What's New

July 2018 (version 10.8.3)

Assignments - New Text Submission type and workflow | New

Instructors can now create Text Submission assignment types in Brightspace Learning Environment. The new Text Submission type allows learners to create text documents for submission directly in Assignments using a rich text editor, eliminating the need to attach a file. Previously, learners had to create documents outside of Brightspace Learning Environment, then add them as attachments to their submissions within Assignments. This feature enables learners to work directly within Brightspace Learning Environment, allowing for a simpler workflow and standard file type submissions.

Figure: Instructors can now select Text submission as part of the workflow to create a New Submission Folder

Figure: The Text Submission editor appears directly on the Submit Assignment page for learners

Brightspace Daylight Experience - Improved widget style for homepages | Updated

System and custom widgets now display more prominently against homepage backgrounds. The new widget container style appears by default for both system and custom widgets. Administrators may temporarily opt out of this stylistic change until October 2018. Administrators and instructors with permission to create and edit custom widgets may continue to opt out of the new container style using the Style this widget option for custom widgets only. D2L maintains control of the system widget style.

Figure: The new widget styles appear as white cards, with 20px of space between the top, bottom, left and right edges of the card and the content. There is a subtle gray background color for the homepage

Quizzes – Removal of image and text information items | New

As images and text can be included in any type of question using the features of the HTML editor, there is no longer a need for image and text information items. Image and text information items in existing quizzes or question libraries convert into sections, and are still displayed to learners attempting the quiz. One section is created for each existing image or text information item. Once the conversion of existing image and text information items is complete, the ability to create new image and text information items is no longer available.

During the question conversion process the following actions occur:

  • Each image and text information item is converted to an individual section
  • If the information item included a title, that is used for the section title
  • If the information item did not include a title, one is automatically generated using the format: Untitled [converted from a Text Information Item], or Untitled [converted from an Image Information Item]
  • The setting to show the Section title to learners is set to off
  • The setting to show Section text to students is set to on
  • For text information items, the Question Text field is set as the Section Text field
  • For image information items, the Section Text consist of an image tag, followed by the Caption text. If there was a Description for the image, it is included as the alt text of the image.

June 2018 (version 10.8.2)

Copy Course Components - Date Offset | New

When instructors copy the content of one course to another, old course dates are also copied over. This feature enables instructors to offset those old dates to dates relative to the new semester. This feature also eliminates the burden of tweaking delivery and due dates for their learners. When instructors copy course components in bulk, they can enable the offset to occur to the items copied into the course by days or hours.

Grades – Linked discussion threads are now available | New

When assessing a discussion post in the Assess Post pop-up, an instructor can now see a link to the original discussion post. This allows instructors to see more information about why the user posted that reply, or what other learners replied to their post. Previously, there was no hyperlink, and instructors had to open Discussions and manually find the information.

Figure: The Access Topic pop-up now includes a hyperlink to the full discussion post you are grading.
Figure: The Access Topic pop-up now includes a hyperlink to the full discussion post you are grading.

Groups and Sections - Interface improvements on Enroll Users page | New

Fixed headers and wider columns now appear on the Enroll Users page in Groups. This change helps users easily view and scroll through large numbers of groups and sections. This change is available in the Daylight Experience only.
This feature is not supported in the Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge web browsers. The Enroll Users page retains its previous interface in these browsers and for users who do not have Daylight Experience enabled.

Figure: Headers remain onscreen when scrolling through the list of learners on the Enroll Users page
Figure: Headers remain onscreen when scrolling through the list of learners on the Enroll Users page

HTML Editor – Emoticons available | New

Emoticons are now available across Brightspace Learning Environment in the HTML Editor. Use them to express feelings or mood in announcements, instructions, discussion posts, and anywhere else the HTML Editor is available.

Quizzes – Question pools replace random sections | New

Question pools are now available to improve the process of creating quizzes with randomized questions, and are an effective way of preventing cheating on quizzes. All the functionality random sections provided is now located on a single screen, with a simplified workflow. When creating a question pool, instructors enter a title, the number of questions to select, and the points per question. On the same page, they can browse the Question Library to select the desired questions to add to the pool. Instructors are also able to edit or delete questions in place.

