Continuous Delivery Updates for September 2021

Students and Instructors

CourseLink – Set and view user pronouns

Users can now set their pronouns through Account Settings.

The area under Account Settings, where you can set your pronouns.
Figure: The area under Account Settings, where you can set your pronouns.
A user profile card with the pronouns displayed.
Figure: A user profile card with the pronouns displayed.

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Create select box grade items in the New Dropbox Creation Experience

This feature builds on the Add categories capability in the Dropbox Creation Experience feature released in July 2021.

With this release, the new Dropbox Creation Experience supports creating new select box grade items. Previously, only numeric grade items could be created from the new assignment creation experience.

In addition, this feature provides support for choosing a grade scheme when creating numeric or select box grade items. Grade categories now progressively display when creating a grade item. Previously, grade categories always displayed when available.

Also, to make interface text more clear, the following labels have been renamed in the new Dropbox Creation Experience:

  • Score out of is now Grade out of
  • In Grades is now In Gradebook
  • Choose in Grades is now Edit or Link to Existing
  • Remove from Grades is now Not in Gradebook

When creating a new assignment as an instructor, under Grade Out Of, click Ungraded.

Click In Gradebook, and then select Edit or Link to Existing.

From the Edit or Link to Existing dialog, the following options may display under Create a new grade item:

  • If the Grades tool has available grade categories, the Choose Grade Category option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade categories for association. 
  • If the Grades tool has multiple grades schemes, the Change Grade Type & Scheme option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade types and schemes for association. 

Click OK, and then Save.

In Gradebook options when creating a new assignment.
Figure: In Gradebook options when creating a new assignment.

Dropbox – Restricting file extensions for submissions

Instructors can now specify the extensions of files that learners can upload as dropbox submissions. When an instructor is creating a file submission assignment, there is a drop down in the Submission and Completion section of the New Dropbox Creation Experience. In this drop-down list, instructors can choose the restrictions they want. Choices include: 

Note: When a .GIF file is converted to PDF, only the first frame of the .GIF displays.

  • .PDF only
  • Files that can be previewed without any conversion, such as .HTM, .HTML, .MHT, .MHTML, and .BMP
  • Images and videos
  • Custom filetypes

If an instructor choses Custom File Extensions, they can then enter file extensions that are allowed for file submissions. When this restriction is set, learners are presented with a list of acceptable file extensions for their assignments. When a learner attempts to upload a file submission for an assignment of an file extension type that the instructor has restricted, an error message appears.

Import / Export / Copy Components – Export release conditions in course packages

Now when you export CourseLink course packages, you can export release conditions and any associations. As a result, you no longer need to re-create these release conditions when you import the course package.

Rubrics – Additional information on Grade tiles

When a rubric is collapsed, instructors can now see if the rubric is complete. If the rubric is complete, the collapsed rubric shows the overall level of the rubric, and if the rubric is not complete, the number of unscored criteria appears on the tile. 

Previously, it was only possible to see the overall score of the rubric when the rubric was expanded. 

New Experience collapsed tile for partially scored points-based rubric.
Figure: New Experience collapsed tile for partially scored points-based rubric.
New Experience collapsed tile for completed rubrics (points-based and text-only rubrics).
Figure: New Experience collapsed tile for completed rubrics (points-based and text-only rubrics).

Rubrics – Brightspace Editor Additional Functionality

This update includes the following:

  • The Brightspace Editor toolbar now appears in the following locations:
    • Rubrics Creation and Edit experiences in the Description field
    • Rubrics Creation and Edit experiences in the Feedback field
    • Evaluation mode in the Feedback field. 
  • The Insert Stuff and Insert Quicklink buttons now appear in the different views with additional formatting options.  
Figure: The Brightspace Editor in the Rubrics Description field.

Rubrics – Copy and delete criteria groups

In response to client feedback about the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience, it is now possible to copy or delete a criteria group on a rubric. The delete option is only available if there is more than one criteria group.
Note: When a rubric with attached assessment items has submissions evaluated against it, the rubric is locked and can no longer be edited or deleted.  

After you click Copy Criteria Group, a new criteria group appears below the original criteria group. 

If you are using keyboard-only navigation, these options are available in the tab order after the criteria group name. Once the criteria group is copied using keyboard navigation, the keyboard focus moves to the new group’s name.

Note: Aligned learning outcomes are not copied when you copy a criteria group. Specific details of the evaluation criterion should be updated and re-aligned with specific learning outcomes which apply to the new criterion elements in the criteria group. 

The Copy and Delete options are available in the action menu on the Criteria Group header.
Figure: The Copy and Delete options are available in the action menu on the Criteria Group header. 

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 August 2021

Instructors Only

Activity Feed – Date picker change

This feature updates the date picker component in Activity Feed. The new date picker has a more streamlined design and requires slight workflow changes: to clear a date/time, use the Clear option and to set the calendar to the current day, use the Set to Today option. 

Updated date picker component in Activity Feed for due dates
Figure: Updated date picker component in Activity Feed for due dates

Dropbox – Consistent evaluation experience

With this release, the legacy Dropbox evaluation experience is retired.

Dropbox – Icons in attachments toolbar

This release updates the attachments toolbar which appears in the evaluation panel on the right side of the new Dropbox Evaluation Experience.

Users can now add attachments to their feedback from QuickLinks, web links, Google Drive, and OneDrive using the new icons in the toolbar. Previously, users could only add attachments by uploading a file from their computer, recording an audio note, or recording a video note.

This change aligns the attachments toolbar in the new Dropbox Evaluation Experience with the attachments toolbar in the new Create and Edit Dropbox Experience.

New attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, QuickLink, Web Link, Google Drive, OneDrive, Record Audio, and Record Video.
Figure: New attachments toolbar containing icons for Upload File, QuickLink, Web Link, Google Drive, OneDrive, Record Audio, and Record Video.

