Learn@UCO (D2L) Updates

October 2021

Assignments - Preview Activity in Evaluation mode | Updated

Previously, users who did not have edit permissions for assignments could not preview assignments. As a result, not all evaluator types could see assignment information such as assignment instructions, start date, or due dates.

Now, in Evaluation mode, there is a Preview Activity option in the Assignment context menu to see a preview of the assignment. Evaluators with the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders permission can use the Preview Activity option to view the assignment information, but cannot edit the assignment properties or dates.  
 
The Preview Activity option appears on the context menu for the assignment.
Figure: The Preview Activity option appears on the context menu for the assignment.

 
The Assignment Preview enables users to view the assignment information, but they cannot edit it.
Figure: The Assignment Preview enables users to view the assignment information, but they cannot edit it. 

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to evaluators that do not have edit permissions for assignments due to the new ability to preview assignments. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that evaluator roles without edit permissions have the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders permission in order to use the preview.


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

This feature complements the Brightspace Editor functionality as released in the Brightspace Editor – Improvements | Updated feature released in May 2021 / 20.21.5.
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.

This feature partially implements PIE items D7884, D2190, and D7968.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to users due to the copy/paste and drag/drop functionality being available across more areas in Brightspace Learning Environment. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all users.


Brightspace Editor – Email notifications for users tagged in discussion posts and threads | Updated

This feature updates the Brightspace Editor – Additional functionality | Updated feature released in June 2021 / 20.21.6 and now adds the ability for users tagged in discussion posts and threads to receive email notifications.

The new Discussions - mentioned in a discussion post or thread option appears in the Notification Administration page (Admin Tools menu > User Related > Notifications > Notification Defaults) when the following configuration variables are turned on:

  • d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions
  • d2l.Tools.Discuss.Notifications 

The d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions configuration variable is turned off by default.

When the above configuration variables are turned on by your administrator, the Discussions - mentioned in a discussion post or thread option is displayed to all users under the Instant Notifications area (on the minibar, click on your username > Notifications > Instant Notifications).

If your administrator has enabled the Discussions - mentioned in a discussion post or thread option under Notification Defaults (Admin Tools menu > User Related > Notifications > Notification Defaults) the new Discussions - mentioned in a discussion post or thread option under the Instant Notifications area (your username > Notifications > Instant Notifications) is enabled by default for all newly created users. Users can disable this option if required.

The ability to tag users is controlled by multiple permissions. A role must have the following permissions to use the @mention functionality when it is enabled for their organization unit:

  • User Information Privacy > See First Names*
  • User Information Privacy > See Last Names*
  • Users > Search for {role}

When a user is tagged, their profile is linked to their tagged name. To view the profile of another user, the following permission is required:

  • User Profile > View Other Users’ Profiles

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to enable the email notification defaults for new users. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions configuration variable is turned ON for the organization units that want to use @mentions. It is set to OFF by default.

The d2l.Tools.Discuss.Notifications configuration variable is turned ON by default.

To set email notification as a default option for newly created users, in the Admin Tools menu > User Related > Notifications > Notification Defaults area, select the Discussions - mentioned in a discussion post or thread option.

Ensure that the following permissions are turned on for the required roles:
  • User Information Privacy > See First Names*
  • User Information Privacy > See Last Names*
  • Users > Search for {role}
  • User Profile > View Other Users’ Profiles

Brightspace Pulse – Operating system support | Updated

The latest version of Brightspace Pulse is supported on devices with iOS® 12+ or AndroidTM 6.0+ (2015 release). Older versions of Brightspace Pulse will continue to work on devices with iOS 11 or Android 5.0, but will not receive any app updates. For an optimal experience, D2L recommends installing the latest version of Brightspace Pulse on devices with iOS 12+ or Android 6.0+.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Pulse clients in all regions. 

To enable: Download the latest version of Brightspace Pulse, available from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®. The app is generally released at the beginning of the month, and then sometimes mid-month, if issues are found. Depending on how your device is configured, the app may update automatically, or you may have to manually check for new versions.

Slight impact to learners due to updated operating system support. N/A

Content - Add Print Button to PDF file types | Updated

This feature adds the option to print PDF file types to Classic Content.

The Print button is visible when viewing a PDF topic or the Course Overview as a PDF. This button will also only appear for users with Compile and Print Content permission.

No option to print PDFs was previously available.


PDF view in Brightspace Classic Learning Environment - Content before this release, indicating the absence of Print buttons
Figure: PDF view in Brightspace Classic Learning Environment - Content prior to this release, highlighting the absence of a print functionality.
 

PDF view in Brightspace Classic Learning Environment - Content highlighting the location of the Print button.
Figure: PDF view in Brightspace Classic Learning Environment - Content highlighting the location of the Print button.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to users due to the ability to print PDF files. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Content users, regardless of whether the d2l.Tools.DocumentViewers.CustomPdfRendererEnabled is on or off.

 

Course Import - View Course Import history | New

Users can now view the history of course import attempts for courses in a specific org unit. From the Import/Export/Copy tool on Course Admin, users can view the Course Import History page, which includes the following information for each course import attempt:  

  • the original package name 
  • status of the import 
  • user who created the import job 
  • the timestamp for the import attempt 

The content is sorted by Start Time (Descending) by default. After users have viewed the page, they can return to the Import/Export/Copy Components landing page in the Course Administration or click View Import Log to see a more detailed log. The log opens at the last line for the conversion you are viewing.

  The View Import History link is available from the Import/Export/Copy Components tool in the Course Administration area of their course.

Figure: The View Import History link is available from the Import/Export/Copy Components tool in the Course Administration area of their course.


 On the Course Import History page, you can view the import log for more information about the import attempt.

Figure: On the Course Import History page, you can view the import log for more information about the import attempt. 

This feature implements PIE items D2336 and D5473.
  

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to course designers and instructors who can check the import history for a course. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that the user has the Import/Export/Copy Components > Import Content Packages permission for their role.

Integrations

LTI® 1.3 - Additional substitution parameters available | New

Previously in LTI Advantage, substitution parameters that were duplicated in the Security Settings were not available in the LTI Select Substitution Parameter dropdown in Brightspace Learning Environment. Now, administrators and instructors can use additional substitution parameters when setting up new links.

The ability to send time zone parameter substitutions in LTI Advantage is also added in this update.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to use substitution when setting up a new link, and the ability to set a time zone in LTI Advantage.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for LTI Advantage users.
 
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to use substitution parameters when setting up a new link.  N/A

 

September 2021

Assignments – Create select box grade items in the New Assignment Creation Experience | New

This feature builds on the Add categories capability in the Assignment Creation Experience | New feature released in July 2021/20.21.7

With this release, the new assignment creation experience supports creating new select box grade items. Previously, only numeric grade items could be created from the new assignment creation experience.

In addition, this feature provides support for choosing a grade scheme when creating numeric or select box grade items. Grade categories now progressively display when creating a grade item. Previously, grade categories always displayed when available.

Also, to make interface text more clear, the following labels have been renamed in the new assignment creation experience:

  • Score out of is now Grade out of
  • In Grades is now In Gradebook
  • Choose in Grades is now Edit or Link to Existing
  • Remove from Grades is now Not in Gradebook

When creating a new assignment as an instructor, under Grade Out Of, click Ungraded.

Click In Gradebook, and then select Edit or Link to Existing.

From the Edit or Link to Existing dialog, the following options may display under Create a new grade item:

  • If the Grades tool has available grade categories, the Choose Grade Category option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade categories for association. 
  • If the Grades tool has multiple grades schemes, the Change Grade Type & Scheme option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade types and schemes for association. 

Click OK, and then Save.


In Gradebook options when creating a new assignment
Figure: In Gradebook options when creating a new assignment


Edit or Link to Existing options when creating a new assignment
Figure: Edit or Link to Existing options when creating a new assignment

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
No impact to administrators. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This feature is automatically enabled for Assignments users.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to create new select box grade items. N/A

 

Assignments - Delete Submitted Files permission | New

This feature releases the new Delete Submitted Files permission, which determines whether or not you can delete an assignment submission file.

This new permission is turned on by default for existing roles with the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders and View Submitted Files permissions and it is turned off for all other roles.

When the Delete Submitted Files permission is turned off, the Delete functionality for bulk actions on the Assignments > Submissions tab and the context menu of each submitted file no longer appears. On the Assignments > Users tab, the Delete functionality for bulk actions and the icon to delete individual submission files no longer appears.


Figure: The Assignments > Submissions tab and the assignment submission context menu with the Delete functionality before this update
Figure: The Assignments > Submissions tab and the assignment submission context menu with the Delete functionality before this update


Figure: The Assignments > Users tab with the Delete functionality for bulk actions and the icon to delete individual submission files before this update
Figure: The Assignments > Users tab with the Delete functionality for bulk actions and the icon to delete individual submission files before this update

This feature implements PIE item D1620.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to enable the permission to delete assignment submission files. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: The new Delete Submitted Files permission is turned on by default for existing roles with the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders and View Submitted Files permissions and it is turned off for all other roles.

No further action is required.

  

Assignments - Restricting file extensions for submissions | Updated

Instructors can now specify the extensions of files that learners can upload as assignment submissions. When an instructor is creating a file submission assignment, if the d2l.Tools.Dropbox.RestrictFileExtensions configuration variable is set to ON, there is a drop down in the Submission and Completion section of the New Assignment Creation Experience. In this drop-down list, instructors can choose the restrictions they want. Choices include: 

Note: When a .GIF file is converted to PDF, only the first frame of the .GIF displays.

  • .PDF only
  • Files that can be previewed without any conversion, such as .HTM, .HTML, .MHT, .MHTML, and .BMP
  • Images and videos
  • Custom filetypes

If an instructor choses Custom File Extensions, they can then enter file extensions that are allowed for file submissions. When this restriction is set, learners are presented with a list of acceptable file extensions for their assignments. When a learner attempts to upload a file submission for an assignment of an file extension type that the instructor has restricted, an error message appears.

This feature implements PIE items D138, D4412, D8087, D3945, and D6154

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who can now restrict the file types for assignment submissions. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is enabled for clients who have the d2l.Tools.Dropbox.RestrictFileExtensions configuration variable is set to ON
Slight impact to learners who are made aware if their assignment submission has a restricted file type. N/A

 

Brightspace Learning Environment - Set and view user pronouns | New

This feature releases the following permissions:

  • User Information Privacy > See Pronouns – enables a user to see pronouns in the profile card and enables administrators to use the Users API.
  • Account Settings > Set My Pronoun – allows a user to set their own custom pronouns. A user can choose to hide their pronouns if pronouns are enabled, regardless of permissions.

Once the org level d2l.Settings.EnablePronouns configuration variable is set to ON and the new Set My Pronoun permission is granted to a user role, users can set their pronouns through Account Settings. If a user role also has the User Information Privacy > See Pronouns permissions, they can see pronouns set by the users they interact with in the respective user’s profile card. If user pronouns are set and then the option to set pronouns is disabled, a user’s pronouns are no longer displayed.

If user's pronouns exist in a different system of record, and if you have the User Information Privacy > See Pronouns permission turned on for your role, you can systematically add these pronouns through the Users API. Users can choose to show or hide their pronouns in Brightspace Learning Environment and you can grant them permission to set their own pronouns or not.

Note: The d2l.Settings.EnablePronouns configuration variable was released in the August 2021 / 20.21.8 release to enable development work on this feature.


Figure: The area under Account Settings, where you can set your pronouns
Figure: The area under Account Settings, where you can set your pronouns


Figure: The Profile Card with the pronoun displayed
Figure: A user profile card with the pronouns displayed

 
This feature implements PIE items D5207 and D7231.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to ability to enable users to set pronouns.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure that the org level d2l.Settings.EnablePronouns configuration variable is set to ON and that the Set My Pronoun permission (Roles and Permissions > Account Settings) is turned on for the appropriate user role. 
Ensure that the User Information Privacy > See Pronouns permission is enabled for the administrator role in order to use the Users API. 
Slight impact to users due to the ability to set their own pronouns and to view pronouns set by the users they interact with. Availability: N/A

To enable: Ensure that the User Information Privacy > See Pronouns permission is enabled for the appropriate user role.


Brightspace for Parents – Mobile app | New

To make it easier for parents and guardians to see what their children are working on, what’s on the schedule, and the latest news from the classroom, Brightspace for Parents is now available as a mobile app for iOS® and Android™.

From the Home tab, a parent or guardian can view the following:

  • The Work to Do widget displays a summary of assigned learning activities from all courses that are overdue or have an upcoming due date or end date. Counters for each section indicate how many learning activities remain to be completed, along with information about each learning activity's name, due date, and course name. 
  • The Recent Grades widget displays released grade items for all the courses their child is enrolled in.
  • The Portfolio Items widget displays the two latest shared Portfolio items belonging to their child that have been shared by the instructor. They can also view all previously shared Portfolio items from their child's portfolio.
  • The Latest Posts widget displays an aggregate Activity Feed from all the courses their child is enrolled in. For example, the instructor might post reminders about upcoming assignments and links to course materials.

From the Notifications tab, a parent or guardian can view notifications for upcoming assignments or quizzes for their child.

The Home tab in the Brightspace for Parents app displaying the Work To Do and Recent Grades widgets
Figure: The Home tab in the Brightspace for Parents app displaying the Work To Do and Recent Grades widgets

he Notifications tab in the Brightspace for Parents app displaying notifications for upcoming assignments and quizzes
Figure: The Notifications tab in the Brightspace for Parents app displaying notifications for upcoming assignments and quizzes

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to the availability of a new mobile app for parents.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: The Brightspace for Parents web application must be currently enabled in your school's Brightspace Learning Environment. 

To specify the login type for the Brightspace for Parents app, contact D2L Support. The app supports the following login configurations:

  • Local login, for example, the Login landing page created by the Login Page Management tool - This is the default login configuration, even if not using the Login Page Management tool for students. Modify your login landing page to use the existing login section for parents and add a login link for teachers and students.
  • External login, for example, an external Single Sign-On (SSO) landing page - Modify your SSO landing page to add a login link for parents. As a best practice, add a link that allows new parents to create a parent account.

Note the following:

  • Custom hosted login pages are supported if they are the default student login method (and parents or guardians use it).
  • As a best practice, add a link that allows new parents to create a parent account.
  • As an administrator, you can test logging in to the mobile app by creating a mock parent account and adding some mock children into a course. Logging in as an administrator does not display any relevant information in the mobile app.

