Learning Technology Update | July 2021

Brightspace, Latest Updates, Learning Technologies, Tech Updates

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What's new with UVic's learning technologies?

Every month, UVic’s learning technologies release new features and updates.
This post will give you a quick overview of what’s new and exciting.


The latest Brightspace release includes several updates to the Quiz tool. A new and improved text editor arrives in August, see below for details. See Brightspace’s comprehensive update list for all the details.

Updates to the Quiz tool

Removal of the Quiz introduction field

The Introduction text field and the Description box will have been merged, in order to reduce the redundant Introduction field. If a quiz previously had text in the Introduction field, on clicking Edit, the text is automatically appended to the Description field. A message appears indicating that these two fields have been merged. Instructors can then review the modified quiz description prior to saving the quiz.

Please note there will be no automatic changes to quizzes that were last edited prior to this update.


Status and workflow changes for quizzes with ungraded questions
This change affects quizzes with manually graded questions. While grading, instructors (or TAs) can filter questions so that only ones requiring evaluation be shown. This is intended to  speed up the manual process of grading for instructors. This also affects attempt lists by showing which students have pending evaluations on their attempts.


New – ability to the set the Quiz grace period 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 learner. Quiz attempt logs display when the learner 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.


Learn more about setting up quizzes for online assessment here.

Improved text editor (coming in August)

Over the summer, Brightspace is gradually introducing a new and easier to use editor with some extra features. The editor is already available in some places (e.g. new assignments). By August, the editor will be available in all areas of Brightspace, making editing a more consistent experience.



Some highlights of changes to the editor include:

  • More formatting options
  • New look and placement for the Insert Stuff button
  • Refreshed accessibility checker   
  • Word count 
  • Options like Preview, Source, Accessibility Checking and Expand will now be in the main toolbar   
  • Contextual menus for editing text, links and images (image editing is not available in all areas still)   
  • Spell check and cut/paste buttons removed (cut/paste functionality is still available through your mouse and keyboard shortcut keys)

Previous HTML editor:

previous html editor

New HTML editor:

new html editor


Merlot Federated Repository (coming in August)

The MERLOT Federated Repository will be added to the Learning Object Repository in August. This repository features many Open Educational Resources, such as Openstax and Pressbooks publications, that can be integrated into a Brightspace course. Browse the materials here.

Reminder: Saying goodbye to Coursespaces

In Fall 2020, UVic moved to Brightspace. As of May 1, CourseSpaces will no longer be available to the campus community. Content will remain available to instructors for migration by contacting ltsisupport@uvic.ca.


Learn more about CourseSpaces decommissioning in our update post.


Introducing UVic’s new video platform, Echo360

Echo360 is now available

In advance of Fall 2021, Echo360 is now available to faculty and instructors in Brightspace. Echo360 can be used to record in-person classes; create and upload video tutorial and online class sessions; deliver video assignments and feedback; and engage students with polls and discussion before, during and after class.


Visit the Echo360 info page to get started or register for one of the Intro to Echo Workshops.


Teams has great new features, including several that are helpful for learning and teaching. For a comprehensive list, see What’s new in Microsoft 365 at UVic?

Microsoft Teams chat retention policy

University Systems introduced a new retention policy for Microsoft Teams chats. This change went into effect on July 15th. Please note that Team channels will not be impacted by this change. Visit our MS Teams post to learn more.

Using Microsoft Planner in Teams

The Planner App has recently been added to UVic’s instance of Microsoft Teams, have a look at the latest blog from our colleagues in University System to see how this tool can be put to good use.

About this post

This post was last updated:

July 26, 2021

We acknowledge and respect the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees and Esquimalt) Peoples on whose territory the university stands, and the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

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