brightspace updates

Brightspace Updates – 1/21/22

The Brightspace LMS by D2L uses continuous delivery – meaning they roll out small change regularly. We get great new features and get to adjust to a little at a time instead of experiencing a platform overhaul once a year.

Listed below are the newest, most relevant updates. Some of these are pushed out for the whole platform and some are options that have been enable by the admin for our Brightspace version at Meredith College.

January 21, 2022 updates

Video/audio improvements – edit timelines and add chapters and captions. Viewers can also search captions. Videos can be edited from course content or by using the Edit > Advanced Editing option in the Admin Tools menu.  *This is for videos recorded or uploaded to Brightspace. This is not related to our Kaltura video tool.*

Pulse subscription notifications – notification of replies or @ mentions in Discussions are now available in the Pulse app.

December 21, 2021 updates

View past alerts – click the Messages, Subscription, or Updates alerts on the minibar and see alerts from the past 90 days. Previously you could only see 7 days of alerts.

New Discussion evaluation experience – discussion evaluations now have the same layout of assignment evaluations.

Quiz label and dialog updates – some language in the Quiz tool has been changed for clarity. Example: Automatic Grade is now Automatically Publish Evaluation.

November 21, 2021 updates

Drag/drop and copy/paste for images expanded – drag/drop and copy/paste images in the Brightspace text editor now supported in these locations

  • Quizzes > Feedback
  • Grades > Feedback
  • Grades > Comments
  • Discussions > Feedback

PDF inline viewer menu moved – for PDFs embedded inline in the Content area the PDF menu now appears at the top of the embedded page.

Increased email limit – the number of email address that can be added to the To and CC fields for a single email has increased to 200 from 50

File upload warning for users – users now receive a warning if the file extension is not allowed for an Assignment (see the Sept 2021 update) or is restricted for security purposes.  If you’ve restricted the file type for an Assignment, the students will see “This file extension is not allowed”.

October 21, 2021 updates

Assignments preview for non-editors – TAs or assistants that do not have editing permissions for assignments can now preview the assignment instructions from the Evaluation page.  Learn more here.

Brightspace Editor – Email notifications for users tagged in discussion posts and threads – notifies user when there is an @ mention of them in a discussion.

Drag/drop and copy/paste for images – you can now drag/drop and copy/paste images in the Brightspace text editor in these locations. Learn more here.

  • Content Module/Topic Descriptions
  • Quiz/Survey/Self-Assessment – Description, Header. Footer
  • Grades – Description
  • Content Course Overview descriptions
  • Discussion Forum/Topic descriptions

Print button for PDF files – a print button is now available below PDFs that are PDF topics or a Course Overview.

View course import history – on the course import page, there is now a link to View Import History. Learn more here.  You can view 

  • Course package name
  • Import status
  • Creator
  • Timestamp for the attempt

September 21, 2021 updates

Assignment select box grade items and label changes – Assignments now supports creating new select box grade items.  It also changes the grading labels in the assignment tool.   Learn more here.

  • Score out of is now Grade out of
  • In Grades is now In Gradebook
  • Choose in Grades is now Edit or Link to Existing
  • Remove from Grades is now Not in Gradebook

Discussion restriction option label change – some labels have changed to clarify discussion restriction times.  Learn more here.

  • Visible with access restricted before/after start/end. 
  • Visible with submission restricted before/after start/end. 
  • Hidden before/after start/end. 

Discussion evaluation page optin – the discussion evaluation process now resembles the evaluation process used for assignments.  You can currently turn this off and on.  Learn more here

Copy release conditions with your course – when exporting courses, you now have the option to copy and export release conditions.

More information on rubric grade tile – when a rubric is collapsed, you can now see if scoring is complete or incomplete.  Learn more here.

Additional text editor functionality in Rubrics – you can now see a text editor popup bar in different sections of the rubric to bold and align text, add a list, etc.  Learn more here.

brightspace text editor toolbar in rubrics

Img:  brightspace text editor toolbar in rubrics

Copy and delete Criteria Group rubric – copy or delete a whole criteria group on a rubric.  A criteria group can only be deleted if there is more than one criteria group and there are no submissions attached to the rubric. Learn more here.

Restrict submission file types in Assignments restrict which file types are accepted in the file submission upload.  Learn more here.

  • Annotatable files, which include all file types that are supported by the Annotation tool in Assignments. For more information, see File types supported by Annotations. Note: When a .GIF file is converted to PDF, only the first frame of the .GIF displays.
  • PDF only
  • Files that can be previewed without any conversion, such as .HTM, .HTML, .MHT, .MHTML, and .BMP
  • Images and videos
  • Custom filetypes

Set and view user pronouns – users can set their preferred pronouns and view users pronouns on their profile cards.  Learn more here.

August 21, 2021 updates

Evaluation experience permanently changed for Assignments – a toggle has been available to keep the old or try the new evaluation experience.  This change is now permanent and you do not have the option to turn it off. Learn more here.

