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Point-based rubrics arrive to Ultra courses in December

Accessibility, groups & grading enhancements also available

Point-based and point-range rubrics will be available to Ultra courses in the December update, providing extended flexibility for grading and assessment and marking a major milestone in meeting UMBC faculty grading priorities. The new point-based rubrics in Ultra offer customized options such as varying scales, ascending or descending ranges, and totals exceeding 1,000 points possible for an assessment. 

Most importantly, point-based rubrics created in Original courses will migrate to Ultra courses when content is converted, which provides faculty with ample time to review the new rubric format and prepare SP2022 courses for Ultra.

Point based rubrics come to Ultra in December

Image 1: Example of new point-based rubrics in Ultra.

Providing visually appealing courses that adhere to accessibility best practices and standards can help engage students and ensure an equitable learning experience. To ensure that all visual elements are accessible, faculty will have the option to include an image description when uploading a banner image in the course or add an image description to existing course banner images. Images can also be marked as decorative whenever they are not used as primary content. 

Groups are also enhanced in the December update. A new choice to hide course groups from the students’ view gives instructors the option to use groups to discretely organize students based on their performance, interests, adopted knowledge, and other criteria. The visibility of the groups can be easily seen when using gradebook filters or conditional release.

Hide groups from students

Image 2: Example of option to hide groups from student view.

Additional updates for December include:
  • When adding a time limit accommodation, faculty may specify any percentage of extra time (e.g., 15% or 80%) that is needed to honor a time limit accommodation. Currently, faculty must use a fixed percentage for for the additional time accommodation. This change provides greater flexibility to the instructor supporting both the students’ needs and the instructor’s assessment strategy.
  • Instructors and graders will be able to save common preferences for the Bb Annotate grading tools, which minimizes the need to reset between grading student submissions. Note: This feature is on a gradual deployment, which means it may be released over several weeks rather than with the update on December 2nd.
  • The list of faculty in a course will only show instructor or facilitator. Roles such as TA, course builder or grader will be excluded from the list.
  • Individual file uploads in Original courses will be limited to 75 MB to reduce impact on course quotas. The file upload limit applies to both faculty AND student submissions. Instructional Technology recommends that large files are uploaded to cloud storage and media files (audio/video) to Panopto
The next update to our test environment will take place on December 7, 2021. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. Please watch the FAQs and myUMBC for additional information about Ultra.

As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options:

Posted: November 30, 2021, 11:56 AM