Brightspace Platform July 2018/10.8.3 Past Release Notes

The following release notes are for clients installing Brightspace Learning Environment 10.8.3 (July 2018).

2-Aug-2018Knowledge
Release Highlights

Links To Additional Information
To view the Known Issues and Fixed Issues List for 10.8.3, review the attached 10.8.3 Platform Release Notes.
Downloadable Release Notes

At the time of publication, there are no additional product release notes for this release. To download the Platform Release Notes for 10.8.3, click the attached document.

Announcements And Feature Information

Note that the following features contain updates:

  • Updated the Data Hub: Rubric Criteria Levels Data Set - AWS enabled | New feature to include information about Data Set versioning changes resulting from this feature and a link to the Data Sets Change Management policy
  • Updated the Data Hub – Soft Deletes in Brightspace Data Sets - AWS enabled | Updatedfeature to include Quiz attempts in the list of data sets that insert the IsDeleted field to support soft deletes
  • Updated the Brightspace Daylight Experience - Course grouping tabs in the My Courses widget | New feature to specify the configuration variable that must be turned on to view the course grouping tabs option in the Customize this widget settings. Added the option to group courses by Department in addition to Semester Name and Role
  • Updated the TII Integration page with GradeMark turned on figure within the Turnitin - Improvements to version 2 of the Turnitin Integration | Updated feature
  • Removed the Quizzes – Dynamic preview available in question pools | New feature, which will be made available in a future release.
  • The IPSIS – PlugNPlay LIS Endpoint configuration | Updated feature has been updated to remove bulk endpoint configurations and include information for updated UI elements for LIS 2.0 configurations.
 

Brightspace Learning Environment

Assignments - New Text Submission type and workflow | New

Instructors can now create Text Submission assignment types in Brightspace Learning Environment. The new Text Submission type allows learners to create text documents for submission directly in Assignments using a rich text editor, eliminating the need to attach a file. Previously, learners had to create documents outside of Brightspace Learning Environment, then add them as attachments to their submissions within Assignments. This feature enables learners to work directly within Brightspace Learning Environment, allowing for a simpler workflow and standard file type submissions.
This feature implements PIE item D135.

Instructors can now select Text submission as part of the workflow to create a New Submission Folder
Figure: Instructors can now select Text submission as part of the workflow to create a New Submission Folder

The Text Submission editor appears directly on the Submit Assignment page for learners
Figure: The Text Submission editor appears directly on the Submit Assignment page for learners
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to instructors due to the new assignment type and workflow in Assignments, Lessons, Content and Groups.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

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

Microservices dependencies: N/A

Microservices locations: N/A

User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Assess and Grade Learners – Instructor Guide (print-based resources) or Create assignments and assess submissions web topics for instructors (online resource) at release.

Moderate impact to learners due to the improved workflow for creating and submitting text documents within Brightspace Learning Environment. User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Brightspace Learning Environment – Learner Guide (print-based resources) or Submit assignments web topics for learners (online resource) at release.


Brightspace Daylight Experience - Course grouping tabs in the My Courses widget | New

Courses that appear in the My Courses widget can now be grouped by Department, Semester Name or Role when the Update Sort Logic view is enabled. Administrators can customize the course groupings directly in the widget via the Customize this widget option. Once a course grouping option is selected, the courses are separated into tabs within the widget for easy viewing and selection.
 

Tabs in the My Courses widget group courses by Semester Name or Role
Figure: Tabs in the My Courses widget group courses by Department, Semester Name or Role
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators who can customize how to sort and view courses directly in the widget.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using Updated Sort Logic view in Brightspace Daylight Experience.

To enable: Ensure the d2l.Tools.MyCoursesWidget.UpdatedSortLogic configuration variable is turned on.

Microservices dependencies: N/A

Microservices location(s): N/A

User Resources: For information on Brightspace Daylight Experience to share with users, refer to the Brightspace Daylight Visual Design - Getting Started Guide (print-based resource) or the Brightspace Daylight Experience web topics (online resource) at release.