To view the Portfolio Items widget, enable Brightspace Portfolio in your school's Brightspace Learning Environment.

To view the Latest Posts widget, enable Activity Feed in courses that children are enrolled in.

Notify parents and guardians that they can download the Brightspace for Parents app from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®. The app is generally released at the beginning of the month, and then sometimes mid-month, if issues are found. Depending on how your device is configured, the app may update automatically, or you may have to manually check for new versions.

The Brightspace for Parents app is supported in the following geographic regions:

  • U.S.
  • Canada
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA)
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore and Australia)

You can download the Brightspace for Parents app in the following languages:

  • Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English (U.S.)
  • French (Canada)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Spanish (Latin America)
  • Swedish
  • Turkish

The Brightspace for Parents app is supported on the following operating systems:
Note: For an optimal experience, D2L recommends using the Brightspace for Parents app on a mobile device with the latest version of a supported operating system.

  • AndroidTM 5.0 or later on tablets or phones
  • iOS® 11.0 or later on iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod® touch
Moderate impact to parents due to a new mobile app for Brightspace for Parents.

To log in to the Brightspace for Parents app, obtain the following from your school's Brightspace administrator: the URL or name of your school's Brightspace Learning Environment, and a Brightspace username and password.

Learning activities only appear in the Work To Do widget when the activity has a defined due date or end date. By default, the widget displays activities due or ending in the upcoming 2 weeks, and overdue work from the previous 12 weeks.

In the Work To Do widget, you can tap the following items to display more information:

  • Assignments

  • Discussions

You cannot tap the following items:

  • Content

  • Quizzes

  • Surveys

  • Checklists

Surveys and checklist items do not display in the Recent Grades widget, since they are not gradable.

To view the Portfolio Items widget, Brightspace Portfolio must be enabled in your school's Brightspace Learning Environment.

To view the Latest Posts widget, Activity Feed must be enabled in courses that your child is enrolled in. If enabled, you can read posts and access shared links from Brightspace for Parents; however, you cannot access content files.



Brightspace Portfolio – Visual indicators for new evidence | New

To allow instructors to more easily identify new evidence for review, this release adds the following visual indicators:

  • When viewing evidence from the main Portfolio page, a New icon appears on newly submitted pieces of evidence.
  • When viewing learner portfolios from the main Portfolio page, a numeric value and New Evidence appear on applicable learner portfolios, indicating the number of new pieces of evidence.
  • When viewing evidence from the Approval page, a New icon appears on newly submitted pieces of evidence.

These new visual indicators and filtering are ideal for higher learning organizations where the share evidence with instructors workflow is enabled. In this workflow, submitted evidence immediately appears in learner portfolios, and instructors do not see the evidence until learners explicitly share it with them. Previously, the share evidence with instructors workflow did not have any visual indicators or filtering to easily identify new evidence for review.


The New icon on a piece of evidence in tile format
Figure: From the main Portfolio page, the New icon on a piece of evidence in tile format


From the main Portfolio page, a numeric value and New Evidence appear on a learner's portfolio in list format, indicating the number of new pieces of evidence
Figure: From the main Portfolio page, a numeric value and New Evidence appear on a learner's portfolio in list format, indicating the number of new pieces of evidence


From the Approval page, the New icon on a piece of evidence and a numeric value on a learner name, indicating the number of unapproved pieces of evidence
Figure: From the Approval page, the New icon on a piece of evidence and a numeric value on a learner name, indicating the number of unapproved pieces of evidence

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Portfolio users. No further action is required.

Slight impact to instructors due to new visual indicators for evidence. The visual indicators for new evidence display in the share with instructor workflow and approve evidence workflow.

The visual indicators are unique to each instructor. Specifically, each instructor sees the visual indicators for new evidence based on their activity or review of the evidence. To mark evidence as viewed (no longer new), do one of the following:
  • Click the evidence to view it.
  • From the evidence tile, click the (...) Options menu and select an action.
  • From the Approval page, next to the evidence tile you want to approve, click Approve to Portfolio.


Data Hub - Retain time limits and due dates for Quiz Attempts | Updated

To increase the value of the Data Hub offering, this release adds the following new columns to the Quiz Attempts Brightspace Data Set (BDS):

  • DueDate: the due date of the quiz attempt.
  • TimeLimit: the amount of time, in minutes, that a learner has to complete the quiz attempt.
  • GracePeriod: the amount of time, in minutes, that a learner has to complete the quiz attempt in addition to the time limit.
  • TimeLimitEnforced: indicates whether the time limit on this quiz attempt is enforced.
  • GracePeriodExceededBehaviour: if the time limit is enforced for this attempt, indicates the desired behavior when the grace period is exceeded.
  • ExtendedDeadline: the extended deadline learners are allowed beyond the grace period for this attempt, in minutes.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to administrators due to the addition of new columns to an existing Brightspace Data Set. Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Insights and Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: Ensure the Can Access Brightspace Data Sets permission is granted to administrators at the org level. New data sets appear the first time the data set runs after the CD update.


Discussions - Configuration Variable, Data Set, and Custom Data Export changes | New

The following changes to Discussions are included in this release:

  • The default value of the d2l.Tools.Discuss.ConsolidatedDatesEnabled configuration variable is now set to ON for all clients. Administrators who want to turn off the feature can do so using the Config Variable Browser after the update is complete. Existing overrides to this variable are not changed by this update.
  • The Learner Usage Advanced Data Set now accounts for discussion topics that are marked as Hidden before start date, or Hidden after end date in the Content Completed and Content Required columns.
  • The GradeItemsWithCommentsExport Customer Data Export now accounts for discussion topics and forums that are marked as Hidden before start date, or Hidden after end date

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to administrators due to changes to the default value of the d2l.Tools.Discuss.ConsolidatedDatesEnabled configuration variable, and how hidden discussions are handled by data sets and custom data export. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This feature is automatically enabled. If you want to change the value of the d2l.Tools.Discuss.ConsolidatedDatesEnabled configuration variable it can be done through the Config Variable Browser after the update is complete.
Moderate impact to instructors due to possible changes to their Discussions experience. N/A


Discussions - New Discussion Evaluation Experience | Updated

This feature is a continuation of the Discussions - Consistent evaluation experience feature introduced in August 2021/20.21.8.

With this release, the d2l.Tools.Activities.CEDiscussionOptIn configuration variable is set to On(Opt-In) for all Orgs.

With this setting, the new evaluation experience for Discussions appears first for all users, but they have the ability to opt-out until the December 2021/20.21.12 release, at which time the new evaluation experience for Discussions will become the only option available.

For more detail about the improvements in this new experience, visit the Welcome to Our New Discussion Evaluation Experience post on Brightspace Community.

For additional information on the consistent evaluation experience across all Brightspace tools, visit the What is Coming in Evaluation: 20.21.12 post on Brightspace Community.

This feature implements PIE items D5609, D6911, D5148, D4920, D4859, D4685, D4728, D3673, D3539, D3430, D3116, D2348, D2211, D2178, D4393, D7253, D2514, and D512.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to administrators due to the change in default setting for an existing configuration variable. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Discussions users.


Discussions – Org Defined Id field in the legacy User Profile card | New

When an instructor hovers over a learner's profile in the Discussions tool, the legacy User Profile card now displays the value of the Org Defined Id field, if enabled in the Profile Cards tool. By default, the new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool is enabled.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Discussions users. To hide the Org Defined Id field, navigate to Admin Tools > Profile Cards.

D2L recommends displaying the Org Defined Id field only if existing business rules are satisfied, such as User Information Privacy permissions and the d2l.Settings.OrgHasOrgDefinedId configuration variable.

The legacy User Profile card also respects the settings in User Information Privacy, Admin Configuration, Preferred Names, and Online Status Preference.

Display of the Org Defined Id field is not affected by the d2l.Tools.Discuss.User.ShowOrgDefinedId configuration variable.

Slight impact to instructors and learners due to the new Org Defined Id field that displays in User Profile cards. N/A


Import / Export / Copy Components – Export release conditions in course packages | New

Now when you export Brightspace Learning Environment course packages, you can export release conditions and any associations. As a result, you no longer need to re-create these release conditions when you import the course package.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to export and import release conditions in course packages.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure that the existing Import Content Packages and Export Content Packages permissions are turned on for Import/Export/Copy Course Component users.


Learning Groups – People And learning restrictions for use in the same org | Updated

This feature is an update to the Learning Groups – People and learning restrictions for use in the same org | New feature introduced in October 2020/20.20.10.

Access to the Restrictions page (via the Learning Group Management page) is now limited to a development-partnership release. As Learning Group Restrictions functionality continues to evolve, the settings previously found on the Restrictions page are now managed by D2L Learning Group Implementation. Clients with restrictions in use as of August 31 will be added to the development-partnership. Other interested clients may contact their D2L representative for consideration.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators who can no longer set restrictions for learning groups users and courses. Availability: This feature is restricted for Corporate clients running Brightspace Core and Education clients running Brightspace Core that have purchased Pd for Edu.

To enable: This functionality is automatically restricted for Learning Groups users. No further action is required.


Local Authentication Security - Icon to indicate accounts with 2FA set up | Updated

This feature builds on the Local Authentication Security – User Interface Improvements | Updated feature that was released in August 2021/20.21.08.
 
The Local Authentication Security page > Authorized Users list now includes a lock icon alongside a username if two factor authentication (2FA) has been set up for that user account.


Figure: The Local Authentication Security page > Authorized Users list with the lock icon next to user accounts with 2FA set up
Figure: The Local Authentication Security page > Authorized Users list with the lock icon next to user accounts with 2FA set up

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the above update. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: The Local Authentication Security page is set to ON by default on the Organization Tools page for all clients. 

 

Org Unit Editor – Read only view and API updates | New

This feature releases the new View Org Unit Editor permission that enables users with this permission to view the Org Unit Editor in read only mode. As a result, you can now grant certain roles the ability to make org structure API calls without the ability to edit the org structure.

This permission also updates the following API routes. As a result, roles with this new permission can only use the following API routes to run GET functions; POST and DELETE functions will not be possible.

GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/childless/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/orphans/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)/ancestors/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)/children/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)/children/paged/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)/descendants/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)/descendants/paged/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)/parents/
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/(orgUnitId)/colours
GET /d2l/api/lp/(version)/orgstructure/recyclebin/

This feature implements PIE items D2079 and D5383.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the above update.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure that the View Org Unit Editor permission is turned on for the appropriate role. 


Rubrics - Additional information on Grade tiles | Updated

When a rubric is collapsed, instructors can now see if the rubric is complete. If the rubric is complete, the collapsed rubric shows the overall level of the rubric, and if the rubric is not complete, the number of unscored criteria appears on the tile. 

Previously, it was only possible to see the overall score of the rubric when the rubric was expanded. 


Collapsed tile for unscored rubrics (points-based and text-only rubrics)
Figure: Previous Experience collapsed tile for unscored rubrics (points-based and text-only rubrics)


Collapsed tile for partially scored points-based rubric
Figure: New Experience collapsed tile for partially scored points-based rubric


Collapsed tile for partially scored points-based rubric
Figure: Previous experience collapsed tile for partially scored text-only rubrics


New Experience collapsed tile for completed rubrics (points-based and text-only rubrics)
Figure: New Experience collapsed tile for completed rubrics (points-based and text-only rubrics)

In addition, customers using rubrics with the New Evaluation Experiences can see Rubrics Statistics from within the evaluation panel.

This feature implements PIE item D7716

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who have more visibility about the status of collapsed rubrics  Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Rubrics users


Rubrics – Brightspace Editor Additional Functionality | Updated

This feature updates the Brightspace Editor – Additional Functionality | Updated released in June 2021/20.21.6 and updated in Brightspace Editor – Available in ePortfolio External Comments and Quiz Builder | Updated released in July 2021/20.21.7. This update includes the following:

  • The Brightspace Editor toolbar now appears in the following locations:
    • Rubrics Creation and Edit experiences in the Description field
    • Rubrics Creation and Edit experiences in the Feedback field
    • Evaluation mode in the Feedback field. 
  • The Insert Stuff and Insert Quicklink buttons now appear in the different views with additional formatting options.  



The Brightspace Editor in Rubrics Description Field
Figure: The Brightspace Editor in the Rubrics Description field 


The Brightspace Editor in the Rubrics Feedback field
Figure: The Brightspace Editor in the Rubrics Feedback field 


This feature implements PIE items D5342 ,D5143 and D8026.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the availability of the new Brightspace Editor in Rubrics  Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Rubrics Evaluation experience. 
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for users of the New Rubrics Evaluation experience. Ensure that the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn (Org) configuration variable is set to On.


Rubrics - Copy and delete criteria groups | Updated

In response to client feedback about the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, it is now possible to copy or delete a criteria group on a rubric. The delete option is only available if there is more than one criteria group.
Note: When a rubric with attached assessment items has submissions evaluated against it, the rubric is locked and can no longer be edited or deleted.  

After you click Copy Criteria Group, a new criteria group appears below the original criteria group. 

If you are using keyboard-only navigation, these options are available in the tab order after the criteria group name. Once the criteria group is copied using keyboard navigation, the keyboard focus moves to the new group's name.

Note: Aligned learning outcomes are not copied when you copy a criteria group. Specific details of the evaluation criterion should be updated and re-aligned with specific learning outcomes which apply to the new criterion elements in the criteria group. 


The Copy and Delete options are available in the action menu on the Criteria Group header.
Figure: The Copy and Delete options are available in the action menu on the Criteria Group header. 

This feature implements PIE item D4752.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who can now copy and delete rubric criteria groups.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Rubrics users.

August 2021

Activity Feed – Date picker change | New

This feature updates the date picker component in Activity Feed. The new date picker has a more streamlined design and requires slight workflow changes: to clear a date/time, use the Clear option and to set the calendar to the current day, use the Set to Today option. 


Figure: The date picker component in Activity Feed prior to the update
Figure: The date picker component in Activity Feed prior to the update

Figure: Updated date picker component in Activity Feed
Figure: Updated date picker component in Activity Feed for due dates

Figure: The Post Later dialog box in Activity Feed
Figure: The Post Later dialog box in Activity Feed

Note: The Date field in the Post Later dialog box is a mandatory field. There remains to be no option to clear this field. You must set this date to a future date or click Cancel to exit this dialog box.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the updated date picker. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically turned on for all Activity Feed users.

 

Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | Updated

This feature is a continuation of the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience feature introduced in December 2020/20.20.12, becoming the default Assignments experience in May 2021/20.21.5.

