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Brightspace Learning Environment

Assignments - Streamlined access to inline feedback | New

To streamline access to assignment feedback, learners can now immediately access inline feedback from User Progress, Grades, and Assignments. From these tools, the View Inline Feedback link takes the learner directly to the annotations view (or Turnitin viewer, if that is the tool used to provide feedback). The inline feedback also includes a link to the file for the assignment, so learners know which document contains the feedback. Previously, the View Inline Feedback link took the learner to the Assignment feedback summary page, where they had to click a second link to view the feedback.

This feature implements PIE item D5351.

 

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Figure: Class Progress view for instructors and learners displaying the View Inline Feedback link, which now opens directly in the annotation view

 

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Figure: Grades view for learners displaying the View Inline Feedback link, which now opens directly in the annotation view

 

assignments_feedback_assignments_view

Figure: Assignments view for learners displaying the View Inline Feedback link, which now opens directly in the annotation view

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to learners due to a streamlined workflow for accessing assignment feedback.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

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

 

Brightspace Learning Environment - EXIF data warning appears when uploading images | New

In some instances, when users upload .jpg files in any file upload area across Brightspace Learning Environment, an EXIF (exchangeable image file) data warning appears informing the user that the file may contain geolocation data.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to all users due to the EXIF data warning that appears when uploading .jpg files.

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 – Improvements to Security using a WAF | New

To improve cloud environment security, D2L is proactively blocking suspicious requests using a Web App Firewall (WAF).

The WAF checks all traffic coming in to the Brightspace cloud environment to match rules. Traffic that matches its rules, which indicate that the traffic is a potential security concern, will not be allowed into the servers. This change helps ensure that suspicious traffic does not reach your environment, further reducing the likelihood of an infrastructure-affecting security incident.

The WAF checks if the traffic is coming from a site that may be a potential security concern and if the traffic is coming from outside of a client’s region.

The second check is in place to avoid the possibility of blocking all traffic from a client in the unlikely event that a customer is negatively impacted by the WAF.

Administrators may receive inquiries from users blocked by the WAF. D2L recommends troubleshooting the user’s issue to determine if they are using a proxy or a virtual private network (VPN). If this is not the case, reach out to D2L to determine if the WAF is blocking legitimate traffic.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators as they may receive inquiries from users blocked by the WAF.

Availability: This feature is available to Singapore-hosted clients and will be rolled out globally as follows:

  • March: Australia and Europe
  • April: Canada and US

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

Slight impact to instructors, learners, parents, and auditors due to potential time out errors resulting from blocked proxy access (such as a VPN outside their region) to Brightspace Learning Environment. Note: If time out errors occur when using an out-of-region VPN or proxy server, D2L recommends users to access Brightspace Learning Environment using a different method.

 

Brightspace Pulse - Add deep links in custom apps to Pulse | New

To promote Brightspace Pulse usage in organizations, developers can now add a deep link in a custom app to Brightspace Pulse. When a user clicks the deep link in a custom app for the first time, the Brightspace Pulse app launches on their device, prompting them to log in to the app. If the user does not have Brightspace Pulse installed, they are taken to the Brightspace Pulse app site, prompting them to install the app.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to developers due to the new capability to add deep links in custom apps to Brightspace Pulse.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients with Brightspace Pulse 1.2001 or later.

Users with Brightspace Pulse on iOS 12 or older must approve Brightspace Pulse to open the deep link in Safari. The custom app does not ask for approval again and always opens Brightspace Pulse directly from the deep link.

To enable:

To support deep links in iOS applications, Brightspace Pulse for iOS uses Universal Links. To add a deep link to Brightspace Pulse from an iOS application, add the following code snippet to open the deep link URL in Safari:

if let url = URL(string: "https://apps.brightspace.com/pulse/launch""), UIApplication.shared.canOpenURL(url) {

UIApplication.shared.open(url, options: [:], completionHandler: nil)

}

To support deep links in Android applications, Brightspace Pulse for Android uses Android App Links. To add a deep link to Brightspace Pulse from an Android application, add the following code snippet to launch an activity with the deep link URL:

startActivity(Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW, Uri.parse("https://apps.brightspace.com/pulse/launch"")))

 

Brightspace Wiggio - End of life | Removed

Effective February 2020, Brightspace Wiggio is no longer available to users. Refer to Intent to End of Life Notice For: Wiggio for additional information, as well as steps to export content from Wiggio and disable the LTI integration in Brightspace Learning Environment.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to all users due to the end-of-life status of Brightspace Wiggio.

Availability: N/A

To enable: N/A

 

Course Administration - Course Reset | New

Course Reset is a new tool that enables a course administrator to reset a course back to an empty shell. Course Reset permanently deletes course content, activities, associated files, user grades, user progress records, and interaction data from the course in a single bulk process. Users can optionally choose to include course groups, and/or course widgets, navbars, and homepages as part of the course reset process, or leave them in the course.

