Brightspace – New Quiz Experience

Brightspace has released a New Quiz Creation Experience, a similar appearance to what you find in the Assignment tool. We want to highlight a couple changes that you should be aware of: 

  • Description is automatically visible – doesn’t need to be toggled on (but also can’t be hidden from students) 
  • Custom pagination is not possible – here are the options: all questions on same page, by 1/5/10 question(s) or by section.

Watch the New Quiz Experience video for more details.

A.I. Detection: A Better Approach 

Over the past few months, EdTech has shared concerns about A.I. classifiers, such as Turnitin’s A.I. detection tool, AI Text Classifier, GPTZero, and ZeroGPT. Both in-house testing and statements from Turnitin and OpenAI confirm that A.I. text classifiers unreliably differentiate between A.I. and human generated writing. Given that the tools are unreliable and easy to manipulate, EdTech discourages their use. Instead, we suggest using Turnitin’s Similarity Report to help identify A.I.-hallucinated and fabricated references.  

What is Turnitin’s Similarity Report 

The Turnitin Similarity Report quantifies how similar a submitted work is to other pieces of writing, including works on the Internet and those stored in Turnitin’s extensive database, highlighting sections that match existing sources. The similarity score represents the percentage of writing that is similar to other works. 

AI Generated References 

A.I. researchers call the tendency of A.I. to make stuff up a “hallucination.” A.I.-generated responses can appear convincing, but include irrelevant, nonsensical, or factually incorrect answers.  

ChatGPT and other natural language processing programs do a poor job of referencing sources, and often fabricating plausible references. Because the references seem real, students often mistake them as legitimate. 

Common reference or citation errors include: 

  • Failure to include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or incorrect DOI 
  • Misidentification of source information, such as journal or book title 
  • Incorrect publication dates 
  • Incorrect author information 

Using Turnitin to Identify Hallucinated References 

To use Turnitin to identify hallucinated or fabricated references, do not exclude quotes and bibliographic material from the Similarity Report. Quotes and bibliographic information will be flagged as matching or highly similar to source-based evidence. Fabricated quotes, references, and bibliographic information will have zero similarity because they will not match source-based evidence.

Quotes and bibliographic information with no similarity to existing works should be investigated to confirm that they are fabricated.  


Athaluri S, Manthena S, Kesapragada V, et al. (2023). Exploring the boundaries of reality: Investigating the phenomenon of artificial intelligence hallucination in scientific writing through ChatGPT references. Cureus 15(4): e37432. doi:10.7759/cureus.37432 

Metz, C. (2023, March 29). What makes A.I. chatbots go wrong? The curious case of the hallucinating software. New York Times. 

Aligning language models to follow instructions. (2022, January 27). OpenAI. 

Weise, K., and Metz, C. (2023, May 1). What A.I. chatbots hallucinate. New York Times. 

Welborn, A. (2023, March 9). ChatGPT and fake citations. Duke University Libraries. 

screenshot of a Turnitin Similarity Report, with submitted text on the left and the report panel on the right

‘De-clutter your Kaltura media’ competition winners!

Krista Kieswetter receiving her prize of a book and gift card.

Back in October 2022 we launched a competition to see who could delete the most content from their Kaltura My Media, in order to help us save on storage and bandwidth costs. We were delighted with the response so a big thank-you to everyone who took on the challenge and deleted unwanted content to help us out. We are happy to announce that Krista Kieswetter from Continuing Studies (pictured) was the winner of the competition for which she received Marie Kondo’s book Joy at Work and an Amazon gift card. Runners-up were Yue-Ching Chen (Recreation Studies) and Katrina Erdos (Geography) who both receive gift cards.

While on the subject of deleting Kaltura media we would like to direct you to our Kaltura media retention policy which we recently formulated based on good practice from other institutions and in consultation with our Records Management and Privacy Manager. As well as continuing to encourage you to archive and delete any unwanted or unplayed media, we will be carrying out periodic deletions of unplayed media, at the end of the summer and fall semesters.

As ever, if you have any questions about our Kaltura media retention policy (or other Kaltura issues) please email

New Text to Speech Tools in Brightspace

EdTech is excited to announce new text to speech tools in Brightspace.

A new toolbar (pictured below) automatically appears on content pages, Quizzes, Assignments, and Discussions.

Screenshot of ReadSpeaker toolbar

The simple, intuitive interface allows for users to hear text read aloud. In Brightspace, simply select Listen and the toolbar instantly creates an audio version of text.

This tool offers students the choice of reading, listening, or both simultaneously. Allowing users choice and customization accounts for learner needs and preferences.

