January 2024 Brightspace Updates
The Spring 2024 semester is just getting started, and Brightspace is rolling out a few new updates later this week. Here are the highlights of the January update, along with one minor change that has been made after being made available in December.
Awards – Export achievements as digital credentials
Learners can now export their earned awards in a standards-compliant format using the new Export Digital Credential option. This feature allows the download of certificates or badges as an industry-standard Open Badges 2.0 compliant Badge for their own record keeping or sharing. Previously, awards could only be exported as a public URL or through the LinkedIn and Badgr integrations.
Badge Baking is the process of embedding digital credentials within the badge image. This approach ensures that the user has legitimately earned the badge by including a verification link used to check the integrity of the embedded information. To learn more about Badge Baking, refer to Open Badges Baking Specification.
For Baked Badge, the supported format in Brightspace is PNG only, and the recommended pixel size of the badge should be no smaller than 200 px x 200 px.
Note: Not all applications support Open Badges 2.0 Badge Baking. Some third-party applications strip meta-data from images, causing baked badges to be non-compliant with Open Badges 2.0.
To download an award, learners must navigate to the My Awards page, select the desired award, click Share, and then click the new Export Digital Credential button. In the opened window, learners must provide their email address to link to their award and ensure verification, and then click Export.
Exporting a digital credential downloads badges or certificates as a .png file with the award data embedded in the image.
Figure: Click the new Export Digital Credential option in Awards.
Brightspace Editor – Insert Stuff uses new file picker when uploading from users’ computer
This release updates the Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker with the version currently used in the Insert Image workflow, which allows drag-and-drop file uploads from the user’s computer.
Previously, the Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker used an older file picker that did not support drag-and-drop of files.
Figure: Users can drag-and-drop files using the new Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker.
Chat – End of Life | Removed
As of this release, the Chat tool is removed for all users. This removal was first announced early in the 2023 Fall semester. Content topics that are Chat-based are not removed, but the chats are no longer accessible.
For additional information as to the reasoning for this removal, refer to Intent to End Of Life Notice for: Chat in Brightspace Community.
Quizzes – Written response questions remain as pending evaluation until being manually graded
When instructors grade quiz attempts, any ungraded written response questions remain as pending evaluation until the instructor manually grades them. Previously, when instructors clicked Publish or Update for a quiz attempt, the written response question’s pending evaluation status would be removed.
If a written response question is not graded, the status shows a pending evaluation message for both the learner and instructor view. In the learner view, learners always see the message “This question has not been graded” until the instructor grades the question. The instructor view displays the message “not auto-graded; a default value of 0 was assigned” until they grade the question.
Discussions – Workflow in New Discussion Creation Experience
With this release, Instructors can now determine how to assign forums to topics in the New Discussion Topic Editing experience. The new configuration enables Instructors to either choose an existing forum or create a new forum. Previously the default was to create a new forum each time a new topic was created.
Figure: When creating a new Discussion topic, Instructors now have the option to either select an existing forum or create a new forum.