Release Notes

September 2022 (Version 20.22.9)

Quizzes – Create engaging assessments quickly with the new quiz creation experience | Updated

The new quiz creation experience brings create and edit consistency changes from Assignments to Quizzes. For more information on the New Quiz Creation Experience, please be sure to check out our D2L Brightspace Help pages on Creating a Quiz.

quiz

Figure: Quizzes tool in Brightspace Learning Environment.

The primary panel on the left contains common, frequently used fields that are always displayed. These fields are most relevant to learners and are core to quiz creation. The add/edit question workflow has been brought into the primary panel, giving users the ability to easily modify quiz questions without the need to navigate to a separate interface.

The right-hand panel organizes additional, more advanced options such as start and end dates, release conditions, and special access. These options follow the same logical groupings as found in Assignments. Other quiz-specific settings can be found in the right-hand panel including creating a password protected quiz, applying IP restrictions, adjusting quiz timing, setting display options, managing attempts, and altering evaluation and feedback settings.

Quizzes – Reduce test anxiety by creating quizzes without time limits | New

With this release, instructors have the option to create quizzes with no time limit. The No Time Limit option is now the default Timing setting for new quizzes.

Previously, instructors who wished to create quizzes with no time limit had to use the Recommended Time Limit option, which was selected by default and set to 120 minutes. This led to confusion for learners because the recommended time limit displayed on the quiz itself.

Instructors can create quizzes with no time limit using either the New Experience or the Classic Experience. In New Experience, under Timing & Display, click Manage Timing and select No Time Limit. In Classic Experience, in the Restrictions tab, under Timing, select No Time Limit.

Learners who take a quiz with no time limit now see No time limit under Time Allowed on the Quiz Summary page and Est. Length: No Time Limit on the quiz itself.

quiz 2

Figure: Instructor view of the New Quiz page with the new default No Time Limit option selected.

quiz3

Figure: Learner view of a quiz attempt in progress before this update, displaying the recommended time limit.

quiz 4

Figure: Learner view of a quiz attempt in progress after this update, with no recommended time limit displayed.


August 2022 (Version 20.22.8)

Intelligent Agents – Create more flexible agents with fewer criteria | Updated

On the New Agent page, in the Criteria section, all selections under Take Action on Activity are now optional. This means users can now create a new Intelligent Agent that applies to certain roles and doesn't require any other criteria. Users are still required to select one of the options under Role in Classlist.

Previously, to create an Intelligent Agent, users had to select the roles the agent applies to, and one or more conditions the agent must check against: login activity, course activity, or release conditions. If a user attempted to save the agent without selecting a condition to check against, they received an error saying No Agent Criteria Defined.

Also in this update, on the New Agent page, in the Criteria section, under Role in Classlist, the option All users visible in the Classlist is no longer selected by default. This is a precaution to prevent users from accidentally creating an agent that runs against everyone.

ia1

Figure: The Criteria section before this update, showing the No Agent Criteria Defined error message when none of the options under Take Action on Activity are selected.

ia2

Figure: The Criteria section after this update, with All users visible in the Classlist no longer selected by default, and an asterisk next to Role in Classlist to indicate that the user must select one of the options.

Quizzes – Save time and prevent data loss with the Restore Deleted Quizzes functionality | New

This feature adds a new option in quizzes that allows instructors to restore deleted quizzes. This option appears in the More Actions menu in the Quizzes tool. Instructors using this option are provided with a list of deleted quizzes that indicates when they were deleted and by whom, along with a button to restore a selected quiz.

Restored quizzes automatically have any associated quiz attempts that were already taken, statistics, and scores for those quiz attempts restored as well. Learning Outcomes associated to quiz questions are unaffected, and re-appear with the questions when the quiz is restored. Links to a grade item and competencies are not restored.

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Figure: The Restore option in the More Actions drop-down menu of the Manage Quizzes tab.

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Figure: The new Restore Quizzes page.


July 2022 (Version 20.22.7)

Grades – Copy grade items only copies unique or in-use grade schemes | Updated

This feature updates the Copy Course Components functionality in regard to copying grade schemes to prevent unnecessary duplicates.

When a grade item is copied, any grade scheme associated with the item is also copied. If a grade scheme is not associated to a grade item within the course offering, the scheme is only copied if the grade scheme is unique (i.e., there are no duplicates which match on name, and ranges).

