Updated : Wed 05/19/21 Category : D2L

(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.)

Accommodations – Improvements in Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge, and User Progress

This feature builds on the Accommodations – Quiz accommodations | New feature that was released in the February 2021/20.21.2 release.
The following improvements have been made in the Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge and User Progress tools:
Improvements in Classlist for Instructors:

  • An icon now appears next to the learner’s name in the Classlist to indicate that the learner has an accommodation.
  • Instructors can filter the Classlist by Accommodations.
  • If there are no accommodations granted to a learner, the View accommodations menu option from the learner context menu in the Classlist does not appear. If the instructor role has the Add/Edit Accommodations permission, the Edit Accommodations menu option appears instead.
  • Instructors can also Print or Email a list of users with accommodations by adding the filter to those pages.

Improvements in Classlist for learners:

  • An icon appears next to learners’ own names to indicate they have an accommodation. To view accommodation details, learners can click My Accommodations from their learner content menu.
  • When commencing a quiz, the accommodation icon appears next to a learner’s quiz time to indicate that their accommodation has been applied. If a learner’s time accommodation has been overridden by a quiz-specific special access, this icon does not appear.

Improvements in Quizzes for instructors:

  • Instructors can now grant learners special access in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes). Refer to the Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality | Updated release note for more information.
  • Quiz-specific special access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. When you overwrite an accommodation and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting the accommodation appears. Previously, this warning appeared at the top of the Quiz special access screen. Now, it appears on clicking Save.

Improvements in User Purge and User Progress:

  • User purge now includes user accommodations.
  • The accommodations icon now appears in the User Progress tool alongside the Quiz domain if the learner has a quiz accommodation in that course.
The User Progress screen (Classlist>User drop-down menu > User Progress)
The User Progress screen (Classlist>User drop-down menu > User Progress)

Assignments - Action menu for group assignments in New Assignment Evaluation Experience

The New Assignment Evaluation Experience now includes a drop-down menu from the group name. This menu contains links to: 

  • Email the group (opens in a new window)
  • See all group members
The drop-down action menu appears from the Group Name on the File Submission page in Assignments
The drop-down action menu appears from the Group Name on the File Submission page in Assignments

Assignments - Anonymous marking in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience

This feature makes anonymous marking fully supported in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience. When using Anonymous marking, the Anonymous User number appears in place of the username, just as it appeared in the legacy Assignments experience. In addition, the following features of anonymous marking remain the same: 

  • No profile card appears for anonymous users  
  • Usernames become visible once any learner’s evaluation is published 
  • Group names are always visible even when using anonymous marking 
  • Rubrics do not include the user’s name  

Anonymous marking uses Publish All instead of the Publish button. If no feedback for anonymous users has yet been published, the Publish button is disabled and a message appears to direct users to the Publish All button. If any user feedback has been published, all Publish buttons become automatically enabled.

Anonymous marking in Assignments displays learners as Anonymous User [#] instead of by username.
Anonymous marking in Assignments displays learners as Anonymous User [#] instead of by username.

Assignments – Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience

Review the Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor | New release note to learn more about the features of Brightspace Editor.  

The new Brightspace Editor replaces the previous HTML Editor as the default HTML Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience.

Assignments - Brightspace Editor in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience

Review the Assignments - Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Evaluation Experience | New release note to learn more about the features of Brightspace Editor.

The new Brightspace Editor replaces the previous HTML Editor as the default HTML Editor in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.

Assignments - Context menu on the Evaluation screen in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience

A new context menu appears in the side panel of the updated assignment evaluation screen. This menu links to the following:

  • Edit Activity (opens assignment page in new tab). This option appears for users who have the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders
  • Special Access Dates (opens the Edit Activity screen so users can update Special Access rules). This option requires the Set Special Access on Assignment Submission Folders

 

The new context menu appears when grading a submission in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience
The new context menu appears when grading a submission in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience

Assignments - Single file submissions open directly in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience

In the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, when a learner has submitted only one file, the evaluator no longer has to click into the evaluation and then into the file. The file opens directly for the evaluator, saving a click during the evaluation process. Late submission information continues to display above the file, as it currently does.

