Instructor Support for Educational Systems

July 2021 - 16/07/2021


The new Brightspace release is available from 16 July 2021 10:00.

New Features

1. New Assignment Experience

The new create and edit experience for Assignments is now available. Please see here for the highlights of this new feature. Please note that the assignment evaluation and grading experience has not changed. 

All documentation on Assignment creation and editing has been updated. Please make sure to check out the updated documentation!

2. HTML Editor – New editor

From now on there is a new and improved HTML editor within Brightspace.

The new HTML editor includes the following improvements to existing features:

  • Refreshed formatting options 
  • 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 new HTML editor also includes the following new features:

  • Word count functionality that includes words, characters, and text selection.
  • A format painter, to easily copy and paste text formats.


1. Grades - Add categories for text, calculated, and formula grade items

This enhancement enables instructors to better organize their gradebook by adding categories to text, calculated, and formula grade items. Please note this improved organization does not impact the calculation of the category these grade items are in, nor do these values contribute to the final grade.

To better explain the workings of this enhancement, please see the example below:

In the screen above you see a gradebook with:

  • A Category Assignments with the following grade items:
    • Assignment 1 - a numeric grade item
    • Assignment 2 - a numeric grade item
  • A Category Formulas with the following grade items:
    • Formula 1 - a formula grade item
    • Formula 2 - a formula grade item

The values of the assignment grade items are reflected within the subtotal of the Assignments Category, as you are used to. As you can see the values of the formula grade items are not added up in the Subtotal of the Formulas Category. This demonstrates that you can attach categories to formula grade items, but the grade book does use these values for any automatic calculation.

Therefore, we advise to only attach categories to formula, calculated and text grade items for organization purposes only.

If you have any questions on the workings of grade categories, please do hesitate and contact us.

2. Quizzes – Relocation of the Reports Setup functionality

The Report Setup tab on the Create/Edit Quiz page is moved to the context menu of a quiz and reads as Setup Reports. The Reports option available on the quiz context menu is also updated and reads as View Reports.

3. Quizzes - Set grace period time to 0 minutes

When setting an enforced time limit for a quiz, instructors can now set the grace period for a quiz to 0 minutes, in place of the default grace period setting of 5 minutes. Entering a 0 minute grace period flags the quiz attempt as exceeded immediately when the quiz time limit is reached by the student and depending on your settings students may not be able to make any changes when the time limit has exceeded.

Quiz attempt logs display when the student attempt exceeds the regular time limit, grace period time limit or any extended time limit. Grace period of 0 minutes can be set for quizzes with special access restrictions as well.  

4. Quizzes - Status and workflow changes for quizzes with ungraded questions

To support instructors who need to manually score questions within quizzes, the following quiz status and quiz grading workflow updates are available: 

  • For quizzes that contain questions that need to be manually scored (such as Written Response questions) AND that have the "Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion" option disabled, a new Pending Evaluation status appears beside the quiz attempt on the Grade Quiz page.
  • While evaluating a quiz attempt with unevaluated questions, the instructor can now select Pending evaluations in the Question View drop-down menu to filter for only the questions that require manual evaluation. 
  • Instructors can now filter the Users tab by status. The available filters are: Published, Saved as draft, Pending evaluation and an empty status. The empty status denotes a quiz with auto-scored questions, where all questions are evaluated and there is no question evaluation pending. 
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