myCourses has had some updates and new features added over the last few months. For a full list of details please refer to the monthly Brightspace release notes listed here. We have compiled a list of the most noteworthy updates below.
Assignments – Letter grading available
Grade Schemes can now be used by instructors to evaluate assignments by associating Selectbox Grade Items to an assignment. When grading an assignment through Assignments, Quick Eval, or Grades, the instructor is shown a dropdown menu with the associated grade scheme levels.
Assignments – “New” Assignment Submissions Column and Page
On the Assignments page, instructors now have a “New” column to indicate newly submitted assignments that have not been evaluated.
Classlist – Total number of users field
To improve ease of use, the total number of students (whole class, section, group) now appears in a field at the bottom of the Classlist page.
Discussions – Assessment consistency changes
When assessing discussions, instructors have new multi-select options to Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback. In the Status column, the Draft / Published checkbox has been replaced by information on the date when feedback was saved as draft or published.
These changes are visible on both the Users and Assessments tabs. The Save, Save and Close, and Cancel buttons have also been removed as their functionality has been replaced by the Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback options.
Old View (Checkboxes)
New View (Changes in Orange)
Groups – Self-enrollment group capacity, start dates and descriptions
Group members can now see the description of their group. For self-enrolled groups, group members will now see the group description at all times, including before and after enrollment. For other group types, instructors can now choose to display the description to members of the group. This visible group description setting is off by default for non-self-enrollment groups. Previously, all group descriptions were hidden from group members.
An instructor can now increase or decrease the capacity for self-enrollment groups after they have been created, and prior to the group sign-up expiry date. Decreasing a group size to an amount smaller than the number of students already signed up for a group will not re-allocate users to other groups. Previously, self-enrollment groups were not editable after they were created.
Instructors can set Start dates for self-enrollment groups. This feature allows them to schedule self-enrollment groups availability, ensuring learners are prepared and have equal opportunity to self-enroll.
Quizzes – Synchronization with Grades
Quiz scores and feedback entered in Grades now synchronize automatically with Quizzes. To further streamline the workflow, the Overall Feedback fields in Grades and Quizzes are now consolidated, and the Grade Item Public Comments field has been removed from Grades.
All comments entered in the Overall Feedback field in Grades synchronizes automatically with the Overall Feedback field in Quizzes. This update creates a more direct workflow and aligns Quizzes with the consistent feedback experience implemented in Assignments and Discussions.
Quizzes – Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log
When an instructor restores a learner’s deleted quiz attempt, they can only be restored if the learner does not have another quiz attempt in progress. The Restore button only appears for the latest deleted quiz attempt.
New Quiz Builder Experience
The new Quiz Builder experience now allows instructors to set additional quiz options when creating quizzes. A More Actions button is visible when users select the checkbox for one or more questions; allowing instructors to set questions as mandatory or bonus directly from Quiz Builder, and change the number points assigned to a question or set of questions. There is no change in how the bonus, mandatory, or points features work.
Quizzes – Save feedback as draft
Instructors can now clearly see when feedback is saved as a draft, or published, while evaluating quiz submissions. On the quiz evaluation page, the Graded (G) checkbox and Save button have been replaced by the Publish and Save Draft buttons.
Intelligent Agents – Email images
Users can now insert images directly into the body of intelligent agent emails using the Add Image button in the HTML editor.
Rubrics – Updated Creation Experience
When creating a new rubric, you are now taken directly to the Criteria and Levels page to begin building more quickly.
Support for Internet Explorer Ending
As of January 1st, Brightspace has ended support for Internet Explorer. All versions of Internet Explorer will no longer be able to access Brightspace.
Look out for additional posts in the coming weeks with details about two new features:
- Assignment Annotations: A new built-in annotation feature used in the Assignments tool to mark-up submissions using highlighting, free hand drawing, shapes and associated commenting.
- Quick Eval: a new feature which offers a single location to view all student submissions that are awaiting evaluation.