Figure: Select Question Pool from the available options when adding new components to a quiz
Figure: Select Question Pool from the available options when adding new components to a quiz

Figure: Enter a title, number of questions to select, and points per question
Figure: Enter a title, number of questions to select, and points per question

Figure: Select questions from the Question Library and add them to the quiz
Figure: Select questions from the Question Library and add them to the quiz

Rubrics - Control rubric visibility for learners | New

This release introduces the ability to control rubric visibility for learners. This is useful for preventing learners from using preview rubrics as answer keys for activities. For example, an instructor can now describe assessment expectations in assignment instructions, hiding the associated preview rubric. Once the assignment is graded, the instructor releases the graded rubric as part of the learner's assessment details. 
Rubric visibility is controlled in two ways:
- Administrators can set the default visibility of new rubrics at the org unit level. The new d2l.tools.Rubrics.DefaultRubricVisibility configuration variable includes the following options: Always Visible to Learners (default), Hidden Until Feedback Published (learners can see rubric feedback and the rubric definition on pages where the rubric is used), and Always Hidden From Learners. Instructors can change the visibility of individual rubrics at any time.
- Instructors can set the visibility of individual rubrics. Creating or editing a rubric includes the following new options: Rubric is always visible to learners, Rubric is hidden until feedback published, and Rubric is never visible to learners

To indicate rubric visibility to instructors, rubrics that are hidden until feedback is published or rubrics that are never visible now display an indicator in the Rubrics section of the associated activity. Visible rubrics do not display an indicator.
This feature implements PIE item D629 and D2623.

Figure: Rubric visibility options in a rubric
Figure: Rubric visibility options in a rubric

Figure: Rubric visibility in a quiz
Figure: Rubric visibility in a quiz

Rubrics - Improvements to rubric feedback for learners | New

To provide learners with more detailed feedback on activities and apply a consistent look and feel to rubric feedback, this release includes the following improvements:
- Rubric feedback now has a consistent appearance across tools in Brightspace Learning Environment, including responsive display on desktops and mobile devices. The grading criteria that a learner achieves in an activity is highlighted in the rubric. Also, the Overall Score row is removed and replaced by a Total row for the entire rubric.
- Rubric feedback for assignments now appears at the top of the Assignment Feedback page.
- Assignments now include detailed overall feedback, rubric feedback, and score in the Content tool. Previously, assignments only included overall feedback and score in the Content tool and Assignment Feedback page. 
- The Discussions and Content tools now include overall feedback, detailed rubric feedback, and score. Feedback displays to learners as soon as instructors save rubric and overall feedback assessment. Previously, discussions only included score.
- Feedback for quiz submissions is now viewed by clicking the new View Feedback link under the Feedback column. Previously, quiz submissions included a text bubble icon that linked to quiz feedback.

Figure: Graded rubric for an assignment showing achieved criteria, instructor feedback, and score
Figure: Graded rubric for an assignment showing achieved criteria, instructor feedback, and score

Figure: A discussion showing instructor feedback, score, and link to the graded rubric
Figure: A discussion showing instructor feedback, score, and link to the graded rubric

Figure: The View Feedback link for quiz submissions
Figure: The View Feedback link for quiz submissions

Rubrics - Display graded rubric feedback In Gradebook | New

For a consistent and simplified user experience, learners can now view their graded rubric feedback in Gradebook for discussions, assignments, and quizzes.
Learners can view their completed rubric (including the selected levels and instructor feedback) in the following tools:
- Gradebook (new)
- Discussions (new)
- Assignments
- Quizzes
- Content (classic Content experience), where the activity is included (Assessment section)

For instructors, this change impacts how they use rubrics with activities. They can assess discussions, assignments or quizzes from the corresponding tool, and the completed rubric displays in its entirety in Gradebook (if the activity has a linked grade).
For administrators, this functionality is controlled by a new, temporary d2l.tools.Rubrics.DisplayActivityRubricsOnGrades configuration variable at the organization level. For example, if a rubric is attached to a discussion, and the rubric is evaluated by the instructor in Discussions, the results of the rubric are visible to the learner from the associated grade. By default, this configuration variable is turned off.
This feature implements PIE item D112, D2629, D2617, and D1316.

