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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, Top Hat, Aquifer, ExamSoft, and Biolucida Virtual Microscope. Looking forward to sharing our tech knowledge with you!

Monthly Updates

November 2021


Here are some instructions to help you make the most of technology offered at MCW:


There are several ways to grade Assignments:

  • Use built-in annotation tools to markup submissions using highlighting, free-hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting.
  • Evaluate anonymized user submissions to remove bias in the grading process.
  • Evaluate submissions and leave feedback directly on the Submission page.
  • Evaluate submissions directly within attached rubrics and leave feedback directly on the Submission page. For more information about using keyboard-only navigation or screen reader technology, see How assistive technology interacts with the inline grading experience.
  • Evaluate external submissions and leave feedback in an assignment.
  • If Originality Check is enabled at your organization, you can use the Grade Mark functionality to add comments, insert inline text, and highlight sections in file submissions directly in Assignments.
  • Download user submissions and leave feedback within the files, then upload them back into the appropriate assignment so they appear as attachments to each user's submission evaluation.

The grades you manually enter for quizzes, discussions, and assignments grade items are automatically synchronized back to Quizzes, Discussions and Assignments.

Note: Assignments and Discussions grades are synchronized when the tools are updated by the Brightspace API or when you import your grade book via CSV, TSV, or Excel.

View an assignment's Submission log
You must have the See and Manage Assignments and View Submitted Files permissions to view the Submission Log.

The Submissions area of Assignments has a log that you can filter to determine when a learner submitted a file, and whether the learner or instructor deleted the submission.

  1. On the Assignments page, from the context menu of an assignment, click Submission Log.
  2.  Filter the log as applicable, by Submitted (shows all submissions), Deleted, Restored, or Started.
  3. Sort by Date.

Restore a deleted submission
You must have the See and Manage Assignments and View Submitted Files permissions to view the Submission Log.

  1. Do one of the following:
    1. In the context menu for an assignment, click Submission Log.
    2. On the Submissions page for an assignment, click Submission Log.
  2. In the entry for the deleted submission, click Restore.

Quizzes | Watch how to customize question deliver sing Quiz Builder

Understanding date restrictions
Quiz restrictions allow instructors to set start dates, due dates, and end dates on their quizzes. The start date determines when a quiz becomes available to learners. The end date determines when a quiz becomes unavailable to learners. The due date specifies a time when a quiz is expected to be completed. A quiz is considered late if it is submitted after the due date is reached. If a quiz has an enforced time limit and the learner uses more than the allotted time, the quiz is marked as exceeded time limit.

Emailing the Classlist
Populating the To, CC, and BCC fields of an email using the Address Book

Note: The email message, attachments, and the number of recipients in the To, CC, and BCC fields count towards the email message size and cannot exceed 20MB.

  • In the Compose New Message dialog, click Address Book.
  • Select the check box for every user you want to send an email message to, then click To, CC, or BBC to add the selected users to the desired field.
  • Note: The maximum number of recipients in the To and CC fields is 200.
  • Click Add Recipients.
  • Compose the message and click Send.

About Brightspace Editor
Brightspace Editor is now the default editor across the Brightspace Platform.

Nov 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 1

Figure: The new Brightspace Editor

The new Brightspace Editor includes the following enhancements:

Refreshed formatting options

  • The Lato font type
  • A refreshed color picker
  • A refreshed font size menu
  • A comprehensive and standard emoticon menu
  • A comprehensive and refreshed symbols menu
  • An advanced source code editor
  • A refreshed Tables feature, including data sorting
  • A refreshed Accessibility Checker
  • The placement of the Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities into the top bar
  • Word count functionality that includes words, characters, and text selection.
  • Context menus while editing to enable quick access to text, link, and image editing options; including advanced image editing options (where image editing is currently available).
  • A new overflow menu with additional, infrequently used menu options.
  • A format painter that enables you to copy and apply text formatting.
  • @mentions – @mentions is controlled by the organization unit configuration variable, d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions, that is deployed in an OFF state. Once enabled by an administrator, in discussion posts, users can now tag other users within the same course using @mentions depending on permissions. Tagged users are notified by alerts in the minibar. External notifications are not yet available.
  • The Editor now remembers the open or closed state of the More Actions button, per user, in order to reduce clicks for users that frequently use options in the expanded editor.
  • The Editor now uses pixels (px) in the font size menu in order to match the Content Settings menu for an org unit’s default font size.
  • The drag/drop and copy/paste functionality for images in areas that do not contain user specific data is now available. Those areas include:
    • Content Module/Topic Descriptions
    • Quiz/Survey/Self-Assessment - Description, Header. Footer
    • Grades - Description
    • Content Course Overview descriptions
    • Discussion Forum/Topic descriptions
    • Quizzes Feedback and Grades Feedback
    • Grades Comments
    • Discussions > Post feedback and Thread feedback

Note: This functionality is available in user-specific areas that may contain images with learner-sensitive information. As a result, these images are stored in the database rather than the Manage Files area of a course offering. In addition, the Course Copy function does not include these images.

The list below outlines what is not included in the Editor:

  • Spell check functionality. D2L recommends using your browser spell check functionality. However, the d2l.Tools.Quizzing.ShowSpellCheckInAttempts org unit configuration variable is still respected and marks text in Quizzes to be ignored by the browser spell checker. It can be turned off for all quizzes at the org unit level.
  • Cut/Paste functionality. D2L recommends using your browser hot keys/menus for this functionality.

The Brightspace Editor has three options you can choose when viewing content:

Nov 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 2

The Quiz Builder supports the new inline Editor.


Class Participation


Authenticated Support
Have a question on survey performance or design? You can reach out to the Qualtrics help desk. Here is how:

After logging into Qualtrics, access support by clicking on the Help Tab
Choose the Support Site Button

Nov 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 3

You will be presented with a Qualtrics support menu. Key in your search terms to seek Knowledge Base support.

If you are unable to solve your issue in the Knowledge Base, scroll to the bottom of the next page, click on Contact Support

  • Enter your MCW Email (1) and MCW Password (2)
  • Click Sign in with SSO (3)
  • Enter MCWISC on the next box, click Continue

Nov 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 4

You now have access to the Qualtrics Support Team and can send email or initiate chat.

October 2021


Do you use peer grading in your courses? Consider distributing a rubric via Qualtrics. Peers can complete the rubric during a presentation. You will have a consolidated source of data for the presenter. And you can make the evaluations anonymous!

Virtual Reality

Interested in how Virtual Reality can enhance the student experience? An OEI project over the past 9 months has been working in the Acadicus VR environment. This environment offers scenes and learning settings for communication, procedures to help students learn the workflows and nuances before working with patients. The VR system supports video creation of procedures and processes, or interaction between faculty and students in the VR environment. Interested? Reach out to OEI for a tour (in the headsets).


Spotlight: New Discussion Evaluation
The first thing you'll notice when entering our new eval experience is that is looks just like our 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! This is the same rubric component as the New Assignment Evaluation experience uses.  That means that it will drop down the side panel or pop out into a new window for grading.

October 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 1

Figure 1: The new Discussion Evaluation Screen, Work in Progress

Also consistent with Assignments is the header panels with the activity name display, navigation - either back or iterating through submissions, and the learner's name and profile card. The draggable divider will work the same here, too! The best part? It stays where you put it. This also means that 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.

October 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 2

Figure 2: The adaptive mobile drawer, holding the evaluation tools, Work in Progress

The differences in the display of the Discussion topic and replies are slight. One change that may be noticeable is that the title of the topic or the reply is a link. It will open the post in a new window so that the evaluator can get an idea of the context in which the post was made. Some of our most popular PIE items for discussions are around providing more context. We hope that this helps!

