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 August 2020

Instructors Only

Zoom Resources

Zoom has the following short videos to help teachers get up and running:

Also, check out the web conferencing comparison chart and resources on the OpenEd Remote Teaching and Learning website.

Quizzes – Question Library – Attach Files using Written Response Questions

When creating a written response question, instructors can now allow learners to upload files in their answers and include embedded images. Learners can also record audio or video responses when answering written response question types.

When grading a quiz, similar to the behavior in the Discussions tool, instructors can download and open these attachments in another tab. Bulk download is not available at this time.

When learners are reviewing their quiz submissions, if they are allowed to view their quiz responses, they can view their uploaded attachments.

The maximum file size for a single file or embedded image attached to a quiz response is set to 102400 KB (100 MB). The maximum file size for all files attached or embedded in a single quiz question response is set to 102400 KB (100 MB).

The updated Written Response question creation screen
Figure: The updated Written Response question creation screen

Quizzes – User Experience Updates for Editing Quizzes with Attempts

To improve the user experience for instructors who edit quizzes with previous attempts by learners, the following updates have been made:

  • Points for past quiz attempts are no longer modified when edits are made that affect the overall points and/or the grading calculations for a quiz. A learner’s grade on previous quiz attempts must now be changed directly by the instructor using the Update All Attempts workflow. Previously, the points for all past quiz attempts were modified automatically, which could alter a learner’s grade unexpectedly.
  • Warning messages now appear when editing a quiz question with previous attempts to clearly communicate to instructors that editing quiz questions does not affect the content or automatically change the score of learners’ past attempts.
A warning message appears when accessing the Add/Edit Questions workflow
Figure: A warning message appears when accessing the Add/Edit Questions workflow

Dropbox – Additional Functionality – Release Conditions

Building on the functionality added to the new create and edit Dropbox experience in the July release, you can now do the following:

  • Attach release conditions to an assignment
The create and edit Dropbox page with the Release Conditions functionality
Figure: The create and edit Dropbox page with the Release Conditions functionality

Dropbox – Copy Folder Option

This feature adds the ability to copy existing folders. Instructors can select the Copy Assignment option in the drop-down menu for an existing folder to quickly create new folders. This feature copies all settings of an existing folder except the associated grade item and Turnitin settings.

The Copy Assignment option appears in the drop-down menu for existing assignments
Figure: The Copy Assignment option appears in the drop-down menu for existing assignments

Brightspace Assignment Grader – End-of-life

Effective August 15, 2020, the Assignment Grader mobile app is no longer available to new users. Existing users may continue to use the app if they have it installed, but no further updates or support will be made available by D2L and the app will be removed from app stores. As an alternative mobile grading option, D2L recommends using the Quick Eval tool in CourseLink.

Brightspace ePortfolio mobile app – End-of-life

Effective August 30, 2020, the Brightspace ePortfolio mobile app is no longer available to new users. Existing users may continue to use the app if they have it installed, but no further updates or support will be made available by D2L and the app will be removed from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Apps store. Note that the Brightspace ePortfolio is still available for use – only the mobile app version is unavailable.

Checklists – Copy a checklist

Instructors can now perform copy actions for checklists. You can copy a whole checklist, a checklist category (including all items within it), or individual items in a checklist.

Classlist – User Experience Changes

When adding participants to a Classlist using the Add users interface, search results now include users who are currently enrolled in the course. Previously, enrolled users were not displayed in these search results. On the search results page an icon displays beside an enrolled user’s name to indicate their enrollment status. Instructors can also use the drop-down menu beside each username to update a user’s enrollment status, remove them from the class or change the role they were enrolled with.

Notifications – Deleted Content Links to Message

Notifications for content that is subsequently hidden/deleted/conditionally released are now removed from the CourseLink notifications area on the minibar. Notifications that arrive via email or text notifications, or in Brightspace Pulse push notifications, now provide a link to the Course Table of Contents with a message that states ‘Item not available’. Previously, clicking the link created a 404 Not Authorized error.

Outcomes Management – Competency Tool is Hidden when Learning Outcomes is Enabled

In CourseLink, it is only possible to use the Competency tool or the Learning Outcomes tool in a course. If you are using one, all instances of the other are now hidden from view. For a new, empty shell course, both the Competency tool and Learning Outcomes tool appear in the Course Administration page. However, as soon as you decide to use the Learning Outcomes tool or the Competency tool, then the link to the other tool is hidden.

The Competency tool is considered to be in use when at least one learning objective is aligned to activities in the course. When this is the case, the Learning Outcomes tool is hidden on the Course Administration page.

The Learning Outcomes tool is considered to be in use when an intent list is created by importing or creating at least one learning outcome in the course. When this is the case, the Competencies tool is hidden on the Course Administation page, and the Objectives Progress column in Class Progress is no longer visible.

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 2019

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Students and Instructors

Improvements to course notifications

To improve the delivery of course notifications in CourseLink, 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: NeverDaily, 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 NotificationsContent – content item createdContent – content item updated, and Content – content overview updated.