Previously, unassociated grade schemes were always copied over with the grade items, causing numerous unnecessary duplicates.


June 2022 (Version 20.22.6)

D2L Brightspace Learning Environment – Improved and consistent multi-contextual filter dialog | Updated

With this release, Brightspace Learning Environment is refreshing the multi-contextual filter dialog user inferface component to ensure consistent filtering functionality across the platform. Changes to the filter dialog include:

  • Multi-dimensional filters now represent dimensions in a nested list instead of tabs

  • Ensuring that most filter dimensions have a search field

  • Changes in padding and styling for applying filters across each dimension

  • Improved mobile responsive behavior

Previously, only certain filter dimensions had a search field.

The areas of Brightspace Learning Environment being updated by this feature are:

  • My Courses Widget: Department/Semester Filters

  • Insights: Filters on various dashboards

enviornment
Figure: A comparison of the new and previous My Courses Widget filters.

D2L Brightspace Manage Files – New/Edit File workflow change | Updated

Currently, when choosing the New File or Edit File option from Manage Files, users see a dialog open that must be moved or expanded to become properly visible. If users attempt to use the advanced code editor (source code editor), they open a second dialog that is not sized correctly and cannot be resized due to constraints from the first dialog. 

Now, the New File and Edit File options in Manage Files open in a new tab in the user's browser in order to support more efficient editing. By allowing the editor to open in a new tab, the advanced code editor dialog now opens fully.  

 


May 2022 (Version 20.22.5)

D2L Brightspace Editor – Improved context link menu supports previewing of quicklinks in D2L Brightspace Editor | Updated

This feature implements a new and improved context link menu in D2L Brightspace Editor. The new menu has the same functionality as before – enabling users to highlight text and create a link, edit the link, remove the link, and preview the link – but now also enables support for the previewing of quicklinks that contain replace strings while editing their HTML. The new formatting context menu continues to allow users to highlight text within the editor and apply formatting or create links.

Previously, when a user created a new quicklink within the editor that contains a replace string, this proved not replaceable by the context menu. Clicking to preview the link resulted in a 404 Error.

The layout of the new Content link menu.

Figure: The layout of the new Content link menu.

The layout of the old Content link menu.

Figure: The layout of the old Content link menu.

The layout of the new formatting context menu

Figure: The layout of the new formatting context menu.

The layout of the old formatting context menu

Figure: The layout of the old formatting context menu.

Manage Files – Improved error message when invalid files are uploaded | Updated

Building on the Manage Files – Users receive warning message when uploading a file blocked due to security | New feature added in the November 2021/20.21.11 release, this feature adds an improved error message to the File Upload dialogue. When a user attempts to upload a file containing one or more illegal characters in the file name, this message explains to the user the reason why the upload failed.

Previously, users received a generic "Oops! Your file could not be uploaded" message, which did not explain the reason the file upload failed.

The File Upload dialogue with the new error message displayed

Figure: The File Upload dialogue with the new error message displayed.


April 2022 (Version 20.22.4)

D2L Brightspace Insights – Quiz filter and contextual help added to Assessment Quality Dashboard | Updated

This feature builds on the Assessment Quality Dashboard updates released in D2L Brightspace Platform 20.22.3/March 2022 with two more usability improvements:

  • A new search input in the Quiz Details area where users can enter the name of a quiz to filter the dashboard results. Filtering the dashboard to quizzes with the same name allows users to compare multiple occurrences of the same quiz to see how the statistics vary.

  • Hover text added to the "!" icons to provide context to users about when to act on flagged quizzes and questions.

quiz filter

Figure: The updated Assessment Quality Dashboard with the Search by Quiz Name box highlighted.

 

Group/Section Management – Asynchronous Group Creation | New

This feature moves group creation and enrollment to background task, minimizing risk of timeouts when creating large numbers of groups requiring enrollments.

When instructors create and save a new group category, the Groups tool displays the category and prompts instructors that their group or groups are being created in the background; further, it indicates that the instructor will be notified once the groups are created. The instructor who created the group receives a subscription alert in the minibar that indicates that the groups for their courses have been created.

While this is in process, the D2L Brightspace UI indicates that "Group creation is in progress". While processing, users are unable to make changes to groups or enrollments.

