Release Notes

June 2020 (Version 20.20.06)

Assignments - Create and edit experience | New

The create and edit Assignments page has an updated look and feel. The classic tabbed view has been transformed into a new, fully immersive page layout. 


Figure: The updated look and feel of the new Assignment creation screen 

The primary panel on the left contains frequently used fields that are always displayed. These fields are most relevant to learners and are the core details instructors want to add; a due date, instructions, and attachments. 

The panel on the right organizes additional, more advanced options such as start and end dates, rubrics, annotation tools, and Turnitin. When these options are collapsed, summary text provides details about which settings are active and subtle hints that aid in the discovery of additional settings. As a result, you can see everything at a glance with little to no scrolling, and without having to navigate through any tabs. 

The new experience streamlines the process of linking assignments to your gradebook. When you enter a score, your assignment is added to Grades, and the name and score are automatically synced for you. If you traditionally create grade items in advance, support for selecting existing grades and categories is also available. 

Grade Item_image 

Figure: The new add to grades workflow 



Figure: The new assignment create/edit page with the opt-in/opt-out pull down menu   

As an Instructor, if you are opting out of the new experience, a prompt appears encouraging you to leave feedback on the new experience. 


Learning Outcomes – Transfer Rubric feedback to General feedback

Rubrics can be set to three types of visibility to learners: Always visibleVisible after assessment, and Always hidden. When a rubric is set to Always hidden, there is now a checkbox to indicate that you want the feedback provided on hidden rubrics to be displayed to learners in general feedback. The feedback from a rubric with this option enabled appears to the learner when reviewing feedback on the activity. This approach is useful when instructors provide rubrics as a marking scheme for teaching assistants (not appropriate for learners to view) but want learners to benefit from the feedback provided on those rubrics. Instructors can also use this approach to provide learners with feedback on specific criteria listed in a rubric without knowing all the details for that criteria, such as a lab simulation for nursing. 

This feature now includes the ability for the feedback on hidden rubrics to be visible to all assessment items, including assignments, discussions, or grade items. 


Figure: When you select the Rubric is hidden option, there is the option to include rubric feedback in overall feedback 


Rubrics – Accessibility improvements in Rubric creation workflow | Updated 

The following updates have been made to improve the accessibility of the rubric creation workflow: 

  • The button next to the page title is now labeled so a screen reader reads “Actions for [title]” when the button has the focus. 

  • The Overall Score now has the proper heading level so screen reader users can navigate directly to it from the heading list. Previously, users were required to tab through all previous headings in the list first. 

  • There is no longer a skipped heading level between Rubric Levels and Criterion (both level 3) and Standards (previously level 5). 

  • In the rubric preview window, Criterion Score has been added as a column header. Previously, the column did not have any header text. 

Widgets - My Courses and Updates widgets display unevaluated assignment submissions | New 

The My Courses Widget and the Updates widget now display new, unevaluated assignment submissions instead of unread assignment submission files to instructors. This change aligns the widgets with the Assignments page and the Quick Grade tool to consistently notify users of unevaluated submissions and help them to track their work. 


Figure: The My Courses widget displays unevaluated Assignments submissions 



Figure: The Updates widget displays unevaluated Assignments submissions 


May 2020 (Version 20.20.05)

Calendar - Bulk delete items | New

To create parity with other tools and improve workflow, the Calendar tool now offers a Delete interface. Previously, it was impossible to bulk delete calendar items. This change enables users to multi-select and delete calendar items using the More Actions menu. 


Figure: The Delete option appears in the More Actions drop-down menu. 

April 2020 (Version 20.20.04)

Assignments - Assignments page column name | Updated 

This feature updates the New column name on the Assignments page to read as New Submissions


Figure: The Assignments page with the New Submissions column

Quiz Builder - Export questions to Brightspace Learning Repository | New 

As part of the new Quiz Builder experience, users can export questions as a quiz package from Quizzes to Brightspace Learning Repository (LOR). This change enables direct access to quiz questions to LOR from within the Export workflow. Previously, exporting questions as a quiz package from Quizzes to LOR was only available in the legacy screens. 


March 2020 (Version 20.20.03)

Announcements – Display author information | New 

To provide more information to users, Announcements now display author information (name and timestamp) on new and edited announcements. 

Users reading the announcement may see some or all of the following author information: 

  • the original author 
  • the original date and time of the announcement 
  • the author who edited the announcement 
  • the date and time of the edit 

Author information in an announcement

Figure: Author information in an announcement 


Groups – Set exact time learners can self-enroll | Updated 

When setting up groups that allow learners to self-enroll, instructors can now add an exact time when enrollment opens, and an exact time when self-enrollment expires. Previously, instructors could only set the date when enrollment opened or expired. 