This tool may assist learners with:

  • Increased understanding
  • Improved reading comprehension
  • Information retention and recall
  • Vocabulary
  • Fluency and accuracy
  • Motivation and attitudes toward reading

Available user features include:

  • Customization of colour, style, and size of font
  • Choice of reading voice and speed
  • Synchronous text highlighting
  • Page masking and text-only view
  • Ability to select content to be read aloud
  • No download required
    • Learners can use this tool on campus, at home, on their phone, or on the bus

In addition to Brightspace pages, Word and PDF documents uploaded to Brightspace also have a text to speech reader option.

While a benefit to all learners, this tool is especially important to users that need content to be read aloud. The addition of text to speech is an important step in Langara’s work toward accessibility and universal design for learning.

For more information, read about the toolbar’s features or contact assistivetech@langara.

Using Peer Assessment for Collaborative Learning

Peer Assessment

Peer Assessment PictureThere are several benefits to using peer assessment within your course, one of which is to provide students with a more engaging experience. Opportunities to assess other learners’ work will help students learn to give constructive feedback and gain different perspectives through viewing their peers’ work. There is evidence to show that including students in the assessment process improves their performance. (1) (2) (3)

Research also shows that students can improve their linguistic and communicative skills through peer review. (4) The exposure to a variety of feedback can help students improve their work and can even enhance their understanding of the subject matter. Furthermore, learning to give effective feedback helps develop self-regulated learning, as ‘assessment for learning [shifts] to assessment as learning’ in that it is ‘an active process of cognitive restructuring that occurs when individuals interact with new ideas’ (5).

In addition to the benefits to students, peer assessment can also provide instructors with an efficient way of engaging with a formative assessment framework where the student is given the chance to learn from their initial submission of an assignment.

Options for Peer Assessment within Brightspace:

Within Brightspace, there are several ways that instructors can set up peer assessment activities depending on the nature of the assignment and the needs of the instructor. Here we highlight several use cases.

Peer Assessment Example #1:

The instructor wants to have students assess each other’s group contributions for an assignment within Brightspace.

Using a Fillable PDF, which gives the students a rubric-like experience, a student can rate their peers based on different criteria that has been built into the assessment by the instructor. Students can provide feedback on a rating scale but also can provide more in-depth feedback if needed.

The advantage of using a fillable PDF is that the student can easily download the file and fill in the blanks. The student can reflect on the built-in criteria and the entire process should be quick and easy. The scores are calculated, and the instructor can interpret the results once the student has uploaded the PDF into the assignment folder.

A few disadvantages of this method are that the instructor will have to download each fillable PDF and manually enter a grade if marks are captured for peer assessment. The other issue is the level of student digital literacy. Directions on downloading the fillable PDF to the student’s desktop and not using the PDF within the browser is a key step for this process to work. Not all students are aware that fillable PDFs cannot be used successfully in-browser.

Peer Assessment Example #2:

Students are working towards a final paper that is worth 15% of their overall mark. Before they submit the final version to the instructor, they will have the opportunity to evaluate another student’s draft and their own work using a rubric. If time is limited for this activity, learners can be invited to submit just the first paragraph of the paper, rather than the whole draft.

Through peer assessment, learners can often receive feedback more quickly than if they had to wait for the marker or instructor to review the class’s work.Aropa

Students upload their work to Brightspace Assignments where they are given a link to Aropä, a third-party open software which pairs students so they can assess each other’s work using a built-in rubric. Assessment can be anonymous, and the instructor can restrict feedback to students who have already submitted one review. Self-assessment can be required.

The advantages of Aropä is that it is free and gives instructors the ability to modify rubrics to suit one’s objectives. The disadvantage of this software is that it requires more time to set up. Rubrics provide only basic options: radio buttons or comment boxes. Instructors should be aware of privacy issues with Aropa and only upload first names of their students but avoid uploading student numbers.

Peer Assessment Activity #3

Students complete group presentations after which the class assesses each group’s performance, including their own group’s presentation, using a predetermined marking scheme.

The activity of assessing presentations encourages engagement with the work, versus passive observation, since students will be required to give feedback, encouraging deeper learning and enhancing retention.

The advantages of using an H5P Documentation tool are that H5P can be created directly within Brightspace. It looks nice and is versatile. The disadvantage is that learners will have to export their feedback and then upload it into Brightspace. This two-step process requires some digital literacy skills.

Sample H5P Documentation Tool

Peer Assessment Activity #4:

This peer assessment activity is more about checking completion. Instructor needs to ensure accountability with group work.

