Continuous Delivery Updates for December 2021

Students and Instructors

CourseLink – Support for surname prefixes during sort function

In some countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Sri Lanka, surnames have one or more prefixes (known in Dutch as Tussenvoegsel) that are part of the formal last name. For example, van der Speigle or Van Gogh. In some cases, the sortable last name should not include those prefixes. 

It is now possible to indicate if a user’s Last Name differs from the Sortable Last Name. If users provide a Sortable Last Name, CourseLink uses the Sortable Last Name when alphabetizing user lists. 

The following tools currently support the Sortable Last Name:

  • Classlist
  • Grades
  • Quizzes
  • Dropbox
  • Discussions
  • Manage Exemptions
  • Content – Completion Summary

Additional tools will be added to this list in future releases. 

Users can reach out to CourseLink Support to update their Sortable Last Name.

The Sortable Last Name field on the User Information screen
Figure: The Sortable Last Name field on the User Information screen

Content – Updated count and overdue badges

In the Content tool for instructors and learners, the count and overdue badges in the Table of Contents now reflect an updated appearance that is consistent with other CourseLink tools. The new count badge is circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits), with a grey background, and with higher contrast text. In addition, the overdue badge is now circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits). Previously, the count badge was rectangular, with a white background, and grey text/outline. The overdue badge was rectangular and red.

This feature addresses the following accessibility criteria:

  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
The new count and overdue badges in the Content tool
Figure: The new count and overdue badges in the Content tool

Instructors Only

Dropbox – New creation experience universally enabled

This feature sets the new Dropbox creation experience to ON by default. This will mean that the classic experience will no longer be available.

Please see the details of the New creation experience; the differences between classic to new creation experiences can also be reviewed.

Insights – New version of the Assessment Quality Dashboard

To increase the value of the Assessment Quality Dashboard, originally released in May 2019, this release updates and adds the following features:

  • Filtering, which allows filtering of data across different levels.
  • Exporting data to CSV.
  • Settings page, where users can define their own settings to better control and surface the relevant data.
  • Interactive cards and visualizations that apply different views to the data.
  • Accessibility features: visual cues like filter tags and toast messages, support for screen readers, and keyboard navigation.
  • Pagination, which enables users to define the number of results per view and easily sequence the results.
  • Updated wording:
    • “Top Lure” is now “Popular Incorrect Answer”
    • “Top Lure Response Rate” is now “Popular Incorrect Answer Response Rate”
  • Question Analysis View, which displays a preview of the question, the question grading, comments, and hints.

Discussions – Consistent evaluation experience

This release removes the ability to opt-out of the new Discussions evaluation experience.

For more detail about the improvements in this new experience, visit the Welcome to Our New Discussion Evaluation Experience post on D2L Brightspace Community.

Discussions – Consolidated dates ON by default

This feature builds on the default setting progression for visibility and posting restrictions in discussion forums and topics. The workflow in December 2021 sets the discussion date consolidation ON by default for all clients, and cannot be turned off. 

Note: All date overrides are cleared when the default changes to ON.
For more information, see the Changes To Availability And Locking Dates For A Consolidated Dates Workflow blog post.

Once the new workflow is enabled, 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

Quizzes – Improved language terms

To offer more intuitive and consistent terminology to instructors and learners when using Quizzes, many interface labels and dialogs now use more descriptive language. For example, Automatic Grade is now Automatically Publish Evaluation. Previously, many interface labels and dialogs used short terms that did not provide clear meaning for some users.

For a detailed list of all language term updates in Quizzes, see the Quiz Language Updates blog post.


If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:
519-824-4120 ext. 56939

Continuous Delivery Updates for December 2020

Instructors Only

Dropbox- Consistent evaluation experience

The consistent evaluation experience for Dropbox brings consistency to evaluating in Brightspace Learning Environment for all assessable tools . This feature provides an opt-in experience for users to familiarize themselves with the new experience when evaluating in Dropbox. In future releases this evaluation experience will become available in additional tools.

The default value for this configuration is On(Opt-In).

