade Synchronizing: No

9.3. Cengage: MindTap

Cengage: MindTap

MindTap offers preloaded, organized course materials with interactive multimedia, assignments, and quizzes. You may customize a variety of outside content sources. MindTap has a dashboard feature to keep track of students' progress. Course materials accessed at MindTap. Mindtap offers a mobile app to access content on the go.

Web Address: MindTap (new window)

Subject Range: Broad (new window)

Hosting Environment: Course materials accessed at Mindtap.

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly: Yes--Mobile App

Grade Synchronizing: Yes 

Creating Your Course in Brightspace (new window)



9.4. Lumen: Waymaker

Lumen: Waymaker

Waymaker uses OER combined with personalized learning tools designed to strengthen metacognition and student success. The feedback system of units and self-quizzes are delivered from within the course. Waymaker courses use adaptive learning technology, which provides immediate feedback to students. Feedback directs students to previously covered materials for review, then tests their knowledge acquisition through self-testing. These low-risk activities encourage students to explore and prepare them for any high-stakes testing. The Waymaker courses currently offered through TN eCampus are some of the least expensive options.

Web AddressWaymaker (new window)

Subject Range: Broad (new window)

Hosting Environment: Course material accessed in D2L w/adaptive learning features. Lumen’s integration is very smooth for users.

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly: Yes--all HTML content within D2L

Grade Synchronizing: Yes

Lumen Overview (new window)


9.5. McGraw-Hill: Connect

McGraw-Hill: Connect

Connect may contain a wide variety of materials and adaptive learning tools like SmartBook. SmartBook is a digital version of a textbook. It contains the same content as a physical textbook, but it can actively adapt content and assessments to match individual needs. Connect provides analytics and reporting to assess students performance and adjust instruction as needed.

LearnSmart add-on...

Web Address: Connect (new window)

Subject Range: Broad (new window)

Hosting Environment: Content imported into D2L (new window) w/adaptive learning features and a true single sign-on.

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly: Tablets 7" or larger

Grade Synchronizing: Yes


9.6. McMillan Learning: Sapling Learning

McMillan Learning: Sapling Learning

Sapling is an online homework solution, which can be paired with any title, including those from OpenStax (new window). Students get wrong answer-specific feedback with every problem so they learn from correct and incorrect answers. Fully worked-out solutions are available with every question in order to reinforce concepts and provide an in-product study guide. Students and teachers have access to a cloud-based and reporting system to assess progress. Grades can automatically be synced to D2L as well.

Web Address: Sapling Learning (new window)

Subject Range: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Physics, Astronomy, and Statistics (new window)

Hosting Environment: Course material accessed in Sapling

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly: Some components of courses are not mobile compatible

Grade Synchronizing: Yes, automatically (new window)


9.7. Pearson: CourseConnect

Pearson: CourseConnect

Course connect offers a broad selection of outcomes-based courses containing dynamic media, engaging graphics and interactives, and a fully-aligned assessment strategy. Design based on learning outcomes, using a backward-design methodology to ensure alignment and integrity. You can create online or blended course, personalizing content to suit your students’ needs and your own unique teaching style.

Web Address: CourseConnect and Features (new window)

Subject Range: Broad (new window)

Hosting Environment: Course material accessed in D2L (new window)

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly: Tablets or larger

Grade Synchronizing: Yes 

9.8. Pearson: MyLabs

Pearson MyLabs

Pearson’s MyLabs provides fully customizable content, activities and quizzes. MyLabs individualizes learning and gives students continuous response for right and wrong answers. The dashboard feature helps to keep track of students' progress. All content is maintained outside of the course, but MyLabs offers a single sign-on process.

Web Address: MyLabs (new window)

Subject Range: Subjects Available (new window)

Hosting Environment: Course material accessed in MyLabs.

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly:
Some course components are not mobile compatible

Grade Synchronizing:
Yes


9.9. Pearson: Revel

Pearson Revel

Revel is a blend of author-created digital text, media, and assessment content. Revel offers adaptive learning features to individualize learning and a dashboard feature keeps track of students' progress. All Course material is accessed in Revel. Grades must be manually updated into D2L courses.