To facilitate these changes, and the potential for allowing clients to make much larger numbers of groups in a category, this feature introduces pagination to the Groups tool, that limits each page to a maximum of 200 groups. In addition, the header row for the category has been moved to above the grid and the Delete and Email options are added to the Category dropdown menu.

mange groups

Figure: The updated Groups page with the 'Group Creation in Progress' message highlighted.

manage group 2

Figure: The updated Groups page with the Category dropdown menu and the Delete and Email options highlighted


March 2022 (Version 20.22.3)

D2L Brightspace Insights — Additional features added to the new Assessment Quality Dashboard

This release introduces several improvements to the Assessment Quality Dashboard:

  • New Flagged Question card added to the Summary area. When a user clicks this card, it filters the Quiz Details table and displays a "flagged questions" status indicator at the top of the page to indicate that this filter is in place. The Flagged Question card can be turned on and off in Settings. Flagged questions are those that are outside the set threshold for acceptable values in their statistics.

  • New Flagged Quiz Items column added to the Quiz Details table.

  • New "!" icon added next to quiz items that have one or more flagged questions.

  • New In Question Pool column added to the Quiz Item Analysis table to indicate if the item is part of a question pool.

  • Ability to link out to the Quiz edit page from the Quiz Item Analysis added to quickly take action.


insights 1

Figure: Assessment Quality Dashboard with Flagged Question card.

insights 2
Figure: Settings page for Assessment Quality Dashboard with checkbox to turn the Flagged Question card on and off.

insights 3
Figure: Quiz Details table with Flagged Quiz Items column.

D2L Brightspace Learning Environment — Improved layout of show/hide interface

To improve consistency across the platform, this release features a stylistic upgrade to the layout of the show/hide interface. This does not affect usability or change interactions; in addition, all accessibility interactions remain unchanged.

layout1
Figure: The updated show/hide interface.

layout2
Figure: The show/hide interface before this release.

 

Content — Media Library added to Classic Content Experience

This feature adds the Media Library to the Classic Content Experience, which is accessible by navigating to Existing Activities > Media Library.

media
Figure: The Media Library option in the Existing Activities dropdown menu of the Classic Content Experience.

For more information about the Media Library functionality, refer to Evolving The Audio-Video Experience in D2L Brightspace Community.

Content - Workflow improvements to creating media topics

When creating a new video or audio topic in Content, instructors no longer must wait for the uploaded media file to finish processing to continue creating the topic. While the media file remains unavailable during processing, instructors can navigate away from the upload page to work on other content creation tasks. If another user attempts to access the media file in the topic before processing is complete, a message prompts them to wait for the media file to become available. When processing is complete (or the uploaded media file is invalid or corrupted), a notification displays from Update alerts on the navbar, with a link to the organization home page. Previously, instructors had to wait for a media file to complete processing before they could continue creating the topic. Also, a lack of status information about the media file processing caused some instructors to upload media files multiple times, believing that the processing had completed or failed.

workflow
Figure: Video file processing messages from Update alerts on the navbar


January 2022 (Version 20.22.1)

D2L Brightspace Learning Environment – Improved editing features in Audio-Video Editor | New

This feature introduces new capabilities to the Audio-Video editor for files uploaded to the Content Service. Users can now edit video timelines, create chapters, and add captions to their videos. D2L Brightspace recommends using the desktop experience when editing audio-video files. 

Editing timelines allows users to skip unwanted sections of a video recording.

Chapter titles can be used to create a Table of Contents for videos to allow quick navigation to specific sections.

Captions can be uploaded from a .vtt or .srt file or automatically generated to make videos accessible to all users.

Videos can be edited from course content or by using the Edit > Advanced Editing option in the Admin Tools menu. 

No permission changes are required for this feature.  

In Content/Lessons, the editor features are only available for newly uploaded audio-video files and do not apply to files that were uploaded prior to this feature being introduced. 

D2L Brightspace Learning Environment – Improved viewing features in Audio-Video player | New

To improve the functionality of the Audio-Video player in D2L Brightspace Learning Environment, multi-bitrate streaming, and search functionality are now available. 

Multi-bitrate streaming allows high-definition videos to be played at standard definition to reduce the bandwidth necessary for users to watch videos. 

The new search functionality allows users to locate key words in video captions and quickly navigate to those sections.

