What’s New with D2L Brightspace in July

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Accessibility, Activity Feed, Assignments, Pulse App, Class Progress, Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups, New Content Experience, Portfolio, Quick Eval, Quizzes, Surveys, Widgets, 

Accessibility – Blackboard Ally integration | New

Ally is a content accessibility service that guide instructors on how to improve the accessibility of their course content and alter future behavior. Ally also automatically checks for accessibility issues and generates alternative accessible formats. Additionally, Ally provides institution-wide reporting available to administrators on course content accessibility and drives further improvements at their institution. This integration is an additional fee and would require additional

Accessibility – Compliance with WCAG 2.1 | Updated

As part of our ongoing commitment to design and develop against WC3 accessibility best practices, there are updates to our shared web components, such as fonts, buttons, menus, and input fields, to ensure they align with WCAG 2.1 standards. These changes include:

  • Text color change from #56A5C to #494C4E for our standard font styles, which is WCAG Level AAA compliant.
  • Resetting clients to “Normal” for their Org default size to ensure that default configurations have appropriate legibility. In addition, the configuration option for setting a font override at the Org level has been removed. Users can still change their personal font preferences using Account Settings and existing individual user overrides are retained.
  • Changes to the color, borders, hover and focus styles of other web components such as buttons, menus and input fields to ensure they comply with WCAG 2.1 color contrast requirements for non-text components.

These changes will improve readability and provide better ability to meet contrast compliance with non-text elements. 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. These compliance changes contain no changes to workflows; all changes are look and feel only.

Activity Feed – Pin multiple posts | Updated

Instructors can pin more than one post to the top of their Activity Feed. Previously, only one post could be pinned at a time. This allow instructors to highlight more than one important post at a time to ensure that students do not miss critical posts.

Activity Feed – Support for courses with sections | Updated

Activity Feed posts can now be sent to specific sections in a course. Previously, posts and comments were available to all users in a course and could not be restricted based on section. If an instructor is enrolled in more than one section of a course, they can specify which sections can view the post. Instructors can also filter their course activity feed by a section, allowing them to focus on posts from a specific section.

Assignments – Edit category improvements | Updated

An Edit Categories option is now available in Assignments to allow users to edit all categories from one page. You can add, modify, delete, and sort categories, as well as manage unused categories. If a category with assignments is deleted, those assignments are added to the No Category area.

Assignments – Eraser added to Annotations | Updated

An eraser has been added to the Annotations tool bar to allow evaluators to remove ink annotations made when evaluating assignment submissions.

Brightspace Pulse – Improvements to notifications | New

To ensure that learners receive more up-to-date information in Brightspace Pulse, they now receive push notifications for all updates. This removes the need to manually check for update notifications. When a learner receives an update notification, an update icon displays in the 37172Notifications tab.

With this update, the Share icon (share_ios on iOS and share_android Android) is removed from notifications in Brightspace Pulse, the capability to share notifications with other learners is no longer available. Previously, learners could share notifications by tapping the Share icon to share a notification via instant message, email, or social media.

Class Progress – Default indicator change | Updated

Class Progress has two Content tool indicator graphs: Content Visited and Content Completed. In this release, the default is switching from Content Visited to Content Completed to better reflect learner progress through the completion of Content activities. The change will apply to all users who utilize the default settings of Class Progress. Any users that have overridden any of their Class Progress indicators will not see a change. Users who want to have Content Completed appear can switch indicators using the Class Progress settings in their course.

Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups – Display % Progress setting for Course Completion Tracking | Updated

Course Completion Tracking available in the Manager Dashboard and Learning Groups can now display a progress bar that shows the progress of a learner through a course as a percentage. This Display % Progresssetting calculates the percentage of course completion based on the number of completed topics out of the total topics available in a course. The Display % Progress bar with the calculated percentage of completion appears on the following pages:

  • Manager Dashboard – Course Page (for each learner in the table)
  • Manager Dashboard – User Page / Active Courses tab (for each course in the table)
  • Learning Groups – Course Page (for each learner in the table)
  • Learning Groups – User Page / Active Courses tab (for each course in the table)

Display % Progress is available on the Course Completion Tracking page. Course Completion Tracking must be enabled for each course.