Figure: A note in the Grade Editing page indicating that while the grade item has a rubric, it cannot also be associated with an online activity
Figure: A note in the Grade Editing page indicating that while the grade item has a rubric, it cannot also be associated with an online activity

Rubrics - New interface for previewing rubric definitions | New

This release introduces a new interface for instructors and learners to preview rubric definitions. Rubrics are used to evaluate an activity or item based on a predefined set of criteria. They help ensure that activities and items are evaluated fairly and consistently.
The new interface includes the following changes:

  • Rubric definition previews open in a pop-up window or are embedded in the assessment view (such as an assignment or discussion)
  • Each rubric definition preview accommodates current rubric types (6 levels and 10 criteria)
  • Rubric definition previews maintain a consistent appearance across tools in Brightspace Learning Environment, including responsive display on desktops and mobile devices
  • Overall Score row is removed and replaced by a Total row for the entire rubric 
  • Rubric criteria groups display as mini-rubrics


Figure: Rubric preview embedded in the Assignment tool

Figure: Rubric preview embedded in the Assignment tool

Figure: Holistic rubric in the new Rubric definition interface
Figure: Holistic rubric in the new Rubric definition interface

May 2018 (version 10.8.1)

Grades - Locked Name column and header row | New

This Daylight-only feature introduces the locked Name column and header row in the following pages within Grades, so that instructors can scroll through user grades without losing the context for which and whose grades they are looking at:

  • Standard View 
  • Spreadsheet View
  • Grade Category
  • Grade Individual Item
  • Final Grades

The existing solution that repeats the Name column and header row every x columns / rows is only available on legacy web browsers (Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge). The new locked Name column / header row is present on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari web browsers and is not present on Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge web browsers. The locked Name column /header row will not be active when using a small screen space such as a mobile device.


Manage Dates - Improvements to the Manage Dates tool | Updated

This feature includes the following improvements to the Manage Dates tool:

  • Offset other activity dates – In addition to offsetting start, end, and due dates, instructors have the option to offset other dates associated with activities. Affected dates are: discussion topic and forum locking dates, quiz submission view dates, quiz report dates, and survey report dates.
  • Manual calendar events - Instructors can edit the start and end dates of events that were manually created and not tied to existing activities or content topics. As a result, instructors can manage all course dates from a single location.
  • Improved sorting of items to follow tool sort order - Manage Dates display activities in the order in which an instructor would see them in their respective tools.
  • Display of course start and end date - The course start date and end date appears at the top of the Manage Dates page and acts as a reference for instructors when operating on the dates of the various activities. If instructors have the Manage Courses > Change Start and End Dates permission, they can launch a dialog box and then edit the dates.
  • The Tool column on the Manage Dates page has been removed - You can use the Typecolumn to sort the Manage Dates page based on the tool-specific order.
  • New links to the Manage Dates page - The new Review and Manage Dates button appears at the end of copy course components, course import, and course import advanced.

April 2018 (version 10.8.0)

Brightspace Daylight Experience - Visual indicators of role switch and user impersonation states on the navbar | New

Users who switch roles or impersonate other users can see a visual indicator of the role and/or impersonation state on the navbar. Having a visual reminder ensures that users do not make changes or perform tasks erroneously while signed into another role or navigating as a different user.


Users can see the name of the person they impersonate and the role they switch to

Figure: Users can see the name of the person they impersonate and the role they switch to

Discussions - Grading discussions | Updated

This feature updates the discussions grading experience for instructors. Now, when an instructor is grading a discussion, the Assess Topic dialog box opens as a pop-up window regardless of the dialog box option the instructor had set under Account Settings. As a result, the instructor can move the Assess Topic dialog box to another screen and continue reading discussions or navigating through a learner's discussions on a different screen without closing the Assess Topic dialog box.

Grades - Adding feedback in bulk | New

This feature enables instructors to add generic feedback on learners' grades in bulk. Instructors can use replacement strings to personalize their feedback. Instructors can also sort the Feedback column in the Gradebook and quickly determine which learners require feedback.

This feature implements PIE item D3953.

Add feedback in bulk

Figure: Add feedback in bulk

Options to sort the Feedback column in the Gradebook

Figure: Options to sort the Feedback column in the Gradebook

Groups and Sections – Create sub-groups from sections and group | New

Users can now create sub-groups, based on Section or Group enrollment, within the Groups tool. When creating a new Group category, the Restrict Enrollments To option allows the user to restrict Group enrollment by course sections and all course-level groups. Users can only apply one enrollment restriction, and when selected populates the Group Prefix area with a relevant title.
The feature introduces the d2l.tools.groups.RestrictCrossSectionGroups variable, which affects who can view sub-groups. Users can reverse this variable setting, and turn the variable on and off within a course.
Additionally, the RestrictedbyOrgUnitId API allows users to create groups out of users within a specific section or group though the API.

This feature implements PIE items D1282, D472, and D3830.