Web Address: Revel (new window)  

Subject Range: Broad

Hosting Environment: Course material accessed in Revel w/adaptive learning features

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly:
Yes, has a mobile app.

Grade Synchronizing:
Yes 


9.10. SagePublications

Sage Publications

Founded in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. Sage is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1000 journals and over 800 new books each year. A growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies, and video.

Web Address: Sage Publications (new window)

Subject Range: Broad (new window)



9.11. TestOut: LabSim

LabSim offers testing products currently used in the TN eCampus A+ Hardware and A+ Software courses. LabSim provides courses simulations and other features that include powerful reports that allow instructors to focus on the concepts students are struggling with or custom quizzes and exams that meet the specific needs of the class. Grades can be automatically synced to your course in D2L.

Web Address: LabSim (new window)

Subject Range: IT certifications

Hosting Environment: Course material accessed in LabSim and a true single sign-on

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly: Instructional videos only

Grade Synchronizing: Yes (new window)


 

9.12. TopHat

TopHat provides four tools: Classroom, Textbook, Assignments and Test. TopHat leverages students' desire for connected devices in the classroom as an asset by gathering instant feedback to lectures and materials. Grades can be automatically synced to your course in D2L.

Web Address: TopHat (new window)

Subject Range: Broad (new window)

Hosting Environment: Course material accessed in TopHat

Dashboard/Data Tools: Yes

Student Feedback Tools: Yes

Mobile Friendly:
Interacting/polling during class instruction

Grade Synchronizing: Yes


9.13. VitalSource: Bookshelf

VitalSource: Bookshelf

Bookshelf offers purchased or rented eTexts. They can be used online or offline. There are hundreds of thousands of titles across a spectrum of subjects.

Web Address: Bookshelf (new window) 

Subject Range: Broad (new window)


10. Accessibility

10.1. Accessibility in Higher Education Video



10.2. Accessibility or Accommodation?

Sealed clamshell packaging pried open with scissors.

What is Accessibility?

Almost everyone knows the frustration of open packages. There are many tools to make this easier and safer, but there is another kind of accessibility that concerns web content.

"Accessible" means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same time frame as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use. A few examples of accessibility include accessible web pages, accessible instructional materials,  accessible apps, and an accessible eReader.

Distance Learning (DL) specific and compliant:

  • Content is usable without additional modifications.
  • Appropriate functionality is designed into the content, learning object, application, media, etc.

What is an Accommodation?

“Accommodations” are reasonable academic adjustments or auxiliary aids that provide equal access to programs and services on an individual basis. A few examples of reasonable academic adjustments or auxiliary aids include extended time on tests, taking an exam in a minimal distraction area, recording a lecture, and having a note-taker.

DL specific and non-compliant:

  • Content requires additional modifications before use
  • Provided "ad-hoc; after-the-fact"; and may involve a delay as to when content is available for actual use

What is the difference?

Accessibility is achieved through the use of identified standards to design environments to be used by everyone, including persons with disabilities, and oversight is often provided by an accessibility manager and/or ADA coordinator.

Accommodations are requested by a person with a disability and determined to be reasonable on an individual basis by an appointed representative, often, in a disability services office. Accommodations may be needed beyond an accessible environment for equal access to programs and services because of the individual nature of the disability not due to an environment’s inaccessible design.

 

10.3. Tips for Accessible Online Content

Basic Tips for Accessibility

Everyone learns and engages with course materials differently. Following UDL principles and access guidelines promote a universally designed environment facilitating opportunities for student success no matter the student's abilities. However, there are some common things to consider in developing accessible course content and improving usability for all students.

Accessibility Specialist

If you need assistance in developing/selecting accessible materials, please contact your TN eCampus Accessibility Specialist:

Alice Wershing—Accessibility Specialist

Or check with your eLearning office for assistance. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that are the TBR standards for web content. More information about the Web Accessibility Initiative can be found at the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative site (new window)

Creating Web Content

Brightspace allows the creation of HTML content pages within your course. This is often done with a text editor that includes HTML editing tools. This is also known as a WYSIWYG editor, or “what you see is what you get.” It is possible to copy some content directly into the editor, but it is also possible to add unexpected formatting code that does not appear on the screen but potentially confuses screen readers. If you want to copy and paste text change it to plain text first using TextEdit or Notepad and then paste it into the text editor. Format the content using the tools in the Brightspace text editor.