If any of the removed notification options are currently selected, learners will no longer receive these notifications after the monthly update. To receive content-related instant notifications, CourseLink recommends using the Brightspace Pulse mobile app or select the Email option for the instant notification type on the Notifications page. Email content notifications remain unaffected.

Supported browsers | Updated

New clients can no longer access the CourseLink Learning Environment using Microsoft Internet Explorer. If users attempt to access CourseLink 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. The text of the unsupported page is customizable using the Language Management tool. Users cannot log in to CourseLink using any version of Internet Explorer.

When a user tries to access CourseLink 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 CourseLink is accessed using any version of Internet Explorer. The pop-up can be dismissed again and will not reappear with subsequent updates.

OpenDyslexic font setting | Removed

The OpenDyslexic font is intended to increase readability of text for users with dyslexia. D2L introduced this font into CourseLink as a measure of support for users with dyslexia, based on interest from clients and initially positive media reports. However, to date, there is no empirical evidence that it improves readability or comprehension for users with dyslexia. To ensure that D2L offers true accessibility solutions and that we align our design system and development practices with the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1 Level AA Criteria), the OpenDyslexic font is removed in the August 2019 release.

Email – Add images to messages | Updated

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.

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Spell check for annotation notes | Updated

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

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.

Quizzes – General availability of Quiz Builder

Quiz Builder is a new work flow for adding, editing, reordering, and deleting quiz content in the Quizzes tool.

Quiz Builder saves instructors time by streamlining the screens and work flows for building and arranging quiz content. Instructors can add questions, sections and question pools, or import from the Question library. From a single interface, they can edit, delete and reorder questions. They can also review critical information such as question points and total points in the quiz; mandatory and bonus status and shuffling behavior.

You can use the new Quiz Builder experience by clicking Add/Edit Questions on the quiz Properties tab. The updated Add/Edit Questions screen provides the option to add, edit, reorder, delete, and move between sections using keyboard interaction in the new experience. The experience is accessible when using assistive technologies.

Quizzes – Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log | New

Instructors can now restore deleted quiz attempts for learners from within a quiz using the new Quiz Attempt log. The New Quiz Attempt log tracks quiz attempt submissions per user, in both an overview and detailed set of logs.

The following actions are captured in the Overview:

  • Attempt Started
  • Attempt Submitted
  • Attempt Deleted
  • Attempt Restored
The Overview tab on the Attempt Logs page
Figure: The overview tab on the Attempt Logs page

Video Assignments – Auto Analysis ™ tool | New

Auto Analysis™ is a tool for the Video Assignments integration. It automatically transcribes all uploaded Individual Project assignments and measures the speaking rate, speech clarity, and use of filler words. The transcribed data is compiled into a report with a score that instructors can use as a data point when assessing the assignment. Instructors can configure an Individual Project to show or hide overall delivery scores.

The Auto Analysis™ tool interface appears in all languages supported by Video Assignments. Note that Auto Analysis™ is designed for English-speaking video assignments only – it cannot transcribe or analyze non-English audio.

This automated reporting feature provides learners greater insight into their performance and opportunity to reflect, practice and improve their assignment before submission.

The report view by Auto Analysis™ provides feedback on the Clarity, Fillers, Speaking Rate and Overall Delivery score on Individual project assignments
Figure: The report view by Auto Analysis™ provides feedback on the Clarity, Fillers, Speaking Rate and Overall Delivery score on Individual project assignments

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 2018

Instructors Only

Virtual Classroom & Video Assignments Premium by YouSeeU

CourseLink is now integrated with the premium version of the Virtual Classroom and Video Assignments tools powered by YouSeeU. These video tools are fully featured and are tightly integrated with CourseLink so you can quickly set them up and automatically transfer grades back to the Grades tool.

Check out the features list for Virtual Classroom and Video Assignments.

Check out the D2L Brightspace documentation for Virtual Classroom and Video Assignments.

Virtual Classroom

This webinar tool makes it easy to schedule live meetings and discussions, host office hours, record video-based training, and more. Video sessions can be automatically recorded and seamlessly embedded into a course alongside other learning materials.

See Virtual Classroom in action

 

 

Video Assignments

This video recording tool for students allows instructors to deliver structured, video-based assessments that evaluate learners on speeches, presentations, and more. Instructors can easily grade video assessments and add time-stamped feedback, showing learners exactly where they need to improve. Check out the peer review feature!

See Video Assignments in action

Microsoft Office 365 Widget

You can now access your Microsoft Office 365 account, including email, calendar, and OneDrive storage as a widget in CourseLink. This allows students and instructors to review email, calendar events, and access files directly from CourseLink. Students can also submit directly from OneDrive into the CourseLink Dropbox.

Add the Office 365 widget to your course to get started!

 

 

Office 365 Widget

 

 

Import Ares Course Reserves Widget

You now have the ability to import your Ares course reserves directly from your course using the import widget. This widget, only available to instructors and TAs, allows you to import Ares readings just by clicking the link. The imported material will show up in the Content tool under a module labeled “Ares Course Reserve Lists”. The widget has been added to the default homepage.

 

 

Import Ares Course Reserves Widget

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

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