Custom activity editor

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Custom Activities allow you to embed SCORM activities, display external web sites, or create gradable activities using styles and scripts that aren't available with Buzz authoring tools. Because it provides greater customization options, these are best suited for advanced users.

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  • Some LTIs, like Turnitin, don't trigger a notification when a student submits an assignment. To make sure you know when your students have submitted an LTI activity, create a companion activity in Buzz that asks students to Mark this activity complete once they've submitted the LTI activity.

Editor overview

Add this activity to your course.

With the activity editor:

  1. Use the Filter by group icon to make and/or review activity settings that apply only to specific groups.
    • Note: This only appears if your course has students in Groups.
  2. Preview the activity.
  3. Save changes.
  4. Depending on the type of activity you're editing, the Activity Editor can include up to four tabbed screens:
    • Use the Activity screen to add/edit basic content, information, and metadata about an activity that is visible/accessible to the students (e.g., activity titles, thumbnail images, introductory content, instructions, attachments students need to complete the activity).
    • Use the Settings screen to configure the way you want the activity to work for the students (e.g., gradebook settings, objective mastery and badge details, visibility, access).
    • The Questions screen only appears for Assessment and Practice Question (formerly Homework) activity types. Use it to create and manage questions.
    • The History screen only appears when changes have been made to an activity since its creation. Use it to review changes and restore previous versions of the activity's content.

Some cards in the Activity Editors are collapsed by default; to expand them, click the arrows.

Activity tab

Use the Activity tab to:

  1. Provide the Title.
  2. If you've set up Activity themes in your course, you can apply one with the Themes dropdown.
  3. Provide a Thumbnail image to represent the activity by clicking the plus sign next to the thumbnail.
    • Recommended file type: PNG or JPG (Buzz converts all files into PNGs.)
    • Ideal size: 400px x 400px (Buzz automatically resizes images, so uploading images smaller than 400px x 400px may reduce quality.)
  1. Create descriptive Content that appears at the top of the activity. You can choose between:
    • Creating it with the Rich text editor.
    • Attaching a Course resource.
    • Linking a Website, which requires you to:
      • Provide the website's URL.
      • Indicate whether you want Buzz to Fit content to available height and width.
      • Indicate whether you want the site to Popup in a new window.
      • Indicate whether you want to Digitally sign the request for LTI.
      • Click Add POST parameter and provide the Post Name and Post Value where necessary. You can use replacement variables in the website URL or in POST-parameter values to pass user-, course-, or domain-specific data to external websites. Learn more.
    • Linking a Google document.
  2. Click Add Activity Instructions to open a rich text editor to create instructions.
  3. Click Add attachment to provide files for students to review before starting the activity.

Settings tab

Note: Some settings can be altered for multiple activities at once using Bulk edit.

Activity settings

If you choose to set a Due date (not available for continuous courses), you can specify:

  1. The Due date and time.
  2. Whether you want to Allow late submissions, and, if so, what the Late rule and Grace period rules are.

Gradebook and submission

In the Gradebook and submission card:

  1. You can choose to make the activity Gradable. If you do, you can specify all of the options listed below.
  2. Submission settings by specifying which Submission types you want to allow.
  3. The activity's numeric Weight in category; this number defines how much impact this activity's grade has on the final grade, relative to the other gradable activities in the same category. (Weight in category is not available in courses using Multi-Outcome Scoring.)
  4. The desired Score entry type (Points, Rubric, Percent (%), or Letter grade):
    • If you choose Rubric, click Add rubric to define it (not available for all assessments).
    • If you choose Letter grade, a field appears where you can select the desired Grade scale.
  5. The Grading category you want the activity to be a part of. Grading Categories allow you to apply different grade settings to groups of activities within the same course.
  6. The grading Period you want the activity to be a part of. Separate grading Periods allow you to divide grades by date range without building additional courses in Buzz.
  7. Whether you want the activity to be considered Extra credit.
  8. Whether This is a group assignment, and, if so, choose the desired Student grouping from the dropdown. Click Manage groupings to edit, delete, and/or create new groupings.

In Multi-Outcome Scoring courses, Gradebook and submission allows you to align activities with Scoring objectives and requires you to use Points as the Score entry. Assign the desired number of Pts possible for each objective that you want aligned.

Objective mastery

Visibility and access

With Visibility and access settings, you can choose to:  

  1. Make the activity Visible to:
    • Students, teachers and observers: This is the default setting for activities intended for students to complete.
    • Teachers and observers: This setting works well for Lesson Guide materials that observers like parents, mentors, etc. need access to. A map icon appears next to these activities in the Activities pages for teachers and observers.
    • Teachers only: This setting works well for Lesson Guide materials that only teachers need. A map icon appears next to these activities in the teacher Activities page.
  2. Check the Hide from student's table of contents and to-do list box. Note that it is still accessible with course links and bookmarks unless otherwise restricted.
  3. Check the Block access until student completes other activity box.
    • If it appears, you can check the Require passing score if gradable for mastery (optional).
    • Click Choose Activity, and select the activity or activities that you want to make access dependent on.
  4. Check the Block access until student masters objective(s) box, click Choose Objective, and select the objective(s) you want to make access dependent on.
  5. Check the Block access until a specified date box and enter the desired date and time.
  6. Check the Student must enter a password box, and enter the desired Activity password in the field.
    • By default students must enter this password only once, and can access the activity without entering the password thereafter.
    • If you want, you can check the Require password each visit to override the default.
    • Note: Students can be excused from this setting for a specified amount of time by an administrator as part of their Accommodations. Overriding this setting for a student can be useful in a situation where passwords are provided during class, but a student is unable to attend for a period of time.


Click Choose Badge to select one or more badges that you want automatically awarded to students who successfully complete this activity.

Learn more:


Admins can create custom Metadata fields for activities in their domain. This content is only visible to teachers, course authors, etc. and provides further insight into an activity, such as:

  • An activity Description for course authors.
  • An idea of how this activity fits into the goal of the course or the Big Picture.
  • Essential Questions that should be answered by the activity or that students should keep in mind as they complete it.
  • Any relevant Vocabulary.
  • Associated Resources.

Some of the fields under Metadata ask for content that, if set up by your system admin, can be used to make an activity searchable in the Digital Library. Contact your system admin to find out if there are fields in your domain that can be used this way.

Advanced gradebook options

This card appears only if the activity is set to Gradable.

Manage Advanced gradebook options, like:

  1. Whether you want to Hide returned scores until a certain date, and, if so, providing the Score visibility date and time.
  2. Defining the minimum Passing score (%).
  3. Whether:
    • The assessment's Score can be dropped from calculated course score (unavailable if the activity is marked as Extra Credit in Gradebook settings).
    • To Include this activity's score in the final grade calculation.
    • To Require a passing score for course credit.
    • To Treat as zero in gradebook until this activity is scored (unavailable if the activity is marked as Extra Credit in Gradebook settings).  

Advanced activity options

Manage Advanced activity options, like:

  1. Completion requirements. You can set the activity to Mark as completed when the student:
    • Views this activity for a specified time
    • Submits this activity
    • Receives any score
    • Receives a passing score
  2. If the Student must complete this activity before continuing to the next one.
  3. Changing the activity's folder Location using the dropdown.
  4. Giving the activity a new Activity ID in the field.

History tab

The History tab records changes made to the activity and allows you to retrieve previous versions:

  1. Click the version you want to restore.
  2. Preview the content.
  3. Click Restore.

Buzz does not itemize changes to all settings, but does track them. Users can access them by clicking the Details link that appears at the bottom of the history table.


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