Discussions – Consistent evaluation experience

This feature updates the user evaluation experience when assessing a topic or an individual learner, allowing instructors to better review and evaluate discussion contributions. The evaluation interface for Discussions has a similar layout as the Dropbox – Consistent evaluation experience.

This new experience involves a new page layout, with evaluation tools and the post being evaluated displaying side-by-side. Assessment workflows have not changed.

New evaluation experience for Discussions, with posts and evaluation tools displayed side-by-side.
Figure: New evaluation experience for Discussions, with posts and evaluation tools displayed side-by-side.

Discussions – Improvements to visibility and posting restrictions

This is a workflow that makes it easier for instructors to set visibility and posting restrictions for discussion forums and topics. More specifically, this change simplifies date management for discussion activities, offering a more consistent, simplified, and consolidated experience for instructors.

The following changes are visible to instructors when creating or editing discussion forums and topics:

Note: These changes also affect the Content and Manage Dates tools.

  • From the Restrictions tab, the previous Locking Options are now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options and display as the following new options:  
    • Visible with access restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date, but they cannot access it. Previously, Classic Content was the only tool to make discussions visible without access. 
    • Visible with submission restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date and they can access it, but they cannot post new threads or replies. This effectively makes a discussion read-only. Previously, this was accomplished with the lock option or unlock dates.  
    • Hidden before/after start/end. The topic/forum is hidden from learners until the start/end date. This is a new feature. Calendar events for Availability Starts and Availability Ends are hidden until the start/end date. Notifications are also not sent until the start/end date. Previously, the hidden status of a discussion topic was decided by the tool displaying the topic. 
  • From the Restrictions tab, the Display in Calendar option is now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options, which adds the start date and end dates to the calendar. Previously, the tool decided which calendar event should be added to the calendar. With this change, calendar events for availability dates may change and additional events for Availability Start Dates may be added. 
  • Calendar events for unlocked dates are now hidden from learners.  
  • Where Discussions and User Progress may have previously hidden a topic or forum when outside of availability dates, those tools now may show them as visible, but inaccessible. 
  • From Discussion Settings, instructors can now set the default visibility and access behavior for new discussion forums and topics.
The new consolidated options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Restrictions tab
Figure: The new consolidated options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Restrictions tab

Outcomes – Grades (Mastery View) – Evaluated and Aligned Activity Counter

To improve page performance for the Grade book Mastery View, the Evaluated and Aligned Activity counter has been removed. We recognize that this is important contextual information for instructors and evaluators when reviewing the overall level of achievement for a learner.  We are re-evaluating ways in which to present this information while not impacting the performance of this page.  

The information from the Evaluated and Aligned Activity data element will be reintroduced in a future release with additional context to help clients better analyze what the numbers represent in their learning environment. 

Rubrics – Increased accessibility with labels on radio buttons

To provide a better experience to clients using screen readers, criterion levels now indicate the level name and point value of each radio button when it has the focus. Previously, screen readers only indicated “radio button X out of Y” or “radio button, not selected” depending on whether the focus is on a selected criterion. 

In addition, the mobile view of Rubrics now has radio buttons implemented to describe the level name and point value of each criterion level, consistent with the view on a larger screen.  

Note: Depending on the screen reader you use, the way of listing all the radio buttons on a page differs. For example, In NVDA, press INSERT+F7; in JAWS, press CTRL+INSERT+A. In general, D2L tests compatibility with the following screen readers: NVDA, JAWS, and Voiceover. 

Criterion level rows behave as radio buttons for screen readers.
Figure: Criterion level rows behave as radio buttons for screen readers. 

Rubrics – Inline grading improvements

There have been improvements to the ease of use of the inline grading experience, including changes to ensure grading experience parity for screen reader users. Previously, screen reader users were unable to grade or review tasks due to missing information. In addition, the updates now include the following: 

  • The interaction of the arrow buttons at either end of the evaluation slider now indicate a hover state compared to a focus state. If there is no level under the hover pointer, the level area is empty.
  • Keyboard navigation of the slider evaluation levels identify the focus and indicate the criterion you are viewing. When the keyboard focus is on a level, you can press the arrow keys at the beginning and end of the slider or use the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to move the focus within a scale. In grading mode, moving the focus to a level directly selects the level. You can also press Enter to select or unselect a level. In preview mode, the selected level does not change when you review other levels’ information. 
  • Keyboard navigation of the slider evaluation levels more clearly identify the focus and level you have selected in grading mode. You can use the right or left arrow key at the beginning and end of the slider to move the focus within a scale. Press Enter or use the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to select and deselect the level. 
  • The level name and description of an evaluation level appear below the evaluation slider in the selected state, and the selection indicator appears on the slider at the chosen level. 
  • When the rubric has been graded, the level information area displays the selected level’s information by default, unless other levels are in hover state in grading mode, or in hover or focus state in reviewing mode. 
  • When you move the selection block to a different level, there is now an animation to smoothly transition to the new level.

Rubrics – Overall Score now appears in Mobile View and the New Assignment and Discussion Evaluation Experiences

When an instructor using the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience opens a rubric in a new window, the Overall Score displays for each rubric, and the instructor can override the level if necessary. Previously, if an instructor did not open a new window, rather, they viewed the rubrics inline in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience tool, the Overall Score did not appear, and the instructor could not override the level. As a result, text-only rubrics could not be assessed because the Overall Score was not available.  

Now, instructors using Mobile view can evaluate text-only rubrics for assignments (using the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience) and can evaluate text-only rubrics for discussions (using the New Discussions Evaluation Experience) as expected. 

The Overall Score in Mobile and New Dropbox Evaluation Experience views
Figure: The Overall Score in Mobile and New Dropbox Evaluation Experience views

Students and Instructors

CourseLink – Supported Browsers

As an update to CourseLink, the warning banner for legacy Edge has been removed on Aug 1st and replaced with a “your browser is unsupported” page with a Your browser is looking a little retro… pop-up message.  

CourseLink recommends using the system with an up-to-date browser that provides robust support for all features. If you are using CourseLink with a legacy browser, a pop-up message appears directing you to update your browser, change to a supported browser, or dismiss the message.  

