Academic and Student Services hero small

Academic and Student Services

Educational Technology Corner

Welcome to the Ed Tech Corner.  We are pleased to have this new opportunity to share updates, ideas and opportunities with you. Some of the topics we will be presenting include product updates and improvements for Brightspace, Tophat, Aquifer, ExamSoft, and Biolucida Virtual Microscope. Looking forward to sharing our tech knowledge with you!

Monthly Updates

September 2019

Tech Tips
Tip: As Brightspace users, everyone is welcome and encouraged to create a Brightspace Community account. 

Brightspace Updates September 2019

New login process for Legacy D2L

If you use the Legacy D2L instance for non-Academic training, you will notice that the process to login now includes the MCW Onelogin tool. This process is very similar to the Qualtrics login.

Start by clicking on the D2L icon on Infoscope.

This will take you to the Onelogin interface, where you will enter your MCW Username and MCW password. 

You will then land at the traditional Onelogin Menu. 

Click on the D2L Icon to pass through to D2L. 

Off campus access will require use of the DUO app. 

Some of the exciting updates in the Tophat Gradebook include:

  • Student Response Modals
  • Points or Percentage

For more information on all the great features available to you in the new gradebook, please see Professor: New Gradebook Overview.

MCW's Aquifer subscription offers the flexibility of either custom designed or signature courses, to help enhance your course.

Signature courses include:

  • Diagnostic Excellence
  • Family Medicine
  • High Value Care
  • Internal Medicine
  • Medical Home
  • Oral Presentation Skills
  • Pediatrics
  • Radiology 

For more information or an introduction to the Aquifer content and interface, email A technologist or designer will set up time with you to answer questions. 

August 2019


Release Notes - August 2019

January 2020 End of Support for Internet Explorer
Beginning in October 2019, you will see a warning banner above the navigation bar, if you access Brightspace or D2L via Internet Explorer. Please ensure that you are accessing Brightspace/D2L via the preferred browsers of Chrome or Firefox. Safari and Edge are also supported.

Rubrics Workflow Redesign: Auto-saving and Publishing Workflows
Changes have been made to the Rubrics tool, to unify this core assessment tool and enhance the user experience for both Educators and learners.
Please refer to New Best Practices in Rubrics Grading for full documentation and screenshots.
(New Best Practices in Rubrics Grading, 2019)

Redesigned Quiz Interface
D2L has been hard at work, re-designing the Quiz building interface. Starting in August, you will have the option to test out the new interface when you navigate to Add a new quiz, or to the Question Library.

D2L engineers have redesigned the top four question types (multiple choice, true/false, short answer and written response), as well as sections and question pools (which replaced random sections).  You’ll notice a new create workflows for those 5 features when you’re in a quiz, or the question library, and click the New (question, section, question pool) button. If you’re already opted into the new experience, anytime you edit a question/section/question pool, you’ll notice the new UI.
In January 2020, the new interface will become the default. You are encouraged to Opt-in and start using the new interface. 

ISeek Search Tool for the Medical School
New for Fall 2019, Medical School Faculty and Students can now search topics, keyworks and objectives from within Medical school courses. The iSeek Search Widget has been added to the Brightspace homepage of all courses offered by the Medical School. To initiate your search, simply key in your topic or objective, then click on the magnifying glass. The iSEek interface will then open in a new tab. You can refine your search using the iViews on the left side of the screen. Conversely, choose your iViews first, then key in your search term to see where it is addressed. Click here for a search guide.

Anatomage Table

MCW owns 2 Anatomage tables, for use by Faculty, Staff and Students. The table is a comprehensive 3D visualization tool for education and dynamic presentation. Please contact the Office of Educational Improvement for more information or a demonstration of the table and available content.

May 2019

Tech Tips

Tip: As Brightspace users, everyone is welcome and encouraged to create a Brightspace Community account. 

Tip: Microsoft Teams is available. Teams lets you set appointments, mark events, share files, engage in video and audio conference calls, create groups, and perform numerous other tasks. Teams has become the ideal platform that Microsoft envision - a complete workspace package for optimized and productive collaboration. And, our business agreement with Microsoft allows you to use this tool. Check out the Microsoft Teams Portal or contact MCW-IS for more information.


Assignments – Annotate in full screen | Updated
When annotating submissions in Assignments, instructors can now toggle to a full screen view. This allows for more screen space to display learner submissions and insert annotations, while removing unnecessary navigation menus

Assignments – Rotate page using annotation tools | Updated
Instructors can use the Page Rotation function when assessing assignments using the built-in annotation tools. Depending on the format of a learner submission, documents may appear rotated when initially rendered in the document viewer. Use Page Rotation to quickly reorient the document so it displays as expected.

Grades - Transfer rubric score to grade item score | Updated
When an instructor saves changes made on the Rubric evaluation page, the rubric score is transferred to the learner's grade item score automatically and instructors no longer have to manually transfer the rubric score to a learner's grade item score.