October 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 3

Figure 3: A reply to a post, linking out to that post to give more context, Work in Progress

Spotlight: New Assignment Creation Experience

New Layout 
The first thing you’ll notice when viewing the new creation screen in Assignments is an updated look and feel. The classic tabbed view has been transformed into a new, fully immersive page layout.

October 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 4

Figure: The updated look and feel of the new Assignment creation screen

The primary panel on the left contains common, frequently used fields that are always displayed. These fields are most relevant to learners and are the core details instructors want to add like a due date, instructions, and attachments.

The panel on the right organizes additional, more advanced options such as start and end dates, rubrics, annotation tools, and Turnitin. These options have been logically grouped and labelled in a way that resonates with instructors and makes them easily discoverable. While these options are collapsed, summary text provides details about which settings are active and subtle hints that aid in the discovery of additional settings. As a result, you can see everything at a glance with little to no scrolling, and without having to navigate through any tabs.

Streamlined Grades Integration 
We can’t talk about core creation workflows without mentioning grades. The new experience streamlines adding to Grades and builds on a pattern first introduced in Activity Feed. Simply enter a score and your assignment is added to Grades, where the name and score are automagically synced for you. Don’t worry if you traditionally create grade items in advance, as support for selecting existing grades and categories is also available.

October 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 5

Figure: The new add to grades workflow

Sharing your feedback 
A key benefit of opting in early is the ability to share feedback directly with the Assignments team at D2L. As an instructor, if you are opting out of the new experience, a prompt appears encouraging you to leave feedback on the new experience. This feedback is monitored and directly influences our product roadmap, user research, and development planning. Please consider opting in as early as possible (especially test sites) so that your institution’s voice is heard.

October 2021 Educational Technology Corner_Figure 6

Figure: The new assignment create/edit page with the opt-in/opt-out pull down menu

(Brightspace Community, 2021)

September 2021


Gain access to expert tips on using Brightspace. Create your community account here. It’s free and secure!


A new project for the OEI team is the addition of the Acadicus Virtual Reality platform. This technology makes use of

  • Oculus Rift S/ HP Reverb 2 VR Headsets
  • Dell, HP and Lenovo laptops equipped with Nvidia Graphic Processors and Display Port inputs
  • The Acadicus VR Platform by Arch Virtual for Medical Education

At the present time, the project is working with pre-set VR scenes through the Acadicus VR pro space. The VR platform offers students a space to practice working with patients and practice workflow for medical procedures in the early stages of education.

Interested? Please contact OEI to schedule an appointment for a demo/trial. Demos are done on campus, by request, during regular business hours.


September 2021 Release notes

August 2021 Release notes


Top Hat now offers a Community. This can be an intuitive and effective channel for communication.

August 2021


Is your Zoom Client up to date? Check this periodically, to ensure you have access to the latest features. First, sign into Zoom via SSO (on the client) or via the OneLogin interface

  1. Within the Zoom app, select your profile icon on the top-right of the screen.
  2. Select 'Check for Updates'.
  3. If there is a newer version of Zoom available, it will download automatically.
  4. To finish the installation, click 'Update'.

Want to learn more about Qualtrics? Check out the Basecamp video series.

Don’t forget about the Brightspace Community – your one-stop-shop for your Brightspace questions. Registration is free! Membership is secure.


July updates

Add categories for text, calculated, and formula grade items.
This feature enables you to better organize your grade book by adding categories to text, calculated, and formula grade items. 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.

Top Hat Classroom
Top Hat Classroom is now available to integrate directly into Brightspace Learning Environment, offering powerful learning tools and interactive content to enhance courses and engage learners at an y scale.

New Assignment Evaluation Experience.
The New Assignment evaluation will improve instructor workflow

  • In the new Learner Submission List, files are grouped by submission with each submission displaying comments, files, indicators to show lateness, flags, and evaluation status.
  • The next improvement is our Inline Rubric component. 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.
  • This next improvement is very exciting: The Draggable Divider. While our divider between the submission display on the left and the evaluation pane on the right has always been draggable, it is now easier to resize your panels to suit your needs and they’ll stay there as you iterate through your learners’ submissions.
  • Our 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.
  • Improvements in the way Brightspace notifies evaluators of Grade overrides. For users with evaluation permissions, there will now be a clear display when evaluators are choosing to override a grade generated by a rubric. Similarly, Outcomes evaluated based on Rubric criteria will show a similar override indicator.

Educational Technology Corner | Augusr 2021


New Features

Superscript, subscript & symbol support in Multiple Choice, Matching & Sorting questions
When creating a Multiple Choice, Matching or Sorting question, instructors can apply bold, italic, superscript and subscript formatting to text in the question stem and answer options. Instructors also have access to a symbol keyboard. Instructors are encouraged to check future Release Notes for updates on when these formatting capabilities are extended to other question types.

Points/percentage view toggle in the student Gradebook
Students using Top Hat on a web browser can configure their view of the Gradebook to show their grades as either points or percentages via a click-to-reveal toggle in the Gradebook header.

Feature Improvements

Highlighting and notebook improvements
This update allows students using Top Hat via a web browser to highlight in three different colors (green, yellow and red) as well as add notes to text in a Page in both fullscreen view and the preview pane. In addition, when a student returns to a Page, it opens at the same location in the Page as when they exited.

Partial grading for Matching & Sorting questions
When creating a Matching or Sorting question, instructors have the option to configure the question such that students will receive partial grades, commensurate with the number of answer options they correctly match or place.


Deployed resolutions for the following issue:

  • Instructors unable to view PDF files students uploaded in response to File Submission questions in both the preview pane and Gradebook.

Deployed resolutions for the following issue:

  • Timestamp on responses in the exported Gradebook file not matching the timestamp on the response in Gradebook itself


  • Deployed resolution for the following issue in the iOS app (as part of the 8.1.0 version update):
  • Problem with pinned tests in the Classroom and Assigned tabs.
  • Deployed resolution for the following issue in the iOS and Android app (as part of the 8.2.0 version update)
  • Problem with crashing Pages.
April 2021


  1. Zoom – for the best virtual meeting experience, make sure to keep your Zoom Client updated. The update menu item can be accessed under the user menu in the upper right corner.
  2. Presenting in Teams? Check out how you can integrate PowerPoint Live.
  3. Remember to create your Brightspace Community account. This gives you access to all the answers you could ever need, 24/7 access! And, best of all, it is FREE!


Accommodations – Improvements in Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge, and User Progress | New
This feature builds on the Accommodations – Quiz accommodations | New feature that was released in the February 2021/20.21.2 release.

The following improvements have been made in the Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge and User Progress tools:

Improvements in Classlist for Instructors:

  • An icon now appears next to the learner’s name in the Classlist to indicate that the learner has an accommodation.
  • Instructors can filter the Classlist by Accommodations.
  • If there are no accommodations granted to a learner, the View accommodations menu option from the learner context menu in the Classlist does not appear. If the instructor role has the Add/Edit Accommodations permission, the Add accommodations menu option appears instead.
  • Instructors can also Print or Email a list of users with accommodations by adding the filter to those pages.

Improvements in Classlist for learners:

  • An icon appears next to learners’ names to indicate they have an accommodation. To view accommodation details, learners can click View my accommodations.
  • When commencing a quiz, the accommodation icon appears next to a learner’s quiz time to indicate that their accommodation has been applied. If a learner’s time accommodation has been overridden by a quiz-specific special access, this icon does not appear.

Improvements in Quizzes for instructors:

  • Instructors can now grant learners special access in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes). Refer to the Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality | Updated release note for more information.
  • Quiz-specific special access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. When you overwrite an accommodation and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting the accommodation appears. Previously, this warning appeared at the top of the Quiz special access screen. Now, it appears on clicking Save.

