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Brightspace Tip #123: September Continuous Delivery Updates

update

D2L (the company that owns Brightspace) uses Continuous Delivery to update our Brightspace system. The Continuous Delivery model gives us regular monthly updates allowing for incremental and easily integrated changes with no downtime required for our Brightspace system.

Our Continuous Delivery update occurs on the 4th Thursday of each month. D2L provides release notes to help users stay up-to-date with the changes.

Here are a few updates in the September 2019/20.19.9 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Activity Feed - Inline rendering of remote plug-in attachments

When an instructor attaches a remote plug-in via a Quicklink to a message or assignment post, the plug-in now renders inline as an embedded attachment. This allows users to view the material without navigating away from Activity Feed. Previously, a remote plug-in attachment rendered as a simple web link.

An Activity Feed post with a remote plug-in attachment
An Activity Feed post with a remote plug-in attachment

2) Activity Feed - Message posts now support embed codes

To allow instructors and learners to share more material in a course, users can now paste embed codes directly into the body of message posts in Activity Feed. These embed codes automatically attach and display inline for all users to view and interact with.

An Activity Feed post with an embed code attachment
An Activity Feed post with an embed code attachment

3) Activity Feed - Improved attachment workflow and thumbnail previews

Users can now attach web links to message and assignment posts by pasting them into the body of messages or the instructions of assignments in Activity Feed. The display of link attachments has also been enhanced to show a thumbnail and description, if available. Previously, links could only be added to posts by the Click and Attach workflow and the display was limited to a simple link icon and title.

An Activity Feed post with the new link styling containing a thumbnail preview and description
An Activity Feed post with the new link styling containing a thumbnail preview and description

4) Brightspace Pulse - Activity Feed notifications

To help keep learners up to date on course activity, Brightspace Pulse now displays Activity Feed notifications in the Updates tab, for example, messages and links to course materials and external resources. Tapping an Activity Feed notification displays the post in Brightspace Pulse.

5) Assignments - Grades entered in Assignments and Grade Book are synchronized

When an instructor enters a grade for an assignment submission in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the submission in Assignments. Previously, grades entered in the Assignment tool were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for assignment submissions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Assignments tool. This change ensures data consistency between Assignments and Grade Book. Currently Assignment grades are not synchronized when the Assignment tool is updated by the Brightspace API or when Grade Book is exported and imported.

Note: Existing grade data for assignment submissions are not migrated. This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries.

6) Discussions - Grades entered in Discussions and Grade book are synchronized

When an instructor enters a grade for a discussion in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the discussion post in Discussions. Previously, grades entered in the Discussion were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for discussions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Discussions tool. This change ensures data consistency between Discussions and Grade Book. Currently Discussion grades are not synchronized when the Discussion tool is updated by the Brightspace API or when Grade Book is exported and imported.

Note: Existing grade data for discussions are not migrated. This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries.

7) Quick Eval – Activities View

In Quick Eval, select Activities to display a list of the assessable activities that have items awaiting evaluation in all your courses. An activity shows up in Quick Eval’s Activities view when there is an unevaluated learner submission, or when all students have not submitted to the activity. This view makes it easy to complete all assessments for one assignment, discussion, or quiz, before moving on to the next task. This feature helps evaluators who prefer to evaluate submissions in the context of an activity. Activities view displays indicators to show the progress on submissions, progress on evaluations, and progress on publishing feedback to learners. It also includes links to the evaluation page, submission page, and a publish all action.

Activities view in Quick Eval
Activities view in Quick Eval

8) Release Conditions - Release condition for topic completion

The Completed content topic is a new release condition that is met when a user completes a content topic. The method of completing the topic depends on the type, such as viewing a file or submitting an assignment. Similar to the currently available Visited content topic release condition, optional topics can also trigger this release condition.

This release condition ignores exemptions, meaning that if the learner completes the activity, the release condition can be met, regardless of the activity being required, optional, or exempt.

Completed content topic release condition shown in Condition Type drop-down list
The Completed content topic release condition is now available from the Condition Type drop-down list

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the September Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform September 2019/20.19.9 Release Notes.

Additionally, refer to the Brightspace Release Notes for Continuous Delivery Releases, for details about current, past, and to preview upcoming continuous delivery updates.

Want more information?

View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
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You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

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