We strongly recommend that you use Browse for Template to take advantage of the pre-formatted Brightspace pages available to you.

Refer to the tutorial for Document Templates and Headings (Knowledge Books).

Basic Content Structure

Course Templates

A key aspect to accessibility and creating a clean consistent look in a course is to use document templates. Templates define fonts, styles, and other aspects behind the scene. When done correctly, screen readers and other assistive technologies will respond more accurately to users.

Refer to the tutorial for Document Templates and Headings (Knowledge Books).

Navigation

Not everyone can use a mouse. As much as possible, make sure that students can use applications or navigate through pages using a keyboard or assistive navigation device. Keep navigation simple with as few buttons as possible. Avoid activities that require the use of a mouse, such as drag and drop activities. An assistive technology specialist can provide guidance if needed.

Refer to the reference page, Keyboard Navigation (WebAIM) for more information.

Headings

Good heading structure helps readers to understand how the document is organized. Assistive technology users can move between headings, which makes navigation usable and more efficient than without headings. Headings and subheadings should be identified as such using the built-in heading features of the authoring tool. Headings should form an outline of the page and be used in the table of contents (TOC) for long documents:

  • Heading 1 (H1) for the main heading (Page Title)
    • Sub-Heading 2 (H2) (Main Idea)
    • Sub-Heading 2 (H2) (Main Idea)
      • Sub-Heading (H3), 4, 5, etc. (Supporting Idea/ Content Emphasis)
    • Sub-Heading 2 (H2) (Main Idea)

Refer to the tutorial for Document Templates and Headings (Knowledge Books) for more information.

Lists

Lists are an excellent way to convey potentially complex information. Even accessible tables can be challenging to users. Consider lists over tables for simplicity where it is appropriate and effective.

Lists can be inaccessible if they are not created properly. Typing stars and hyphens to make lists by hand is a common mistake. Use the tools of the editor in your application. Use lists for the purpose for which they are intended. Numbered/Ordered lists convey sequence and Bulleted/Unordered lists can be reordered and not change the meaning of the listed items.  

Refer to the tutorial for Tips for Accessible Online Content (Knowledge Books) for more information.

Links

Make sure that linked text is descriptive of the target location or site and could point the user to the target. Links should make sense out of context. Avoid using links that say, “click here” or “more.”

Refer to the reference document, Accessible Hyperlinks (download) for more information.

Audio, Image, and Video Description

Images

When inserting images into your course, be sure to include an “alt text,” or alternative description, that is descriptive of the image. Alt text descriptions help students use screen reader software to know what is displayed on the screen. There is usually a space for you to add this when you are uploading the image. Make sure your alt tag clearly describes what is in the image, such as “photo of a group of young children playing in a dusty street with a soccer ball” or “portrait of George Washington standing in a boat, surrounded by other soldiers holding up a flag as they cross the Delaware river” as opposed to “image” or “children.”

Refer to the reference document, Alternative and Descriptive Text (download) for more information.

Refer to the tutorial for Decorative Images in Brightspace  for more information.

Video

All video material should be captioned and include video description or descriptive transcripts. Captioning benefits many different learners and environmental disabilities (watching video in a library quiet area) including cognitive disabilities and English Language Learners (ELLs). YouTube tools for adding or editing captions (new window). More information about captioning and transcripts can be found on WebAIM’s Captioning Techniques [new window]  page.

Refer to the reference document, Captioning Video (download) for more information.

 

Audio

Transcripts also allow anyone that cannot access content from either web audio or video (or both) to read a text transcript instead. For content that is audio-only, a transcript will usually suffice.

Read more at WebAIM: Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions (new window) 

 

Flash

Using content created using Flash is not permitted. HTML5 is a good alternative to Flash.

Color and Fonts for Readability

Colors

Students with cognitive or visual disabilities and others without disabilities may have difficulty reading text that is against a patterned/colored background. Provide good color contrast; black text on a white or light background is the most readable. Do not use color alone to convey meaning or emphasis as some students may not be able to see them.

Refer to the reference document Color and Contrast (download) for more information.

