COVID-19

For information about the COVID-19 global outbreak and for Great Falls College MSU updates, please visit the CDC website, the Great Falls College COVID-19 page and the Great Falls College Healthy Spring 2021 page.

Announcements and Feature Information

Note the following important update:

  • As of the January 2021/20.21.1 release, the new assignment creation experience will default to On (Opt-in). Administrators will still be able to override this value in the d2l.Tools.Dropbox.CreateExperienceOptIn configuration variable.  
  • Updated the Brightspace Course Connector for Microsoft Teams® Class list synchronization | Updated release note to accurately reflect the product name. 
  • Added the IPSIS – OneRoster® integration improvements | New feature.
  • Removed the Zoom© partnership | New feature, it is now scheduled for the January 20.21.01 Release.
  • Updated the Turnitin© - New configuration supports migration to Version 2 | New feature with a link to the Brightspace Assignments: V1 Vs V2 (And How To Enable V2) post on Brightspace Community.
  • Updated Activity Feed - Customize language terms | New with additional details and images of the edit screens.
  • Updated the screenshots in Brightspace Learning Environment - Updated video and audio player in Content, Lessons, and New Learner Experience | New.


Brightspace Learning Environment

Activity Feed - Customize language terms | New

This feature introduces the ability to customize language terms for the Activity Feed widget using the Language Management tool. Organizations using custom language terms can search ClassStream terms in Language Management and enter their own custom terms in place of the system language terms. 

Customize Activity Feed language terms using Search or select the Tool Package ClassStream
Figure: Customize Activity Feed language terms using Search or select the Tool Package ClassStream

In the ClassStream package, enter the Custom Value to override the system language term for Activity Feed
Figure: In the ClassStream package, enter the Custom Value to override the system language term for Activity Feed
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to set custom language terms for Activity Feed.
 
Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Language Management and Activity Feed users. 
Ensure the Manage Languages permission is turned on for the administrator role. 


Assignments - Consistent evaluation experience | New

The consistent evaluation experience for Assignments brings consistency to evaluating in Brightspace Learning Environment for all assessable tools . This feature provides an opt-in experience for users to familiarize themselves with the new experience when evaluating in Assignments. In future releases this evaluation experience will become available in additional tools.

The d2l.Tools.Activities.ConsistentEvaluationOptIn configuration variable allows administrators to provide an opt-in ability so users can try out the consistent evaluation experience. The default value for this configuration variable is On(Opt-In). 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.

No changes have been made to page navigation.  The user context bar now includes a menu to choose a learner, and another menu to choose a submission. On the user submission list, files are now grouped by submission without repeating comments to make it easier to distinguish between submissions. The evaluation pane divider is now draggable to suit a user’s preferences and screen size. Rubrics are now located at the top of the page, and assignment details are in the ellipsis menu. The overall grade remains as an icon that indicates if that grade is tied to the gradebook. Existing outcomes and competency web components are also visible. Publish, Save Draft, and Next Student options continue to function as before.

Organizations should wait to turn on the Consistent Evaluation experience in this release if they:  

  • Use TurnItIn – No integration with Turnitin is available in this release of the consistent evaluation experience 
  • Use Anonymous Marking/Grading - Learner name display does not respect the Anonymous Marking setting 
  • May have multiple rubrics attached to assignments – Only one rubric displays in the consistent evaluation experience 
  • Use large rubrics with many levels or criteria - Large rubrics may have a reduced usability due to the way in which the new experience displays rubrics.  All levels and criteria display, though large rubrics may require more scrolling
  • Use Group assignments extensively – There is no access to view group members from within the consistent evaluation experience 
  • Use Brightspace Instant Message or Email tools frequently while evaluating – These options are not accessible from within the experience 
  • Use the Edit a Copy function to annotate text or HTML submissions - This option is not available in the consistent evaluation experience
  • Require access to Student ID (or Class Progress) while evaluating – These options are not accessible from within the consistent evaluation experience 

These items will be addressed in future updates to the Consistent Evaluation experience.

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

Instructor view when evaluating assignments in the existing evaluation experience.
Figure: Instructor view when evaluating assignments in the existing evaluation experience.

Instructor view when evaluating assignments in the consistent evaluation experience.
Figure: Instructor view when evaluating assignments in the consistent evaluation experience.
 

