Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

D2L Brightspace Tips

These are a few tips to help you be successful using D2L Brightspace.

Quizzes: Best Practices

Here is a quick start video on Quizzes.

Before the Quiz
During the Quiz
  • After you start a quiz, the timer will continue even if you exit the quiz.
  • Save your response after each question. (An icon for the question number should change to blue to indicate you saved successfully.)
  • On quizzes with multiple pages, switching pages will save all selected answers just like hitting the save all button.
  • After every finished page, save all responses on the page.
    • If you are writing an essay or a long response, write it in a word processor like MS Word, Google Docs, Notepad, etc. then copy and paste into the quiz and save the response.
    • If your answers are not saving it is likely that you have been timed out of D2L. You will want to re-access the quiz again and ensure that answers are saving before you continue.
    • If you have completed questions before noting that you cannot save answers, then open up a different browser (such as Chrome instead of Firefox), access the quiz again and copy your answers over.
Troubleshooting
  • If you are having browser issues: clear your cache and cookies, restart your browser, log back in via the direct link online.pcc.edu, then continue the quiz.
  • If you do not have access to the quiz, check the opening and closing dates. (Located in grey italics underneath the quiz)
  • Make sure there aren’t any special conditions that must be completed before the quiz will open. (eg. viewing content, finishing other quizzes, adding something to Assignments) These should be in the quiz instructions.
After you have submitted the quiz
  • Depending on what the instructor sets for the quiz, one of a few things can occur. If the quiz is set to auto grade, as soon as you submit the quiz it will automatically grade the quiz, and send an email with the grade for this quiz. This is the way most instructors setup multiple choice and multiple select quizzes, as they can be easily auto graded.
  • For quizzes with Long Answers, essay questions, or other items that are not able to be auto graded, the quiz will normally be set to manual grading. As such until the instructor grades the quiz and releases that grade, you will not get an email. You can still confirm you have submissions by going into the quizzes area, which will list your current submissions.
  • Depending on how the instructor wants the quiz reviewed, they may have submission views that can be set to show no questions or answers, only the questions you got wrong, all your answers, and even all your answers and the correct answers. They can also have multiple views, for example to wait to release the full view of the quiz until after the quiz closes.
Assignments: Best Practices

Here is a quick start video on Assignments.

Troubleshooting

If you have problems uploading an assignment, try these steps.

  1. Make sure the name of the file does not contain any special characters.
    1. WRONG: Myfile!rox@stuff16-this is my lastname_$45/omg.lol.pdf
      1. This name is too long
      2. Has special characters
      3. Has spaces
    2. RIGHT: filename-lastname.pdf
      1. Brief file name and your last name are best
      2. Short and no special characters
      3. “-“ and “_” are acceptable characters

Be sure to check to see if your instructor has specific instructions about how your homework should be named, or specific file types required, either in the syllabus or in the assignment directions.

  1. Your file may not upload or work correctly if it was made in OpenOffice or Pages, due to the file format.
    1. A work around is to copy and paste it into a Google Doc then download the file in the format your instructor wants.
    2. Learn more about Google Drive.
  2. D2L now can integrate with your Google Drive. Learn how to connect your Google Drive to your D2L.
    1. This makes it so you can simply attach your Google Doc file to your Assignment, instead of manually downloading your the Doc to your computer then uploading it to Assignments.
    2. More information about PCC Google Apps.
Discussion and email: Best Practices

Here is a quick start video on Discussions.

Composing long messages

There are no draft components in D2L Brightspace, so if the system times out or the browser you are using disconnects while creating a discussion forum post, or a long answer for a quiz, you could lose all that you typed and have to start over.

Here are a few recommendations for how to avoid that:

  • For any post longer than a few sentences, use a word processor like Notepad (Windows), TextEdit (Mac), MS Word (Windows & Mac) or Google Docs (via your PCC email) to write the post
    • This will give you more control over formatting, allow you to save often, as well as spell check the document.
    • You can then copy and paste the contents of your document into the D2L discussion, email or quiz.
  • Use https://online.pcc.edu to login to D2L Brightspace
    • This address is the direct access to D2L and has a much longer timeout threshold than MyPCC
    • It will also let you re-enter your credentials to continue if it times out
    • You will use the same credentials as when logging into MyPCC

Keep in mind, once you create a discussion forum thread or post you cannot delete it.

You may have the option to edit discussion threads or posts you create by clicking the actions menu icon (V) next to the title of your thread or post title and clicking the Edit Thread/Post option. We do not recommend editing your threads or posts beyond small fixes (typo or grammatical errors) due to the flow of discussion in those areas and how a major edit can affect it.