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.

Grades Export

Desire2Learn instructors have the ability to export their grades directly from their course’s Grades area into Washburn’s student information system (Banner). This process, Grades Export, transfers the Final Calculated Grade or Final Adjusted Grade for each student from Grades to that student’s corresponding transcript location.

This process is available to all instructors at the end of each term. It is also available at midterm to those instructors that are required to submit midterm grades for their students. Instructors who are required to submit midterm grades are notified by administration.

Both midterm and final Grades Export are available to instructors for several days following the end of the term (or midterm). Announcements are sent to instructors regarding this window prior to availability.

Two sets of instructions are provided for Grades Export:

Exporting Final Grades from D2L to Banner describes how to submit final grades from the Desire2Learn Grades area.

Exporting Midterm Grades from D2L to Banner describes how to submit midterm grades from the Desire2Learn Grades area.

 

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.

February’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.)

Release conditions – NOT operator support

New release condition types that support the NOT operator have been added to D2L Learning Environment to support or identify users who have not completed course items. The following 10 release conditions are available:

  • Incomplete checklist – Has not completed checklist: <name>
  • Incomplete checklist item – Has not completed checklist item: <name>
  • Competency not achieved – Has not achieved competency: <name>
  • Learning objective not achieved – Has not achieved learning objective: <name>
  • Content topic not visited – Has not visited content topic: <name>
  • No discussion posts authored in topic – {No threads added to discussion topic: <forum>/<topic>, No threads or replies added to discussion topic: <forum>/<thread>}
  • No submission to dropbox – Has not submitted to dropbox folder: <name>
  • No grade score – Not graded on grade item: <name>
  • No completed quiz attempt – Has not completed an attempt on the quiz <name>
  • No completed survey attempt – Has not completed an attempt on the survey <name>

The new release conditions can be used anywhere release conditions are supported in D2L Learning Environment, including Intelligent Agents. The new options provide additional choices for course setup and user tracking.

Master Syllabus Addendum to Course Syllabus

Instructors are encouraged to include additional Washburn University information with their course syllabus. This Master Syllabus is located at this link off of the VPAA webpage: http://www.washburn.edu/faculty-staff/faculty-resources/policies-forms/forms/master-syllabus.docx

The updated Master Syllabus is also available for Desire2Learn instructors to link to from within their courses. Linking to the Master Syllabus provides the benefit that any changes made to the original will appear the next time a user selects the link. Additionally, if contents are copied from one course to another course, the copied link will continue to point to the most up-to-date material.

The steps to link to the Master Syllabus from with a D2L course are:

  1. Go to the module where you place your course syllabus
  2. Click the New button
  3. Select New Link from the menu
  4. Type University Syllabus Additions in the Title box
  5. Delete http://from the URL box
  6. Copy and paste the following text into the URL box: https://d2l.washburn.edu/shared/Master-Syllabus/master-syllabus.html
  7. Click the Create button

 

Instructor Dashboard and Course Setup Checklist

The Instructor Dashboard and Course Setup Checklist is a landing page and workflow for instructors that provides a welcome tour and task list for a quick and easy way build out upcoming Desire2Learn courses.

The Instructor Dashboard is part of a Personal Dashboard tool. The dashboard displays an instructor’s full course list, with the ability to set current courses as favorites for easier access. Instructors can also view a notification if their courses are not visible to students yet and access their own profiles from the Dashboard view. If an instructor needs to access their organization landing page, they can select the Classic Homepage link. Instructors can also choose their default landing page to be either the Classic Homepage or the Instructor Dashboard by clicking the Settings link. This will change which page they see when you log in to D2L Learning Environment. The Settings Link also allows you to reset the Welcome tour to view it again.

Instructor Dashboard

The Course Setup Checklist contains a list of suggested course setup tasks with shortcuts to the tools. Tours appear on those pages to demonstrate how to get started on the task. The Checklist lets instructors keep track of completed items. The Course Setup Checklist can also be accessed from the top of course homepages when there are still items to complete. This tool is ideal for new D2L users, as well as for experienced instructors, as it helps fast-track the process of setting up a course in D2L Learning Environment. The Instructor Dashboard must be enabled first for the required Course Setup Checklist permissions to appear. Administrators must set the permissions for instructors to view the Course Setup Checklist.

Course Setup Checklist

Only Desire2Learn instructors will have these two homepage options. Students only see the classic homepage.