Release Notes

January 2020 (Version 20.20.01)

Classlist – Total number of users field and floating buttons | New 

To improve ease of use, the total number of users for their selection (whole class, section, group) now appears in a field at the bottom of the Classlist page for at-a-glance viewing to help instructors keep track of the total number of learners, which may extend beyond the users visible on the page. On the Print Classlist and Email Classlist pages, the clickable Print and Email buttons now float consistently on screen, to ensure easy access to these actions without excessive scrolling. 

Copy Course Components - Add validation logic to the copy process | New 

Copy Course Components now contains a validation logic step to the course copy process, which can inform users if they performed a copy from the source previously, avoiding unnecessary duplication of copied course components. 

Discussions – Assessment consistency changes | New 

When assessing discussions, instructors have new multi-select options to Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback. In the Status column, the Draft / Published checkbox has been replaced by information on the date when feedback was saved as draft or published. These changes are visible on both the Users and Assessments tabs. The Save, Save and Close, and Cancel buttons have also been removed as their functionality has been replaced by the Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback options. 

F15829_assess_discussion_before

Figure: Previous view when assessing a discussion topic

F15829_assess_discussion_after

Figure: Updated view when assessing a discussion topic

Groups – Self-enrollment group capacity, start dates and descriptions | New 

This feature includes three improvements to Groups: 

  • Group members can now see the description of their group. For self-enrolled groups, group members will now see the group description at all times, including before and after enrollment. For other group types, instructors can now choose to display the description to members of the group. This visible group description setting is off by default for non-self-enrollment groups. Previously, all group descriptions were hidden from group members. 
  • An instructor can now increase or decrease the capacity for self-enrollment groups after they have been created, and prior to the group sign-up expiry date. Decreasing a group size to an amount smaller than has already signed up for a group will not re-allocate users to other groups. Previously, self-enrollment groups were not editable after they were created. 
  • Instructors can set Start dates for self-enrollment groups. This feature allows them to schedule self-enrollment groups availability, ensuring learners are prepared and have equal opportunity to self-enroll. 

Quick Grade – Dismiss activities from list | New 

To improve the ability to manage items on their Quick Eval list, instructors can now select items that appear in their Quick Eval list and remove them temporarily or permanently. Instructors can view their dismissed items in the Dismissed Activities List and restore them to the Quick Eval list at any time. 

Quizzes – Synchronization with Grades | New 

Quiz scores and feedback entered in Grades now synchronize automatically with Quizzes. To further streamline the workflow, the Overall Feedback fields in Grades and Quizzes are now consolidated, and the Grade Item Public Comments field has been removed from Grades. All comments entered in the Overall Feedback field in Grades synchronizes automatically with the Overall Feedback field in Quizzes. This update creates a more direct workflow and aligns Quizzes with the consistent feedback experience implemented in Assignments and Discussions. Refer to the blog post Improving Consistency Of Synchronization Between Grades And Quizzes Tool (20.20.01 – January Release) for more information. 

Note: Synchronization only occurs for new grade entries. Existing grade data for quizzes will not be migrated due to the high impact to all past data and reports. 

 


December 2019 (Version 20.19.12)

Content - Sort HTML templates in alphanumeric filename order | New

To make it easier to find HTML templates when using Content, instructors can select the new Sort HTML Templates by name option from the Content Settings page in Content. Selecting this new option sorts templates in alphanumeric order based on filename. Previously, HTML templates were sorted alphanumerically based on directory structure.

content_settings

Figure: The new Sort HTML Template by name option in the Content Settings page

Content – Sort order changes in Upload / Create menu | Updated

When using the Upload / Create menu to add activities to Content, the placement of the New Assignment option has moved. Previously, it appeared between New Discussion and New Quiz. Now, New Assignment appears above New Checklist.

upload_create_sort_order

Figure: Updated sort order of the Upload / Create menu

Release Conditions – Learners are notified when a release condition triggers new content | Updated

In a course that uses release conditions to unlock additional content, learners previously were not informed when new content became available as a result of a release condition that was satisfied. Because there was no automatic notification or refresh of the table of contents, there was the potential for frustration when learners think they are done a module, and are later informed that there are steps left to be completed.

Now, when release conditions are satisfied, the learner is notified using a pop-up ("toast") message that there are new items available in the course.

