End of Semester Tips

General Information

There are several things that you’ll want to do at the end of the semester.  If you’ve taught at LSC before, this may just be a refresher for you.  If this is the first time you’ve taught at LSC, this may have information you didn’t know you needed to do before turning in your grades.

Minnesota State D2L Support Guides

The Minnesota State D2L Support group has created guides for D2L Brightspace users, including instructors, students, trainers and campus site administrators.

Note:  You’ll need to log into the Minnesota State D2L Brightspace Support site using your StarID@minnstate.edu.  These articles are updated as new features are added or changes made to the tool.

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D2L Community Website

The D2L Community web site, accessible to instructors, trainers and site admins, is a good source of documentation. The searchable help can be printed and bookmarked in the web browser. If you do not have a D2L Community account you can create one by clicking on the Enrollment link.

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Grades in D2L Brightspace

There are two types of Final Grades, Final Calculated Grades and Final Adjusted Grades, in D2L Brightspace.  Final Calculated Grades is where D2L will add up all of the points for the grade items that the students have completed and that will be what they receive as the final grade.  Final Adjusted Grades is where D2L will still add up all of the points but you would be able to make changes to the final grades if a student, who you felt had done well during the course, was close to the next higher grade.

There are a few things you will need to do in D2L Brightspace before submitting your final grades to eServices at the end of the semester.  You may not need to do all of these steps depending on what you plan to use as the final grade.

Grade Setting Adjustments

There are a few Grade Settings that you may need to adjust before releasing the final grades to the students or submitting them to eServices.  You’ll need to decide which Final Grade will be released to your students – Calculated or Adjusted; if you want to drop ungraded items or treat them as 0 (zero); and make sure the Grades will be automatically updated.  To make these changes:

Go to the Grades area of your course.

Select the Settings link in the upper right corner of the Manage Grades or Enter Grades tabs.

Screenshot of Grades Settings area with an arrow pointing to selecting the Calculation Options tab and the settings to change highlighted

  1. Select the Calculation Options tab.
  2. Scroll down the screen until you reach the Final Grade Released section.
    1. Select either Calculated Final Grade or Adjusted Final Grade, depending on what you’d like to release to the students. Note: If you adjust the grade for one student, you’ll still need to have all the students’ scores listed in the Adjusted Final Grade column.
    2. In the Grade Calculations section, select either to Drop ungraded items or Treat ungraded items as 0 (zero).  Note: If you select to Drop ungraded items, make sure you type 0 (zero) for any student who failed the activity or didn’t attempt it.
    3. In the Auto Update section, make sure the Automatically keep final grades updated has been checked.
  3. Click the Save button.

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Bonus (Extra Credit) Items

Screenshot of Manage Grades area with bonus items highlighted

Bonus items will appear with a gold star next to the name. The way D2L Brightspace works is that the system will add up the points for the student’s assignment, quizzes, papers, etc. then add any Bonus grade items points they received on top of that.

It’s recommended that you check the “Can Exceed” box for:

  • Bonus grade items
  • The Category if they’re in one. Note: Bonus items seem to work better when they’re not in a category.
  • Final Calculated Grade
  • Final Adjusted Grade

The easiest way to do this is to check the boxes next to the items on the Manage Grades tab and select the Bulk Edit icon near the top of the screen.

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Final Grades

One of the first things you’ll want to do for your final grades is change the Grade Scheme for the Final Calculated Grade and Final Adjusted Grade to Letter Grades (90-80-70-60) to match what the students will receive in eServices.  Note: This will also make it easier when transferring the grades from D2L Brightspace to eServices

To do this:
Screenshot of the Edit Final Calculated Grades with arrows pointing to selecting the Grade Scheme dropdown menu, selecting the Letter Grade option, and clicking the Save and Close button

  1. From the Manage Grades tab, edit the Final Calculated Grade item.
  2. In the Grading section, select the Grade Scheme drop down menu.
  3. Select the Letter Grades (90-80-70-60) item.
  4. Click the Save and Close button.

Repeat these steps for the Final Adjusted Grade item.

Accessing Final Grades

From the Enter Grades tab, select the drop down menu for either Final Calculated Grade or Final Adjusted Grade and select the Enter Grades.  This will take you to the Final Grades screen where you can give overall and individual comments; transfer Final Calculated Grades to Final Adjusted Grades; and release final grades to students.

Overall and Individual Feedback

On the Final Grades screen, you’re able to give feedback to everyone in the course all at once using the Overall Feedback.  Note: You may need to expand the “Show details and overall feedback” section near the top of the screen to see this area.