 

Fonts

Keep the use of fonts in materials consistent. Sans serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica are easier for many people to read on-screen. To maintain consistency, we strongly recommend the use of the pre-designed page templates available for your use.

Read more at WebAIM: Typefaces and Fonts (new window) for more information.

Forms and Tables for All

Tables

Screen reading software reads tables by going across cells top-to-bottom, left-to-right, and by using keystroke commands. It is essential tables have consistent even rows and columns. You should avoid:

  • splitting or merging cells that create uneven columns
  • putting bullet points or numbered lists within cells. Lists should be used outside of a table.
  • Using tables for layout. Tables should really only be used for tabular data. If you are using tables to display data, make sure that table headers are defined for all columns and rows, and a very short summary is provided in the Alt Text description field to identify what the table covers. 

Refer to the reference document, Accessible Tables (download) for more information.

Forms

If you have forms for students to download and fill out, make sure they are in an accessible format and clear directions are given for submitting them. Some students may not be able to complete a form that must be filled out in writing. 

Refer to the reference document, Accessible Forms (download) for more information.

Accessible File Types

This section adds some insight to 3 of the most commonly used files. While each of these can be made more accessible using built-in tools you are encouraged to consider transferring content to HTML through the Brightspace Editor. The Editor is simpler to use and is more likely to provide accessible results. In addition to the Brightspace accessibility checker, TN eCampus has added Blackboard Ally to all eCampus courses.

PowerPoint

is perhaps the most popular tool for creating slideshow presentations or online lectures, but PowerPoint files may have many accessibility problems and it can be tedious to catch and correct problems. It is also important to consider the right tool for the job. PowerPoint was designed to be a presentation tool for face-to-face presentations, not a tool for developing multimedia web content. The use of PowerPoint is strongly discouraged. If you feel that PowerPoint is essential to your course, review WebAIM PowerPoint Accessibility (new window) tips.

Refer to the reference document, PowerPoint Accessibility (download) for more information.

Contact your instructional designer or accessibility specialist if you need further assistance.

PDF Files

are typically created from other files such as Word and PowerPoint. Converted PDF files are only as accessible as the document they are based on. In some cases they may lose accessibility improvements in the way the file was converted. Be aware that PDF files created as a scan of an original document are actually images, which are not accessible to screen reader technology. To be fully compliant, convert a PDF file to HTML, if possible. Tools such as Equidox [new window] can help you to translate PDFs to accessible HTML that meets WCAG standards. 

Refer to the reference document  Acrobat PDF Files (download).

Word Files

Word documents are widely used and synonymous with text documents. The built-in accessibility features are fairly easy to use. Word documents are easily recreated or transferred to HTML pages, which can be even more accessible and do not require special software or conversion. Consider if separate files are needed. Moving content directly to HTML adds to ease of use for all students. Use the built-in accessibility and formatting tools if you do need a separate document.

Refer to the reference document, Making Word Files Accessible (download) for more information.

Accessibility Checkers

There are many types of accessibility tools to help improve web pages and files. This is important because most people are not accessibility experts and many compliance issues are not easy to see or catch by simply looking at your content. These tools are an important help and assistance, but they cannot replace content created as accessible as possible from the start. In fact, checkers may report a false positive for content that is poorly created.

In Brightspace, you will find an accessibility checker in the text editor. It is quick and easy to use. Blackboard Ally is also integrated with the TN eCampus Brightspace instance. The Ally Course Report is located under the More button on the NavBar. You will also notice small speedometer icons on course pages. You can open these icons (red, yellow, and green) to see the status of individual pages.

Refer to the tutorial for Brightspace Accessibility Checker (Knowledge Books) for more information.

Refer to the tutorial for Ally Instructor Overview (Knowledge Books) for more information.

10.4. Tips for Social Media

Tips for Social Media

Many of the same concepts for web pages and documents apply to social media. Also, consider the following:

  • Use Text With GIFs. Most social media platforms do not allow adding alt text to GIFs. Alternatively, you can add captions or text to describe the GIF.
  • Use Accessible Text. Screen reading technology does not do well with copy that includes emojis, special characters, or full caps. It is best to limit the use of these in your social media posts.
  • Use emojis appropriately. Emojis can have a negative effect on your social media posts. Avoid the overuse of emojis, and solely relying on emojis to convey meaning. The intent can become confusing and not all platforms and devices display them the same way. 

