Continuous Delivery Updates for June 2024

Students and Instructors

CourseLink – In-Product Feedback

This release introduces in-product feedback into CourseLink as a new way to allow users to provide their feedback. Instructors and learners may receive a small survey prompt in CourseLink. The in-product feedback asks users for ratings on one to two questions; these questions ask about users’ experience with CourseLink (D2L Brightspace) as a whole, their experience meeting goals in CourseLink, or their experience in a particular workflow.

Users can provide feedback by rating your experience with tools and processes in CourseLink. The example question shows "Is it easy to track your learning progress?" with a scale of 1 to 7, or not applicable.
Figure: Users can provide feedback by rating your experience with tools and processes in CourseLink.

Social media share buttons – End of Life

As of this release, social media share buttons appearing in public Blogs and ePortfolio presentations that are externally visible are now removed for all users.

For additional information about this feature removal, refer to the Intent to EOL Social Media Share Buttons blog post.

Reminder: SMS Notifications – End of Life

SMS (Short Message Service) notifications will no longer be supported or available starting in the July 2024 release. This change is in response to the deprecation of this service by mobile providers. Users can receive mobile push notifications in Brightspace Pulse, and can subscribe to email notifications in place of SMS notifications. For more information, refer to Intent to EOL SMS Notifications.

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Annotations update from Version 2023.4.0 to 2024.3.0

This release updates the Dropbox Annotations tool from PSPDFKit Version 2023.4.0 to Version 2024.3.0 This update fixes several defects; in addition, the icons used in the following areas have received minor updates:

  • Main toolbar
  • Line tools
  • Ink tools
  • Page Layout tools
  • Sidebar tools
  • Drawing sub-toolbar
  • Highlighter sub-toolbar
  • Text Highlighter sub-toolbar
  • Eraser sub-toolbar
  • Note sub-toolbar
  • Textbox sub-toolbar
  • Line and Arrow sub-toolbar
  • Rectangle sub-toolbar
An example of this feature updates the appearance of the icons for the line tools (left) with dots at the end to the new style (right) showing a solid straight line.
Figure: Example – this feature updates the appearance of the icons for the line tools (left) to the new style (right).

Editor – Updated storage location for feedback attachments in Dropbox, Discussions, and Quizzes

With this release, when instructors access Dropbox, Discussions, or Quizzes, and use the Insert Stuff file picker to attach feedback, those files are now stored in the Feedback Files location. This location is designated for the learner feedback area.

Learners can review their feedback files from the Grades page, just like files attached from Feedback Files.

Previously, when an instructor attached feedback files through the Insert Stuff file picker, the files were stored in Manage Files.

Manage Dates – Bulk edit and offset dates for recurring Intelligent Agents

With this release, users can edit and offset multiple intelligent agents that have already been set up with a recurring schedule (for example, daily or weekly). In addition to editing an intelligent agent in the Intelligent Agents tool, users can now use Bulk Edit Dates to add or remove a new start date or end date, or use Bulk Offset Dates to offset the start date or end date from the Manage Dates tool.

Users can offset the Due Date, Start Date, and End Date either forward or backward. This example shows the offset going forward by 20 days.
Figure: Users can offset the Due DateStart Date, and End Date either forward or backward.

Previously, intelligent agents had to be manually edited or offset in the Intelligent Agents tool.

As of this release, intelligent agents with a one-time run schedule do not appear in Manage Dates and must be updated in the Intelligent Agents tool. Editing intelligent agents with a one-time run schedule in Manage Dates is under consideration for a future enhancement.

CourseLink Data Retention and Disposition Policy

For years, CourseLink has served as the University’s learning management system (LMS). The platform supports course delivery by allowing instructors to share course content and manage assessments. To maintain the performance of the system and a high-quality user experience, the CourseLink Retention and Disposition Policy has been released to manage the retention and disposition periods of data in CourseLink, including course information, content, activity logs, and users. This policy will help to ensure that an overaccumulation of course data will not inhibit CourseLink’s functional capabilities. This policy aligns with the University Record Retention and Disposition Policy, Data Storage Guidelines, and the assessment retention and disposal policy.

CourseLink Retention Period

All data, including courses, users, activity logs, and content will be retained for a period of 7 years. This time period was determined in consultation with the University Secretariat and Institutional Research & Planning (IRP).