Improvements in User Purge and User Progress:

  • User purge now includes user accommodations.
  • The accommodations icon now appears in the User Progress tool alongside the Quiz domain if they have a quiz accommodation in that course.

Assignments - Action menu for group assignments in New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New
The New Assignment Evaluation Experience now includes a drop-down menu from the group name. This menu contains links to:

  • Email the group (opens in a new window)
  • See all group members
  • Instant message the group (opens in a new window)

Assignments - Anonymous marking in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New
This feature makes anonymous marking fully supported in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience. When using Anonymous marking, the Anonymous User number appears in place of the username, just as it appeared in the legacy Assignments experience. In addition, the following features of anonymous marking remain the same: 

  • No profile card appears for anonymous users
  • Usernames become visible once any learner’s evaluation is published 
  • Group names are always visible even when using anonymous marking 
  • Rubrics do not include the user’s name

Anonymous marking uses Publish All instead of the Publish button. If no feedback for anonymous users has yet been published, the Publish button is disabled and a message appears to direct users to the Publish All button. If any user feedback has been published, all Publish buttons become automatically enabled.

Assignments – Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience | New
Review the Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor | New release note to learn more about the features of Brightspace Editor.

The new Brightspace Editor replaces the previous HTML Editor as the default HTML Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience.

Assignments - Context menu on the Evaluation screen in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New
A new context menu appears in the side panel of the updated assignment evaluation screen. This menu links to the following:

  • Edit Activity (opens assignment page in new tab). This option appears for users who have the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders permission.
  • Special Access Dates (opens the Edit Activity screen so users can update Special Access rules). This option requires the Set Special Access on Assignment Submission Folders permission.

Note: The context menu will not appear if the user does not have the required permissions to access these links.

Assignments - Single file submissions open directly in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New
In the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, when a learner has submitted only one file, the evaluator no longer has to click into the evaluation and then into the file. The file opens directly for the evaluator, saving a click during the evaluation process. Late submission information continues to display above the file, as it currently does.

Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor | New
This feature releases the new and improved Brightspace Editor.

The new Brightspace Editor includes the following improvements to existing features:

  • Refreshed formatting options
  • The Lato font type
  • A refreshed color picker
  • A refreshed font size menu
  • A comprehensive and standard emoticon menu
  • A comprehensive and refreshed Symbols menu 
  • An advanced source code editor
  • A refreshed Tables feature, including data sorting
  • A refreshed Accessibility Checker
  • An improved mobile editor view and experience
  • The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar

The Editor also includes the following new features:

  • Wordcount functionality that includes words, characters, and text selection.
  • Context menus while editing to enable quick access to text, link, and image editing options; including advanced image editing options (where image editing is currently available).
  • A new overflow menu with additional, infrequently used menu options.

Content - URL topics now Open as External Resource by default | Updated
Previously, when a user created a new URL Content type, the Open as External Resource option was not selected by default. In some cases, this caused a Cross-Origin resource sharing (CORS) error to appear when viewing the content topics. Now, the URL Content type, such as a Google Team Drive Public link, has the Open as External Resource check box selected by default. Users can choose to deliberately remove the Open as External Resource option if necessary. If it is deselected, users are advised that D2L recommends opening links in a new window to prevent issues viewing the resource before saving.

When viewing a content topic that is a URL, the button to open the resource in a new window always appears so that if the content cannot load in an embedded frame, a user can choose to open the content in a new window.

Note: This applies to the classic Content experience only.

Grades – Mastery View calculation improvements | Updated
Mastery View was originally released for the Grades tool in December 2020/20.20.12. To increase the value of the Mastery View of the Grades tool in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been improvements to the calculation functionality: 

  • When you switch to a calculation method, but do not save the new method, you can return to the original calculation method, and restore the original values of the Choose Activities to use in the calculation field. If you switch to a new calculation method and save the new method, if you return to the original calculation method, the Choose Activities to use in the Calculation field uses the default values.

Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality | Updated
This feature is in line with the improvements made to the Quizzes tool as listed in the Accommodations – Improvements in Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge, and User Progress | New feature.

Instructors can now grant learners special access in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes). For example, if an instructor has a 30-minute quiz and using the Special Access page, grants three learners 1.5x the quiz time, their updated quiz time of 45 minutes displays. Instructors no longer have to manually calculate the updated quiz time.

Note: After extending the learners quiz time by way of quiz time multipliers or +minutes on the Special Access page, if an instructor updates the duration of the quiz, the learner’s quiz time on the Special Access page does not dynamically update at this time.

Quizzes – Secure and consistent editing experience | New
For a more secure and consistent editing experience in Brightspace, creating any of the following question types now automatically filters out JavaScript and non-standard HTML: Likert, Ordering, Matching, Fill in the Blanks, Short Answer, Multi-Short Answer, Arithmetic, and Significant Figures. For existing questions containing JavaScript and non-standard HTML, the questions continue to display as intended until an instructor edits and saves the questions, which removes the JavaScript and non-standard HTML. Previously, instructors could add JavaScript or non-standard HTML to question types in order to create dynamic content for quizzes.

Rubrics – Navigation Accessibility Improvements | Updated
To increase the value of the rubric tool in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been accessibility improvements to the rubric creation and evaluation workflows:

  • Screen readers now inform users of controls for adding feedback to criteria when reading the criteria group table. The table summary now includes the following text: This table lists criteria and criteria group names in the first column. The first-row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method. You can give feedback on each criterion by tabbing to the add feedback buttons in the table.
  • When a score field has the focus, the screen reader now informs the user if it is a criterion score or a total score based on the field label. It also indicates which criterion the score is associated with and what action the user can take. For example: 2/4, score of Criterion 1. Press Enter to override the criterion score. 
  • Previously, the Total Score and Criterion Score fields did not clearly indicate whether the score is a manual override. The override information appeared in a tooltip that was not visible to assistive technology including screen readers; an asterisk was the only differentiator. Now, the screen reader can read the tooltip content when the Total Score or Criterion Score fields have the focus.
  • Previously, when the Total Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button appeared; however, when Criterion Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button only appeared if the focus was on the score. Now, Clear Override appears when either the Total Score or the Criterion Score is a manual override, regardless of where the focus is.
  • To improve usability with assistive technology, the Add Feedback button indicates to screen readers the criterion to which the feedback is associated. The Clear Feedback button also indicates the associated criterion.
  • When the keyboard focus moves to the default rubric group or new criteria group, the screen reader now tells users the number of rubric levels and criteria in the group.
  • Previously, users who used keyboard-only navigation and screen readers were not able to delete aligned outcomes. Now, when a user navigates to the Browse Standards button and focuses on an outcome tag, the screen reader reads the tag content and provides guidance that they can press Delete to remove the aligned outcome.
  • Previously, the screen reader only read the content of the level name and points fields and indicated that it was a text field. There was no indication of the significance of the field. Now, when the level name text field has the focus, screen readers indicate that the field is for editing the name of a specific level. When the points text field has the focus, the screen reader indicates that the field is for editing the points of a specific level. 

TOP HAT | New Features

Superscript, subscript and symbol support in questions
With this update, instructors will be able to input superscripts, subscripts and symbols into the text and answer options for Multiple Choice, Matching, Sorting and Click on Target questions.

Manual grade column entry
With this feature, instructors can manually add columns to their Gradebook, to record grades for assessments completed outside of Top Hat.

Icon updates
The icons for all Top Hat course content are getting a fresh new look! The new icons help to give a clearer indication of the nature of each content item. Here’s a preview of the changes coming to each icon.