Release Conditions – Updated ordering of Tools | Updated

When adding Release Conditions to activities or content, the View Conditions for, and Condition Type menus now display tools in an updated order.

release_condition_sort_order

Figure: When browsing for release conditions, Assignments is now at the top of the list of tools

create_release_condition_sortorder

Figure: When creating new release conditions, Assignments is now at the top of the list of tools

November 2019 (Version 20.19.11)

Assignments - Improvements to Assignments | Updated

The Assignments page shows a count of new submissions and resubmissions in the New column, which you can opt-in /opt-out of displaying.

f15853_assignmentspage

Assignments – Letter grading available | New

Grade Schemes can now be used by instructors to evaluate assignments by associating Selectbox Grade Items to an assignment. When grading an assignment through Assignments, Quick Eval, or Grades, the evaluator is shown a dropdown menu with the associated grade scheme levels. This feature functions identically for rubrics and numeric values as the previously existing Selectbox grade item type in the gradebook.

Any Selectbox grade item can now use an Organization level grade scheme, without having to copy the grade scheme into an individual course. This allows administrators to create centralized grade schemes for Selectbox grade items, and makes it easier for instructors to use those grade schemes in their courses. Grade Schemes have also been reordered so that the highest grade, rather than the lowest, defaults to the top of the list. API routes have been added to enable the creation of assignment Selectbox grade items.

assignment_letter_grade

Figure: Select a letter grade when assessing an assignment submission

Quizzes - Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log | Update

When an instructor restores a learner's deleted quiz attempt, note the following workflow changes:

  • A deleted quiz attempt can only be restored if the learner does not have another quiz attempt in progress.
  • The Restore button only appears for the latest deleted quiz attempt.

Quizzes – Save feedback as draft | New

Instructors can now clearly see when feedback is saved as a draft, or published, while evaluating quiz submissions. On the quiz evaluation page, the Graded (G) checkbox and Save button have been replaced by the Publish and Save Draft buttons.

quiz_save_draft

Figure: The Publish and Save Draft buttons allow instructors to quickly save drafts of feedback left on quiz submissions

Quizzes - Set quiz options in Quiz Builder | New

The new Quiz Builder experience now allows instructors to set additional quiz options when creating quizzes. A More Actions button is visible when users select the checkbox for one or more questions; allowing instructors to set questions as mandatory or bonus directly from Quiz Builder, and change the number points assigned to a question or set of questions. There is no change in how the bonus, mandatory, or points features work.


October 2019 (Version 20.19.10)

Accessibility - Compliance with WCAG 2.1 level AA | Updated 

As part of D2L's ongoing commitment to design and develop against WC3 accessibility best practices, the Brightspace Learning Environment 20.19.10/October 2019 release now aligns to the updated WCAG 2.1 level AA standards in both compliance reporting and all new development work. It is D2L’s intention to be an industry leader in inclusive design, and these changes improve support for individuals with alternative fine motor, cognition, and low vision needs. There are no major changes to workflows with these improvements; however, we have updated our shared components, such as fonts, buttons, menus, and input fields to better support WCAG 2.1 level AA requirements and recommendations. These changes include: 

  • Adding input type and auto-complete to appropriate fields to facilitate a user’s ability to complete forms. 
  • Adding escape key commands where appropriate to components that appear on hover or focus. 
  • Updating components that activate on down event to ensure that a user can cancel actions. 
  • Improving color contrast on additional components in Brightspace Learning Environment. 

Assignments – Change to immersive navigation bar | Updated 

When evaluating an assignment submission, the user interface has been updated slightly. The Next Student and Previous Student buttons above the submission and learner information have been replaced by forward and back chevrons that display in the immersive navigation bar. Previously, these buttons were displayed across the entire width of the page. The information on which user you are evaluating (e.g. 1 of 12) displays between the back and forward chevrons. 

Assignments_next_user 

Figure: Evaluating an assignment with the new immersive navigation bar. 

Brightspace Learning Environment – Improvements to consistency | Updated 

To provide a more consistent experience, there have been changes to update the language, interface controls, and workflows throughout Brightspace Learning Environment. 

The language and methods by which instructors make activities hidden or visible to learners across different tools is now consistent. Changes include: 

  • The visibility control now uses a checkbox with the consistent terminology Hide from users in all instances. This change affects the Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, Surveys, and Grades (grade item and grade category) tools. 
  • In Discussions, the Visibility, Availability Dates, and Locking options move from the Properties tab to the Restrictions tab. 
  • The Hide from users checkbox appears under the title field of all activity creation pages in the Content tool. 
  • In Content, on the table of contents, there is now a visibility icon button for use with both content topics and modules. The icon serves as a visibility switch. The visibility status of a topic appears when the topic is not visible, when the table of contents is in bulk edit mode, or when a topic is in edit-in-place mode. The table of contents fly-out no longer provides the ability to switch the visibility of a topic or module. 
  • In Content, the Hide from users and Make Visible to users options are available in the context menus for topics and modules in the table of contents, and in the context menus of topics on the topics’ detail page. 