Purge Schedule

The first purge process will begin on July 15, 2024. After the first, each subsequent purge will occur each year on the first Monday in May and result in the complete deletion of course data. This includes all course components including content, discussions, dropbox folders, quizzes, and grades. 

Please note, only course sites with a defined close date will be purged. Resource courses, development sites, and training sites will be maintained until the owner indicates that it can be purged.

Purge DateCourses Purged
July 15, 2024All courses from W17 and older
May 5, 2025S17, F17, and W18 courses
May 4, 2026S18, F18, and W19 courses
… and so on

Questions and Answers

Why do we only keep data for 7 years?

To meet contractual storage agreements with the vendor and to reduce performance issues, the data cannot be kept indefinitely. Additionally, the University must securely purge sensitive data on a regular basis. Seven years provides a good balance between accessing historical data and course content and purging older sensitive data.

Will there be an archive of old courses after they are purged? Is a data purge different than a data archive?

There will be no archive of purged data. When a course’s data is purged, the data is no longer in CourseLink. The course, and all content and activities, are completely deleted from the system and cannot be restored.

What if my department needs information from CourseLink for a grade dispute or letter of recommendation?

Grade disputes are typically filed within one year of the end date of the course. Courses, and all course data, will be retained for a period of 7 years and can be accessed during that time.

How can I backup my course components so they don’t get purged?

You have two options for backing up your course components. For course content, you can download each desired content item directly from the Content tool in the course, or by using the Manage Files tool.  For course components including content and assessment structure, you can use the Import/Export/Copy Components tool to save a copy of the course. The export can be imported back into the LMS at a later date. When downloading or exporting course components, please abide by University privacy policies regarding student identifying data (e.g., assessments, grades). 

Contact

If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:

courselink@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 ext. 56939

Continuous Delivery Updates for May 2024

Students and Instructors

Grades – Feedback files are now available in Grades for Dropbox, Quizzes, and Discussions

This feature allows instructors to ensure that learners can easily review feedback from the Grades tool.

Instructor feedback added in Dropbox, Quizzes, and Discussions is now visible to learners under Grades.

Learners can review feedback from the Grades page. Attached Files shows Feedback.docx (12.68 KB).
Figure: Learners can review feedback from the Grades page.

Instructors Only

CourseLink Editor – Equation editors

The Graphical and Chemistry Equation editors used within Editor are updated from WIRIS version 4.13 to version 7.23.1.

Awards – Certificate ID for an issued award

To improve security when issuing certificates, instructors can now use a new replacement string field when creating their certificate templates to add an automatically-generated numeric ID. This ID uniquely identifies the issued award, which can be verified using a new API call.

The feature introduces a new replacement string {CertificateID} that instructors can add to their PDF templates. A unique ID is generated and populated into the replacement string {CertificateID} on an ongoing basis when released.

The unique generated ID is 12 numeric characters long and is stored in the CourseLink database as CertificateID, along with other data for the issued award.

Note: The {CertificateID} replacement string follows existing rules of other current replacement strings and is marked read-only.

A certificate ID validation tool is available in the OpenEd Toolbox under the Miscellaneous menu.

Grades Mastery View – Improved Publish All and Retract All workflows

To improve user experience within the Grades tool’s Mastery View, this feature addresses user feedback regarding the Publish All and Retract All actions.

Previously, a time delay could occur between initiating Publish All or Retract All actions and the visible update of the action’s status in the Mastery View table. This delay sometimes made it unclear whether the action was successfully applied.

To provide immediate feedback that a publishing or retracting event is in progress, the Mastery View page now displays as pending or updating immediately after a user clicks Publish All or Retract All. Updates can take several minutes to complete. Users can navigate away from the Mastery View page while updates are ongoing to perform other tasks. Upon returning to Mastery View, the page clearly displays the status for the Publish All or Retract All actions.

After clicking Publish All, the screen updates and the Publishing in progress pop-up displays until the publishing action is completed.
Figure: After clicking Publish All, the screen updates and the Publishing in progress pop-up displays until the publishing action is completed.

Learning Outcomes – Learning Outcomes evaluation for group assignments

This feature adds learning outcomes assessment into the evaluation interface of group assignments. Instructors can now assess learning outcomes aligned directly to group assignments or through rubric alignments. Instructors can also apply a learning outcome score while evaluating a group assignment. All members of an assessed group receive the same learning outcomes score, ensuring consistency and fairness in the evaluation process.