 

Classlist – Search filter when adding existing users

When enrolling users in a course, an administrator or instructor can now deselect the Include users already enrolled in org unit check box to set their search filter to filter out users already enrolled in the course.

The Add Existing Users page with the new Enrollment search filter
The Add Existing Users page with the new Enrollment search filter

Content - URL topics now Open as External Resource by default

Previously, when a user created a new URL Content type, the Open as External Resource option was not selected by default. In some cases, this caused a Cross-Origin resource sharing (CORS) error to appear when viewing the content topics. Now, the URL Content type, such as a Google Team Drive Public link, has the Open as External Resource check box selected by default. Users can choose to deliberately remove the Open as External Resource option if necessary. If it is deselected, users are advised that D2L recommends opening links in a new window to prevent issues viewing the resource before saving.

When viewing a content topic that is a URL, the button to open the resource in a new window always appears so that if the content cannot load in an embedded frame, a user can choose to open the content in a new window.

Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality

This feature is in line with the improvements made to the Quizzes tool as listed in the Accommodations – Improvements in Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge, and User Progress | New feature.

Instructors can now grant learners special access in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes). For example, if an instructor has a 30-minute quiz and using the Special Access page, grants three learners 1.5x the quiz time, their updated quiz time of 45 minutes displays. Instructors no longer have to manually calculate the updated quiz time.

Note: After extending the learners quiz time by way of quiz time multipliers or +minutes on the Special Access page, if an instructor updates the duration of the quiz, the learner’s quiz time on the Special Access page does not dynamically update at this time.

The Add Special Access screen with the updated Timing area
The Add Special Access screen with the updated Timing area 

Rubrics – Navigation Accessibility Improvements

This feature was originally released for the Rubrics tool in June 2020/20.20.6 and updated in July 2020/20.20.7 and March 2021/20.21.3. To increase the value of the rubric tool in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been accessibility improvements to the rubric creation and evaluation workflows: 

  • Screen readers now inform users of controls for adding feedback to criteria when reading the criteria group table. The table summary now includes the following text: This table lists criteria and criteria group names in the first column. The first-row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method. You can give feedback on each criterion by tabbing to the add feedback buttons in the table.  
  • When a score field has the focus, the screen reader now informs the user if it is a criterion score or a total score based on the field label. It also indicates which criterion the score is associated with and what action the user can take. For example: 2/4, score of Criterion 1. Press Enter to override the criterion score. 
  • Previously, the Total Score and Criterion Score fields did not clearly indicate whether the score is a manual override. The override information appeared in a tooltip that was not visible to assistive technology including screen readers; an asterisk was the only differentiator. Now, the screen reader can read the tooltip content when the Total Score or Criterion Score fields have the focus.  
  • Previously, when the Total Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button appeared; however, when Criterion Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button only appeared if the focus was on the score. Now, Clear Override appears when either the Total Score or the Criterion Score is a manual override, regardless of where the focus is. 
  • To improve usability with assistive technology, the Add Feedback button indicates to screen readers the criterion to which the feedback is associated. The Clear Feedback button also indicates the associated criterion.  
  • When the keyboard focus moves to the default rubric group or new criteria group, the screen reader now tells users the number of rubric levels and criteria in the group.  
  • Previously, users who used keyboard-only navigation and screen readers were not able to delete aligned outcomes. Now, when a user navigates to the Browse Standards button and focuses on an outcome tag, the screen reader reads the tag content and provides guidance that they can press Delete to remove the aligned outcome 
  • Previously, the screen reader only read the content of the level name and points fields and indicated that it was a text field. There was no indication of the significance of the field. Now, when the level name text field has the focus, screen readers indicate that the field is for editing the name of a specific level. When the points text field has the focus, the screen reader indicates that the field is for editing the points of a specific level. 

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