Release Notes

February 2021 (Version 20.21.2)

Accommodations – Quiz accommodations | New

This feature enables instructors to grant learners accommodations through the Classlist tool. Accommodation options currently available include: more time to complete quizzes at the course level and the ability to bypass right-click restrictions in quizzes. The right-click restriction in quizzes is the ability for learners to right-click in the quiz while taking the quiz.

Figure: The new Edit Accommodations dialog box

Figure: The new Edit Accommodations dialog box.

Once granted, these accommodations apply to all quiz activities in a course for that learner. The additional time can be applied in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes) on every quiz in a course.  

Quiz-specific special access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. When you overwrite an accommodation and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting an accommodation appears. Further accommodation options and enhancements are planned for this year. 

 

Assignments - Save progress and visual enhancements | Updated 

  • Now, the Save button in the new assignment creation experience enables an instructor to save their progress while creating or editing an assignment. Previously, Save and Close was the only option.

Figure: The Save button in the new assignment creation experience

Figure: The Save button in the new assignment creation experience

  • The scrollbars on the main and right-hand panels now appear thinner and less noticeable, providing more vertical space when creating or editing an assignment. 
  • The name of the assignment appears in the immersive navbar along the top of the page. 

Figure: The name of the assignment on the immersive navbar and the less obtrusive scrollbar in the new assignment creation experience

Figure: The name of the assignment on the immersive navbar and the less obtrusive scrollbar in the new assignment creation experience 

 

Brightspace Insights – Additional content on the new Engagement Dashboard | Updated 

The Inactive Courses table now has an additional Semester column on the user drill down. The Semester column displays the semester org unit name for each course. This column appears at the end of the export file for both active and inactive courses.  

There are four new cards on the user drill down page of the Engagement summary view: 

  • The Results card displays the number of courses (active and inactive) in the summary view based on the filters and permissions applied. If a user interacts with the metrics, this number updates to reflect the courses in the view.   
  • The Average Grade card displays the average current grade or final grade for completed courses for the user across all the courses in the summary view. This number does not include predicted grade values in the average.  
  • The Overdue Assignment card on the summary view displays the number of assignments in the courses displayed in the summary view when the due date is past and there is no assignment submission or completion. You can click on the number in the Overdue Assignment card to filter the returned courses to those that have overdue assignments for the selected user.  
  • The System Access card on the summary view displays the number of days since the user last accessed the system.  

The Results card on the summary view indicating the number active and inactive courses in the summary view.

Figure: The Results card on the summary view indicating the number active and inactive courses in the summary view. 

The Overdue Assignments card on the summary view indicating the assignments that are currently overdue.
Figure: The Overdue Assignments card on the summary view indicating the assignments that are currently overdue. 
 
The Average Grade card on the summary view indicating the grade averaged from the courses in the view.
Figure: The Average Grade card on the summary view indicating the grade averaged from the courses in the view. 

The System Access card indicates the days since the learner last accessed the system.
Figure: The System Access card indicates the days since the learner last accessed the system.

 

Rubrics - Warning dialog for partial evaluations | Updated

Previously, if an instructor attempted to publish a partially completed rubric evaluation, the partial evaluation dialog appeared. If the instructor tapped Enter on their keyboard, the partial evaluation was published.  

Now, the default button behavior has changed so that tapping Enter on the page returns the user to the rubric to complete the evaluation. This change adds a verification layer to reconsider their action and ensure that instructors are not mistakenly publishing incomplete evaluations.  

The partial evaluation warning dialog appears the same, but has updated default behavior.

Figure:  The partial evaluation warning dialog appears the same, but has updated default behavior. 

  

ReadSpeaker - Integration enhancements | Updated

ReadSpeaker functionality is now available to instructors and learners in Assignments and Quizzes. ReadSpeaker converts text to speech, making text-based Assignments and Quizzes available to a wider audience. The ReadSpeaker icon is visible when viewing assignment instructions, evaluating assignments, taking or previewing a quiz, and evaluating quizzes.  
 


January 2021 (Version 20.21.1)

Assignments – The new assignment creation experience | Updated

Previously, in the new assignment creation experience, the time for an assignment Start Date defaulted to 11:59pm. Now, the default time for an assignment Start Date is set to 12:00am. Due Date and End Date remain unchanged with default times set to 11:59pm.