Students are given an MS Form with some basic criteria by which to rate themselves and their peers in terms of attendance to meetings, work on the final product / assignment and collaboration. Students will use a point rating scale and need to justify their evaluation by providing a concrete example.

Similar to Example #1, students can complete a form using a Fillable PDF or another software such as Jotform or MS Forms to reflect and assess their own work as well as the work of their teammates. Jotform allows for more complex form building and will calculate totals for each student while MS Forms will not calculate but will allow you to get a sense of how students are doing overall with a basic rating on each criteria. (Focus on qualitative assessment)

Sample MS Form

Sample Jotform

A Note on Third Party Peer Review Software:

There are many different software available for peer assessment. Edtech is currently testing out several different ones and hopes to pilot them in the spring or summer semester. Currently, the only one that we are recommending (because it’s 0-cost) is Aropa. Aropa does a great job of providing several options for peer assessment, including self-assessment, privacy options for students, anonymous assessment, etc. It does not integrate completely with Brightspace so that is one disadvantage over some of the paid peer assessment programs currently available. Programs such as peerScholar, Feedback Fruits and Peerceptive have the capability to integrate into the Gradebook, thereby making it very easy to provide marks for the feedback that your students provide for one another.

For more information on any of the above tools, please contact


  1. Wu, Wenyan, et al. “Evaluating Peer Feedback as a Reliable and Valid Complementary Aid to Teacher Feedback in EFL Writing Classrooms: A Feedback Giver Perspective.” Studies in Educational Evaluation, vol. 73, June 2022. EBSCOhost,
  2. Double, Kit S., et al. “The Impact of Peer Assessment on Academic Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Control Group Studies.” Educational Psychology Review, vol. 32, no. 2, June 2020, pp. 481–509. EBSCOhost,
  3. Planas-Lladó, A. et al., 2018. Using peer assessment to evaluate teamwork from a multidisciplinary perspective. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(1), pp.14–30.
  4. de Brusa, M. F. P., & Harutyunyan, L. (2019). Peer Review: A Tool to Enhance the Quality of Academic Written Productions. English Language Teaching, 12(5), 30-39.
  5. Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education, 2006 p.41

Captions are now automatic on all new Kaltura media

New media content added to Kaltura MediaSpace will be automatically captioned, whether uploaded via the Langara MediaSpace website at, or via My Tools > My Media in Brightspace. These captions are machine-generated and should be available within 30 minutes of uploading your file. All media, including screen recordings, file uploads, web recordings, and most YouTube imports, will have captions added when uploaded to Kaltura. These are closed captions that can be deactivated by the media owner and when available, toggled on and off by the viewer. Existing media—uploaded before October 18th, 2022—will not have captions automatically added but you can request captions for this media.

Keep in mind, machine-generated captions are only 85% accurate and will not meet the requirements of students with closed captioning accommodations. Students requiring an accommodation will contact Accessibility Services, who will inform you directly. If you have a student that requires closed captions, edit your captions to ensure they are 99% accurate or contact Langara’s Assistive Technologist to request assistance with human-edited closed captions. 

We developed a Closed Captions slideshow (below) to provide step-by-step instructions for all you need to know about captioning your media in Kaltura MediaSpace/My Media.

Discontinuing LockDown Browser

LockDown Browser
As the spring semester winds down, you may now be shifting your focus to final exams and wondering if LockDown Browser will be available for the upcoming exam period. After over six months of troubleshooting, it has become clear that, unfortunately, LockDown Browser is no longer compatible with Langara’s computing infrastructure.
While this announcement may disappoint some faculty members, please know that this decision was not taken lightly. There were several key issues that contributed to our decision:

  • Random Freezing on Citrix Computers

    Since LockDown Browser was most frequently used during midterm and final exams, the fact that it might freeze up a Citrix computer during these critical and stressful times made it an unreliable solution—for both instructors and students. Furthermore, the conditions under which Citrix computers froze were quite random. This made it challenging to identify the specific circumstances / scenarios that might trigger these freezes. And given the prevalence of Citrix computers across Langara’s campus, EdTech and IT needed to ensure a solution that would work with all of Langara’s computers.

  • Only an Older Version Worked on Citrix Computers

    In trying to find a solution, EdTech discovered that only an older version (from Summer 2021) worked on the Citrix computers and this older version is no longer supported by Respondus, LockDown Browser’s parent company. Taking into consideration future support and compatibility issues, this was not a viable solution.

