Winter 2022 Updates for UCalgary Learning Technologies
Over the winter semester all of our core learning technologies added some features which should help improve instructors’ and students’ experience using these tools.
The most significant change D2L has made to Brightspace this semester is the new Audio-Video Editor. This will now allow you to make simple edits to videos you upload as content (not video notes at this time). These include trimming out parts of the video, adding chapters and editing (or uploading) caption information. If you are uploading recordings to Brightspace this can be a very helpful tool.
When watching videos, students will be able to search (using the captions) to see when specific words are said in the video. They will also be able to adjust their viewing quality and select which captions they would like to see.
We continue to recommend YuJa for the majority of video uploading, but the new experience should make working with video in Brightspace much easier.
You can also now copy existing announcements in a Brightspace shell. You can select Copy from the context menu next to an announcement and start editing a new announcement, with the same content and settings. If you need to make several similar announcements across your course, this may be helpful.
There are a few other changes, including some updates to how the logs for copying between shells are kept and shown and it should now be easier to copy some less frequently used elements such as Intelligent Agents.
It is now possible to modify breakout rooms after participants are in the rooms. That includes creating more rooms, removing rooms and renaming rooms. It is also possible to share screen (or video or audio) with breakout room from the main room. Additionally when choosing a room to join it is now possible to collapse all breakout rooms so that you don’t have to chase your breakout room as people join the rooms above.
The on-screen recording tool will not be captured in the video. Now, like in a Zoom meeting, you can control the recording with the on-screen controls, but they won’t appear in the video. Additionally, it is now possible to switch between video sources using the YuJa Capture tool, and possibly even more importantly,
You can now add indices to your video, either manually through the editor or automatically based on the captioning system. This can make it easier for students to skip to particular parts of a video.
Finally, it is now possible to respond to comments in-line in a video. Previously to leave a response you had to leave a comment later in the video timeline, now you can add comments on to an existing comment. If you use comments to help students ask questions about material this should streamline the process.
Students have a new interface when viewing course content on Tophat. This should help improve navigation of material and includes a search feature to help students jump to any place in content where a word appears.
When writing quizzes in Tophat now, all answers are auto-saved to ensure that even if the student doesn’t submit their quiz. This should help ensure that even if there are technical difficulties, as an instructor you should be able to recover their quiz answers.