The Instructor view of the list page of several tools now has consistent icons in a consistent order for activity restrictions. Changes include: 

  • All common activity icons appear before tool-specific icons. 
  • There is now only one Special Access icon in Quizzes (previously there were two, one for each type of Special Access). The Special Access icon also now appears in Assignments where it previously did not. 
  • All icons have been updated to the Daylight style (except the Bonus Grade item, which will be done in a future release). 
  • The Exemptions icon now appears on the list pages. 
  • Alt-text appears on all icons on the activity pages. In some cases, the alt-text has been changed to provide consistent text across all icons of the same type. 

Across many tools, including Quizzes, Surveys, Grades, and Discussions, the Restrictions tab provides the ability to control the visibility status and availability dates for an activity. Changes include: 

  • Changes to the Restrictions tabs in Quizzes, Survey, Grades, and Discussions to show Hide from Users with a check box control to turn on or turn off the visibility of the item. 
  • Previous sections containing the visibility settings in Surveys, Grades, and Discussions (for Forums and Topics) are renamed to Availability. 
  • Availability dates in Grades (for a grade item and grade category) and Discussions (for Forums and Topics) now appear and can be hidden. 

There is now a consistent individual and bulk process workflow to hide or show activities. With this workflow, users can quickly change the visibility status from the list of activities without first having to edit the activity. Changes include: 

  • In Quizzes, Surveys, and Grades, users can hide or show individual items under the context menu of an individual item or bulk items from the More Actions button at the top of the page. 
  • In Discussions, users can hide or show individual items under the context menu of each topic and forum. Bulk hide or show is not available for Discussions. 

The language and methods by which instructors save content on the New Activity page (Content tool) are now consistent. Whether the item is visible or not is determined by the Hide from Users permission check box. Changes include: 

  • Publish and Save as Draft have been combined into a single button called Save. 

In addition, there are other consistency updates throughout the Brightspace Learning Environment: 

  • The Completion Method icon in the table of contents in the Content tool is now a menu. If an instructor does not have permission to edit the Completion Method, the icon is displayed and the button menu does not appear. 
  • In the Grade book, on the context menu for a grade item, the Grade All option is now Enter Grades. 
  • In the Grade Item and Grade Category event log, the Visibility property is now Visibility Status. Status options are now Hidden or Not Hidden. 
  • In the Grade Item and Grade Category event log, the End Date Restriction and Start Date Restriction properties are now Availability End Date and Availability Start Date. 
  • In the Grade Item and Grade Category event log, changes to the Visibility and Date properties are now logged independently. 
  • In Surveys, the display of availability dates on the survey Administrator and User list pages are now consistent with the display currently used in Quizzes. 

Brightspace Learning Environment – Supported browsers | Updated 

As previously announced in the August 2019/20.19.8 release, Microsoft Internet Explorer is approaching End of Life (EOL) status as a supported browser. Starting January 2020, Brightspace Learning Environment will no longer support Internet Explorer. To provide more visibility about this upcoming change, when an existing user logs in to Brightspace Learning Environment using Internet Explorer, a banner now informs the user about the approaching EOL date. The banner also includes a recommendation to upgrade their browser and a link to the EOL communication on the Brightspace Community. After logging in, the user can dismiss the banner for that session. For each subsequent session, the banner displays; however, the user can dismiss it.  

For an optimal experience that offers better performance, accessibility, and security, D2L strongly recommends that all users access Brightspace Learning Environment with a supported browser. 

ie_banner1 

Figure: The Internet Explorer End of Life banner on the login page. 

ie_banner2 

Figure: The Internet Explorer End of Life banner in Brightspace Learning Environment. 

Brightspace Pulse - iOS support | Updated 

The latest version of Brightspace Pulse is supported on Apple devices with iOS 11 or higher. Older versions of Brightspace Pulse will continue to work on Apple devices with iOS 10, but will not receive any app updates. For an optimal experience, D2L recommends installing the latest version of Brightspace Pulse on Apple devices with iOS 11 or higher. 

Intelligent Agents - Email Attachments | New  

You can now add attachments to automated email messages when creating and editing intelligent agents. The intelligent agent email template contains an Attachments area that enables you to upload local files, select from available course files, or record audio. Attachment size is based on the email attachment size setting for your organization. 

IA_attachments_area 

Figure: The Attachments area now appears when creating or editing Intelligent Agents emails messages. 

