August’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Activity Feed – Assignment Posts

Activity Feed now enables instructors to create assignment submission folders with an optional grade item, and post them to the feed as an assignment post. Assignment posts display the title, instructions, and due date of the assignment. The instructor view of assignment posts also includes how many learner submissions have been received. Learners can submit their assignments directly from the post, and monitor the status of their submission. Once a document has been uploaded, the learner’s “Submit” button changes color and displays either “Submitted” or “Graded”, depending on its current status. Learners can also comment on assignment posts if they have questions, or want to start a discussion with their instructor and classmates. (This assignment is added to the assignment list in Assessment > Assignments but is not automatically added to the Content area.)

Instructor view of assignment post creation

Instructor view of assignment post creation

Instructor view of an assignment post

Instructor view of an assignment post

Learner view of an assignment post

Learner view of an assignment post

Learner view of an assignment post with a submission

Learner view of an assignment post with a submission

Learner view of an assignment post with a graded submission

Learner view of an assignment post with a graded submission

Assignments – Instructors can set the visibility state for Assignment content | Updated

Instructors can now set the visibility state for draft content within assignment submission folders in Content and Assignments. When content is in a draft state, it is not visible to learners.

When instructors have set the visibility to draft, the hidden icon appears in the instructor view of the assignment.

When instructors have set the visibility to draft, the hidden icon appears in the instructor view of the assignment

When instructors have set the visibility to draft, the hidden icon appears in the instructor view of the assignment

In Content, when an instructor chooses to add existing assignments as topics, the visibility state of the topic is pulled from the visibility state of the assignment. The visibility status of a topic now also reflects the visibility status of the folder in which the topic resides.

Changing state on the Edit Submission Folder page is done with the Hidden from users check box.

Changing state on the Edit Submission Folder page is done with the Hidden from users check box

Changing state on the Edit Submission Folder page is done with the Hidden from users check box

The drop-down menu for content items offers the Hide From Users visibility state.

The drop-down menu for content items offers the Hide From Users visibility state

The drop-down menu for content items offers the Hide From Users visibility state

When an instructor creates a new assignment folder, the new folder defaults to the draft visibility state, in the same method as Quizzes, Surveys, and Discussions. When an import file of Content topics and assignment folders contains a mix of visibility states, all topics are changed to the draft visibility state. When an instructor updates a visibility setting for a topic in Assignments, it is automatically updated in the associated Content topic.

If multiple assignment topics are associated with the same Assignment folder but have different visibility states, the visibility state of the assignment topic that has been created or most recently modified between Brightspace Learning Environment 10.7.3 and 10.7.4 becomes the state of all associated topics. If the visibility state has not been modified (for example, for older courses), the state is set to draft.

The export process now includes the visibility state for the assignment content. The visibility state for export comes from the Assignment folder.

The import and Copy Course Component process for assignment and content topics follows the following logic:

  • If the Import package contains a visibility state on the assignment folder, use that state.
  • If the package contains Assignment folders with no state and no associated content topics, the visibility state is to show the imported content.
  • If the import package contains both content and assignment folders, use the visibility state on the folders. If no visibility state exists on the folder, use the visibility state from the content.
  • If multiple content topics with the same visibility state point to an assignment folder without a visibility state, set the assignment folder to the same state as the topics.
  • If multiple content topics with different visibility states point to an assignment folder without a visibility state, set the assignment folder to draft, and change all the topics to draft.

Email – Email Address book is restricted by section enrollment | Updated

Users from one section of a course no longer see learners from other sections of the course. If the course is set up so that there is an email address book for the section, the learners listed in the address book are now filtered in a drop-down menu by section. A learner can only see sections in which they are enrolled. Instructors will continue to see all sections listed here if they have Access all Sections permissions.

The user only sees the sections in which they are enrolled displayed in the System Contacts drop-down list

The user only sees the sections in which they are enrolled displayed in the System Contacts drop-down list

Release Conditions – Updated rules for instructors applying release conditions | Updated

When a new or existing condition is based on section enrollment, only the sections that the teacher is enrolled in appear in the drop-down menu.

