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Brightspace Tip #284: December Continuous Delivery Updates


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 December 2021/20.21.12 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Assignments – New assignment creation experience universally enabled

This feature sets the new assignment creation experience to ON by default. This will mean that the classic assignment experience will no longer be available. Details of the New assignment creation experience can be found at this link; the differences between classic to new assignment creation experiences can be found at this link.

2) Brightspace Editor – Hotkey shortcut to Brightspace Editor source editor

This feature adds a new hotkey shortcut in the Brightspace Editor to access the source editor. Previously, the source editor was unavailable by a hotkey shortcut.

The hotkey shortcut is:

  • Windows: Ctrl+Shift+E
  • Mac: Command+Shift+E

This feature addresses the following accessibility criteria:

  • WCAG 2.1 Success criterion 2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts

3) Brightspace Learning Environment – Alerts in the minibar persist for 90 days

With this release, when you click on the Message alerts, Subscription alerts, or Update alerts icons in the minibar, you can retrieve alerts from the last 90 days. Previously, all alerts disappeared after 7 days.

The way these alerts display to users has not changed: when you click one of the icons, the 5 most recent alerts appear in the dropdown. When you click Load More, 5 more alerts appear.

4) Content – Updated count and overdue badges

In the Classic Content tool for instructors and learners, the count and overdue badges in the Table of Contents now reflect an updated appearance that is consistent with the New Content Experience and other Brightspace tools. The new count badge is circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits), with a grey background, and with higher contrast text. In addition, the overdue badge is now circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits). Previously, the count badge was rectangular, with a white background, and grey text/outline. The overdue badge was rectangular and red.

This feature addresses the following accessibility criteria:

  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
The new count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool
The new count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool
The old count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool
The old count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool

5) Course Import/Export – Import and export intelligent agents

With this release, administrators and instructors can now include intelligent agents when importing or exporting courses. This allows administrators and instructors to share the dynamic notification interactions in imported/exported courses with other Brightspace instances. Previously, intelligent agents were not included when importing or exporting courses.

6) Email – Address Book changes to To/Cc/Bcc options

This feature changes the Email tool's workflow when selecting an email recipient in the To, CC, and/or Bcc fields. Each of these fields in the Compose window are now links that, when clicked, launch an Address Book dialog to select recipients from. Once a user or users are selected, they are added to the respective field.

Each of the three fields (To, CC, and Bcc) have their own separate links.

This feature also affects the Intelligent Agents tool; when users create a new Intelligent Agent, they can select the Send an Email option. Users then click the Address Book button next to each To, CC, and/or Bcc fields to choose the recipient(s). In effect, the changes made to email above are also reflected in the Intelligent Agents tool.

Under the previous workflow, users would have to select Address Book, select a recipient or recipients from the list by clicking the checkbox, and then selecting the Add Recipients button. The existing Address Book button remains unchanged; users can continue to use the old workflow.

The layout of Compose Email window prior to the update
The layout of Compose Email window prior to the update
The layout of Compose Email window after the update
The layout of Compose Email window after the update

7) Quizzes – Improved language terms

To offer more intuitive and consistent terminology to instructors and learners when using Quizzes, many interface labels and dialogs now use more descriptive language. For example, Automatic Grade is now Automatically Publish Evaluation. Previously, many interface labels and dialogs used short terms that did not provide clear meaning for some users.

For a detailed list of all language term updates in Quizzes, see the Quiz Language Updates blog post.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the December Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform December 2021/20.21.12 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
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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.

Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

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