Links - Improved link validation | New 

The Links tool has been updated to improve the link validation process. Pre-existing links are not impacted; however, any new links or updates to pre-existing links must be formatted to follow the new validation rules. (Valid formats include: URLs that begin with http/https, ftp/sftp/ftps, file, mailto, feed, itpc, mms, rtsp, or relative paths beginning with /). 

Quizzes – Change to immersive navigation bar | Updated 

When evaluating a quiz submission, the user interface has been updated slightly. The Next Student and Previous Student buttons above the submission and learner information have been replaced by forward and back chevrons that display in the immersive navigation bar. Previously these buttons were displayed across the entire width of the page. The information on which user you are evaluating (e.g. 1 of 12) now displays between the back and forward chevrons. 

Quizzes_next_user 

Figure: Evaluating a quiz with the new immersive navigation bar. 


September 2019 (version 20.19.9)

Assignments - Grades entered in Assignments and Grade Book are synchronized | New 

When an instructor enters a grade for an assignment submission in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the submission in Assignments. Previously, grades entered in the Assignment tool were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for assignment submissions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Assignments tool. This change ensures data consistency between Assignments and Grade Book. Currently Assignment grades are not synchronized when the Assignment tool is updated by the Brightspace API or when Grade Book is exported and imported. 

Note: This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries. Existing grade data for assignment submissions will not automatically be migrated because it would impact all past data and reports. 

Assignments - Improvements to Assignments | Updated 

This feature includes the following improvements to the Assignments tool: 

  • User-tied tool preferences for Annotations: Now when instructors select tools when assessing assignments, their tool selections remain the same until they are actively changed. Previously, the preferences defaulted back to the original option when moving from one submission to the next). This approach saves instructors time in not having to update their preferred settings with each submission they assess. 

  • New save warning for the browser close / Back button: When a user attempts to close the browser, or clicks the Back button on the browser when assessing an Assignment, a new warning appears, prompting the user to either save their work / changes made on the page or actively choose to proceed without saving. 

Discussions - Grades entered in Discussions and Grade book are synchronized | New 

When an instructor enters a grade for a discussion in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the discussion post in Discussions. Previously, grades entered in the Discussion were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for discussions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Discussions tool. This change ensures data consistency between Discussions and Grade Book. Currently Discussion grades are not synchronized when the Discussion tool is updated by the Brightspace API or when Grade Book is exported and imported. 

Note: This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries. Existing grade data for discussions will not automatically be migrated because it would impact all past data and reports. 

Quizzes - Rounding Logic configuration variable on by default | Updated 

The rounding logic for quiz questions has been updated. The updated rounding logic for arithmetic and significant figures questions in quizzes now rounds up from .5 by default. Previously these types of questions used to round to the nearest even integer (“banker’s rounding”). As a result, some calculations will round up where they previously rounded down from .5. Past quiz attempt scores are not affected by this change.

Release Conditions - Release condition for topic completion | New 

The Completed content topic is a new release condition that is met when a user completes a content topic. The method of completing the topic depends on the type, such as viewing a file or submitting an assignment. Similar to the currently available Visited content topic release condition, optional topics can also trigger this release condition. 

This release condition ignores exemptions, meaning that if the learner completes the activity, the release condition can be met, regardless of the activity being required, optional, or exempt. 

F15618_release-condition_completed_topic

Figure: The Completed content topic release condition is now available from the Condition Type drop-down list. 


August 2019 (version 20.19.8)

Accessibility – Compliance with WCAG 2.1 | Updated 

As part of our ongoing commitment to design and develop against WC3 accessibility best practices, there are updates to our shared web components, such as fonts, buttons, menus, and input fields, to ensure they align with WCAG 2.1 standards. These changes include: 

  • Text color change from #56A5C to #494C4E for our standard font styles, which is WCAG Level AAA compliant.

  • Resetting clients to "Normal" for their Org default size to ensure that default configurations have appropriate legibility. In addition, the configuration option for setting a font override at the Org level has been removed. Users can still change their personal font preferences using Account Settings and existing individual user overrides are retained.

  • Changes to the color, borders, hover and focus styles of other web components such as buttons, menus and input fields to ensure they comply with WCAG 2.1 color contrast requirements for non-text components. 

These changes will improve readability and provide better ability to meet contrast compliance with non-text elements. It is D2L’s intention to be an industry leader in inclusive design, and these changes improve support for individuals with alternative fine motor, cognition, and low vision needs. These compliance changes contain no changes to workflows; all changes are look and feel only. 

Assignments - Assignments list page for Learners | Updated 

The learner view of the Assignments page uses the updated display and can no longer be configured by administrators. When learners view the Assignments page, Assignment, Completion Status, Score, Evaluation Status, and Due Date display for each assignment. These changes allow learners to easily identify assignments that require their attention, or contain feedback from their instructors. 

