Need-to-Know for Spring 2024 Courses

Published December 7, 2023

As instructors prepare for the spring 2024 semester, we have compiled a list of important steps for setting up courses in Brightspace.

Spring 2024 Brightspace Training Opportunities

Are you teaching this spring semester and looking for support with your courses in Brightspace? The Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation will be offering a variety of opportunities to ensure you're ready for the first day of classes.

Register today for our January 2024 workshops!

Course Combinations

  • Some instructors, or groups of instructors, combine multiple course sections into one site on Brightspace. By doing so, an instructor only needs to maintain and post content in one course, not multiple courses.
  • Combinations need to be done manually by the UB Learns support team.
  • Instructors are highly encouraged to submit the request form as early as possible.

Essential: Make Your Course Active

If you do not make your course active, your students cannot access the course on the Start Date!

  • All credit-bearing courses are inactive when they are created in Brightspace.
  • Instructors must make a course active before students can access the course on the Start Date.
  • We recommend that instructors set any courses they plan to teach to "Course is active" when they begin working on the course to prevent students from being locked out of a course at the Start Date.
  • When a course is active, students see a grayed-out course tile in the My Courses widget before the Start Date and after the End Date, so they know they are registered, but they cannot access the course until the Start Date.

Check Start and End Dates

  • An instructor controls when a student can see a course in the My Courses widget and when a student can access a course by using both the Active status and the Start and End Dates.
  • When you make your courses active, check the Start and End Dates. The default Start Date for each course is seven days before the official start date of each course.
  • The default End Date represents the day after the final grading date for the unit.
  • If you change the End Date, ensure students have enough time to complete coursework.

Provision Your Course for Panopto

If you use Panopto in your course, you must provision the tool. Provisioning Panopto adds an External Learning Tool folder named Panopto Content in a module.

Add Content or Copy Content From an Existing Course

Instructors can build their spring 2024 courses from scratch or copy content from previous courses, including migrated content.

About migrated content

  • Blackboard content from Spring 2022 to Spring 2023 was migrated to Brightspace.
  • Migrated content is in separate course shells, not Spring 2024 course shells.
  • Access migrated courses by selecting the My Courses widget tabs that begin with MIG.
  • Instructors should review migrated content before copying it to a new course.

Check Assessments and Associated Grade Items

If you copied content from a previous course or migrated content, now is the time to review assessment point values and associated grade items before students submit assessments. Some things to consider:

  • Are assessments associated with grade items? If not, select Add to Grade Book for the assessment edit page.
  • Do assessments and their associated grade items have different names? You can edit the names of the assessments and grade items so they match.
  • Are assessments' maximum point values and associated grade items set correctly?
  • Do question point values and total points for the quiz match?

The UB Learns support team can help you review your grade book before the start of the spring 2024 semester.