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 2019/20.19.5 release that were added to our system this month:
1) Assignments – Annotate in full screen
When annotating submissions in Assignments, instructors can now toggle to a full screen view. This allows for more screen space to display learner submissions and insert annotations, while removing unnecessary navigation menus.
2) Assignments – Opt-out of Annotations
Instructors can now determine if they want to use the annotation tools when assessing submissions for a specific assignment. Previously, if you had Annotations enabled in a course, all assignments displayed the annotation tools with no option to disable them. The new option allows instructors to easily opt-out of using the annotation tools, without the need to request a configuration change from their administrators.
3) Assignments – Rotate page using annotation tools
Instructors can use the Page Rotation function when assessing assignments using the built-in annotation tools. Depending on the format of a learner submission, documents may appear rotated when initially rendered in the document viewer. Use Page Rotation to quickly reorient the document so it displays as expected.
4) Discussions - Save feedback in draft state
This feature provides instructors the option to save feedback on assessments in draft state prior to publishing it to learners. Now when instructors add feedback to assessments, the Save Draft and Publish buttons display.
Note: The Save Draft button does not appear when a discussion topic is only associated with a rubric.
5) Grades - Transfer rubric score to grade item score
This updated feature provides instructors the option to save feedback on assessments in draft state prior to publishing it to learners. Now when instructors add feedback to assessments, the Save Draft and Publish buttons display.
This feature sets the default value of the d2l.Tools.System.Features.GradingExperience configuration variable to Automatic transfer of rubric score to Grade Item. As a result, rubric scores are transferred to the grade item score by default.
The Rubric evaluation page is visible to instructors if a rubric is associated to a grade item, and the grade item is not associated with an activity such as an Assignment, Discussion, etc. When an instructor saves changes made on the Rubric evaluation page, the rubric score is transferred to the learner's grade item score automatically and instructors no longer have to manually transfer the rubric score to a learner's grade item score.
6) Quick Eval – Find and prioritize unevaluated learner submissions in one location
Quick Eval is a new tool that allows evaluators to see a list of unevaluated learner submissions from all their courses. Submissions from Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions are displayed in one location to improve efficiency when locating work that requires evaluation and providing feedback to learners.
Educators can sort, filter, and search submissions to prioritize their evaluation work. Sorting can be done using the first or last name of the learner, Activity Name, Course Name, and Submission date. Filtering can be done using one or more of the following categories: Activity Name, Course Name, and Submission Date. Clicking on a user’s name opens an evaluation screen directly from the Quick Eval list where the evaluator can complete their assessment. The search function in Quick Eval allows evaluators to locate submissions for evaluation by searching for a specific user, assignment, quiz, discussion topic, or course.
When learner submissions are evaluated and published, they no longer show up in the Quick Eval list. An empty Quick Eval list gives educators confidence that no learner submissions are pending evaluation.
7) Quizzes - Full-screen quiz evaluation
Now instructors can evaluate quiz attempts in full-screen mode. This update enhances an instructor's quiz evaluation experience.
8) Rubrics - Rubrics Grading Experience available for Group Assignments and Discussions
The Rubrics Grading Experience available for assignments and discussions is now available for group Assignments and group Discussions. When a rubric assessment is in draft state, the assessment is not viewable by members of a given group. Once the assessment is published, all group members can view the rubric assessment. Previously, the new Rubrics Grading Experience was only available for regular Assignments and Discussions.
In addition, when a non-file submission assignment is connected to a grade item in the gradebook, the assessment symbol on the Grade All screen launches the assignment assessment experience.
If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the May Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform May 2019/20.19.5 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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