With this release, the new d2l.tools.Activities.CEAssignmentsOptIn configuration variable is now permanently turned on by default and hidden from administrators, and the legacy assignment evaluation experience is retired.

For additional information on the consistent evaluation experience, visit the What is Coming in Evaluation: 20.20.12 post on Brightspace Community.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to an existing configuration variable that is now permanently turned on by default and hidden. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This feature is automatically enabled for Assignments users.
Large impact to instructors due to a new evaluation experience appearing by default in Assignments. N/A

 

Assignments - Icons in attachments toolbar | Updated

This release updates the attachments toolbar which appears in the evaluation panel on the right side of the new Assignment Evaluation Experience.

Users can now add attachments to their feedback from QuickLinks, web links, Google Drive, and OneDrive using the new icons in the toolbar. Previously, users could only add attachments by uploading a file from their computer, recording an audio note, or recording a video note.

This change aligns the attachments toolbar in the new Assignment Evaluation Experience with the attachments toolbar in the new Create and Edit Assignment Experience.

Old view of the attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, Record Audio, and Record Video.
Figure: Previous attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, Record Audio, and Record Video.

New attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, QuickLink, Web Link, Google Drive, OneDrive, Record Audio, and Record Video.
Figure: New attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, QuickLink, Web Link, Google Drive, OneDrive, Record Audio, and Record Video.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to enable Google Drive Picker and OneDrive Picker. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure the d2l.3rdParty.GoogleDrive.EnableGooglePicker configuration variable is enabled for the Google Drive icon to appear, and the d2l.3rdParty.OneDrive.EnableOneDrivePicker configuration variable is enabled for the OneDrive icon to appear.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to add feedback attachments from new sources. N/A

 

Assignments - Release Conditions sync with Grades | New

Assignment release conditions can now be automatically shared with associated grade items in the new assignment creation experience. This ensures that both items follow the same set of rules and become visible/accessible to learners at the same time. This removes the need for instructors to manually recreate the release conditions in two locations and makes all aspects of the assessment experience consistent for the learner. Administrators can determine the behavior of assignment release conditions with the new d2l.Tools.Grades.ReleaseConditionSync configuration variable. This is an organization level configuration variable; it can’t be set on a course or department level. If the variable is turned on, it is on for all courses.
Only changes made to the release conditions associated to the assignment are transferred to grade items. If changes are made to the release conditions associated to the grade item, those changes are not sent to Assignments. Once an assignment and grade item have their release conditions linked, there is an information message on the Restrictions tab of the grade item, which informs you that release conditions are managed by the associated assignment, with a link to the relevant assignment.
This feature only affects new assignments and edited assignments after the configuration variable is turned on. Existing assignments are not retroactively updated. To update existing assignments, instructors can edit and save individual assignments.

Refer to the Grade Release Conditions Are Removed When The Grade Is Associated To An Assignment article for more information.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the need to update the new configuration variable if they want assignment release conditions to automatically sync with associated grade items. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Set the new d2l.Tools.Grades.ReleaseConditionSync configuration variable to On.

For more information, refer to the Partner Support page.
Moderate impact to instructors due to no longer needing to create identical release conditions in multiple locations to ensure a consistent assessment experience. N/A


Brightspace Editor – Available as the default editor | Updated

This feature updates the Brightspace Editor – Available in ePortfolio External Comments and Quiz Builder | Updated feature released in July 2021/20.21.7.

This release sets the new Brightspace Editor as the default editor across Brightspace Learning Environment. Administrators can no longer edit the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable, which will be archived in the September 2021/20.21.9 release.

As mentioned in the Brightspace Editor – Replaces The HTML Editor | New release note in April 2021, the Brightspace Editor does not have a built in spell checker. Your web browser’s built-in spell check functionality is available in the new Brightspace Editor and D2L recommends using it. However, the d2l.Tools.Quizzing.ShowSpellCheckInAttempts org unit configuration variable is still respected and marks text in Quizzes to be ignored by the browser spell checker. It can be turned off for all quizzes at the org unit level.
 
The inline limited version of Brightspace Editor is now available in Activity Feed as the default editor.


Figure: The editor in Activity Feed before the update
Figure: The editor in Activity Feed before the update

Figure: The updated inline limited version of Brightspace Editor in Activity Feed
Figure: The updated inline limited version of Brightspace Editor in Activity Feed 

Brightspace Editor HTML options in Activity Feed include: Bold, Italic, Underline, Strike-through, Superscript, Subscript, Font Color, Bulleted Lists, Numbered Lists, Increase/Decrease Indentation, Insert Stuff, Insert Quicklink, and Emoji. Insert Stuff now includes various capabilities, including Video Note functionality.

The Account Settings > HTML Editor Settings option is no longer available as it is not applicable with the new Brightspace Editor. This setting was previously used to make the HTML Editor more accessible to screen readers by removing the RichText presentation layer. Improved accessibility workflows in the new Brightspace Editor make this setting redundant.

Additionally, the Brightspace Editor now remembers the open or closed state of the More Actions button, per user, in order to reduce clicks for users that frequently use options in the expanded editor. 

The Brightspace Editor now uses pixels (px) in the font size menu in order to match the Content Settings menu for an org unit’s default font size.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to users due to the new Brightspace Editor being the default editor across Brightspace Learning Environment. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This feature is automatically turned on for all users.


Brightspace Learning Environment – Supported Browsers | Updated

As an update to Brightspace Learning Environment – Supported browsers | Updated released in January 2021/20.21.1 and Brightspace Platform – Support alert banner for older browsers | New released in March 2021/20.21.3, the warning banner for legacy Edge has been removed on Aug 1st and replaced with a “your browser is unsupported” page with a Your browser is looking a little retro… pop-up message.  

D2L recommends using Brightspace Learning Environment with an up-to-date browser that provides robust support for all features. If you are using Brightspace Learning Environment with a legacy browser, a pop-up message appears directing you to update your browser, change to a supported browser, or dismiss the message.  

Currently, the browser version check displays a warning for versions previous to:

  • Chrome 90 
  • Chrome OS Chrome 90 
  • Mobile Chrome 90 
  • Safari 14 
  • Mobile Safari 14 
  • Firefox 88 
  • Chromium-based Microsoft Edge 90

User-added image
Figure: The Your browser is looking a little retro… pop-up message. 

The following message appears if you are using one of the following browsers (or older): 

  • Chrome 67 (released March 2018) 
  • macOS Safari 12 (released September 2018)  
  • Firefox 67 (released May 2019)  
  • Chrome OS Chrome 67 (released Mar 2018)  
  • iOS Safari 11 (released September 2017)  
  • Android Chrome 67 (released Mar 2018) 

User-added image
Figure: Legacy support tier/really prominent warning.
 
If you are using Legacy Edge (older than version 79) or Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, the following message appears: 
Legacy Edge (Microsoft Edge versions <79) is now blocked from accessing Brightspace. Cannot proceed at all. 
User-added image
Figure: Blocked support tier warning.
   

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to clients using legacy browsers.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 
 
To enable: 
This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Learning Environment users. No further action is required.


Brightspace Learning Environment – End of Life for Secondary Window Pop-Ups | New

This update brings End of Life status to the Show dialogs as pop-ups setting under Username > Account Settings. All secondary windows now open in Dialogs. Historically, this setting was used as an Accessibility accommodation as not all Screen Readers were able to handle dialogs. Modern screen readers provide better support for dialogs. The associated configuration variable d2l.Preferences.NonModalDialogs(User) is also removed. 

 User-added image
 Figure: The Show secondary window as setting which has been removed.  
 
User-added image
 Figure: Example of a secondary window opening in a pop up. 

User-added image
 Figure: Example of a secondary window opening in a dialog. 

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to all users.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 
 
To enable: 
This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Learning Environment users. No further action is required. 

 

Brightspace for Parents – Notifications for upcoming due dates | New

To notify parents about their child's upcoming work, administrators can enable the visibility of the Update alerts icon Update alerts icon in Brightspace for Parents. When visible, this icon indicates there are notifications for upcoming assignments and quizzes that are due in the next 2 days.  

To enable visibility of the icon in Brightspace for Parents, administrators turn on the d2l.Tools.ParentPortal.Nav.ShowNotifications configuration variable. The default value is off.

Next, administrators ensure that parents are enrolled in the org as a Parent role; enrollment in the child’s courses are not required.
When parents log in to Brightspace for Parents, the learner selector page displays the Update alerts icon Update alerts icon, indicating there are upcoming assignments or quizzes for one or more learners.

Parents click the Update alerts icon Update alerts icon, and then one of the notifications from the list. This navigates to that learner's dashboard, where the upcoming assignment or quiz is visible in the Work To Do widget.  
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to enabling a configuration variable.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: Turn on the d2l.Tools.ParentPortal.Nav.ShowNotifications configuration variable.

Previously, if the d2l.Tools.ParentPortal.Nav.ShowNotifications variable was turned on, only parents enrolled in courses as Learner role would see the alert notification icon. With this change, parents enrolled in courses as an org-level Parent role now see the alert notification icon.

Moderate impact to parents due to the display of notifications in Brightspace for Parents. N/A


Brightspace for Parents - Responsive design improvements | New

To provide the best experience on mobile devices, Brightspace for Parents web view has been improved to support viewing on smaller screens. There are no workflows changes in the web view, only changes to display and navigation, including improved wrapping, margins, and alignment of images.

Impact of Change Technical Details
No impact to administrators. Availability: This feature is available to all clients using Brightspace for Parents.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace for Parents users.
Slight impact to parents due to improved viewing on mobile devices.  N/A


Brightspace for Parents – Work To Do widget | New

To provide parents with a clear and consolidated view of their child's work in Brightspace for Parents, the new Work to Do widget displays a summary of assigned learning activities from all their courses that are overdue or have an upcoming due date or end date. Counters for each section indicate how many learning activities remain to be completed, along with information about each learning activity's name, due date, and course name. This widget replaces the previous Overdue banner and Upcoming widget that displayed as separate objects in Brightspace for Parents.

The new Work To Do widget in Brightspace for Parents
Figure: The new Work To Do widget in Brightspace for Parents

The previous Overdue banner and Upcoming widget in Brightspace for Parents
Figure: The previous Overdue banner and Upcoming widget in Brightspace for Parents
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace for Parents users.

Moderate impact to parents due to a new widget for viewing upcoming and overdue work. Learning activities only appear in the Work To Do widget when the activity has a defined due date or end date. By default, the widget displays activities due or ending in the upcoming 2 weeks, and overdue work from the previous 12 weeks.


Brightspace Portfolio – Improved navigation experience for learners | New

To simplify navigation in the Portfolio tool and allow learners to more easily manage their course portfolios, this release introduces the following usability enhancements:

  • A toggle to view all courses or evidence.
  • A toggle to view all courses or evidence in tile or list format.
  • A list to view active evidence or archived portfolios.
  • Evidence filters.

This feature builds upon the ongoing initiative to provide a centralized navigation experience in Brightspace Portfolio
Previously, the Portfolio tool only displayed all courses in tile format, without any evidence filtering options.

In Brightspace Learning Environment, navigate to your portfolio, and then click View By: Courses or Evidence. By default, Courses is enabled.

Next, click Portfolio Tile View icon Tile View or Portfolio List View icon List View. By default, Portfolio Tile View icon Tile View is enabled.

By default, your portfolio displays Active Evidence in active courses. From the list, you can also choose to display Archived Portfolios from inactive courses.

From the Evidence view, click Filter > Evidence or School Categories, and then select one or more categories. For example, Filter > Evidence >  With Feedback. By default, filters are not enabled.

The new Portfolio landing page, displaying all courses in tile format
Figure: The new Portfolio landing page, displaying all courses in tile format

The new Portfolio landing page, displaying all evidence in list format
Figure: The new Portfolio landing page, displaying all evidence in list format

The previous Portfolio landing page, displaying all courses in tile format
Figure: The previous Portfolio landing page, displaying all courses in tile format
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to a new configuration variable that must be set to enable the new workflow.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using Brightspace Portfolio. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Portfolio users. No further action is required.

Moderate impact to learners due to a streamlined interface that allows them to more easily switch between views and formats for displaying all courses and evidence. To access your portfolio in Brightspace Learning Environment, do one of the following:
  • On the navbar, click your user profile, and then select My Portfolio.
  • On the navbar, click Portfolio.


Brightspace Pulse – Comment on Activity Feed posts | New

To encourage class engagement, learners can now comment on Activity Feed posts in Brightspace Pulse. Previously, learners could only read Activity Feed posts and comments in Brightspace Pulse. 

In Brightspace Pulse, tap the Courses tab, and then tap a course with Activity Feed enabled.

From the Activity Feed tab, tap the post you want to comment on, and then tap Add Comment. A browser opens, displaying the Activity Feed for the course in Brightspace Learning Environment.

Tap the post you want to comment on, add your comment, and then tap Post. Your comment displays.

To close the browser and return to Brightspace Pulse, tap Done.

In Brightspace Pulse, refresh the page to display your comment.

The new Add Comment button in Brightspace Pulse's Activity Feed
Figure: The new Add Comment button in Brightspace Pulse's Activity Feed
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Pulse clients in all regions. 

To enable: Download the latest version of Brightspace Pulse, available from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®. The app is generally released at the beginning of the month, and then sometimes mid-month, if issues are found. Depending on how your device is configured, the app may update automatically, or you may have to manually check for new versions.

This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Pulse users, if Activity Feed and commenting are enabled by instructors in their courses. No further action is required.

Slight impact to learners due to the ability to comment on Activity Feed posts in Brightspace Pulse. This feature does not support pinning posts or configuring the Activity Feed.

If Activity Feed is disabled in the course, the Activity Feed tab does not display.

If comments are disabled in Activity Feed, the Add Comment button does not display.


Brightspace Pulse – View all grades for a course | New

Learners can now view all grades for a course from a new Grades tab in the course. Previously, learners could only view course grades from notifications in Brightspace Pulse or by opening a browser and navigating to the Grades tool in Brightspace Learning Environment. 

To view all grades for a course, tap the Courses tab. Next, tap a course, and then the Grades tab. All received grades for the course display, indicating if feedback is available. To open the Grades tool in a browser and view full grade breakdowns and calculations, tap View Grades in Browser.  

To view feedback, tap a grade. The grade and text feedback display. To view details about the associated activity in Brightspace Learning Environment, tap View Activity.

This implements Product Idea Exchange item D6422.

The new Grades tab for a course in Brightspace Pulse
Figure: The new Grades tab for a course in Brightspace Pulse

A graded activity with feedback in Brightspace Pulse
Figure: A graded activity with feedback in Brightspace Pulse
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Pulse clients in all regions. 

