Practical replacement using Brightspace Assignments

This article will show an example of how to organize practicals online.

Course: BIS10306 Biodiversity in the Netherlands (230 students )
Period: Period 6 

Short introduction and background

Introduction and story behind the emergence of this learning activity. What was the need, what issue/problem was the teacher facing and wanted to resolve? 

Normally during lab practicals student will get actual plants and insects to analyse and identify. Student assistants are available for questions during the practicals. 

Since lab practicals were not possible we used detailed drawings (of the KNNV) and a book called ‘Heukels Flora’. The book uses keys to identify plants. Student assistants were online available to give feedback. 

Relevant tools / apps (software) or hardware used

Learning outcome(s)

What has been learned after this lesson/activity has been executed ?

Students can identify plants till species level and insects till Order level. 

Lesson idea / Learning activity

Specific description and demonstration of the lesson idea/learning activity.

Using these detailed drawings and the sequence of the keys in the book, students can practice identifying plants. 

Students would submit their answers in Brightspace. Student assistants (and lecturers too) give real-time feedback if possible and at the end of the day, the correct answer was made available on the site.  

Read more

There were two steering moments a day. At the start of the practical a clip was available where the teacher would explain certain stuff about the plants or insects the students are about to analyse and identify. At the end of the practical again a clip was available where the teacher gave a recap of the practical or mentioned and showed what the outcome should have been. 

Self-tests were also added for students to practice the knowledge they gained. 

To keep track of the students’ progress Brightspace was used. The assignments were clearly categorised per day.

Figure 1: Example of detailed drawing

Figure 1: Example of detailed drawing

Figure 2: Assignments categorized per day

Figure 2: Assignments categorised per day

Lessons learned / Tips

Mentions tips lecturer has for colleagues based on their experience.

There were plenty of pictures available for students to practise their plant identification skills. During the course, it became clear that for some students this big amount of study material was overwhelming (plant identification takes time, especially in the beginning and it was not clear for the students how many individual pictures of the plant they had to identify). To prevent unnecessary stress, next time I would give a clear indication about what is feasible and what is extra, and not assume that they can figure this out themselves. 


Teacher(s): Casper Quist | Nynke Groendijk
TLC contact (on MS Teams): Anniek Wintraeken
Author (interviewer): Anniek Wintraeken 



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