Learning Outcomes - Map achievement levels to percentage ranges | New
When creating a scale in Learning Outcomes, administrators can now map achievement levels for learning outcomes to percentage ranges. This ensures that your organization uses a consistent mapping for assessing learning outcomes when they are associated with rubric criteria in an activity (discussion or assignment).

Quizzes - Full-screen quiz evaluation | Updated
Now instructors can evaluate quiz attempts in full-screen mode. This update enhances an instructor's quiz evaluation experience.

Rubrics - Assess learning outcomes in rubric criteria
Instructors can now assess learners on learning outcomes aligned to rubric criteria in an activity (discussion or assignment). If an administrator mapped achievement levels to percentage ranges when creating the learning outcomes scale, suggested levels of achievement display below the rubric when instructors perform their assessment. This provides instructors with an idea of suitable assessments for learning outcomes based on the rubric (which must be point-based).

Rubrics - Rubrics Grading Experience available for group Assignments and Discussions | New
The Rubrics Grading Experience available for assignments and discussions is now available for group Assignments and group Discussions. When a rubric assessment is in draft state, the assessment is not viewable by members of a given group. Once the assessment is published, all group members can view the rubric assessment. Previously, the new Rubrics Grading Experience was only available for regular Assignments and Discussions.

In addition, when a non-file submission assignment is connected to a grade item in the gradebook, the assessment symbol on the Grade All screen launches the assignment assessment experience.


At MCW, Tophat and Brightspace are synchronized. This means that class list and grade data can easily transfer from Tophat to Brightspace. You can use Tophat for class attendance and polling, then synchronize the data into Brightspace gradebook for a one-stop-shop concerning final grade calculation. 



April 2019

Tech Tips

Tip: As Brightspace users, everyone is welcome and encouraged to create a Brightspace Community account. 

Microsoft is introducing Teams. Think of this app as Skype with expanded group and file sharing functionality. Teams is not a distinct replacement for Skype for Business, it is several features all rolled into one interface. Check with MCW IS on starting up a Team space for your close colleagues. Microsoft has several informational pages on Teams – no need to compare plans or purchase. This comes to us as part of our Office 365 Institutional Agreement.

Highlight: Panopto

This month, the tech highlight is Panopto. This is a service most know as our Lecture Capture Platform. However, it does so much more for you. You can review user statistics, as well as create your own screencasts.

  • Panopto is integrated with Brightspace, which means you (1) don't have to login a second time and (2) your Brightspace permissions pass to Panopto. 
  • Access Panopto by opening your Webcast folder in Brightspace, then click on the Panopto Recordings link. Your Panopto page will open in a new tab. 
  • From the green "create" button, you have options to record or upload, as well as create a new folder (which becomes a sub-folder of your course folder).
  • If you hover over the title of any recording, you will see a sub-menu appear, including Statistics. Use the menus to see how the videos are being viewed, or if there are areas of the videos with multiple views.
  • Want to create a webcast, but keep it private until you are done editing? You can do this! Contact for simple to follow instructions.

Panopto offers a series of support videos for the Windows and OSX operating systems. Take a look and let us know if you have questions.


Brightspace Update Summary

  1. When instructors evaluate assignments and new or updated feedback is published, email instant notifications are available for learners.
  2. Instructors can now align learning outcomes to discussion topics, enabling them to map discussion topic activities to a learner's demonstration of learning outcomes in a discussion. By viewing the learning outcomes that align to discussion topics, learners can understand what they need to demonstrate in discussion topic activities. 
  3. Instructors can now assess discussion threads against learning outcomes aligned to a discussion topic. This allows instructors to easily assess learner progress against learning outcomes. 
  4. Users with the See Rubrics permission enabled can now create Quicklinks directly to Rubrics with the Rubric is visible to Students setting enabled. In addition, users with the Manage Rubrics permission enabled can also access Manage Rubrics at the bottom of the Quicklinks menu.
  5. Instructors can now align learning outcomes to rubric criteria, enabling them to demonstrate how assessment criteria maps to a learner's demonstration of learning outcomes in an activity (quiz or assignment). 


Looking for fresh ways to create content for students? Consider using Tophat Assignments. This is a user-friendly way to personalize your content, offer students support with course concepts via questions and interactive elements.

Did you know that Tophat and Brightspace are synchronized? This makes it convenient to keep students enrolled in the correct Tophat course. This synchronization does extend to the grade book, for ease in ARS or homework grade calculation. Reach out to the LMS Team for more information on how to leverage this service.


March 2019

Tech Tips

  • As Brightspace users, everyone is welcome and encouraged to create a Brightspace Community account.
  • You can access Box directly from your desktop! This will allow you to store files or have a close at hand backup. Check the Box Drive and Edit webpage for a full description of this useful tool. You may need to reach out to IT support for install of this tool.


Looking for more content review options? Brightspace has a Question Pool feature. Questions pools can be used to give random questions in random order to students, for a complete review of content. It is easy to set up and can be used from year to year.

Release highlights

Instructors can now use the built-in annotation toolbar in Assignments to provide contextual feedback with highlighting, free hand 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.