Previously, learning outcomes could be aligned directly or through rubric criteria to group assignments but were not assessable within the evaluation interface. This limitation made it impossible to capture outcomes assessment data for group assignments. Now, instructors can easily assess learning outcomes in group assignments, and organizations can gain additional data on learner achievement.

Manage Files – Receive notification when zipping and unzipping files

As of this release, whenever users add (zip) or extract (unzip) one or more files to a ZIP archive in Manage Files, a new dialog confirms that files are being zipped or unzipped in the background. Once the process is complete, a notification appears in Update alerts (the bell icon).

Previously, adding files to a ZIP archive was not a background process and thus there was no notification after zipping. In addition, the notification for unzipping files appeared in the Subscription alerts area.

A notification dialog appears when zipping or unzipping files. Click Close to resume work.
Figure: A notification dialog appears when zipping or unzipping files. Click Close to resume work.

Dropbox – Advanced assessment including Co-Marking, Delegation, and Multi-Evaluator

Single Shared Evaluations and Ready for Review

Often, evaluators and publishers may not be the same person. This feature ensures that users using Co-marking and Delegation assignments have a way to communicate with publishers when their evaluation is ready for review. The feature reduces communication errors during evaluation. When an evaluator has completed their evaluation, they can set the evaluation to Ready for Review, which will signal to the publisher that the evaluation is ready and can move on to the next phase.

To use single shared evaluations and ready for review

  1. Navigate to the Assignments tool.
  2. Create an assignment with a Single shared evaluation, ensuring that publishers and evaluators are not the same person.
  3. Click Save and Close.
Instructors must select Single shared evaluation in the Dropbox tool. The Publishers dropdown is set to manually select publishers.
Figure: Instructors must select Single shared evaluation in the Dropbox tool.

Add evaluators to Assignments or edit existing evaluators

When creating a new assignment or editing an existing assignment, in the Evaluation & Feedback accordion of the Dropbox tool, the number of evaluators who can give feedback in the course is displayed.

If an instructor clicks Edit Evaluators, an Evaluators dialog displays all evaluators with the Give Feedback role permission in the course. When you click on Edit Evaluators, the advanced assessment workflows begin.

You can add evaluators to the assignment by selecting evaluators in the Evaluators list dialog.

If you do not make any selections and click cancel, the advanced assessment workflows will not be available, and you can continue creating the assignment, and it will be a non-advanced assessment assignment. All evaluators who have the Give Feedback permission will have access to this activity.

If you click Save on this page, you can trigger the advanced assessment workflows.

Assign evaluators in the Evaluators dialog. 3 of 3 evaluators are selected.
Figure: Assign evaluators in the Evaluators dialog.

Selecting the Manage Evaluators option opens the Evaluators dialog to allow you to make changes to the evaluators for this assignment.

After the evaluators are assigned, there are now four new capabilities in the Evaluation & Feedback accordion:

  • Evaluators
  • Publishers
  • Matching learners to evaluators
  • Multiple Evaluator Mode
After assigning evaluators, the Evaluators, Publishers, Matching learners to evaluators, and Multiple Evaluator Mode sections appear in the Evaluation & Feedback accordion.
Figure: After assigning evaluators, the EvaluatorsPublishersMatching learners to evaluators, and Multiple Evaluator Mode sections appear in the Evaluation & Feedback accordion.

Note: When enrollment changes are made for evaluators in a course, it could take up to two minutes for this enrollment change to be processed and reflected in the Edit Evaluators list and in the Evaluators section.

Assign publishers

While creating or editing an assignment with assigned evaluators, you can assign publishers based on the options listed below.

  • All evaluators can publish any evaluations
  • Evaluators can only publish their evaluation: This means that only the evaluator assigned to evaluate a specific learner submission can publish the evaluation. You can review the Advanced Evaluation dialog to learn which evaluator gets to publish which learner submission.
  • Manually select publishers: This means you can select one or more users from a list of users who have the Give Feedback permission, which allows them to be the publisher. A list of users with the Give Feedback permission appears, and then a selection can be made to decide who publishes the evaluation to the learner.

Depending on the option selected, a Publish button will appear on the evaluation screen for users who meet the criteria of that option.