To enable: Download the latest version of Brightspace Pulse, available from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®. The app is generally released at the beginning of the month, and then sometimes mid-month, if issues are found. Depending on how your device is configured, the app may update automatically, or you may have to manually check for new versions.

Important: Course grades must be enabled and visible to learners. If course grades are not enabled or visible to learners for a specific course, the Grades tab does not display for that course in Brightspace Pulse.

Slight impact to learners due to the ability to view all grades for a course in Brightspace Pulse. This update does not include:
  • A consolidated view of all grades for all courses. You can only view all grades for a specific course.
  • Rubrics associated with a grade. To view associated rubrics, navigate to the Grades tool in Brightspace Learning Environment.
  • Unreceived grades. Only received grades display in the Grades tab.
  • Final grades or notification of final grades. To view final grades, navigate to the Grades tool in Brightspace Learning Environment.

 

Brightspace Pulse – View content module descriptions | New

Learners can now view content module descriptions in Brightspace Pulse. Instructors use module descriptions to communicate vital information to learners about specific course content. Previously, module descriptions were only visible from Brightspace Learning Environment, which may have caused learners to miss important information when accessing courses from Brightspace Pulse.

This feature implements PIE items D4547 and D6460.

A content module description in Brightspace Pulse
Figure: A content module description in Brightspace Pulse
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Pulse clients in all regions. 

To enable: Download the latest version of Brightspace Pulse, available from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®. The app is generally released at the beginning of the month, and then sometimes mid-month, if issues are found. Depending on how your device is configured, the app may update automatically, or you may have to manually check for new versions.

The d2l.Tools.Content.LearnerExperience.HideModuleDesc configuration variable does not impact the display of module descriptions in Brightspace Pulse. This configuration variable is exclusive to the display of module descriptions in the new Content experience.

Slight impact to instructors and learners due to the display of module descriptions in Brightspace Pulse. A content module is a stand-alone instructional unit that is designed to satisfy one or more learning objectives in a course. A module consists of one or more lessons.

Learners cannot view or click links in module descriptions.

Leaners cannot view images in module descriptions.

Content module descriptions can be saved for offline viewing.

Discussions - Consistent evaluation experience | New

This feature updates the user evaluation experience when assessing a topic or an individual learner, allowing instructors to better review and evaluate discussion contributions. The evaluation interface for Discussions has a similar layout as the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience.

The d2l.Tools.Activities.CEDiscussionOptIn configuration variable allows administrators to provide an opt-in ability so users can try out the consistent evaluation experience with this tool. The default value for this configuration variable is Off. Setting the value to On(Opt-In) enables all users to opt-in to the experience on an individual basis. Setting the value to On turns on the new experience for all users and removes the ability to use the previous evaluation experience.

This new experience involves a new page layout, with evaluation tools and the post being evaluated displaying side-by-side. Assessment workflows have not changed.

New evaluation experience for Discussions, with posts and evaluation tools displayed side-by-side.
Figure: New evaluation experience for Discussions, with posts and evaluation tools displayed side-by-side.

For more detail about the improvements in this new experience, visit the Welcome to Our New Discussion Evaluation Experience post on Brightspace Community.

For additional information on the consistent evaluation experience across all Brightspace tools, visit the What is Coming in Evaluation: 20.20.12 post on Brightspace Community.

This feature implements PIE items D2211, D2348, D2514, D3430, D3673, D4859, D4920, D5148, D4393, D6911, and D7253.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to allow users to opt-in to the new evaluation experience in Discussions, or permanently enable the new experience. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure the d2l.Tools.Activities.CEDiscussionOptIn configuration variable is set to On(Opt-In) or On.
Moderate impact to instructors due to a new evaluation experience available in Discussions. Depending on the settings of the new configuration variable, instructors have the option to opt-in to the new experience. N/A


Discussions – Improvements to visibility and posting restrictions | New

For the August 2021/20.21.8 release, administrators can choose to opt-in to a new workflow that makes it easier for instructors to set visibility and posting restrictions for discussion forums and topics. More specifically, this change simplifies date management for discussion activities, offering a more consistent, simplified, and consolidated experience for instructors. For the September 2021/20.21.9 release, this workflow will be on by default. For the December 2021/20.21.12 release, this workflow will be the only workflow for setting visibility and posting restrictions. For more information on these changes, see the Changes To Availability And Locking Dates For A Consolidated Dates Workflow blog post.

To allow instructors to try the new workflow, administrators set the new d2l.Tools.Discuss.ConsolidatedDatesEnabled configuration variable to ON. Once set, all existing settings for visibility and posting restrictions are migrated to the new locations in the Discussions tool. Instructors do not need to make any changes to their new or existing courses. 

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. 


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

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

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

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: Set the new d2l.Tools.Discuss.ConsolidatedDatesEnabled configuration variable to ON. By default, the value is OFF. Determines if the new discussion dates settings for start and end dates is enabled for an org unit (including all the users inside it). If the value is ON, the new dates settings are used, affecting the default for all orgs sharing this instance; otherwise, the old dates settings are used.
Note: With this new workflow, the Override Locked Topic Restrictions permission is renamed to Override Availability Date Submission Restrictions.

Moderate impact to instructors due to a new workflow for setting visibility and posting restrictions for discussion forums and topics. Availability specifies when learners can access (or view) a forum or topic based on a specific date set by an instructor. For example, an instructor sets a date to make a discussion forum available to learners after the end date for finishing a course module.

Posting restrictions (also known as locking and unlocking) specify if learners can post or reply to a forum or topic based on a specific date set by an instructor. For example, an instructor sets a date to lock a discussion topic after making it available, giving learners time to read and understand the discussion topic, but not post replies. The instructor also sets a date to unlock the topic several days later, allowing learners to post their well thought out replies.


Grades (Mastery View) – Evaluated and Aligned Activity Counter | Removed

To improve page performance for the Grade book Mastery View, the Evaluated and Aligned Activity counter has been removed. We recognize that this is important contextual information for instructors and evaluators when reviewing the overall level of achievement for a learner.  D2L is re-evaluating ways in which to present this information while not impacting the performance of this page.  

The information from the Evaluated and Aligned Activity data element will be reintroduced in a future release with additional context to help clients better analyze what the numbers represent in their learning environment. 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who no longer have the Evaluated and Aligned Activity data element in the Grade book Mastery view. N/A


Local Authentication Security – User interface improvements | Updated

This feature builds on the Local Authentication Security – Improvements | Updated feature that was released in July 2021/20.21.07. 
The Local Authentication Security page now includes updated text and user interface options to increase clarity around the functionality on this page. The Local Authentication Allow List field is renamed to read as Local Authentication Authorized Users and appears as a drop-down menu with the following options:

  • Not Enabled
  • Restrict Local Login only for Authorized Users
  • Enable 2FA for Authorized Users
  • Restrict Local Login and enable 2FA for Authorized Users

Note: When you select any option that restricts local logins and then click Save, a confirmation message appears.

The User List is now renamed and reads as Authorized Users.

Figure: The Local Authentication Security page before the update
Figure: The Local Authentication Security page before the update

Figure: The updated Local Authentication Security page
Figure: The updated Local Authentication Security page

This change means that users on the Authorized Users list can have 2FA enabled for their accounts with or without enabling the restriction of local logins only to the accounts on the list.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the above improvements.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: The Local Authentication Security page is set to ON by default on the Organization Tools page for all clients. 

 

Rubrics – Increased accessibility with labels on radio buttons | Updated

To provide a better experience to clients using screen readers, criterion levels now indicate the level name and point value of each radio button when it has the focus. Previously, screen readers only indicated “radio button X out of Y” or “radio button, not selected” depending on whether the focus is on a selected criterion. 

In addition, the mobile view of Rubrics now has radio buttons implemented to describe the level name and point value of each criterion level, consistent with the view on a larger screen.  
Note: Depending on the screen reader you use, the way of listing all the radio buttons on a page differs. For example, In NVDA, press INSERT+F7; in JAWS, press CTRL+INSERT+A. In general, D2L tests compatibility with the following screen readers: NVDA, JAWS, and Voiceover. 

 Criterion level rows behave as radio buttons for screen readers.
Figure: Criterion level rows behave as radio buttons for screen readers. 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to improved accessibility on rubric labels. Availability: This feature is available to all clients using assistive technology with the updated Rubrics experience. 
  
To enable: This functionality is automatically available to updated Rubrics experience users. 


Rubrics – Inline grading improvements | Updated

There have been improvements to the ease of use of the inline grading experience, including changes to ensure grading experience parity for screen reader users. Previously, screen reader users were unable to grade or review tasks due to missing information. In addition, the updates now include the following: 

  • The interaction of the arrow buttons at either end of the evaluation slider now indicate a hover state compared to a focus state. If there is no level under the hover pointer, the level area is empty. 

If there is hover pointer is on a level, the name, description, and score appear in the level information area below the slider
Figure: If the hover pointer is on a level, the name, description, and score appear in the level information area below the slider. 

  • Keyboard navigation of the slider evaluation levels identify the focus and indicate the criterion you are viewing. When the keyboard focus is on a level, you can press the arrow keys at the beginning and end of the slider or use the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to move the focus within a scale. In grading mode, moving the focus to a level directly selects the level. You can also press Enter to select or unselect a level. In preview mode, the selected level does not change when you review other levels’ information. 

The focused level is highlighted inside slider segment.
 Figure: The focused level is highlighted inside the slider segment.  

  • Keyboard navigation of the slider evaluation levels more clearly identify the focus and level you have selected in grading mode. You can use the right or left arrow key at the beginning and end of the slider to move the focus within a scale. Press Enter or use the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to select and deselect the level.  

When the level is selected, a larger box outlines the slider level, and a checkmark appears in the level
 Figure: When the level is selected, a larger box outlines the slider level, and a checkmark appears in the level 

  • The level name and description of an evaluation level appear below the evaluation slider in the selected state, and the selection indicator appears on the slider at the chosen level. 

When a level is selected, the level name and description appear, along with the selection indicator
 Figure: When a level is selected, the level name and description appear, along with the selection indicator 

  • When the rubric has been graded, the level information area displays the selected level’s information by default, unless other levels are in hover state in grading mode, or in hover or focus state in reviewing mode. 

When a non-selected level is in hover state, the name, description, and score appear in the level information area below the slider.
Figure: When a non-selected level is in hover state, the name, description, and score appear in the level information area below the slider. 

  •  When you move the selection block to a different level, there is now an animation to smoothly transition to the new level. 

This feature implements PIE item D7666. 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who use the inline grading experience.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 
  
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Rubrics users. 

Rubrics - Overall Score now appears in Mobile View and the New Assignment and Discussion Evaluation Experiences | Updated

When an instructor using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience opens a rubric in a new window, the Overall Score displays for each rubric, and the instructor can override the level if necessary. Previously, if an instructor did not open a new window, rather, they viewed the rubrics inline in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience tool, the Overall Score did not appear, and the instructor could not override the level. As a result, text-only rubrics could not be assessed because the Overall Score was not available.  

Now, instructors using Mobile view can evaluate text-only rubrics for assignments (using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience) and can evaluate text-only rubrics for discussions (using the New Discussions Assignments Evaluation Experience) as expected. 

The Overall Score in Mobile and New Assignment Evaluation Experience views.
Figure: The Overall Score in Mobile and New Assignment Evaluation Experience views

This feature implements PIE item D7666. 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the availability of the Overall Score in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience and Mobile View for text-only rubrics Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Rubrics Evaluation experience who are also using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience or Mobile View to evaluate Assignments and Discussions. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all New Rubrics Evaluation experience users.

 

 

July 2021

Brightspace Learning Environment

D2L Quiz Tool and Other Monthly Updates

 

This month, the D2L Quiz tool will be having a couple of changes that may impact the way instructors set up and interact with their quizzes and exams. 

  • Introduction Field Removed: To reduce redundancy in the Quizzes tool, the Introduction field is being phased out. In this release, when an instructor creates and/or edits a quiz, the Introduction field is no longer available and the introduction field for any quizzes that are edited will now be merged with the Description field. 
  • Reports Options Moved: Additionally when creating or editing a quiz, the Reports tab has been moved to the dropdown menu next to the quiz title. This menu will have separate options for setting up and viewing quiz reports. 

The details for this and all the other monthly D2L updates can be reviewed on the D2L Updates knowledge base article

 

​If you have any questions about the D2L system, please reach out to the 24/7 D2L support at https://community.brightspace.com/uco/s/

Assignments – Add categories in the New Assignment Creation Experience | New

This feature builds on the Assignments – Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience | New feature that was released in April 2021/20.21.4.

The new assignment creation experience supports the alignment of assignments to categories. This feature is turned off by default. When it is enabled, instructors can add new or existing assignment categories when creating or editing a new assignment.

Figure: The new assignment creation experience with the ability to align assignments to categories
Figure: The new assignment creation experience with the ability to align assignments to categories

This feature implements PIE item D6656.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the new configuration variable that needs to be set. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.Tools.Activities.SetCategoriesOnEdit (OrgUnit) configuration variable is set to On.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to align assignments to categories when creating or editing an assignment in the new assignment creation experience. N/A

 

Assignments – Org Defined Id field in the User Profile card | New

When an instructor hovers over a learner's profile in the new Assignment Evaluation Experience, the User Profile card now displays the value of the Org Defined Id field, if enabled in the Profile Cards tool. By default, the new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool is enabled.

This feature implements PIE item D7836.

The new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool
Figure: The new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Assignments users.

D2L recommends displaying the Org Defined Id field only if existing business rules are satisfied, such as User Information Privacy permissions and the d2l.Settings.OrgHasOrgDefinedId configuration variable.

The User Profile card also respects the settings in User Information Privacy, Admin Configuration, Preferred Names, and Online Status Preference.

If enabled, the value of the Org Defined Id field also appears in the old User Profile card and the new web components.

Display of the Org Defined Id field is not affected by the d2l.Tools.Discuss.User.ShowOrgDefinedId configuration variable.

