Continuous Delivery Updates for September 2020

Instructors and Students

CourseLink Platform – Refreshed Components Visual Design and Accessibility Updates

To establish a modern and consistent visual design across products and tools in the Brightspace platform, this release refreshes the design of toggles.

Note: Due to the broad scope of the refreshed visual design, some user interface components were refreshed in the August 2020 release. As this work continues, you will see more user interface components refreshed in upcoming releases.

To improve accessibility in user interface components, screen readers now correctly identify switches in CourseLink as toggles. This helps more accurately identify the state of a toggle to users as “pressed” (on) or “not pressed” (off). Previously, switches were identified as radio buttons that were “On” or “Off,” which was not as accurate or helpful to users. 

Note: Implementations of this update may differ slightly between types of screen readers.

For example, when a toggle is on, an NVDA screen reader now reads the information as:
Availability   column 4  Accelerator  toggle button  pressed  checked  

And when a toggle is off, an NVDA screen reader now reads the information as:
Availability  column 4  Accelerator  toggle button  not pressed 

The previous visual design of a toggle
Figure: The previous visual design of a toggle
The new visual design of a toggle
Figure: The new visual design of a toggle

Brightspace Pulse for iOS – View Activity Feed Posts and Comments

To keep up to date on course activity, learners can now read Activity Feed posts and comments, if used in the course, in Brightspace Pulse for iOS. Learners can also receive Activity Feed notifications. For example, in courses with Activity Feed enabled, instructors can use Activity Feed to post reminders about upcoming assignments and links to course materials. Learners then receive notifications about those posts in Brightspace Pulse, allowing them to view post details from the course homepages. Future releases will allow learners to post or reply to posts, if they have the appropriate permissions.

From the Courses tab, tapping a course displays the course homepage. The latest post and any associated comments display in the Activity Feed.

From the Notifications tab, tapping an Activity Feed notification displays the associated post or comment in the Activity Feed.

Discussions – Visual Word Count for Discussion Posts

A visual word count is now visible in the HTML Editor for discussion posts. All words in a discussion post are counted and include filler words such as “the,” “if,” and “to.” 

The word count is dynamically displayed to learners while they type in the HTML Editor and it also appears next to posts they have created in the Discussions Reading View. Learners can view the word count for their posts only.

For instructors, the word count appears on the Assessment page during the discussions assessment process and it also appears inline with the post details in the Discussions Reading View. Instructors can view the word count for all user posts.

A discussion post with the dynamically displayed word count
Figure: A discussion post with the dynamically displayed word count

Instructors Only

Classlist Linked Microsoft Security Group

Classlist Linked Microsoft Security Groups are the result of a project between CCS and OpenEd. These security groups create and maintain Microsoft Security Groups whose membership match a linked CourseLink Classlist. The security group memberships are updated daily, ensuring any new or dropped students are reflected within a 24-hour window throughout the semester. These security groups can then be can be used to grant and limit access to O365 resources such as Stream videos, OneDrive resources and Teams – Live Events.

Please see the step-by-step instructions on the OpenEd support website for this topic: Microsoft Security Group

Dropbox – Additional Functionality in the New Creation Experience

Building on the functionality added to the new create and edit assignment experience in the August 2020 release, you can now do the following:

  1. Add special access conditions to assignments
The new Dropbox creation experience with Special Access functionality
Figure: The new Dropbox creation experience with Special Access functionality
  1. Receive a notification email when assignments are submitted
The new Dropbox creation experience with Notification Email functionality
Figure: The new Dropbox creation experience with Notification Email functionality

Class/User Progress -Include Pulse Activity in Usage Data

Learner activity data is now captured more accurately through the addition of a new system usage metric. Previously, Pulse usage was not tracked, and learners who accessed their courses through the app were misrepresented as having low engagement and could not access conditionally released content.