Allocate evaluators to learners (Manage Matching)

Click the Manage Matching link to open the evaluator mapping dialog table. Options are available in the drop-down list to determine how the learners should be matched to the evaluators. The system can randomly match each learner with up to three evaluators. However, it is also possible to customize the evaluator and learner mapping to choose more specifically who evaluates who using the learner-evaluator mapping table and selecting or un-selecting the matching check boxes.

Choose a learner to evaluator mapping scenario in the Allocation Options drop-down menu. All evaluators assigned to all learners is selected.
Figure: Choose a learner to evaluator mapping scenario in the Allocation Options drop-down menu.

Two options are available for evaluation modes that allow you to assign evaluators quickly:

  • One shared evaluation: All evaluators contribute to the same shared evaluation of the learner’s submission. This is often referred to as co-marking.
  • Multiple separate evaluation: Each evaluator completes their own individual evaluation separately. Those independent evaluations must be aggregated by the publisher before being released to the learner. This is often referred to as an independent multi-marker.

Suppose a new user enrolls in the course after mapping the learner-evaluator. In that case, the system will allocate the new user automatically based on the allocation options for the assignment.

Evaluator mapping can also be assigned by groups and/or sections using the Groups/Sections drop-down menu. In this menu, the desired group or section can be selected to display those learners. Then those learners can be mapped to an evaluator.

Synchronize multi-evaluator grades between Grade Book and Dropbox

When a group of instructors use delegation or co-marking to evaluate an assignment, entered grades synchronize with grade book. Also, when an instructor enters a grade for an assignment in grade book, the entered grade synchronizes assignment grades.

Inputs into grade book populate into the Aggregated tab for Assignment Evaluation when a user chooses to sync from the grade book.

Other features include the following:

  • Any Aggregated tab that has a draft saved and published will be overridden by the Grade book inputs when the Grade book sync is started.
  • Any evaluation not marked as ready to aggregate is switched to ready to aggregate when the grade book sync has been started.
  • Any evaluation already marked as ready to aggregate will stay unchanged when the grade book sync is started.

Respondus Monitor – Sensitivity levels

The flagging system in Respondus Monitor now supports three sensitivity levels: Strict, Standard, and Relaxed. The default setting is Standard, and it produces results like before. The Strict sensitivity setting detects when portions of the face have moved outside of the video frame, or when both eyes of the test taker aren’t visible. When this occurs, a Partial Missing flag will appear in the proctoring results.

Figure:

With the Relaxed setting, what you’ll notice most is that it reduces the sensitivity of Missing flags. If the face or eyes are partially missing from the webcam video but Respondus Monitor can still detect the student is there, the Missing flag is less likely to trigger.

Which of the three settings should an instructor choose? It depends on the testing scenario. The relaxed setting might be preferred with open-book exams since students often turn away from the webcam to look at notes or books. Strict sensitivity might be appropriate for tests where students aren’t using outside resources like books, calculators, or scratch paper.

One of the best aspects of the new sensitivity setting is that an instructor can select it after students have completed their exams. This is possible because the setting appears on the proctoring results page. When the sensitivity level is changed, the Review Priority scores and the rankings of the proctoring sessions are immediately updated for the instructor.

Figure:

Please be sure to follow University guidelines for enabling Respondus Monitor.

Contact

If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:

courselink@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 ext. 56939

Continuous Delivery Updates for April 2024

Students and Instructors

Discussions – View attached file feedback for discussion evaluations

Instructors’ attached files now appear in the Attached Files section for each learner’s discussion evaluation. Learners can view attached file feedback when viewing their evaluated discussion topic.

Instructors can view all attached files by clicking on the learner’s name and selecting Discussions. Learners can view all attached files by clicking on Discussions in Class Progress. Instructors and learners can view all attached discussion evaluation files in the Class Progress tool.

Additionally, the Discussions tool’s evaluation process is now consistent with the Dropbox and Quizzes tools’ evaluation processes.

Learners can view their feedback for a discussion topic in the Attached Files section of their evaluation. Week 3 Marine Ecosystems file is visible under Attached Files.
Figure: Learners can view their feedback for a discussion topic in the Attached Files section of their evaluation.

Instructors Only

Quizzes – Additional functions

Additional functions are now available in Quizzes and Question Library for arithmetic quiz question types. The following functions can be used for arithmetic quiz question types:

  • ASIN
  • ACOS
  • ABS
  • Log2
  • SINH
  • COSH

Reminder: McGraw Hill Connect – Widget and LTI 1.1 integrations

Please note that the McGraw Hill integration widget and all MH LTI 1.1 integrations will be removed after April 29, 2024.

