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 July 2021/20.21.7 release that were added to our system this month:
1) Assignments – Add categories in the New Assignment Creation Experience
This feature builds on the Assignments – Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience | New feature that was released in April 2021/20.21.4.
The new assignment creation experience supports the alignment of assignments to categories. Instructors can add new or existing assignment categories when creating or editing a new assignment.
2) Brightspace Editor – Available in ePortfolio External Comments and Quiz Builder
This feature updates the Brightspace Editor – Additional functionality | Updated feature released in June 2021/20.21.6 and includes the following items:
- External users adding comments in Brightspace ePortfolio can now use the new inline limited version of Brightspace Editor.
- The Quiz Builder now supports the new inline Editor
- The right-click menu is no longer available when creating tables.
3) My Courses Widget - Updated Sort Logic configuration variable
The d2l.Tools.MyCoursesWidget.UpdatedSortLogic configuration variable has now reached end-of-life status and no longer appears in the Config Variable Browser. With this change, the My Courses Widget now uses only the Updated Sort Logic setting by default.
Previously, the My Courses Widget sorting logic was set by the d2l.Tools.MyCoursesWidget.UpdatedSortLogic configuration variable. By default, this configuration variable has been set to ON since 2018, with the option to revert to the old sorting logic. The option to revert to the previous sorting logic in the My Courses Widget is no longer available with the removal of this configuration variable.
For additional details, refer to the Community blog post: Retirement Of The Old My Courses Widget Sort Logic.
4) Quizzes – Quiz Introduction field
To reduce redundancy in the Quizzes tool, the Introduction field is being phased out. In this release, when an instructor creates and/or edits a quiz, the Introduction field is no longer available.
If any quiz previously had text in the Introduction field, on clicking Edit, the text is automatically appended to the Description field. A message appears indicating that these two fields have been merged. Instructors can review the modified quiz description prior to saving the quiz.
Note: In some interfaces, for example Classic content, the Instructions field is displayed. This Instructions field already maps to the quiz Description field. Hence, there is no change to this workflow.
Note: Check the visibility of the Description field prior to saving the quiz.
When importing a course using Import/Export/Copy Components, text in the quiz Introduction field automatically appends to the quiz Description field. The export and copy workflows remain unchanged.
When viewing a quiz topic in the Classic Content tool, the text in the Introduction field now appears under the Instructions header.
5) Quizzes – Relocation of the Reports Setup functionality
The Report Setup tab on the Edit Quiz page is now available on the context menu of a quiz and reads as Setup Reports.
The Reports option available on the quiz context menu is also updated and reads as View Reports.
6) Quizzes - Set grace period time to 0 minutes
When setting an enforced time limit for a quiz, instructors can now set the grace period for a quiz to 0 minutes, in place of the default grace period setting of 5 minutes. Entering a 0 minute grace period flags the quiz attempt as exceeded immediately when the quiz time limit is reached by the learner. Quiz attempt logs display when the learner attempt exceeds the regular time limit, grace period time limit or any extended time limit. Grace period of 0 minutes can be set for quizzes with special access restrictions as well.
Note that setting a grace period can support learner accessibility requirements and other situations, such as slow internet connections when completing quizzes.
7) Quizzes - Status and workflow changes for quizzes with ungraded questions
To support instructors who need to manually score questions within quizzes, the following quiz status and quiz grading workflow updates are available:
- For quizzes that contain questions that need to be manually scored (such as Written Response questions) AND that have the "Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion" option disabled, a new Pending Evaluation status appears beside the quiz attempt on the Grade Quiz page.
- While evaluating a quiz attempt with unevaluated questions, the instructor can now select Pending evaluations in the Question View drop-down menu to filter for only the questions that require manual evaluation.
- Instructors can now filter the Users tab by status. The available filters are: Published, Saved as draft, Pending evaluation and an empty status. The empty status denotes a quiz with auto-scored questions, where all questions are evaluated and there is no question evaluation pending.
If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the July Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform July 2021/20.21.7 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.
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