In various areas of the system, instructors can create a release condition or select an existing condition that specifies that a user must be enrolled in a particular section to access the content or activity. If the instructor is enrolled in all sections or has the Access all sections permission, they continue to see all sections in the list when creating the new condition. If the instructor does not have the Access all sections permission for their role, the instructor only sees sections they are enrolled in. As a result, instructors are better able to release content to their section of a course without impacting other sections.

Instructors only see the sections in which they are enrolled displayed in the drop-down list

Instructors only see the sections in which they are enrolled displayed in the drop-down list

July’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

HTML Editor – Unsaved changes prompt

In the HTML Editor tool, when you make content changes and attempt to navigate away or close the browser or tab without saving your changes, a message prompts you to discard your changes or resume editing. This feature is deployed in the following locations:

  • Content > Create/edit an HTML file
  • Discussions (in reading view) > Post a discussion topic/reply to a discussion topic
  • Announcements > Create/edit announcements

Quizzes – Shuffle the order of questions

To discourage cheating in quizzes, instructors can now shuffle the order of all questions in quizzes or specific groups of questions (sections) in quizzes. For example, an instructor could shuffle questions 1-10 in a quiz, or shuffle questions 3-10 (grouping those questions into a section) and retain the order of questions 1-2 at the start of the quiz.

When editing a quiz in the Quizzes tool, a new option to Shuffle order of questions at the quiz level displays in the Quiz Questions section. When creating a new section to group specific questions in a quiz, a new option to Shuffle order of questions in this section is visible in the Display Options section.

The new shuffle questions option in the Quizzes tool

The new shuffle questions option in the Quizzes tool

Once the shuffle option is selected, a shuffle icon appears next to each affected question in the quiz.

The new shuffle icon for quiz questions

The new shuffle icon for quiz questions

June’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Classlist – Hide flags in the classlist

Instructors can now hide flags in a classlist.

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Classlist – Instructor view with flags

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Student view without flags

Grades – Grade exports include all group and section enrollments

When exporting grades from the grade book, selecting the option to include group and section membership information now exports all group and section enrollment information for each learner. Multiple enrollments are exported as a comma-separated list within a cell. This allows for more detailed analysis of grade exports outside of D2L.

May’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Grades – Automatically release Calculated Final Grades

This feature releases Calculated Final Grades automatically to learners so that instructors don’t have to manually release them as learners enroll in a course. Calculated Final Grades released before the end of a course serve as current grades for learners and can show them their progress throughout the term.

Activity Feed

Activity Feed is a new course homepage widget that provides a central location for instructors to post messages and links to course materials. It gives learners the ability to quickly access links to important materials, and comment on messages made by instructors and classmates.

Instructor view of the Activity Feed

Instructor view of the Activity Feed

Student view of the Activity Feed

Student view of the Activity Feed

Copy Course Components – Copying final grade properties includes calculated and adjusted grades

When you copy final grade items, the copy process includes properties from the calculated and adjusted final grade items. In the Copy Course Components tool, when you select Copy All to select everything in the course, all final grade properties are now copied. If you copy individual components, Final Calculated Grade and Final Adjusted Grade appear in the list of components to select.

Select the Final Adjusted Grade and Final Calculated Grade as part of the items you want to copy.

Select the Final Adjusted Grade and Final Calculated Grade as part of the items you want to copy.

Discussions – Allow instructors to post to all groups at once

Instructors can now post a discussion thread to all the associated groups/sections from a group discussion topic. If an instructor does not have access to all groups they have the option to post a thread to All groups/sections assigned to me.

Instructors can post discussion threads to all groups

Instructors can post discussion threads to all groups

Instructors can post to all groups/sections assigned to them

Instructors can post to all groups/sections assigned to them

April’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

HTML Editor – TinyMCE Accessibility Checker

An accessibility checker is now available within the HTML Editor for use within Content, Widgets, Quizzes, Assignments, Calendar, and any other tools where an instructor or student can access the HTML Editor.

The accessibility checker is available on the HTML Editor bar. After you add content to the HTML Editor, you can click the checker to ensure that the HTML page conforms to WCAG and Section 508 accessibility standards.