For more information on this change, visit the New Assignment List Page In 10.8.9 Community Blog post

Assignments List Page for Learners
Figure: Learner view of the Assignments page

Brightspace - Improvements to course notifications | New 

To improve the delivery of course notifications in Brightspace Learning Environment, the Notifications option, available from the username on the minibar, includes the following changes: 

  • Added a Summary of Activity option for receiving email notifications about the summary of activity for each course. Options include: Never, Daily, or Weekly (default). 

  • Removed the following Customize Notifications options: Allow past courses to send me notifications and Allow inactive courses to send me notifications. Learners can now only receive daily email digests for future courses. 

  • Removed the following SMS notifications for Instant Notifications: Content - content item created, Content - content item updated, and Content - content overview updated. 

If any of the removed notification options are currently selected, learners will no longer receive these notifications after the monthly update. To receive content-related instant notifications, D2L recommends using the Brightspace Pulse mobile app or select the Email option for the instant notification type on the Notifications page. Email content notifications remain unaffected. 

Improvements to Course Notifications
Figure: The new Summary of Activity option in Notifications

Brightspace Learning Environment – Supported browsers | Updated 

When a user tries to access Brightspace Learning Environment using any version of Internet Explorer, a retro pop-up dialog box appears. The text in the retro pop-up dialog box has been updated to include the January 2020 end of life date information. Users who had previously dismissed the pop-up will see it again following the August update if Brightspace is accessed using any version of Internet Explorer. The pop-up can be dismissed again and will not reappear with subsequent updates. Sites that have explicitly turned off the retro pop-up dialog box for their entire org are not affected. 

Brightspace - OpenDyslexic font setting | Removed 

The OpenDyslexic font is intended to increase readability of text for users with dyslexia. D2L introduced this font into Brightspace Learning Environment as a measure of support for users with dyslexia, based on interest from clients and initially positive media reports. However, to date, there is no empirical evidence that it improves readability or comprehension for users with dyslexia. To ensure that D2L offers true accessibility solutions and that we align our design system and development practices with the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1 Level AA Criteria), the OpenDyslexic font is removed in the August 2019 release. 

For more information, see the Intent To End Of Life Notice For: OpenDyslexic Font Option In Account Settings blog post. 

OpenDyslexic font setting
Figure: The OpenDyslexic font setting in Account Settings

Email – Add images to messages | Updated 

When composing email messages, users can select Insert Image to add pictures from their computer, a URL, or Manage Files. Images are inserted in place, attached to the email, and display in place for the recipient. The Insert Stuff button is no longer shown in Email, as it has several workflows that are incompatible with the external email experience. 

Quizzes - General availability of Quiz Builder | Updated 

The new Quiz Builder experience is now generally available and recommended for use in production courses. Quiz Builder is a new work flow for adding, editing, reordering, and deleting quiz content in the Quizzes tool. It is released with an opt-in/opt-out option. 

Quiz Builder saves instructors time by streamlining the screens and work flows for building and arranging quiz content. Instructors can add questions, sections and question pools, or import from the Question library. From a single interface, they can edit, delete and reorder questions. They can also review critical information such as question points and total points in the quiz; mandatory and bonus status and shuffling behavior. 

Once turned on, you can use the new Quiz Builder experience by clicking Add/Edit Questions on the quiz Properties tab. The updated Add/Edit Questions screen provides the option to add, edit, reorder, delete, and move between sections using keyboard interaction in the new experience. The experience is accessible when using assistive technologies. 

When you opt out of the Quiz Builder experience, you are prompted to leave feedback on the new design. 

Quizzes - Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log | New 

Instructors can now restore deleted quiz attempts for learners from within a quiz using the new Quiz Attempt log. The New Quiz Attempt log tracks quiz attempt submissions per user, in both an overview and detailed set of logs. 

The following actions are captured in the Overview: 

  • Attempt Started 
  • Attempt Submitted 
  • Attempt Deleted  
  • Attempt Restored
Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log
Figure: The Overview tab on the Attempt Logs page

The Restore button appears when a quiz attempt is deleted for a user. Instructors can access the attempt logs from the Quiz name drop-down menu and in the Grade Quiz area. The ability to see the Restore button beside deleted attempts is now controlled by the renamed Reset and Restore Attempts permission. 