Insights – Settings and filter improvements on the new Engagement Dashboard | Updated

To increase the value of the new Engagement Dashboard, this release updates and adds several new features: 

  • The new Settings page has two tabs: Summary Metrics and Result Table Metrics. The Summary Metrics tab contains the Roles filter, which enables you to select the learner roles you want to include in dashboard data. All roles that you exclude are not included in any data query on the Engagement Dashboard. The Summary Metrics tab also enables you to determine which cards are included in the Dashboard display and set your own threshold for the System Access metric. By default, all the cards are included on the dashboard.  

The Roles filter section of the Summary Metrics tab displays a list of all learner roles in your organization; your list may appear differently depending on the roles you are using.

Figure: The Roles filter section of the Summary Metrics tab displays a list of all learner roles in your organization; your list may appear differently depending on the roles you are using.  

All cards appear in the selection list, and all are selected by default.

Figure: All cards appear in the selection list, and all are selected by default.  

  • The Results Table Metrics tab enables you to set the metrics that display in the Result Detail sections of the dashboard, including the Average Grade, Average Time in Content, Average Discussion Participation, and Last System Access.  

All the Result Table Metrics are selected by default.

Figure: All the Result Table Metrics are selected by default. 

  • You can click a user in the results table to learn more about engagement across their courses without aggregating the data. From this view, you can email the learner or export data. When you return to the overall page, any filters you previously applied are maintained. Courses are grouped by active and inactive in this view to make it easier to understand which courses are currently in session. 

The Learner Engagement Dashboard shows the selected learner’s active and inactive courses

Figure: The Learner Engagement Dashboard shows the selected learner’s active and inactive courses 

  • When users interact with filters or cards, any filters the user applies are saved to the URL. Users can bookmark views in their browser and return to the same view in the future.  
  • The Course Access card is now more granular. The 1-5 days bucket is now split into 1-3 days and 3-5 days. 
  • The Engagement Dashboard tile on the Insights landing page now defaults to the New Engagement Dashboard. If you have not opted in to the new dashboard, it automatically displays; however, it is possible to opt out to use the previous Engagement dashboard. If you have already opted in, you stay opted in.  

 


December 2020 (Version 20.20.12)

D2L Learning Environment - Updated video and audio player in Content | New

To improve accessibility and create a consistent user experience, a new audio and video media player has been added to Content.

The new media player offers the following features:

  • Consistent keyboard controls, and screen reader support.
  • Keyboard controls improvements and fixes to known issues. The previous media player had an issue where keyboard focus could become stuck in the caption language selection menu.
  • Screen reader improvements with the new media player include off-screen messages for screen readers to announce when a video has loaded or if there was an error loading the video.

The new media player features options to set the Playback speed and to Download (if enabled)
Figure: The new video player features options to set the Playback speed and to Download (if enabled)

The new audio player
Figure: The new audio player appears in Content, Lessons, and the New Learner Experience

 

Insights – Additional cards on the New Engagement Dashboard | Updated

The new Engagement dashboard contains visualizations that provide insight into how users are engaging with their courses. Using this information, users can identify at-risk learners and intervene to get them back on track. To increase the value of the Engagement dashboard, this release updates and adds the following new features:

  • The Discussion Summary pie chart indicates the number of discussion threads created, replied to, and read. If you hover over a pie segment, a popup appears with a number and description of the segment. This is helpful for understanding the proportion of passive or active social engagement.  If you click a segment, the rest of the Engagement dashboard automatically filters the returned data for the learners represented by the segment. This is also summarized in the results table.
  • The System Access summary card indicates the number of users who have not accessed the system in the previous 14 days. This can include access of Brightspace Pulse or D2L through their internet browser. This is also summarized in the results table.
  • The ability to take action from the dashboard by exporting the results table or emailing one or many users.  Users require permission to see and send emails at the Org Level in order to take advantage of the email option.  

The Engagement Dashboard with the Discussion Activity and System Access areas highlighted
Figure: The Engagement Dashboard with the Discussion Activity and System Access areas highlighted.  

Refer to the Welcome to the New Engagement Dashboard article for more details. 

 

Quizzes – Improved workflow for creating multi-select questions | New

As part of the ongoing initiative to improve the quiz creation experience for instructors, this release streamlines the interface for creating multi-select questions, making the workflow simpler and more intuitive.