Slight impact to instructors due to the new Org Defined Id field that displays in User Profile cards. N/A

 

Brightspace Editor – Available in ePortfolio External Comments and Quiz Builder | Updated

This feature updates the Brightspace Editor – Additional functionality | Updated feature released in June 2021/20.21.6 and includes the following items:

  • External users adding comments in Brightspace ePortfolio can now use the new inline limited version of Brightspace Editor.
  • The Quiz Builder now supports the new inline Editor

    Figure: The inline Editor in the Quiz Builder
    Figure: The inline Editor in the Quiz Builder

 

  • The right-click menu is no longer available when creating tables.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the availability of the new Brightspace Editor in ePortfolio and Quiz Builder. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable is set to On.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to use the new Brightspace Editor in ePortfolio and Quiz builder. N/A
Slight impact to learners due to the ability to use the new Brightspace Editor in ePortfolio external comments N/A

 

Brightspace Platform – New Brightspace External Resource icon | Updated

To differentiate from the similar generic download icon, the external resource icon is now changing to a building block icon. This new icon better represents the building block approach of external resource functionality.  

The new icon now appears in the following locations:  

  • External Learning Tools under Admin Tools (Administrators) 
  • External Learning Tools under the Add Existing options of the Classic Content tool and the Lessons tool (Instructors) 
  • External Learning Tools in the Classic Content Experience and the New Learner Content Experience (Learners) Feature description 


The new external resource functionality icon
Figure: The new external resource functionality icon

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to users due to the new external resources building block icon. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To Enable:  N/A

 

Data Hub - Additional columns for Learner Usage Advanced Data Set | Updated

To increase the value of the Data Hub offering, this release adds the following new columns to Learner Usage ADS:

  • LastQuizAttemptDate
  • LastScormCompletionDate
  • LastScormVisitDate

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to administrators due to the addition of new columns. Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Insights and Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: Ensure the Can Access Brightspace Data Sets permission is granted to administrators at the org level, and the Can Execute Learner Usage permission is selected at the org level.

 

Data Hub - Historic data for Learning Outcomes data sets | Updated


To increase the utility of the Learning Outcomes Brightspace Data Sets, first released in June 2021/20.21.6, this release adds historic data for the following data sets:

  • Outcomes Scale Definition
  • Outcomes Scale Level Definition
  • Outcome Details (for ASN imported outcomes only)
  • Outcomes in Registries (for program registries only)
  • Outcomes Program Details

The historic data includes all achievement scales, all programs, and all imported ASN outcomes back to the client's start of use of the Learning Outcomes tool. The remaining Learning Outcomes Brightspace Data Sets only contain data from June 2021 onward.

For more information about what these new data sets capture and how to use them, refer to this blog post: Introducing Outcomes Data Sets.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the addition of new data to existing Brightspace Data Sets. Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Insights and Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: Ensure the Can Access Brightspace Data Sets permission is granted to administrators at the org level.

 

Data Hub - Outcomes Assessed Checkpoints Brightspace Data Set | New

To increase the value of the Data Hub offering, this release adds the following new Learning Outcomes Brightspace Data Set (BDS), which returns details from the Learning Outcomes tool:

  • Outcomes Assessed Checkpoints: provides details about the Overall Level of Achievement calculation settings for a checkpoint.

For more information about what these new data sets capture and how to use them, refer to this blog post: Introducing Outcomes Data Sets.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the addition of new Brightspace Data Sets. Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Insights and Brightspace Core clients in all regions. 

To enable: Ensure the Can Access Brightspace Data Sets permission is granted to administrators at the org level.

 

Grades – Add categories for text, calculated, and formula grade items | New

This feature enables you to better organize your grade book by adding categories to text, calculated, and formula grade items. This improved organization does not impact the calculation of the category these grade items are in. The totals in these categories do not contribute to the final grade.

You can import, export, and copy category values for these grade item types. In addition, you can also access these values using API and view them in data sets (CategoryId). There is no dataset update as the value was previously available but set to Null for these grade item types.

This feature implements PIE item D236.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to add categories to text, calculated, and formula grade items.   Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This feature is automatically turned on for Grades users who can create or edit grade items.

Quizzes – Quiz Introduction field | Removed

To reduce redundancy in the Quizzes tool, the Introduction field is being phased out. In this release, when an instructor creates and/or edits a quiz, the Introduction field is no longer available.

If any quiz previously had text in the Introduction field, on clicking Edit, the text is automatically appended to the Description field. A message appears indicating that these two fields have been merged. Instructors can review the modified quiz description prior to saving the quiz.

Note: In some interfaces, for example Classic content, the Instructions field is displayed. This Instructions field already maps to the quiz Description field. Hence, there is no change to this workflow.

Figure: The Edit Quiz page with the message that appears when you edit a quiz containing an introduction
Figure: The Edit Quiz page with the message that appears when you edit a quiz containing an introduction

Note: Check the visibility of the Description field prior to saving the quiz.

When importing a course using Import/Export/Copy Components, text in the quiz Introduction field automatically appends to the quiz Description field. The export and copy workflows remain unchanged.

When viewing a quiz topic in the Classic Content tool, the text in the Introduction field now appears under the Instructions header.

Figure: A view of a quiz in the Classic Content tool - text in the Introduction field will appear under the Instructors header
Figure: A view of a quiz in the Classic Content tool - text in the Introduction field will appear under the Instructors header

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to instructors due to the phasing out of the Introduction field. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This feature is automatically turned on for Quizzes users.
Ensure that the Manage Quiz Reports permission is turned on for the instructor role.

 

Quizzes – Relocation of the Reports Setup functionality | New

The Report Setup tab on the Edit Quiz page is now available on the context menu of a quiz and reads as Setup Reports.

The Reports option available on the quiz context menu is also updated and reads as View Reports.

Figure: The New Quiz page with the Reports Setup tab before the update
Figure: The New Quiz page with the Reports Setup tab before the update

Figure: The Quiz context menu before the update
Figure: The Quiz context menu before the update

Figure: The updated quiz context menu with the Setup Reports and View Reports options
Figure: The updated quiz context menu with the Setup Reports and View Reports options
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to instructors due to the Reports tab now appearing as a context menu option.   Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This feature is automatically turned on for Quizzes users.

Ensure that the Manage Quiz Reports permission is turned on for the instructor role.

 

Quizzes - Set grace period time to 0 minutes | New

When setting an enforced time limit for a quiz, instructors can now set the grace period for a quiz to 0 minutes, in place of the default grace period setting of 5 minutes. Entering a 0 minute grace period flags the quiz attempt as exceeded immediately when the quiz time limit is reached by the learner. Quiz attempt logs display when the learner attempt exceeds the regular time limit, grace period time limit or any extended time limit. Grace period of 0 minutes can be set for quizzes with special access restrictions as well.  

Note that setting a grace period can support learner accessibility requirements and other situations, such as slow internet connections when completing quizzes.

Enter 0 in the Grace Period field that appears with the Enforced Time Limit option for a quiz
Figure: Enter 0 in the Grace Period field that appears with the Enforced Time Limit option for a quiz

This feature implements PIE item D516.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to remove the grace period time for quizzes.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Quizzes users.

 

Quizzes - Status and workflow changes for quizzes with ungraded questions | New

To support instructors who need to manually score questions within quizzes, the following quiz status and quiz grading workflow updates are available: 

  • For quizzes that contain questions that need to be manually scored (such as Written Response questions) AND that have the "Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion" option disabled, a new Pending Evaluation status appears beside the quiz attempt on the Grade Quiz page.
  • While evaluating a quiz attempt with unevaluated questions, the instructor can now select Pending evaluations in the Question View drop-down menu to filter for only the questions that require manual evaluation. 
  • Instructors can now filter the Users tab by status. The available filters are: Published, Saved as draft, Pending evaluation and an empty status. The empty status denotes a quiz with auto-scored questions, where all questions are evaluated and there is no question evaluation pending. 

 

The updated quiz status filters appear
Figure: The updated quiz status filters appear on the Attempts tab


The new Pending Evaluation filter appears in the Question View drop-down menu to easily locate questions requiring manual evaluation by the instructor
Figure: The new Pending Evaluation filter appears in the Question View drop-down menu to easily locate questions requiring manual evaluation by the instructor

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to easily locate and filter for quiz questions that require their manual evaluation.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Quizzes users. 

June 2021

Brightspace Learning Environment

Attendance – Delete and restore registers | Updated

This feature complements the Attendance – Manage registers | Updated feature released in the May 2021 / 20.21.5 release.
Instructors can now restore mistakenly deleted attendance registers and associated session data. You can delete registers individually on the Attendance Registers page or in bulk.

Note: Deleted registers do not appear in the Attendance data set.


Figure: The Attendance Registers page with the Delete functionality
Figure: The Attendance Registers page with the More Actions drop-down menu > Delete functionality
 

This feature implements PIE ideas D6051 and D1535.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to restore deleted attendance registers and session data.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Attendance users. The existing See the Attendance tool and Manage Attendance Registers permissions must also be selected for the instructor role at the course level.

 

Brightspace Editor – Additional functionality | Updated

This feature updates the Brightspace Editor – Improvements | Updated feature released in the May 2021/20.21.5 release and includes the following functionality:

  • Format painter – you can now copy and apply text formatting
  • @mentions – @mentions is controlled by the organization unit configuration variable, d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions, that is deployed in an OFF state. Once enabled by an administrator, in discussion posts, users can now tag other users within the same course using @mentions depending on permissions. Tagged users are notified by alerts in the minibar. External notifications are not yet available. 


Privacy is an important consideration of this feature, so the @mentions feature is controlled by multiple permissions. A role must have the following permissions to use the feature when enabled for their organization unit:

  • User Information Privacy > See First Names*
  • User Information Privacy > See Last Names*
  • User Management > Search for {role} 


When a user is tagged, their profile is linked to their tagged name – this will eventually be replaced with the Profile Card. To see the profile of another user, the following permission is required:

  • User Profile > View Other Users’ Profiles

 
Without the View Other Users’ Profiles permission, the profile link does not render for that role. 
 
After @mentions are created in a course, if this functionality is turned off, the @mentions links and notifications in the alerts area remain active. However, users cannot add further @mentions.   
 
Note: At this time, a user, when fully permissioned, can @mention any active user (depending on the roles they can search for) in their organization unit regardless of group, section, or conditional release restrictions for that discussion forum/topic. When a user is @mentioned in a topic they do not have access to, they do not receive an alert, to prevent 404 errors. Further work to enhance this workflow is planned.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to enable the @mentions functionality in Brightspace Editor for an organization unit. Availability: These features are available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable is set to On.
The format painter functionality is only available in the new Brightspace Editor and appears automatically in the toolbar in all tools using the full editor.
Ensure that the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions configuration is turned ON for the organization units that want to use @mentions. It is set to OFF by default.

Ensure that the following permissions are turned on for the required roles:
  • User Information Privacy > See First Names*
  • User Information Privacy > See Last Names*
  • Users Management > Search for {role}
  • User Profile > View Other Users’ Profiles 

Brightspace Platform – LaTex rendering in quiz questions | New

This feature releases the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.InlineLaTeX (OrgUnit) configuration variable that renders inline LaTex equations in the HTML Editor and in the new Brightspace Editor. As a result, scientific and mathematical equations are rendered seamlessly without the need to use the LaTeX equation option in the Equation Editor.
This configuration variable is turned ON by default for new clients and is turned OFF by default for existing clients. 

When enabled, any existing inline LaTeX equations render as expected. When disabled, these equations no long render. However, the equation remains unaltered.


Figure: A Content topic with some inline LaTex equations and a learner’s view of the equations
Figure: A Content topic with some inline LaTex equations and a learner’s view of the equations
 

This feature implements PIE ideas D1822 and D7732.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the availability of the new d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.InlineLaTeX (OrgUnit) configuration variable.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients using any version of the Editor.

To enable: The d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.InlineLaTeX (OrgUnit) configuration variable is turned ON by default for new clients.

This configuration variable is turned OFF by default for existing clients.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to add inline LaTex equations using the Editor. Availability: N/A

To enable: Ensure that your administrator has turned on the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.InlineLaTeX (OrgUnit) configuration variable for your organization unit.

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

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to all users due to the improved email setup.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all Email users.

 

Import/Export/Copy Components – Export course metadata | New

Brightspace Learning Environment course packages now include metadata that identify the Course Name, Course Code, and Language used in the course. This metadata is displayed in the IMSManifest.XML file.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators and instructors due to the added metadata in the IMSManifest.XML file.  Availability: After first being introduced to a small group of clients, this feature is now available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all Import/Export/Copy Component users.

Note: This feature is an addition to Brightspace course packages and does not impact import capabilities of older Brightspace course packages.

 

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.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors using Rubrics with the New Assignment Creation Experience.  Availability: This feature is available for all clients using the New Assignment Creation Experience.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Rubrics users. To turn on the New  Rubrics Evaluation Experience, ensure the d2l.Tools.Dropbox.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in).

 

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.

This implements PIE item D5263.

Direction arrows located beside the criterion group header.

Figure: Direction arrows located beside the criterion group header

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors using the New Rubric Creation Experience. Availability: This feature is available for all clients using the New Rubric Creation Experience.   

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Rubrics users. To turn on the New Rubrics Creation Experience, the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in)

 

Rubrics – Replace legacy Rubric grading in Competency Manual Assessment items with New Rubric Experience | Updated

To hasten the end of life of the legacy Rubric experience, manual assessment for competency items now display the New Rubric Experience by default. Now, when evaluating a competency manual assessment item, the New Rubric Experience displays automatically.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors using the legacy Rubric evaluation experience; they are now required to use the New Rubric Evaluation Experience. Availability: This feature is available for all clients using the New Rubric Evaluation Experience and clients using the legacy Competency tool for manual assessment.   

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for users of the New Rubrics Evaluation Experience.  

 

Rubrics – Replace legacy Rubric grading in ePortfolio with new Rubric experience | Updated

To hasten the end of life of the legacy Rubric Experience, ePortfolio items now display the New Rubric Experience by default. Now, when evaluating an ePortfolio item, the New Rubric Evaluation Experience appears automatically. 

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors using the legacy Rubric Evaluation Experience; they are now required to use the New Rubric Experience.  Availability: This feature is available for all clients using the New Rubric Evaluation Experience and ePortfolio.   

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for users of the New Rubrics Evaluation Experience and ePortfolio. 

 

Rubrics – Replace legacy Rubric grading in Grade items with new Rubric experience | Updated

To hasten the end of life of the legacy Rubric experience, Grade items now display the New Rubric Evaluation Experience. Now, when you evaluating an indirect rubric on a grade item, the New Rubric Experience appears by default when evaluating a grade item with a direct rubric association. With this change, all grade book workflows now follow the New Rubric Experience.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors using the legacy Rubric Evaluation Experience; they are now required to use the New Rubric Experience.  Availability: This feature is available for all clients using the New Rubric Evaluation Experience.   