Unique to Twitter

Some accessibility concerns are unique to the format.

  • A Twitter hashtag such as #maketwitteraccessible is a bit hard to read visually, but for a person using a screen reader, it's just gobbledygook. Add capital letters for each word and the screen reader will read each word. #MakeTwitterAccessible is easier for everyone to read. This is sometimes referred to as CamelCase (new window).
  • Consider placing the main content first and adding (#) hashtags and mentions at the end. This will give screen reader users the chance to evaluate if that content is of interest before wading through the links.

TN eCampus tweet with content first. Hashtags and image follow the content..

 

10.5. Accessible Course Facilitation

Student Accommodation Procedure

You may have a student who needs a specific accommodation. Common accommodations in online courses include extended time on tests or assignments, material in alternate digital formats, closed captioning or described video, or text-to-speech, and screen reader accessibility. Students are responsible for getting an accommodations letter from their disability services office. This letter will detail the accommodations that should be provided to the student. Students are not required to reveal the nature of their disability. Contact the disability services office, if you have questions about implementing a student’s accommodation.

Accessibility in Brightspace

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Follow this checklist to help ensure that your course is accessible in Brightspace.

  • To better manage an accessible course experience for the student, use the Brightspace tools (email, discussion, etc.) to create and edit content. Tools used outside of Brightspace may not be accessible.
  • If a Brightspace tool has an accessibility concern, please submit a ticket through the TN eCampus Help Desk indicating:
    • The name and number of the course
    • The Brightspace tool
    • The accessibility problem 
  • If you need help with accessibility when creating and adopting documents as an instructor or If you find content in the course you are teaching to be inaccessible, please submit a ticket through the TN eCampus Help Desk (new window) with the following information:
    • The name and number of the course
    • The module or location in the course where the materials can be found
    • The inaccessible content (ex. life cycle video)

You also have access to an accessibility specialist. Please see the following Getting Help with Accessibility (new window) list.

10.6. Document Templates and Headings

Introduction

A key aspect to accessibility and creating a clean consistent look in a course is to use document templates. Templates define fonts, styles, and other aspects behind the scene. When done correctly, screen readers and other assistive technologies will respond more accurately to users.

Starting From a New Page

Choose an appropriate template from the Select a Document Template menu. Add content to your new page. 

 

Headings

On the surface, headings appear to be larger fonts decreasing in size as the hierarchy of the topic descends, but headings communicate the organization of the content to all readers and are required for assistive technology tools to work correctly. Take a look at this example.

 

The fonts are progressively smaller, but screen readers and other assistive technologies use headings to navigate the content. Simply changing font properties make the document inaccessible. Find more information about headings and accessibility at the W3C Web Accessibility Tutorials (new window) site.

With the structure set, start entering text and other content.

*Please note, text may be copied from many sources, but unexpected formatting and HTML code may be added to the page. It is recommended to copy text content to a text editor like Notepad for PC computers or TextEdit for Mac computers.

 

 

From your plain text tool, copy the text content to the Brightspace text editor. Select the text sections and choose the appropriate hierarchy level for the headers. Choose paragraph for regular text sections.

*Please note, images must be uploaded separately into Brightspace. (See the tutorial on Managed Files for more on this topic.)

 

This may seem like extra steps, but following this procedure will deliver predictable, accessible results and save valuable time.

 

Editing An Existing Page

If you have an existing course page and the template was not set to General Page Template, this can be remedied by choosing the Select a Document Template menu, but this step will eliminate your content.

 

First, make a copy of the page or paste it into a blank document, such as Word. This is only recommended as a visual reference to aid recreation of the page's content, formatting, links, and images as it was setup.

 

Continue to copy the text into a text editor as previously described and rebuild the page from the preceding steps given.

 

Finished Page

When finished, the document will have the correct page structure and headings for an easy to read and accessible page.