When instructors initially launch the Question Editor to create a multi-select question, the interface displays the two main components of a multi-select question: the question and potential answers. Selecting a field displays a pop-up toolbar for formatting the text and adding images, links, and graphical equations. As each field is completed, the preview pane displays how the question and answers appear to learners. 

Next, instructors can choose to click Options to add the following optional information to the multi-select question: Add Feedback, Add Hint, Add Short Description, and Add Enumeration.

Instructors can then choose to randomize the order of answers, assign points, and determine how points are assigned to blanks.

For determining how points are assigned to blanks, a new grading type is available in the classic and new multi-select question experience: Correct Answers, Limited Selections. For this grading type, points are evenly distributed across correct answers only. The number of selections allowed is limited to the number of correct answers. Learners earn partial points for each correct answer selected. 

Question text and answers in the new multi-select question experience
Figure: Question text and answers in the new multi-select question experience

Question text in the classic multi-select question experience
Figure: Question text in the classic multi-select question experience

Feedback, Hint, Short Description, and Enumeration options in the new multi-select question experience
Figure: Feedback, Hint, Short Description, and Enumeration options in the new multi-select question experience

The new Correct Answers, Limited Selections grading type in the new multi-select question experience
Figure: The new Correct Answers, Limited Selections grading type in the new multi-select question experience

 

Quizzes – Improvements to the ability to retake incorrect questions in quizzes | New

Building on the Quizzes - Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts | New , there are several improvements to increase the value of the feature: 

  • Administrators and Instructors can now identify retaken attempts in the Attempt log. 
  • Instructors can now identify a Retaken Attempt while grading a quiz in the Quizzes tool on the User tab and the Attempts tab.   


The Attempt log indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz.
Figure: The Attempt log indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz.

The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz
Figure: The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz.

 


November 2020 (Version 20.20.11)

Assignments - Date picker change | Updated 

This feature updates the date picker component for the new assignment creation experience. The new date picker has a more streamlined design and requires a slight workflow change: to clear a date/time, the X alongside the time field has been replaced by a Clear option inside the calendar. 
 
Instructors can find the date picker in Due Date, Start Date, and End Date fields on the Create and Edit Assignments page. 
 
Create and Edit Assignments page showing Due Date field with October 15, 2020 selected in the calendar below. Some of the calendar is cut off, and "Today" and "Cancel" buttons appear at the bottom. 
Figure: Old date picker component on the Create and Edit Assignments page. 
 
Create and Edit Assignments page showing Due Date field with October 15, 2020 selected in the calendar below. The entire month is visible, there are arrows for navigating between months, and "Set to Today" and "Clear" buttons appear at the bottom. 
Figure: New date picker component on the Create and Edit Assignments page. 

 

Content – Enhancements to course content statistics | New 

To provide instructors with additional insight about their courses, statistics in the classic Content experience now include more information. 

To view course content statistics, as an instructor, navigate to Content, and then select Table of Contents > Related Tools > View Reports

From the Reports page, the Content tab includes the following changes: 

  • The summary panel uses less vertical space, enabling instructors to view detailed information more quickly. 

  • A new Available To column that displays the number of users (from the class list) that the content is available to. This value takes into account the following: release conditions, special access (assignments and quizzes), group access (assignments and discussions), availability dates, hidden/visible state, and if the module parent is "available." 

  • For modules, the following information displays: 

    • Available To - the number of users that the module is available to.  
    • Users Visited - the number of unique users who visited one or more topics within the module. 
    • Average Time Spent - the average time spent in each topic within the module. 

From the Content tab on the Reports page, clicking a value under the Available To or Users Visited columns for a module displays a new Module details page, which includes the following information: 

  • Available - indicates if the module is available to the user. 
  • Last Visited - the last date the user visited a topic within the module. 
  • Number of Visits - the total number of visits across all topics in the module. 
  • Total Time Spent - the total time spent in each topic within the module. 
  • Average Time Spent - the average time spent in each topic within the module. 

From the Reports page, the Users tab displays a new Content Topics Available column, which includes the number of content topics available to each user.  

From the Users tab on the Reports page, clicking a user displays the following information on the User Details page: 

  • Content type and availability icons now display, ensuring consistency with the Content Statistics - By Content view. 
  • For modules, the following information displays: 
    • Available - a new column that indicates if modules and topics are available. 
    • Visits - the total number of visits across all topics in the module. 
    • Average Time Spent - the average time spent in each topic within the module. 
    • Last Visited - the last date the user visited a topic within the module. 