Slight impact to instructors who can now view their courses by department, semester or role if enabled for the Org. N/A
Slight impact to learners who can now view their courses by department, semester or role if enabled for the Org. N/A


Brightspace Daylight Experience - Improved widget style for homepages | Updated

System and custom widgets now display more prominently against homepage backgrounds. The new widget container style appears by default for both system and custom widgets. Administrators may temporarily opt out of this stylistic change until October 2018. Administrators and instructors with permission to create and edit custom widgets may continue to opt out of the new container style using the Style this widget option for custom widgets only. D2L maintains control of the system widget style.
 

The new widget styles appear as white cards, with 20px of space between the top, bottom, left and right edges of the card and the content. There is a subtle gray background color for the homepage
Figure: The new widget styles appear as white cards, with 20px of space between the top, bottom, left and right edges of the card and the content. There is a subtle gray background color for the homepage
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators who must configure a new org-level configuration variable to enable or temporarily disable the updated widget styles during the introduction period of this feature.

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

To enable: Ensure the d2l.System.BrightspaceDaylightWidgetStyle configuration variable is turned on.

To temporarily opt out of this feature: Set the d2l.System.BrightspaceDaylightWidgetStyle configuration variable to off.

Note: This new configuration variable is available during the introduction period of this feature (3 months). From October 2018, the container style will become the default for all system and custom widgets. Users can disable the container style for custom widgets on a widget-by-widget basis only.

Microservices dependencies: N/A

Microservices locations: N/A

User Resources: For information on Brightspace Daylight Experience to share with users, refer to the Brightspace Daylight Visual Design - Getting Started Guide (print-based resource) or the Brightspace Daylight Experience web topics (online resource) at release.


Export/Bulk Course Export - Rubric associations preserved in course packages | New

When exporting a course from Brightspace Learning Environment, any rubrics associated with course assessments (assignments, quizzes, discussions) are now preserved in the resulting course package. This allows course designers, instructors, or administrators to import the course package without manually recreating the rubric associations in the course.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to course designers, instructors, and administrators. Rubric associations in courses no longer need to be manually recreated after importing the course package.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

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

Microservices dependencies: N/A

Microservices location(s): N/A

User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Brightspace Learning Environment - Administrator Guide(print-based resources) or Bulk Course Export - BCE (online resource).


Copy Course Bulk - Date offset | New

Previously, when copying course offerings in bulk, old course dates were copied to the new course offerings. Now, administrators can offset previous course dates to dates relative to the new semester in the destination courses via the new columns in the CSV file. During the bulk course copying process, administrators can enter a positive or negative integer in the Day Offset column, and a positive or negative decimal in the Hour Offset column to set the new dates. These columns are optional and may be left blank if date offset is not required.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators who can now offset dates during the bulk course copy process.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients using Copy Course Bulk

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Copy Course Bulk users. Copy Course Bulk is a paid tool. Contact your D2L Client Sales Executive to purchase and enable this tool.

Microservices dependencies: N/A

Microservices location(s): N/A

User Resources: For information on Bulk Course Copy to share with users, refer to the Bulk Course Tools – Administrator Guide(print-based resource) or the Copy Course Bulk web topics for instructors (online resource) at release.


Course Import - Course Conversion Service in AWS | AWS Enabled | New

For AWS-hosted Brightspace Core clients, the Course Conversion Service used to import course packages is now located in Amazon Web Services™ (AWS). Brightspace Core clients that are not AWS-hosted continue to use the Course Conversion Service located at a D2L data center.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to administrators due to the Course Conversion Service being deployed to AWS. This only impacts AWS-hosted Brightspace Core clients.

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

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

Microservices dependencies: This functionality depends on the Authentication Service and Landlord Service microservices.

Microservices location(s): The Course Conversion Service is located in the following AWS locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia), Canada Central (Montreal), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), and Asia Pacific (Sydney). The Course Conversion Service's region is determined by the AWS region of the LMS.

Authentication Service and Landlord Service are in the following AWS location: U.S. East (N. Virginia).

User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Set Up and Deliver a Course – Instructor Guide (print-based resources) or Troubleshooting: Course Conversion (online resource).