These changes affect the following areas of Brightspace:

  • Class Progress has a new System Access performance indicator, which displays the number of times each course participant has accessed the system through the Learning Environment or Pulse in the last 30 days. Instructors can add System Access to the Class Progress dashboard by clicking Settings.
  • User Progress has a new System Access History section, which displays the number of times the user has accessed the system through the Learning Environment or Pulse in the last 30 days. Instructors can select System Access History to display in the User Progress report by clicking Settings
Class Progress dashboard showing System Access indicator
Figure: Class Progress dashboard showing System Access indicator

Question Library – Attach Files in Arithmetic and Significant Figures Questions

Building on the attach files in Written Response questions functionality released in the August 2020 release, when creating arithmetic and significant figures questions, instructors can now allow learners to include external files with their responses and record audio or video responses when answering these question types.

When grading a quiz, similar to the behavior in the Discussions tool, instructors can view a list of attachments, download them, or open them in another tab. When reviewing their submission in Submission View, the learner can see their uploaded attachment if allowed to see their responses.

To support attachment responses, Quizzes data sets and quiz reporting enhancements will be released in the November 2020 release. 

The updated Arithmetic questions screen
Figure: The updated Arithmetic questions screen

Question Library – Search for and select Questions in Question Library Sections

This feature enables instructors to search for sections in Question Library by section title, as well as the ability to select and import the section in its entirety from the search results list. Previously, you could only search for questions by question text and you could not select sections in the search results.

The updated search and select capability in Question Library
Figure: The updated search and select capability in Question Library

Quiz Builder – Enhanced Question Reordering

To simplify the movement and reordering of questions in Quiz Builder, a new Move To option is visible when a question is selected. The Move To option allows questions to be moved to the Top of the QuizBottom of the Quiz, or to a specific section within the quiz.

Previously, to move multiple questions into a section, instructors had to individually drag the questions into the desired section. Now, instructors can select multiple questions and move them all at once using the Move To menu. The drag and drop reordering of questions has not been affected by this feature and remains available.

The Move To option is visible once quiz questions are selected
Figure: The Move To option is visible once quiz questions are selected

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 September 2019

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Students and Instructors

Dropbox – Grades entered in Dropbox and Grades are synchronized

When an instructor enters a grade for a Dropbox submission in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the submission in Dropbox. Previously, grades entered in the Dropbox tool were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for Dropbox submissions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Dropbox tool. This change ensures data consistency between Dropbox and Grade Book. Currently, Dropbox grades are not synchronized when the Grade Book is exported and imported.

Discussions – Grades entered in Discussions and Grades are synchronized

When an instructor enters a grade for a discussion in the standard or spreadsheet view of Grade Book, the grade also appears with the discussion post in Discussions. Previously, grades entered in the Discussion were passed on to Grade Book; however, grades for discussions entered in Grade Book were not passed to the Discussions tool. This change ensures data consistency between Discussions and Grade Book. Currently, Discussion grades are not synchronized when the Grade Book is exported and imported.

Instructors Only

Assessment Quality Dashboard Support for Question Pools

This feature includes the following updates:

  • The addition of quizzes with question pools.
  • The inclusion of a new column in the question statistics table that indicates whether the question is part of a question pool. Question Pool data will take two weeks to migrate following this update and then quizzes with question pools will be included.

Quick Eval – Activities View

In Quick Eval, select Activities to display a list of the assessable activities that have items awaiting evaluation in all your courses. An activity shows up in Quick Eval’s Activities view when there is an unevaluated learner submission, or when all students have not submitted to the activity. This view makes it easy to complete all assessments for one assignment, discussion, or quiz, before moving on to the next task. This feature helps evaluators who prefer to evaluate submissions in the context of an activity. Activities view displays indicators to show the progress on submissions, progress on evaluations, and progress on publishing feedback to learners. It also includes links to the evaluation page, submission page, and a publish all action.

Release Conditions – Release condition for topic completion

The Completed content topic is a new release condition that is met when a user completes a content topic. The method of completing the topic depends on the type, such as viewing a file or submitting an assignment. Similar to the currently available Visited content topic release condition, optional topics can also trigger this release condition.

This release condition ignores exemptions, meaning that if the learner completes the activity, the release condition can be met, regardless of the activity being required, optional, or exempt.

