Continuous Delivery Updates for October 2020

Instructor Only

Automated Quiz Extension Tool

OpenEd, in partnership with SAS, has developed an automated quiz extension tool that will automatically apply a quiz extension using Special Access in quizzes for students registered with SAS.

The tool is easy to use, simply add the word SAS to the quiz footer.

For more information, please see the Automated Quiz Extension Tool CourseLink Support documentation page.

Quick Eval – User Interface Improvements

Quick Eval is now listed in the Course Admin page under the Assessment category.

Quiz Builder – Question Import Improvements

This feature updates question importing options in Quiz Builder. When importing questions from Question Library, users can now use the default end of quiz location for the questions, or choose to import the questions into a section. Previously, all questions imported from the Question Library were placed at the end of the Quiz by default, with no ability to select a specific quiz section.

The Import drop-down menu now shows the Import to Section option on the Browse Question Library screen
Figure: The Import drop-down menu now shows the Import to Section option on the Browse Question Library screen

Quizzes – Editing Quizzes with Previous Attempts

Points for all past quiz attempts are no longer modified when edits are made that affect the overall points and/or the grading calculations for a quiz. In the previous release, this update extended only to quizzes with attempts started after the June 2020 release. Now, all previous quizzes with attempts will display the quiz and grading calculations that appeared to the learner at the exact time they made the attempt.


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

Continuous Delivery Updates for October 2019

Students and Instructors

Accessibility – Compliance with WCAG 2.1 level AA | Updated

As part of D2L’s ongoing commitment to design and develop against WC3 accessibility best practices, CourseLink now aligns to the updated WCAG 2.1 level AA standards in both compliance reporting and all new development work. It is D2L’s intention to be an industry leader in inclusive design, and these changes improve support for individuals with alternative fine motor, cognition, and low vision needs. There are no major changes to workflows with these improvements; however, we have updated our shared components, such as fonts, buttons, menus, and input fields to better support WCAG 2.1 level AA requirements and recommendations. These changes include:

  • Adding input type and auto-complete to appropriate fields to facilitate a user’s ability to complete forms.
  • Adding escape key commands where appropriate to components that appear on hover or focus.
  • Updating components that activate on down event to ensure that a user can cancel actions.
  • Improving color contrast on additional components in CourseLink.

Supported browsers | Updated

As previously announced in the August release, Microsoft Internet Explorer is approaching End of Life (EOL) status as a supported browser. Starting January 2020, CourseLink will no longer support Internet Explorer. To provide more visibility about this upcoming change, when an existing user logs in to CourseLink using Internet Explorer, a banner now informs the user about the approaching EOL date. The banner also includes a recommendation to upgrade their browser and a link to the EOL communication on the Brightspace Community. After logging in, the user can dismiss the banner for that session. For each subsequent session, the banner displays; however, the user can dismiss it.

The Internet Explorer End of Life banner in CourseLink.
Figure: The Internet Explorer End of Life banner in CourseLink.

Brightspace Pulse – iOS support | Updated

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

Instructors Only

Dropbox, Quizzes, Discussions – Change to immersive navigation bar

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

Evaluating an assignment with the new immersive navigation bar.
Figure: Evaluating an assignment with the new immersive navigation bar.

CourseLink – Improvements to consistency

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

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

  • The visibility control now uses a checkbox with the consistent terminology Hide from users in all instances. This change affects the Dropbox, Discussions, Quizzes, Surveys, and Grades (grade item and grade category) tools.
  • In Discussions, the VisibilityAvailability Dates, and Locking options move from the Properties tab to the Restrictions tab.
  • The Hide from users checkbox appears under the title field of all activity creation pages in the Content tool.
  • There is now only one Special Access icon in Quizzes (previously there were two, one for each type of Special Access). The Special Access icon also now appears in Dropbox where it previously did not.
  • In the Grade book, on the context menu for a grade item, the Grade All option is now Enter Grades.
  • In the Grade Item and Grade Category event log, the End Date Restriction and Start Date Restriction properties are now Availability End Date and Availability Start Date.

Intelligent Agents – Email Attachments

You can now add attachments to automated email messages when creating and editing intelligent agents. The intelligent agent email template contains an Attachments area that enables you to upload local files, select from available course files, or record audio.

Links – Improved link validation

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

Quick Eval – Accessibility improvements to Activities view

To increase the accessibility of the Activities view in Quick Eval, the feature is now compatible with screen reader technology.

