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Brightspace Tip #407: September 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 September 2023/20.23.9 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Quizzes – Quiz Timing Improvements featuring Synchronous Quiz

This release updates the Quiz Creation experience for instructors and learners by adding a new synchronous quiz option.

With this release, instructors can facilitate quizzes where learners take their attempts simultaneously, which is convenient for in-class sessions. The new addition of synchronous quizzes enables instructors to set up a quiz where the quiz timer starts on the start date for all learners rather than when the learner launches the quiz (asynchronous). The quiz timer then ends for all learners at the same time.

To set up a synchronous quiz:

  1. From a quiz page, expand the Availability Dates & Conditions accordion.
  2. Set start date and time.
  3. Expand the Timing & Display accordion.
  4. Click Timer Settings.
  5. In the Timing dialog, under Quiz Start, select Synchronous: Timer starts on the start date.
  6. Click OK.
Set up a synchronous quiz
Set up a synchronous quiz

Note: If no start date and time is set for the synchronous quiz, the No Start date set alert appears under the selected option, and you cannot save the quiz. The Due Date option is disabled for synchronous quizzes because students do not choose the time frame of when to take the synchronous quiz, therefore there is no need to set a due date.

To ensure that learners are aware of upcoming synchronous quizzes, instructors should create instructional or manual solutions. For example:

  • Make a synchronous quiz visible in the calendar:
    • Instructors can select Add availability dates to Calendar or set up an event showing the whole time.
    • Instructors should use the Start Date parameter when setting up a synchronous quiz and leave the End Date field empty.
  • Create an announcement with information about the synchronous quiz.
  • Set up an event and give a link to the quiz to provide more context.

Note: Instructors must modify or review quizzes one-by-one to avoid accidentally modifying quiz availability dates for synchronous quizzes.

A synchronous quiz starts at the Start Date and ends when the time limit has lapsed, regardless of any action taken by the learner. For example, if a learner clicks Start Quiz! 15 minutes after the start date on a 1-hour quiz, they only have 45 minutes left to complete it. To indicate when a quiz becomes available, learners have a countdown timer on the Quiz Information and Start Quiz pages. The Start Quiz! button becomes available when the start date and time is reached.

A countdown timer on the Start Quiz page
A countdown timer on the Start Quiz page

Instructors should provide learners with information about a synchronous quiz before it starts. Learners can also access information about synchronous quizzes in the Quiz Information page.

This feature implements the following PIE items: D1552, D2135, D2914, D4450, D4481, D6373, D6812, D8816, D8924, D9257, D9656.

If you are interested in getting more information about this and all the September Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform September 2023/20.23.9 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.

Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

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