Currently, the browser version check displays a warning for versions previous to:

  • Chrome 90 
  • Chrome OS Chrome 90 
  • Mobile Chrome 90 
  • Safari 14 
  • Mobile Safari 14 
  • Firefox 88 
  • Chromium-based Microsoft Edge 90
The Your browser is looking a little retro… pop-up message.
Figure: The Your browser is looking a little retro… pop-up message. 

The following message appears if you are using one of the following browsers (or older): 

  • Chrome 67 (released March 2018) 
  • macOS Safari 12 (released September 2018)  
  • Firefox 67 (released May 2019)  
  • Chrome OS Chrome 67 (released Mar 2018)  
  • iOS Safari 11 (released September 2017)  
  • Android Chrome 67 (released Mar 2018) 
Legacy support tier/really prominent warning.
Figure: Legacy support tier/really prominent warning.

CourseLink – End of Life for Secondary Window Pop-Ups

This update brings End of Life status to the Show dialogs as pop-ups setting under Username > Account Settings. All secondary windows now open in Dialogs. Historically, this setting was used as an Accessibility accommodation as not all Screen Readers were able to handle dialogs. Modern screen readers provide better support for dialogs.

The Show secondary window as setting which has been removed.
Figure: The Show secondary window as setting which has been removed.  

Brightspace Pulse – Comment on Activity Feed posts

To encourage class engagement, learners can now comment on Activity Feed posts in Brightspace Pulse. Previously, learners could only read Activity Feed posts and comments in Brightspace Pulse. 

In Brightspace Pulse, tap the Courses tab, and then tap a course with Activity Feed enabled.

From the Activity Feed tab, tap the post you want to comment on, and then tap Add Comment. A browser opens, displaying the Activity Feed for the course in CourseLink.

Tap the post you want to comment on, add your comment, and then tap Post. Your comment displays.

To close the browser and return to Brightspace Pulse, tap Done.

In Brightspace Pulse, refresh the page to display your comment.

The new Add Comment button in Brightspace Pulse's Activity Feed
Figure: The new Add Comment button in Brightspace Pulse’s Activity Feed

Brightspace Pulse – View all grades for a course

Learners can now view all grades for a course from a new Grades tab in the course. Previously, learners could only view course grades from notifications in Brightspace Pulse or by opening a browser and navigating to the Grades tool in CourseLink. 

To view all grades for a course, tap the Courses tab. Next, tap a course, and then the Grades tab. All received grades for the course display, indicating if feedback is available. To open the Grades tool in a browser and view full grade breakdowns and calculations, tap View Grades in Browser.  

To view feedback, tap a grade. The grade and text feedback display. To view details about the associated activity in CourseLink, tap View Activity.

The new Grades tab for a course in Brightspace Pulse
Figure: The new Grades tab for a course in Brightspace Pulse

Brightspace Pulse – View content module descriptions

Learners can now view content module descriptions in Brightspace Pulse. Instructors use module descriptions to communicate vital information to learners about specific course content. Previously, module descriptions were only visible from CourseLink, which may have caused learners to miss important information when accessing courses from Brightspace Pulse.

A content module description in Brightspace Pulse
Figure: A content module description in Brightspace Pulse

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 July 2021

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Add categories in the New Dropbox Creation Experience

The new Dropbox creation experience supports the alignment of assignments to categories. Instructors can add new or existing categories when creating or editing a new Dropbox folder.

The new Dropbox creation experience with the ability to align assignments to categories
Figure: The new Dropbox creation experience with the ability to align assignments to categories

Dropbox – Org Defined Id field in the User Profile card

When an instructor hovers over a learner’s profile in the new Dropbox Evaluation Experience, the User Profile card now displays the value of the Org Defined Id (student number) field, if enabled in the Profile Cards tool. By default, the new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool is enabled.

The new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool
Figure: The new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool

CourseLink Platform – New External Resource icon

To differentiate from the similar generic download icon, the external resource icon is now changing to a building block icon. This new icon better represents the building block approach of external resource functionality.  

The new icon now appears in External Learning Tools under the Add Existing options of the Content tool.

The new external resource functionality icon
Figure: The new external resource functionality icon

Grades – Add categories for text, calculated, and formula grade items

This feature enables you to better organize your grade book by adding categories to text, calculated, and formula grade items. This improved organization does not impact the calculation of the category these grade items are in. The totals in these categories do not contribute to the final grade.

You can import, export, and copy category values for these grade item types.

Quizzes – Quiz Introduction field removed

To reduce redundancy in the Quizzes tool, the Introduction field is being phased out. In this release, when an instructor creates and/or edits a quiz, the Introduction field is no longer available.

If any quiz previously had text in the Introduction field, on clicking Edit, the text is automatically appended to the Description field. A message appears indicating that these two fields have been merged. Instructors can review the modified quiz description prior to saving the quiz.

Note: In some interfaces, for example Content, the Instructions field is displayed. This Instructions field already maps to the quiz Description field. Hence, there is no change to this workflow.

The Edit Quiz page with the message that appears when you edit a quiz containing an introduction
Figure: The Edit Quiz page with the message that appears when you edit a quiz containing an introduction

When importing a course using Import/Export/Copy Components, text in the quiz Introduction field automatically appends to the quiz Description field. The export and copy workflows remain unchanged.

Quizzes – Relocation of the Reports Setup functionality

The Report Setup tab on the Edit Quiz page is now available on the context menu of a quiz and reads as Setup Reports.

The Reports option available on the quiz context menu is also updated and reads as View Reports.

The updated quiz context menu with the Setup Reports and View Reports options
Figure: The updated quiz context menu with the Setup Reports and View Reports options

Quizzes – Set grace period time to 0 minutes

When setting an enforced time limit for a quiz, instructors can now set the grace period for a quiz to 0 minutes, in place of the default grace period setting of 5 minutes. Entering a 0 minute grace period flags the quiz attempt as exceeded immediately when the quiz time limit is reached by the learner. Quiz attempt logs display when the learner attempt exceeds the regular time limit, grace period time limit or any extended time limit. Grace period of 0 minutes can be set for quizzes with special access restrictions as well.  

