What’s New In Brightspace in October 2021

Brightspace Learning Environment

Assignments – Preview Activity in Evaluation mode | Updated

Previously, users who did not have edit permissions for assignments could not preview assignments. As a result, not all evaluator types could see assignment information such as assignment instructions, start date, or due dates.

Now, in Evaluation mode, there is a Preview Activity option in the Assignment context menu to see a preview of the assignment. Evaluators with the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders permission can use the Preview Activity option to view the assignment information, but cannot edit the assignment properties or dates.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to evaluators that do not have edit permissions for assignments due to the new ability to preview assignments. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that evaluator roles without edit permissions have the See and Manage Assignment Submission Folders permission in order to use the preview.

Brightspace Editor – Drag/drop and copy/paste images | Updated

This feature complements the Brightspace Editor functionality as released in the Brightspace Editor – Improvements | Updated feature released in May 2021 / 20.21.5.
The drag/drop and copy/paste functionality of images is now available in the following areas that contain no user-specific data.

  • Content Module/Topic Descriptions
  • Quiz/Survey/Self-Assessment – Description, Header. Footer
  • Grades – Description
  • Content Course Overview descriptions
  • Discussion Forum/Topic descriptions
Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to users due to the copy/paste and drag/drop functionality being available across more areas in Brightspace Learning Environment. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all users.

Brightspace Editor – Email notifications for users tagged in discussion posts and threads | Updated

The new Discussions – mentioned in a discussion post or thread option appears in the Notification Administration page (Admin Tools menu > User Related > Notifications > Notification Defaults) when the following configuration variables are turned on:

  • d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions
  • d2l.Tools.Discuss.Notifications

The d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions configuration variable is turned off by default.

When the above configuration variables are turned on by your administrator, the Discussions – mentioned in a discussion post or thread option is displayed to all users under the Instant Notifications area (on the minibar, click on your username > Notifications > Instant Notifications).

If your administrator has enabled the Discussions – mentioned in a discussion post or thread option under Notification Defaults (Admin Tools menu > User Related > Notifications > Notification Defaults) the new Discussions – mentioned in a discussion post or thread option under the Instant Notifications area (your username > Notifications > Instant Notifications) is enabled by default for all newly created users. Users can disable this option if required.

The ability to tag users is controlled by multiple permissions. A role must have the following permissions to use the @mention functionality when it is enabled for their organization unit:

  • User Information Privacy > See First Names*
  • User Information Privacy > See Last Names*
  • Users Search for {role}

When a user is tagged, their profile is linked to their tagged name. To view the profile of another user, the following permission is required:

  • User Profile > View Other Users’ Profiles
Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to enable the email notification defaults for new users. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that the d2l.Tools.WYSIWYG.Mentions configuration variable is turned ON for the organization units that want to use @mentions. It is set to OFF by default.

The d2l.Tools.Discuss.Notifications configuration variable is turned ON by default.

To set email notification as a default option for newly created users, in the Admin Tools menu > User Related > Notifications > Notification Defaults area, select the Discussions – mentioned in a discussion post or thread option.

Ensure that the following permissions are turned on for the required roles:

  • User Information Privacy > See First Names*
  • User Information Privacy > See Last Names*
  • Users Search for {role}
  • User Profile > View Other Users’ Profiles

Brightspace Pulse – Operating system support | Updated

The latest version of Brightspace Pulse is supported on devices with iOS® 12+ or AndroidTM 6.0+ (2015 release). Older versions of Brightspace Pulse will continue to work on devices with iOS 11 or Android 5.0, but will not receive any app updates. For an optimal experience, D2L recommends installing the latest version of Brightspace Pulse on devices with iOS 12+ or Android 6.0+.

Impact of Change Technical Details
No impact to administrators. Availability: This feature is available to Brightspace Pulse clients in all regions.

To enable: Download the latest version of Brightspace Pulse, available from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®. The app is generally released at the beginning of the month, and then sometimes mid-month, if issues are found. Depending on how your device is configured, the app may update automatically, or you may have to manually check for new versions.

Slight impact to learners due to updated operating system support. N/A

Content – Add Print Button to PDF file types | Updated

This feature adds the option to print PDF file types to Classic Content.

The Print button is visible when viewing a PDF topic or the Course Overview as a PDF. This button will also only appear for users with Compile and Print Content permission.

No option to print PDFs was previously available.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to users due to the ability to print PDF files. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Content users, regardless of whether the d2l.Tools.DocumentViewers.CustomPdfRendererEnabled is on or off.

Content – Customize language terms in the New Content Experience | New

With this release, administrators can use the Language Management tool to override default language terms in the New Content Experience, not including the New Learner Experience. This allows administrators to use terminology that is consistent with their organization, for example, using custom terms for “unit,” “lesson,” and “folder.” Previously, language terms in the New Content Experience were not customizable.

Language terms for the New Content Experience are located in:

  • Package: Content; Collection: NewExperience
  • Package: Content; Collection: Lessons
  • Package: WebComponents; Collection: d2l-activities\activityEditor
Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to administrators due to the ability to customize language terms in the New Content Experience. Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Use the Language Management tool to customize language terms that appear in the New Content Experience.

Slight impact to instructors and learners due to custom language terms that may display in the New Content Experience. N/A

Course Import – View Course Import history | New

Users can now view the history of course import attempts for courses in a specific org unit. From the Import/Export/Copy tool on Course Admin, users can view the Course Import History page, which includes the following information for each course import attempt:

  • the original package name
  • status of the import
  • user who created the import job
  • the timestamp for the import attempt

The content is sorted by Start Time (Descending) by default. After users have viewed the page, they can return to the Import/Export/Copy Components landing page in the Course Administration or click View Import Log to see a more detailed log. The log opens at the last line for the conversion you are viewing.

Impact of Change Technical Details
Slight impact to course designers and instructors who can check the import history for a course. Availability: This feature is available to all clients

To enable: Ensure that the user has the Import/Export/Copy Components > Import Content Packages permission for their role.