Instructors should work with McGraw Hill to migrate content to the McGraw Hill Connect LTI 1.3 integration in the Content tool.

Testing Services [RegisterBlast] – Removal and update

Please note that the Guelph-Humber Testing Services (RegisterBlast) link will be removed and replaced with an updated LTI 1.3 version as of May 1, 2024. The new RegisterBlast link can be found in Content > Existing Activities > External Learning Tools.

Please reach out to Testing Services for instructions on restricting the module or content item to specific students.

Figure: The RegisterBlast integration link found under the Existing Activities menu in Content.

Contact

If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:

courselink@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 ext. 56939

Continuous Delivery Updates for March 2024

Students and Instructors

User Profile – Twitter/X

With this release, the Twitter field in the User Profile tool now reflects the current name of X. This also updates the example shown on the page.

CourseLink Editor – Consistent link creation with the ability to choose link format

As of this release, inserting a link into CourseLink Editor opens the Add Link dialog which allows users to determine if their links open in a new window (set as the default) or in the current window. The text box in the Add Link dialog also allows users to add text to their link. This provides users with a consistent workflow and control over how links respond in their content.

The Add Link dialog with the link d2l.com and text D2L. Open in a new window is selected. Access it using the context menu, or with keyboard shortcuts.
Figure: You can access the new Add Link dialog using the context menu, or with keyboard shortcuts.

Additionally, the dialog includes a new Insert Quicklink option, allowing users to easily insert a quicklink. When using Insert Stuff > Insert Link or Insert Quicklink > Link, the same LinkText, and Open In options are displayed ensuring consistent link creation.

Finally, this feature updates the icons shown in Insert Quicklink to ensure all icons use the new style.

The Insert Quicklink menu with the updated icon style. All icons are black and white.
Figure: The Insert Quicklink menu with the updated icon style.

Instructors Only

Quizzes – Improved experience for generating quiz reports

This release introduces a better experience for instructors when running and exporting quiz reports with large amounts of data. To avoid time-out failures and screen freezing, the following report types now run asynchronously:

  • Attempt Details
  • Question Statistics
  • Question Details
  • User Statistics
  • User Attempts

When reports are ready for downloading, CourseLink generates a notification that instructors can access from the bell icon in the navbar.

Export to Excel Quiz button clicked. Quiz reports are generated asynchronously. Instructors are notified when they are ready for download via the bell notification icon in the navbar.
Figure: Quiz reports are generated asynchronously. Instructors are notified when they are ready for download via the bell notification icon in the navbar.

McGraw Hill Connect – Widget and LTI 1.1 integrations

Please note that the McGraw Hill integration widget and all MH LTI 1.1 integrations will be removed after April 29, 2024.

Instructors should work with McGraw Hill to migrate content to the McGraw Hill Connect LTI 1.3 integration in the Content tool.

OpenEd Toolbox – PDF Splitter

This new custom tool found in the OpenEd Toolbox enables users to split a provided PDF file into multiple smaller PDFs, ensuring that each resulting PDF contains a target specified number of pages.

The PDF Splitter tool can be used by instructors when uploading scanned PDF files into Gradescope or by an SFC when uploading scanned paper questionnaires (SFQs) as a PDF into ABBYY.

A screenshot of the new custom PDF Splitter tool found under Miscellaneous in the OpenEd Toolbox. The tool asks for a source PDF and the number of pages per PDF file.
Figure: The new custom PDF Splitter tool found under Miscellaneous in the OpenEd Toolbox.

Contact

If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:

courselink@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 ext. 56939

Continuous Delivery Updates for February 2024

Instructors Only

Question Library – Removal of the question mark icon

The question mark (?) icon that appears next to questions in Question Library is removed to prevent visual clutter. However, the folder icon that appears in Question Library next to each section remains.

This change only impacts Question Library and the question mark icon remains in other areas of CourseLink.

Scheduled Turnitin Maintenance – March 16, 2024

Turnitin will take a 4 hour maintenance window on March 16 10:00 am – 2:00 pm EST with the following services being unavailable during these times:

  • Similarity (including Integrations)

The following will be available but may have disruptions in service during the maintenance: 

  • Turnitin
  • Gradescope
  • Integrations through LTI 1.3

We regret any inconvenience this may cause. 

Contact

If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:

courselink@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 ext. 56939