Click the accessibility checker to verify that the content you have added to the HTML Editor conforms to accessibility standards

Click the accessibility checker to verify that the content you have added to the HTML Editor conforms to accessibility standards

The accessibility checker reviews content for the following items:

  • Use of paragraphs as headings
  • Sequential headings
  • Adjacent links
  • Ordered list structure
  • Unordered list structure
  • Contact ratio of text to background colors
  • Image ALT text
  • ALT text filename
  • Table Caption
  • Complex table summary
  • Table caption and summary
  • Table heading scope, markup, and headers

The checker indicates if there are no issues, or offers suggestions to fix identified accessibility issues.

If the accessibility checker does not find any issues in the HTML content, an message appears to indicate that the content conforms to accessibility rules

If the accessibility checker does not find any issues in the HTML content, an message appears to indicate that the content conforms to accessibility rules

If the accessibility checker finds an issue, it indicates how the content does not meet guidelines and suggests a way to fix the issue

If the accessibility checker finds an issue, it indicates how the content does not meet guidelines and suggests a way to fix the issue

Note that the accessibility checker does not check multiple files at the same time, and does not check files that you have imported into a course. Also be aware that the accessibility checker is only available for HTML files in the HTML Editor; it does not check any other type of file, such as MS Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and so on.

Quizzes – Renamed Long Answer (LA) to Written Response (WR)

In the Quizzes tool, the Long Answer (LA) question type is now Written Response (WR). The question type was renamed to make the name more intuitive for administrators and instructors.

Written Response question type in the Question Library

Written Response question type in the Question Library

Creating a Written Response question

Creating a Written Response question

March’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Grades – Exempt a learner from multiple grade items

The grade exemption workflow in Grades has been updated to allow instructors to exempt learners from multiple grade items at one time, through the use of multi-select check boxes.

Bulk exemptions of grade items

Bulk exemptions of grade items

SCORM – New Brightspace SCORM solution

A new SCORM solution is available for the Brightspace platform. This solution does not replace the original one, but is an alternative option. The new features and improvements include the following:

  • Integrates a new, robust SCORM Engine and Content Player to support importing, playing, and tracking interaction data for all versions of SCORM.
  • Basic search capabilities of an instructor’s own SCORM content.
  • Static and dynamic linking of SCORM objects, and linking to multiple courses.
  • Makes use of the new SCORM Engine to open and play SCORM objects in a new browser tab to optimize screen real estate, instead of objects playing inline as they do in the existing solution.
  • Equivalent navigation between the Brightspace Learning Environment interface and the SCORM interface, and between versions 1.2 and 2004 of SCORM objects.
  • Users are only marked for one attempt on the content when they open the SCORM object in full screen mode, instead of being marked for an additional attempt as they are in the existing solution. Additionally, SCORM objects in full screen no longer play over top of objects playing inline since in the new solution, SCORM objects automatically open and play in a new window.
  • Has its foundation in the new Content Service, which provides standardized content access and management.
  • Resides in AWS

The new SCORM solution still allows users to do the following:

  • Instructors can import, export, and copy courses that include course content and SCORM objects, both SCORM 1.2 and 2004.
  • Learners can play and interact with a course that includes course content and SCORM objects, both SCORM 1.2 and 2004.
  • Instructors can view high-level interaction data for their SCORM objects. In the future, more detailed interaction data will be available.

Instructors can connect SCORM objects with grade items that automatically enter into a grade book, if that functionality is enabled within their instance.

New SCORM Object option in the Content tool

New SCORM Object option in the Content tool

New SCORM Object selection/upload dialog window with basic search field

New SCORM Object selection/upload dialog window with basic search field

Static and dynamic linking options

Static and dynamic linking options

SCORM Object in a content module with Open in New Window option

SCORM Object in a content module with Open in New Window option

Sample SCORM Object open and ready to play in new browser tab

Sample SCORM Object open and ready to play in new browser tab

There have been issues identified with this feature. It will be available at a later date.

January’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Supported browser changes

As of this release, Desire2Learn no longer supports the following browsers:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 10 (IE10)
  • Apple® Safari® 6, 7, and 8

For a complete list of supported browsers, see https://community.brightspace.com/resources/documentation/platform_requirements/brightspaceplatformrequirements.