Note that setting a grace period can support learner accessibility requirements and other situations, such as slow internet connections when completing quizzes.

Quizzes – Status and workflow changes for quizzes with ungraded questions

To support instructors who need to manually score questions within quizzes, the following quiz status and quiz grading workflow updates are available:

  • For quizzes that contain questions that need to be manually scored (such as Written Response questions) AND that have the “Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion” option disabled, a new Pending Evaluation status appears beside the quiz attempt on the Grade Quiz page.
  • While evaluating a quiz attempt with unevaluated questions, the instructor can now select Pending evaluations in the Question View drop-down menu to filter for only the questions that require manual evaluation. 
  • Instructors can now filter the Users tab by status. The available filters are: Published, Saved as draft, Pending evaluation and an empty status. The empty status denotes a quiz with auto-scored questions, where all questions are evaluated and there is no question evaluation pending. 
The updated quiz status filters appear on the Attempts tab
Figure: The updated quiz status filters appear on the Attempts tab

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 June 2021

Students and Instructors

Email – Auto save outgoing messages

When users send email messages, these sent messages are automatically saved in the Sent Mail folder. As a result, the User Account > Email Settings > Save a copy of each outgoing message to the Sent Mail folder check box is no longer available.

Instructors Only

New Accommodations Tool

Please note that this tool has been released for Guelph-Humber and Ridgetown instructors. Guelph campus instructors should continue to use the Automated Quiz Extension Tool.

This feature enables instructors to grant learners accommodations through the Classlist tool. Accommodation options currently available include: more time to complete quizzes at the course level and the ability to bypass right-click restrictions in quizzes. The right-click restriction in quizzes is the ability for learners to right-click in the quiz while taking the quiz and is important for accessibility tools like screen readers.

The new Edit Accommodations dialog box
Figure: The new Edit Accommodations dialog box

Once granted, these accommodations apply to all quiz activities in a course for that learner. The additional time can be applied in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes) on every quiz in a course. 

Quiz-specific special access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. When you overwrite an accommodation and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting an accommodation appears.

In the case where both the Accommodations tool and the Automated Quiz Extension Tool are used, the Automated Quiz Extension Tool will be the authoritative source and will ignore the Accommodations tool.

Insights – Navigation and metrics for Engagement Dashboard

A new Learner Engagement card is available on the Insights Portal. When you click the card, you can select a user from a list, and then view their Learner Engagement Dashboard. Previously, you would have to navigate through the Engagement Dashboard to access this page.

List of users with Learner Engagement Dashboards.
Figure: List of users with Learner Engagement Dashboards.

New Content View histogram on the Engagement Dashboard Summary View is now available. This metric tracks how many times course content objects, such as images, PDFs, or Word files, have been viewed to better understand content viewed offline.

Engagement Dashboard with the Content View chart highlighted.
Figure: Engagement Dashboard with the Content View chart highlighted.

Rubrics – Detach rubric warning for new Dropbox creation experience

When an attached rubric is deleted from an evaluated assignment, if evaluations of that rubric have been performed, the user now receives a detach rubric confirmation message for the assignment. This change applies to the New Dropbox Creation Experience.

The Rubric Detachment confirmation dialog.
Figure: The Rubric Detachment confirmation dialog.

Rubrics – Reorder criterion groups

In order to increase the value of rubric criterion groups, it is now possible to reorder those criterion groups in the New Rubric Creation Experience. If more than one criterion group appears in your rubric, direction arrows appear to the left of the criterion group header to reorder the criterion groups in the rubric. If only one criterion group appears in your rubric, the direction buttons do not appear.

Direction arrows located beside the criterion group header
Figure: Direction arrows located beside the criterion group header

Continuous Delivery Updates for May 2021

Students and Instructors

Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor

This feature releases the new and improved Brightspace Editor.

The new Brightspace Editor permanently replaces the previous editor in the new Dropbox Evaluation Experience and the new Dropbox Creation Experience. The new Brightspace Editor will be the only editor available in all new experiences released from May 2021 onwards. The new Editor will be released in the following tools at a later date:

  • Quiz Builder
  • Activity Feed
  • New Rubrics
The new Brightspace Editor.
Figure: The new Brightspace Editor.

The new Brightspace Editor includes the following improvements to existing features:  

  • Refreshed formatting options 
  • The Lato font type 
  • A refreshed color picker 
  • A refreshed font size menu 
  • A comprehensive and standard emoticon menu 
  • A comprehensive and refreshed Symbols menu 
  • An advanced source code editor 
  • A refreshed Tables feature, including data sorting 
  • A refreshed Accessibility Checker 
  • The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar

The Editor also includes the following new features:

  • Wordcount functionality that includes words, characters, and text selection.
  • Context menus while editing to enable quick access to text, link, and image editing options; including advanced image editing options. Note that image editing is not available in all context menus yet.
  • A new overflow menu with additional, less frequently used menu options.
  • Copy/paste and/or drag and drop images is now available when the consistent evaluation experience is on for Dropbox feedback.
  • Design improvements to enhance use of the Editor on mobile devices and improve general usability.
  • Accessibility improvements – Improved keyboard navigation for keyboard users and toolbar icons are spaced out more in accordance with WCAG standards.

The list below outlines what is not included in the Editor:

  • Spell check functionality. D2L recommends using your browser spell check functionality.

CourseLink – Maximum File Size Increase

The maximum per file upload size limit in CourseLink has increased from 1 GB to 2 GB. Any existing tool specific limits will continue to be respected and not overridden.

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Annotations available for TXT file-based assignments

Previously, annotations enabled instructors to use highlighting, free-hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting to provide feedback to learner assignments of the following file types: DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT, PPT, PPTX, PPSX, ODP, XLS, XLSX, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, and GIF. Now, instructors can provide feedback for TXT, in addition to the existing types.

