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.

10-7-2-1

Classlist – Instructor view with flags

10-7-2-2

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.

Respondus LockDown Browser Access Change

Starting June 1, 2017, students will only be able to access their quizzes that require the Respondus LockDown Browser by navigating to the quiz through Desire2Learn.

Previously, students had the option to launch the LockDown Browser from their desktop or programs/applications menu, then navigate from the D2L login into their course and to the quiz. After this change, taking a LockDown Browser quiz will require students to navigate to the quiz in their course, then select the Launch LockDown Browser button. Students are also presented with a download link if the LockDown Browser is not already installed.

LDB Launch

A prior post has addressed this method. The difference at this time is that the previous alternative is going away.

Additionally, if the LockDown Browser is required to view a quiz submission attempt, the LockDown Browser will need to be launched from within the D2L course. The steps to view a quiz attempt with through that method were covered in this post.

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

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.

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.

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.