Tophat Icon Updates_April 2021

Highlighting, note taking and reader location memory
These improvements will allow students to highlight in three different colors (green, yellow and red) as well as add notes to text in a Page in full screen view, the preview pane and the mobile app. In addition, when a student returns to a Page, it will open at the same location in the Page as when they exited.

Interactive Guides
Interactive Guides will now be found in the Marketplace Tab.

March 2021


Do you want to “up your game” in Zoom? Zoom communications offers a full help site. Check out the Top 20 resources to get started. Learn about new updates.

Do remember to open your Zoom client and check for updates. This link is under your initials in the upper right corner of the Zoom interface. Windows should be running version 5.5.4, Macs should be running 5.5.5.


Semester Start for Instructors Video Playlist
As we get ready to prepare for a new academic term, there is some prep work to do on your Brightspace course shells. From the D2L company, here is a playlist of videos to help you organize everything from content to student groups.


Starting with the March 2021/20.21.3 release, the Consistent Evaluation experience in Assignments is now referred to as New Assignment Evaluation Experience. 

Assignments - Copying an assignment | Updated
Previously, when you copied an assignment, the copied assignment was set to active and you had to open the newly copied assignment to edit it.

Now when you copy an assignment, the copied assignment is set to inactive and you are directed to the Edit Assignment screen to continue editing it as part of the copy assignments workflow.

Assignments – Learner profile card in New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New
When hovering over a learner’s name or profile picture in the new evaluation experience, the learner’s user profile card appears. The card displays the user’s online/offline status as well as links to: 

  • Email
  • Instant Message
  • User progress
  • User profile

Brightspace Platform – Support alert banner for legacy Edge | New
In order to be consistent with the Microsoft End of Support for Legacy Edge in March 2021, D2L is also ending browser support for Legacy Edge. To encourage clients to use Brightspace Learning Environment with a browser that provides robust support for all features, a warning banner appears in Brightspace Learning Environment if the client is using Legacy Edge. The banner can be dismissed; however, it cannot be disabled at the org level.

Brightspace Pulse – Notifications for upcoming quizzes and assignments | New
In Brightspace Pulse, learners now receive push notifications that remind them about upcoming quizzes and assignments. By default, notifications display two days before each activity's due date or end date.

Calendar – Improvements to date and time selection web components | Updated
To improve the ease of use for clients using the date and time picker in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been updates to the web components related to date and time selection. These changes are intended to provide better usability for keyboard users and better integration with assistive technology. Changes include:

  • Ability to use arrow keys rather than the Tab key to improve keyboard navigation and accessibility.
  • Aesthetic changes to hide unused elements until they are active.
  • New selectable values of 12:01 AM and 11:59PM in the time picker.
  • New default values for Start, Due, and End dates.
  • The new Set to Today button inside the date picker replaces the Now button outside the date picker.

Note: There may be some instances of the older date picker remaining in Brightspace Learning Environment. These instances will be changed to the new date picker in a future release.

Quizzes - Copy quiz workflow | Updated
The copy functionality is now available on the individual quiz drop-down menu. When you copy a quiz, the copied quiz is set to inactive (as per the original copy quiz workflow) and you are directed to the Edit Quiz screen to continue editing it. Now, the copy quiz workflow also copies over Special Access settings and aligned Learning Objectives.

Rubrics – Navigation Accessibility Improvements | Updated
This feature was originally released for the Rubrics tool in June 2020/20.20.6  and updated in July 2020/20.20.7. To increase the value of Rubrics in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been accessibility improvements to the rubric creation workflow:

  • In the Overall Score, screen reader users are now informed that the overall score levels are selectable items. When the user navigates between levels, the screen reader now reads the level order, level name, point level, level content, and selection status.
  • When reading descriptions in rubric table cells, screen readers now read the level name and the point value.
  • Radio buttons that are used to grade a criterion are now labelled for screen readers to include the criterion for which this radio button applies, and the corresponding rubric level name and point value for each radio button.
  • When an Add Feedback button has the focus, screen reader also reads the name of the associated criterion.
  • When the screen reader focus is on the outcomes icon in the criterion column, it indicates the standard associated with the criteria name and reads the tooltip content.
  • When a Criterion Score cell has the focus, screen readers now indicate that it is the score of the criterion name, the score, and that the user can press enter to adjust the score using a spin button.
  • Screen readers now have access to controls for adding feedback to criteria when reading the criteria group table. The table summary now includes the following text: This table lists criteria and criteria group name in the first column. The first-row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method. You can give feedback on each criterion by tabbing to the add feedback buttons in the table.
  • When a page is loaded, the keyboard focus is now on the first focusable interface component; extra tab stops have been removed. 

(Corporation, 2021)


Notifications on the Android mobile app
Students using the latest version of the Top Hat mobile app on an Android device will receive notifications when a question in presented or a test is launched in their course, even if they only have the Top Hat mobile app open in the background. Clicking the notification will bring the student into their Top Hat course on the mobile app. Students must have first enter a course on the mobile app in order to receive notifications for that course. Students will no longer receive notifications for the course if they close the app, exit the course, or more than 2 hours passes from the time of course entry.

Assignment Grading
Instructors now have the ability to grade Tests from the Content section of their course via the Assignment Grading view (prior to this update, it was only possible to grade Pages using the Assignment Grading view). In addition, instructors can now award participation points, edit grades for all question types, and leave feedback for questions worth 0 points in the Assignment Grading view. For more details on how to use the Assignment Grading view, refer to the following support article: Professor: Assignment Grading

Student Web Accessibility
The most common and essential workflows for students using Top Hat via a web browser have now reached Level AA compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, including logging in, answering questions and reading textbooks. For more details on Top Hat's commitment to accessibility and inclusion, visit our landing page: Accessibility and Inclusion with Top Hat

Image zoom-in on iOS mobile app
Students using the latest version of the Top Hat mobile app on an iOS device now have the ability to zoom in on uploaded images.

February 2021

Tech Tips
The Brightspace Community is a great place to get ideas and tips on the use of Brightspace. Create your free account!

Brightspace now offers a Guided training from the Community course. This course is built in an environment that is very similar to our Brightspace courses. Create you Brightspace Community account and have a look!

February 2021 Updates

Accommodations – Quiz accommodations | New
This feature enables instructors to grant learners accommodations through the Classlist tool. Accommodation options currently available include: more time to complete quizzes at the course level and the ability to bypass right-click restrictions in quizzes. The right-click restriction in quizzes is the ability for learners to right-click in the quiz while taking the quiz. Once granted, these accommodations apply to all quiz activities in a course for that learner.

Figure 2 Brightspace Quiz Accomodations Image
Figure 2: Brightspace Quiz Accommodations

Assignments - Save progress and visual enhancements | Updated
Now, the Save button in the new assignment creation experience enables an instructor to save their progress while creating or editing an assignment. Previously, Save and Close was the only option.

Assignments "Save" progress and visual enhancements "Save" screenshot

Grades – Additional features for Mastery view of the grade book | Updated
The first time you use the Mastery View table page, a message appears under the page title indicating the default calculation method for the data in the view and provides a link to the Settings page, where you can change the calculation method.

If you change the calculation method after evaluation data has been collected, a warning message appears to indicate that the evaluations must be recalculated according to the newly selected method. Any prior evaluations with manual overrides or feedback are not affected by changing calculation methods.

Rubrics - Warning dialog for partial evaluations | Updated
Previously, if an instructor attempted to publish a partially completed rubric evaluation, the partial evaluation dialog appeared. If the instructor tapped Enter on their keyboard, the partial evaluation was published.