The Course Reset process does not affect user enrollments, sections and section enrollment, course associations, course paths associated to the course, user progress in linked SCORM objects, LOR objectsin Brightspace Learning Repository, portfolio objects saved to a users' Portfolio or ePortfolio, ePortfolio sharing groups or forms, email/instant messages sent to or from users in the course, LTI tool provider information, and Activity Feed posts.

Course Reset permanently deletes the course data and it will not appear in any reporting or data sets after the course reset process is complete. After performing a course reset, an Audit Log maintains a record of the course reset action, including the date and time of the course reset, the data that was selected for deletion, the user who performed the course reset, and any errors that occur during the course reset process.

This feature implements PIE item D198.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to the new permission setting to enable for user access to Course Reset.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: To enable the functionality for Course administrators, ensure the course administration roles have the new {See Course Reset} permission set at the course offering level.

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to permanently delete course data and return a course to its shell. N/A

  

Data Hub – End of Adoption Period for Brightspace Data Sets Version 4 | Updated

As of the February 2020 release, the 6-month adoption period for Brightspace Data Sets Version 4 has ended, and this is now the default version. This release will migrate all Data Hub clients from version 3 to version 4 if they haven't previously opted in.

For a full description of features that are included in Version 4, refer to the Brightspace Platform September 2019/20.19.9 Release Notes.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Large impact to administrators who have not already opted in to Brightspace Data Sets version 4.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Insights and Brightspace Core clients in the following regions: North America, EMEA, and APAC.

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

  

Grades – Tab delimited import into Gradebook | New

Users can now import tab separated value (.tsv) files into Gradebook. Previously, users could only import comma delimited files into Gradebook, which created a usability issue in some international regions.

This feature implements PIE item D5385.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to import files using their chosen delimiter.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

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

 

Learning Paths and My Learning widget - General availability | New

Learning Paths is a new tool that allows organizations to group multiple courses into a sequential, easy-to-follow program to achieve specific learning goals for professional development and continuing education. Assigning a learner to learning paths automatically enrolls the learner in every course within the learning path and provides a simple interface that visualizes the learner's progress through the courses in the learning path.

Learning Paths helps manage programs for non-traditional learners in your organization:

  • Make onboarding, training or leadership development programs out of re-usable courses.
  • Keep learners engaged with clear indications of progress through multiple courses in the learning path.
  • Give your non-traditional learners a clear path towards completing their continuing education across multiple courses.
  • Continue to use your existing enrollment and reporting workflows.
  • Easily assign learning paths to learning groups and individual learners.

Learning Paths works with Learning Groups to assign and monitor the completion of learning paths for learning groups and direct reports. At this time, managers can view assigned learning paths alongside assigned courses in Manager Dashboard. Learning Groups administrators can assign learning paths to learning groups in the same workflow that they assign courses. Note that due dates cannot currently be set for assigned learning paths, only courses. As part of this change, Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups user workflows now refer to courses and learning paths as Learning and Learning Items throughout the tool interfaces.

Learning Paths requires specific configuration variables, permissions, and a specified learner role to use. See Technical Details for more information.

My Learning widget

Learning Paths also uses the new My Learning widget to provide a direct access point to learners who are assigned to learning paths. The My Learning widget appears on the My Home page. It displays assigned learning paths on a tile with an image, the learning path name, and a progress bar. Up to four learning item tiles display within the widget. The top image that appears represents your most recently accessed learning item. It also displays active courses that are not part of a defined learning path.

 

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Figure: The Edit Learning Paths page lets users easily view the content and visibility settings of a learning path

 

learningpath_learner_view

Figure: The learner view of a learning path displays the description, courses and progress bars, as well as a Continue button to directly access the next content module

 

My Learning Widget

Figure: The My Learning widget displays both learning paths and courses assigned to learners on the My Home page

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to administrators due to steps to enable the tool, set the configuration variable and permissions correctly for all user roles, configure the correct learner role, and set up the new widget as required for users to use Learning Paths.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients.

To enable: Ensure Learning Paths is turned on in Organization Tools. Ensure the New Content Experience and New Learner Experience are turned on for every course you want to add to Learning Paths, to correctly track module completion and overall progress.

AND

Ensure the d2l.Tools.Content.IsLessonsEnabled configuration variable is turned on at the Org level.

Ensure the following configuration variables are turned on at the course level for all configuration variable is turned on for all individual courses that you want to include in Learning Paths:

  • d2l.Tools.Content.UseLessonsExperience
  • d2l.Tools.Content.NewLearnerExperience

Ensure the default learner role is set in the d2l.System.Enrollment.LearnerRole configuration variable if your organization does not use Manager Dashboard.