No changes have been made to page navigation.  The user context bar now includes a menu to choose a learner, and another menu to choose a submission. On the user submission list, files are now grouped by submission without repeating comments to make it easier to distinguish between submissions. The evaluation pane divider is now draggable to suit a user’s preferences and screen size. Rubrics are now located at the top of the page, and assignment details are in the ellipsis menu. The overall grade remains as an icon that indicates if that grade is tied to the gradebook. Existing outcomes and competency web components are also visible. Publish, Save Draft, and Next Student options continue to function as before.

Instructors should wait to turn on the Consistent Evaluation experience in this release if they:  

  • Use TurnItIn – No integration with Turnitin is available in this release of the consistent evaluation experience 
  • Use Anonymous Marking/Grading – Learner name display does not respect the Anonymous Marking setting 
  • May have multiple rubrics attached to assignments – Only one rubric displays in the consistent evaluation experience 
  • Use large rubrics with many levels or criteria – Large rubrics may have a reduced usability due to the way in which the new experience displays rubrics.  All levels and criteria display, though large rubrics may require more scrolling
  • Use Group assignments extensively – There is no access to view group members from within the consistent evaluation experience  
  • Use the Edit a Copy function to annotate text or HTML submissions – This option is not available in the consistent evaluation experience
  • Require access to Student ID (or Class Progress) while evaluating – These options are not accessible from within the consistent evaluation experience 

These items will be addressed in future updates to the Consistent Evaluation experience.

Instructor view when evaluating assignments in the consistent evaluation experience.
Figure: Instructor view when evaluating assignments in the consistent evaluation experience.

CourseLink – Updated video and audio player in Content

To improve accessibility and create a consistent user experience, a new audio and video media player has been added to Content.

The new media player offers the following features:

  • Consistent keyboard controls, and screen reader support.
  • Keyboard controls improvements and fixes to known issues. The previous media player had an issue where keyboard focus could become stuck in the caption language selection menu.
  • Screen reader improvements with the new media player include off-screen messages for screen readers to announce when a video has loaded or if there was an error loading the video.

Note: Download will not be turned on by default.

The new video player in Content showing the playback speed option.
Figure: The new video player in Content showing the playback speed option.
The new audio player appears in Content
Figure: The new audio player appears in Content

Grades – Mastery view in the Gradebook now available

The Mastery view of the Gradebook provides visibility into additional details of learner performance beyond what is available using traditional grades associated with an activity. Using outcomes associated with various types of assessments (such as quiz questions, rubric criterion rows, assignments or discussions), additional dimensions of performance can be recorded.  The Mastery page provides instructors with information about the overall achievement for leaners in their course. The achievement is related to learning outcomes and standards associated to assessment activities and helps instructors to quickly identify learners who are potentially at risk. The page provides a quick holistic view of aggregated performance across all learners in the course for all outcomes assessed in the course. Instructors can click on individual table cells of the Mastery view to drill-down into individual learners’ performance and view evidence associated with each outcome. In that detailed view, instructors can use their professional judgement to manually override the calculated suggested level of overall achievement.   

Note:  This option is hidden if learning outcomes are not being used in the course. 

The Mastery view table displays evaluated outcomes as the columns of the table and learners enrolled in the course as rows of the table.  In the columns for each outcome, there is a color and text indication of the suggested overall level of achievement based on the currently selected calculation method. The color of each cell and the text label is based on the color and level name defined in the default Achievement Scale in the Learning Outcomes tool.  

The Mastery view with three outcome columns of evaluated activities, and several unevaluated outcome columns for each learner.
Figure: The Mastery view with three outcome columns of evaluated activities, and several unevaluated outcome columns for each learner. 

