Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Quarterly updates for Spring 2022

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We have a few updates to share with you about our online learning environment coming for spring 2022. We’d also like to share a few recent updates that might have been missed but may interest you.


We’re putting Zoom first this time because there are several significant changes related to recordings. These changes come after discussions with college counsel and college leadership. These changes will improve privacy protection for participants in Zoom meetings and recordings.

  • Participants will see a new disclosure when recording is started. It notifies them that they wish to remain anonymous in the recording, they should leave the camera off, stay muted, and avoid chat.
  • Recordings will no longer capture the names of participants if they do not use their camera, microphone or the chat. You will still see the participants during the meeting and in the meeting reports for attendance purposes.
  • Recordings will require a password to view. This will reduce the chance of non-students viewing your course recordings. The process is fairly straightforward for students, and the password is automatically copied to the clipboard when launching a cloud recording. We will have separate instructions for students announced in D2L Brightspace.


Not too much happening of note in Brightspace at the moment, but wanted to make you aware of a few things.

Rubric tallying issue

There is a known issue D2L is working to resolve in the Rubrics tool. The issue occurs when clicking the criterion buttons “too fast” while scoring a rubric. When moving quickly between criteria, the score may be entered but not tally correctly. In the meantime, it is best to pause slightly between clicking the buttons (1-2 seconds) giving the last button press time to be tabulated.

Logo change

D2L changed its logo and marketing material. It shouldn’t have much impact, but you may notice the tabs in your browser changed from the old orange Brightspace logo to this darker logo.

The new D2L Logo

Hypothes.is Pilot

We’re starting a pilot of social annotation software Hypothes.is. It allows for collaborative review and commenting on websites and PDFs. Some examples of use might be

  • Allowing a class group to review a journal article and discuss key parts of the analysis.
  • Identifying literary devices in a poem
  • Discussion about a website that maintains context and visibility (not having to jump between tools)
  • Peer assessment of writing work

We have free pilot access for spring, summer, and fall quarters and hope to learn if the tool is effective for a variety of instructional needs. Let us know at dlhelp@pcc.edu if you’re interested in participating or learning more.


Blackboard Ally is an accessibility checking and conversion tool. For instructors, it identifies content items that may have accessibility issues like missing formatting, reading order issues, and more. For students, it provides options for accessing the material in different formats.

For spring term, Instructors will be able to see an accessibility score within the WYSIWYG editor, in addition to the existing checker.

Ally checker in WYSIWYG editor

Students also have the ability to download machine-translated versions of content in a wide variety of different languages. While it is far from perfect, it can be a useful learning tool. Honestly, it’s machine translation so your mileage may vary.

Ally allows you to translate a document

About Andy Freed

I'm the Director of Learning Technology & Innovation (LTI!), where I oversee our infrastructure, technical support, and online student services teams. I've been with the College since 2001 and have worked in several positions, from tech... more »

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PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.