Use Chat within Brightspace to connect with students in real-time. Chat is an older tool that has not been updated in recent years, but still has its uses as a quick and easy way to have online conversations with your students and a clear record of the chat. The Chat tool is best for synchronous conversation at a scheduled time.

Setting Up


Checking Logs

COURSE ADMIN->CHAT-> select the chat‘s down arrow(context menu)


Sessions screenshot

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Voicethread with Brightspace and Zoom

Do you know about Voicethread

VoiceThread is an interactive, collaborative, web-based tool that that allows user to communicate through images, audio recordings, videos, and text. People can use VoiceThread to set up a discussion board, record a lecture, or show images. Users can add text, audio, or video comments to a VoiceThread, so students can ask questions at a specific point in a lecture or respond to discussion prompts. In addition, instructors can have students create their own VoiceThread presentations as part of an assignment.

Voicethread is integrated into Brightspace (Existing Activities > External Learning Tools) and you can even pull in a Zoom meeting recording directly from the platform? Learn more here and here.

Adding Voicethread to your Brightspace course

  • Navigate to your Content area of your course.
  • Go Add Existing Activities->External Learning Tools->scroll down to VoiceThread and select

Setting up

After you have created the VoiceThread link in your course Content, you will decide what you want students to see when they click on that link.

  • Course View

    • Display the collection of VoiceThreads that have been shared with your course. Anything that has not yet been explicitly shared with your course will not appear here.

      This is a good option when you want students to find and comment on each other’s work or if you want to allow students to review all course materials prior to an exam.

  • Home

    • Display all of a student’s VoiceThread content in a single view. This includes all VoiceThreads and all courses that belong to them.

      This option is useful if you want to create a simple portal into VoiceThread without directing students to any specific content.

  • Individual VT

    • Display any VoiceThread that you have created. When students click on the link, they’ll see just this one VoiceThread.

      This option is the best way to create a VoiceThread discussion board or lecture. Students will not need to look through a collection of VoiceThreads to find the correct one; they will be taken straight to it.

  • Assignment Builder

    • Create a graded assignment for students to complete. You can require them to create a VoiceThread of their own to submit, to comment on a VoiceThread you’ve created, or simply to watch a VoiceThread start to finish.

Building an Assignment

    • Create a graded assignment for students to complete.
      • Create their own 

      • Comment 

      • Watch 

    • Select the type of assignment and follow the prompts to complete the setup.

Student Assignment Submission

Grading VoiceThread Assignments

    • Go to your VoiceThread link in Content. Click on a student’s name on the right to see that student’s submission. Evaluate within VoiceThreads.
    • VoiceThreads are graded 0-100 or on a percentage. This percentage appears automatically in Grade.

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Video Note easily embeds video from your webcam or phone wherever there is the HTML editor. 

Engage learners through short videos 


  • Announcements
  • Content
  • Discussions

Provide meaningful video feedback 


  • Quizzes
  • Assignments
  • Discussions

How do I add Video Note through the HTML Editor 


  1. Go to the HTML Editor
  2. Click Insert Stuff when the text editor window opens (see Figure 1, red circle)                                                

                                        Figure 1. Insert Stuff button with dropdown selections  

  1. Select Video Note (see Figure 1 in the dropdown selections).
  2. Click Record Webcam Video and then New Recording.  
  3. Click Stop Recording when you are finished. 
  4. Click Next.
  5. Type in a Title and Description
  6. Click Insert to insert the video in the topic.
  7. Click Save 

 You can use Video Note anywhere there is an html editor—announcements, feedback, etc.  

insert stuff


are able to attach Video Notes through the HTML Editor

When adding a new thread to a discussion, Insert Stuff through the HTML Editor.

screen shot

In Assignment, Insert Stuff through the HTML Editor.

As an instructor, you are able to add Video Note within your course content areas through the HTML Editor.

Create and insert a video note in HTML Editor 

  • In the HTML Editor, click Insert Stuff (the arrow icon in the first position) 
  • Click Video Note. 



Choose either to Record Webcam Video or Upload File.

If you select Record Webcam Video, follow the prompts.


If you select Upload File, do the following: 

    1. Click Choose File and select the locally saved file you want to upload.
      • Note: You can only upload MP4, FLV, F4V, or MOV files that are less than 5.00 MB in size.
    2. Click Next, and enter a title and description. 
    3. Click Next, and then Insert. 

Use Video Note Search via Insert Stuff

If you want the same video in a different place, do this:

1. Go to the Content topic/module or discussion topic–anywhere there is the html text editor, in fact.

2. Click Insert Stuff and look for Search Video Note

3. Put in the title of the video and click Search

4. Click on the video once you have found it.

5. Voila!

Insert Stuff's Video Note Search

Awards may give your students encouragement, foster competition, and increase engagement. 