The new SCORM engine now includes Interactions and Objectives reports and can be accessed by navigating to SCORM Reports from a course's reports page (Content > Table of Contents > Related Tools > View Reports > SCORM Reports). In addition, three new buttons appear on the screen to access reports for selected topics and users:

  • Summary: Displays a summary of the attempts a user has made at completing quizzes.
  • Interactions: Displays a list of the interactions corresponding to submitted answers to questions
  • Objectives: Shows a list of the objectives defined within the SCORM package, and the user's progress toward attaining them

To offer a more streamlined and intuitive interface, the new Content experience (Lessons) has been significantly updated for learners. It includes the following:

  • Enhanced table of contents: The new table of contents allows the learner to explore all available content within the course. At any time, the learner can choose an available module to view, and isn't forced to view modules in a specific sequence
  • Full screen viewer for content: When a learner decides what they want to view, clicking a module or topic displays the item in a full screen viewer, allowing them to focus exclusively on the content.
  • Completion tracking: New to the Content experience for learners, completion tracking allows a learner to see their overall completion of each module in the course, as well as completion of individual topics.
  • End of module experience" When a learner reaches the end of each module, a dynamic page congratulates them on their achievement or reminds them about incomplete content topics.


Tophat presents an active blog on all things related to Educational Technology. This month’s feature is the blog on Active Learning.


Aquifer offers a host of resources with our Institutional Subscription. Take a look!
February 2019

Tech Tips

  • As Brightspace users, everyone is welcome and encouraged to create a Brightspace Community account. The Brightspace Community is a complete resource for you, from basic questions to more advanced use ideas.
  • Using Tophat Audience Response in your lecture? Let’s practice! Just reach out to, let us know when your lecture is, and what days you are available to practice. We will reserve a conference room and supply a laptop with all the necessary software to make your practice session realistic.



Tophat responses are recorded in the Tophat gradebook. If you have an instructor account, and you are on the class list as a Professor, you can easily see this by signing into your Tophat course, then click on Grades. All data can be exported for analysis.

If you prefer to have your questions in line with your lecture slides, you can upload your PowerPoint slides to the Tophat course for presentation. This will eliminate the need for using the Presenter tool. Using movies in your lecture? Make sure they are linked in your presentation. Movies will not upload to the Tophat servers.


MCW offers a robust subscription to Aquifer (formerly known as MedU). This collection of patient cases can be used to advance clinical teaching and learning. This month’s feature is an article on using Aquifer resources to Flipping the Classroom.

Contact for information on accounts and Aquifer course set up.

January 2019

Tech Tips

  • Did you know that you can manage content dates in bulk? See our 1-minute video on how to use the Manage Dates Tool. This tool will let you streamline your workflow by using the Brightspace system dates, rather than entering dates in the content titles. No more re-naming files from year to year! It’s a good thing….
  •  If you are enrolled as an instructor in several courses, you can easily copy content between course offerings in Brightspace in as few as three clicks. We created a short video on how to use the Import/Export/Copy Components tool.


Assess learner progress using outcomes

Instructors can assess assignment submissions directly against outcomes aligned to an assignment. Learners are also able to view the results of the instructor assessing their assignment submissions directly against outcomes aligned to the assignment. This change makes it easier for learners to understand their progress against an outcome and locate areas for improvement.

Improvements to Assignments List view

When accessing Assignments, the list view now displays updated information. instructors see information on the assignment name, the number of learners who have completed the assignment, the number of learners who have been evaluated, the number of learners who have had feedback published, and the Due Date. This allows instructors to quickly determine what assignments they need to evaluate, how far along they are with their evaluations, and if they have published the evaluations.

HTML Editor

Descriptive error message for quicklinks to unavailable activities

A specific error message now appears to users who click a quick link to an activity that is outside the availability dates (not yet available or no longer available).

Intelligent Agents

Export agent run history to CSV

Intelligent Agent run history, previously only visible in Brightspace Learning Environment, can now be exported to a CSV file. This feature allows instructors to better track learners that are triggering Intelligent Agents.


Improved rubric creation experience

To improve on the new rubric creation experience, rubric creation has been changed to a single-page workflow. the two previous Rubric Tool options Properties and Levels and Criteria are now condensed into a single Edit option.

The LMS Team has to configure this for MCW. More information to come on this.

Top Hat Updates

If you are unfamiliar with the Top Hat Marketplace, please sign into your course and take a look. The Marketplace link can be found in your Courses sub-menu, upper right corner:

Tophat image

The Top Hat Marketplace contains over 2500 interactive textbooks and course materials. Feel free to browse!


Students now manage their own case resets. Learn more.

You—and your students—already have access to Aquifer Radiology. Are you taking advantage of these deep resources?

Aquifer Radiology’s 18 virtual patient cases and module on professionalism take a patient-centered approach to diagnostic imaging that is ideal for clinical teaching through a range of disciplines. Cases cover imaging issues related to:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Neurology

Contact Us

If you have questions or ideas, please submit them to