Brightspace editor replaces HTML editor – the Brightspace editor was already introduced into some areas the platform but it is now the default editor across Brightspace. Learn more here.

brightspace old html editor
Old Brightspace HTML editor
Brightspace new editor layout
Brightspace text editor

Supported browsers – older browser versions will receive a warning or be blocked because they are no longer supported.  Learn more here. You will receive a warning for browsers older than:

  • Chrome 90 
  • Chrome OS Chrome 90 
  • Mobile Chrome 90 
  • Safari 14 
  • Mobile Safari 14 
  • Firefox 88 
  • Chromium-based Microsoft Edge 90

Comment on Activity Feed in Pulse – students can now comment on Activity Feed posts in the Pulse app. Learn more here.

View all grades in Pulse – students can now view all grades in the Pulse app instead of just grades they have received notifications about. Learn more here.

View Module descriptions in Pulse – Content area Module descriptions are now viewable in the Pulse app. Learn more here.

Rubric improvements in accessibility and inline grading – radio buttons will now indicate level name and point value.  Inline grading is now easier to use with screen reader. Learn more here and here.

July 21, 2021 updates

Assignments – Add categories in the New Assignment Creation Experience – in the Submission & Completion section, add a category to your assignment. These are not the same as gradebook categories.

Quiz introduction field removed – the introduction field for Quizzes is removed.

Quiz reporting location change – Setup Reports and View Reports options are now available in the Quiz context menu. Learn more here.

quiz reports in context menu

Set Quiz grace period time to 0 minutes – using a 0 grace period will immediately flag the attempt after the time limit of the quiz is finished. Learn more here.

Pending status for Quizzes – Quizzes with questions that need to be manually scored and are set to be graded immediately upon completion now receive a new Pending Evaluation status.  You can also sort by Quiz status. Learn more here.

June 21, 2021 updates

Delete and restore attendance records – Restore mistakenly deleted registers.  Individual or bulk delete registers.  Learn more here.

Autosave outgoing email messages – Outgoing messages are now automatically saved in the “Sent” folder. Learn more here.

Reorder criterion groups in Rubrics – Up and down arrows appear next to each criterion group if you have more than one.

Replace legacy Rubrics – Brightspace has been slowly rolling out improvements to Rubrics.  These new changes will now apply in all areas you can use a Rubric.

Brightspace editor @ mentions – Tag course members within the Brightspace editor.

May 21, 2021 updates

Annotations on TXT file type – Annotations on assignments now available for DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT, PPT, PPTX, PPSX, ODP, XLS, XLSX, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, TXT, and GIF

Download annotated files – In the New Assignment Evaluation experience, use the Download button to download the original file or annotated PDF.

brightspace annotated assignment download

Brightspace editor feedback & accessibility improvements – Copy/paste and/or drag and drop images on feedback in assignments, discussions, and quizzes.  Improved keyboard navigation and icon spacing for accessibility. Learn more about it here.

Copy criterion & print/export rubrics – Easily copy a whole criterion row to edit and reuse.  Instructors & students can download the preview or evaluated rubric.  Students can only do this from desktop, not mobile app. Learn more about it here. And here.

New Work To Do widget – shows students a list of overdue or upcoming work.  Learn more about it here.

  • Assignments
  • Checklists
  • Content
  • Courses
  • Discussions
  • Surveys
  • Quizzes

*This widget is not currently set up for you to use.  We will make it available and have a homepage option for you soon.

brightspace work to do widget

April 21, 2021 updates

Multiple Accommodation updates.  These build on the new feature to add accommodations on a student by student basis that came out in February.  Learn more about all of them here

  • An accommodation icon appears in several places in Brightspace to indicate students with accommodations set
  • Filter Classlist by accommodations
  • Print or email a list of users with accomodations 
  • After quiz, an accommodation icon appears next to student’s quiz time to show the accommodation was applied.
  • Can now add quiz special access time by multiplier (ex: time and a half, 1.5x) or additional minutes (+30 minutes)
brightspace accommodation icon classlist
Accommodation icon in classlist

Group options from the New Evaluation experience. You can now see group members and email or instant message them from the New Evaluation experience. Learn more about it here.

brightspace evaluation group menu

Anonymous marking with New Assignment experience. Anonymous marking is now available the same as the older assignment layout. Find it under the Evaluation and Feeback section. Learn more about it here.

Brightspace editor replaces HTML editor. Anywhere you see the text editor (used to be called HTML editor), the layout has changed and is not called the Brightspace editor. You’ll see is in Assignments, Evaluation, Announcements, etc. Not yet in Quiz Builder, Activity Feed, or Rubrics.

brightspace old html editor
Old HTML text editor layout
Brightspace new editor layout
New Brightspace editor layout

New menu in New Assignment Evaluation Experience. Includes Edit Activity and Special Access Dates. Learn more here.

brightspace evaluate screen context menu

Improved Mastery View calculations. If you have chosen to use grades Mastery View, there are changes to calculation methods and with the Portfolio. Learn more here.

