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Brightspace Tip #401: August 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 August 2023/20.23.8 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Announcements – Pin announcements to top of Announcement widget

With this release, instructors can now pin announcements and global announcements to the top of the Announcement Widget, allowing important information to remain visible to learners. Announcements so pinned are indicated to learners as such with the use of a new pinned icon that appears on the announcement. Global announcements appear at the top of the Announcements widget before any announcements pinned within a course offering.

Pin announcement to the top.
Select Pin to top to pin an announcement to the top of the Announcement Widget.

This feature implements the following PIE item:

  • D7111 (Ability to Pin Announcement to the Top)

2) Rubrics – Improve your evaluation experience with the new collapsible panel for Assignments and Discussions in mobile view

When evaluating assignments or discussions in a mobile browser, instructors can now collapse the containers for Rubrics, Grades & Feedback, Outcomes, and Competencies. The new collapsible container appears in the right-hand panel and reduces unnecessary scrolling, giving instructors more control over which fields are displayed to them. Each component is open by default when the instructor accesses the item. Instructors can open and close each collapsible component by selecting the triangle beside the name of the container.

Note: This change applies to the mobile view only.

The Rubrics tool was updated in the July 2023/20.23.7 release to include collapsible panels as part of interface improvements.

The previous mobile view for evaluation components.
The previous mobile view for evaluation components.
New mobile view with collapsible panel.
The new mobile view that includes the collapsible evaluation components. Instructors can open and close each collapsible component by selecting the triangle beside the name of the container.

3) Rubrics – Pop-out details provide increased evaluator awareness

To provide a more complete context for learner evaluation, rubric pop-outs now provide activity details including activity title, course name, learner name, and evaluator name. The evaluator name only appears if it is explicitly assigned; implicit evaluators' names do not appear with the additional details. These additional details are critical for new multi-evaluation workflows, where evaluators can have access to view and edit multiple rubrics concurrently. However, having the additional activity details in the single-evaluation experience also provides consistency across all evaluator experiences.

Note: Multi-evaluation workflows are currently only available as part of a development pilot program.

An example rubric showing the activity title, course name, learner name, and graded by.
An example rubric pop-out showing the activity title, course name, learner name, and graded by.

Previously, the activity title, course name, learner name, and evaluator name were not visible in the rubric pop-outs.

Note: Learner name information respects user information privacy policies and displays Anonymous if evaluating with the Anonymous role or marking in Anonymous Mode.

4) User Progress – Class Progress displays absent periods more clearly

This feature updates Class Progress to better align the login date and the absent period. When viewing data for Course Access, Login History, and System Access History, the absent period now correlates to the login date on the same line.

Previously, the login date and absent period were misaligned, which caused confusion to users viewing the data.

Progress summary showing absent period for course access, login history, and system access.
The absent period now correlates to the login date on the same line.

This feature addresses the following accessibility criteria:

  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.8 Visual Presentation

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the August Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform August 2023/20.23.8 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.
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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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