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


Brightspace App Finder – Usability improvements | New

Administrators can now enable application requests for users and set a custom parameter to determine where users navigate to when they launch Brightspace App Finder. User can be directed to the My Apps page, the K12 page, the Higher Ed page, or the Corporate page. This gets your users directly into the correct category so they can find apps that best suit their needs.

As an additional update, the following badges can be set on apps to provide additional information when viewing them:

  • Featured – An application that the D2L partners team has decided to feature and push to the top of the app listings.
  • Fusion Sponsor – Apps from organizations that have been a partner sponsor at Fusion, D2L’s annual user conference.
  • New – A listing is given this badge for the first two weeks it is available in App Finder.
  • Updated – This badge indicates an app has been recently updated. This badge also persists for 2 weeks.

For additional information on Brightspace App Finder and the updates coming in the December 2020/20.20.12 release, visit the App Finder December Update post on Community. 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to enable application requests and set a custom parameter to determine a user's landing page when they access Brightspace App Finder.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: The parameter to enable application requests is available in App Finder’s Theme Customizer > Administrator menu. 


Brightspace Learning Environment – Improvements to language packs | Updated

Improvements have been made to the French (CAN), Spanish (LATAM), and Portuguese (BRAZIL) language packs and are the default language terms across Brightspace Learning Environment. These updates correct spelling, Grammar, and contextual translation errors. They do not override existing custom language terms.

For more information, refer to the Preview of Upcoming Lang pack improvements article.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to users due to the improvements made to the French (CAN), Spanish (LATAM), and Portuguese (BRAZIL) language packs Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: These updates are automatically enabled for French (CAN), Spanish (LATAM), and Portuguese (BRAZIL) language pack users.


Brightspace Learning Environment - Updated video and audio player in Content, Lessons, and New Learner Experience | New

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

The new media player offers the following features:

  • Consistent keyboard controls, and screen reader support.
  • Keyboard controls improvements and fixes to known issues. The previous media player had an issue where keyboard focus could become stuck in the caption language selection menu.
  • Screen reader improvements with the new media player include off-screen messages for screen readers to announce when a video has loaded or if there was an error loading the video.
  • The Settings menu in the media player provides a Download option and playback speed options. By default, the Download option displays only in the Lessons tool. The Download option can be controlled using the new configuration variable d2l.Tools.MediaPlayer.ShowDownloadButtonInLessons, which is ON by default. 
  • Administrators can enable the Download button in legacy Content using the new configuration variable d2l.Tools.MediaPlayer.ShowDownloadButtonInContent. This configuration variable is OFF by default. 
  • Administrators can enable the Download button in the New Learner Experience using the new configuration variable d2l.Tools.MediaPlayer.ShowDownloadButtonInLearnExp, which is set to OFF by default. 

Each configuration variable can be set at the org unit level.

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

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

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the new configuration variables that must be enabled or disabled for the Download feature in the media player.
 
Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Content, Lessons, and New Learner Experience users. The new configuration variables must be enabled at the org unit level for users to be able to access the Download button in the media player. 
 
Slight impact to learners due to control playback speed, enable captions, and download files from the media player. N/A


Brightspace Pulse for Android – 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 Android. 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 push notifications about those posts in Brightspace Pulse, allowing them to view the Activity Feed post details in the app. Future releases will allow learners to post or reply to posts, if they have the appropriate permissions.

From the Courses tab, tapping a course opens it in Brightspace Pulse. If Activity Feed is enabled in the course, the Activity Feed tab is selected after opening the course.

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

Activity Feed in Brightspace Pulse for Android
Figure: Activity Feed in Brightspace Pulse for Android
 

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 available to all clients using Brightspace Pulse for Android. This feature is also available to clients using Brightspace Pulse for iOS.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled in the latest version of Brightspace Pulse, if Activity Feed is enabled by instructors in their courses.
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. 
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.

 

Data Hub – Activity Feed Brightspace Data Sets | New

Building on the Activity Feed data sets released in the November 2020 / 20.20.11 release, this release adds the following new Activity Feed data sets:

  • Activity Feed Post Objects return details on each post in the organization.
  • Activity Feed Comment Objects return details on each comment in the organization.
Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the addition of new 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. New data sets appear the first time the data set runs after the version update. You must also ensure the d2l.Tools.ActivityFeed.ShowWidget configuration variable is set to On and that the d2l.Tools.BrightspaceDataSets.Version configuration variable is set to version 5 or 6.


Data Hub – All Grades Advanced Data Set | Updated

To increase the value of the Data Hub offering, this release adds a new column to the existing All Grades Advanced Data Set (ADS):

  • The Grade Object Type column returns the type of grade object (for example, Assignment or Quiz) for all grade items.

