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 May 2022/20.22.5 release that were added to our system this month:
1) Audio/Video – Manual transcoding option to optimize video files
Depending on the file format of audio and video files, they might not play in a web browser by default. Previously, all uploaded audio and video files were transcoded; now, transcoding only occurs when necessary, All MP3 and MP4 video files are saved in their original form because they can play in a browser without transcoding. Other files, such as WMV and AVI, which would not play by default, continue to be automatically transcoded.
With this update, the new Optimize for Streaming option in the editing tool enables users who want to manually transcode original versions of the files, for example, to reduce the file size or enable multi-bitrate streaming.
Note: This feature applies to uploading audio and video files in Content, Lessons, and Video Note upload. Original versions of videos are used for editing and playback. This feature does not apply to Video Note web cam recordings, which continue to be transcoded automatically.
This feature has accessibility impacts, including:
- WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria 1.2.1 Audio-only or Video-only (Prerecorded)
- WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)
2) Brightspace Learning Environment – Updated default font and color stylings for improved accessibility
This feature introduces a color change to fonts and icons in Brightspace Learning Environment to meet WCAG guidelines.
Previously the dark grey font #494c4e did not meet the 3:1 contrast ratio with the color of our links. The new font #202122 (still grey!) is darker and meets the WCAG link contrast criteria for accessibility. This change is visible in most locations in Brightspace Learning Environment.
This feature has accessibility impacts, including:
- WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.1 Use of Color
- WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
3) Brightspace Pulse – Added @mentions push notifications
Brightspace Instructors (depending on their role definition within their institution) can now use @mention push notifications to direct a message to Learners using Pulse. Originally, @mentions came through Brightspace Learning Environment but were only visible if the user opened Pulse and viewed their Subscriptions tab under Notifications. Now, the new functionality sends a push notification to the user when they are @mentioned.
Note: These notifications are available in the Pulse Notifications > Subscriptions area and are still available in Discussions. @Mentions are currently not supported in Activity Feed.
4) Brightspace Pulse – Updates and subscriptions now align with all update subscription Alerts in Brightspace
In Brightspace Pulse, the Updates and Subscriptions tab is now aligned to show the same items as the Alert Bell and Discussions in Brightspace Learning Environment.
All Brightspace alerts now display within the Pulse Updates and Subscriptions tab. Improved logic in how alerts are sent to Pulse ensures that alerts are no longer sent from courses that are inaccessible (courses that are inactive or past their end date).
5) HTML Editor – Improved context link menu supports previewing of quicklinks in Brightspace Editor
This feature implements a new and improved context link menu in Brightspace Editor. The new menu has the same functionality as before – enabling users to highlight text and create a link, edit the link, remove the link, and preview the link – but now also enables support for the previewing of quicklinks that contain replace strings while editing their HTML. The new formatting context menu continues to allow users to highlight text within the editor and apply formatting or create links.
Previously, when a user created a new quicklink within the editor that contains a replace string, this proved not replaceable by the context menu. Clicking to preview the link resulted in a 404 Error.
6) Manage Files – Improved error message when invalid files are uploaded
Building on the Manage Files – Users receive warning message when uploading a file blocked due to security | New feature added in the November 2021/20.21.11 release, this feature adds an improved error message to the File Upload dialogue. When a user attempts to upload a file containing one or more illegal characters in the file name, this message explains to the user the reason why the upload failed.
Previously, users received a generic "Oops! Your file could not be uploaded" message, which did not explain the reason the file upload failed.
If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the May Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform May 2022/20.22.5 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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View current, past, and preview upcoming Continuous Delivery release notes
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