 

 

10.7. Decorative Images in Brightspace

Course Images

Images can be an important part of any course. Images may enhance information or contribute to the understanding of text content. Those types of images need alternative text to be accessible. Other images are purely decorative and add no content value. Those types of images need to be correctly tagged as decorative in the alt text field add two quotation marks (“”) or "Null" in the alternative text field.

Which images do not need descriptive alt text?

  • Images of visual styling such as borders, spacers, and corners
  • Images supplementary to link text to improve its appearance or increase the clickable area
  • Images that are illustrative of adjacent text but not contributing information (“eye-candy”)
  • Images identified and described by surrounding text

You can learn more about decorative images at W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (new window).

 

Decorative or Substantive

Is this image decorative or substantive to the content?

 

That is a judgment call. This could be a whimsical or decorative image on a page, but there could be a number of ways to use this image in a meaningful way. The intent of the image depends on the context it is used.

Adding Images

Before you can add an image to a course page, you must add the file to the appropriate folder in Managed Files. Take a look at the steps to add an image and the appropriate alt text. Select and edit the page that needs an image. Choose the image (camera) icon from the menu.

 

Choose Course Offering Files to access the image file.

*Please note, the other options will add images to your course pages, but the files will not be stored in Brightspace for cloning and future uses of the course.

 

 

Navigate to the folder storing the image file. To preview the image, choose the file name first. Choose the radio button and choose Add to place the image on the course page.

 

If the image is decorative, there are two options:

  • Enter Null in the Alternative Text box
  • Check This image is decorative

 

Choose either procedure, but do not use both. This course has the same image twice, but the alt text is different.

 

Take a look at the HTML code to see the difference.

The first image is enclosed in a green border with the alt text in a red border. The second image is enclosed in a tan border with the alt text in a red border. A screen reader will work with each correctly by skipping the image. The second image will be flagged by Brightspace ’s accessibility checker. Brightspace uses this opportunity to guide users to double-check there is no useful description of the image.

10.8. Captioning Video in YouTube

What is video captioning?

Captions are a text form of audio information in video and animations. This includes the words that are spoken, who is speaking when it is not evident, and important sounds like music, laughter, and noises. Captions must be synchronized with the visual content to contextualize them. You can learn more about captioning at W3C (new window).

Captioning Methods

Captioning video is an important step in making content accessible that can be accomplished to a varying degree by a variety of means. Authoring software may offer captioning through the video editing process, but it may lack a hosting option to share videos. Many users may choose YouTube or other services for free hosting options.

  • If captions are prepared, then import the appropriate file to the video on YouTube.
  • YouTube offers manual captioning, but that is time consuming and tedious, but it is very accurate if applied correctly.
  • YouTube also offers auto captioning, but it will need some tweaking to be useful.

Steps to Caption on YouTube

Upload a video or open the Video tab and select an existing video in YouTube Studio.

Scroll down the left menu to Subtitles. The upload process typically includes setting the language, but this is a place to add or edit the language. In this example, the captions/subtitles are published (automatic). Choosing the Options menu opens to edit, download, or delete.


 

Before sharing a new video, check for captioning to see what captioning work, if any, has been done. Some authors may allow community contributions. Otherwise, check with the owner about getting the captions added or updated before sharing the video.

There are two things to easily check to confirm minimum quality. It is best to check the entire video, but you will likely know right away if any serious effort has been made to make the video compliant.

  • Check the published status. Select the video and view the published properties.
  • Auto captioning will not have punctuation or capitalization if it has not been edited, and it may also miss or confuse some words. 

 

New Videos Uploaded to YouTube

Videos take some time to simply upload. YouTube also needs some additional time to process the video to share it online. Initially, there will be a message about the latter before you can take the next steps. Once the video is processed for sharing, there will be options to add captions via the methods listed below. All are good options, but they are all manual methods. YouTube's auto-captioning service is working in the background after the upload. This is an invisible process to the user. This also takes some additional time that could take many minutes to several hours that depends on the length of the video and server capacity.


Three choices: Upload a file, Transcribe and auto-synce and Create new subtitles or CC.

  • Upload a file requires previously created transcript or caption files limited to the .vtt or .srt file format. If you have another file type, there are converters on the web you can use.
  • Transcribe and auto-sync allows you to just type the speaking and sounds and use YouTube to sync the text with the actual timing.
  • Create new subtitles/CC is the most tedious process. You must add the caption text and manually set the timing.

