Bruin Learn – TA Quicktips

Bruin Learn - TA Quicktips

As a TA in humanities course at UCLA, there are a few things you may do that come up time and time again. Below, please find some shortcuts and quicktips to help get you get these done quickly and efficiently.

Note: If a TA requires higher permissions within a specific course site, they or the instructor should contact us at

Note: If your TA site has not been created, the instructor of record of the course will need to go into their MyUCLA account and create TA sites for each class they are teaching per a term.

Directions for this process can be found in the link below.

How do I create a TA Site in Bruin Learn?

Creating Groups for your section.

  1. Make groups for your course section

    1. Please note that all group members, including your students, have greater permissions on their group’s homepage.

    2. Students have the options to:

      1. add/edit/delete

        1. announcements

        2. pages

        3. discussions

        4. files

      2. see who the group members are (but not edit them)

      3. partake in collaborations.

However, when adding announcements to the Group Homepage, they only have simple settings available to them. They cannot, for instance, attach a file to their announcements or enable liking.

Commonly used features

Activities and Assignments


  • Limit by section or group

    • Section: as with announcements, you can choose which section you would like to see and interact with the discussion in the “Post to” dropdown menu

    • Group: check the “This is a Group Discussion” box to allow each group in the course to have its own discussion about a topic. A group’s discussion will appear on their Group Homepage.


  • Limit by section or group

    • Section: At the bottom of the assignment editing page, in the Assign to field, select the section you would like to complete the assignment. Students in other sections will not be able to see or interact with the assignment.

    • Group: check the This is a Group Assignment box and indicate whether you would like to grade students individually or as a group. Then, select the group category. In preparation for this, you will need to create a new group set for the assignment with the groups you would like to have.

Peer Review 

  • For both peer review assignments and discussions, students can submit their reviews in the following ways:

    • a comment

    • a file upload

    • a media recording

  • Assignments

    • In order to assign grades for the peer review portion of a peer review assignment, you will need to create 2 assignments: one with the assignment and one that is essentially a repository for grades for the peer review portion of the assignment.

    • If you do the automatic peer review assignment option, there can be no overlap between the assignment submission period and the peer review period. The peer review period must start after the assignment submission period ends.

    • You cannot assign a due date for the peer review portion of the assignment within the assignment itself: How to Set Up Peer Review in Canvas. You need to create a separate peer review assignment to assign points and indicate a due date (make sure not to allow submissions though). When a peer review has been assigned, students will see it appear in the To Do list on the right side of their screen and they should also receive an email notification. It will not, however, appear in their calendar.

    • When anonymous peer reviews are enabled, instructors and TAs can still view the names of student reviewers in SpeedGrader and in the student submission page. However, if anonymous grading is enabled in SpeedGrader, the names of both students will be hidden in SpeedGrader but not in the student submission page.

    • More on peer review assignments.

  • Discussions

    • A peer review discussion enables students to provide feedback on another student's reply to a class discussion.

    • Peer reviews can only be added as part of a graded discussion (you will not see the peer review menu options until you check the graded discussion box). Unlike peer review assignments, discussions cannot be assigned anonymously.

    • Also unlike assignments, discussions do not allow students to complete peer reviews for students in other groups. When you require peer reviews for a group discussion, students can only complete peer reviews for discussion replies made by other students in their group.

    • However, like assignments, if you want to assign a grade to the peer review portion of the assignment, you will need to create a no submission assignment in the Gradebook and assign points manually

    • More on peer review discussions.

Turnitin Assignments

  • We recommend that you choose the Turnitin framework when creating assignments

    • Please note that this option only appears once you select text entry and/or file upload as the submission type

    • In the store submission menu, you can select:

      • Do not store the submitted papers: Turnitin will not store documents to any repository. They will only process the paper to perform the initial similarity check.

      • Standard Repository: Turnitin will store a copy of the submitted document only in the Standard repository. With this option, Turnitin will only use stored documents to make similarity checks against any documents submitted in the future.

Communicating with your Students


  • When you create an announcement, you will see a “Post to” dropdown menu. Use it to select which section you would like to receive the announcement.


  • Through the Inbox feature on Canvas, you can send emails to your students. Just make sure to indicate the group or section you want to email in the To field. You can also indicate whether you would like recipients to receive individual messages.

    • This has the advantage of ensuring that the student receives an email notification, which is not necessarily the case for announcements (students can opt out of notifications)

    • More on Inbox.



  • The gradebook can be filtered by section and/or group

    • Section

      • Go to view→ filters→ sections

      • Then, select the section you would like to see via the dropdown menu on the the upper right side of your screen

    • Group

      • Go to view→ filters→ student groups

      • Then, select the group you would like to see via the dropdown menu on the upper right side of your screen (next to the gear symbol)

    • You can also apply both filters at once

  • More on Gradebook.


  • You can access Speedgrader through assignments, graded discussions, quizzes, and the Gradebook

    • In SpeedGrader, all values for an assignment are loaded and saved in the browser, including student submission data, any grades (including original grades for resubmitted assignments), rubrics, and comments.

    • You can also hide grades posted in error if necessary, by clicking on the eye icon in the upper left corner of the screen. However, to hide all grades upon entry until you are ready for students to view them, you will want to set a manual posting policy in the Gradebook. This adjustment can be made under the “Grade Posting Policy” tab inside the gear symbol.

    • Please note that Speedgrader is designed for one instructor to grade an assignment at a time.

    • Please also note that DocViewer (the tool that allows you to annotate) does not work with text entry submissions. If you would like to use DocViewer when grading, you will need to require students to submit a file.

    • More on Speedgrader.

Regrading quizzes

  • You can manually adjust the score for a quiz using SpeedGrader to:

    • Adjust the points for individual questions

    • Fudge the score (manually add points to or subtract points from the overall score)

      • Please note that once you have fudged the score, you cannot undo it

    • More on regrading quizzes.

Viewing your course as a test student

  • You can use this function to view the course, post and reply to discussions, submit assignments, view grades, view people, view pages, view the syllabus, view quizzes, view the calendar, and view the scheduler (if enabled).

    • You can reset the student view but interactions with other students ex. Discussion posts will not be removed

    • More on Student View.

Final tips

  • Google is your friend--there is a ton of very thorough documentation available via Instructure Community

  • Check out the Bruin Learn TA Module.

  • You are always welcome to drop in during online support hours (M-F 9am-4pm via Zoom) or contact us at