This feature implements PIE item D6569.
 

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

To enable: Ensure the Can execute All Grades permission is selected at the org level. New and changed data sets appear the first time the data set runs after the version update.


Data Hub - Assignment Summary and Quiz Objects Data Sets | Updated

To increase the value of the Data Hub offering, this release adds new columns to existing Brightspace Data Sets:

  • CategoryId added to Assignment Summary data set.
  • CategoryId and ResultId added to Quiz Objects data set.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to administrators due to the addition of new columns to existing 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. New and changed data sets appear the first time the data set runs after the version update. You must also ensure the d2l.Tools.BrightspaceDataSets.Version configuration variable is set to version 5 or 6.


Data Hub - Survey Results Advanced Data Set | New

To increase the value of the Data Hub offering, this release adds a new Advanced Data Set (ADS):

  • Survey Results provides detailed information on the surveys available in the organization.

 

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

To enable: Ensure the new Can execute Survey Results permission is selected at the org level. New and changed data sets appear the first time the data set runs after the version update.


Grades - Mastery view in the Gradebook now available | New

The Mastery view of the Gradebook provides visibility into additional details of learner performance beyond what is available using traditional grades associated with an activity. Using outcomes associated with various types of assessments (such as quiz questions, rubric criterion rows, assignments or discussions), additional dimensions of performance can be recorded.  The Mastery page provides instructors with information about the overall achievement for leaners in their course. The achievement is related to learning outcomes and standards associated to assessment activities and helps instructors to quickly identify learners who are potentially at risk. The page provides a quick holistic view of aggregated performance across all learners in the course for all outcomes assessed in the course. Instructors can click on individual table cells of the Mastery view to drill-down into individual learners’ performance and view evidence associated with each outcome. In that detailed view, instructors can use their professional judgement to manually override the calculated suggested level of overall achievement.   

To access the Mastery view, open the Grades tool, select the Mastery option beside View Achievements By.   

Note:  This option is hidden if learning outcomes are not being used in the course. 

The View Achievements By selector enables users to switch from Grades view to Mastery view.

Figure: The View Achievements By selector enables users to switch from Grades view to Mastery view. 

The Mastery view table displays evaluated outcomes as the columns of the table and learners enrolled in the course as rows of the table.  In the columns for each outcome, there is a color and text indication of the suggested overall level of achievement based on the currently selected calculation method. The color of each cell and the text label is based on the color and level name defined in the default Achievement Scale in the Learning Outcomes tool.  

The Mastery view with three outcome columns of evaluated activities, and several unevaluated outcome columns for each learner.

Figure: The Mastery view with three outcome columns of evaluated activities, and several unevaluated outcome columns for each learner. 

Within each achievement cell, there are several indicators of the status of the learner’s progress toward the achievement, including: 

  • Number of activities evaluated (out of the total aligned) 

  • Suggested overall level achievement (or manually overridden level of achievement) 

  • Manual override indicator in the form of an asterisk beside the overall achievement label. 

  • Out of Date icon (if newer evaluations have been made since a manual override was recorded or a feedback is added) 

  • Published/Not published icons to indicate the visibility status to the learner 

Displays a single cell of the mastery view, the manual override asterisk, the Out of Date icon, and the Not Published icon
Figure: Displays a single cell of the mastery view, the manual override asterisk, the Out of Date icon, and the Not Published icon

For more information, see Mastery View Of The Gradebook

This feature implements PIE items D1469 and D3003. 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate disruption to instructors who can now use the Mastery view. Availability: This feature is available to all are using the Learning Outcomes. 

To enable: The Mastery view is available when you add outcomes to your courses. If the Mastery view is not available, verify that there are learning outcomes in your course offering.
Ensure that you have Grades enabled at the org level and the course offering. There are no new or additional configuration variables required; however, you must continue to have the Learning Outcomes configuration variables set up for the Learning Outcomes tool to function correctly and provide content to display in the Mastery view. For more information, see Brightspace Learning Environment - Configuration Variables And Permissions Administrator Guide.

 

  

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

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

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

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

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

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

To control the availability of the new multi-select question experience for instructors, administrators can set the new d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewMultiSelectExperience configuration variable. By default, this configuration variable is turned off in the December 2020/20.20.12 release. For the January 2021/20.21.1 release, the configuration variable will be turned on by default. 

