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update

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 October 2019/20.19.10 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Assignments – Change to immersive navigation bar

When evaluating an assignment submission, the user interface has been updated slightly. The Next Student and Previous Student buttons above the submission and learner information have been replaced by forward and back chevrons that display in the immersive navigation bar. Previously, these buttons were displayed across the entire width of the page. The information on which user you are evaluating (e.g. 1 of 12) displays between the back and forward chevrons.

Example of evaluating an assignment with the new immersive navigation bar
Evaluating an assignment with the new immersive navigation bar

2) Brightspace Learning Environment – Improvements to consistency

To provide a more consistent experience, there have been changes to update the language, interface controls, and workflows throughout Brightspace Learning Environment.

The language and methods by which instructors make activities hidden or visible to learners across different tools is now consistent. Changes include:

  • The visibility control now uses a checkbox with the consistent terminology Hide from users in all instances. This change affects the Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, Surveys, and Grades (grade item and grade category) tools.
  • In Discussions, the Visibility, Availability Dates, and Locking options move from the Properties tab to the Restrictions tab.
  • The Hide from users checkbox appears under the title field of all activity creation pages in the Content tool.
  • In Content, on the table of contents, there is now a visibility icon button for use with both content topics and modules. The icon serves as a visibility switch. The visibility status of a topic appears when the topic is not visible, when the table of contents is in bulk edit mode, or when a topic is in edit-in-place mode. The table of contents fly-out no longer provides the ability to switch the visibility of a topic or module.
  • In Content, the Hide from users and Make Visible to users options are available in the context menus for topics and modules in the table of contents, and in the context menus of topics on the topics’ detail page.

The Instructor view of the list page of several tools now has consistent icons in a consistent order for activity restrictions. Changes include:

  • All common activity icons appear before tool-specific icons.
  • There is now only one Special Access icon in Quizzes (previously there were two, one for each type of Special Access). The Special Access icon also now appears in Assignments where it previously did not.
  • All icons have been updated to the Daylight style (except the Bonus Grade item, which will be done in a future release).
  • The Exemptions icon now appears on the list pages.
  • Alt-text appears on all icons on the activity pages. In some cases, the alt-text has been changed to provide consistent text across all icons of the same type.

Across many tools, including Quizzes, Surveys, Grades, and Discussions, the Restrictions tab provides the ability to control the visibility status and availability dates for an activity. Changes include:

  • Changes to the Restrictions tabs in Quizzes, Survey, Grades, and Discussions to show Hide from Users with a check box control to turn on or turn off the visibility of the item.
  • Previous sections containing the visibility settings in Surveys, Grades, and Discussions (for Forums and Topics) are renamed to Availability.
  • Availability dates in Grades (for a grade item and grade category) and Discussions (for Forums and Topics) now appear and can be hidden.

There is now a consistent individual and bulk process workflow to hide or show activities. With this workflow, users can quickly change the visibility status from the list of activities without first having to edit the activity. Changes include:

  • In Quizzes, Surveys, and Grades, users can hide or show individual items under the context menu of an individual item or bulk items from the More Actions button at the top of the page.
  • In Discussions, users can hide or show individual items under the context menu of each topic and forum. Bulk hide or show is not available for Discussions.

The language and methods by which instructors save content on the New Activity page (Content tool) are now consistent. Whether the item is visible or not is determined by the Hide from Users permission check box. Changes include:

  • Publish and Save as Draft have been combined into a single button called Save.

In addition, there are other consistency updates throughout the Brightspace Learning Environment:

  • The Completion Method icon in the table of contents in the Content tool is now a menu. If an instructor does not have permission to edit the Completion Method, the icon is displayed and the button menu does not appear.
  • In the Grade book, on the context menu for a grade item, the Grade All option is now Enter Grades.
  • In the Grade Item and Grade Category event log, the Visibility property is now Visibility Status. Status options are now Hidden or Not Hidden.
  • In the Grade Item and Grade Category event log, the End Date Restriction and Start Date Restriction properties are now Availability End Date and Availability Start Date.
  • In the Grade Item and Grade Category event log, changes to the Visibility and Date properties are now logged independently.
  • In Surveys, the display of availability dates on the survey Administrator and User list pages are now consistent with the display currently used in Quizzes.