The Detailed Quiz Log captures the following actions: 

  • Quiz Entry and re-entry 
  • Response Save time 
  • Page Movement time 
  • Quiz confirmation screen / completion 

 


July 2019 (version 20.19.7)

Accessibility – Compliance with WCAG 2.1 | Updated

As part of our ongoing commitment to design and develop against WC3 accessibility best practices, there are updates to our shared web components, such as fonts, buttons, menus, and input fields, to ensure they align with WCAG 2.1 standards. These changes include:

  • Text color change from #56A5C to #494C4E for our standard font styles, which is WCAG Level AAA compliant.
  • Resetting clients to "Normal" for their Org default size to ensure that default configurations have appropriate legibility. In addition, the configuration option for setting a font override at the Org level has been removed. Users can still change their personal font preferences using Account Settings and existing individual user overrides are retained.
  • Changes to the color, borders, hover and focus styles of other web components such as buttons, menus and input fields to ensure they comply with WCAG 2.1 color contrast requirements for non-text components.

These changes will improve readability and provide better ability to meet contrast compliance with non-text elements. It is D2L’s intention to be an industry leader in inclusive design, and these changes improve support for individuals with alternative fine motor, cognition, and low vision needs. These compliance changes contain no changes to workflows; all changes are look and feel only.

Assignments – Edit category improvements | Updated

An Edit Categories option is now available in Assignments to allow users to edit all categories from one page. You can add, modify, delete, and sort categories, as well as manage unused categories. If a category with assignments is deleted, those assignments are added to the No Category area.

edit_categories_1

Figure: Select Edit Categories from the Assignments page

edit_categories_2

Figure: Manage all categories from one page

Class Progress - Default indicator change | Updated

Class Progress has two Content tool indicator graphs: Content Visited and Content Completed. In this release, the default is switching from Content Visited to Content Completed to better reflect learner progress through the completion of Content activities. The change will apply to all users who utilize the default settings of Class Progress. Any users that have overridden any of their Class Progress indicators will not see a change. Users who want to have Content Completed appear can switch indicators using the Class Progress settings in their course.

Navbar - Display user initials when there is no user profile image | New

If a user does not upload a user profile image in Brightspace Learning Environment, the navbar now displays the user's initials in the user-profile badge. This change occurs for all roles and displays in the Brightspace Learning Environment navbar and Activity Feed. Previously, if a profile image was not uploaded, a blank user image displayed.

navbar_profile_before

Figure: A blank user image previously displayed in the navbar

navbar_profile_after

Figure: User initials now display in the navbar

Surveys - Improvements to the learner experience | Updated

To improve the learner experience when taking a survey, the following updates are now available:

  • The primary button when completing a Survey has been updated from Save Responses to read as Submit Survey. Learners will continue to be prompted to confirm their submission when they submit the survey
  • Learners can still save survey answers manually. The Save button now reads as Save Responses
  • A new Back to Questions button is displayed when attempting to submit a survey with unanswered questions
  • While learners are taking an anonymous survey, an alert appears at the top of the survey indicating that the survey is anonymous and their user information will not be tied to their responses

Widgets – Updates to Lang Terms for Updates Widget and My Courses Widget | Updated

There are changes to lang term values to increase the clarity of the fields in the Updates Widget, the My Courses Widget, and Assignments (displayed in Grades) to more clearly describe the capability of the feature.

In the Updates widget:

  • Show the number of new assignment submissions is now Show the number of unread submission files
  • New Assignment Submissions for {subject} is now New Assignment Submission Files for {subject}

In the My Courses Widget:

  • Unread Assignment Submission is now Unread Assignment Submission File
  • New Assignment Submissions is now New Assignment Submission Files
  • Unread Assignment Submissions is now Unread Assignment Submission Files
  • New Assignment Submissions is now New Assignment Submission Files
  • Show the number of new assignment submissions is now Show the number of unread submission files
  • {number} Unread Assignment Submission is now {number} Unread Assignment Submission Files. Note: This lang term cannot be changed by users.

In Assignments (displayed in Grades):

  • New submission - View {subject}'s submissions in a new window is now Unread submission file - View {subject}'s submissions in a new window

June 2019 (version 20.19.6)

Discussions - Save feedback in draft state when associated with rubrics | Updated

This feature provides instructors the option to save feedback as a draft on discussions associated with rubrics before publishing it to learners. Now, when instructors add feedback for discussions with rubrics, the Save Draft and Publish buttons display. This feature extends existing Save Draft and Publish options available in other assessment tools to discussions that are only associated with a rubric.

Note that if a discussion topic is associated with more than one rubric, then both the rubrics are now visible in the same pop-up dialogue. Previously, the rubrics had to be opened individually to complete evaluation. This change also benefits the use case where a discussion topic was evaluated using a learning objective.