Now, the default button behavior has changed so that tapping Enter on the page returns the user to the rubric to complete the evaluation. This change adds a verification layer to reconsider their action and ensure that instructors are not mistakenly publishing incomplete evaluations.

SCORM - Improvements to reports | New
For improved usability, SCORM Report pages feature the following new functionality:

  • Sorting (toggling by ascending/descending order) by each column:
    • In the Content Tab, the default sorting is by the first column Title
    • In the Users Tab, the default sorting is by the first column Name
  • Clear Search option is now available in the Users Tab in SCORM Reports. Previously, the user was required to refresh the page, or navigate away and back to clear search terms.

Note: SCORM reporting applies to the New SCORM solution only

Top Hat

Image Resizing (in Pages and Tests)

  • Upon uploading an image to a Page or Test, instructors can now resize the image in order to attain the desired proportionality with other elements. View full details on this feature.

Test Accommodations

  • When assigning a non-monitored or remotely monitored test, instructors can now include accommodations for students in need of additional time by adding a set amount of time or a time multiplier to specific students' timers. View full details on this feature.

Page & Test Reports (in the Gradebook)

  • Instructors can now generate reports for Pages and Tests in their Gradebook, providing a more focused view for reviewing and modifying grades, as well as providing feedback to students.


Tournaments Sunset

  • The Tournaments feature has been sunset for all Top Hat courses. Tournaments has been unavailable for newly created courses since June 2020. On January 1st 2021, courses created prior to June 2020 had the option to create Tournaments removed.

iOS App (7.1.0)

  • Improved interface for tests showing on the Classroom and Assigned screens. When opening a test, students now see a "Get ready" information screen.
  • The Classroom tab is now a single fully scrollable screen in both portrait and landscape orientations.

Android App (7.0.0)

  • Students that do not use Single Sign On to login to Top Hat are now required to enter their password when changing their email in their Account Settings.

iOS App (7.1.0)

  • Fixed a bug causing some schools not to appear in the "Find Your School" screen at login.
  • Fixed a bug preventing discussions from resuming in some circumstances.

Android App (7.0.0)

  • Fixed a bug causing a crash when attempting to login via Single Sign On.
  • Fixed a bug causing the app to return to the login screen during an active session.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the Gradebook to show “N/A” instead of the name of the file which was submitted in response to a File Submission question.
  • Fixed various presentation issues impacting scrolling and slide indexes.


The Company Domain (not pictured) is mcw-edu.

Note: Using this login path will ensure that you have all the features that are provided via the MCW/Zoom Communications Business Agreement.

Figure 1 Zoom Login Image

Figure 1: Zoom login

January 2021

Tech Tips
24/7 Brightspace support is available at the Brightspace Community. Create your free account!
Using Office365 more? The support website is a treasure trove of valuable help tips. Ask your question in the “How can we help?” field. A helpful answer is sure to return.

The new assignment creation experience | Updated
The new assignment creation experience defaults to On

Multiple rubric support in consistent evaluation experience | Updated
This feature is a continuation of the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | New feature that was introduced in the December 2020/20.20.12 release.

If an assignment includes multiple rubrics, they are all visible to instructors using the Consistent evaluation experience. Instructors are also able to choose the default scoring rubric. Previously, the consistent evaluation experience would only display one rubric on the assignment evaluation screen.

Course Export
Export file upload attribute for written response questions | New
Written Response quiz questions that allow for file upload can now be imported and exported from Brightspace Learning Environment. With the ability to import and export these questions users can share them with users from other instances of Brightspace. 

Additional features for Mastery View in the grade book | Updated
To increase the value of the Mastery view in the grade book, originally released in Brightspace Platform 20.20.12/December 2020, this release updates and adds the following new features:

  • Three new calculation methods: Highest Level, Most Recent Level, and Decaying Average.
  • A Publish All button for overall levels of achievement for all outcomes to all learners.
  • A Search by Student Name field.
  • A warning when the user attempts to change the default achievement scale.
  • Removal of the Clear Default option in the Achievement Scale dialog.

Multi-select questions workflow on by default
Retake Incorrect questions only permission setting | Updated

Building on the Quizzes – Improvements to the ability to retake incorrect questions in quizzes | New feature released in December 2020/20.20.12, the role permission Edit Quiz Properties permission now controls the availability of the Retake Incorrect Questions Only setting on the Assessment tab. This change ensures that only instructors with the Edit Quiz Properties permission can set the retake incorrect questions only setting on a quiz.  
(Corporation, 2020)

Top Hat
Looking for learning strategies? This complete article from Top Hat combines strategies discussed in our Kern Kinetic3 course, as well as examples of how you can easily implement them in Top Hat.


December 2020

Tech Tips 
Zoom is now integrated with Brightspace and Panopto! This integration offers: 

  1. Scheduling of Zoom course sessions through Brightspace.  When scheduled, a Zoom link will be sent to the Brightspace course calendar, for students to access the Zoom course session. 
  2. Dramatic decrease in latency versus the Panopto livestream. 
  3. Automated transfer of Zoom recordings to the course Panopto folder.   
  4. Zoom Breakout rooms are available for class session use. 

View step-by-step directions.

December 2020 Updates include: 

Top Hat 
Join #ProfChats on Twitter 

Enhancing the student experience on mobile  
We heard that students were experiencing slow loading times on our mobile app—and that wasn’t okay in our books. To help them access their course materials faster, we are committed to improving our speed and load time up to 30% by the end of this term. 

Improving the loading times of questions  
We launched some new question types this fall, including File Submission, Graded Calculation and Tables and Graphs. But they just weren’t performing at the speed we wanted. We are focused on optimizing these questions to provide you with more flexibility for your projects and labs. 

Top Hat Community 
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we created Slate, a standalone messaging app purpose-built for higher education. Over the past six months, our customers have told us how much they love this tool for creating engaged learning communities in their courses, so we’ve decided to rename it to reflect what it does best. Going forward, Slate will be called Top Hat Community—and you’ll see this name change in the app early next week. Learn more about introducing Top Hat Community in your class 

November 2020

Tech Tips 

Request your Zoom account, use any of the following methods: 

  • Visit (available from on-network, Citrix, or VPN). Click Submit Ticket, then Request Zoom Access and complete the required fields. After submitting you will be provided information on how to install Zoom on your computer. 
  • You can also use the AI Bot (BluMan) at the above site. Ask “how do I get Zoom access” and BluMan will walk you through the steps. 
  • Contact us at or (414) 955-4357, option 8. 

Contact lists in Qualtrics 
Create contact lists in Qualtrics, to keep your survey data tidy. This option allows you to send discreet links to survey participants. Instructions are here after signing into Qualtrics via OneLogin.

Interested in collaborating with other Brightspace users? Consider joining the Brightspace Teaching and Learning Group.  A free Brightspace Community membership is needed for access to this groups 

Assignments – Date picker change | Updated  
This feature updates the date picker component for the new assignment creation experience. The new date picker has a more streamlined design and requires a slight workflow change: to clear a date/time, the X alongside the time field has been replaced by a Clear option inside the calendar. 
Brightspace Pulse – Dark mode for Android | New  
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. 

Content – Enhancements to course content statistics | New  
To provide instructors with additional insight about their courses, statistics in the classic Content experience now include more information. 
To view course content statistics, as an instructor, navigate to Content, and then select Table of Contents > Related Tools > View Reports. 

Grades – Display total points in Manage Grades | Updated  
To improve usability of the Grades tool and reduce calculation errors, Manage Grades now includes total points for grade categories and Final Calculated Grade. Previously, there was no indicator of the total points while users were managing their grade book, and instructors were required to manually add up the points from all grade items to check if the total matched their syllabus. 
For weighted grade books, the total weight is displayed in addition to the total points. For formula grade books, the manually-entered max points is displayed instead of the total points. Totals do not include bonus grade items and do support grade item dropping. 