The Restrict Enrollments To option as it appears when creating a new Group category

Figure: The Restrict Enrollments To option as it appears when creating a new Group category

Manage Dates - Improvements to the Manage Dates tool | Updated

This feature includes the following improvements to the Manage Dates tool:
Dates display for the following activities:
- Quiz submission view names and dates
- Quiz report names and dates
- Topic unlock dates
- Forum unlock dates
- Checklists
- Surveys
The Status column on the Manage Dates page now reads as Visibility Status.
The Status options have been updated from HiddenLimited, and Visible to HiddenVisibleVisible with conditions, and Hidden. Conditions are inactive.
The following objects have been renamed:
- Grade Object reads as Grade Item or Grade Category
- Module reads as Content Module
- Topic reads as Content Topic
The Discussion Forum icon has been changed to reflect that it is a container of other things.
The Grade Category icon has been changed to reflect that it is a container of other things.
Dates in the DueStart, and End columns are clickable and instructors can launch the Edit dialog box to make any changes.
From the Manage Dates page, instructors can now edit, offset, and bulk offset the start, end, and display in calendar options for surveys.

Updated Manage Dates page

Figure: Updated Manage Dates page


March 2018 (version 10.7.11)

Manage Dates – Manage due dates | Updated

Instructors can now edit due dates in the Manage Dates tool.
Due Dates are available for Content topics, Assignments, and Quizzes. A Due Date filter is available under ‘advanced filtering’. Due dates can be edited on an individual basis, in bulk across multiple items, and through bulk offset.

Quizzes - New user interface for creating sections | New

This feature introduces a new, simpler user interface (UI) for creating sections in a quiz. The new UI includes a preview of the quiz section.

Figure: Creating quiz sections - old user interface
Figure: Creating quiz sections - old user interface

Figure: Creating quiz sections - new user interface with preview
Figure: Creating quiz sections - new user interface with preview

The Section Title and Section Text are now visible to learners by default. Instructors can select the check boxes beneath each field to hide the Section Title and Section Text from learners.
The Save drop-down menu also includes a Save and New option and a Save and Copy option.

The following options have been deprecated in the New Section user interface:
- Image > Add a File. You can add a file using the HTML Editor.
- Line breaks after each section name
- Display message and image
- Section feedback
- Private Comments


February 2018 (version 10.7.10)

HTML Editor – Advanced image editing | Updated

This feature updates the HTML Editor to include expanded image editing capabilities for the WYSIWYG editor where PowerPaste is enabled. Users can now edit images in place (including flipping, rotating, and adjusting brightness, sharpness, and color), edit the image description, and edit the size of the image. Users with access to Manage Files can save image edits to the Manage Files area, while users without access to Manage Files can save images as attachments. This feature implements PIE item D3975.

This update is currently exclusive to creating discussion posts, announcements, and content (excluding module descriptions).

Note: Image changes save to Manage Files, or, depending on user permissions, as new file attachments to the item (such as Discussions) every time a change is made. Multiple edits will create multiple items.

Figure: Advanced image editing screen in the HTML Editor
Figure: Advanced image editing screen in the HTML Editor

Figure: Image editing provides the ability to customize image description and sizing
Figure: Image editing provides the ability to customize image description and sizing

Figure: Manually resize the image in the image editor
Figure: Manually resize the image in the image editor

Question Library – New question import workflows | Updated

This feature adds new ways for instructors to search the Question Library when adding questions to a quiz. Using a slide in panel featuring the questions in a tree structure enables easy navigation of questions to be added to quizzes. The ability to sort questions by their source collection, question type, points value, and question text has also been added. This feature appears in new quiz upload files and the Question Library.

The Browse Question Library import window
Figure: The Browse Question Library Import window

Users can select the source of the questions to be reviewed
Figure: Users can select the source of the questions to be reviewed

Users can sort questions by type, point allotment, and title
Figure: Users can sort questions by type, point allotment, and title

Users can filter specific questions within the Question Library window
Figure: Users can filter specific questions within the Question Library window

Quicklinks – Self-Enrollment groups link | Updated

Instructors can now insert a Quicklink to self-enrolling groups. This update provides learners a direct path to sign up for their group and a new Group Self-Enrollment screen.

This feature implements PIE item D316.

