Academic Technology Updates for November 2022

We have new updates for MyCourses, the Pulse App, and more! See below for details, and please contact if you encounter any problems or have questions.


Group Management – Descriptions now available for self-enrollment groups

This feature allows learners to view descriptions for self enrollment type groups before they choose a group. Instructors need only add a description once, instead of copying and pasting the description into all child groups. Previously, the description only appeared after users had self enrolled.

The Available Groups table with the new category description highlighted.
Figure: The Available Groups table with the new category description highlighted.
Group Management – Improved clarity when performing deletions of associated activities

This feature implements a change to the message users receive in the Delete Category dialog when deleting associated activities (i.e., Assignments and Discussions). The dialog now includes a count of how many assignments or discussions the user is deleting. Previously, this information was not clearly indicated to the user.

In addition, when users create a new Group Category and associated activities, then reach the Workspace Summary page, they are automatically returned to the Manage Groups page. Previously, users would have to re-click Save to return to Manage Groups.

The updated Confirmation dialog showing details of associated activities to be deleted.
Figure: The updated Confirmation dialog showing details of associated activities to be deleted.

Quizzes – Improved population method for calculating standard deviation

With this release, in Quizzing statistics, the method of calculating standard deviation from the sample standard deviation is changed to the population standard deviation.

The population standard deviation (Excel STDEV.P) is a more appropriate method since sampling is not conducted when calculating statistics. This new method ensures that the values in Quizzing are statistically more correct. The updated value appears in the MyCourses Quizzing tool after viewing Quiz Statistics or downloading reports.

Rubrics – Clarify grading criteria by editing text fields in assessed rubrics

Users with the new Edit Assessed Rubrics permission can now edit the text fields in rubrics that have already been used for evaluation. This feature is intended to let instructors correct spelling errors, clarify wording, and make other minor changes that do not impact the academic integrity of the rubric. Instructors still can’t make structural changes (such as adding evaluation levels or criteria), edit points, or add outcome alignments to assessed rubrics.

Previously, after an instructor used a rubric for an evaluation, the rubric was locked and couldn’t be edited. To make changes, instructors had to completely remove the rubric, make edits to a copy of the rubric, attach the copy of the rubric to the grade item, then redo all the assessments.

Alert box on the Edit Rubric page with new Edit Text button.
Figure: Alert box on the Edit Rubric page with new Edit Text button.

The Edit Rubric page showing which text fields can be edited within an assessed rubric.
Figure: The Edit Rubric page showing which text fields can be edited within an assessed rubric.

Pulse App

Personalize notifications for email and SMS

With the release of this feature, you will be able to choose which email or SMS notifications you receive by accessing settings directly from the Pulse app. Previously, you could only personalize email notifications through MyCourses.

The Instant Notifications section of the Email_SMS Notifications page in Pulse.
Figure: The Instant Notifications section of the Email/SMS Notifications page in the Pulse app.


Screen recording is now available with Kaltura Express Capture!  For instructions on screen recording with Express Capture, read Kaltura: Record Using Quick Webcam.

Turnitin Draft Coach

Turnitin Draft Coach will be available to GGC students and faculty at the start of Spring semester 2023. Draft Coach is Turnitin’s new writing tool that provides instant feedback as you write. Users can run checks for similarity, grammar, and citations with the tool to become more confident writers.

Draft Coach will be available as an Add-in on the web version of Microsoft Word. Help articles will be available once the tool is enabled for the organization.

BB Collaborate

Information Technology (IT) will transition the campus community from Blackboard Collaborate to other supported web conferencing tools including Zoom and Microsoft Teams by December 15, 2022.

Please visit the BB Collaborate blog post for more details about the transition and the IT Event Calendar to view upcoming workshops.