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.

Inserting Office Mixes into Desire2Learn

It has come to our attention that Office Mixes that include a graded quiz are not interacting correctly with the gradebook when you use the old method of inserting so these instructions are to replace the steps for inserting a graded Office Mix (one that includes a quiz that you want put into the D2L Grades area). Inserting non-graded Office Mixes stay the same.

This will need to be done for EACH graded Mix:

  1. Create your Mix
  2. When ready to publish, click the Upload to Mix button
  3. Follow the prompts
  4. After the publish and upload is finished, click the Show Me My Mix button
  5. Change the Permissions and Sharing to Unlisted (3rd line on the blue bar)
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page
  7. Click the Save button
  8. Log in to Desire2Learn
  9. Select the Course you’d like to work with
  10. Select the Content tab
  11. Select the module where you want the Mix to be
  12. Click the Add Existing Activities button
  13. Select External Learning Tools
  14. Click the Create New LTI Link button
  15. In the Title box, enter the title of the Mix
  16. In the URL box, enter “https://mix.office.com/lti/” (without the quotes)
  17. Click the Create and Insert button
  18. A new item will appear in the module with the title you entered, click the newly created item.
  19. Choose the My Mixes link
  20. You may need to sign-in to your Office 365 account
  21. Select the Mix
  22. Click Yes to confirm that this is the mix you’d like to use
  23. Scroll to the bottom of the page
  24. At the bottom right, click the word Add a grade item…
  25. Either select a grade item from the drop-down menu or click the green + to create a grade item
  26. Once the correct item shows in the drop-down menu, click the Save button
  27. Click the Course Admin link (upper right)
  28. Click the External Learning Tools link (under Site Resources if you have it in categories)
  29. Click the title of the Office Mix
  30. Near the bottom of the page, under Security Settings, choose “Use tool provider security settings”
  31. Click the Save and Close button

September’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.)

Brightspace Assignment Grader for Android – Log in with LMS Credentials

Instructors and Teaching Assistants that use the Brightspace Assignment Grader application on Android devices are now able to log in using their Brightspace Learning Environment credentials instead of setting up an Edudentity account.

Quizzes and Surveys – Direct export of report data to Microsoft Excel

You can export quizzes and surveys data using the Export to Excel button in Quizzes and Surveys. The Excel format supports Unicode and accented characters.

The Quiz Attempts screen now includes the Export To Excel button

The Quiz Attempts screen now includes the Export To Excel button

The User Statistics tab now includes the Export To Excel button

The User Statistics tab now includes the Export To Excel button

The Question Statistics tab now includes the Export To Excel button

The Question Statistics tab now includes the Export To Excel button

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.)

Content – Organizational Shared files

Instructors can now view and add files from the Shared Files area when using the Upload/Create button and choosing Add from Manage Files. If instructors try to edit a file in the Shared Files area, they are prompted to save a copy of the file in the Course Offering Files area.

Add a file to Content from Shared Files

Add a file to Content from Shared Files

Intelligent Agents – Tool Improvements

  • A new history page allows users creating Intelligent Agents to see each time the agent runs, which users it identifies, what emails have been sent, and details on any errors that occurred during the agent run. You can view this page by clicking View History on the Edit Agent It is also available from the context menu of the agent on the Agent List page. You can view the history of the most recently executed run directly from Results of Last Run in the agent list. This lists how many users were identified, and/or error information.
  • A new mode for running Intelligent Agents allows users to select Practice Run from the agent context menu on the Agent List This runs the agent, and reports back a list of users who met the specified criteria. Users identified in a practice run are not notified or emailed. A practice run does not count as an action when using the Take action only the first time the agent’s criteria are satisfied for a user type of agent. As with existing Intelligent Agents, the agent must be turned on to trigger a practice run. In conjunction with the new history page, users can also now see the history of all practice runs.
  • In Intelligent Agents Settings, instructors can now set custom values for the Name that emails come from and Reply-To address for responses so that the automated emails can appear to come from the instructor instead of from a helpdesk. Learners can reply directly to the agent emails and replies are directed to the instructor. If instructors want their emails to continue to come from a helpdesk and do not want to have a reply-to function, they don’t have to take any action to maintain the existing behaviour. The course values for Name that emails come from and Reply-To address for responses are not copied during copy course components and instructors need to update these fields post-copy.
    When an instructor uses custom values, the Name that emails come from displays to learners as the person from whom the email is sent, both in the email header and in Messages alerts in the minibar. When learners reply to an email, responses route to the email address specified in Reply-To address for responses.
  • There is no longer a 4000-character limit on email text from Intelligent Agents. This is now unlimited.
  • The Agent Name field in an Intelligent Agent previously truncated to 50 characters. It now has an available length of 128 characters.
  • Existing Intelligent Agents without any conditions attached to them (“empty” agents) no longer run and spam all users. When an empty agent is triggered, it fails with an error and is automatically turned off. This error info is available on the history page.
  • Users can now copy Intelligent Agents within the same course from a new context menu item for each agent listed in the Agent List. The copy is called “Copy of <name>” and is turned off by default.
The results of agent runs can now be viewed on a history page

The results of agent runs can now be viewed on a history page

Users creating Intelligent Agents can now test them with a Practice Run option

Users creating Intelligent Agents can now test them with a Practice Run option

Instructors can now customize the From name in Intelligent Agent emails

Instructors can now customize the From name in Intelligent Agent emails

Instructors can now also receive replies to Intelligent Agent emails directly

Instructors can now also receive replies to Intelligent Agent emails directly

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.)