Note that Display % Progress is selected by default when enabling Course Completion Tracking for each course, although users can deselect this option to retain the original text-based Course Completion Tracking indicator.

New Content Experience – Enhanced table of contents for learners | New

To improve the new Content experience for learners, the table of contents contains the following usability enhancements:

  • When clicking the table of contents icon, the menu panel now appears inline on the page, displaying selected content in full. Previously, selected content was partially obscured by the menu.
  • The state of the table of contents persists from session to session, allowing learners to easily resume from where they left off. For example, an open module in the table of contents remains open after logging in again.

Portfolio – Assign categories to tag evidence | New

Learners can now assign categories to tag the evidence they collect with Portfolio. This allows learners to choose how they organize evidence for viewing. Previously, learners organized evidence as cards in a pre-determined format.

Quick Eval – Improvements to Quick Eval | Updated

To improve the Quick Eval experience, the following updates are now available:

  • The Manage Discussions permission is no longer required to evaluate discussion topic submissions using Quick Eval
  • The Back to Quick Eval button directs users to the Quick Eval tool at the course level or org level, depending on where you launched it from
  • Different date formats are supported in the Submission Date column

Quizzes – Early preview of Quiz Builder | Updated

This feature includes a preview of work flows related to reordering quiz questions using keyboard interaction in the Quiz Builder, which you can enable in test environments or production environments in sandbox or non-live courses.

Once this read-only preview feature is turned on at the course level, instructors can then opt in / opt out of the new experience. D2L does not recommend using this feature in live production courses in its preview form.Quiz Builder is expected to be ready for use in production environments as of the August 20.19.8 release.

Once turned on, you can preview the new Quiz Builder experience by clicking Add/Edit Questions on the quiz Properties tab. The updated Add/Edit Questions screen provides a preview of the option to reorder questions and move between sections using keyboard interaction in the new experience. The experience is accessible when using assistive technologies. A drag and drop experience is expected to be released in the August 20.19.8 release.

When you opt out of the Quiz builder experience, you are prompted to leave feedback on the new design.

Surveys – Improvements to the learner experience | Updated

To improve the learner experience when taking a survey, the following updates are now available:

  • The primary button when completing a Survey has been updated from Save Responses to read as Submit Survey. Learners will continue to be prompted to confirm their submission when they submit the survey
  • Learners can still save survey answers manually. The Save button now reads as Save Responses
  • A new Back to Questions button is displayed when attempting to submit a survey with unanswered questions
  • While learners are taking an anonymous survey, an alert appears at the top of the survey indicating that the survey is anonymous and their user information will not be tied to their responses

Widgets – Updates to Lang Terms for Updates Widget and My Courses Widget | Updated

There are changes to lang term values to increase the clarity of the fields in the Updates Widget, the My Courses Widget, and Assignments (displayed in Grades) to more clearly describe the capability of the feature.

In the Updates widget:

  • Show the number of new assignment submissions is now Show the number of unread submission files
  • New Assignment Submissions for {subject} is now New Assignment Submission Files for {subject}

In the My Courses Widget:

  • Unread Assignment Submission is now Unread Assignment Submission File
  • New Assignment Submissions is now New Assignment Submission Files
  • Unread Assignment Submissions is now Unread Assignment Submission Files
  • New Assignment Submissions is now New Assignment Submission Files
  • Show the number of new assignment submissions is now Show the number of unread submission files
  • {number} Unread Assignment Submission is now {number} Unread Assignment Submission Files. Note: This lang term cannot be changed by users.

In Assignments (displayed in Grades):

  • New submission – View {subject}’s submissions in a new window is now Unread submission file – View {subject}’s submissions in a new window