Figure: The Self-Enrollment Groups option, as shown in the Insert Quicklink pop-up window
Figure: The Self-Enrollment Groups option, as shown in the Insert Quicklink pop-up window

Figure: The new Group Selection screen, from the Group Enrollment option in the Insert Quicklink pop-up window
Figure: The new Group Selection screen, from the Group Enrollment option in the Insert Quicklink pop-up window

Quizzes - Due dates available | New

To improve the consistency of dates across tools in Brightspace Learning Environment, due dates are available for quizzes. This allows instructors to better communicate when quizzes are due, and better identify when a learner submits a quiz late. This change impacts when quizzes are marked as late. A quiz is now considered late if it is submitted after the due date is reached. Previously, ‘late’ referred to attempts submitted after the time limit of an ‘enforced time limit’ quiz was exceeded. Quizzes submitted after the due date are labeled ‘submitted late’. Quizzes submitted after the time limit is reached are now labeled as ‘exceeded time limit’.


January 2018 (version 10.7.9)

Quizzes - Removal of confirmation buttons to start and submit a quiz | Updated

This feature updates the quizzing experience and now when learners click Start on the quiz instruction screen, they are taken directly to the quiz and do not have to click OK to commence the quiz.

When learners complete the quiz and click Go to Submit Quiz, they are taken to the Quiz Submission Confirmation screen where they can either submit the quiz or return to one of the quiz questions using the Quiz Info menu.


November 2017 (version 10.7.7)

Assignments - Rubric Visibility | Updated

In the Assignments tool, rubrics are now positioned at the beginning of the assessment portion for an assignment. Previously, rubrics appeared below the Learning Objectives as part of a large list of rubric links. Now, additional links have been removed and the rubrics are displayed, followed by the assignment’s learning objectives.
 
The assignment rubric is visible above the assignment learning objectives.
Figure: The assignment rubric is visible above the assignment learning objectives.
 
Rubric links are condensed down to one single link.
Figure: Rubric links are condensed down to one single link.

Grades - Expansion of grade exemptions work | Updated

This feature is an expansion of grade exemptions work that impacts the Content tool, the Calendar tool, the Course Schedule, and the Updates widget.
 
Grade exemptions work - Content tool
Figure: Grade exemptions work - Content tool
 
Grade exemptions work - Message displayed when a learner clicks on an exempted topic
Figure: Grade exemptions work - Message displayed when a learner clicks on an exempted topic
 
Exempting users from a topic - new Manage Exemptions page
Figure: Exempting users from a topic - new Manage Exemptions page


October 2017 (version 10.7.6)

Daylight  – Change Image via Image Library or Upload from banner and Course Offering Information | Updated

Users with permission to change course images can now change the course image using the Course Image Library or Upload File options via the My Courses widget actions menu and Course Image banner.


This image displays the Change Course Image option highlighted in the My Courses page
Figure: Change Course Image option in My Courses page

This image displays the Change Course Image option highlighted in the Course page
Figure: Change Course Image option in Course page


September 2017 (version 10.7.5)

Assignments - Additional attachment types available for assignment submission folders | Updated

Links and Existing Activities files can now be added to assignment submission folders as attachments. This allows instructors to easily direct learners to reference materials or other resources required to complete an assignment. When linking to an existing activity, the appropriate tool icon is displayed next to the link. The quicklink icon display beside links to those resources. All attachments display below their submission folder on the Assignment Submission Folders page for easy access. Previously only course files could be attached to assignment submission folders.


August 2017 (version 10.7.4)

Assignments - Instructors can set the visibility state for Assignment content | Updated

Instructors can now set the visibility state for draft content within assignment submission folders in Content and Assignments. When content is in a draft state, it is not visible to learners in Brightspace Learning Environment.


When instructors have set the visibility to draft, the hidden icon appears in the instructor view of the assignment

In Content, when an instructor chooses to add existing assignments as topics, the visibility state of the topic is pulled from the visibility state of the assignment. The visibility status of a topic now also reflects the visibility status of the folder in which the topic resides.


Changing state on the Edit Submission Folder page is done with the Hidden from users check box


The drop-down menu for content items offers the Hide From Users visibility state

Daylight Experience - Icons in Table of Contents | New

Previously, icons displayed in Content to help users distinguish between content file types (for example, an icon for a video topic or an icon for a discussion topic). Now, icons reflecting the Daylight look and feel are re-introduced in Content. These icons are visible in the main Table of Contents view, the Module Content view, and the Table of Contents fly-out menu when viewing a topic or activity.


Daylight icons in Content reflecting different content file types
Figure 9: Daylight icons in Content reflecting different content file types