Email - Custom header changes for forwarded email messages | New

To align with the DMARC mail standard, emails forwarded from D2L servers now appear to originate from the sender’s D2L domain account instead of the original sender account. Currently, forwarded emails from the original sender email address (external servers such as {user}@gmail.com), but sent over D2L servers, are often rejected due to an organization's Sender Policy Framework (SPF). With this change, D2L adjusted the mail headers used by the Brightspace platform when forwarding emails from a user account to the specified external address.

Email users should note the following:

  • Email messages forwarded to the specified external address through the D2L email account come from the user’s D2L email address in the format of {username}@{D2LMailDomain}
  • Email header changes show the new "From" address as the user’s D2L email address, and the "Reply-To" address as the original sender’s (external) email address.

Email header with the new format

Figure: Example of email headers on forwarded messages

This feature provides more consistent and successful email delivery on D2L servers.

myDesire2Learn - Self-registration service migration | Updated

The user registration flow for myDesire2Learn will no longer leverage the Edudentity login service. Current users of myDesire2Learn will experience no change to the login process and no action is required from them. D2L will contact all registered myDesire2Learn users via email with direct notification of this change.

There will be a new user registration workflow introduced with this change that applies only to future users of myDesire2Learn.

Quizzes - Arithmetic and significant figures questions round up from .5 | Updated

Arithmetic and Significant Figures questions in quizzes now round up from .5 by default. Previously these types of questions were rounded down from .5. To opt-out of this change, administrators can turn off the d2l.Tools.Quizzes.RoundingLogicUpdate configuration variable. Past quiz attempt scores are not affected by this change.

Rubrics - Consistent assessment experience for Discussions | New

When instructors use the updated rubrics grading experience with Discussions, the following workflows present the same assessment experience:

  • if a rubric is attached to a discussion that is not associated with a grade item
  • if a rubric is attached to a discussion and associated with a grade item, but the instructor clicks on the rubric name to assess instead of topic score

In these workflows, the same assessment screen displays, with the details, score, feedback, post information, and all rubrics available to grade.

Rubrics - Updated grading experience for rubrics with learning objectives | New

When an instructor assess a rubric with associated learning objectives, the updated grading experience now displays. This new experience displays in all locations where an instructor can assess a rubric with learning objectives, for example, Competencies, Assignments, Quizzes, Survey, Discussions, and Grade Items.

Below the rubric, a list of associated learning objectives displays. The pyramid learning objective symbol appears on rows to indicate which criteria the learning objective is aligned to, or with the overall score, if it is aligned to the overall score. In User Progress, the display of the rubric assessments for competencies obeys the draft/publish state of the associated activity.

User Progress – Consistent tracking of Content progress across the Brightspace Platform | Updated

Previously, different tools and features within Brightspace Learning Environment used different logic for determining user progress through Content topics. Now, the logic has been consolidated so that it is calculated in the same way across the platform.

Content must meet three criteria to be included in the user progress:

  • The learner must have access to the content
  • The content must be marked with a completion method of Required Automatic or Required Manual
  • The content is not exempt

When content does not meet these conditions, the topics are not included in the calculation of the learner’s progress.

These changes affect the following areas of the Brightspace Platform:

  • Class Progress has a new Content Completed graph to represent completed content. The current content-related column is being renamed from Content to Content Visited.
  • The Content sections of the User Progress tool have several changes:
    • In the Content section of the Summary page and in the Content detail page, the Visits graph is being replaced by the Content Completed graph.
    • The progress on a module now reflects the number of completed and required topics in all levels below the module. Previously, the module progress reflected the number of completed topics immediately inside the module and the number of completed sub-modules. The new progress percentage and number is an actual reflection of how far the learner has progressed through the module.
    • The Topics Visited statistics on the left side of the page now include a denominator. The data represents the number of unique topics that the user visited. The denominator indicates the total number of topics that the student can access. In addition, the #Visits column is now renamed to Total Visits.

 


May 2019 (version 20.19.5)

Binder - End-of-life | Removed 

As of May 31, 2019, Binder is no longer supported by D2L. Binder will no longer work with Brightspace, and it will be removed from the Apple AppStore and Google Play app store. 
Users who have Binder can continue to use it after May 31, however, no further maintenance or update of the app will be available. Be advised that over time, the app will stop working as the operating systems that Binder depends on incur updates. 
For users who want to access course materials offline, D2L recommends the Brightspace Pulse app for iOS and Android which is free to download from the Apple AppStore and Google Play store. 