Quizzes – Enter as User permission

Instructors can now use the Enter In-Progress Quiz as User permission. With this change, users marking quizzes can impersonate students to submit the quiz on behalf of the student. Administrators can be sure that there are no privacy infringement issues, and instructors will not accidentally infringe on a learner’s privacy.


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

Continuous Delivery Updates for October 2018

Students and Instructors

Quizzes – Auto-Save During Quiz Taking

Learners’ quiz responses are now automatically saved during the quiz taking process. For forced response questions (such as Multiple Choice and True or False), learner responses are saved automatically when they select the radio button or checkbox. Text input questions autosave every 10 to 15 seconds, and html-enabled questions save when the mouse cursor is clicked outside the quiz response input area. Autosave sends save timestamps to the quizzing log, as the manual save function previously did. For quizzes with multiple pages, quiz responses automatically save upon navigating to a new quiz page. The Save all Responses and Go to Submit Quiz buttons have been removed, and are no longer visible on the quiz page. The only button now visible on the quiz page is Submit Quiz. If internet connectivity is lost during the quiz-taking process, learners can answer questions but are unable to autosave questions or submit the quiz until the connection is restored.

Figure: The autosave function as it appears beside questions, and a simplified left navigation panel

Dropbox – New Dropbox Types

On paper submission and Observed in person submission types are now available in Dropbox. These new submission types do not require users to make a file submission for them to be completed. This allows instructors to create assessments for a wide variety of activities, not just written work, and provide evaluation and feedback for these assessments.

On paper assessments are submitted directly to instructors in class, but allow evaluation and feedback to be completed in CourseLink. A presentation can also be observed in person and evaluated in CourseLink. Both new assessments can be marked as complete by learners, automatically marked as complete on their due date, or marked as complete upon evaluation by the instructor, depending on how the assessment is configured.

The properties tab interface has also been updated to simplify the work flow when creating assessments.

Figure: On paper submission and Observed in person submission types
Figure: Marked as completed options for Observed in person assessments
Figure: Marked as completed options for On paper submissions

Content – Removal of Send to Binder Button

Located on the Table of Contents page in the Content tool, the Send to Binder option allows learners to send course content to their Brightspace Binder accounts to review offline. With Brightspace Binder approaching end-of-life status, the Send to Binder option from the Content tool will no longer be available as of November 1, 2018.

To access course materials offline, learners can use the Brightspace Pulse mobile app.

Descriptive Error Message for Quicklinks to Unavailable Course Activities

A specific error message now appears to users who click a quicklink to a course activity that is outside the availability dates (not yet available or no longer available). The error message appears for the following unavailable activity types:

  • Assignments
  • Content modules
  • Content topics
  • Checklists
  • Discussion topics

Previously, when clicking a quicklink to unavailable activities, users received a non-specific error page that did not clarify the reason they could not access the activity. The updated messaging for unavailable course activities now aligns with existing messages for unavailable quizzes and surveys.

Figure: The new error message that appears when users click a quicklink to an unavailable course activity

Instructors Only

Dropbox – Anonymized Learner Names

To avoid unconscious bias in the grading and feedback process, instructors can now configure assessments to use anonymous learner names. When the feature is turned on, instructors can only see an anonymized learner name on the Dropbox submission.

Updates to Personalization at the Course Level

Users can now apply a color behind the link area on navbars, and set the text color scheme to either light (white) or dark (near black). This change lets users showcase organization colors. Users can change their color options in Navigation and Themes.

Figure: By editing the theme, you can use the defaults or select personalized colors

Quizzes – Removal of Rubrics

Instructors can no longer attach a rubric to a quiz or grade rubrics already attached to a quiz. D2L is currently working on a solution that will allow rubrics attached at the question level.

Rubrics – Improvements to Features and Workflows in the Rubrics Grading Experience in Dropbox

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

New rubrics features include:

  • Rubrics that automatically save in Draft state while updates are in progress. Rubrics in Draft state are not visible to learners until rubric feedback is published, at which time learners can view their feedback from Dropbox, Content, Discussions, Grades and User Progress.
  • Ability to assess rubrics individually or assess all rubrics in the same grading workflow.
  • Separate rubric Total and Overall Score areas. The Total is a numeric value that is automatically calculated, and the value is populated in Grades. The Overall Score indicates level of achievement and is editable by the instructor.

Note that the new features and workflow only apply to grading rubrics without associated Learning Outcomes. If Learning Outcomes are associated with a rubric, the classic rubrics grading workflow remains in place. In addition, the new rubric grading workflow does not yet apply for group Dropbox folders.


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