Edit Auto-captions

Waiting for auto-captions to process looks pretty appealing if you are new to the process, but it does require some edits. Notice some of the details highlighted here. Capital letters and punctuation are missing. Words can be confused or missing. As an example, TN eCampus always requires edits.


Typical punctuation and capital letter sample corrections highlighted.

Make any necessary edits. Choose Delete Draft to cancel changes or choose Save Changes when finished.

10.9. Descriptive Audio or Video Description

“Descriptive Audio” “Video Description”

Before we dive in, take a moment to look at a brief video clip from the animation, Frozen (new window).


The terms "Audio Description" and "Description" are also used to name this topic. All 4 terms refer to the verbal depiction of key visual elements in media and live productions not accessible to blind or visually-impaired people. Imagine a TV show, movie, presentation, or live performance with a visual impairment. Hearing the spoken words does not fully convey the crucial information that is expressed visually through gestures, character actions, or scenery. In the Frozen video clip, the limited dialog and sounds conveyed a small portion of the experience. Audio description is needed to convey much of the meaning and the ability to experience the video.

 

Adding a Second User-Selectable Audio Track

A second user-selectable audio track is the most ideal, but most devices don’t have the capability of merging multiple soundtracks. Just creating two tracks may also be problematic. The description must be timed during or just before the visual content is displayed without talking over the spoken content.

Video with limited speaking portions may be adequately described between speaking portions. The Frozen video used this method. Description was added while it played without notably talking over the dialog or sounds or delaying the playback. It also used a method called "ducking" to lower the main audio track to provide distinct description audio. The volume is restored during the dialog portion.

Video with substantial dialog requires pauses in the playback to provide the description in advance of the portion requiring description. The spoken portion will follow as the video advances. Watch a sample video, My Story: Maria (video with Extended Audio Description),  to see this method in action.

In one final example, The Hunger Games with audio description: Katniss hunting (new window),  this video clip has no dialog. Without description, a visually impaired user would have no understanding of this portion of the movie. It highlights the need to consider description opportunities. While much of our school and office content is geared toward heavy dialog, there are still huge opportunities to make our content accessible and compliant with 504 standards.

Assessing Description Needs

So does every minute of my video need to be described? Not necessarily. Could you cover the screen and still fully understand what’s going on in the video? If not, it needs some description. Consider these made-up scenes from a nature documentary.

  1. The narrator says “Look at that!” followed by silence.
    1. Scene 1  could read,  “Look at that man-eating lion! He is ready to pounce as he looks hungrily at the gazelle.” 
  2. The narrator says, “I’ll stand over here while Jim wrestles the anaconda,” followed by the sounds of the snake-wrestling match.
    1. Scene 2 requires some additional description. How does an anaconda wrestle? Who is winning?
  3. The narrator says, “I’ll stand over here while Jim wrestles the anaconda,” followed by the sounds of the snake-wrestling match.
    1. Scene 2 requires some additional description. How does an anaconda wrestle? Who is winning?
    (from UC Berkely Web Access)

Production Improvements

In the previous examples, the decision to add description is made to improve the content that is already developed and published. Like most accessibility concerns, it is much easier to create content with accessibility in mind instead of correcting products at a later time. Using the same examples, look at how the script could change to reduce the need for description in post-production.

 

  1. The narrator says “Look at that!” followed by silence.
    1. Scene 1  could read,  “Look at that man-eating lion! He is ready to pounce as he looks hungrily at the gazelle.”
  2. The narrator says, “I’ll stand over here while Jim wrestles the anaconda,” followed by the sounds of the snake-wrestling match.
    1. Scene 2 could read,  “I’ll stand over here while Jim wrestles the anaconda. He is a big one—over 6 ft long. The snake is wrapped around one of Jim's legs while Jim has both hands wrapped around the snake's neck. Looks like he is in the fight of his life."

Both examples could have more description if needed, but building in more descriptive dialog foundationally brings the whole project much closer for anyone with a visual impairment or someone just listening.

