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 July 2018/10.8.3 release that were added to our system:
1) Assignments - New Text Submission type and workflow
Instructors can now create Text Submission assignment types in Brightspace. The new Text Submission type allows learners to create text documents for submission directly in Assignments using a rich text editor, eliminating the need to attach a file. Previously, learners had to create documents outside of Brightspace, then add them as attachments to their submissions within Assignments. This feature enables learners to work directly within Brightspace, allowing for a simpler workflow and standard file type submissions.
2) Turnitin - Improvements in the Turnitin Integration
Improvements have been made to version 2 of the Turnitin (TII) integration:
- Updates have been made to automate date management in TII. Start and End dates are no longer managed separately or prohibitive when learners make a submission in Brightspace and the TII dates are not set correctly.
- Learners have access to formative feedback left in GradeMark (even if there is no score, which can be found in the assignment submission folder, in User Progress, or in Grades).
- Feedback on Group Assignments is now provided to all learners in the group.
- Submissions made to a TII enabled assignment submission folder are pre-validated at time of submission to ensure they are within the file type and size requirements enforced by TII.
- Previously, when instructors used GradeMark to score or provide feedback, they had to sync each submission one by one to copy the score to Brightspace. A new configuration variable enables you to set up the default behavior of TII assignment submissions. Once set, scores can be copied automatically to Brightspace as a draft.
3) Quizzes – Removal of image and text information items
As images and text can be included in any type of question using the features of the HTML editor, there is no longer a need for image and text information items. Image and text information items in existing quizzes or question libraries convert into sections, and are still displayed to learners attempting the quiz. One section is created for each existing image or text information item. Once the conversion of existing image and text information items is complete, the ability to create new image and text information items is no longer available.
If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the July Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform July 2018/10.8.3 Release Notes.
Additonally, 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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