Data Hub - Rubric Criteria Levels Data Set - AWS enabled | New

To resolve a defect in the Rubric Object Criteria Brightspace Data Set, some columns have been removed from the Rubric Object Criteria data set and a new data set, Rubric Criteria Levels has been created. The two sets cover all of the columns in the original Rubric Criteria Object data set, and each new data set has its own primary key columns. 
As a result of this change, the Brightspace Data Set version has been updated from 1.10 to 2.0.
These data sets are available as both Full and Differential data sets. 
 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to users who can use the new data sets.

Availability: Brightspace Core clients in the following regions:

- North America

- EMEA

- APAC

To enable: Normally, a major version change to Brightspace Data Sets provides an opt-in option; however, because this change is to resolve a defect, clients are automatically updated to Brightspace Data Sets 2.0. If you have concerns about being automatically updated, consult with the Updating The Brightspace Data Sets Change Management Policy on the Brightspace Community.

Microservices dependencies: Authentication Service and Landlord Service.

Microservices locations: Authentication and Landlord are services in the following Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) location: U.S. East (N. Virginia).

User Resources: For information on Data Hub to share with users, refer to the Brightspace Analytics - Administrator Guide(print-based resource) or the Brightspace Data Sets web topics for administrators (online resource) at release.

As a part of this update, the full and differential data sets are updated. Full data sets can be generated weekly or daily, and differential data sets can be generated daily or hourly.


Data Hub – Soft Deletes in Brightspace Data Sets - AWS enabled | Updated

To provide administrators with more information when analyzing differences between data sets, some Brightspace Data Sets now include rows of data that have been soft deleted from the application, but are still present in the database.
To indicate a soft delete, as needed, additional columns, such as IsDeletedDeletedDate, or DeletedByUser, are included at the end of the following Brightspace Data Sets:

  • Course Awards
  • Quiz Questions

The following Brightspace Data Set now includes rows associated with deleted objects, but no new corresponding columns will be added:

  • Quiz Question Answers contains rows associated with deleted quiz attempts
  • Quiz Question Answer Options contains rows associated with deleted quiz attempts
  • Survey User Answers contains rows associated with deleted survey attempts
  • Survey User Answer Responses contains rows associated with deleted survey attempts
  • Survey Question Answer Responses contains rows associated with deleted survey questions
  • Survey Question Answers contains rows associated with deleted survey questions

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to administrators due to three new columns added to some full and differential Brightspace Data Sets.

Availability: This feature is available to AWS-hosted and co-located 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.
If you have existing queries and integrations that you use with your data sets, and do not want those incorporated in your results, ensure you update them to exclude soft-deletes.

Microservices dependencies: Data Hub functionality depends on the Authentication Service and Landlord Service microservices.

Microservices location(s): Authentication Service and Landlord Service are in the following Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) location: U.S. East (N. Virginia).

User Resources: For information on Data Hub to share with users, refer to the Brightspace Analytics - Administrator Guide(print-based resource) or the Brightspace Data Sets web topics for administrators (online resource) at release.

As a part of this update, the full and differential data sets are updated. Full data sets can be generated weekly or daily, and differential data sets can be generated daily or hourly.


Lessons - Improved navigation in the table of contents - AWS Enabled | New

To improve navigation in the table of contents, the Lessons tool includes the following enhancements:

  • Tiles display more characters, allowing longer names to display completely in the table of contents.
  • Arrow icons display on tiles that contain additional course components, indicating the tiles can be expanded.
  • Each material type displays a unique icon, making it easier to visually distinguish materials.
  • Highlighting around the selected tile is more prominent.
  • The selected tile displays handles, clearly indicating you can drag-and-drop the tile to rearrange it in the table of contents.

Improved navigation elements in the table of contents
Figure: Improved navigation elements in the table of contents

 
Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to instructors and learners due to interface changes in the Lessons tool.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure the Learning Outcomes tool is turned on in Organization Tools.

Ensure the d2l.Tools.Content.IsLessonsEnabledd2l.Tools.Content.UseLessonsExperience, and d2l.System.Services.DocumentConversion.IsEnabled configuration variables are turned on.

To import standards from the Achievement Standards Network and to copy standard requirements between courses, ensure the instructor role has the existing Manage Outcomes permission set at the course offering level.