Set exact time when enrollment opens and expires

Figure: Set exact time when enrollment opens and expires 


Quick Grade – Support for anonymous marking | Updated 

Assignments created with the Hide student names during assessment option selected now display in Quick Grade’s Submission view with learner names and profile images hidden. Instructors using anonymous marking can access Quick Grade with confidence that it supports their anonymous marking needs. 

Anonymous Marking check box visible when creating assignment submission folders

Figure: Anonymous Marking check box visible when creating assignment submission folders 


Learner names and profile images are hidden in Quick Eval Submissions view

Figure: Learner names and profile images are hidden in Quick Grade Submissions view 


Quiz Builder – Import questions from Brightspace Learning Repository | New 

As part of the new Quiz Builder experience, users can import quiz questions stored in Brightspace Learning Repository (LOR). This change enables direct access to quiz questions stored in LOR from within the Import workflow. Previously, importing questions into quizzes from LOR was only available in the legacy Add/Edit questions screens. 

Import questions from the Learning Object Respository

Figure: Select Import from Learning Repository from the Import drop-down menu in Quiz Builder to access questions in Brightspace Learning Repository. 


Rubrics – Confirmation message for partially unevaluated rubrics | New 

To prevent publishing partially unevaluated rubrics, the publishing workflow in the new Rubrics grading experience now includes a confirmation message that warns users when the rubric is not fully evaluated. Instructors have the option to continue publishing, or cancel. Warning messages appear when publishing a rubric for an individual student and when bulk publishing rubrics. Users attempting to publish an incomplete rubric evaluation must now click Publish to complete the workflow. 

Confirmation message to publish rubric anyways

Figure: The confirmation message asks users if they want to publish anyway, when attempting to publish an incomplete evaluation for an individual learner. 


Publish rubric feedback anyways example

Figure: When attempting to bulk publish incomplete rubrics, the confirmation message lists the names of learners whose rubric evaluations are not complete. 


Rubrics – Improved accessibility in Rubric grading | Updated 

In Rubrics, when using keyboard navigation to tab to a row of selectable cells, there is now a focus indicator to help orient users on the page. 


Rubrics – Overall Score levels calculated after rubric criteria completion | New 

In the new Rubrics grading experience, the Overall Score level is now only calculated after all the criteria in the rubric have been assessed. This change optimizes rubric performance by eliminating the calculation of incomplete Overall Score levels until the rubric evaluation is completed, and improves the grading experience for instructors and rubric evaluators. 


February 2020 (Version 20.20.02)

Quick Grade - Course level filtering | New

When opening Quick Grade within a course, only the list of activities and submissions related to that course display. This helps instructors easily view and evaluate submissions on a course-by-course basis. If an instructor wants to view all submissions across all their courses, they can still use the More Options menu to see the Multi-Course Quick Grade, or open Quick Grade from outside of a course.

Quick Grade - Dismiss activities until next submission | New

Instructors can now remove items from their Quick Grade list until a new submission is received for the activity. The removed activity appears on the Dismissed Activities list and can be restored at any time. Once a new submission arrives to the Quick Grade list, the previously dismissed activity reappears there.

Previously, instructors could only select a specific date or forever when dismissing an activity. This new option provides instructors with an additional option to manage the submissions on their Quick Grade list.

Video Note – Automatic Closed Captioning | New

To improve accessibility, video notes now provide automatic closed captioning for newly created videos and the ability to manually add or update closed captioning for all previously recorded videos. After video processing, users can view closed captions using video player controls.

In addition, users can now download a transcript and the closed caption file associated with a video independent of Video Notes.

Localized closed captioning is available for the following languages:

  • US English (en-US)
  • British English (en-GB)
  • Canadian French (fr-CA)
  • German (de-DE)
  • Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR)
  • Korean (ko-KR)
  • Italian (it-IT)
  • Spanish (es-US)
  • Modern Standard Arabic (ar-SA)
  • Russian (ru-RU)
  • Japanese (ja-JP)
  • Turkish (tr-TR)
  • Dutch (nl-NL)
  • Chinese Mandarin (zh-CN)


  • Canadian English is not available for closed captioning and defaults to en-US.
  • Chinese Traditional (zh-TW) closed captions are not currently available and defaults to zh-CN.
  • Mexican Spanish (es-MX) closed captions may not be available and defaults to US Spanish (es-US)
  • Swedish closed captions are not available.