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.
Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor | New
The new Brightspace 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
Figure: The previous HTML Editor
Figure: The new Brightspace Editor
The new Brightspace 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 Brightspace Editor, for more information.
Brightspace 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Figure: Summary view of the Learner Engagement Dashboard, with three new trend charts: Grade over time, Content view over time, and Access over time.
Figure: Paging for Active Courses section of the Learner Engagement Dashboard, displaying the number of total results, page navigation arrows, and drop-down menu for the number of results per page.
D2L Platform – Support alert banner for older browsers | New
In order to be consistent with the Microsoft End of Support for Legacy Edge in March 2021, D2L is also ending browser support for Legacy Edge. To encourage clients to use D2L Learning Environment with a browser that provides robust support for all features, a warning banner appears in D2L Learning Environment if the client is using Legacy Edge. The banner can be dismissed, but cannot be disabled.
For more information see Microsoft’s March 2021 End Of Support For Legacy Edge And Brightspace.
Calendar – Improvements to date and time selection web components | Updated
To improve the ease of use for clients using the date and time picker in D2L Learning Environment, there have been updates to the web components related to date and time selection. These changes are intended to provide better usability for keyboard users and better integration with assistive technology. Changes include:
Ability to use arrow keys rather than the Tab key to improve keyboard navigation and accessibility.
Aesthetic changes to hide unused elements until they are active.
New selectable values of 12:01 AM and 11:59PM in the time picker
New default values for Start, Due, and End dates.
The new Set to Today button inside the date picker replaces the Now button outside the date picker.
Note: There may be some instances of the older date picker remaining in D2L Learning Environment. These instances will be changed to the new date picker in a future release.
Figure: Before the user selects a date, the picker does not display a default date.
Figure: When the date picker is open, the field to which it applies is highlighted and the picker dialog points to the field.
Quizzes - Copy quiz workflow | Updated
Previously, to copy and continue editing a quiz, you had to navigate to the Manage Quizzes page, click the More Actions > Copy functionality, and then select the quiz you wanted to copy, rename it, and click Edit quiz after copy completes.
Figure: The original copy quiz workflow
This feature updates the copy quiz workflow to better align with Assignments. Now, the copy functionality is available on the individual quiz drop-down menu. When you copy a quiz, the copied quiz is set to inactive (as per the original copy quiz workflow) and you are directed to the Edit Quiz screen to continue editing it. Now, the copy quiz workflow also copies over Special Access settings and aligned Learning Objectives.