Dropbox – Download file when using annotations in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience

The New Dropbox Evaluation Experience now includes the Download drop-down menu in the Annotations viewer. When using annotations in an assignment, instructors can use this menu to download the original file without navigating to the submission list. Instructors can also download the annotated PDF file.

The Annotations viewer with the Download drop-down menu
Figure: The Annotations viewer with the Download drop-down menu

Dropbox – Conversion Warning

A message now appears to users when viewing a file that has been converted to .pdf from a different file type in Dropbox. The message states “This file has been converted and may have inaccuracies.” 

Rubrics – Copy rubric criterion

To improve the value of Rubrics and facilitate reusing rubric criteria that have already been created, an action menu next to the criterion name provides Copy and Delete options. When an instructor copies a criterion, the new criterion is added under the original with the criterion name Copy of [name of original criterion]

The Delete function was previously available as a trashcan icon at the end of the criterion row outside the table. The new location in the action menu improves the discoverability of the Delete and Copy options. 

The action menu beside the criterion provides copy and delete options.
Figure: The action menu beside the criterion provides copy and delete options.
 

Rubrics – Print or export to PDF

To improve the user experience with Rubrics, instructors can now print or download a PDF of a preview or evaluated rubric. Learners can also print or download a PDF of a rubric from the desktop browser implementation of CourseLink. The Print button displays above the top-right corner of the rubric. 

Widgets – Work To Do widget

The new Work To Do widget provides learners a summary of assigned learning activities from all their courses that are overdue or have an upcoming due date. The widget can be added to CourseLink homepages to aggregate data from all courses, and to course homepages to show only due and overdue learning activities from the course.

The Work To Do widget displays the following learning activities:

  • Dropbox
  • Checklists
  • Content
  • Courses
  • Discussions
  • Surveys
  • Quizzes

Learning activities only appear in the Work To Do widget when the activity has a defined due date or end date. By default, the widget displays activities due in the upcoming 2 weeks, and overdue work from the previous 12 weeks.

The Work To Do widget organizes course activities by overdue and upcoming due dates so learners can easily prioritize their work and stay on top of their tasks.
Figure: The Work To Do widget organizes course activities by overdue and upcoming due dates so learners can easily prioritize their work and stay on top of their tasks.

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 2021

Students and Instructors

Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML Editor

This feature releases the new and improved Brightspace Editor.

Please note this feature will be turned on starting April 29, 2021. Please note that this editor has a bug and will be delayed until the May 2021 updates.

The new Brightspace Editor permanently replaces the previous editor in the new Dropbox Evaluation Experience and the new Dropbox Creation Experience. The new Brightspace Editor will be the only editor available in all new experiences released from April 2021 onwards. The new Editor will be released in the following tools at a later date:

  • Quiz Builder
  • Activity Feed
  • New Rubrics
The new Brightspace Editor.
Figure: The new Brightspace Editor.

The new Brightspace Editor includes the following improvements to existing features:  

  • Refreshed formatting options 
  • The Lato font type 
  • A refreshed color picker 
  • A refreshed font size menu 
  • A comprehensive and standard emoticon menu 
  • A comprehensive and refreshed Symbols menu 
  • An advanced source code editor 
  • A refreshed Tables feature, including data sorting 
  • A refreshed Accessibility Checker 
  • The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar

The Editor also includes the following new features:

  • Wordcount functionality that includes words, characters, and text selection.
  • Context menus while editing to enable quick access to text, link, and image editing options; including advanced image editing options. Note that image editing is not available in all context menus yet.
  • A new overflow menu with additional, less frequently used menu options.

The list below outlines what is not included in the Editor:

  • Spell check functionality. D2L recommends using your browser spell check functionality.
  • Cut/Paste functionality. D2L recommends using your browser hot keys/menus for this functionality.

Rubrics – Navigation Accessibility Improvements

This feature was originally released for the Rubrics tool in June 2020 and updated in July 2020 and March 2021. To increase the value of the rubric tool in CourseLink, there have been accessibility improvements to the rubric creation and evaluation workflows: 

  • Screen readers now inform users of controls for adding feedback to criteria when reading the criteria group table. The table summary now includes the following text: This table lists criteria and criteria group names in the first column. The first-row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method. You can give feedback on each criterion by tabbing to the add feedback buttons in the table.  
  • When a score field has the focus, the screen reader now informs the user if it is a criterion score or a total score based on the field label. It also indicates which criterion the score is associated with and what action the user can take. For example: 2/4, score of Criterion 1. Press Enter to override the criterion score. 
  • Previously, the Total Score and Criterion Score fields did not clearly indicate whether the score is a manual override. The override information appeared in a tooltip that was not visible to assistive technology including screen readers; an asterisk was the only differentiator. Now, the screen reader can read the tooltip content when the Total Score or Criterion Score fields have the focus.  
  • Previously, when the Total Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button appeared; however, when Criterion Score was a manual override, the Clear Override button only appeared if the focus was on the score. Now, Clear Override appears when either the Total Score or the Criterion Score is a manual override, regardless of where the focus is. 
  • To improve usability with assistive technology, the Add Feedback button indicates to screen readers the criterion to which the feedback is associated. The Clear Feedback button also indicates the associated criterion.  
  • When the keyboard focus moves to the default rubric group or new criteria group, the screen reader now tells users the number of rubric levels and criteria in the group.  
  • Previously, users who used keyboard-only navigation and screen readers were not able to delete aligned outcomes. Now, when a user navigates to the Browse Standards button and focuses on an outcome tag, the screen reader reads the tag content and provides guidance that they can press Delete to remove the aligned outcome 
  • Previously, the screen reader only read the content of the level name and points fields and indicated that it was a text field. There was no indication of the significance of the field. Now, when the level name text field has the focus, screen readers indicate that the field is for editing the name of a specific level. When the points text field has the focus, the screen reader indicates that the field is for editing the points of a specific level. 