Microservices dependencies: The Lessons tool functionality depends on the Document Conversion Service, Activity Feed Service, and Learning Outcomes Registry Service (LOReS). These services depend on the Authentication Service.

Microservices location(s): The Document Conversion Service is in the following Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia), Canada Central (Montreal), Asia Pacific (Sydney).

The Activity Feed Service is in the following AWS locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia), Canada Central (Montreal), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Sydney, Singapore).

LOReS is in the following AWS locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia), Canada Central (Montreal), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Sydney, Singapore).

The Authentication Service is in the following AWS locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia).

User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Set Up and Deliver a Course -Instructor Guide (print-based resources) or Create course content in a new Content experience (Lessons) (online resource) at release.

In unit, lesson, and topic titles, instructors can also copy and paste emojis from external sites, such as https://www.emojicopy.com. The emojis display as images in the tiles, which is helpful for young learners and non-readers.


Lessons - ReadSpeaker integrations support - AWS enabled | New

The Lessons tool now supports the following ReadSpeaker integrations:

  • The ReadSpeaker HTML content integration solution automatically enables ReadSpeaker online text-to-speech technology for HTML content in the Lessons tool. Any learner can hear their HTML course content spoken aloud or download it as an MP3 using their internet browser. Learners can also highlight and play back a subset of the content.
  • The ReadSpeaker docReader integration provides audio rendering of supported document types in the Lessons tool.

The ReadSpeaker docReader frame integrated into Lessons with Listen and additional docReader advanced options
Figure: The ReadSpeaker docReader frame integrated into Lessons with Listen and additional docReader advanced options

 
Impact of Change Technical Details
Moderate impact to learners that require accessibility integrations with Brightspace Learning Environment.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Contact ReadSpeaker to purchase licensing and obtain integration keys. Next, implement the ReadSpeaker integrations in your Brightspace instance, as described in the ReadSpeaker documentation below.

For the Lessons tool, ensure the Learning Outcomes tool is turned on in Organization Tools.

Ensure the d2l.Tools.Content.IsLessonsEnabledd2l.Tools.Content.UseLessonsExperience, and d2l.System.Services.DocumentConversion.IsEnabled configuration variables are turned on.

To import standards from the Achievement Standards Network and to copy standard requirements between courses, ensure the instructor role has the existing {Manage Outcomes} permission set at the course offering level.

Microservices dependencies: The Lessons tool functionality depends on the Document Conversion Service, Activity Feed Service, and Learning Outcomes Registry Service (LOReS). These services depend on the Authentication Service.

Microservices location(s): The Document Conversion Service is in the following Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia), Canada Central (Montreal), Asia Pacific (Sydney).

The Activity Feed Service is in the following AWS locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia), Canada Central (Montreal), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Sydney, Singapore).

LOReS is in the following AWS locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia), Canada Central (Montreal), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Sydney, Singapore).

The Authentication Service is in the following AWS locations: U.S. East (N. Virginia).

User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Set Up and Deliver a Course -Instructor Guide (print-based resources) or Create course content in a new Content experience (Lessons) (online resource) at release.

For more information about the ReadSpeaker integrations, visit the ReadSpeaker docReader Administrator Guide and ReadSpeaker Integration Administrator Guide (print-based resources), or ReadSpeaker docReader and ReadSpeaker for HTML content (online resources) at release.


Quizzes – Removal of image and text information items | New

As images and text can be included in any type of question using the features of the HTML editor, there is no longer a need for image and text information items. Image and text information items in existing quizzes or question libraries convert into sections, and are still displayed to learners attempting the quiz. One section is created for each existing image or text information item. Once the conversion of existing image and text information items is complete, the ability to create new image and text information items is no longer available.

During the question conversion process the following actions occur:

  • Each image and text information item is converted to an individual section
  • If the information item included a title, that is used for the section title
  • If the information item did not include a title, one is automatically generated using the format: Untitled [converted from a Text Information Item], or Untitled [converted from an Image Information Item]
  • The setting to show the Section title to learners is set to off
  • The setting to show Section text to students is set to on
  • For text information items, the Question Text field is set as the Section Text field
  • For image information items, the Section Text consist of an image tag, followed by the Caption text. If there was a Description for the image, it is included as the alt text of the image.