Screenshot of the Final Grades with the Overall Feedback and individual Feedback areas highlighted

  1. You can type a message in the Overall Feedback (visible to all) HTML Editor (A) and it will appear for all of your students when they view their grades.  This is helpful if you would like to do something like thank the students for all their hard work during the semester.
  2. If you’d like to give the students more specific feedback, you can do this by selecting the pencil icon in the Feedback column (B) for the student.  Note: You can also make a private comment, like why you changed the grade, that could be used as a reminder for you later.

Transferring Final Calculated Grades to Final Adjusted Grades

Even if you plan to only adjust one or two students’ final grades, you need to transfer all of the students scores from the Final Calculated Grades to Final Adjusted Grades column so they’ll all be able to see their final grades.

To do this:

Screenshot of Final Grades screen with Overall Feedback and Individual Feedback highlighted

  1. Select the Final Grade drop down menu.
  2. Select the Transfer All item.

After the grades have been transferred, you can make the changes as needed.

Release Final Grades to Students

There are three ways to release final grades to student – individually, a several students at once, or release them all at once.

To release Final Grades to:
Screenshot of the Final Grades area with the ways to release final grades mentioned in A through C highlighted

  • An individual student’s final grade (A) – select the check box for their name in the Released column on the right side of the table. If you need to review a student’s final grade after you’ve released it, you can uncheck the box in the Released column for the student.
  • Several students’ final grades (B) – select the check box to the left of the students name and select the Release/Unrelease icon near above the final grades table. If you need to review several students’ final grade after you’ve released them, select multiple check boxes to the left of the students name and select the Release/Unrelease icon again.
  • All of the students’ final grades (C) – select the Final Grades drop down menu near the top of the screen and select the Release All item from the list.  If you need to review all of the students’ final grade after you’ve released them, select the Final Grades drop down menu and select the Unrelease All option.

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Importing Grades to eServices

When you’ve finished grading and adjusting final grades, you can transfer them from D2L Brightspace to eServices using the Go to eServices button on the Enter Grades tab.

Once you’ve logged into eServices:

  1. Select the Faculty drop down menu.
  2. Select the Grade & LDA Entry.
  3. Select the course you want to import the grades for.

You could manually enter the final grades, by having the D2L Brightspace Final Grades screen open on one computer monitor and eServices open on another one.  Just make sure that both rosters of students are listed in the same order so you don’t accidentally give an incorrect grade.  If you want to have all of the final grades transfer from D2L Brightspace, you can click the Import from D2L button under the students’ names.  A confirmation message will appear, click the Continue button to authorize the import process.  You may need to log into D2L Brightspace again during this process.  A successful import will have “Imported” under the Grade Status column in eServices.  If you receive any error messages, check the Errors/Warnings column.

If you have any questions about adding Grades in eServices or error messages you may have received, please contact the Records Office by calling (218) 733-7601/opt. 3.

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Exporting in D2L Brightspace

There are several ways to export information from your course in D2L Brightspace.  If you want to have a copy of the grades outside of D2L Brightspace, you can export your grade book.  If you want a back-up of the files in your course, you can export your Course Files.  If you want a copy of your course structure without any student data, you can export your course as a zipped package.

Exporting Your D2L Brightspace Grades

If you use the D2L Brightspace Grades, you can export grade books at the end of each semester if you want an electronic copy. You’ll have access to the course Grades in D2L Brightspace for five years so you may not need to export a copy until closer to the time the course will be removed from the system. Note: The exported Grades file needs to be saved in a secure location because it has student grade information. Please contact the IT Help Desk if you’d like examples of where this can be stored.

To do this:

Go to the Enter Grades screen.

Click the Export button.

In the Export Options section, select the check boxes next to the information you want to include in the file.  It’s recommended that you select:

Screenshot of Export Grades with the different options mentioned in A through E highlighted

  1. The Key Field you want to use to identify users – Org Defined ID, Username, or both (A). For this example, we’ve left the Org Defined ID selected.
  2. The Grade Values and User Details you want to export – Points Grade or Grade Scheme (B). For this example, we’ve left the Points Grade selected.
  3. The User Details you want to export – Last Name, First Name, Email Address, or Group Membership (C). For this example, we’ve selected the Last Name, First Name, and Email Address.
  4. In the Choose Grades to Export, make sure the check boxes next to the grade items you want to include in the file are selected (D). For this example, we’ve selected all of the grade items we used to assess the students.
  5. Click the Export to CSV or Export to Excel button (E).  Note: The Export to Excel will be a xlsx file that can be opened in Excel but can’t be imported back into D2L Brightspace. For this example, we used Chrome as our browser, so the files appeared in the lower left corner. If we’d used Firefox, the downloaded files would be listed from a downward pointing arrow icon in the upper right corner.

The file will be saved to your computer’s Downloads folder.