Instructor Only

Dropbox – Action menu for group assignments in New Dropbox Evaluation Experience

The New Dropbox Evaluation Experience now includes a drop-down menu from the group name. This menu contains links to: 

  • Email the group (opens in a new window) 
  • See all group members  
  • Instant message the group (opens in a new window)
The drop-down action menu appears from the Group Name on the File Submission page in Dropbox.
Figure: The drop-down action menu appears from the Group Name on the File Submission page in Dropbox.

Dropbox – Anonymous marking in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience

This feature makes anonymous marking fully supported in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience. When using Anonymous marking, the Anonymous User number appears in place of the username, just as it appeared in the legacy Dropbox experience. In addition, the following features of anonymous marking remain the same: 

  • No profile card appears for anonymous users  
  • Usernames become visible once any learner’s evaluation is published 
  • Group names are always visible even when using anonymous marking 
  • Rubrics do not include the user’s name  

Anonymous marking uses Publish All instead of the Publish button. If no feedback for anonymous users has yet been published, the Publish button is disabled and a message appears to direct users to the Publish All button. If any user feedback has been published, all Publish buttons become automatically enabled.

Anonymous marking in Dropbox displays learners as Anonymous User [#] instead of by username.
Figure: Anonymous marking in Dropbox displays learners as Anonymous User [#] instead of by username.

Dropbox – Context menu on the Evaluation screen in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience

A new context menu appears in the side panel of the updated Dropbox evaluation screen. This menu links to the following:

  • Edit Activity (opens assignment page in new tab).
  • Special Access Dates (opens the Edit Activity screen so users can update Special Access rules).

Note: The context menu will not appear if the user does not have the required permissions to access these links.

The new context menu appears when grading a submission in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience.
Figure: The new context menu appears when grading a submission in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience.

Dropbox- Single file submissions open directly in the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience

In the New Dropbox Evaluation Experience, when a learner has submitted only one file, the evaluator no longer has to click into the evaluation and then into the file. The file opens directly for the evaluator, saving a click during the evaluation process. Late submission information continues to display above the file, as it currently does.

Brightspace Insights – Engagement Dashboard User Level Metrics

To increase the value of the new Engagement Dashboard, originally released in November 2020 and most recently updated in March 2021, this release adds the following:

  • New User Level Metrics tab in Engagement Dashboard Settings where you can select which metrics appear on the Learner Engagement Dashboard display.
All the User Level Metrics are selected by default.
Figure: All the User Level Metrics are selected by default.

Classlist – Search filter when adding existing users

When enrolling users in a course, an instructor can now deselect the Include users already enrolled in org unit check box to set their search filter to filter out users already enrolled in the course.

The Add Existing Users page with the new Enrollment search filter.
Figure: The Add Existing Users page with the new Enrollment search filter

Content – URL topics now Open as External Resource by default

Previously, when a user created a new URL Content type, the Open as External Resource option was not selected by default. In some cases, this caused a Cross-Origin resource sharing (CORS) error to appear when viewing the content topics. Now, the URL Content type, such as a Google Team Drive Public link, has the Open as External Resource check box selected by default. Users can choose to deliberately remove the Open as External Resource option if necessary. If it is deselected, users are advised that D2L recommends opening links in a new window to prevent issues viewing the resource before saving.

When viewing a content topic that is a URL, the button to open the resource in a new window always appears so that if the content cannot load in an embedded frame, a user can choose to open the content in a new window.

Grades – Mastery View calculation improvements

Mastery View was originally released for the Grades tool in December 2020. To increase the value of the Mastery View of the Grades tool in CourseLink, there have been improvements to the calculation functionality: 

  • When you switch to a calculation method, but do not save the new method, you can return to the original calculation method, and restore the original values of the Choose Activities to use in the calculation field. If you switch to a new calculation method and save the new method, if you return to the original calculation method, the Choose Activities to use in the Calculation field uses the default values. 

Quizzes – Improvements to Special Access functionality

Instructors can now grant learners special access in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes). For example, if an instructor has a 30-minute quiz and using the Special Access page, grants three learners 1.5x the quiz time, their updated quiz time of 45 minutes displays. Instructors no longer have to manually calculate the updated quiz time.

Note: After extending the learners quiz time by way of quiz time multipliers or +minutes on the Special Access page, if an instructor updates the duration of the quiz, the learner’s quiz time on the Special Access page does not dynamically update at this time.

The Add Special Access screen with the updated Timing area.
Figure: The Add Special Access screen with the updated Timing area.

Quizzes – Secure and consistent editing experience

For a more secure and consistent editing experience in CourseLink, creating any of the following question types now automatically filters out JavaScript and non-standard HTML: Likert, Ordering, Matching, Fill in the Blanks, Short Answer, Multi-Short Answer, Arithmetic, and Significant Figures. For existing questions containing JavaScript and non-standard HTML, the questions continue to display as intended until an instructor edits and saves the questions, which removes the JavaScript and non-standard HTML. Previously, instructors could add JavaScript or non-standard HTML to question types in order to create dynamic content for quizzes.

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 2021

Students and Instructors

CourseLink – Support alert banner for older browsers

In order to be consistent with the Microsoft End of Support for Legacy Edge in March 2021, CourseLink is also ending browser support for Legacy Edge. To encourage clients to use CourseLink with a browser that provides robust support for all features, a warning banner appears in CourseLink if the client is using Legacy Edge.

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Learner profile card in New Evaluation Experience

When hovering over a learner’s name or profile picture in the new evaluation experience, the learner’s user profile card appears. The card displays the user’s online/offline status as well as links to: 

  • Email
  • Instant Message
  • User progress
  • User profile

Clicking any of the links in the profile card opens a new window.

Hovering over the name of profile image of a learner opens a profile card with links to Email and Instant Message the learner, plus User Progress and the learner’s User Profile.
Figure: Hovering over the name of profile image of a learner opens a profile card with links to Email and Instant Message the learner, plus User Progress and the learner’s User Profile.