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for users of the New Rubrics Evaluation Experience. To turn on the updated Rubrics experience, ensure the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in)

SCORM – Export and import course packages across orgs | New

Administrators can now export and import course packages containing SCORM objects across orgs. Previously, course packages containing SCORM objects could be exported from an org; however, attempting to import those course packages into a different org failed.

For example, when an administrator exports a course containing SCORM objects from Org A, copies of the SCORM objects are added to the exported course package. The end result is a course package available for import and SCORM objects with all references to the SCORM objects retained within the original course.

When an administrator imports the course package into Org  B, the SCORM objects are added into the org and re-linked to the imported course so references are not broken (the physical copy SCORM objects now exist in Org B, separate from Org A, where the course package was exported from). As a result, any instructor with the Can insert new SCORM objects permission for a course can access the SCORM objects that were copied into the imported course.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators and instructors due to the ability to export or import course packages containing SCORM objects across orgs. 

 
Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for SCORM users.

If a course contains multiple links to a single SCORM object, the object is exported multiple times, once for each link, and included as a copy in the exported course package. When importing the course package, the package is imported multiple times, once for each link.

Bulk Course Copy, Bulk Course Export, and Bulk Course Create also support this new functionality.

 

May 2021

Brightspace Learning Environment

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. 

This feature implements PIE item D6778.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who can now provide annotations on new file types. Availability: This feature is available to all clients using Annotations with Assignments. 

To enable:  Ensure that the d2l.Tools.Assignments.AnnotationsDefault configuration variable is set to ON.

 

Assignments - Configuration variable change for the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | Updated

This feature updates the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | New feature released in December 2020/20.20.12. 

To clarify the names of existing configuration variables for the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, the following configuration variable will be renamed:

  • d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn becomes d2l.Tools.Activities.CEAssignmentsOptIn. This configuration variable will be set to On (Opt-In) for all Orgs. 

With this setting, the New Assignment Evaluation Experience appears by default for all users, and they will have the option to opt-out until the 20.21.8 release, at which time the New Assignment Evaluation Experience will become the only option available.   

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to administrators due to the change to configuration variable name and the new default setting.
 
Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Config Variable Browser users. 

Attendance – Manage registers | Updated

This feature adds the ability for instructors to set the visibility of attendance registers in bulk. It also includes updated logic to prevent instructors from changing a scheme in an attendance register once session information has been added to it. This update prevents unintentional deletion of session data.  

Figure: The Edit Register page with the Attendance Scheme greyed out
Figure: The Edit Register page with the Attendance Scheme greyed out

The new More Actions button on the Course Admin > Attendance Registers page enables instructors to modify the visibility of attendance registers in bulk. Previously, you had to modify each register individually.

Figure: The Attendance Registers page before the update
Figure: The Attendance Registers page before the update

Figure: The Attendance Registers page with the new More Actions button
Figure: The Attendance Registers page with the new More Actions button
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the introduction of the More Actions button and due to the updated logic to prevent unintentional deletion of session data.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Attendance users. The existing See the Attendance tool and Manage Attendance Registers permissions must also be selected for the instructor role at the course level.

 

Brightspace Editor – Improvements | Updated

This feature complements the Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor | New and the Assignments – Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Evaluation Experience | New features released in the April 2021 / 20.21.4 release and includes the following improvements:

  • Copy/paste and/or drag and drop images - You can copy/paste and/or drag and drop images when providing feedback in assignments, discussions, and quizzes. Images are saved in the content folder.
  • External users adding comments in Brightspace ePortfolio now have the new inline limited version of Brightspace Editor.

    Figure: Inline limited version of Brightspace Editor in Brightspace ePortfolio
    Figure: Inline limited version of Brightspace Editor in Brightspace ePortfolio
     
  • 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.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to opt into the new Brightspace Editor. Availability: These improvements are available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable is set to On.
 
These features will be automatically enabled in the New Assignment Creation Experience and in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience as the new Editor is the only editor available in these experiences and is not controlled by the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to copy/paste images into a widget, in gradebook feedback, and when evaluating assignments. N/A

Config Variable Browser - Configuration variable to set a document conversion message in Assignments | New

The configuration variable d2l.Tools.Dropbox.DisplayConversionWarning (Org Unit) is now available. If enabled, a message appears to users when viewing a file that has been converted to .pdf from a different file type in Assignments. The message states "This file has been converted and may have inaccuracies." The message is configurable via Language Management by searching the term: txtConversionInfoMessage

The d2l.Tools.Dropbox.DisplayConversionWarning (Org Unit) configuration variable is OFF by default. 

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to enable this configuration variable to display to Assignments users.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Config Variable Browser users. 
Set the configuration variable to ON for the required Org Units. 
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to view a message about converted documents, if applicable.  N/A
Slight impact to learners due to the ability to view a message about converted documents, if applicable.  N/A

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.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight disruption due to the new action menu that contains Copy and Delete options. Availability: This feature is available to all clients using assistive technology with the updated Rubrics experience.

To enable: This functionality is automatically available to users of the updated Rubrics experience. To turn on the updated Rubrics experience, ensure the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in).

 

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 Brightspace Learning Environment. The Print button displays above the top-right corner of the rubric. 

This feature implements PIE items D5989, D1360, D2677.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who can now print rubrics or export rubrics to PDF. Availability: This feature is available to all Brightspace clients using the new Rubrics experience on a desktop browser. It is not available on Brightspace on mobile devices. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically available to users of the updated Rubrics experience. To turn on the updated Rubrics experience, ensure the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in).

 

Self-Serve Analytics - Daily differentials | Updated

Daily data set differentials are now available to Self-Serve Analytics (SSA) clients. Previously, SSA data was refreshed weekly, following the generation of full data sets in Data Hub. 

Authors can review when the data was refreshed by going to the Data tab and reviewing the timestamp on each data set.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to authors due to more frequent updates. Availability: This feature is available to all Performance Plus clients. 

To enable: This feature is automatically enabled for Self-Serve Analytics users. Users must have the Can Use Self-Serve Analytics permission to view the feature.

 

Widgets - Work To Do widget | New

The new Work To Do widget provides learners a summary of assigned learning activities from all their courses that are overdue or have an upcoming due date. The widget can be added to Brightspace homepages to aggregate data from all courses, and to course homepages to show only due and overdue learning activities from the course.

The Work To Do widget displays the following learning activities:

  • Assignments
  • Checklists
  • Content
  • Courses
  • Discussions
  • Surveys
  • Quizzes

Learning activities only appear in the Work To Do widget when the activity has a defined due date or end date. By default, the widget displays activities due in the upcoming 2 weeks, and overdue work from the previous 12 weeks.

Learners require the new View Work To Do Widget permission set at the Organization level and at the Course Offering level to access the widget from their organization homepage or from the homepages of each course.

For additional information and frequently asked questions about the Work To Do widget, see the following post: Introducing the Work To Do Widget
 

The new Work To Do widget
Figure: The Work To Do widget organizes course activities by overdue and upcoming due dates so learners can easily prioritize their work and stay on top of their tasks.

This feature implements PIE item D7001.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the requirement to enable the Work To Do widget, set the new permission for learners and add the widget to desired homepages. Availability: This feature is available to all Brightspace Core clients. 

To enable: 
  • Turn on Work To Do in Organization Tools. 
  • Set the  View Work To Do Widget permission for learner roles at the Organization and/or Course Offering level.
  • Add the widget to your organization or course homepages.
Slight impact to instructors due to the requirement to add the Work To Do widget to their course homepages and ensure that course learning activities have set due dates and end dates in order to appear in the widget.  N/A
Slight impact to learners who will observe the new Work To Do widget on their organization and course homepages.  N/A

 

Allows users to: Add or update SCORM objects to Content

When adding SCORM objects to the Content Service:

  • Determine if the SCORM object uses the navigation bar in the content viewer.
  • Determine if the user can change the title of the package or perform bulk upload of SCORM objects.

When linking SCORM objects to a specific course:

  • Can create a grade item, choose the grade option for the item (such as highest, average, most recent, or lowest)
  • Can choose to link to either the most recent version, or a specific (static) version of the object.

 

Users will see: The New SCORM Object option in the Upload/Create button menu in Content.

To add a SCORM or xAPI package to the Content tool

If you are using the new SCORM solution, upload SCORM or xAPI packages directly into the Content tool.

  1. In Content, either create or select a module to include your SCORM or xAPI package in.
  2. Within your selected module, from the Upload/Create button, select New SCORM Object/xAPI Object.
  3. In the Add Course Package - SCORM dialog window, do one of the following:
    • If you want to upload a new SCORM or xAPI package, click Upload. Then, either browse one or more files, or drag and drop the files into the designated area. Note: You can upload up to 50 SCORM or xAPI objects at a time.
    • If you want to add a previously uploaded SCORM or xAPI package, select it from the list.
  1. Click Save.
  2. On the Add Course Package - SCORM screen, do one or more of the following:
    • To add the SCORM or xAPI object to the course, select it and click Add.
    • If you want to create a grade item for the SCORM or xAPI object, click Yes. Then, select the type of grade calculation method you want to use. Note: To edit the grade item later, select the item in the grade book.
    • If you want the SCORM or xAPI package in your course to remain as it was when you uploaded it (to be statically linked), click Display this version even if a new version is added.
    • If you want the SCORM or xAPI package in your course to remain updated as new versions are added (to be dynamically linked), click Always display the latest version.
    • If you want to update other properties, select the SCORM or xAPI object then select Properties. Then, you can change the title, and add or remove external navigation.
  1. Click Save.

April 2021

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 Brightspace Learning Environment. In a pop-up window, the Print button displays at the bottom of the rubric for the graded view, next to the Close button. In other displays where the rubric is embedded in a page, such as the Activity Summary page in Outcomes Progress, the Print button displays above the top-right corner of the rubric.

This feature implements PIE items D5989, D1360, D2677.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who can now print rubrics or export rubrics to PDF. Availability: This feature is available to all Brightspace clients using the new Rubrics experience on a desktop browser. It is not available on Brightspace on mobile devices.

To enable: This functionality is automatically available to users of the updated Rubrics experience. To turn on the updated Rubrics experience, ensure the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in).

Brightspace Learning Environment

Accommodations - Improvements in Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge, and User Progress | New

This feature builds on the Accommodations - Quiz accommodations | New feature that was released in the February 2021/20.21.2 release.
The following improvements have been made in the Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge, and User Progress 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). Refer to the Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality | Updated release note for more information.
  • 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.

Improvements in User Purge and User Progress:

  • User purge now includes user accommodations.
  • The accommodations icon now appears in the User Progress tool alongside the Quiz domain if the learner has a quiz accommodation in that course


The User Progress screen (Classlist>User drop-down menu > User Progress)
Figure: The User Progress screen (Classlist>User drop-down menu > User Progress)
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to improvements made in the Classlist, Quizzes, and User Progress tools. Availability: These features are available to all clients.

To enable: From Organization Tools, turn on Accommodations.

Ensure that the View Other’s Accommodations and the Add/Edit Accommodations permissions are turned on at the course offering level under the Accommodations tool for the instructor role.

Instructors also require the Has Access to the Classlist permission to access the Add/Edit/View Accommodations workflow.

To ensure a cohesive experience when editing special access, D2L also recommends that users who can add special access in a quiz be given permission to, at least, View Other’s Accommodations.
Slight impact to learners due to the accommodations icon appearing when they are in the Classlist and on the quiz start page next to the quiz time if they have an accommodation. N/A


Assignments - Action menu for group assignments in New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

The New Assignment Evaluation Experience now includes a drop-down menu from the group name. This menu contains links to:  

  • Email the group (opens in a new window) 
  • See all group members  
  • Instant message the group (opens in a new window) 

This feature implements PIE item D822. 

Figure: The drop-down action menu appears from the Group Name on the File Submission page in Assignments
Figure: The drop-down action menu appears from the Group Name on the File Submission page in Assignments

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to instructors due to the workflow change and the ability to view and communicate with group members from Assignments.  

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.  
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for New Assignment Evaluation Experience users.  

To enable the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, set the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable to On(Opt-In) or On. 


Assignments - Anonymous marking in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

This feature makes anonymous marking fully supported in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience. When using Anonymous marking, the Anonymous User number appears in place of the username, just as it appeared in the legacy Assignments experience. In addition, the following features of anonymous marking remain the same: 

  • No profile card appears for anonymous users  
  • Usernames become visible once any learner’s evaluation is published 
  • Group names are always visible even when using anonymous marking 
  • Rubrics do not include the user’s name  

Anonymous marking uses Publish All instead of the Publish button. If no feedback for anonymous users has yet been published, the Publish button is disabled and a message appears to direct users to the Publish All button. If any user feedback has been published, all Publish buttons become automatically enabled.

User-added image

Figure: Anonymous marking in Assignments displays learners as Anonymous User [#] instead of by username.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to instructors due to new Anonymous marking workflows.  

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.  
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for New Assignment Evaluation Experience users.  

To enable the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, set the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable to On(Opt-In) or On. 


Assignments - Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience | New

Review the Brightspace Editor - Replaces the HTML Editor | New release note to learn more about the features of Brightspace Editor.  

The new Brightspace Editor replaces the previous HTML Editor as the default HTML Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience.

Note that the new Editor does NOT require enabling the new d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable in the new Assignment Creation Experience. The new Editor is automatically enabled when you turn on the new Assignment Creation Experience.

Impact of Change  Technical Details 
Moderate impact to all users of Assignments.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Assignment Creation Experience.  
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for New Assignment Creation Experience users.  
The new assignment creation experience is set to On (Opt-in) by default. Administrators can override this value in the d2l.Tools.Dropbox.CreateExperienceOptIn (OrgUnit) configuration variable.  

Instructors may opt into or out of the new assignment creation experience within a specific course at any time. If the new assignment creation experience is set as Off or On, instructors cannot control their use of the feature:
  • If Off, the feature is unavailable.
  • If On, the feature replaces the old screens in the workflow without the option to switch back. 


Assignments - Brightspace Editor in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

Review the Brightspace Editor - Replaces the HTML Editor | New release note to learn more about the features of Brightspace Editor.

The new Brightspace Editor replaces the previous HTML Editor as the default HTML Editor in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.

Note: The new Editor does NOT require enabling the new d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience. The new Editor is automatically enabled when you turn on the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.

This feature implements PIE item D7383.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to all users of Assignments. 

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for New Assignment Evaluation Experience users.  

To enable the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, set the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable to On(Opt-In) or On.


