Release Notes

August 2020 (Version 20.20.08)

Assignments – Additional functionality in the new assignment creation experience | Updated

Building on the functionality added to the new create and edit assignment experience in the July 2020/20.20.7 release, you can now do the following:

  • Attach release conditions to an assignment

    Figure: The create and edit Assignments page with the Release Conditions functionality


  • When multiple rubrics are attached to an assignment, select a default scoring rubric to be used when scoring an assignment / evaluating a learner

    Figure: List of available rubrics and the option to select the rubric to be used by default when scoring

Assignments - Copy assignment option | New

This feature adds the ability to copy existing assignments. Instructors can select the Copy Assignment option in the drop-down menu for an existing assignment to quickly create new assignments. This feature copies all settings of an existing assignment except the associated grade item and Turnitin settings.


Figure: The Copy Assignment option appears in the drop-down menu for existing assignments


Checklists – Copy a checklist | New

Instructors can now perform copy actions for checklists. You can copy a whole checklist, a checklist category (including all items within it), or individual items in a checklist. This functionality is controlled by the Manage Checklists permission.


Figure: The copy option appears in the drop-down menu for a checklist


Classlist - User experience changes | New

When adding participants to a classlist using the Enrolling Existing Users interface, search results now include users who are currently enrolled in the course. Previously, enrolled users were not displayed in these search results. On the search results page an icon displays beside an enrolled user's name to indicate their enrollment status. Instructors can also use the drop-down menu beside each username to update a user's enrollment status, remove them from the class or change the role they were enrolled with.

The inactive icon has also been updated on the Classlist page. Previously a gray dot was displayed, which was identical to the offline indicator.

Email - Interface improvements and enhanced filtering option | New

Email now features the following enhancements for improved usability:

  • The Compose Email screen now includes a second Send button for enhanced usability.
  • The Email Inbox is redesigned to display the Search Options area to the left of the screen. As well, the Advanced Search Options feature of the Inbox now enables filtering by Read and Unread messages.


Figure: The new Read drop-down selector appears on the Inbox page

Grades - Unrelease all final grades | New

Grades features a new workflow to quickly undo the release of final grades for a course. Instructors can easily select Unrelease All from the Final Grades drop-down menu.


Figure: The Unrelease All option appears in the drop-down menu for Final Grades

Notifications - Deleted content links to message | New

Notifications for content that is subsequently hidden/deleted/conditionally released are now removed from the Brightspace notifications area on the minibar. Notifications that arrive via email or text notifications, or in Brightspace Pulse push notifications, now provide a link to the Course Table of Contents with a message that states 'Item not available'. Previously, clicking the link created a 404 Not Authorized error.

Question Library – Attach files in written response questions | New

When creating a written response question, instructors can now allow learners to upload files in their answers and include embedded images. Learners can also record audio or video responses when answering written response question types. Written response questions are available in surveys.

When grading a quiz, similar to the behavior in the Discussions tool, instructors can download and open these attachments in another tab.

When learners are reviewing their quiz submissions, if they are allowed to view their quiz responses, they can view their uploaded attachments.

The maximum file size for a single file or embedded image attached to a quiz response is set to 102400 KB (100MB). The maximum file size for all files attached or embedded in a single quiz question response is set to 102400 KB (100MB).


Figure: The updated Written Response question creation screen

Quizzes - User experience updates for editing quizzes with attempts | New

To improve the user experience for instructors who edit quizzes with previous attempts by learners, the following updates have been made:

  • Points for past quiz attempts are no longer modified when edits are made that affect the overall points and/or the grading calculations for a quiz. A learner's grade on previous quiz attempts must now be changed directly by the instructor using the Update All Attempts workflow. Previously, the points for all past quiz attempts were modified automatically, which could alter a learner's grade unexpectedly.
  • Warning messages now appear when editing a quiz question with previous attempts to clearly communicate to instructors that editing quiz questions does not affect the content or automatically change the score of learners' past attempts.

Important notes:

  • The changes in this feature only affect quiz attempts started after the June 2020/20.20.6 release. Quiz attempts started prior to 20.20.6 will retain previous functionality until September 2020/20.20.9.
  • Starting September 2020/20.20.9, this feature will extend to all quiz attempts started before June 2020/20.20.6.
  • Until November 2020/20.20.11, Data Sets will not accurately report the new quizzes attempts behavior introduced in this feature. Users may note a discrepancy between quiz attempts scores in the Quizzes interface (for quiz attempts started after June 2020/20.20.6) and quiz attempts scores in the Data Sets, which reflect previous functionality only for all previous quiz attempts.