 

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to instructors due to the deprecation of image and text question types.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure the d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewQuizExperienceOpt-In configuration variable is turned on.

Microservices dependencies: N/A

Microservices location(s): N/A

User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Assess and Grade Learners - Instructor Guide (print-based resources) or Create Quizzes (online resource).

 

Integrations

Turnitin - Improvements to version 2 of the Turnitin Integration | Updated

The following improvements have been made to version 2 of the Turnitin (TII) integration:

  • All Paper View Requests will be delivered to the valid and formatted email address set in the new d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.LTI.PaperViewRequestEmail configuration variable. Previously, when instructors copied a TII version 2 course, they had to manually click the Reenable TII button in each course to re-initiate a TII assignment submission folder. This approach was due to the fact that Paper View Requests required an email address (previously obtained from the person clicking the TII button) in order to send the paper copies. This improvement helps automate the copy process. If the new configuration variable is not set, Brightspace Learning Environment will continue to behave as it currently does.
  • Updates have been made to automate date management in TII. Start and End dates are no longer managed separately or prohibitive when learners make a submission in Brightspace Learning Environment and the TII dates are not set correctly. Previously, dates were managed in both Brightspace Learning Environment and TII, which often led to dates being misaligned. As a result, it caused issues with learners getting access to their feedback or being able to successfully submit their assignments. This improvement will reduce the number of errors seen because there will no longer be issues with the TII assignment submission folder having different date restrictions than what is in the Assignments tool.
  • Learners have access to formative feedback left in GradeMark (even if there is no score, which can be found in the assignment submission folder, in User Progress, or in Grades).
  • Feedback on Group Assignments is now provided to all learners in the group. Previously, feedback was only provided to the individual learner that made the submission.
  • Submissions made to a TII enabled assignment submission folder are pre-validated at time of submission to ensure they are within the file type and size requirements enforced by TII. Previously, upon submission in Brightspace Learning Environment, learners immediately received their receipt of submission and the pre-validation was done after the fact. As a result, the submission might have not been accepted by TII at all, forcing instructors to analyze and, in some cases, request another submission. This improvement will reduce the number of submissions that were previously rejected by TII. It is also now obvious that the learner is making a submission to TII.
  • The version of HTTPS communications has been updated from TLS 1.0 to TLS 1.2.
  • Previously, when instructors used GradeMark to score or provide feedback, they had to sync each submission one by one to copy the score to Brightspace Learning Environment. The new d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.GrademarkAutoTransferDefault configuration variable enables you to set up the default behavior of TII assignment submissions. Once set, scores can be copied automatically to Brightspace Learning Environment as a draft. By default, the d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.GrademarkAutoTransferDefault configuration variable will not be set to Auto copy as draft. The Auto copy as draft option can also be set within the Edit Assignment Folder page for each individual assignment folder.

Figure: TII Integration page with GradeMark turned on
Figure: TII Integration page with GradeMark turned on

Instructor file submission view
Figure: Instructor file submission view

Learner assignment view with feedback
Figure: Learner assignment view with feedback

Learner user progress view
Figure: Learner user progress view

 
Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to the new configuration variables.

Availability: These improvements are automatically available to all TII version 2 integration users. It does not affect version 1 users or users of the LTI solution. 

To enable: Set the d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.LTI.PaperViewRequestEmail configuration variable to collect all TII Paper View Requests in a single email.

Set the new d2l.3rdParty.Turnitin.GrademarkAutoTransferDefaultconfiguration variable to Auto copy as draft to automatically copy scores over to Brightspace Learning Environment as a draft.

All other functionality is automatically enabled for TII version 2 users. No further action is required.

Microservices dependencies: N/A

Microservices location(s): N/A

User Resources: For more information to share with users, visit the Turnitin - Administrator Guide (print-based resources) or Assignments and Turnitin (online resource).

Slight impact to instructors due to the improved automated copy process once the new configuration variables have been set to use these features. N/A
Slight impact to learners due to access to formative feedback left in GradeMark, the ability to receive feedback on Group Assignments, and the improved assignment submission process. N/A
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