Release Notes

June 2021 (Version 20.21.6)

D2L Insights - Navigation and metrics for Engagement Dashboard | Updated

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

  • New Learner Engagement card on the Insights Portal. When you click the card, you can select a user from a list, and then view their Learner Engagement Dashboard. Previously, you would have to navigate through the Engagement Dashboard to access this page. 

Learner Engagement card on the insights portal
Figure: Learner Engagement card on the Insights Portal. 

List of users with Learner Engagement Dashboards
Figure: List of users with Learner Engagement Dashboards

  • New Content View histogram on the Engagement Dashboard Summary View. This metric tracks how many times course content objects, such as images, PDFs, or Word files, have been viewed to better understand content viewed offline. The Content View chart is enabled by default and can be disabled on the Settings page

Engagement Dashboard with the Content View chart highlighted
Figure: Engagement Dashboard with the Content View chart highlighted

Email - Auto save outgoing messages | New

When users send email messages, these sent messages are automatically saved in the Sent Mail folder. As a result, the User Account > Email Settings > Save a copy of each outgoing message to the Sent Mail folder check box is no longer available. 

Figure: The Email Settings page before this email setup improvement
Figure: The Email Settings page before this email setup improvement

Figure: The Email Settings page after this email setup improvement
Figure: The Email Settings page after this email setup improvement

Rubrics - Detach rubric warning for feature assignment creation experience | Updated 

When an attached rubric is deleted from an evaluated assignment, if evaluations of that rubric have been performed, the user now receives a detach rubric confirmation message for the assignment. This change applies to the New Assignment Creation Experience.  

The Detachment confirmation dialog
Figure: The Rubric Detachment confirmation dialog.

Rubrics - Reorder criterion groups | Updated

In order to increase the value of rubric criterion groups, it is now possible to reorder those criterion groups in the New Rubric Creation Experience. If more than one criterion group appears in your rubric, direction arrows appear to the left of the criterion group header to reorder the criterion groups in the rubric. If only one criterion group appears in your rubric, the direction buttons do not appear. 

Direction arrows located beside the criterion group header.
Figure: Direction arrows located beside the criterion group header

 


May 2021 (Version 20.21.5)

Assignments – Annotations available for TXT file-based assignments | Updated 

Previously, annotations enabled instructors to use highlighting, free-hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting to provide feedback to learner assignments of the following file types: DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT, PPT, PPTX, PPSX, ODP, XLS, XLSX, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, and GIF. Now, instructors can provide feedback for TXT, in addition to the existing types.  

Note: The updates to annotations replaces the Edit a Copy workflow, which is no longer supported in the New Evaluation Experience. 

Assignments – Download file when using annotations in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New 

The New Assignment Evaluation Experience now includes the Download drop-down menu in the Annotations viewer. When using annotations in an assignment, instructors can use this menu to download the original file without navigating to the submission list. Instructors can also download the annotated PDF file. 

Figure: The Annotations viewer with the Download drop-down menu     

Figure: The Annotations viewer with the Download drop-down menu 

D2L Editor – Improvements | Updated 

Improvements to the new D2L Editor include:

  • Copy/paste and/or drag and drop images is now available when the consistent evaluation experience is on for assignment feedback. 

  • Design improvements to enhance use of the Editor on mobile devices and improve general usability. 

  • Accessibility improvements – Improved keyboard navigation for keyboard users and toolbar icons are spaced out more in accordance with WCAG standards. 

Rubrics – Copy rubric criterion | New 

To improve the value of Rubrics and facilitate reusing rubric criteria that have already been created, an action menu next to the criterion name provides Copy and Delete options. When an instructor copies a criterion, the new criterion is added under the original with the criterion name Copy of [name of original criterion].  

The Delete function was previously available as a trashcan icon at the end of the criterion row outside the table. The new location in the action menu improves the discoverability of the Delete and Copy options.  

The action menu beside the criterion provides copy and delete options

Figure: The action menu beside the criterion provides copy and delete options. 

Rubrics – Print or export to PDF | New 

To improve the user experience with Rubrics, instructors can now print or download a PDF of a preview or evaluated rubric. Learners can also print or download a PDF of a rubric from the desktop browser implementation of D2L Learning Environment. The Print button displays above the top-right corner of the rubric. 

 


April 2021 (Version 20.21.4)

Accommodations - Improvements in Classlist and Quizzes| New 

The following improvements have been made in the Classlist and Quizzes tools: 

Improvements in Classlist for Instructors: 

  • An icon now appears next to the learner’s name in the Classlist to indicate that the learner has an accommodation. 
  • Instructors can filter the Classlist by Accommodations. 
  • If there are no accommodations granted to a learner, the View accommodations menu option from the learner context menu in the Classlist does not appear. If the instructor role has the Add/Edit Accommodations permission, the Edit Accommodations menu option appears instead. 
  • Instructors can also Print or Email a list of users with accommodations by adding the filter to those pages. 

Improvements in Classlist for learners: 

  • An icon appears next to learners’ own names to indicate they have an accommodation. To view accommodation details, learners can click My Accommodations from their learner context menu. 
  • When commencing a quiz, the accommodation icon appears next to a learner’s quiz time to indicate that their accommodation has been applied. If a learner’s time accommodation has been overridden by a quiz-specific special access, this icon does not appear. 

Improvements in Quizzes for instructors: 

  • Instructors can now grant learners special access in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes). 
  • 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 the accommodation appears. Previously, this warning appeared at the top of the Quiz special access screen. Now, it appears on clicking Save. 