To Create a Badge:

1.   Go to Course Admin

2.  Click on Awards

image of course admin>awards

3.  On the Awards page, click on Course Awards (2nd tab)

4. Then click Add Award to Course

image of award creation

5.  On the Add an Award page, click Create

6.  Complete the form:

  • –  Name: Title of your Award
  • –  Description: Describe in detail what the purpose of the award is
  • –  Award Type: Badge
  • –  Availability: the default selection is fine

As the award creator, you will always have access to your awards for use in other courses. The settings above will allow others to easily reuse your awards in their courses if you choose to allow it.

  • –  Expiry: the default expiration is fine
image of award creation page
  • –  Award Image: Select Image from database or upload your own
image of award existing library
  • –  Issuer Information:
    • –  Issuer Name: Enter your course name or your name (instructor)
    • –  Issuer URL: This can remain the default
    • –  Issuer Contact:  Enter your ccc email address
image of award issuer

7.  Click Save and Close

To Issue Badges

You can issue badges automatically by setting up release conditions on your award, or you can issue badges manually.

To Issue an award automatically:

1.  Click Edit Properties

image of award list

2.  Complete the Award Properties

  • –  CreditsYou can leave this blank
  • –  Release Conditions : click “create” and add your various conditions
  • –  Save

The award will automatically issue to students with the crtieria is met.

image of award properties and adding release conditions


To issue an award manually:


1.  Click back to the first tab, Classlist Awards

2.  Then check off the students you want to issue the award to

3.  Then click Issue

image of award issue

4.  In the Issue Award pop-up box, select the award you want to issue

5.  Add the award criteria (the reason they earned the award)

6.  Click Issue.

image of award selection for issue

Release conditions allow you to create custom learning paths for students by setting conditions a student has to fulfill before being allowed to access specific course material or activities. When you attach a release condition to an item, you create rules which restrict users from seeing specific items or content until they meet certain criteria.

For example:

  • –  Students can only take the quiz for week 3 if they have received a passing grade for the quiz in week 2.
  • –  Students will not be able to see the final exam until they have submitted all the previous assignments or activities
  • –  Students are required to view the week’s materials before they can post to the week’s discussion topic. 
  • –  Students who received a passing grade item on an activity will be able to submit to an extra credit assignment

Release conditions are available in nearly every tool or item type in Brightspace including Content, Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, Announcements, Awards, Intelligent Agents and more.

To Setup Release Conditions

In Content, click the drop down arrow next to the topic name or the module name you wish to attach a release condition, and select Edit Properties in Place, then click into the Add Dates and Restrictions section to “create and attach” release conditions.
In the Assignments, Discussions or Quizzes tool, click on the drop down arrow next to the item name and select Edit, then click on the Restrictions tab to create an attach release conditions.

1.  Click Create and Attach

image of create and attach release condition

2.  Select the Condition Type (for example, “Score on a Quiz”)

3.  Select the Condition Details (for example, Quiz name, criteria, and grade)

4.  Click Create

image of quiz score condition

5.  You can add additional criteria if desired. Select whether you want all conditions or any conditions to be met, and then click Update.

image of release condition setting
image of existing release condition

For additional details and a complete list of Release Condition Types, visit the Brightspace documentation.

Replace Strings allow instructors to personalize course content and communication in Brightspace by incorporating the student’s name, for example, into announcements, content, or intelligent agent templates. Essentially, anywhere you find the HTML Editor*.  The use of replace strings can help the instructor build better relationships with students, increase engagement levels, and improve the overall learning experience.

Replace strings are particularly useful within the following:

  • –  Announcements
  • –  Content descriptions (modules, topics, etc.)
  • –  Intelligent Agent templates
  • –  Grades when adding bulk feedback
In your HTML Editor, use the curly bracket {} to enclose the string of text.
Here is an example of an announcement using the {FirstName} replace string and the {OrgUnitName} replace string.
example of replace string in use

Most Common Replace Strings for Announcements, Content and Topics

Replace StringDescriptionExample
{FirstName}first nameJohn
{LastName}last nameSmith
{UserName}CCC usernamejsmith999
{ExternalEmail}CCC email addressjsmith999@student.ccc.edu
{OrgUnitName}Course nameFall 2019 English 101 A

Most Common Replace Strings for Intelligent Agents

Replace StringDescriptionFor use in
{InitiatingUser}the user that meets the agent’s criteriaEmail address field
{InitiatingUserFirstName}first name of user  that meets the agent’s criteriaEmail body
{InitiatingUserLastName}last name of user  that meets the agent’s criteriaEmail body
{LastCourseAccessDate}the date the initiating user last accessed the courseEmail subject or Email body

For more information about Replacement String options and examples, please visit this page on Brightspace Help.

The course homepage for your course is the landing page when students access the course. You can add various widgets, such as Pearson, calendar, tasks, etc. to the homepage.

  1. Go to your course -> Course Admin -> Homepages
  2. Use the drop-down menu menu next to an existing homepage, Copy.
  3. Edit the Copy.
    • Under Widgets, click Add Widgets to add the appropriate widgets to your homepage. Note, more than one widget can be added to one panel of the home page
  4. Save & Close.
  5. Set your edited homepage as the active page.


Contact your TIS or CoHelpDesk@ccc.edu.