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Frequently Asked Questions


About Brightspace

Brightspace is UCD's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). All modules have now been transferred to the Brightspace environment and are available to students since January 2019.

UCD IT services are running a series of Training sessions for Module Coordinators and teaching staff that can be viewed here.

How do I learn to use Brightspace?

Brightspace is a fully responsive (mobile-friendly) website, with a clean modern interface. The Pulse student mobile App also supports students in using Brightspace on their mobile devices. Initially, we advise taking advantage of the training sessions provided by ITServices here to get started with the system, and following up with supports from the Business eLearning team after you have attended introductory training:

Book Training

How can I access Brightspace?


You can access Brightspace from the Brightspace linked icon on the UCD Connect homepage or via the direct URL: https://brightspace.ucd.ie

Business eLearning have provided a resource to walk you through your initial login process. Click the link below for a demonstration: https://buselrn.ucd.ie/accessing-brightspace/

I don't seem to have access to my module on Brightspace?

Access to modules on Brightspace is provided by the Module Access Management system (MAMs).
You must be granted access to the module on MAMs in order to see the module on Brightspace. Note: Access is granted to taught modules in MAMs by each module's Module Co-ordinator. Access to programme modules are organised by Programme Office Directors, email your POD directly to get access.

Some useful information:

Account Management

  • IT Services are responsible for the student and staff UCD Connect accounts and enrolment process
  • IT Services activates your UCD Connect account when HR makes your contract active

Module setup

  • IT Services are responsible for module setup; if you wish to create a module contact ithelpdesk@ucd.ie
  • Module Co-ordinators are responsible for tutor/lecturer enrolments and manage this via the MAM system
  • Follow this guide to using MAMS here

Are there any Apps available for Brightspace?

There are 2 main Apps available for Brightspace:

  • Brightspace Pulse helps students stay connected and on track with their Brightspace Modules allowing them to view course calendars, readings, assignments, grades, and announcements.
  • Brightspace Assignment Grader (iPad only) allows academics and instructors to download and evaluate assignment submissions from Brightspace. You can view submissions and add grades and feedback while connected to the Internet or offline.

Both are available from Google Play or the App Store.


Adding and Organising Content

Please view our best practice resources on adding content to your new Brightspace module.

Can I copy content from one Brightspace module to another?

Yes, you can copy an individual piece of content, or indeed the entire contents of a module. Please view this resource we have prepared to support you in copying content from one module to another in Brightspace.

6. Module Setup – Content Copy

I have a new module, how do I organise my content?

Brightspace has a tool called Module Builder which allows you to create a module structure into which you can copy course content, or create new content. We believe this tool could help improve the structure of modules making them potentially more accessible to students.

5. Module Setup — Module Builder

How can I make my module unavailable to students?

There is no (one step) option to make a module unavailable for students. You can hide content folders individually by selecting each section under Learning Materials and on the right hand-side, clicking the Eye visibility icon, and switching from Visible to Hidden.


Assessment and Grading

It is important to be familiar with setting up Assignments and Quizzes, as well as entering Grades and providing Feedback, in Brightspace.

Please view our resources below or contact business.elearning@ucd.ie to book a consultation if you have further queries.

How do I create assignment submission links in Brightspace?

Brightspace requires instructors to set up and Assignment Submission Folder, and a Grade Item to connect that folder to the Grades area. Instructors new to Brightspace should give this some time and thought as they create their assessment strategy on Brightspace:

4. Module Setup — Creating Assignments

Can I bulk upload grades from .csv or .xls to Brightspace?

Yes, you can bulk upload grades to Brightspace using a .csv file.
To learn more about the process of inputting grades directly or uploaded via a formatted .csv file, click the link below:

14. Grading — Inline Grading

Can I import my quiz questions from another source into Brightspace?

Depending on the source and formatting of the questions. Some common question types such as Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) and questions exported from Blackboard, will import into Brightspace directly.

However, the following question types do not:

  • Calculated Formula
  • Calculated Numeric
  • Either/Or
  • Fill in Multiple Blanks
  • Hot Spot
  • Jumbled Sentence
  • Opinion Scale/Likert
  • Quiz Bowl

In order to create similar questions in Brightspace please refer to the table of question types below:

Blackboard Question Type Brightspace Equivalent
Calculated Formula Significant Figures
Calculated Numeric Arithmetic
Either/Or Multiple Choice with 2 options displaying
Fill in Multiple Blanks Multi-Short Answer question (MSA)
Hot Spot Edit image to add tags in certain areas, and create MCQ
Jumbled Sentence Have different options in MC question or Multiple Selection
Opinion Scale/Likert Likert (it exists, just doesn't migrate)

How do I grade using letters?

There are a number of different Grade items available in Brightspace (numeric, select-box, pass/fail etc), which determine how the grade appear for students. The default Grade item type is numeric, but letters can be assigned using the select-box grade item type.

Find more information in our resource here:

3. Module Setup — Grade Items


Communication

Please view the resources below to effectively communicate with your students in Brightspace.

Can I create Announcements in Brightspace?

Yes, you can use the announcement tool to create announcements for students. Students will see the announcement via the widget on the module landing page. In Brightspace you cannot email an announcement to students, you must use the email tool for this. To learn more about creating announcements and emails to your students, click the link below:

9. Communications — Comms with Students

What other tools are available?

Brightspace allows us to setup automated communications, called Intelligent Agents. Emails can be scheduled to be sent when students achieve or miss definable criteria.

10. Communications — Automating Comms

What webinar tool does Brightspace use?

The virtual classroom tool 'Blackboard Collaborate Ultra' will still be available. See our docs here on how to make best use of it within your modules.

Virtual Classes


Module Management

Please see below a list of common queries in relation to effectively managing your module in Brightspace.
If your query is not covered by the resources on this page, please contact us at business.elearning@ucd.ie with your question.

How do I batch create groups using a class list?

For an overview and demonstration of setting up groups in Brightspace, click the link below:

8. Module Setup — Creating Groups

For assistance in setting up groups > 50 refer to this document and contact ithepdesk@ucd.ie.

Where can I find the discussion board tool?

Enter your module and click the Discussions menu item in the top navigation bar. Discussion boards are also referred to as forums. Click New and then New Forum to begin the process of setting up a discussion board for your module.

Is there a Journal tool within Brightspace?

Brightspace does not have a specific journal tool for reflective activities. The Discussion Board, in conjunction with the Group tool can be used for private student journals.

Follow these steps to set it up:

  1. Setup Groups of 1 by selecting Single user, member specific groups in the setup options.
  2. Create a discussion board selecting Create one topic with threads separated by group.

In this way students can have access to a private discussion board that only they and the instructor have access to.

Is there a Wiki tool within Brightspace?

Brightspace does not have a specific Wiki tool, however it does integrate with your Google Drive account. Adding a Google Doc set up beforehand in your Google Drive allows multiple users, including both instructors and students, to edit a document. Collaborative documents such as these can be used for brainstorming ideas, having students review and edit each others work, or for group projects. In the content area of your module click Existing Activities and then Google Drive. Locate the Google Doc and click Select.

Please note: When setting up your Google Doc to deploy inside the module, ensure the Link Sharing settings are; On-Anyone with the link. This will enable the document to be live and editable by students without having to sign in.


Contact Business eLearning via email: business.elearning@ucd.ie

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