Important: If you have Manager Dashboard configured for your organization, Learning Paths automatically uses the configured Learner role from Manager Dashboard as the default role for all users enrolled into learning paths . The Manager Dashboard-configured learner role overrides any other learner role you configure.

AND

To enable the functionality for Learners, ensure the role has the new Learning Paths > Access Learning Paths permission set at the organization level and the existing Content > View Course Content permission set at the learning path level.

To enable the functionality for Learning Paths administrators, ensure the role has the new Learning Paths > Access Learning Paths permission and the new Learning Paths > Manage Learning Paths permission set at the organization level, and the Org Unit Editor > Can Create and Edit Org Units set at the organization level.

AND

Ensure you edit the organization home page to add the My Learning widget.

Slight impact to learners due to the new widget on their My Home page and navigation steps when using Learning Paths. N/A

Locale Management - Additional numbering and date formats | New

When creating or editing a custom locale with the Locale Management tool, administrators can now specify a new numbering format (commonly used in Switzerland) and new date formats (commonly used in Switzerland and other German-speaking countries). For example, in a custom Swiss locale, users can now use the following numbering and date format in Brightspace: 1’390.00 and Monday, 03. August 2020.

In the Locale Management tool, the following new numbering and date formats are available:

  • From the Numbers tab, the Group Separator list now includes the ' option.
  • From the Dates and Times tab, the Standard Date Format list now includes the dd. MMMM yyyy option, the Long Date Format list now includes the dddd, dd. MMMM yyyy option, and the Month and Day Format list now includes the d. MMMM option.

This feature implements PIE items D3931 and D4083.

 

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Figure: The new ' Group Separator option in Locale Management

 

locale_mgtm_swiss_dates

Figure: The new Date Format options in Locale Management

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to new numbering and date formats in the Locale Management tool.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable:

Navigate to Admin Tools > Locale Management, and create or edit a custom locale.

From the Numbers and Dates and Times tabs, choose the new numbering and date formats.

Click Save and Close.

 

Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups - Navbar icons | New

Navbar icons are now available for Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups.

 

MDLG_navbar_icons

Figure: The Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups icons appear on the navbar

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators who may need to enable icon-based navigation for the organization to use the navbar icons.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups users. No further action is required.

To enable icon-based navigation for your organization, refer to Enabling image-based navigation.

 

MathJax – Ability to choose global MathJax settings | Updated

MathJax is a cross-browser JavaScript library that renders mathematical equations using MathML, LaTeX, and ASCIIMathML markup. MathJax, rather than the Equation Editor in Brightspace Learning Environment determines the rendering size of the equation based on the text surrounding it. Previously, the default scaling provided to MathJax was 130% of the surrounding text.

Now, using the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.MathjaxScaling configuration variable, it is possible to change the default scale percentage.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators who can now set the default scale and size of math equations.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This change is automatically enabled for all users. Note: the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.MathjaxScaling configuration variable is set to 130 by default; however, it may be set to another percentage by administrators. The settings apply to all current and future equations.

 

Outcomes Management – Levels of achievement are mapped to rubric levels | Updated

Levels of achievement, used to measure progress towards learning outcomes, can now be mapped to rubric levels. Instructors no longer have to use a percentage score to translate rubric levels to levels of achievement. This means they can use text-only rubrics, as well as points-based rubrics, to automatically identify a suggested level of achievement for the learner’s performance.

Achievement levels are automatically mapped to rubric levels. If there are more rubric levels than achievement levels, some achievement levels may span more than one rubric level. In this case, the levels on each side of the center are symmetrically and evenly distributed.

If there are more achievement levels than rubric levels, some achievement levels are excluded in the map. In this case, the top and bottom achievement levels are automatically mapped to the top and bottom rubric levels and distributed evenly and symmetrically.

After the automatic mapping has occurred, instructors can manually adjust the alignment. The alignment levels can be manually adjusted by dragging the colored circles in the Achievement Levels row of the rubric to identify the desired mapping. Changes can be made to the alignment until a submission is evaluated using the rubric. At that point, the rubric and mapped achievement levels are locked.

 

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Figure: Rubrics dialog enabling instructors to adjust the outcomes mapped to the rubric levels.

When an instructor evaluates a learner's work using a rubric that has been aligned to learning outcomes, a suggested achievement level is displayed based on achievement levels and rubric level mappings.

The instructor can manually adjust the suggested achievement levels for each of the associated outcomes if necessary. The achievement levels for any outcomes that have been associated directly with the activity and not with the rubric, must be set manually. No suggestion will be displayed for those outcomes because they are not included in the rubric mapping.

