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.

Viewing D2L Quiz Attempts with the Respondus LockDown Browser

Instructors have the option of requiring that students use the Respondus LockDown Browser to view Desire2Learn quiz attempt submissions. If the LockDown Browser is required to view a quiz attempt submission, the quiz attempt screen in a standard browser will display the message, “To view your results, you must use the Respondus LockDown Browser.”

As has been previously noted, there have been changes to how students access their D2L quizzes through the LockDown Browser. One of these changes is that students can only access their quiz attempts by navigating to the quiz and launching the LockDown Browser from the quiz.

Quiz attempts cannot be accessed through the LockDown Browser if it is launched as an application.

To access a quiz attempt requiring the LockDown Browser:

  1. Login to Desire2Learn using a standard browser.
  2. Navigate to the course and quiz.
  3. Select the drop-down menu to the right of the quiz title. Select Submissions.
  4. On the following page, select Launch LockDown Browser.
  5. Once the LockDown Browser has launched, follow the normal steps for accessing a quiz attempt.

Please contact Online Education Support at 785.670.2381 or online-ed-support@washburn.edu if you have any questions regarding this process.

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

Change to Respondus LockDown Browser

A recent update to the Respondus LockDown Browser has changed how students can access their online Desire2Learn quizzes.

Students can now access their online D2L quiz in any supported browser and launch the LockDown Browser from that quiz. Within a quiz that requires the LockDown Browser, students will see these options:

LDB Launch

Selecting Launch LockDown Browser will open the Respondus LockDown Browser and open it to the page displaying the Start Quiz option.

This process is contrasted with the previous method of accessing a LockDown Browser quiz: opening the LockDown Browser as a discrete application, logging into Desire2Learn, then navigating to a specific course and a specific quiz within that course.

Students will still have to install the LockDown Browser to take quizzes on their own computers. If the Launch LockDown Browser button is selected on a computer that does not have the LockDown Browser installed, a search will be performed, and the user will receive a message indicating that the LockDown Browser is missing. That message will also contain a download link. Washburn campus computers have the LockDown Browser installed.

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

Video Drop Boxes and D2L Course Copying

The Desire2Learn course copy tool can be very useful for arraying a new course with the same structure as a previously taught course. Links to videos in your Washburn Video library are copied forward and do not have to be recreated. This is also the case for any Video Dropboxes you have created in your course.

Some things to consider in case you have links to Video Dropboxes in your course:

  • When a course is copied, the link to a Video Dropbox is copied. This means that student submissions in the new course will be located in the same place as in the original course. This is different from how the Desire2Learn Assignment (formerly Dropbox) works. For Assignments, a new copy of that course item is created, and student submissions are copied to a unique location for that new course.
  • If you want each new course to have a unique Video Dropbox, you will need to create one for each course in your Washburn Video account. This will group your students’ Video Dropbox submissions together by course designation. Otherwise, each course’s student submissions will be added to the same original Video Dropbox.
  • If you do choose to create a new Video Dropbox, please note that it must have a unique title differentiating it from any others. Online Education Support recommends a name format of course-semester-assignment (e.g.: EN-300 – 2017 Spring – Dramatic Irony).
  • Video Dropboxes are only accessible to the account that created them. This means that if you created a Desire2Learn course that contains a link to a Video Dropbox in your own Washburn Video account, when your course’s materials are copied to another course taught by another instructor, that new instructor will not have access to student submissions through the Washburn Video link in the new course. In cases where you are inheriting course materials in this way, it is necessary for you to remove the link to the old Video Dropbox, establish a new Video Dropbox, and use a link to that.

If you have questions regarding how to insert a Video Dropbox link in your Desire2Learn course, please contact Online Education Support at online-ed-support@washburn.edu or at (785) 670-2381. If you have questions about creating a Video Dropbox or have general Washburn Video questions, please contact Multimedia Production at video@washburn.edu or at (785) 670-3000.

Desire2Learn Withdrawn Student Participation Information

Washburn instructors are asked to provide participation information for some students who have withdrawn from courses. When a student is withdrawn from a course, they no longer appear as active in the Desire2Learn shell for that course.

Some student participation information persists in the Desire2Learn course shell, and can be used to report how much a student participated in the online component of a course. First, all Discussion participation persists after a student is withdrawn from a course; all posts and replies remain intact.

Additionally, instructors can view all the grades that a dropped student received up to the point where they withdrew. That information does not appear in the Grades area with the grades of currently enrolled students. To access that information:

  • Within the course, select Communication from the navbar, then select Classlist.Communication > Classlist
  • On the Classlist, select the Enrollment Statistics button.Enrollment Statistics
  • On Enrollment Statistics, scroll roughly halfway down to the Withdrawals section. This section shows the names, usernames, date of withdrawal, and last login date for each withdrawn student. From the drop-down menu to the right of the student’s name, select View grades.Withdrawal Menu
  • That selected student’s individual grades screen will appear.

Withdrawn Student Grades

As always, please contact Online Education Support with any questions regarding Desire2Learn records of student participation.