Discussions - Save feedback in draft state | Updated 

This feature provides instructors the option to save feedback on assessments in draft state prior to publishing it to learners. Now when instructors add feedback to assessments, the Save Draft and Publish buttons display. 
Note: The Save Draft button does not appear when a discussion topic is only associated with a rubric. 

save draft screenshot

Figure: General Feedback page with the Publish and Save Draft buttons

Grades - Transfer rubric score to grade item score | Updated 

When a rubric is associated with a grade item and the grade item is not associated with an activity (e.g., Assignment, Discussion, etc.), the rubric scores are automatically transferred to the grade item score by default. Instructors no longer have to manually transfer the rubric score to a learner's grade item score. 

Quizzes - Full-screen quiz evaluation | Updated 

Now instructors can evaluate quiz attempts in full-screen mode. This update enhances an instructor's quiz evaluation experience. 

Figure: Quiz evaluation in full-screen mode

Figure: Quiz evaluation in full-screen mode

Rubrics - Rubrics Grading Experience available for group Assignments and Discussions | New 

The Rubrics Grading Experience available for assignments and discussions is now available for group Assignments and group Discussions. When a rubric assessment is in draft state, the assessment is not viewable by members of a given group. Once the assessment is published, all group members can view the rubric assessment. Previously, the new Rubrics Grading Experience was only available for regular Assignments and Discussions. 
 
In addition, when a non-file submission assignment is connected to a grade item in the gradebook, the assessment symbol on the Grade All screen launches the assignment assessment experience. 
 
Figure: The assessment symbol on the Grade All screen now launches the assignment assessment experience 

Figure: The assessment symbol on the Grade All screen now launches the assignment assessment experience 

 


April 2019 (version 20.19.4)

Assignments – Notification improvements | Updated 

When instructors evaluate assignments and new or updated feedback is published, email instant notifications are available for learners.

QuickLinks - Create Quicklink to Rubrics | New

Users with the See Rubrics permission enabled (e.g., Faculty, Program Staff) can now create Quicklinks directly to Rubrics with the Rubric is visible to Students setting enabled. In addition, users with the Manage Rubrics permission enabled (e.g., Faculty, Program Staff) can also access Manage Rubrics at the bottom of the Quicklinks menu. The See Rubrics permission is not required for students to access quicklinked Rubrics that are visible to students and associated to a tool for evaluation.

March 2019 (version 10.8.11)

Assignments - Improvements in Assignments | Updated

This feature includes the following improvements:

  • Learners can now submit .cs file types as assignment submissions.
  • The Publish All Feedback on Anonymized Assignment Submission permission has been renamed to Publish All Feedback on Assignments. When the permission is turned on for the instructor role, instructors can publish draft assignment feedback in bulk by clicking Publish All Feedback.

 

Figure: Publish All Feedback

Figure: Publish All Feedback

Content - ReadSpeaker icon removal | Updated

The ReadSpeaker integration now displays the ReadSpeaker controls when interacting with applicable content. Previously, users needed to click a speaker icon in order to display the ReadSpeaker controls.

Figure: The ReadSpeaker controls replace the speaker icon, requiring fewer steps to access ReadSpeaker controls

Figure: The ReadSpeaker controls replace the speaker icon, requiring fewer steps to access ReadSpeaker controls

Rubrics - Rubric icon criteria changed | Updated

The checked rubric icon now displays only when a rubric has been fully scored by the instructor. Previously, the checked rubric icon displayed for partially or fully scored rubrics. The unchecked rubric icon displays when a rubric is unscored, or partially scored to provide instructors and learners with more visual information about the status of the rubric.
 

Figure: Unscored rubric icon

Figure: Unscored rubric icon
 

Figure: Partially scored rubric with additional information

Figure: Partially scored rubric with additional information
 

Figure: Scored rubric icon with check mark

Figure: Scored rubric icon with check mark

Rubrics - Override criteria scores before selecting a level | Updated

Instructors can now enter a score for a criterion on a points-based rubric before clicking on a level within the rubric. Previously, an instructor could only manually enter a score after selecting a level.


February 2019 (version 10.8.10)

Turnitin - Link to e-rater ® Grammar feedback | New 

Instructors can now turn on the e-rater Grammar checker, developed by ETS ®, in Brightspace Learning Environment. 

Once turned on by an instructor, learners are provided a link to e-rater Grammar feedback upon submission of an assignment. This enables learners to review Grammar feedback immediately on assignment submission, which is important for assignments that allow for multiple submissions. Learners can initially submit an assignment, receive Grammar feedback, and then submit another version of their assignment after incorporating the Grammar feedback. 

Figure: Enable e-rater Grammar checker 

Figure: View e-rater Grammar feedback link