In addition, the Class Progress tool now displays an icon to indicate if a topic or module has release conditions associated with it for the specified user. 

New content statistics that display on the Content tab of the Reports page 
Figure: New content statistics that display on the Content tab of the Reports page 
 
The new Available column that displays on the Module details page 
Figure: The new Available column that displays on the Module details page 
 
The new Content Topics Available column that displays on the Users tab of the Reports page 
Figure: The new Content Topics Available column that displays on the Users tab of the Reports page  
 
New content statistics that display on the User Details page 
Figure: New content statistics that display on the User Details page 

 

Grades - Display total points in Manage Grades | Updated 

To improve usability of the Grades tool and reduce calculation errors, Manage Grades now includes total points for grade categories and Final Calculated Grade. Previously, there was no indicator of the total points while users were managing their grade book, and instructors were required to manually add up the points from all grade items to check if the total matched their syllabus. 
 
For weighted grade books, the total weight is displayed in addition to the total points. For formula grade books, the manually-entered max points is displayed instead of the total points. Totals do not include bonus grade items and do support grade item dropping.

 

Quiz Builder - Quiz preview | New 

Instructors can now view a preview of their quiz from Quiz Builder. Clicking the new Preview button on the Add/Edit Questions view of the quiz opens a quiz preview attempt in a new tab for a complete view of how the quiz appears to learners.  
 
The Preview button appears in the top right corner of Quiz Builder 
Figure: The Preview button appears in Quiz Builder 

 

Quizzes - Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts | New 

This feature introduces a new option for Quizzes Attempt settings that allows students to only retake their incorrectly answered questions from previous quiz attempts. Instructors can select this new option in the Assessment tab of a quiz. When the Retake Incorrect Questions Only check box is selected for subsequent quiz attempts, each learner only sees the questions they had previously answered incorrectly in the same order as the initial attempt (including quizzes with random sections and random questions).  

When grading a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt, the instructor can only provide a score for the questions answered on this attempt. 
 
A learner's score for a Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt remains at minimum, the score they had on the previous attempt. Correctly answered questions on the Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt add to the learner's attempts score. The Quiz Overall Score is calculated using the existing Highest/Lowest/First/Last/Average aggregation functions. The "Average" aggregation function can be used to give the student partial marks for questions that were not answered correctly on the first attempt. 

The Retake Incorrect Questions Only option can be selected when setting Attempts Allowed 
Figure: The Retake Incorrect Questions Only option can be selected when setting Attempts Allowed  
 
A learner view of a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt 
Figure: A learner view of a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt 

 


October 2020 (Version 20.20.10)

Quick Grade - User interface improvements | New 

Quick Grade is now listed in the Course Admin page under the Assessment category. 

Quick Grade is now listed on the Course Admin page under the Assessment Category
Figure. Quick Grade is now listed on the Course Admin page under the Assessment category

 

Quiz Builder - Question import improvements | New 

This feature updates question importing options in Quiz Builder. When importing questions from Question Library, users can now use the default end of quiz location for the questions, or choose to import the questions into a section. Previously, all questions imported from the Question Library were placed at the end of the Quiz by default, with no ability to select a specific quiz section.   
 
The Import drop-down now shows the Import to Section option on the Browse Question Library screen 
Figure: The Import drop-down menu now shows the Import to Section option on the Browse Question Library screen   
 

Quizzes - Editing quizzes with previous attempts | Updated 

This feature updates the Quizzes – User experience updates for editing quizzes with attempts feature released in August 2020/20.20.8. 

Points for all past quiz attempts are no longer modified when edits are made that affect the overall points and/or the grading calculations for a quiz. In the previous release, this update extended only to quizzes with attempts started after the June 2020/20.20.6 release. Now, all previous quizzes with attempts started before D2L Learning Environment version 20.20.6 will display the quiz and grading calculations that appeared to the learner at the exact time they made the attempt. 

 


September 2020 (Version 20.20.09)

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 August 2020/20.20.8 release, you can now do the following: 

-Add special access conditions to assignments  
The new assignment creation experience with the Special Access functionality

Figure: The new assignment creation experience with the Special Access functionality 

 

-Receive a notification email when assignments are submitted