Within each achievement cell, there are several indicators of the status of the learner’s progress toward the achievement, including: 

  • Number of activities evaluated (out of the total aligned) 
  • Suggested overall level achievement (or manually overridden level of achievement) 
  • Manual override indicator in the form of an asterisk beside the overall achievement label. 
  • Out of Date icon (if newer evaluations have been made since a manual override was recorded or a feedback is added) 
  • Published/Not published icons to indicate the visibility status to the learner 
Displays a single cell of the mastery view, the manual override asterisk, the Out of Date icon, and the Not Published icon
Figure: Displays a single cell of the mastery view, the manual override asterisk, the Out of Date icon, and the Not Published icon

Insights – Additional cards on the New Engagement Dashboard

The new Engagement dashboard contains visualizations that provide insight into how users are engaging with their courses. Using this information, users can identify at-risk learners and intervene to get them back on track. To increase the value of the Engagement dashboard, originally released in March 2019, and updated in November 2020, this release updates and adds the following new features:

  • The Discussion Summary pie chart indicates the number of discussion threads created, replied to, and read. If you hover over a pie segment, a popup appears with a number and description of the segment. This is helpful for understanding the proportion of passive or active social engagement.  If you click a segment, the rest of the Engagement dashboard automatically filters the returned data for the learners represented by the segment. This is also summarized in the results table.
  • The System Access summary card indicates the number of users who have not accessed the system in the previous 14 days. This can include access of Brightspace Pulse or Brightspace through their internet browser. This is also summarized in the results table.
  • The ability to take action from the dashboard by exporting the results table or emailing one or many users.  Users require permission to see and send emails at the Org Level in order to take advantage of the email option. 

Note: The default setting for this feature continues to be Opt-in.

The Engagement Dashboard with the Discussion Activity and System Access areas highlighted.
Figure: The Engagement Dashboard with the Discussion Activity and System Access areas highlighted.  

Quizzes – Improved workflow for creating multi-select questions

As part of the ongoing initiative to improve the quiz creation experience for instructors, this release streamlines the interface for creating multi-select questions, making the workflow simpler and more intuitive.

When instructors initially launch the Question Editor to create a multi-select question, the interface displays the two main components of a multi-select question: the question and potential answers. Selecting a field displays a pop-up toolbar for formatting the text and adding images, links, and graphical equations. As each field is completed, the preview pane displays how the question and answers appear to learners. 

Next, instructors can choose to click Options to add the following optional information to the multi-select question: Add FeedbackAdd HintAdd Short Description, and Add Enumeration.

Instructors can then choose to randomize the order of answers, assign points, and determine how points are assigned to blanks.

For determining how points are assigned to blanks, a new grading type is available in the classic and new multi-select question experience: Correct Answers, Limited Selections. For this grading type, points are evenly distributed across correct answers only. The number of selections allowed is limited to the number of correct answers. Learners earn partial points for each correct answer selected. 

Question text and answers in the new multi-select question experience
Figure: Question text and answers in the new multi-select question experience

Quizzes – Improvements to the ability to retake incorrect questions in quizzes

Building on the previous Quizzes – Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts, there are several improvements to increase the value of the feature: 

  • Instructors can now identify retaken attempts in the Attempt log. 
  • Instructors can now identify a Retaken Attempt while grading a quiz in the Quizzes tool on the User tab and the Attempts tab.   
The Attempt log indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz.
Figure: The Attempt log indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz.
The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz.
Figure: The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz.


If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:
519-824-4120 ext. 56939

Continuous Delivery Updates for December 2019

Students and Instructors

Dropbox – File size information in submission receipt email

File size information now displays next to the file name in the submission receipt email sent to learners upon making a submission to a Dropbox submission folder.

Dropbox – Submission ID displays for Learners

A new column that displays Submission ID information is visible to learners on the View Feedback page in Dropbox. The ID can be useful when troubleshooting issues with Dropbox submissions.

Submission ID visible to learners when reviewing Submission Feedback information
Figure: Submission ID visible to learners when reviewing Submission Feedback information

Release Conditions – Learners are notified when a release condition triggers new content

In a course that uses release conditions to unlock additional content, learners previously were not informed when new content became available as a result of a release condition that was satisfied. Because there was no automatic notification or refresh of the table of contents, there was the potential for frustration when learners think they are done a module, and are later informed that there are steps left to be completed.

Now, when release conditions are satisfied, the learner is notified using a pop-up (“toast”) message that there are new items available in the course.

Instructors Only

Content – Sort HTML templates in alphanumeric filename order

To make it easier to find HTML templates when using Content, instructors can select the new Sort HTML Templates by name option from the Content Settings page in Content. Selecting this new option sorts templates in alphanumeric order based on filename. Previously, HTML templates were sorted alphanumerically based on directory structure.