Figure: A warning message appears when accessing the Add/Edit Questions workflow

July 2020 (Version 20.20.07)

Assignments - Competencies in the new assignment creation experience | Updated 

This update includes the capability to add and remove learning objectives from the Competencies tool when used with the new create and edit assignment experience. 

The new experience also displays a warning if a learning objective does not have an associated rubric, as objectives must have an associated rubric in order to be evaluated. 


Figure: The create and edit Assignments page with the Manage Learning Objectives functionality and warning 

When a user opts in to the new experience, the Manage Learning Objectives functionality appears under the Evaluation & Feedback accordion.

The new Assignment creation experience remains in opt-in mode. 

D2L - Supported browsers | Updated 

This release introduces the following updates to browser support for D2L: 

  • D2L supports HTML5 Video Player and does not rely on Adobe Flash and Adobe Flash Player. However, you can still create Flash-dependent video content in D2L. 

  • The concept of a Maintenance browser is removed from the D2L Platform Requirements documentation, as this previously related to the now unsupported Microsoft Internet Explorer browser. All supported browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari) deploy using a continuous delivery model and D2L supports the latest versions of these browsers.  

  • As of the July 2020/20.20.07 release, Firefox ESR is no longer a supported browser, due to extremely low usage. To support clients through this transition, D2L will fix high-priority issues for Firefox 68 ESR (until the end of September 2020) and Firefox 78 ESR (until the January 2021 release). 

  • D2L's browser version check now displays warnings for browsers earlier than the following versions: 

    • Chrome 81 (released in April 2020) 

    • Chromium-based Edge 81 (released in April 2020) 

    • Edge Legacy 44 (not receiving any further updates) 

    • Safari 13 (released in September 2019) 

    • Firefox 76 (releases May 5th, 2020) 

You can access D2L with older versions of our supported browsers; however, D2L does not test against these older versions. This means you may encounter unexpected user interface behavior and appearance, or broken and unsupported functionality. In most cases, D2L does not fix software defects experienced in unsupported browser versions. For an optimal experience that offers better performance, accessibility, and security, D2L strongly recommends that all users access D2L with a supported browser. 

Email - Verify email address changes | New 

Previously, users were able to add a forwarding email address, or add a reply to address without verifying their email address. 

Now, when users add a forwarding email address, or add a reply to address, they receive an email prompting them to verify their email address. 

Quizzes - Quiz Builder becomes sole quiz creation method | Updated 

The Quiz Builder experience is an updated workflow within Quizzes for creating, importing, editing, deleting, and reordering questions, question pools, and sections within quizzes. All client sites now have the Quiz Builder experience enabled. The ability to opt-in or out of the new Quiz Builder is no longer available to instructors. 

For additional information on the new Quiz Builder, visit the Community Blog post that details the features and functionality of the updated quizzing experience. 

Rubrics – Accessibility improvements in Rubric creation workflow | Updated 

This update includes the following accessibility improvements in the rubric creation workflow: 

  • When you change the names of levels in the rubric create or edit experience, screen readers now read the updated name rather than the original default level names. 

  • Screen readers now indicate when new levels, criterion, groups, and overall score levels are added to a rubric. Previously, there was no loading progress indicator. 

  • Screen readers now state that there is a new level, criterion, group, or overall score level. 

  • The keyboard navigation tab sequence is improved when navigating to the Add and Cancel buttons in the Outcomes Picker window

User Management – Character limit enforced for text fields in User Profile | Updated 

This update now enforces the 4000 character limit for long text fields in the User Profile page. 

In the January 2020/20.20.1 release, reasonable character limits for long text fields in the User Profile page were added. The following Personal Info fields were limited to 4000 characters each: 

  • Interests/Hobbies 

  • Favorite Music 

  • Favorite Books  

  • Favorite TV Shows 

  • Favorite Movies 

  • Favorite Quotations 

  • Favorite Websites 

  • Future Goals 

  • Most Memorable Learning Experience 

After the January 2020/20.20.1 release, if users had information in these fields that exceeded 4000 characters, it continued to display. 

Widgets – Pinned tab in My Courses widget | New 

A new Pinned tab now appears in the My Courses widget. The Pinned tab allows learners and instructors to create a curated view of their pinned courses. 

The Pinned tab appears in the widget only after a user pins a course in the Course Selector. The tab remains in view until all courses are unpinned. The My Courses widget remembers the last viewed tab and shows that same tab the next time the homepage is viewed. This makes it easy for instructors and learners who only wish to view pinned courses to see those courses upon login. 


Figure: The Pinned tab appears in the My Courses widget when users pin courses 

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.