Academic Technology Updates for January 2024

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


As of this month, the Chat tool is removed for all users. Content topics that are Chat-based are not removed, but the chats are no longer accessible.

IT recommends the Instant Messages tool or the Microsoft Course Connector as an alternative to the Chat Tool.


Assignments & Discussions – Improved tooltip for unsaved changes to evaluations

In the Assignments and Discussions evaluation experience, the tooltip for reporting evaluation errors is updated to include clearer language. The tooltip appears when a user enters over 300,000 characters into the Overall Feedback field or enters an invalid grade into the Grade field.

The new tooltip reads “There is one or more errors in the information entered”. Previously, the tooltip read “There are invalid grades on this page”, excluding various errors that may have caused the tooltip to appear. The new language makes the types of errors clearer as it encourages users to review the entire evaluation.

Awards – Export achievements as digital credentials

Students 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.

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 MyCourses 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, students 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, students 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.

Click Share, and then click the new Export Digital Credential button. In the opened window, learners should provide their email address to link with their award and ensure verification, and then click Export
Figure: Click the new Export Digital Credential option in Awards.

Previously, awards could only be exported as a public URL or through the LinkedIn and Badgr integrations.

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.

    The new file picker used by the Insert Stuff > My Computer workflow.
    Figure: Users can drag-and-drop files using the new Insert Stuff > My Computer file picker.
    External Learning Tools – Improvements to Assignments and Grades Service (AGS) error handling

    There are improvements to the LTI Assignments and Grades Service (AGS) that affect the behavior of grades, including: 

    • AGS scores are stored only when the Can be graded in Grades option is enabled for the user being assessed. If a grade item is submitted for a user with a role that cannot be graded, the grade is no longer stored, and an error message is sent to the submitting tool.
    • If Can Exceed is not set for a grade item, and a tool sends a grade higher than the maximum set for the grade item:
      • The maximum score appears in the grade book.
      • The score sent from the tool appears in the Scores table.
    Can be graded in Grades option in the Tool Behavior Options area of the Edit Settings menu item in Roles and Permissions.
    Figure: Can be graded in Grades option in the Tool Behavior Options area of the Edit Settings menu item in Roles and Permissions.
    The Can Exceed option in the Grading area when creating or editing a grade item.
    Figure: The Can Exceed option in the Grading area when creating or editing a grade item.
    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 the student view. In the student view, students 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.

    Catch up on what you missed!

    Don’t forget to check out last month’s updates.

    Need to learn more?

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