Calendar – Improvements to Date and Time Selection Web Components | Updated

Building upon the Calendar – Improvements To Date And Time Selection Web Components | Updated feature released in D2L Brightspace Platform March 2021/20.21.3 Release Notes, this release updates the date and time picker in D2L Brightspace Learning Environment to include the following usability changes:

  • The Set to Today button is renamed to Today. The Today button continues to set the date and the time based on the context. For example, choosing Today for an End Date sets the current date and sets the time to 11:59 PM.

  • Added a Now button that sets the current date and time. The Today and Now buttons only appear when a date and time are required. When only a date is required, only the Today button appears and functions the same as the Now button.

  • The TodayNow, and Clear buttons are center-aligned in the date and time picker.

datepick

Figure: The new date and time picker in D2L Brightspace Learning Environment

datepick

Figure: The previous date and time picker in D2L Brightspace Learning Environment

Discussions – Scoring Rubric drop-down for evaluations | New

To make the Discussion evaluation consistent with the Assignments evaluation, this feature adds the Grading Rubric drop-down to the sidebar menu. This allows the instructor to choose a grading rubric when evaluating a discussion. 

If a normal topic assessment with Points/Custom Points-based rubric is selected, this rubric is the one whose score transfers to the Overall Grade field. The score transfer does not occur if Allow assessment of individual posts or a Text rubric is selected.

scoring

Figure: The new Discussions evaluation with the Grading Rubric drop-down.

Scoring

Figure: The previous Discussions evaluation without the Grading Rubric drop-down. 


December 2021 (Version 20.21.12)

Assignments – New assignment creation experience universally enabled

This feature sets the new assignment creation experience to ON by default. This will mean that the classic assignment experience will no longer be available.

Details of the New assignment creation experience can be found in the Assignments – The new assignment creation experience | Updated (January 2021/20.21.1); the differences between classic to new assignment creation experiences can be found here.

 

D2L Brightspace Learning Environment – Support for surname prefixes during sort function | Updated

In some countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Sri Lanka, surnames have one or more prefixes (known in Dutch as Tussenvoegsel) that are part of the formal last name. For example, van der Speigle or Van Gogh. In some cases, the sortable last name should not include those prefixes.

It is now possible to indicate if a user's Legal Last Name differs from the Sortable Last Name. If clients include a Sortable Last Name, the D2L Brightspace Learning Environment uses the Sortable Last Name in when alphabetizing user lists.

The following tools currently support the Sortable Last Name:

  • Classlist

  • Grades

  • Quizzes

  • Assignments

  • Discussions

  • Manage Exemptions

  • Content - Completion Summary

Additional tools will be added to this list in future releases. 

To add a sortable last name to a user's information, do one of the following:
In the Users tool, in User Information, add a Sortable Last Name.
In the D2L Brightspace API, add a sortable last name for the appropriate user.

surname sorting

Figure: The Sortable Last Name field on the User Information screen

 

D2L Brightspace Learning Environment – Alerts in the minibar persist for 90 days | Updated

With this release, when you click on the Message alerts, Subscription alerts, or Update alerts icons in the minibar, you can retrieve alerts from the last 90 days. Previously, all alerts disappeared after 7 days.

The way these alerts display to users has not changed: when you click one of the icons, the 5 most recent alerts appear in the dropdown. When you click Load More, 5 more alerts appear.

 

Content – Updated count and overdue badges | New

In the Classic Content tool for instructors and learners, the count and overdue badges in the Table of Contents now reflect an updated appearance that is consistent with the New Content Experience and other D2L Brightspace tools. The new count badge is circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits), with a grey background, and with higher contrast text. In addition, the overdue badge is now circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits). Previously, the count badge was rectangular, with a white background, and grey text/outline. The overdue badge was rectangular and red.

toc badge

Figure: The new count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool

toc badge old

Figure: The old count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool

 

Discussions – Consolidated dates ON by default | Updated

With the final change to the workflow in December 2021 / 20.21.12, the discussion date consolidation is now ON by default for all clients, and cannot be turned off. 
Note: All date overrides are cleared when the default changes to ON.
For more information, see the Changes To Availability And Locking Dates For A Consolidated Dates Workflow blog post.
Once the new workflow is enabled, the following changes are visible to instructors when creating or editing discussion forums and topics:

Note: These changes also affect the Classic Content and Manage Dates tools.