Dropbox – Turnitin® support in New Evaluation Experience

The New Evaluation experience now supports Turnitin® Similarity and Turnitin® Grademark® in Dropbox. The existing Turnitin® workflows and functionality appear on the User Submissions page in the new experience. The Turnitin® workflows are also supported in the mobile experience.

Turnitin® Similarity and Turnitin® Grademark® feedback appears on the User Submissions page.
Figure: Turnitin® Similarity and Turnitin® Grademark® feedback appears on the User Submissions page.

Awards – Password-protected certificates

To prevent plagiarism and protect an organization’s intellectual and branding copyrights, all earned certificates downloaded from the Awards tool are now password-protected from editing. Each certificate is generated with a random password that is not displayed to users, preventing anyone from editing the certificate in Adobe® Acrobat® or Adobe Reader®. Previously, if an administrator or instructor uploaded a password protected certificate, any learner that downloaded the earned certificate could edit it in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. 

A password-protected certificate downloaded from the Awards tool
Figure: A password-protected certificate downloaded from the Awards tool

Insights – Additional cards and paging on the new Engagement Dashboard

  • There are three new cards on the user drill down page of the Engagement summary view, which provide the ability to see how key engagement metrics change over time for a single learner: 
    • The Grade over time trend chart displays the learner’s current grade for each week as a line graph, with a color-coded line for each course. Grades may be adjusted or calculated.
    • The Content view over time trend chart displays the number of content topic views for the learner for each week as a line graph, with a color-coded line for each course. 
    • The Access over time trend chart displays the number of course accesses for the learner for each week as a stacked area chart, with a color-coded area for each course.
  • The Active Courses table now includes paging on the user drill down page.
Summary view of the Learner Engagement Dashboard, with three new trend charts: Grade over time, Content view over time, and Access over time.
Figure: Summary view of the Learner Engagement Dashboard, with three new trend charts: Grade over time, Content view over time, and Access over time.

Calendar – Improvements to date and time selection web components

To improve the ease of use for clients using the date and time picker in CourseLink, there have been updates to the web components related to date and time selection. These changes are intended to provide better usability for keyboard users and better integration with assistive technology. Changes include:

  • Ability to use arrow keys rather than the Tab key to improve keyboard navigation and accessibility.
  • Aesthetic changes to hide unused elements until they are active.
  • New selectable values of 12:01 AM and 11:59PM in the time picker
  • New default values for Start, Due, and End dates.
  • The new Set to Today button inside the date picker replaces the Now button outside the date picker.

Note: There may be some instances of the older date picker remaining in CourseLink. These instances will be changed to the new date picker in a future release. 

When the date picker is open, the field to which it applies is highlighted and the picker dialog points to the field.
Figure: When the date picker is open, the field to which it applies is highlighted and the picker dialog points to the field.

Navigation and Themes – Create language specific custom links

instructors can create and display language specific custom links on the Navbar when designing courses. This feature provides learners a more complete translation experience.

Quizzes – Copy quiz workflow

Previously, to copy and continue editing a quiz, you had to navigate to the Manage Quizzes page, click the More Actions > Copy functionality, and then select the quiz you wanted to copy, rename it, and click Edit quiz after copy completes

This feature updates the copy quiz workflow to better align with Dropbox. Now, the copy functionality is available on the individual quiz drop-down menu. When you copy a quiz, the copied quiz is set to inactive (as per the original copy quiz workflow) and you are directed to the Edit Quiz screen to continue editing it. Now, the copy quiz workflow also copies over Special Access settings and aligned Learning Objectives.

Updated copy quiz workflow
Figure: Updated copy quiz workflow

Rubrics – Navigation Accessibility Improvements

To increase the value of Rubrics in CourseLink, there have been accessibility improvements to the rubric creation workflow:

  • In the Overall Score, screen reader users are now informed that the overall score levels are selectable items. When the user navigates between levels, the screen reader now reads the level order, level name, point level, level content, and selection status.
  • When reading descriptions in rubric table cells, screen readers now read the level name and the point value.
  • Radio buttons that are used to grade a criterion are now labelled for screen readers to include the criterion for which this radio button applies, and the corresponding rubric level name and point value for each radio button.
  • When an Add Feedback button has the focus, screen reader also reads the name of the associated criterion.
  • When the screen reader focus is on the outcomes icon in the criterion column, it indicates the standard associated with the criteria name and reads the tooltip content.
  • When a Criterion Score cell has the focus, screen readers now indicate that it is the score of the criterion name, the score, and that the user can press enter to adjust the score using a spin button. 
  • Screen readers now have access to controls for adding feedback to criteria when reading the criteria group table. The table summary now includes the following text: This table lists criteria and criteria group name in the first column. The first-row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method. You can give feedback on each criterion by tabbing to the add feedback buttons in the table.
  • When a page is loaded, the keyboard focus is now on the first focusable interface component; extra tab stops have been removed. 

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 2021

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Save Progress and Visual Enhancements

The Save button in the new Dropbox creation experience enables an instructor to save their progress while creating or editing a folder. Previously, Save and Close was the only option.

The scrollbars on the main and right-hand panels now appear thinner and less noticeable, providing more vertical space when creating or editing a folder.

The name of the folder appears in the immersive navbar along the top of the page.

The name of the Dropbox folder on the immersive navbar and the less obtrusive scrollbar in the new Dropbox creation experience
Figure: The name of the Dropbox folder on the immersive navbar and the less obtrusive scrollbar in the new Dropbox creation experience

Brightspace Pulse – Course access events added to Brightspace Data Platform

To allow administrators and instructors to see when learners access courses from Brightspace Pulse, the app now sends course access events to the Brightspace Data Platform (BDP). The BDP stores these events, and then computes and stores the aggregated data, which can then be accessed through various course reporting tools, such as Classlist, Class Progress, Engagement Dashboard, and the Course Overview widget. For example, in Classlist, the Last Accessed column now displays a timestamp when a learner accesses a course from Brightspace Pulse.