Discussions – Improvements to group discussions

New Topic workflow – When you are creating a new topic, on the Properties tab, the topic type defaults to Open topic. Administrators and instructors can select the new Group or section topic option instead. Once you create and save the topic, you cannot change the topic type. If you selected the topic type as open, you can access the original Group Restrictions area on the Restrictions tab.

New topic Properties tab

New topic Properties tab

New Group Category workflow – To create a new group category the original way, select the Create one topic per group radio button. To create group categories the new way, select the Create one topic with threads separated by group radio button.

Create group discussion – original way

Create group discussion – original way

Create group discussion – new option

Create group discussion – new option

Creating / reading / participating in group discussions – One discussion topic is created for an entire group and posts within it are associated with specific groups. As a result, instructors observe less scrolling on the discussion list. Instructors can use the new All Groups filter on the topic to view all posts or to only view posts for a specific group. Inside a discussion thread, users can see which group the thread belongs to.

New thread – choice of group

New thread – choice of group

Group filter

Group filter

View discussion thread

View discussion thread

Assessments – Only one grade item is required. This makes assessing discussion topics faster as instructors do not have to navigate in and out of topics to complete an assessment.

Copying groups – Now, when instructors copy groups to new courses, the group setup (grade item, assessment option, etc.) is also copied over.

There is no change in workflow for learners as they can only see one discussion topic and the posts within it that are associated with their group, as expected.

Discussions – Reading view user interface changes

When viewing a discussion topic, the properties are now listed together, directly below the topic’s name. This includes availability and locking information along with other details set by the instructor. The filtering options are now displayed in a Filter by drop-down list above individual posts to allow sorting by unread, flagged, and unapproved posts.

Topic properties and filtering options have an updated look

Topic properties and filtering options have an updated look

December’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Announcements – Link directly to an announcement

This feature allows instructors to link directly to individual announcements by using the Insert Quicklink button from the HTML Editor. It simplifies the process of referencing announcements and bringing them to the attention of learners.

Select Announcements from the Course Materials list

Select Announcements from the Course Materials list

Select the announcement you want to link to

Select the announcement you want to link to

Assignments – Assignment submission email notifications

When instructors create or edit an assignment submission folder, they can now fill in a Notification Email field in the Properties tab. This allows instructors to receive email notification when a new submission is uploaded, and helps instructors manage folder submissions and perform grading on recently submitted assignments.

Notification Email field in submission folder properties

Notification Email field in submission folder properties

Grades – Grade book workflow and updated calculations for exemptions

Instructors can now use an exemption as a reason why a learner has not completed a grade item. Previously, a blank grade could mean the learner hasn’t submitted the item, and a zero (0) could mean either exempt, ungraded, or failure. Having a specific exemption setting supports the differentiation for learners. Instructors can now exempt numeric, selectbox, pass/fail, calculated, formula, and text item types; however, instructors cannot exempt a learner from a final calculated grade or a final adjusted grade.

When an instructor exempts a grade item for a learner, the following pages are affected:

  • Instructor pages: Enter Grades, Grade User, Grade Category, Grade Item, Import Preview.
  • Learner pages: My Grades.
  • User Progress: Summary and Grades tabs.
  • Grade Category and Grade User pages display exemptions, but do not support adding or removing exemptions.
Instructors can exempt a learner from an assignment. The exemption appears in the Scheme field of the grade table.

Instructors can exempt a learner from an assignment. The exemption appears in the Scheme field of the grade table.

Grades – Exempted grade item effects on release conditions

Instructors can set release conditions to provide new content to learners after a particular grade item is complete. Since Grade Exemptions do not count as completed grade items nor do they count as incomplete grade items, there are two release conditions that are affected by exemptions:

  • Grade value on grade item
  • No grade received

These release items now respect the exemption and do not trigger on the presence of a grade exemption.

Grades – Show exempted grade items in Class Progress

Exempted grades appear in the Grades tab on a learner’s User Progress page, but do not appear in the Grades section of the Summary Tab or the bar graph for received grades at the top of both Grades sections.

Grade Exemptions appear on the learner's User Progress page.

Grade Exemptions appear on the learner’s User Progress page.

 

November’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Assignments – Rubrics open in new window

Previously, when instructors opened rubrics within Assignments, the rubrics appeared in a dialog that covered the assignment submission. Rubrics will now open in a separate, movable window when instructors view assignment submissions.