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

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

Learning Object Repository 
If you share content among different classes, you can easily do this with a LOR. A LOR (Learning Object Repository) is like a bridge between courses. Content can be stored in the LOR and displayed in a course content area.  contact LMShelp for a consult on setting up the LOR. (Brightspace Community, 2020) 

Top Hat 
You can offer review questions for students via the Top Hat Assign tool. Start by logging into your Top Hat course. 

Aquifer Webinars 
November 30 – Best Practices for Using Geriatrics across the Curriculum 

October 2020

Tech Tips
If you have not gotten into Office365, you are missing out. Here are 12 reasons to use (and love) it!


Brightspace Updates September 2020

Top Hat

Hybrid Attendance
Instructors can now configure their attendance settings for hybrid classes. When enabled, the hybrid attendance setting will attach a question to each attendance session run in the course, asking students to specify whether they are attending the class in-person. 

Leaving Feedback in the Gradebook
Instructors now have the ability to leave comments on individual student responses in the Gradebook. Students will see these comments in their Gradebook, which they can use to deepen their understanding of the assessment activities they have completed. 


Aquifer will be retiring the current Aquifer Culture in Healthcare cases in order to thoroughly update the content and teaching about bias, health inequities, and healthcare outcomes. Aquifer is committed to providing contemporary teaching in all aspects of healthcare, and our team of medical educators has determined that these cases would benefit from extensive revisions. The Culture in Healthcare course is currently available as a free resource with your subscription.  
The three virtual patient cases in the Aquifer Culture in Healthcare course will be retired on October 15, 2020. The five Student Learning Resources associated with this course and Aquifer Medical Home will continue to be available via the Case Library and Medical Home course. 
Extended access to Culture in Healthcare cases will be available by request for a limited time to accommodate faculty who choose to continue using this content in light of the needed updates and require continued access to deliver a consistent learning experience to their students. 
If your program does not request extended access, the Culture in Healthcare cases will be removed from your Aquifer account on October 15, 2020. The Culture in Healthcare course will not appear on the Courses page, and the three associated virtual patient cases will be removed from within your custom courses and the searchable Case Library. Please export and save any related student reports prior to October 15.

Requesting Extended Access
For those who rely on Culture in Healthcare cases into their curriculum, we are offering an option to request temporary extended access through either December 31, 2020, or June 30, 2021, to allow students to complete related coursework. 
Aquifer Webinars and Training
  1. Creating Advanced Compare and Contrast Learning with Aquifer Case Modifications
  2. Using Aquifer Cases Effectively: Perspective of a Third-Year Medical Student
  3. New WISE & CARE Platform Launching September 2
  4. Webinar Recording: Remediation: Using Aquifer to Support Struggling Learners
  5. Student Experience: Bridging the Gap Between Coursework and Patient Care
August 2020

Tech Tips 
Did you know that you can install Microsoft Apps on multiple devices? Start by logging into Office 365 via the InfoScope Icon, or, alternatively, this link.  In the upper right corner, you will see an install link. Per MCW agreement, you can install Office apps on up to 5 computers, and 5 mobile devices. 

Did you know that you can create a webcast with PowerPoint?  PowerPoint files can be saved as .mp4 files, which will then play in a Video player.  Here are instructions on how to set up your recording and save to the correct file format

Brightspace Continuous Updates June 2020 

Brightspace August Release Notes

Checklists – Copy a checklist | New
Instructors can now perform copy actions for checklists. You can copy a whole checklist, a checklist category (including all items within it), or individual items in a checklist.  

Classlist – User experience changes | New 
When adding participants to a classlist using the Enrolling Existing Users interface, search results now include users who are currently enrolled in the course.  

Email - Interface improvements and enhanced filtering option | New 
Email now features the following enhancements for improved usability: 

The Compose Email screen now includes a second Send button for enhanced usability. The Email Inbox is redesigned to display the Search Options area to the left of the screen. As well, the Advanced Search Options feature of the Inbox now enables filtering by Read and Unread messages.

Notifications - Deleted content links to message | New 
Notifications for content that is subsequently hidden/deleted/conditionally released are now removed from the Brightspace notifications area on the minibar. Notifications that arrive via email or text notifications, or in Brightspace Pulse push notifications, now provide a link to the Course Table of Contents with a message that states 'Item not available'. Previously, clicking the link created a 404 Not Authorized error. 

Question Library – Attach files in written response questions | New 
When creating a written response question, instructors can now allow learners to upload files in their answers and include embedded images. Learners can also record audio or video responses when answering written response question types. Written response questions are available in surveys. When grading a quiz, similar to the behavior in the Discussions tool, instructors can download and open these attachments in another tab. When learners are reviewing their quiz submissions, if they are allowed to view their quiz responses, they can view their uploaded attachments. The maximum file size for a single file or embedded image attached to a quiz response is set to 102400 KB (100MB). The maximum file size for all files attached or embedded in a single quiz question response is set to 102400 KB (100MB). 

VoiceThread is a Multimedia platform to encourage interaction.  This platform is integrated with Brightspace.  
To use this tool, the Instructor starts by posting a concept or idea.  Students reply via phone, video, or text. Everyone can post images or files as supporting documentation, and everyone can reply to posts within the VoiceThread, creating a lasting digital conversation.  
For more information on how to link this tool to your course, please contact
Panopto Discussions 

Remember to navigate to your course Panopto folder after your lecture.  Students have quickly adopted the use of this tool.  You may have some interesting questions.   

Top Hat 
Top Hat Pages is being successfully uses as an alternative to classroom polling. Top Hat pages is a digital worksheet in the Top Hat system.  You can easily create a Page, import your already existing questions, assign a score, and assign access to students.  Pages is easy to access, gives visual answer data. You can offer feedback via Top Hat or via Brightspace. 

Onboarding resources have been added, to help faculty make the most of the Aquifer system. An overview of how to track student work has also been added. 

April 2020

Focus on Distance Teaching

There has be a complete shift from Face-to-Face to online delivery of content to our students. This challenge to education is unprecedented. This section has customarily focused on changes and improvements to our Educational Technology systems. This article will focus on the use of technology to engage your students from afar.

You will see many links in this article. The links will take you to OEI and vendor created tutorials and release notes, to help you make the most of the technology tools available.

The Office of Educational Improvement has developed a website dedicated to Distance Education and available resources. This site gives a thorough overview, with links to vendors and help articles.

For your consideration

  • Students are all over the country (possibly the world). If you schedule small group work, keep time zones in mind. Our 8 AM is California’s 6AM. As of this writing (April 9, 2020) we are in Central Daylight Savings Time (CDT)
  • Connectivity can vary from region to region. Those who are in a rural setting may have a mobile or satellite connection that caps data, or throttles to a slow speed once a certain amount of data is used. Even in 2020, rural users do face access challenges.
  • Be mindful of file sizes. Posting large files, with animations and complex graphics, will be difficult for students to download. Consider linking to complex content. Here is a tutorial on how to compress your PowerPoint files before you post them.
  • Did you know that you can create a movie from your voice over PowerPoint? This is useful for immediate upload to Panopto. Here is how:
    - Open your PowerPoint file and click the Slideshow tab.
    - Record your lecture from the Record Slide Show button.
    - After recording, click on the transitions tab, and be sure that the Advance Slide section is set to advance based on timecode, not mouse click (time will vary, depending on the length of the audio).
    - Click on Save As > in the file type pulldown (under the file name) choose .mp4.
    - Or, you can use the File > Export. Either process takes some time, be mindful of the progress bar along the bottom of the PowerPoint interface.