  • Reduced Use of LockDown Browser Post-Pandemic

    During the pandemic, many instructors revamped their online exams and quizzes to address academic integrity in new, innovative, and creative ways. As a result, fewer faculty required LockDown Browser after our return to campus.

That said, we are committed to supporting our faculty and instructional staff. So, if you are still concerned about academic integrity, please feel free to read our article, Designing Online Exams / Quizzes, and/or contact us. We are more than happy to help you explore and implement alternative online exam / quiz options!

Turnitin and Student Privacy

Turnitin is a text matching tool that compares students’ written work with a database of student papers, web pages, and academic publications. The two main uses for Turnitin are: 1) for formative or low-stakes assessment of paraphrasing or citation; and 2) for prevention and identification of plagiarism.

Privacy Concerns

When an assignment is submitted to Turnitin for a text matching report, the student’s work is saved as part of Turnitin’s database of more than 1 billion student papers. This raises privacy concerns that include:

  • Students’ inability to remove their work from the database
  • The indefinite length of time that papers are stored
  • Access to the content of the papers, especially personal data or sensitive content, including potential security breaches of the server

Copyright Concerns

In addition, saving a student’s work on Turnitin’s database without their consent may put an institution at risk for legal action based on Canadian copyright law (Strawczynski, 2004). 

Guidelines for Using Turnitin

To mitigate these concerns, we recommend the following guidelines for all instructors using Turnitin:

  1. Be clear and transparent that you will be using Turnitin. Even if a course outline includes a statement indicating that Turnitin will be used in a course, we recommend not relying on that statement alone. Ideally, instructors should also explain to students that their papers will be stored on the company’s database and ask for their consent. If they don’t provide consent, have an alternate plan (see below).
  2. Decide whether or not students’ work needs to be saved on Turnitin’s database. The default is for all papers to be saved, but this can be changed. Not saving papers to the database means that those papers can’t be used to generate future similarity reports, but it does remove the privacy and copyright concerns.
  3. Coach students to remove identifying details. If the students’ submissions will be added to Turnitin’s database, make sure you get them to remove any personal information from their assignment, including their name, student number, address, etc. Meta-data that is embedded should also be removed (e.g. in track changes or file properties). If you’re having them submit to an assignment folder on Brightspace, their name will be with their submission so it shouldn’t be a problem if it’s not on the paper itself.
  4. Don’t run a similarity report for an individual student without their knowledge. Ethical use of Turnitin occurs when it is transparently and equally used for all students. Running a report only on a specific student’s work without their knowledge or consent is not transparent or equal.
  5. Consider whether or not the assignment is appropriate for Turnitin. If the students need to include personal or sensitive information in the assignment, Turnitin should probably not be used. If you do decide to use it, the students’ papers should not be stored in the database.
  6. If contacted by another institution, be cautious about revealing student information. If at some point in the future there is a match to one of your student’s papers in Turnitin’s database, Turnitin does not give the other institution access to the text of the paper but will provide the instructor at the other institution with your email. If you are contacted about a match, consider carefully before forwarding the paper or any identifying details about the student to the other institution. If you do want to forward the paper, you should obtain the student’s consent.

Alternatives to Confirm Authorship When Turnitin is Not Used

If a student objects to having their paper submitted to Turnitin, or if the assignment is not appropriate for submission to Turnitin because it includes personal or sensitive content, you can increase confidence that the students are doing their own work in other ways. For example, an instructor can require any or all of the following:

  • submission of multiple drafts
  • annotation of reference lists
  • oral defence of their work

Requiring students to complete any or all of these will increase the student’s workload which would mean that students who opt out of Turnitin aren’t at an advantage over students who opt in.

Helping Students Make Turnitin Work for Them

If you’re using Turnitin, it’s highly recommended that you adjust the settings to allow the students to see their similarity reports. You may need to teach students how to interpret the reports if they haven’t learned how to do so from a previous course. Turnitin’s website has resources if you need them ( and you can also point your students to the Turnitin link on Langara’s Help with Student Learning Tools iweb ( Finally, remember that these reports won’t be helpful to a student if they’re not given the chance to revise and resubmit after they see the report. In Brightspace, we recommend that instructors set up two separate assignment folders with Turnitin enabled: one for their draft and one for the final submission.

Have questions?

If you need support with Turnitin, please contact


Strawczynski, J. (2004). When students won’t Turnitin: An examination of the use of plagiarism prevention services in Canada. Education & Law Journal 14(2), 167-190. 

Vanacker, B. (2011). Returning students’ right to access, choice and notice: a proposed code of ethics for instructors using Turnitin. Ethics & Information Technology, 13(4), 327-338.