Intelligent Agents – Tool Improvements

New features and functionality for Intelligent Agents:

  • Scheduled intelligent agents stop running and are automatically disabled if the course is inactive, over (end date passed), or deleted. You can still set up a practice run or a manual run of an intelligent agent at any time in a course with a passed end date.
  • Users can now multi-select and delete agents on the Agent List page. The new Restore Agents page allows you to restore deleted agents. All restored agents maintain existing properties and history. Deleted agents do not run if they have a recurring schedule.

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  • The Practice Run and Run Now options work on disabled agents. You no longer have to enable the agent prior to selecting these options. The enable/disable status only affects scheduled runs and not the agent. Enabled now means that the schedule is enabled for an agent.
  • There are three new replace strings available for use when composing the email sent with an agent:
    • {LastLoginDate} – The date the initiating user last logged in or Never if they have not logged in. This lang term can be edited. The date format is Tuesday, September 20, 2016 9:39 AM EDT, for example.
    • {LastCourseAccessDate} – The date the initiating user last accessed the course or Never if they have not accessed the course. This lang term can be edited. The date format is Tuesday, September 20, 2016 9:39 AM EDT, for example. This feature implements PIE item D2762.
    • {OrgUnitId} – The org unit ID required to make quicklinks work in the emails sent with an agent.
  • There is inline help for replace strings with updated text that includes the three new replace strings.

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  • The Agent List page contains a new column that lists the Next Run Date for scheduled agents. There is no next run date if a schedule is not enabled.

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  • The Intelligent Agents Settings page contains a note that indicates the time of day the scheduled agents will run.
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Intelligent Agents Settings page

Language Management – User Progress tool is now the Class Progress tool

To improve language consistency in the Brightspace platform, the User Progress tool is now called the Class Progress tool. Related page names, permissions, configuration variables, and tool references elsewhere in the Brightspace platform reflect this change. User Progress is still used on pages where a single learner’s progress displays, but Class Progress is used where the progress of all users in a class displays.

Class Progress tool under Learner Management in Course Administration

Class Progress tool under Learner Management in Course Administration

Quizzes – Create / Edit Multiple Choice Questions

It has come to our attention there are some major flaws with the new question creation experience that could easily cause loss of feedback information so we will not be implementing this feature yet. We have brought it to Desire2Learn’s attention and hope they fix it soon so we can provide you with a better question creation experience.

This feature is a visual redesign of the Quizzes tool that improves and modernizes its look and feel. This feature also enables responsive multiple choice question editing layouts.

Administrators and instructors can opt-in or opt-out of this new look and feel. There is no change in the workflow related to creating and editing multiple choice questions.

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Initial launch of the new question creation experience

Editing Question and preview screen

Editing Question and preview screen

October’s Continuous Delivery Updates

(This list is not all-inclusive. It only shows those changes that will impact faculty the most. The date the updates will take place changes from month to month. You can expect the following updates to be in place by the end of the month.)

Awards – Clarify the Availability and Sharing options for award creators

The availability options to define to whom the award is available and where in the org structure the award is available have changed. The text for the options is now the same on both the Edit and the Create pages. The availability options now include:

  • Make the award available to all my courses (default). This new option provides the same result as if you previously did not select an availability option.
  • Make the award available to other award creators and their courses. If you configure an award to be available to other award creators, you can then make the award available only to the current org unit and any child org units.
In the Awards tool, you can choose to share the badges and certificates you create with other award creators, and how you want to limit the ability of others to use your awards.

In the Awards tool, you can choose to share the badges and certificates you create with other award creators, and how you want to limit the ability of others to use your awards.

Awards – Modifications to the logic for automatic award grants

In the past, if an award was being shared to several courses and a release condition was set to release a second award, the second award would be awarded if the first was earned in ANY course to which the award was shared. The logic has been modified to release the second award only if the first award was earned in that specific course.

Grades – Include group and section information in grade exports

When exporting grades from the grade book, under User Details, there is a new option to include group and section membership information for each user. This allows for more detailed analysis of grade exports outside of Brightspace Learning Environment.

The option to include group and section information is available in grade exports.

The option to include group and section information is available in grade exports.