Options for Connecting with Students

Microsoft Teams
All MCW users have access to Office 365, a full online suite of the well-known Microsoft Products. We all have Word, Excel and PowerPoint installed on our computers. The online suite opens a new world of connectivity software, free of charge! And, it is intuitive to use. Teams will not disappoint. Call or chat with your students, set up meetings, share files directly from OneDrive with the built-in synchronization. Very handy for virtual office hours, small groups, or meetings with your colleagues. For your convenience, Kerrie Quirk and Meaghan Hayes have authored a tutorial to help you set up your Teams classroom

WebEx Cloud;
MCW has invested in connectivity for large groups. As recently announced, WebEx Cloud is now available for large meetings. To get started, login to WebEx Cloud. You will have to complete your account setup to access this tool. Each meeting can host up to 1,000 connections. Know that WebEx Legacy ( does not interact with WebEx Cloud.

Brightspace Virtual Classroom
We now offer expanded access to the Bongo Virtual Classroom, through Brightspace. This offers instructors and students video class time within the Brightspace course. Features are similar to video conferencing. Because you access this tool through a course, there is no need to send emails for access, simply post add your students to your Virtual Classroom session. For your convenience, here is a video showing how to set up your virtual classroom. Contact for information and use of this tool. For full use, review the Bongo Release notes.

Video Assignments


Students can upload self-created videos to Brightspace Assignments and Discussions. The file size limit is 1GB. It is recommended that student use a lower resolution setting to save space and increase upload/download time. This can be adjusted in the end user’s camera settings. Ideally 640x480 is desired, but this can vary by camera. The file format should be .mp4.

Instructors may need to download the video for viewing, as Brightspace does not have a built-in video player.

Panopto Assignments folder

In the Panopto setting instructors can set up Assignments folders, for students to upload video. The advantage to this is the Panopto video player. There is no need to move the video out to view. You can read about how this is accomplished on the Panopto support site (start at Figure 2).

April 2020 Updates

Brightspace offers a full menu of tutorials to transfer your course to online.

Quick Eval Tool
The Quick Eval Tool is now available to Instructors. Use this tool from the top-level navigation bar, to access Discussion topic, Assignments and Quizzes that are unevaluated. You can sort by course or by activity. The evaluations will appear in the traditional evaluation window, and any comments will be posted to the appropriate course and student.

Aquifer is now offering their complete catalog. If you have not done so, please login and see what they have to offer. 1:1 coaching on use and teaching ideas is also available, directly from Aquifer.

March 2020

Banner Public Course Catalog 
Did you know that you can see the public course catalog?  No login…. Just a few clicks and you are there! 

Start at the Office of the Registrar website, then scroll down to Calendars, Course Catalog and Schedule of Classes. Click on Course Catalog or Schedule of Classes to see the MCWconnect search interface.  The first pulldown menu offers you a choice of academic terms.  After choosing a term, more advanced search fields are presented. The subject field will offer the MCW department list – click within the box to view.  Search by known terms or numbers to find courses and information. Click on the Search box to view the course listing. 

March 2020 Release Highlights for Instructors (video) 

March 2020 Updates Overview 
Instructors now have the option to display author and editor announcement information 
For Instructors, Quick Eval has been added to the Brightspace Navigation Bar.   
Self-enroll groups can now be set for time/date enrollment availability. 

To prevent publishing partially unevaluated rubrics, the publishing workflow in the new Rubrics grading experience now includes a confirmation message that warns users when the rubric is not fully evaluated. 

When using keyboard navigation to tab to a row of selectable cells, there is now a focus indicator to help orient users on the page. 

In the new Rubrics grading experience, the Overall Score level is now only calculated after all the criteria in the rubric have been assessed. This change optimizes rubric performance by eliminating the calculation of incomplete Overall Score level. 

Quiz Builder – Import questions from Brightspace Learning Repository | New 
As part of the new Quiz Builder experience, users can import quiz questions stored in Brightspace Learning Repository (LOR). This change enables direct access to quiz questions stored in LOR from within the Import workflow. Previously, importing questions into quizzes from LOR was only available in the legacy Add/Edit questions screens. 
Have you seen our Anatomage tables?  Software updates include quizzing features, fly-through animations of anatomy, and circulation animations. Here is a video: 
The Layout Menu with the Fly Through Tool 

Interested in learning more about the Anatomage Table?  Contact with your questions. Anatomage has user groups to help you understand the table, and share teaching ideas as well: 
Anatomage Forum 
Anatomage Events and Conferences 
Anatomage Blog 

February 2020

Tech Tips

Microsoft Word - the Format Painter tool

  • You can change formats with a simple drag of a brush icon!  Use the Format Painter. 
  • On the Home Tab, click Format Painter > the pointer will change to a paintbrush icon. 
  • Use the brush to paint over a selection or text or graphics to apply the formatting. 
  • If you wish to format multiple sections in your document, double click the Format Painter. 
  • To stop formatting, press ESC. 


Instructor Brightspace Updates - February 2020
Downloadable Release Notes - February 2020

Brightspace has several new features:

Assignments - Streamlined access to inline feedback | New 
To streamline access to assignment feedback, learners can now immediately access inline feedback from User Progress, Grades, and Assignments. From these tools, the View Inline Feedback link takes the learner directly to the annotations view. 
Game Based Learning – Tool redesign | New 
Game Based Learning (GBL) has been redesigned to improve the user experience, increase accessibility, and make it easier for instructors to use. Instructors can create and customize Game Maps, attach activity nodes to maps, and link Brightspace activities to those nodes. Supported Brightspace activities include assignments, quizzes, and course files. Instructors access the Game Based Learning page from a new navbar link that can be added to a course’s homepage.  
Grades – Tab delimited import into Gradebook | New 
Users can now import tab separated value (.tsv) files into Gradebook. Previously, users could only import comma delimited files into Gradebook. 
Quizzes – Learning Outcomes can be aligned to Quiz questions | New 

In the new Quiz Builder, questions can be aligned to learning outcomes.  
Video Note – Automatic Closed Captioning | New 

To improve accessibility, video notes now provide automatic closed captioning for newly created videos and the ability to manually add or update closed captioning for all previously recorded videos.  

Top Hat

People & Roles tab 
Professors can now add co-instructors to their course via the new People & Roles tab in their Course Settings.  

New Gradebook Features 

  • Professors can now selectively display and export columns from their Gradebook, to focus in on specific trends and insights. 
  • Student responses to questions can now be exported from the Gradebook for additional qualitative insights on performance and understanding. 
  • Attendance sessions can now be manually added to the Gradebook to accommodate instances where attendance must be taken outside of Top Hat. 
  • Grade weights for questions can now be edited directly in the Gradebook, to allow for flexibility based on students' performance. 
  • Details on how to use all these new features can be read about in the updated Gradebook support article. 

Weekly Course Report 
If you use your Weekly Course Report it now only includes a summary of student’s performance (overall weekly performance, number of students doing well, number of students struggling) and a link to the full report which can be opened in a separate web page. This change was made to ensure that no personal identity information belonging to students is included in outgoing emails from Top Hat. In additional, only those listed as a Professor on the course for which the Weekly Report was generated will be able to view the full report. View full details on this change


Formerly known as MedU, Aquifer is a unique mission-driven non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods. (Aquifer, Inc., 2020) Interested in taking advantage of this resource?  Start at the Educator Guide.  Questions?  Send them to the Office of Educational Improvement
January 2020

Tech Tips
We now have the Brightspace Learning Object Repository available! This tool will allow for easy sharing of content between courses, or among courses within departments. The possibilities are almost endless. Send an email to for information.