Zaza, C., & McKenzie, A. (2018). Turnitin® Use at a Canadian University. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(2).

Zimmerman, T.A. (2018). Twenty years of Turnitin: In an age of big data, even bigger questions remain. The 2017 CCCC Intellectual Property Annual. Retrieved from

PebblePad at Langara

What is PebblePad*?

PebblePad logo

PebblePad is Langara’s online portfolio and experiential learning platform. Digital portfolios, or ePortfolios, are powerful tools for learning, assessment, and career development because they enable users to document their skills, learning, and creativity, as well as reflect on what/how/why they learn. Using PebblePad, students can create portfolios, blogs, basic webpages, online collections of files, formal and informal reflections, action plans, and more. For authentic and scaffolded experiential learning, PebblePad is also a great fit.

How Might it Be Used Within a Course or Formal Learning Experience?

PebblePad is being used in many practicum and clinical courses at Langara. Students use interactive digital workbooks to document their experiences and demonstrate what they have learned. Links to these workbook assignments are then shared with faculty for feedback and assessment.

For programs where students have more open-ended and/or creative assignments, classic portfolios can be created on PebblePad where students document, showcase, and reflect on their creative work. This type of assignment empowers students to design and collate content ranging from text and hyperlinks, to images and video.

To find out more about the possibilities, we encourage you to go to the PebblePad Community Learner Showcase to explore some of the work being done at other institutions.

Why Use PebblePad?

PebblePad is student-owned. Once a student takes a course using PebblePad, they will be issued a PebblePad account that they will have for their entire time at Langara and beyond.  This makes it a great tool for them to make connections across their learning journey, and it can support the transition to further studies or employment.

Research indicates that using digital portfolios like PebblePad within courses and programs also seems to advance student retention and success (Eynon, Gambino, & Török, 2014). Proponents theorize that ePortfolios are beneficial because they support learning in the following ways:

  • learning can be made visible, including through reflection activities
  • connections can be made across and between academic (course, program), extracurricular (work experience, volunteering), and personal (family, community life) learning
  • personal, academic, and professional identity construction can be supported
  • social pedagogies can be employed, supporting group work, peer feedback, mentorship, etc.
  • competencies – within and outside of formal academic courses – can be documented and assessed

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in learning more about PebblePad, contact EdTech to talk to an Advisor. Please also check the EdTech calendar for upcoming workshops.

Email for more information.


*PebblePad is now the preferred ePortfolio technology of BCNET.


Blake Yancey, K. (Ed.). (2019). ePortfolio as Curriculum: Models and Practices for Developing Students’ ePortfolio Literacy. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Eynon, B., & Gambino, L.M. (2017). High-Impact ePortfolio Practice: A Catalyst for Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Eynon, B., Gambino, L. M., & Török, J. (2014). What difference can ePortfolio make? A field report from the Connect to Learning Project. International Journal of ePortfolio, 4(1), 95-114.

Penny Light, T., Chen, H., & Ittelson, J. (2011). Documenting learning with ePortfolios: A guide for college instructors. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Watson, C. E., Kuh, G. D., Rhodes, T., Light, T. P., & Chen, H. L. (2016). Editorial: ePortfolios – The Eleventh High Impact Practice. International Journal of EPortfolio6(2), 65–69.

Yeo, N., & Rowley, J. (2020). ‘Putting on a Show’ Non-Placement WIL in the Performing Arts: Documenting Professional Rehearsal and Performance Using Eportfolio Reflections. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 17(4).

End-of-Semester Sharing Session

On Friday, November 27th from 10:30 until 12:00, Ed Tech is hosting an End-of-Semester Sharing Session and we would love for you to participate. 


How can you participate? 

Share your tool or activity

If you have adopted a tool or educational technology-based activity this semester that is effective for both you and your students and you would like to share it with others, we invite you to share. 

Each Ed Tech tool/activity show & tell can be a few minutes long and up to 5 minutes and requires no formal preparation. If you would like, you can share a screenshot or share your screen to show us your activity, but it’s not absolutely necessary.  

To sign-up as a presenter, email Mirabelle Tinio ( or Briana Fraser (bfraser@langara) and let us know what tool or activity you plan on sharing. 

Ask questions and help solve issues

If you are looking to solve an issue with a tool or educational technology-based activity, we invite you to attend. 

Through sharing our successes and challenges, we hope to brainstorm solutions we can test next semester. 

To sign-up as an audience member, sign-up on the iWeb event page. 

We hope to see you then.