Video Captions and Transcripts

Keep in mind, captions are necessary to make audio content accessible to hearing-impaired people or for users in situations where audio cannot be played. Transcripts should include the text of both the captions and the descriptive audio. Both captions and transcripts are important to make your video more accessible, but the audio description recording should be used in conjunction with these efforts too.        

10.10. Getting Help with Accessibility

Getting Help


If you need assistance in developing/selecting accessible materials for a TN eCampus course, please contact:

Nicola Wayer - TN eCampus Director of Instructional Design and Training

  • Office Phone:(615) 366-3942
  • E-Mail: nwayer@tbr.edu

If you need assistance with accessibility with an online course hosted by your local institution, please contact your institutions Distance Education Director or Dean.

If you need general assistance with accessibility with other courses, please contact one of the following Disability Services contacts at your local institution:

Disability Services Contacts

Last Name

First Name

Institution

Email Address

Role

Gocher-Johnson

Wanda

Chattanooga State Community College

wanda.gocher@chattanoogastate.edu

Assistant Vice President

Mathis

Juliann

Cleveland State Community College

jmathis02@clevelandstatecc.edu

Disability Director

Gooch

Wynn

Columbia State Community College

wynn.gooch@columbiastate.edu

Disability Services Counselor

Baker

Sherry

Dyersburg State Community College

sdbaker@dscc.edu

Counselor/ADA Coordinator

Nickell

Linda

Jackson State Community College

lnickell@jscc.edu

Dean of Students

Champion

Belinda

Motlow State Community College

bchampion@mscc.edu

Director

Dubree

Katrina

Nashville State  Community College

katrina.dubree@nscc.edu

Director

Walker

Denis

Northeast State  Community College

dpwalker@northeaststate.edu

Coordinator

Satkowiak

Ann

Pellissippi State Community College

asatkowiak@pstcc.edu

Director

Watson

Tracey

Roane State Community College

watsontl@roanestate.edu

Director

Clemons

Scedella

Southwest Tennessee Community College

smcatee@southwest.tn.edu


Coordinator

Smith

Leslie

Volunteer State Community College

leslie.smith@volstate.edu

Mgr. of Disability Services

Jackson

Amy

Walters State Community College

amy.jackson@ws.edu

Coordinator


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that are the TBR standards for web content. More information about the Web Accessibility Initiative can be found at the  W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative site (new window).

10.11. Creating Accessible Materials

Creating Accessible Materials

Use this page to locate step-by-step resources for creating accessible materials. Each topic has document that may be downloaded from links at the bottom of this page.


10.12. Legal References for Accessible Design

Legal References for Accessible Design

We have a legal obligation to persons with disabilities under federal and state laws. Please review the following references and resources.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . ."

Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)

In 2015, THEC submitted recommendations to our public higher education institutions to meet their legal obligations to persons with disabilities. These recommendations are provided at THEC Accessibility Task Force Recommendations (new window) website.

TN eCampus

The following statement has been adopted to emphasize TN eCampus' commitment to accessibility:

“Instructional Materials and Technology will be Accessible for Persons with Disabilities”

Functional and Technical Standards for Accessibility

The functional standard for accessibility provides guidance that enhances the functional nature of the POUR design initiative found in the WCAG 2.0 standard. To meet our obligations under ADA/504 our IMTs (documents, sites, media, and/or technology) should be functionally accessible and not just technically conformant. To meet our functional accessibility standard, which means that any person can use the resource effectively to perform the designed intent, the resource is easy to use and the content is clear and unambiguous for all users, including persons with disabilities.

 

More Resources:

10.13. Alternate Access Plans (AAP)

Alternate Access Plans (AAP)

In compliance with Section 504 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ADA as amended in 2008, the TBR and TN eCampus shall apply THEC’s identified accessibility guidelines to Informational Materials and Technology products and services that it adopts, buys, creates, uses and maintains. When informational materials and technologies do not conform to those guidelines, an alternative access plan will be developed to address the accessibility.

At TN eCampus, we require an AAP be created when there are materials or resources within a course that are not in compliance with accessibility guidelines. The Alternate Access Plan for TN eCampus Courses (new window) form should be completed and submitted to Dr. Nicola Wayer via email at nwayer@tbr.edu. A copy of the plan will be shared with the institution’s administration and will also be placed in the developer section of the course.