D2L (the company that owns Brightspace) uses Continuous Delivery to update our Brightspace system. The Continuous Delivery model is different from the previous update model we had with Blackboard. With Blackboard we used a system of “Big Bang releases” (large updates released once or twice a year that required 24-48 hours of system downtime).
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 June 2018/10.8.2 release that were added to our system:
1) Rubrics - Control rubric visibility for learners
This release introduces the ability to control rubric visibility for learners. This is useful for preventing learners from using preview rubrics as answer keys for activities. For example, an instructor can now describe assessment expectations in assignment instructions, hiding the associated preview rubric. Once the assignment is graded, the instructor releases the graded rubric as part of the learner's assessment details.
2) Grades – Linked discussion threads are now available
When assessing a discussion post in the Assess Post pop-up, an instructor can now see a link to the original discussion post. This allows instructors to see more information about why the user posted that reply, or what other learners replied to their post. Previously, there was no hyperlink, and instructors had to open Discussions and manually find the information.
3) Copy Course Components - Date Offset
When instructors copy the content of one course to another, old course dates are also copied over. This feature enables instructors to offset those old dates to dates relative to the new semester. This feature also eliminates the burden of tweaking delivery and due dates for their learners. When instructors copy course components in bulk, they can enable the offset to occur to the items copied into the course by days or hours.
If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the June Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform June 2018/10.8.2 Release Notes.
Additonally, refer to the Brightspace Release Notes for Continuous Delivery Releases, for details about all continuous delivery updates.
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