The Completed content topic release condition is now available from the Condition Type drop-down list.
Figure: The Completed content topic release condition is now available from the Condition Type drop-down list.

Article – Anonymous Marking

The Teaching and Learning Technologies group at OpenEd has released a new article on Anonymous Marking and how it can be used in CourseLink to the benefit of instructors and students.

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 September 2018

Students and Instructors

Content – Print/Download Function added to Course Outline

Users can now download and print an uploaded syllabus from the Course Outline area of Content. Note that when viewing a PDF file only Download is visible, while all other document types will display both Download and Print options.

Figure: The Download and Print buttons as they appear in the Course Outline area

Wiggio – End-of-life for virtual meetings

The ability to schedule Wiggio virtual meetings is no longer available in Brightspace Learning Environment. For more information on the end of life of Wiggio virtual meetings, visit the blog post on Brightspace Community.

Instructors Only

Discussions – Create groups and section threads in existing topics

Administrators and instructors can now associate existing discussion topics to a new group or section during the group or section creation process. In addition, users can associate existing discussion topics to groups or sections not associated with any other discussion topic. Note that users can only choose existing discussion topics that have no existing discussion posts for association. This feature is useful for creating groups or sections after copying a course, or if discussion topics are accidentally created before groups or sections.

Figure: The Set up discussion areas option, as seen when creating new groups or sections

Grades – Add grade release date to Grade Event Log

This feature enables instructors with the Manage Grades permission to view the exact date and time a learner’s grade is released or unreleased. The Grade Event Log now includes a column that displays the type of event that occurred (Grade Released and / or Grade Unreleased) in addition to the existing Grade Updated events. As a result, instructors can review and validate the dates a learner’s grades were released or unreleased.

Groups and Sections – Differentiate between similar learner names in groups and sections

Instructors can now differentiate between duplicate learner names by displaying the username or Org Defined Id beside a learner’s name. Instructors can enable this option in both the Manage Groups and Manage Sections tools.

Figure: The learner Org Defined Id, as it appears beside the learner’s name

HTML Editor – Add quicklinks to content modules, submodules and Course Outline

Users can now link directly to content modules, submodules, and Course Outline (if available) from the Insert Quicklink option in the HTML editor. This change allows users to insert quicklinks to specific portions of course content within any tool with the HTML Editor. Previously, only a link to the Content tool was available from the Insert Quicklink option in the HTML editor.

HTML Editor – Chemistry equation writing available in the equation editor

A chemistry equation writing function is now available in the HTML Editor. Users can select this feature directly within the equation editor.

For those instructors not familiar with the equation editor, here’s a quick video showing how it’s used.

Import/Export/Copy Components – Copy awards between courses

When copying components between courses, administrators and instructors can now choose to include awards and their release conditions. This allows instructors to reuse awards across different courses and sections in CourseLink.

Video Assignments and Virtual Classrooms by YouSeeU – Interface and workflow improvements

Users of Video Assignments and Virtual Classrooms by YouSeeU will notice improved interface designs and functions starting September 26, 2018.

What’s available September 26, 2018:

  • An updated Virtual Classroom experience
    • Parts of Virtual Classroom will have a new look and feel, but will function in much the same way with:
      • A redesigned network health indicator
Figure: Comparison of the old and new health indicator
  • Redesigned drawing tools
Figure: Redesigned drawing tools
  • A redesigned poll creator
Figure: Redesigned poll creator
  • The updated page will also auto-refresh and automatically launch attendees into the meeting at its designated start time
  • Desktop share improvements for Virtual Classroom
    • Pause used to freeze the screen during a live session, but continue to show the moderators screen during the recording playback — pause will now freeze the screen during playback as well
    • Users can now share Google Chrome tabs (can isolate down to a single tab without having to share your entire browser)
  • Separate ‘end meeting’ and ‘leave’ options in Virtual Classroom (prior there was only ‘leave’)
Figure: End meeting options
  • Safari will support Question & Answer Video Assignment on iOS
  • Safari will support Virtual Classroom on iOS
  • A warning will appear when a user clicks on the button to stop recording a meeting.
Figure: Stop recording button

Contact

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

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