The FAQ tool: Staff guide
The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) tool in Brightspace enables you to provide answers to a list of common questions that your students might have.
Although it is a fairly basic tool (questions and answers are organized into categories, though you cannot have sub-categories) it could be a great way to avoid repeating information all of your students would benefit from knowing.
To set up FAQs in your unit/module follow the steps outlined in this guide.
Accessing the FAQ tool
In the navbar at the top of the screen, click on Course Tools, then Course Admin.
In the Course Admin area, from the Site Resources category, select Frequently Asked Questions.
You should now be looking at the Manage FAQ home page, where you can create frequently asked questions for your students and assign them to categories for orderliness.
Creating categories and questions
You can either begin by creating categories and then adding questions, or start by writing questions and assigning categories as you go, both approaches will lead to the same result. For this guide, we'll start by creating a category:
From the Manage FAQ screen, to create a category click on New Category.
You will be asked to give your category a name and a description.
To add a question to a category, from the Manage FAQ screen, click on New Question.
There are three boxes to complete (click on picture opposite to enlarge):
- Category – either select an existing category or create a new one by clicking ‘[New Category]’
- Question – A text only box for you to pose your question. There is a lot of guidance online about how to write effective FAQ questions, see below for one example:
- Answer – Note that in the Answer area you have the full functionality of the Brightspace html editor. This means that your answer can include formatting, images, video and links (both to areas in your unit/module and external links)
Click Save to return to the Manage FAQ screen or Save and New to continue adding questions.
Adding to existing FAQs
As you build up your FAQs your questions will sit under the categories (shaded in blue in the picture opposite) you have assigned them to.
Once you have existing categories and questions, the easiest way to add to them is via the Actions dropdown menus to the right of them.
For example, to add another question to my General course admin category, I would click on the Actions menu and select New Question.
If you wish to edit an existing question, click on the Actions dropdown menu to the right of the question and choose Edit (you can also use this menu to delete a question).
Reordering and previewing FAQs
Finally, on the Manage FAQ home page you have the More Actions button. This button allows you to reorder or preview your FAQs.
To reorder the items on your FAQ page, from the More Actions menu select Reorder.
When you click on Reorder, you will be taken to a page that shows the current structure of your FAQs.
Note the Sort Order column on the right of the screen (shown opposite). Use this column to change the order of your categories and/or the questions within the categories.
When you are satisfied with your new order, click Save and Close.
To preview the items on your FAQ page, from the More Actions menu select Preview.
The Preview button shows you a basic version of how your FAQs will appear to students in a popup window.
You can choose to view all categories or select a category.
To view how your FAQs will look for your students, switch to Student View (shown below) and then, from the navbar, click on Communication and Collaboration then FAQ (shown opposite).
When you first click on FAQ you will see the questions and answers from all your categories. However, to narrow things down you can use the dropdown list under Category to select a particular category (shown in picture opposite).
The simplest way for students to access FAQs is by clicking on Communication and Collaboration in the navbar and scrolling down to FAQ (shown opposite).
You will need a blank Word document or a Notepad pad open. Once you have that, to create a link to your FAQs within your unit/module, follow the steps below:
Switch to Student view by clicking your name then View as Student (see picture opposite).
Navigate to the FAQ tool (Communication and Collaboration > FAQ) via the navbar.
Copy the url from the top of the screen (this url will take students to a page where they can see all categories of FAQs. it should be relatively short and look like: https://brightspace.uhi.ac.uk/d2l/lms/faq/view_faq.d2l?ou=7350).
Paste the url into Word or Notepad.
You can also copy the url for a specific category, though that url will be much longer. To do this, while still in Student view, select a category from the dropdown menu on your FAQ page. Copy the url from the top of the screen. This time the url will be much longer but don't worry about this, your students will not see it.
Next, exit Student view by clicking again on your name in the top right of the screen and then clicking on the X ('Stop viewing as a Student') (shown opposite).
You can now create links for your students within your unit/module.
To create a link within the Table of Contents, click on Content in the navbar, navigate to the desired place (e.g. 'Exam info'). Then,click on Upload/Create and select Create a Link (shown opposite).
Next, in the New Link popup, add a Title, paste the appropriate URL, then click Create.
When you return to your Content area you will see a link has been added for your students. Clicking on this link will take them directly to that category within your FAQs.
Anywhere you see the html editor (e.g. in Announcements, Content, or even Quizzes and Assignments) you can embed a link to the FAQ tool by using the Insert Quicklink icon (step 1 shown opposite).
From the popup that appears after clicking on Insert Quicklink, scroll down to Url (step 2).
Complete the form that pops up by adding your URL and a Title.
Click Insert to complete the process.
You will see that the link to the FAQ tool has been added to your content item (shown opposite).