  • From the Restrictions tab, the previous Locking Options are now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options and display as the following new options:  

    • Visible with access restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date, but they cannot access it. Previously, Classic Content was the only tool to make discussions visible without access. 

    • Visible with submission restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date and they can access it, but they cannot post new threads or replies. This effectively makes a discussion read-only. Previously, this was accomplished with the lock option or unlock dates.  

    • Hidden before/after start/end. The topic/forum is hidden from learners until the start/end date. This is a new feature. Calendar events for Availability Starts and Availability Ends are hidden until the start/end date. Notifications are also not sent until the start/end date. Previously, the hidden status of a discussion topic was decided by the tool displaying the topic. 

  • From the Restrictions tab, the Display in Calendar option is now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options, which adds the start date and end dates to the calendar. Previously, the tool decided which calendar event should be added to the calendar. With this change, calendar events for availability dates may change and additional events for Availability Start Dates may be added. 

  • Calendar events for unlocked dates are now hidden from learners.  

  • Where Discussions and User Progress may have previously hidden a topic or forum when outside of availability dates, those tools now may show them as visible, but inaccessible. 

  • From Discussion Settings, instructors can now set the default visibility and access behavior for new discussion forums and topics. The defaults can be set at an organization level. 

consolidated dates

Figure: The new consolidated options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Restrictions tab

consolidated dates 2

Figure: The new default options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Discussions Settings

 

Discussions – Consistent evaluation experience | Updated

This feature is a continuation of the Discussions - New Discussion Evaluation Experience | Updated feature introduced in September 2021/20.21.9. This feature sets the evaluation experience to ON by default. 

 

Email – Address Book changes to To/Cc/Bcc options | Updated

This feature changes the Email tool's workflow when selecting an email recipient in the To, CC, and/or Bcc fields. Each of these fields in the Compose window are now links that, when clicked, launch an Address Book dialog to select recipients from. Once a user or users are selected, they are added to the respective field.

Each of the three fields (To, CC, and Bcc) have their own separate links.

This feature also affects the Intelligent Agents tool; when users create a new Intelligent Agent, they can select the Send an Email option. Users then click the Address Book button next to each To, CC, and/or Bcc fields to choose the recipient(s). In effect, the changes made to email above are also reflected in the Intelligent Agents tool. 

Under the previous workflow, users would have to select Address Book, select a recipient or recipients from the list by clicking the checkbox, and then selecting the Add Recipients button. The existing Address Book button remains unchanged; users can continue to use the old workflow.

email address book

Figure: The layout of Compose Email window prior to this feature, where the user must select a field (To, CC, or Bcc), select a recipient or recipients from the list by clicking the checkbox, and then click the Add Recipients button.

email address book 1

Figure: The layout of Compose Email window with this feature, where the user adds the recipients directly to the desired field (To, CC, or Bcc).

 

Quizzes – Improved language terms | New

To offer more intuitive and consistent terminology to instructors and learners when using Quizzes, many interface labels and dialogs now use more descriptive language. For example, Automatic Grade is now Automatically Publish Evaluation. Previously, many interface labels and dialogs used short terms that did not provide clear meaning for some users.

For a detailed list of all language term updates in Quizzes, see the Quiz Language Updates blog post.
 

 


November 2021 (Version 20.21.11)

D2L Brightspace Editor – Additional support for drag/drop and copy/paste images | Updated

Expanding further on the D2L Brightspace Editor – Drag/drop and copy/paste images | Updated feature released in October 2021, additional tools and editors now support the drag/drop and copy/paste functionality, including:

  • Quizzes > Feedback

  • Grades > Feedback

  • Grades > Comments

  • Discussions > Feedback

This functionality is now available in user-specific areas that may contain images with learner-sensitive information. As a result, these images are stored in the database rather than the Manage Files area of a course offering. In addition, the Course Copy function does not include these images.


October 2021 (Version 20.21.10)

D2L Brightspace Editor – Drag/drop and copy/paste images | Updated

The drag/drop and copy/paste functionality of images is now available in the following areas that contain no user-specific data.

  • Content Module/Topic Descriptions

  • Quiz/Survey/Self-Assessment - Description, Header. Footer

  • Grades - Description

  • Content Course Overview descriptions

  • Discussion Forum/Topic descriptions

 

Note: Similar to current functionality, image files added to these areas are saved in the root of the Manage Files area of the organization unit the user is currently in.