This feature implements PIE items D4170 and D6334.

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

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

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

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

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to a new configuration variable that controls the availability of the new multi-select question experience.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 

To enable: Turn on the new d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewMultiSelectExperience configuration variable.
Note: This configuration variable controls the availability of the new multi-select question experience only. The new Correct Answers, Limited Selections grading type is available to all users in the classic and new multi-select question experience. The new grading type automatically appears after updating to the December 2020/20.20.12 release.

Moderate impact to instructors due to a new workflow for creating multi-select questions in a new multi-select question experience. In addition, a new grading type is available in the classic and new multi-select question experience.  N/A


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

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

  • It is now possible to create a quiz with retake incorrect question option using Brightspace API. This feature will add the IsRetakeIncorrectOnly field to the QuizReadData, QuizData and QuizAttemptData JSON structures. 
  • Administrators and Instructors can now identify retaken attempts in the Attempt log. 

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


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

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

Impact of Change 

Technical Details 

Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to set quiz retake options for learners using the Brightspace API. 

Availability: This feature is available to all clients 
 
To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Quizzes users using the Brightspace APIs. No further action is required.  

For more information about Brightspace APIs, see Brightspace Developer Platform.  

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to identify Retake Incorrect Only attempts in the Attempt log and the Users tab and Attempts tab in Quizzes. 

N/A 

Slight impact to administrators due the ability to identify Retaken quiz attempts in the Attempt Log.  

N/A 


Integrations

Brightspace Course Connector for Microsoft Teams® Class list synchronization | Updated

The following features build on the Brightspace Course Connector for Microsoft Teams | Updated functionality that was released in the October 2020/20.20.10 release

  • Automatic class list synchronization moves from hourly to daily.
  • Administrators can manually trigger a class list synchronization on-demand for any course from the ShuffleExchange platform. Previously, administrators were unable to trigger a class list synchronization.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to manually trigger a class list synchronization and due to the updated automatic class roster synchronization schedule. Availability: This feature is available for purchase to all Brightspace Core clients hosted in Canada, the United States, and in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

To enable: Ensure the Manage Extensibility, Manage External Learning Tools Configuration, and Manage Homepages permissions are turned on.

To configure Brightspace Course Connector for Microsoft Teams, refer to the Getting started with Brightspace Course Connector for Microsoft Teams article.

 

IPSIS – OneRoster® integration improvements | New 

In the December 2020 / 20.20.12 Release updates to the OneRoster REST and CSV integrations are available to address specific requests from existing users.  
On the IPSIS configuration page, administrators can now use academic session information for course offering start and end dates. The user interface includes a new Use course offering dates checkbox. Its default is set to off. The option allows you to choose if academic session (semester, term, school year, or grading period) dates are associated to the course offering; this option defaults to term. A warning displays if an unmapped academic session type is selected. The start date and end date of a course can also be offset by a specified number of days. If multiple academic sessions are set for a single course offering, the first Academic Session received from the SIS will be used for the start and end dates.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators as they now have the option to choose if academic session information can be used for course offering dates. 

Availability: This feature is available to all clients. 

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for OneRoster integration users.


Turnitin© - New configuration supports migration to Version 2 | New

To improve the migration process from version 1 to version 2 of Turnitin, the d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.LTI.PaperViewRequestUserId configuration variable is now available. This new configuration variable accepts the input of a UserId for a user in Brightspace. This user is meant to represent a user with the email address from the d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.LTI.PaperViewRequestEmail configuration variable and is used to help Turnitin understand where to send Paper View Requests. The UserId associated with the new variable must pertain to an active user in your Brightspace Learning Environment, and this user must have a valid email address. This configuration variable prevents instructors from having to manually re-activate Turnitin in a newly copied course once you migrate to version 2.  

D2L recommends creating a cascading role to enroll the specified user in all available courses that may use Turnitin. This role does not require any specific permissions. Once you setup the new Turnitin variables, instructors can use new assignments or copied folders that use Turnitin version 2.
For additional information on Version 2 of Turnitin visit the Brightspace Assignments: V1 Vs V2 (And How To Enable V2) post on Brightspace Community.
 

Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact for administrators planning to migrate to version 2 of Turnitin.  Availability: This feature is available to all clients using the Turnitin deep integration.

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.LTI.PaperViewRequestUserId configuration variable includes a valid UserId, and that the specified user has their email address set in the d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.LTI.PaperViewRequestEmail configuration variable. 
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