 

Learning_outcomes_suggested-achievement-levels

Figure: Rubric items aligned with outcomes provide information results in suggested achievement levels, which can be adjusted by instructors

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors who can now map rubrics to learning outcomes and have recommended achievement levels for learners based on the rubric mappings for both points-based and text only rubrics.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using Learning Outcomes and Rubrics.

To enable:To use this feature, ensure that the following criteria are met:

  • The d2l.tools.LearningOutcomes.LoaSuggestions configuration variable is enabled
  • An achievement scale is defined at the main org level and set as the default.
  • Outcomes (standards) are imported or added to the course.
  • At least one outcome (standard) is associated with one criterion row of the rubric.

  

Quick Eval - Course level filtering | New

When opening Quick Eval within a course, only the list of activities and submissions related to that course display. This helps instructors easily view and evaluate submissions on a course-by-course basis. If an instructor wants to view all submissions across all their courses, they can still use the More Options menu to see the Multi-Course Quick Eval, or open Quick Eval from outside of a course.

This feature implements PIE item D5474.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to the automatic course-level filtering for Quick Eval when opened within courses.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients.

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

 

Quick Eval - Dismiss activities until next submission | New

Instructors can now remove items from their Quick Eval list until a new submission is received for the activity. The removed activity appears on the Dismissed Activities list and can be restored at any time. Once a new submission arrives to the Quick Eval list, the previously dismissed activity reappears there.

Previously, instructors could only select a specific date or forever when dismissing an activity. This new option provides instructors with an additional option to manage the submissions on their Quick Eval list.

This feature implements PIE item D5505.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to additional option to temporarily dismiss activities from the Quick Eval list.

Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Core clients.

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

 

Quizzes – Learning Outcomes can be aligned to Quiz questions | New

In the new Quiz Builder, questions can be aligned to learning outcomes. After you align an outcome to a quiz question, that outcome is aligned for all quizzes in which the question appears. This feature builds on the availability of learning outcomes with other tools, including content items, assignments, and rubrics. After instructors align learning outcomes to one or more questions in a quiz, they can evaluate levels of achievement against learner quiz attempts. Suggested outcome achievements are provided for questions that are auto-graded with the ability to overwrite the suggestion. The default outcome achievement suggestion is based on the default outcomes achievement scale for the course. After the learning outcomes are published, quiz attempts appear in the outcomes progress page as individual demonstration of the learners' achievement toward the outcomes. They are also visible to instructors when evaluating or reviewing attempts from within Quizzes and visible to learners within Quizzes if a submission view is set up to show quiz questions, responses, and associated outcomes to learners.

Instructors can align outcomes to all questions in a question pool by selecting the question pool from the main Quiz Builder page and then selecting Align to Outcomes from the More Actions menu. They can remove alignment to a particular question or set of questions within a question pool by opening the pool and selecting the clear option next to outcomes tag on each individual question.

Note: Outcome alignments are copied between courses, but are not included in export packages.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to users who can now align quiz questions to learning outcomes

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Quiz users who have turned on Learning Outcomes in their course. Before you can use this feature, ensure you have completed the following:

At least one outcome must be added to the course either using the ASN picker or manually adding a standard.

An achievement scale has been created in the organization and set as the default scale.

The d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewQuizBuilderExperience configuration variable is set to On (opt-in) or On.

 

Video Note – Automatic Closed Captioning | New

To improve accessibility, video notes now provide automatic closed captioning for newly created videos and the ability to manually add or update closed captioning for all previously recorded videos. After video processing, users can view closed captions using video player controls.

In addition, users can now download a transcript and the closed caption file associated with a video independent of Video Notes.

Localized closed captioning is available for the following languages:

  • US English (en-US)
  • British English (en-GB)
  • Canadian French (fr-CA)
  • German (de-DE)
  • Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR)
  • Korean (ko-KR)
  • Italian (it-IT)
  • Spanish (es-US)
  • Modern Standard Arabic (ar-SA)
  • Russian (ru-RU)
  • Japanese (ja-JP)
  • Turkish (tr-TR)
  • Dutch (nl-NL)
  • Chinese Mandarin (zh-CN)

Notes:

  • Canadian English is not available for closed captioning and defaults to en-US.
  • Chinese Traditional (zh-TW) closed captions are not currently available and defaults to zh-CN.
  • Mexican Spanish (es-MX) closed captions may not be available and defaults to US Spanish (es-US)
  • Swedish closed captions are not available.

This feature implements PIE D5864.

 

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Figure: A video with closed captions

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators who no longer need to manage accessibility concerns or ask users to adopt accessible tools for closed captioning.

Availability: This feature is available to all Brightspace Core customers.

To enable: Ensure that the Can upload video notes permission is turned on at the Organization level.

  

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