The Educational Technology team is excited to announce that MCW's Biolucida is now available to you anywhere you have an Internet connection. You no longer need to be on campus or connected to the MCW network to be able to view MCW's digital microscopy collection. With this change comes a slightly different user experience that we are happy to share with you. View Biolucida 

For access to Biolucida both in a web browser (e.g. Chrome) and through the Biolucida Viewer application, you will now use a shared account to log into Biolucida. This account's password will be changed each semester and the new credentials will be broadcast in messages such as this one. This account is to be used by all students accessing Biolucida.

For the Spring 2020 term (and usable immediately), the credentials (case-sensitive) for this shared account are:

  • Username: MCWviewer
  • Password: Spring2020VM

If you use the Biolucida Viewer, you will need to edit your existing connection by clicking the "globe" icon, selecting your connection, and clicking "Edit". We would recommend changing the URL to (we no longer use http). Then, enter the above credentials and click "Save". Once you click "Connect", you will be automatically logged in and be able to see the MCW collections.

If you use a browser, navigating to the URL above will display "Username" and "Password" fields at the top of the page. Simply enter the above credentials and click "Log in".

Please remember that the images contained in Biolucida are MCW property and sharing them outside of MCW is prohibited and a violation of the MCW Honor Code.

We hope this change makes accessing MCW's digital microscopy easier and more user friendly!

If you have any problems with this new workflow, please contact the Educational Technology team at

Many thanks to Brett Becker, MSc, for upgrading the Biolucida access!

January 2020 Continuous Delivery Release Notes Video 

Does your department make use of Brightspace Rubrics? Sharing permissions have changed, making a rubric accessible across a department. Send an email to for information.

The Quiz Builder Tool has a new look and feel. Menus and the interface are less cluttered, and a student view of each question is shown as you build the question. 

If you create content using the HTML Page feature, document templates are now available. Watch this video on how to download and create more engaging content.

Top Hat

  • GIFs embedded in slideshows that are uploaded to Top Hat will now play
  • Back-end improvements to load times
  • Improvements made to the iOS app contributing to fresher and smoother student experience when answering Homework and Review questions.
  • Improvements made to the copy and images associated with logging attendance for students using iOS 13.
  • General stability and performance improvements for iOS users.
  • Sorting feature added to course lobby for Android app users.
  • Fixed visual bugs in fill-in-the-blank questions for iOS users.
  • Fixed issue where Gradebook tab would not appear on initial entry to a course experienced by iOS users.
  • Fixed various issues with slowness and crashes of Pages experienced by iOS users.
  • Fixed issue with Long Answer questions assigned to Review experienced by Android users.
  • Fixed LaTeX and iframe issues in Pages experienced by Android users.
December 2019

Tech Tips
There are many communities available to help you use our systems.  You are encouraged to create your free account.  You can follow and engage with other professional educators worldwide, with interest and expertise in our Ed. Tech systems.


Brightspace Instructor Updates December 2019

Brightspace/D2L & Internet Explorer End of Life
Beginning on January 1, 2020, Brightspace/D2L will be blocked in Internet Explorer. Users attempting to access Brightspace with Internet Explorer will see an unsupported browser page and will not be able to proceed.  

Please be sure that you have another browser installed on your computer workstation or laptop.  Chrome and Firefox will continue to be supported.  Safari works on a Mac, but you may have to permission flash to run.  Edge works in Windows 10.

Updates Overview

  • A new column that displays Submission ID information is visible to learners on the View Feedback page in Assignments.
  • To make it easier to find HTML templates when using Content, instructors can select the new Sort HTML Templates by name option from the Content Settings page in Content. 
  • When using the Upload / Create menu to add activities to Content, the placement of the New Assignment option has moved. Previously, it appeared between New Discussion and New Quiz. Now, New Assignment appears above New Checklist.
  • In a course that uses release conditions to unlock additional content, learners previously were not informed when new content became available as a result of a release condition. Now, when release conditions are satisfied, the learner is notified using a pop-up ("toast") message that there are new items available in the course. 

Top Hat

  • Professors now can sort the columns in their Gradebook to arrange values from highest to lowest or lowest to highest. For full details, check out the support article
  • Average scores are now displayed at the top of each column in the Gradebook. View full details
  • Students with the new Gradebook will now see their total grade and attendance record displayed at the top of their Gradebook. For full details, check out the support article.
November 2019

Tech Tips
MCW IS offers courses on best practices (login required) for Office365 (and the individual software within this suite) and Security Awareness.  This is a great way to keep current with the services and tools offered by the institution.

Brightspace Instructor Continuous Delivery Updates November 2019 


  • The Assignments page shows a count of new submissions and resubmissions in the New column, which you can opt-in /opt-out of displaying.
  • Grade Schemes can now be used by instructors to evaluate assignments by associating Selectbox Grade Items to an assignment.
  • Users can now insert images directly into the body of intelligent agent emails using the Add Image button in the HTML editor.
  • When an instructor restores a learner's deleted quiz attempt, note the following workflow changes:
    - A deleted quiz attempt 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.

Top Hat
Top Hat is much more than a polling software.  There are options for moderated discussion, assigning homework, and attendance. You can add questions or interactive content via the Pages tool, under the create menu of your Top Hat course.

  • After clicking on Create > Pages, you will see a Page template.
  • Give your page a meaningful title.
  • Hover over (1) Enter Your text here… Then click on the (2) Blue “+”
  • A menu of interactive objection options will appear.
  • For in depth information, see the Top Hat Professor Support documentation on Creating a Page
  • For in depth information on Assigning Homework, see the Top Hat Professor Support on documentation on Assigning Content.
October 2019

Tech Tips

Network passwords are now reset by using the Self Service Password Reset Tool (login required), which can be found on the internal InfoScope page.

MCW-IS offers classes on Security awareness, MCW Anywhere and Office 365.  This is a great way to keep current with software updates. Check the internal InfoScope page (login required) for upcoming courses and registration information.   

Do you have course content in Brightspace?  The Brightspace Community is for you!  This free resource offers plentiful documentation on use and innovation.  Create your account today! 


Brightspace Instructor Release Highlights October 2019

Updates of note:

  1. Beginning in January 2020, Internet Explorer will no longer be supported. 
  2. When evaluating an assignment or quiz submission, the Next Student and Previous Student buttons above the submission and learner information have been replaced by forward and back chevrons that display in the immersive navigation bar. 
  3. New links or updates to pre-existing links must be formatted to follow the new validation rules. (Valid formats include: URLs that begin with http/https, ftp/sftp/ftps, file, mailto, feed, itpc, mms, rtsp, or relative paths beginning with /).  
Top Hat

Top Hat offers a series of webinars, both recorded and live, to introduce you to the world of polling in the classroom and how to manage the content/interaction.  Check it out! 


Our source for clinical learning is now offering the iOS and Android App. Users must be registered in the Aquifer system to use this app. Cases can be completed from any mobile device, either online, or downloaded for offline use.  Once progress is uploaded, instructors can view course reports on a laptop or desk top computer. 

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. 

Top Hat
Some of the exciting updates in the Top Hat 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, keywords 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. View the 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.

Top Hat

At MCW, Top Hat and Brightspace are synchronized. This means that class list and grade data can easily transfer from Top Hat to Brightspace. You can use Top Hat 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). 

Top Hat

Looking for fresh ways to create content for students? Consider using Top Hat 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 Top Hat and Brightspace are synchronized? This makes it convenient to keep students enrolled in the correct Top Hat 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.

Top Hat

Top Hat 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 Top Hat 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.


Top Hat

Top Hat responses are recorded in the Top Hat 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 Top Hat 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 Top Hat 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 Top Hat 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.

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