Discussions – Copy discussion thread replies

An update was made to the Discussions tool and now users can optionally select discussion thread replies when copying a discussion thread from one discussion topic to another.

Discussions - Copy dialog box

Discussions – Copy dialog box

Discussions – Show forum description in child topics

The Display forum description in topics check box has been added in the Edit forum details page and it provides instructors the option to display a discussion forum description within a discussion topic description.

Some instructors add assignment instructions as the description of the discussion forum, but this information is not available within the discussion topics, only on the discussions list page.

Allowing the discussion forum description to appear within discussion topics helps avoid duplicated effort by the instructors who might post common instructions or codes of conduct in each discussion topic’s description. This is especially helpful in group discussions, where the topic description is usually duplicated (manually) for each discussion topic.

Discussions - Edit Forum Details

Discussions – Edit Forum Details

Discussions Topic Description

Discussions Topic Description

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.)

Grades – Automatically set the grade item score based on a rubric score

When you click Save and Record in the rubric pop-up window, the Overall Score of a numeric rubric transfers automatically to the learner’s grade. Click Save if you do not want to transfer a numeric rubric score to the learner’s grade.

A score transfers automatically only when the rubric has an Overall Score.

Groups – Automatic creation of discussion topics

When instructors create a new group category and choose to setup group discussion topics, if they add a new group later because of additional learner enrollment, the associated discussion topics are automatically created. This applies to groups instructors manually create at a later date. Instructors no longer need to manually create group discussion topics if they add a new group to a group category after the setup steps.

Groups – Group enrollment category: Single user member-specific

There is a new group category type called Single user, member-specific groups. Using this group category creates a group with a single user where the first name and last name of the learner is the name of the group. When a new learner is enrolled in the course a group is automatically created for them. Instructors no longer have to rename groups of one.

Image of the New Category options

Image of the New Category options

Groups – Descriptive naming for discussion topics

When instructors create a group discussion topic in the Groups tool the name of the group is now the same as a topic created from the Discussions tool. The topics are created with the format <group category name> – <group prefix>#. For example, Final Project – Group 2.

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.)

Discussions – Automatic Rubric Score Transfer

Automatic Rubric Score Transfer

A new feature has been added to the Discussions tool Topic Score Details dialog where the Overall Score of an associated rubric transfers automatically to the Topic Score. The transfer happens once the rubric has been filled in and at any time a change is made to the rubric’s Overall Score.

Both analytic and holistic rubrics that have a numeric score transfer to the Topic Score. Text-based analytic or holistic rubrics do not transfer a score.

When multiple numeric rubrics are associated with the topic, the first numeric rubric on the Topic Score Details dialog box is selected as the Overall Score and is transferred to the Topic Score.

Overrides

The Topic Score Details dialog box now highlights when the Topic Score field has been overridden. The Topic Score field is considered overridden when the associated numeric rubric has an overall score and an instructor has manually changed the Topic Score. An instructor can select Clear Override if he wishes to return the Topic Score to the calculated score from the rubric.

Accessibility Improvements

Rubrics associated to discussion topics have been redesigned with improvements to the user experience for instructors using screen readers and keyboards for navigation.

Discussions – Sum of post scores

The Sum of post scores option has been added to the Select a calculation method drop-down list. This option sums up the discussion posts’ scores for an entire topic. Instructors can use this option when setting up grading in Discussions.

D2L Terminology – Updated Language Term Defaults

  • News is changing to Announcements
  • Dropbox is changing to Assignments
  • Edit Course is changing to Course Admin
  • In Content, New is changing to Upload/Create
  • In Content, Add Existing Activities is changing to Existing Activities

Quizzes – Quiz attempts override for individual learners

This feature enables instructors to specify a different number of quiz attempts allowed for individual learners in the Special Access tab.

Quizzes – Selected quiz answers highlighted

This feature impacts how selected quiz answers display while learners are taking a quiz and while instructors are previewing quiz questions in Question Library. For Multiple Choice (MC), True/False (TF), and Multi-Select (MS) quiz questions, the entire area of the selected answer(s) is now highlighted blue. Other answers that users hover over are now highlighted gray to indicate that clicking anywhere within the highlighted area will change the selected answer.

Quiz page with highlighted answers for three types of questions

Quiz page with highlighted answers for three types of questions

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.)

Awards – Added to Release Conditions

Awards have been added to existing release conditions

User Progress – Course Access progress indicator

A Course Access progress indicator is now included in the User Progress tool, indicating the days on which a course was accessed. The progress indicator is available from the Course Access Progress Indicator page and the Course Access overview page within the Summary. Download States for content modules, course files, and for all content are available within Content Progress.

Learners and instructors can review a summary view of the Course Access for a learner.

Course Access Summary indicating when a user last logged in and accessed the course.

Course Access Summary indicating when a user last logged in and accessed the course.

The Course Access progress indicator provides a more granular login history:

The Course Access indicator in the User Progress tool

The Course Access indicator in the User Progress tool

Administrators can include the Course Access progress indicator in the User Progress report:

Specific progress indicators that are selected by Administrators appear in the User Progress tool.

Specific progress indicators that are selected by Administrators appear in the User Progress tool.

March’s Continuous Delivery Update

(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.)

Quizzes – Export quiz event log of all quiz attempts

Previously, instructors were able to view the event log of individual attempts to look for patterns or cheating.

Now, the Export Event Logs button on the Grade Quiz page enables instructors to export the quiz event log of all quiz attempts made by learners of a quiz to a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file for offline analysis. The IP address of all users’ actions is included in the event log.