Assignments - Context menu on the Evaluation screen in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

A new context menu appears in the side panel of the updated assignment evaluation screen. This menu links to the following:

  • Edit Activity (opens assignment page in new tab). This option appears for users who have the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders permission.
  • Special Access Dates (opens the Edit Activity screen so users can update Special Access rules). This option requires the Set Special Access on Assignment Submission Folders permission.

Note: The context menu will not appear if the user does not have the required permissions to access these links.

Figure: The new context menu appears when grading a submission in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience
Figure: The new context menu appears when grading a submission in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the requirement to set permissions for users who want to access the context menu. Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for New Assignment Evaluation Experience users.
  • To enable the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, set the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable to On(Opt-In) or On.
  • Ensure the required roles have the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders permission and the Set Special Access on Assignment Submission Folders permission.
Slight impact to instructors due to the workflow change in Assignments. N/A


Assignments - Single file submissions open directly in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

In the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, when a learner has submitted only one file, the evaluator no longer has to click into the evaluation and then into the file. The file opens directly for the evaluator, saving a click during the evaluation process. Late submission information continues to display above the file, as it currently does.

This feature implements PIE item D5687.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the workflow change.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the New Assignment Evaluation Experience.  
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for New Assignment Evaluation Experience users.

To enable the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, set the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable to On(Opt-In) or On.


Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor | New

This feature releases the new and improved Brightspace Editor.

To enable the new Brightspace Editor across Brightspace Learning Environment, set the new d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor configuration variable to On. This configuration variable will be turned On and deprecated in the August 2021/20.21.8 release, making the new Brightspace Editor the only editor experience in Brightspace Learning Environment going forward.

As of the April 2021/20.21.4 release, the new Brightspace Editor permanently replaces the previous editor in the new Assignment Evaluation Experience and the new Assignment Creation Experience. 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

User-added image

Figure: The previous HTML Editor

Figure: The new Brightspace 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. 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to administrators due to the ability to turn on the new Brightspace Editor. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable is set to On.
 
Note: The new Editor is the only editor available in the New Assignment Creation Experience and in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience as of this release and are not controlled by the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.NewEditor (Org) configuration variable.
Moderate impact to instructors and learners due to the ability to use the new Brightspace Editor across most tools in Brightspace Learning Environment. N/A

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

This feature implements PIE item D6736.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators and instructors due to the new Enrollment search filter. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This feature is automatically enabled for users with access to the Classlist tool.
Ensure that the Has Access to the Classlist permission is turned on for the administrator and instructor roles.
Note: The Include users already enrolled in org unit check box is selected by default.


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, such as a Google Team Drive Public link, 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.

Note: This applies to the classic Content experience only.

This feature partially implements PIE item D4798.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the new default setting during URL topic content creation and prompt when the default is deselected. Availability: This feature is available to clients using the classic Content experience with Google Docs integration. 
 
To enable: This feature is automatically enabled for classic Content experience users.
Slight impact to learners due to additional options to open in a new window always appearing for content topic URLs.  N/A

Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality | Updated

This feature is in line with the improvements made to the Quizzes tool as listed in the Accommodations – Improvements in Classlist, Quizzes, User Purge, and User Progress | New feature. However, it is not dependent on granting any accommodations permissions, and is visible to any user with permission to Add Special Access.

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 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to ability to grants users quiz time extensions by way of quiz time multipliers or +minutes. Availability: These features are available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure that the existing Add Special Access permission is turned on for the instructor role. Refer to the Quizzes permissions topic for more information.


Quizzes – Secure and consistent editing experience | New

For a more secure and consistent editing experience in Brightspace, creating any of the following question types now automatically filters out JavaScript and non-standard HTML: Likert, Ordering, Matching, Fill in the Blanks, Short Answer, Multi-Short Answer, Arithmetic, and Significant Figures. For existing questions containing JavaScript and non-standard HTML, the questions continue to display as intended until an instructor edits and saves the questions, which removes the JavaScript and non-standard HTML. Previously, instructors could add JavaScript or non-standard HTML to question types in order to create dynamic content for quizzes.

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled when creating new question types. To remove JavaScript and non-standard HTML from existing questions, edit and save the questions.

Moderate impact to instructors due to any JavaScript or non-standard HTML in existing question types D2L recommends reviewing all question types containing JavaScript and non-standard HTML and modifying as needed, ensuring that the questions display as intended for learners. For example, to add code to a question type, use the HTML <code> tag.


Rubrics – Navigation Accessibility Improvements | Updated

This feature was originally released for the Rubrics tool in June 2020/20.20.6 and updated in July 2020/20.20.7 and March 2021/20.21.3. To increase the value of the rubric tool in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been accessibility improvements to the rubric creation and evaluation workflows: 

  • Screen readers now inform users of controls for adding feedback to criteria when reading the criteria group table. The table summary now includes the following text: This table lists criteria and criteria group names in the first column. The first-row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method. You can give feedback on each criterion by tabbing to the add feedback buttons in the table.  
  • When a score field has the focus, the screen reader now informs the user if it is a criterion score or a total score based on the field label. It also indicates which criterion the score is associated with and what action the user can take. For example: 2/4, score of Criterion 1. Press Enter to override the criterion score. 
  • Previously, the Total Score and Criterion Score fields did not clearly indicate whether the score is a manual override. The override information appeared in a tooltip that was not visible to assistive technology including screen readers; an asterisk was the only differentiator. Now, the screen reader can read the tooltip content when the Total Score or Criterion Score fields have the focus.  
  • Previously, when the Total Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button appeared; however, when Criterion Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button only appeared if the focus was on the score. Now, Clear Override appears when either the Total Score or the Criterion Score is a manual override, regardless of where the focus is. 
  • To improve usability with assistive technology, the Add Feedback button indicates to screen readers the criterion to which the feedback is associated. The Clear Feedback button also indicates the associated criterion.  
  • When the keyboard focus moves to the default rubric group or new criteria group, the screen reader now tells users the number of rubric levels and criteria in the group.  
  • Previously, users who used keyboard-only navigation and screen readers were not able to delete aligned outcomes. Now, when a user navigates to the Browse Standards button and focuses on an outcome tag, the screen reader reads the tag content and provides guidance that they can press Delete to remove the aligned outcome 
  • Previously, the screen reader only read the content of the level name and points fields and indicated that it was a text field. There was no indication of the significance of the field. Now, when the level name text field has the focus, screen readers indicate that the field is for editing the name of a specific level. When the points text field has the focus, the screen reader indicates that the field is for editing the points of a specific level. 

 

Impact of Change Technical Details 
Slight disruption due to improved navigation for clients using assistive technology, including screen readers.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients using assistive technology with the updated Rubrics experience. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically available to updated Rubrics experience users. To turn on the updated Rubrics tool, ensure the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in).  

 

March 2021

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.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the improved copy assignments workflow. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This feature is automatically enabled for Assignments users. No further action is required.

Assignments – Learner profile card in New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

Starting with the March 2021/20.21.3 release, the Consistent Evaluation experience in Assignments is now referred to as New Assignment Evaluation Experience. 

This feature updates the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | New feature released in December 2020/20.20.12. When hovering over a learner’s name or profile picture in the new evaluation experience, the learner’s user profile card appears. The card displays the user’s online/offline status as well as links to: 

  • Email
  • Instant Message
  • User progress
  • User profile

Clicking any of the links in the profile card opens a new window.

The user profile card appears when hovering over the profile image

Figure: Hovering over the name of profile image of a learner opens a profile card with links to Email and Instant Message the learner, plus User Progress and the learner’s User Profile.

This feature implements PIE item D7224. 

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to allow users to opt-in to the new evaluation experience in Assignments, or permanently enable the new experience.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Set the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable to On(Opt-In) or On.
Moderate impact to instructors due to a new evaluation experience available in Assignments. Instructors have the option to opt-in to the new experience depending on the settings of the new configuration variable. N/A

 

Assignments – Turnitin® support in New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

Starting with the March 2021/20.21.3 release, the Consistent Evaluation experience in Assignments is now referred to as New Assignment Evaluation Experience. 

This feature updates the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | New feature released in December 2020/20.20.12. The New Assignment Evaluation experience now supports Turnitin® Similarity and Turnitin® Grademark® in Assignments. The existing Turnitin® workflows and functionality appear on the User Submissions page in the new experience. The Turnitin® workflows are also supported in the mobile experience.


Turnitin® Similarity and Turnitin® Grademark® feedback appears on the User Submissions page

Figure: Turnitin® Similarity and Turnitin® Grademark® feedback appears on the User Submissions page

This feature implements PIE item D7197.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to allow users to opt-in to the new evaluation experience in Assignments, or permanently enable the new experience.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the Turnitin® integration and have enabled the New Assignment Evaluation Experience in Assignments.

To enable: Set the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable to On(Opt-In) or On.

Ensure you have activated Turnitin® OriginalityCheck for your org unit by configuring the variables in d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.LTI in the Config Variable Browser and mapped IMS roles for users in IMS Configuration.
Moderate impact to instructors due to a new evaluation experience available in Assignments. Instructors have the option to opt-in to the new experience depending on the settings of the new configuration variable. N/A

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 Brightspace 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 Brightspace Learning Environment. These instances will be changed to the new date picker in a future release. 

Before the user selects a date, the picker displays M/DD/YYY indicators instead of a default date.
Figure: Before the user selects a date, the picker does not display a default date. 

When the date picker is open, the field to which it applies is highlighted and the picker dialog points to the field.
Figure: When the date picker is open, the field to which it applies is highlighted and the picker dialog points to the field.
This feature implements PIE items D3044, D7227, D4286, D4026.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight disruption to users of the date and time selector web components due to improved accessibility. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all tools that use the date and time selector.
 

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
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.

Figure: Updated copy quiz workflow
Figure: Updated copy quiz workflow
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the improved copy quiz workflow. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This feature is automatically enabled for Quizzes users. No further action is required.

 

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

As an update to the Quizzes – Improved workflow for creating multi-select questions | New feature released in December 2020/20.20.12, the new d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewMultiSelectExperience configuration variable is now permanently turned on by default and hidden from administrators. This configuration variable controls the availability of the new multi-select question experience, making the new multi-select question experience on for all organizations.   
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to an existing configuration variable that is now permanently turned on by default and hidden from administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Quizzes users. 

Moderate impact to instructors due to the new workflow for creating multi-select questions in a new multi-select question experience appearing in Quizzes by default.   N/A

 

Rubrics – Navigation Accessibility Improvements | Updated

This feature was originally released for the Rubrics tool in June 2020/20.20.6  and updated in July 2020/20.20/7. To increase the value of Rubrics in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been accessibility improvements to the rubric creation workflow:

  • In the Overall Score, screen reader users are now informed that the overall score levels are selectable items. When the user navigates between levels, the screen reader now reads the level order, level name, point level, level content, and selection status.
  • When reading descriptions in rubric table cells, screen readers now read the level name and the point value.
  • Radio buttons that are used to grade a criterion are now labelled for screen readers to include the criterion for which this radio button applies, and the corresponding rubric level name and point value for each radio button.
  • When an Add Feedback button has the focus, screen reader also reads the name of the associated criterion.
  • When the screen reader focus is on the outcomes icon in the criterion column, it indicates the standard associated with the criteria name and reads the tooltip content.
  • When a Criterion Score cell has the focus, screen readers now indicate that it is the score of the criterion name, the score, and that the user can press enter to adjust the score using a spin button. 
  • Screen readers now have access to controls for adding feedback to criteria when reading the criteria group table. The table summary now includes the following text: This table lists criteria and criteria group name in the first column. The first-row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method. You can give feedback on each criterion by tabbing to the add feedback buttons in the table.
  • When a page is loaded, the keyboard focus is now on the first focusable interface component; extra tab stops have been removed. 

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight disruption due to improved navigation.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using assistive technology with the updated Rubrics experience.

To enable: This functionality is automatically available to updated Rubrics experience users. To turn on the updated Rubrics experience, ensure the d2l.Tools.Rubrics.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable is set to On or On (opt in).

 

 

 

February 2021

Brightspace Learning Environment

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.

To provide administrators with control over who can use this feature, two new permissions are included: View Other Users' Accommodations and Add/Edit Accommodations.

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to apply a single course-level quiz accommodation from the Classlist tool to all quizzes.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: From Organization Tools, turn on Accommodations

Ensure that the View Other Users' Accommodations and the Add/Edit Accommodations permissions are turned on at the course offering level under the Accommodations tool for the instructor role. 

Instructors also require the Has Access to the Classlist permission to access the Add/Edit/View Accommodations workflow from the Classlist tool. 

To ensure a cohesive experience when editing special access, D2L highly recommends that users who can add special access in a quiz be given the View Other Users' Accommodations permission.

Slight impact to learners as the quiz time accommodation and/or the ability to always allow right-click is now applied to all of their quiz activities in a given course.

N/A

 


Assignments - Rubric pop-out window for consistent evaluation | Updated

This feature adds onto the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | New feature that was introduced in the December 2020/20.20.12 release, and the Assignments - Multiple rubric support in consistent evaluation experience | Updated feature introduced in the January 2021/20.21.1 release.

When using the new Consistent evaluation experience in Assignments, rubrics can now open to a new pop-out window when assessing assignment submissions. This change provides a larger, detailed view of rubrics in table form and encourages the use of split screens when viewing assignments.

This is an additional functionality in the new Consistent evaluation experience that matches the functionality of rubrics in Assignments when the Consistent evaluation experience is not enabled. 

This feature implements PIE item D7232.

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to view and evaluate rubrics in a pop-out window when grading assignments.
 

Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: The new assignment creation experience is set to On (Opt-in) by default. Administrators can override this value in the d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn (OrgUnit) configuration variable.  

Instructors may opt in or out of the new assignment creation experience within a specific course at any time. If the new assignment creation experience is set as Off or On, instructors cannot control their use of the feature:

  • If Off, the feature is unavailable.

  • If On, the feature replaces the old screens in the workflow without the option to switch back.


Assignments - Save progress and visual enhancements | Updated

This feature builds on the Assignments – The new assignment creation experience | Updated feature that was released in the January 2021/20.21.1 release.

  • 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
 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to save their progress when creating or editing an assignment and due to the visual improvements.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: The new assignment creation experience is set to On (Opt-in) by default. Administrators can override this value in the d2l.Tools.Dropbox.CreateExperienceOptIn (OrgUnit) configuration variable.  

Instructors may opt in or out of the new assignment creation experience within a specific course at any time. If the new assignment creation experience is set as Off or On, instructors cannot control their use of the feature:

  • If Off, the feature is unavailable.