Rubrics navigation accessibility. Many small improvements for using rubrics with screen readers and assistive technology. Learn more here.

March 21, 2021 updates

Copied assignments are set to inactive.  When an assignment is copied, you will now be redirected to the edit assignment screen to update the assignment information.

New learner profile card.  From the Evaluation page of Assignments, you can now hover over a students name or profile picture and popup a learner profile card with

  • Email
  • Instant Message
  • User progress
  • User profile

Learn more about it here.

Turnitin Similarity and Grademark support in New Assignment Experience.  Turnitin was already available with the New Assignment Experience but the Similarity and Grademark features are now supported. Learn more about it here.

Password protected certificates.  Any certificates added as Awards are now password protected when students download the file. They cannot be edited by the student. Learn more about it here.

Quiz and Assignment notification in Pulse app.  The app will now give notifications 2 days before the due date (or if no due date, the end date) of an Assignment or Quiz.  Students will not receive notifications if they have already completed the task or it has no dates given by the instructor.  Learn more about it here.

New workflow for copying Quizzes.  The method for copying Quizzes is now the same as Assignments.  Click the divet arrow next to the Quiz name to bring up the context menu and choose Copy.  Then you will be redirected to the Quiz edit screen to make edits to your copy.  Learn more about it here.

Screen reader accessibility improvements for Rubrics. A number of changes improve the accessibility of Rubrics including additional selectable items and reading associated criterion and points.  Learn more about all the changes here

February 21, 2021 updates

Accommodations at student level instead of by quiz.  Now you can assign accommodations to specific students that apply across all quizzes instead of applying them on a quiz by quiz basis.  You can apply the accommodations for quiz time or allowing right clicks.  The quiz time can be put in as an additional number of minutes to complete the quiz (ex: an extra 30 min) or as a multiple of the quiz time (ex: time and a half 1.5)  Read our full post about how it works in Brightspace or read the official release information here.

brightspace classlist student accommodations menu
brightspace classlist student accommodations popup

Save progress when editing assignments.  There is a new “Save” button in the assignments tool that allows you to save your progress as you create and edit assignments.

brightspace assignment save options

See when students last accessed the course even through the app.  In the Classlist and other reporting areas, the “Last Accessed” date for a student in the course will be more accurate because it will count access from the main platform or the Pulse app.  Learn more about it here

View submission in homepage widget.  Quick Eval can now be added as a homepage widget to see any student submissions that are ready for grading.  Submissions are sorted by due date with the earliest first.  Learn more about it here.

*This widget is not currently set up for you to use.  We will make it available and have a homepage option for you soon. 

brightspace quick eval widget

January 20, 2021 updates

New assignment experience. This is now automatically turned on for everyone by default (you can choose to turn it off). The view is much more compact so you don’t have to scroll down for options. See the short video below for a brief walkthrough.

Export/import written response questions with file upload. Written response quiz questions that allow learners to upload a file can now be exported or imported to share with other users.

Additional features for gradebook Mastery View. This only applies to courses with learning objectives. Learn more about it here.

Improved workflow for Multi-select quiz questions. This changes the look and flow of creating multi-select quiz questions. Learn more and see screenshots here.

December 20, 2020 updates

New audio/video player. Improves accessibility and consistency. The new player is found in Content, Lessons, & New Learner Experience. Learn more about it here.

Mastery view in Gradebook. This is a different view that can indicate mastery of learning outcomes if you are using them in your course. Learn more about it here. When you got to Grades, you should now see an option to View Achievements by Grades or Mastery.

brightspace mastery view

November 20, 2020 updates

Portfolio filtering & interface design. Minor design changes for readability. Filter changes allow you to filter evidence by: shared with parents, with categories, without categories, spotlighted.

Dark mode for Pulse on Android. New to Android as iOS is already supported.

Enhanced content statistics. This provides instructors with additional insight about their courses. You can see statistics how many users content is available to, how many users visited, and time spent on content. Navigate to Content then select Table of Contents > Related Tools > View Reports. Learn more about it here.

brightspace content statistics

Display total points in Manage Grades. Manage Grades now includes total points for grade categories and Final Calculated Grade. For weighted grade books, the total weight is displayed in addition to the total points. For formula grade books, the manually-entered max points is displayed instead of the total points. Totals do not include bonus grade items and do support grade item dropping.

Quiz preview. Instructors can now view a preview of their quiz from Quiz Builder. You will see this when you are editing a Quiz and click on Add/Edit Questions.

brightspace quiz builder preview

Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts. Found in Assessment tab of a quiz. Allows students to only retake their incorrectly answered questions from previous quiz attempts. Learner only sees the questions they had previously answered incorrectly in the same order as the initial attempt (including quizzes with random sections and random questions). When grading a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt, the instructor can only provide a score for the questions answered on this attempt. Learn more here.

brightspace quiz retake incorrect questions only

More user search options. In the Advanced Search of Classlist, instructors now have a dropdown of Search Type: starts with, exact match, or contains.

brightspace classlist search options

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