3) Brightspace Pulse - iOS support

The latest version of Brightspace Pulse is supported on Apple devices with iOS 11 or higher. Older versions of Brightspace Pulse will continue to work on Apple devices with iOS 10, but will not receive any app updates. For an optimal experience, D2L recommends installing the latest version of Brightspace Pulse on Apple devices with iOS 11 or higher.

4) Intelligent Agents - Email Attachments

You can now add attachments to automated email messages when creating and editing Intelligent Agents. The intelligent agent email template contains an Attachments area that enables you to upload local files, select from available course files, or record audio. Attachment size is based on the email attachment size setting for your organization.

Example of the attachments area in Intelligent Agents
The Attachments area now appears when creating or editing Intelligent Agents emails messages

5) Links - Improved link validation

The Links tool has been updated to improve the link validation process. Pre-existing links are not impacted; however, any new links or updates to pre-existing links must be formatted to follow the new validation rules. (Valid formats include: URLs that begin with http/https, ftp/sftp/ftps, file, mailto, feed, itpc, mms, rtsp, or relative paths beginning with /).

6) Quizzes – Change to immersive navigation bar

When evaluating a quiz submission, the user interface has been updated slightly. The Next Student and Previous Student buttons above the submission and learner information have been replaced by forward and back chevrons that display in the immersive navigation bar. Previously these buttons were displayed across the entire width of the page. The information on which user you are evaluating (e.g. 1 of 12) now displays between the back and forward chevrons.

Example of evaluating a quiz with the new immersive navigation bar
Evaluating a quiz with the new immersive navigation bar

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the October Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform October 2019/20.19.10 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
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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: update by geralt | Pixabay License

The #1 Brightspace complaint we hear from students is that faculty don't post their grades online. When students don’t receive meaningful and timely feedback about their coursework, they are unable to make the necessary adjustments to improve their performance.

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s "Grade Book and College Readiness" training session focused on 1) why using the Grade Book to provide students with their standing in the course is important and 2) how to setup and enter grades in the Grade Book.

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training session or if you attended the training session and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

a paper that is work in progress; it has a number of corrections on it

The #1 Brightspace complaint we hear from students is that faculty don't post their grades online. When students don’t receive meaningful and timely feedback about their coursework, they are unable to make the necessary adjustments to improve their performance.

The Brightspace Grades Tool is useful for providing students with up-to-date information about their current standing in the course. For instructors, it’s useful for assigning and keeping track of student grades. Students can view grade entries and monitor their progress throughout the course.

Attend next week's Brightspace Grade Book and College Readiness workshop for help in setting up your Grade Book. Visit the CAT+FD events page for more information and to RSVP for the workshop.

ICYMI, check out these CAT FooD blog posts:

Want more information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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.

Photo Credit: Work in Progress by Melissa Wall | CC BY-NC 2.0

update

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 2019/20.19.9 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Activity Feed - Inline rendering of remote plug-in attachments

When an instructor attaches a remote plug-in via a Quicklink to a message or assignment post, the plug-in now renders inline as an embedded attachment. This allows users to view the material without navigating away from Activity Feed. Previously, a remote plug-in attachment rendered as a simple web link.

An Activity Feed post with a remote plug-in attachment
An Activity Feed post with a remote plug-in attachment

2) Activity Feed - Message posts now support embed codes

To allow instructors and learners to share more material in a course, users can now paste embed codes directly into the body of message posts in Activity Feed. These embed codes automatically attach and display inline for all users to view and interact with.

An Activity Feed post with an embed code attachment
An Activity Feed post with an embed code attachment

3) Activity Feed - Improved attachment workflow and thumbnail previews

Users can now attach web links to message and assignment posts by pasting them into the body of messages or the instructions of assignments in Activity Feed. The display of link attachments has also been enhanced to show a thumbnail and description, if available. Previously, links could only be added to posts by the Click and Attach workflow and the display was limited to a simple link icon and title.

An Activity Feed post with the new link styling containing a thumbnail preview and description
An Activity Feed post with the new link styling containing a thumbnail preview and description

4) Brightspace Pulse - Activity Feed notifications

To help keep learners up to date on course activity, Brightspace Pulse now displays Activity Feed notifications in the Updates tab, for example, messages and links to course materials and external resources. Tapping an Activity Feed notification displays the post in Brightspace Pulse.

5) Assignments - Grades entered in Assignments and Grade Book are synchronized

When an instructor enters a grade for an assignment submission in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the submission in Assignments. Previously, grades entered in the Assignment tool were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for assignment submissions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Assignments tool. This change ensures data consistency between Assignments and Grade Book. Currently Assignment grades are not synchronized when the Assignment tool is updated by the Brightspace API or when Grade Book is exported and imported.