  • If On, the feature replaces the old screens in the workflow without the option to switch back.

 

Brightspace Pulse – Course access events added to Brightspace Data Platform | New

To allow administrators and instructors to see when learners access courses from Brightspace Pulse, the app now sends course access events to the Brightspace Data Platform (BDP). The BDP stores these events, and then computes and stores the aggregated data, which can then be accessed through various course reporting tools, such as Classlist, Class Progress, Adoption Dashboard, Engagement Dashboard, and the Course Overview widget. For example, in Classlist, the Last Accessed column now displays a timestamp when a learner accesses a course from Brightspace Pulse. In the September 2020/20.20.9 release, Brightspace Pulse started sending session events to the BDP when learners logged in from the app; however, it did not send course access events when learners accessed courses from the app.

This feature implements PIE item D6543.
 

The Last Accessed column in Classlist now updated when a learner accesses a course from Brightspace Pulse
Figure: The Last Accessed column in Classlist now updated when a learner accesses a course from Brightspace Pulse
 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators and instructors due to new course access events available from the Brightspace Data Platform, which can be accessed through course reporting tools.

Availability: This feature is available to clients using Brightspace Pulse.

To enable: Download the latest version of Brightspace Pulse, available from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®. The app is generally released at the beginning of the month, and then sometimes mid-month, if issues are found. Depending on how your device is configured, the app may update automatically or you may have to manually check for new versions. 

For more detailed course reporting, the Course Access data set, used by the Data Hub, will be updated with Pulse-related information in a future release.

Quick Eval - Homepage widget | New

Quick Eval can now be added to organization and course homepages as a widget to allow instructors to view and access any submissions awaiting evaluation. The Quick Eval widget displays a list of up to six activities with submissions to evaluate. The activities are sorted by due date, with the earliest date first. The icon indicator in the widget shows the type of activity (assignment, discussion, or quiz), and the number of unevaluated submissions for each activity. The due date and course information are also visible below the title of each activity. Course information is only shown if the widget is accessed from the organization homepage.

Activities dismissed in the Quick Eval tool are not displayed by the Quick Eval widget.

The Quick Eval widget on the Organization homepage displaying unevaluated activities from multiple courses
Figure: The Quick Eval widget on the Organization homepage displaying unevaluated activities from multiple courses

This feature implements PIE items D1694, D1682, D203, and D6886. 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to add the Quick Eval widget to organization and department homepages in Brightspace Learning Environment.
 
Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients.

To enable: Turn on Quick Eval under Organization Tools.
Add the Quick Eval widget to the Org level homepage or course template homepages. 
Add the View Quick Eval permission at the Org level for the required roles.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to add the Quick Eval widget to course homepages in Brightspace Learning Environment.
 
N/A

 

January 2021

Assignments – The new assignment creation experience | Updated

The following features build on the announcement related to the new assignment creation experience released in the December 2020/20.20.12 Release Notes, the Assignments – Date picker change | Updated feature that was released in the November 2020/20.20.11 Release Notes, and the Learning Outcomes - Display of Outcome Hierarchy in Alignment picker and Outcomes Progress | New and the Learning Outcomes - Search Outcomes in the Alignment picker and Outcomes Progress | New features released in the April 2020/20.20.4 release:
 

  • The new assignment creation experience defaults to On (Opt-in). Administrators can still override this value in the d2l.Tools.Dropbox.CreateExperienceOptIn (OrgUnit) configuration variable. 
  • 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.
  • The learning outcomes hierarchy tree now appears in Assignments. You can collapse it to facilitate finding and using specific outcomes in any assessment activity or rubric where outcomes can be aligned. In addition, users can now search the outcomes list to find the best outcome to align with assignment activities in their courses and programs.

Assignments - Multiple rubric support in consistent evaluation experience | Updated

This feature is a continuation of the Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | New feature that was introduced in the December 2020/20.20.12 release.

If an assignment includes multiple rubrics, they are all visible to instructors using the Consistent evaluation experience. Instructors are also able to choose the default scoring rubric. Previously, the consistent evaluation experience would only display one rubric on the assignment evaluation screen.
For additional information on the Consistent evaluation experience, visit Brightspace Community.

Brightspace Learning Environment – Supported browsers | Updated

Brightspace Learning Environment's browser version check now displays warnings for browsers earlier than the following versions:

  • Google® Chrome™ 85 (released Aug 2020) 
  • Apple® Safari® 13 (released in September 2019) 
  • Mobile Apple Safari 12 (released in October 2018) 
  • Mozilla® Firefox® 80 (released August 2020) 
  • Chromium-based Microsoft® Edge 85 (released August 2020) 
  • All versions of Microsoft Edge Legacy (in preparation for Microsoft’s end-of-support in March 2021)

You can access Brightspace Learning Environment with older versions of our supported browsers; however, D2L does not test Brightspace Learning Environment 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 Brightspace Learning Environment with a supported browser.

Content - File and widget sandboxing to enhance content security | New 

To enhance the security of Content files and Widgets that execute scripts to create extra-rich HTML experiences (such as objects that can execute JavaScript), there is now a sandboxing feature that creates a secure iFrame around the HTML file. This will allow an HTML file to execute scripts (such as JavaScript) within the iFrame only but will prevent them from executing outside the iframe (against the domain). This enables some flexibility in creating rich content, but reassurance for the security- conscious that end user information remains secure in all situations, such as when learners in specific courses have a special role with permission to create content topics. 
To implement the ability to create sandboxing in Content Files and Widgets, there are new configuration variables, permissions, and workflows.  
There are 3 new configuration variables: 

  • The Security.WidgetsApplySandbox configuration variable applies the sandbox attribute to any widget where Widget Is Sandboxed is selected in the Edit Widget Properties area.  For existing clients, this configuration variable is OFF by default. When the configuration variable is OFF, the permission and workflow to apply sandboxing is visible, but the actual sandbox attribute is not applied; scripts execute as they did previously. All new widgets have the Widget Is Sandboxed attribute set to OFF in the Edit Widget Properties dialog box. When the Security.WidgetsApplySandbox configuration variable is enabled, the sandbox attribute is applied as appropriate, and all new widgets have the Widget Is Sandboxed setting automatically turned on in the Edit Widget Properties area.

Note: When the Security.WidgetsApplySandbox configuration variable is on, users without the Manage Widget Security permission can no longer edit a widget that is not sandboxed.

  • The Security.ContentSandboxDefault configuration variable sets the default status of the Enable Content Sandboxing check box for all org units in Course Offering Information area that do not have specific overrides. This configuration variable enables administrators to specify that all courses should have sandboxed content, and specifically opt out certain org units, if applicable.

Widget and Course Content permissions for sandboxing appear in the Security permission category: 

  • The new Manage Widget Security (organization level) permission enables the associated roles to apply and remove sandboxing to widgets. By default, this permission is OFF for all roles. Without this permission, users with create/edit widget permissions can see whether or not a widget is sandboxed, but cannot edit the setting. If a widget is not sandboxed, and the Security.WidgetsApplySandbox configuration variable is ON, a user without this permission cannot edit the widget, as it is not secure. 
  • The new Manage Content Security (organization level) permission enables the associated roles to apply and remove sandboxing in any org unit. By default, this permission is OFF for all roles. Without this permission, users who can see the Course Offering Information area for an org unit can see whether the course is sandboxed, but cannot edit the setting.  
  • The existing Has Access to the Manage Courses Tool permission is also required at the org unit type (such as course or department) for the roles to see the Enable Content Sandboxing setting in the Course Offering information. 

Note: If two or more courses share the same exact file path, sandboxing the path for one course automatically sandboxes the other courses as well. This might take several minutes to apply, depending on the number of courses in the path. 

Course Export - Export file upload attribute for written response questions | New

Written Response quiz questions that allow for file upload can now be imported and exported from Brightspace Learning Environment. With the ability to import and export these questions users can share them with users from other instances of Brightspace. 

 

Quizzes - Multi-select questions workflow on by default | Updated

As an update to the Quizzes – Improved workflow for creating multi-select questions | New feature released in December 2020/20.20.12, the new d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewMultiSelectExperience configuration variable is now turned on by default.
This configuration variable controls the availability of the new multi-select question experience only. If you do not want the multi-select question experience to appear by default, you can turn off the configuration variable manually. 
Note: The new d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewMultiSelectExperience configuration variable will be removed in the March 2021/20.21.3 release, making the new multi-select question experience on by default for all organizations at that time.  

 

Quizzes - Retake Incorrect questions only permission setting | Updated

Building on the Quizzes – Improvements to the ability to retake incorrect questions in quizzes | New feature released in December 2020/20.20.12, the role permission Edit Quiz Properties permission now controls the availability of the Retake Incorrect Questions Only setting on the Assessment tab. This change ensures that only instructors with the Edit Quiz Properties permission can set the retake incorrect questions only setting on a quiz. 

 

November 2020

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 DateStart Date, and End Date fields on the Create and Edit Assignments page.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the updated date picker.

 
Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all users that have enabled the New Assignment Creation Experience. No further action is required.

 

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.
This feature implements PIE item D1741.

Impact of Change Technical Details
No impact to administrators. Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the classic Content experience; it is not available in the new Content experience (Lessons). 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Content users. No further action is required.
Slight impact to instructors due to more information available from course content statistics and the Class Progress tool.

To determine if a topic or module is available to a user, the following must be true:

  • Current date is within the availability dates of the topic or module
  • Users have met all required release conditions
  • Content topic or module is published/visible

 

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.

This feature implements PIE item D2052.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to see grade calculations for points in Manage Grades

Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Grades users.

 

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. 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors who can view the learner view of the quiz as they add and edit questions.  Availability: This feature is available all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Quizzes users. No further action is required.

September 2020

Brightspace Pulse for iOS – View Activity Feed posts and comments | New

To keep up to date on course activity, learners can now read Activity Feed posts and comments in Brightspace Pulse for iOS. Learners can also receive Activity Feed notifications. For example, in courses with Activity Feed enabled, instructors can use Activity Feed to post reminders about upcoming assignments and links to course materials. Learners then receive notifications about those posts in Brightspace Pulse, allowing them to view post details from the course homepages. Future releases will allow learners to post or reply to posts, if they have the appropriate permissions.

From the Courses tab, tapping a course displays the course homepage. The latest post and any associated comments display in the Activity Feed.

From the Notifications tab, tapping an Activity Feed notification displays the associated post or comment in the Activity Feed.

An Activity Feed post and comment for a course in Brightspace Pulse for iOS
Figure: An Activity Feed post and comment for a course in Brightspace Pulse for iOS

 

Impact of Change  Technical Details
Moderate impact to learners due to the new ability to view Activity Feed posts and comments in Brightspace Pulse, and receive Activity Feed notifications. Availability: This feature is only available to clients using Brightspace Pulse for iOS. This feature will become available to Brightspace Pulse for Android in a later release.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Pulse users, if Activity Feed is enabled by instructors in their courses. No further action is required.
Currently, this feature is read-only and does not support adding messages or assignment posts. In addition, it does not support pinning posts or configuring the Activity Feed.

 

Class/User Progress – Include Pulse activity in usage data | Update

Learner activity data is now captured more accurately through the addition of a new system usage metric. Previously, Pulse usage was not tracked, and learners who accessed their courses through the app were misrepresented as having low engagement and could not access conditionally released content.

These changes affect the following areas of Brightspace:

  • Class Progress has a new System Access performance indicator, which displays the number of times each course participant has accessed the system through the Learning Environment or Pulse in the last 30 days. Instructors can add System Access to the Class Progress dashboard by clicking Settings.
  • User Progress has a new System Access History section, which displays the number of times the user has accessed the system through the Learning Environment or Pulse in the last 30 days. Instructors can select System Access History to display in the User Progress report by clicking Settings


Class Progress dashboard showing System Access indicator
Figure: Class Progress dashboard showing System Access indicator

User Progress sidebar showing location of System Access History section
Figure: User Progress sidebar showing location of System Access History section

System Access History summary in the User Progress tool
Figure: System Access History summary in the User Progress tool
 

Impact of Change  

Technical Details  

Slight impact to administrators due to addition of app data and a new system access metric. 

Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Learning Environment users. No further action is required. 

Slight impact to instructors due to addition of app data and a new system access metric. 

Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Learning Environment users. No further action is required. 

 

 

Copy Course Components – Select copying of LTI Links | New

This feature changes the permission requirements needed when copying selected External Learning Tool / LTI links using Copy Course Components and choosing to select course components. This enables more flexibility for clients in terms of which permissions can see and copy select External Learning Tool / LTI links.

Previously, in order to copy select components and choose specific External Learning Tool / LTI links, users needed the Manage External Learning Tool Links permission. Now, users can copy select components for External Learning Tool / LTI links when they have either the Create Quicklinks from available External Learning Tools links permission, or the Manage External Learning Tool Links permission.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to copy select External Learning Tool / LTI links if their role did not previously have the Manage External Learning Tool Links permission. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Copy Course Components users. No further action is required.

Question Library – Attach files in arithmetic and significant figures questions | Updated

Building on the attach files in written response questions functionality released in the August 2020/20.20.8 release, when creating arithmetic and significant figures questions, instructors can now allow learners to include external files with their responses and record audio or video responses when answering these question types. This feature is only available in the new Quiz Builder Experience.
 
When grading a quiz, similar to the behavior in the Discussions tool, instructors can view a list of attachments, download them, or open them in another tab. When reviewing their submission in Submission View, the learner can see their uploaded attachment if allowed to see their responses.

To support attachment responses, Quizzes data sets and quiz reporting enhancements will be released in the November 2020/20.20.11 release. 


The updated New Arithmetic Question screen
Figure: The updated New Arithmetic Question screen 
  
The updated New Significant Figures screen
Figure: The updated New Significant Figures screen 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the existing ability to allow learners to upload Audio or Video attachments in a Quiz response. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure the existing Can Capture Audio and Can Capture Video permissions are turned on at the course level.
Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to set up arithmetic and significant figures questions that accommodate the upload of attachments and record audio/video responses. Instructors can also download and open these attachments when grading a quiz. To enable: Ensure the option in the arithmetic and significant figures question types is turned on for Quizzes users during the question creation process in the New Quiz Builder Experience.
Slight impact to learners who may now be asked to attach images or files when answering arithmetic and significant figures questions. The maximum file size for a single file or embedded image attached to a quiz response is 102400 KB (100MB). The maximum file size for all files attached or embedded in a single quiz question response is 102400 KB (100MB).

 

Question Library – Search for and select question