Grades – Additional features for Mastery view of the grade book

The first time you use the Mastery View table page, a message appears under the page title indicating the default calculation method for the data in the view and provides a link to the Settings page, where you can change the calculation method.

If you change the calculation method after evaluation data has been collected, a warning message appears to indicate that the evaluations must be recalculated according to the newly selected method.  Any prior evaluations with manual overrides or feedback are not affected by changing calculation methods. If outcome overall achievements are already published, recalculations for the newly selected method are also immediately visible to learners.

When viewing the Outcomes Progress Evidence page from a mobile device, the evidence appears in a responsive display format for the smaller screen. 

Quick Eval – Homepage widget

Quick Eval can now be added to course homepages as a widget to allow instructors to view and access any submissions awaiting evaluation. The Quick Eval widget displays a list of up to six activities with submissions to evaluate. The activities are sorted by due date, with the earliest date first. The icon indicator in the widget shows the type of activity (dropbox, discussion, or quiz), and the number of unevaluated submissions for each activity. The due date and course information are also visible below the title of each activity.

The Quick Eval widget displaying unevaluated activities
Figure: The Quick Eval widget displaying unevaluated activities

Rubrics – Warning dialog for partial evaluations

Previously, if an instructor attempted to publish a partially completed rubric evaluation, the partial evaluation dialog appeared. If the instructor tapped Enter on their keyboard, the partial evaluation was published. 
Now, the default button behavior has changed so that tapping Enter on the page returns the user to the rubric to complete the evaluation. This change adds a verification layer to reconsider their action and ensure that instructors are not mistakenly publishing incomplete evaluations. 

The partial evaluation warning dialog appears the same, but has updated default behavior.
Figure: The partial evaluation warning dialog appears the same, but has updated default behavior.

Respondus – New Live Proctoring Feature

Earlier this month, the Respondus Live proctoring feature was released to instructors.

This feature leverages a video conferencing system (Zoom, MS Teams, etc.) and allows instructors to proctor students in real-time during online exams, tests, and quizzes.

This feature is intended for small classes where an instructor can view all students on the screen at once.

For more information on this new feature as well as instructions on how to enable it, please see the Live Remote Invigilation of CourseLink Quizzes with Respondus LockDown Browser section of the Tips for Live Remote Invigilation with Zoom or Teams page on OpenEd’s Remote Teaching & Learning website.

Zoom – Live Transcription (Closed Captioning) Service

Earlier this month, the Zoom Live Transcription Service was released.

The Live Transcription (closed captioning) service is available for Educational/Pro account holders. This service automatically captions speakers in Zoom meetings, adding their text to the bottom of the meeting window, as well as making a live transcript available in its own panel.

Visit the Zoom: Live Transcription Service page for details on configuration and setup options.

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 January 2021

Students and Instructors

Respondus LockDown Browser for Chromebooks

A beta release of Respondus LockDown Browser for Chromebook is now available for CourseLink.

Instructors

During the beta period, instructors will have to enable the use of the Chromebook version on a per exam basis.

  • Go to the LockDown Browser Dashboard within CourseLink
  • Select “Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam”
  • Expand “Advanced Settings” and select “Allow students to use LockDown Browser for Chromebook (beta)”
  • Save the exam settings for LockDown Browser

Students

Installing LockDown Browser on your Chromebook is easy.  

  • Log into the Chromebook and start Google Chrome
  • Log into CourseLink and navigate to the exam that requires LockDown Browser
  • Select the link for downloading and installing LockDown Browser
  • From the Chrome web store, select “Add to Chrome” to install the LockDown Browser Extension
  • Note: during the beta, this extension will only work with quizzes an instructor has enabled for use with LockDown Browser for Chromebook

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Multiple Rubric Support in Consistent Evaluation Experience

This feature is a continuation of the feature that was introduced in the December 2020 release.

If a Dropbox folder includes multiple rubrics, they are all visible to instructors using the Consistent Evaluation Experience. Instructors are also able to choose the default scoring rubric. Previously, the Consistent Evaluation Experience would only display one rubric on the assignment evaluation screen.

Insights – Settings and Filter Improvements on the new Engagement Dashboard

The new Settings page has two tabs: Summary Metrics and Result Table Metrics. The Summary Metrics tab contains the Roles filter, which enables you to select the learner roles you want to include in dashboard data. All roles that you exclude are not included in any data query on the Engagement Dashboard. The Summary Metrics tab also enables you to determine which cards are included in the Dashboard display and set your own threshold for the System Access metric. By default, all the cards are included on the dashboard. 

All cards appear in the selection list, and all are selected by default.
Figure: All cards appear in the selection list, and all are selected by default.  

Widgets – Widget Sandboxing to Enhance Content Security

To enhance the security of Widgets that execute scripts to create extra-rich HTML experiences (such as objects that can execute JavaScript), there is now a sandboxing feature that creates a secure iFrame around the HTML file. This will allow an HTML file to execute scripts (such as JavaScript) within the iFrame only but will prevent them from executing outside the iFrame (against the domain). This enables some flexibility in creating rich content, but reassurance for the security- conscious that end user information remains secure in all situations.

The Widget Security area of the Widget Properties dialog box.
Figure: The Widget Security area of the Widget Properties dialog box.

Course Export – Export File Upload Attribute for Written Response Questions

Written Response quiz questions that allow for file upload can now be imported and exported from CourseLink. With the ability to import and export these questions users can share them with users from other instances of CourseLink (D2L Brightspace). 

Grades – Additional Features for Mastery View in Grades

To increase the value of the Mastery view of Grades, originally released in December 2020, this release updates and adds the following new features:

  • Three new calculation methods: Highest LevelMost Recent Level, and Decaying Average.
  • Publish All button for overall levels of achievement for all outcomes to all learners.
  • Search by Student Name field.
  • A warning when the user attempts to change the default achievement scale.
  • Removal of the Clear Default option in the Achievement Scale dialog.

Contact

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

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