Note: Existing grade data for assignment submissions are not migrated. This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries.

6) Discussions - Grades entered in Discussions and Grade book are synchronized

When an instructor enters a grade for a discussion in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the discussion post in Discussions. Previously, grades entered in the Discussion were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for discussions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Discussions tool. This change ensures data consistency between Discussions and Grade Book. Currently Discussion grades are not synchronized when the Discussion tool is updated by the Brightspace API or when Grade Book is exported and imported.

Note: Existing grade data for discussions are not migrated. This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries.

7) Quick Eval – Activities View

In Quick Eval, select Activities to display a list of the assessable activities that have items awaiting evaluation in all your courses. An activity shows up in Quick Eval’s Activities view when there is an unevaluated learner submission, or when all students have not submitted to the activity. This view makes it easy to complete all assessments for one assignment, discussion, or quiz, before moving on to the next task. This feature helps evaluators who prefer to evaluate submissions in the context of an activity. Activities view displays indicators to show the progress on submissions, progress on evaluations, and progress on publishing feedback to learners. It also includes links to the evaluation page, submission page, and a publish all action.

Activities view in Quick Eval
Activities view in Quick Eval

8) Release Conditions - Release condition for topic completion

The Completed content topic is a new release condition that is met when a user completes a content topic. The method of completing the topic depends on the type, such as viewing a file or submitting an assignment. Similar to the currently available Visited content topic release condition, optional topics can also trigger this release condition.

This release condition ignores exemptions, meaning that if the learner completes the activity, the release condition can be met, regardless of the activity being required, optional, or exempt.

Completed content topic release condition shown in Condition Type drop-down list
The Completed content topic release condition is now available from the Condition Type drop-down list

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the September Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform September 2019/20.19.9 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
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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: update by geralt | Pixabay License

Turnitin document viewer

Last week’s tip on Turnitin Feedback Studio provided information and resources on how to setup and use Feedback Studio. Are you curious to find out how you can take advantage of Turnitin Feedback Studio's features? In a recent blog post, John Hetherington (Turnitin Product Writer) provided some tips on how to get the most out of Feedback Studio. Check out his blog post for his 10 Quick Tips for Getting the Best out of Feedback Studio.

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #121: Turnitin Feedback Studio
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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.

1

Turnitin document viewer

Turnitin Feedback Studio is a program that checks student work for potential plagiarism and allows instructors to provide electronic feedback to students through markup, proofing, and rubrics tools.

Watch this short Turnitin Feedback Studio Walkthrough video from Turnitin on Vimeo.

Did you know that Turnitin is integrated into Brightspace? Instructors can choose to enable Turnitin when setting up Assignments in Brightspace.

Want more information?

Simplify assignment collection
Turnitin Feedback Studio Demo
Enable Turnitin Feedback Studio® for assignments
Turnitin Feedback Studio - Instructor
Turnitin Feedback Studio - Student

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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.

Do you want to see your student's coursework that needs to be graded all on one page in Brightspace? The Quick Eval tool can help.

Quick Eval is a new tool that allows evaluators to see a list of unevaluated learner submissions from all their courses. Submissions from Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes are displayed in one location to improve efficiency when locating work that requires evaluation and providing feedback to learners.

Evaluator view of the Quick Eval list
Evaluator view of the Quick Eval list

Evaluators 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.

Follow these steps to do it.

To access the Quick Eval page:

  1. On the NavBar, click Activities, then click Quick Eval.
  2. All ungraded submissions will be displayed. You can sort submissions by first and last name, activity name, course, or submission date. You can also filter results.
  3. Click the learner's name to evaluate the submission.
  4. To return to Quick Eval page, click Back to Quick Eval.
  5. As you complete and publish evaluations they will no longer appear in Quick Eval.

Want more information?

About Quick Eval
Grade Submissions Using Quick Eval (video)

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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.

update

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 2019/20.19.8 release that were added to our system this month:

1) Activity Feed – Visual improvements

The following changes are visible in Activity Feed:

  • When selecting between Message and Assignment posts, the chosen option is now underlined to better indicate the post type.
  • Field names have been added to improve accessibility.
  • The post type icon has been removed to provide more authoring space when creating posts.
  • Once a post is published, the new layout makes more efficient use of screen space.