Move the file from the Downloads folder to the secure location.  It’s recommended that you change the name of the file to include the course name, section, semester, and something like “Grades Export” to be able to tell the difference between the different exports later.

D2L has a video that can show you how to do this, Export the D2L Gradebook.  During the semester, you can export grade items, including final grades, to a CSV file for use in other applications or offline grading. If you plan to import grades back into D2L Brightspace, make sure you do not change the structure of the file, although you can add new grade items.

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Exporting Course Files

If you’d like a backup of only your course files that can be stored outside of D2L Brightspace or imported to another learning management system (LMS), you could create a zipped folder of the Manage Files area.

A zip file is a container of files; in this case, it is a container of files you downloaded. To access the files within this zip package you can use Zip software or simply double click on the zip Icon and drag and drop the files out of the zip package.

To do this:

In the course you want to work in, select Content on the navigation bar.

On the Table of Contents, select the Related Tools drop down menu.

Select the Manage Files option.
Screenshot of the Manage files area with arrows pointing to selecting several files and selecting the Zip icon

  1. Place a check mark in the box or boxes to the left of the files and folders you wish to Zip and save outside of your course shell.  Note: If you want to zip all of the files in the course, select the box above the table next to the Cut (scissors) icon.
  2. Select the Zip (file box) icon above the table of files.

 Screenshot of the Manage Files area with arrows pointing to selecting the zipped file and selecting the Download icon

  1. Once the files and folders have been zipped, a new file will appear at the top of the list with the date, time, and course org unit number as the name.  Select the drop down menu.
  2. Select the Download item.
  3. When D2L Brightspace has prepared the file for download, select the file name to save it to your computer’s Downloads folder.
  4. The file will be saved to your computer’s Downloads folder.
  5. Move the file from the Downloads folder to your OneDrive account.  It’s recommended that you change the name of the file to include the course name, section, semester, and something like “Content Export” to be able to tell the difference between the different exports later.

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Export Your Entire Course

You may want to store a copy of your course structure outside of D2L Brightspace, for example if it’s a course you don’t plan to teach for a few years.  D2L has an Export video that will show you how to export your entire course structure.  The video is older, so the screens may not look exactly like what you see in the video.  Note: This export doesn’t include student generated data such as Assignment submissions, Discussions messages, Quiz answers, etc.

To do this:
Screenshot of the Course Admin screen with arrows pointing to selecting Course Admin in the navigation bar and selecting Import Export Copy Components from the Site Resources section

  1. In the course you want to work in, select Course Admin in the course navigation bar.
  2. In Site Resources, select the Import/Export/Copy Components option.

There are three Export options:

  • Export as Brightspace Package – this allows you to import it back into a D2L Brightspace course.
  • Export as Common Cartridge – this allows you to import it into any Learning Management System (LMS) like Canvas or Blackboard.
  • Export as Thin Common Cartridge – this is a subset of the Common Cartridge that limits what’s included in the export.

Screenshot of the Import / Export / Copy Components screen with arrows pointing to selecting the Export Components radio button and clicking the Start button

  1. Select the Export as Brightspace Package radio button if you want to export a course structure that you might need to import back into D2L Brightspace in a few years.
  2. Click the Start button.

Screenshot of the Select Course Materials screen with arrows pointing to selecting the Select All Components check box, selecting individual components to export, and clicking the Continue button

  1. Select boxes next to the tools and items you want to export or check the Select All Components box at the top of the list.
  2. Click the Continue button.

You will be taken to the confirmation screen.  Note: If you want to change what you’re exporting from D2L Brightspace, you can either use the Modify link or the Go Back button to select items again.

Click the Export button.

Screenshot of the Export Started screen with an arrow pointing to clicking the Done button. The Update Alerts icon is highlighted in the mini navigation bar

You will see a message saying “Your export has been started. You will receive a notification in the Update Alerts when it has completed.” An orange dot will appear next to the Update Alerts bell icon in the mini bar at the top of the screen.

Click the Done button to work on other things in the course while you wait for the alert.
Select the Update Alerts icon when the orange dot appears in the upper right corner of the icon. Select the Export Finished message listed at the top

  1. Select the Update Alerts icon when the orange dot appears in the upper right corner of the icon.
  2. Select the Export Finished message listed at the top.

Screenshot of the Export Summary screen with arrows pointing to selecting the Click here to download the export Zip package and clicking the Done button. The downloaded file is highlighted

  1. You should see the message “The course export was successful”. Select the Click here to download the export Zip package link.  The file will be saved to your computer’s Downloads folder.
  2. Click the Done button once you’ve downloaded the file.

Move the file from the Downloads folder to your OneDrive account.  It’s recommended that you change the name of the file to include the course name, section, semester/year, and something like “Course Export” to be able to tell the difference between the different exports later.

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