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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

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 30th – 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. Easing the Transition to Clinic: An Approach to Preparing Students
  6. Student Experience: Bridging the Gap Between Coursework and Patient Care
  7. A Virtual Framework for Hospital Systems Learning
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 are some videos: 
The Layout Menu with the Fly Through Tool 
The Explorer 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. Learn more.

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

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

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

Contact Us

If you have questions or ideas, please submit them to