Before and after view of Activity Feed
Before and after view of Activity Feed

2) Assignments – Spell check for annotation notes

When assessing submissions with the built-in annotation tools in Assignments, text within the comment annotation is now checked for spelling mistakes.

3) Brightspace - Improvements to course notifications

To improve the delivery of course notifications in Brightspace Learning Environment, the Notifications option, available from the username on the minibar, includes the following changes:

  • Added a Summary of Activity option for receiving email notifications about the summary of activity for each course. Options include: Never, Daily, or Weekly (default).
  • Removed the following Customize Notifications options: Allow past courses to send me notifications and Allow inactive courses to send me notifications. Learners can now only receive daily email digests for current and future courses.
  • Removed the following SMS notifications for Instant Notifications: Content - content item created, Content - content item updated, and Content - content overview updated.

The new Summary of Activity option in Notifications
The new Summary of Activity option in Notifications

4) Brightspace Learning Environment – Supported browsers

New clients can no longer access Brightspace Learning Environment using Microsoft Internet Explorer. If users attempt to access Brightspace Learning Environment using Internet Explorer, an unsupported page appears. The unsupported page contains links to download supported browsers and a link to the Community End of Life communication. Users cannot log in to Brightspace Learning Environment using any version of Internet Explorer.

When a user tries to access Brightspace Learning Environment using any version of Internet Explorer, a retro pop-up dialog box appears. The text in the retro pop-up dialog box has been updated to include the January 2020 end of life date information. Users who had previously dismissed the pop-up will see it again following the August update if Brightspace is accessed using any version of Internet Explorer. The pop-up can be dismissed again and will not reappear with subsequent updates.

5) Email – Add images to messages

When composing email messages, users can select Insert Image to add pictures from their computer, a URL, or Manage Files. Images are inserted in place, attached to the email, and display in place for the recipient. The Insert Stuff button is no longer shown in Email, as it has several workflows that are incompatible with the external email experience.

6) Intelligent Agents - Release Condition Re-evaluations

Intelligent Agents now re-evaluate the status of release conditions at the moment of triggering to determine whether a user has completed a particular release condition or not. Previously, Intelligent Agents retained release condition information from users, even if users no longer triggered the retained release condition.

If you are interested in getting more information about these and all the August Continuous Delivery updates, refer to the Brightspace Platform August 2019/20.19.8 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
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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: update by geralt | Pixabay License

push pin

The My Courses widget (on the My Home page) uses tile-based images to make finding your courses easier. Users can choose which courses they see in their My Courses widget by pinning and unpinning courses.

  • Pinning a course makes it appear in the My Courses widget.
  • Unpinning a course makes it disappear from the My Courses widget.
  • Pinning a course also makes it rise to the top of the Select a Course list and on the My Courses widget.

Search through all of your courses and manually pin and unpin courses to ensure that your most relevant courses are visible on the My Home page.

Follow these steps to do it.

To pin/unpin a course, you should:

  1. From the Minibar, click Select a course (i.e., the waffle icon).
  2. Select a Course

  3. Type the name of the course that you want to pin or find it by searching in the Search for a course field or scroll down to find the course.
  4. Click the Pin icon beside the course. The pinned course will move to the top of the Select a Course list and to the first position in the My Courses widget.
  5. pin/unpin course

Note: To unpin a course click the Pin icon beside the course.

If you want to completely change the order in which your courses are displayed, unpin all of them and then pin them in the order you want them to appear. The most recently pinned course will always appear first.

Want more information?

Pin courses to the top of the Select a Course list
How to Pin Courses (pdf)
How to Reorder Pinned Courses
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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.

Orange Room logo

Our new resource, The Orange Room, is a community where instructors can learn from each other about efficient and innovative ways to use Brightspace. The Orange Room is a place where educators can share tips, suggestions, knowledge, and expertise to help colleagues use Brightspace to improve their teaching and to inspire the next generation of learners.

Initial contributions to The Orange Room include Sr. Juliana Haynes' story about how she used Brightspace to automate assignment collection and simplify grading of the assignments using the annotation tools and interactive rubrics. You will also find Brightspace tips from Drs. Tia Smith and Elizabeth Yost Hammer.

screenshot of Sr. Juliana's story in the Orange Room

Are you doing something innovative? Have you discovered a handy tip? We invite you to share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

Want more information?

The Orange Room
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
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.