The new Sort HTML Templates by name option in the Content Settings page
Figure: The new Sort HTML Templates by name option in the Content Settings page

Quick Eval – Display unevaluated submissions past course end date

Previously, unevaluated learner submissions were removed from Quick Eval when a course’s end date was reached. A new option has been set to display unevaluated learner submissions for 7 days beyond a course’s end date. This allows instructors to continue to use Quick Eval for courses past their end date for that specified amount of time.


If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:
519-824-4120 ext. 56939

Continuous Delivery Updates for December 2018

Students and Instructors

Rubrics – Display Graded Rubric Feedback in Gradebook

In the June 2018/10.8.2 release, the user experience for rubrics was improved to allow learners to view their graded rubric feedback in Gradebook for discussions, dropbox, and quizzes.

For instructors, this change impacted how they used rubrics with activities. They could assess discussions, dropbox or quizzes from the corresponding tool, and the completed rubric displayed in its entirety in Gradebook (if the activity had a linked grade).

As of the December 2018/10.8.8 release, this functionality is turned on by default and is not configurable.

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Change Dropbox and Submission Type

If no learner submissions have been made to a dropbox, instructors can change the dropbox type and submission type. This allows for existing folders to be modified without the need to create a new folder.

Dropbox – Evaluate Submissions by Clicking Learner Names

On the Submissions page, instructors can now click on a learner’s name to access the Evaluate Submission page. Previously this action allowed instructors to email learners. Emails can still be sent from the Submissions page by selecting the check box beside a learner’s name, and clicking Email.

Dropbox – Improved Evaluation Experience

The Evaluate Submission page has been updated to improve the evaluation experience for instructors with the following features:

  • To download a submission, instructors now click on the submission’s file name.
  • The Markup Document button has been replaced by a Launch Turnitin link for assignments that have Turnitin enabled.
  • The Publish and Save Draft buttons now display at the bottom of the page and are not confined to the Evaluation and Feedback pane.
  • An additional link to access the Next Student now displays next to the Publish and Save Draftbuttons at the bottom of the page.

Discussions – Improvements to the Rubrics Grading Experience

Grading with rubrics in Discussions now offers new functions and an improved workflow. The new design makes for an easier grading experience and is optimized for use on mobile devices.

New rubrics features include:

  • All rubric assessments and feedback updates for discussions and grade items now automatically save in draft state while updates are in progress
  • Rubrics in draft state are not visible to learners until the instructor selects Save & Publish, at which time learners can immediately view their feedback from Dropbox, Content, Discussions, Grades and User Progress
  • Instructors can choose to bulk publish feedback to all or select users at once, such as for an entire class or group
  • New Retract Feedback option enables instructors to remove published feedback from view of learners for changes to the Total Score. The Overall Score and Overall Feedback portions of the rubric can be edited without retraction
  • A grading pop-up window for easier grading that contains all rubrics for the discussion, a place to enter Overall Feedback, and a list of posts that the student has made
  • When grading on mobile devices, vertical margins are reduced for easier viewing

Quizzes – Add Initial Text to Written Response Questions

Instructors can add initial text to Written Response questions in the new Question Experience. Previously instructors could not add initial text into the answers for Written Response questions.

Quizzes – Opt-in for New Quiz Experience Removed

Users can no longer opt out of the new quiz experience.

Rubrics – Improved Rubric Creation Experience

To offer instructors a more streamlined approach to authoring rubric levels and criteria, this release introduces a new, opt-in rubric creation experience. Specifically, the Rubrics tool includes the following enhancements:

  • Quickly create and edit rubric levels and criteria inline using an auto-save experience
  • Easily change rubric type and scoring method during rubric creation
    Re-order criterion via drag and drop or keyboard
  • Improved logic for point-based rubrics, where new levels automatically follow existing point scoring sequences
  • Individual criterion cells in custom point rubrics dynamically scale when editing the criterion out-of value
  • Overall Score is visually separated from the rubric, displaying in its own section


If you have any questions about the updates, please contact CourseLink Support at:
519-824-4120 ext. 56939