 

D2L Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor | New 

The new D2L Editor will be the only editor available in all new experiences released from April 2021 onwards. The new Editor will be released in the following tools at a later date: 

  • Quiz Builder 
  • Activity Feed 
  • New Rubrics 

User-added image

Figure: The previous HTML Editor

Figure: The new Brightspace Editor

Figure: The new D2L Editor

The new D2L Editor includes the following improvements to existing features:   

  • Refreshed formatting options  
  • The Lato font type  
  • A refreshed color picker  
  • A refreshed font size menu  
  • A comprehensive and standard emoticon menu  
  • A comprehensive and refreshed Symbols menu  
  • An advanced source code editor  
  • A refreshed Tables feature, including data sorting  
  • A refreshed Accessibility Checker  
  • The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar 

The Editor also includes the following new features: 

  • Wordcount functionality that includes words, characters, and text selection. 
  • Context menus while editing to enable quick access to text, link, and image editing options; including advanced image editing options. Note that image editing is not available in all context menus yet. 
  • A new overflow menu with additional, less frequently used menu options. 

The list below outlines what is not included in the Editor: 

  • Spell check functionality. D2L recommends using your browser spell check functionality. 
  • Cut/Paste functionality. D2L recommends using your browser hot keys/menus for this functionality. 

Refer to the blog post, The new D2L Editor, for more information.

 

D2L Insights - Engagement Dashboard User Level Metrics | Updated 

New User Level Metrics tab in Engagement Dashboard Settings where you can select which metrics appear on the Learner Engagement Dashboard display. 

Figure: All the User Level Metrics are selected by default.

Figure: All the User Level Metrics are selected by default.

New Settings button on the Learner Engagement Dashboard that takes you to User Level Metrics

Figure: You can access the Settings page from the Learner Engagement Dashboard.

Figure: You can access the Settings page from the Learner Engagement Dashboard.

For more information about past and upcoming Engagement Dashboard improvements, refer to this blog post: Welcome to the New Engagement Dashboard

 

Classlist – Search filter when adding existing users | Updated 

When enrolling users in a course, an administrator or instructor can now deselect the Include users already enrolled in org unit check box to set their search filter to filter out users already enrolled in the course.

Figure: The Add Existing Users page prior to the additional search filter

Figure: The Add Existing Users page prior to the additional search filter

Figure: The Add Existing Users page with the new Enrollment search filter

Figure: The Add Existing Users page with the new Enrollment search filter

 

Content - URL topics now Open as External Resource by default | Updated 

Previously, when a user created a new URL Content type, the Open as External Resource option was not selected by default. In some cases, this caused a Cross-Origin resource sharing (CORS) error to appear when viewing the content topics. Now, the URL Content type has the Open as External Resource check box selected by default. Users can choose to deliberately remove the Open as External Resource option if necessary. If it is deselected, users are advised that D2L recommends opening links in a new window to prevent issues viewing the resource before saving.

When viewing a content topic that is a URL, the button to open the resource in a new window always appears so that if the content cannot load in an embedded frame, a user can choose to open the content in a new window. 

 

Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality | Updated 

Instructors can now grant learners special access in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes). For example, if an instructor has a 30-minute quiz and using the Special Access page, grants three learners 1.5x the quiz time, their updated quiz time of 45 minutes displays. Instructors no longer have to manually calculate the updated quiz time. 

Note: After extending the learners quiz time by way of quiz time multipliers or +minutes on the Special Access page, if an instructor updates the duration of the quiz, the learner’s quiz time on the Special Access page does not dynamically update at this time. 

Figure: The Add Special Access screen before the updated quiz time functionality

Figure: The Add Special Access screen before the updated quiz time functionality 

Figure: The Add Special Access screen with the updated Timing area

Figure: The Add Special Access screen with the updated Timing area 


March 2021 (Version 20.21.3)

Assignments - Copying an assignment | Updated 

Previously, when you copied an assignment, the copied assignment was set to active and you had to open the newly copied assignment to edit it. 

Now when you copy an assignment, the copied assignment is set to inactive and you are directed to the Edit Assignment screen to continue editing it as part of the copy assignments workflow. 

Awards – Password-protected certificates | New 

To prevent plagiarism and protect an organization's intellectual and branding copyrights, all earned certificates downloaded from the Awards tool are now password-protected from editing. Each certificate is generated with a random password that is not displayed to users, preventing anyone from editing the certificate in Adobe® Acrobat® or Adobe Reader®. Previously, if an administrator or instructor uploaded a password protected certificate, any learner that downloaded the earned certificate could edit it in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.

A password-protected certificate downloaded from the Awards tool 
Figure: A password-protected certificate downloaded from the Awards tool

 

Insights - Additional cards and paging on the new Engagement Dashboard | Updated 

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

  • There are three new cards on the user drill down page of the Engagement summary view, which provide the ability to see how key engagement metrics change over time for a single learner:  

    • The Grade over time trend chart displays the learner's current grade for each week as a line graph, with a color-coded line for each course. Grades may be adjusted or calculated. 

    • The Content view over time trend chart displays the number of content topic views for the learner for each week as a line graph, with a color-coded line for each course.  

    • The Access over time trend chart displays the number of course accesses for the learner for each week as a stacked area chart, with a color-coded area for each course.

  • The Active Courses table now includes paging on the user drill down page. 

Summary view of the Learner Engagement Dashboard, with three new trend charts: Grade over time, Content view over time, and Access over time. 
Figure: Summary view of the Learner Engagement Dashboard, with three new trend charts: Grade over time, Content view over time, and Access over time.