July 2021


Assignments – Add categories in the New Assignment Creation Experience | New

This feature builds on the Assignments – Brightspace Editor in the new Assignment Creation Experience | New feature that was released in April 2021/20.21.4.


Assignments – Org Defined Id field in the User Profile card | New

When an instructor hovers over a learner’s profile in the new Assignment Evaluation Experience, the User Profile card now displays the value of the Org Defined Id field, if enabled in the Profile Cards tool. By default, the new Org Defined Id field in the Profile Cards tool is enabled.


Brightspace Editor – Available in ePortfolio External Comments and Quiz Builder | Updated

This feature updates the Brightspace Editor – Additional functionality | Updated feature released in June 2021/20.21.6 and includes the following items:

  • External users adding comments in Brightspace ePortfolio can now use the new inline limited version of Brightspace Editor.
  • The Quiz Builder now supports the new inline Editor


Grades – Add categories for text, calculated, and formula grade items | New

This feature enables you to better organize your grade book by adding categories to text, calculated, and formula grade items. This improved organization does not impact the calculation of the category these grade items are in. The totals in these categories do not contribute to the final grade.

You can import, export, and copy category values for these grade item types. In addition, you can also access these values using API and view them in data sets (CategoryId). There is no dataset update as the value was previously available but set to Null for these grade item types.


Quizzes – Quiz Introduction field | Removed

To reduce redundancy in the Quizzes tool, the Introduction field is being phased out. In this release, when an instructor creates and/or edits a quiz, the Introduction field is no longer available.

If any quiz previously had text in the Introduction field, on clicking Edit, the text is automatically appended to the Description field. A message appears indicating that these two fields have been merged. Instructors can review the modified quiz description prior to saving the quiz.

Note: In some interfaces, for example Classic content, the Instructions field is displayed. This Instructions field already maps to the quiz Description field. Hence, there is no change to this workflow.


Quizzes – Relocation of the Reports Setup functionality | New

The Report Setup tab on the Edit Quiz page is now available on the context menu of a quiz and reads as Setup Reports.

The Reports option available on the quiz context menu is also updated and reads as View Reports.


Quizzes – Set grace period time to 0 minutes | New

When setting an enforced time limit for a quiz, instructors can now set the grace period for a quiz to 0 minutes, in place of the default grace period setting of 5 minutes. Entering a 0 minute grace period flags the quiz attempt as exceeded immediately when the quiz time limit is reached by the learner. Quiz attempt logs display when the learner attempt exceeds the regular time limit, grace period time limit or any extended time limit. Grace period of 0 minutes can be set for quizzes with special access restrictions as well.  

Note that setting a grace period can support learner accessibility requirements and other situations, such as slow internet connections when completing quizzes.


Quizzes – Status and workflow changes for quizzes with ungraded questions | New

To support instructors who need to manually score questions within quizzes, the following quiz status and quiz grading workflow updates are available: 

  • For quizzes that contain questions that need to be manually scored (such as Written Response questions) AND that have the “Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion” option disabled, a new Pending Evaluation status appears beside the quiz attempt on the Grade Quiz page.
  • While evaluating a quiz attempt with unevaluated questions, the instructor can now select Pending evaluations in the Question View drop-down menu to filter for only the questions that require manual evaluation. 
  • Instructors can now filter the Users tab by status. The available filters are: Published, Saved as draft, Pending evaluation and an empty status. The empty status denotes a quiz with auto-scored questions, where all questions are evaluated and there is no question evaluation pending. 


May 2021


Announcements and Feature Information

The maximum per file upload size limit in Brightspace Learning Environment has increased from 1 GB to 2 GB.


Assignments – Annotations available for TXT file-based assignments | Updated

Previously, annotations enabled instructors to use highlighting, free-hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting to provide feedback to learner assignments of the following file types: DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT, PPT, PPTX, PPSX, ODP, XLS, XLSX, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, and GIF. Now, instructors can provide feedback for TXT, in addition to the existing types. 


Assignments – Download file when using annotations in the New Assignment Evaluation Experience | New

The New Assignment Evaluation Experience now includes the Download drop-down menu in the Annotations viewer. When using annotations in an assignment, instructors can use this menu to download the original file without navigating to the submission list. Instructors can also download the annotated PDF file.


Attendance – Manage registers | Updated

This feature adds the ability for instructors to set the visibility of attendance registers in bulk. It also includes updated logic to prevent instructors from changing a scheme in an attendance register once session information has been added to it. This update prevents unintentional deletion of session data.  


Rubrics – Copy rubric criterion | New

To improve the value of Rubrics and facilitate reusing rubric criteria that have already been created, an action menu next to the criterion name provides Copy and Delete options. When an instructor copies a criterion, the new criterion is added under the original with the criterion name Copy of [name of original criterion]
The Delete function was previously available as a trashcan icon at the end of the criterion row outside the table. The new location in the action menu improves the discoverability of the Delete and Copy options. 


Rubrics – Print or export to PDF | New

To improve the user experience with Rubrics, instructors can now print or download a PDF of a preview or evaluated rubric. Learners can also print or download a PDF of a rubric from the desktop browser implementation of Brightspace Learning Environment. The Print button displays above the top-right corner of the rubric. 


April 2021


Brightspace Editor – Replaces the HTML editor


The new Brightspace Editor permanently replaces the previous editor. It is available in quizzes and will be made available to the other tools shortly. The new Editor will be the only editor available in all new experiences released from April 2021 onwards.


Quizzes  – Secure and consistent editing experience

For a more secure and consistent editing experience, creating any of the following question types now automatically filters out JavaScript and non-standard HTML: Likert, Ordering, Matching, Fill in the Blanks, Short Answer, Multi-Short Answer, Arithmetic, and Significant Figures. For existing questions containing JavaScript and non-standard HTML, the questions continue to display as intended until an instructor edits and saves the questions, which removes the JavaScript and non-standard HTML. Previously, instructors could add JavaScript or non-standard HTML to question types in order to create dynamic content for quizzes.

To remove JavaScript and non-standard HTML from existing questions, edit and save the questions. D2L recommends reviewing all question types containing JavaScript and non-standard HTML and modifying as needed, ensuring that the questions display as intended for learners. For example, to add code to a question type, use the HTML <code> tag


Virtual Classroom (Bongo) updates 

Updated Meeting Lobby

The meeting lobby has been updated to match the new Bongo style. The new lobby has consolidated the information that was available on the previous version of the lobby.

  • The meeting name, scheduled time, and user information is shown at the top of the new page.
  • Users are able to join the meeting using the button in the middle of the lobby.
  • If dial-in information and external invitation information is available, that information is available at the bottom of the lobby, and meeting assistance information is available at the bottom of the lobby.
  • If the meeting has already started, the number of users currently in the meeting will be shown above the join button.


Banning Virtual Classroom Participants

  • Meeting moderators can now choose to ban Bongo authenticated Virtual Classroom participants when removing them from a meeting.
  • Participants joining via an external link can be removed, but not banned from the meeting.
  • As before, dial-in users are automatically banned when they are removed from the meeting.


March 2021


Assignments – Copying an assignment | Updated

Previously, when you copied an assignment, the copied assignment was set to active and you had to open the newly copied assignment to edit it.

Now when you copy an assignment, the copied assignment is set to inactive and you are directed to the Edit Assignment screen to continue editing it as part of the copy assignments workflow.


Calendar – Improvements to date and time selection web components | Updated

To improve the ease of use for clients using the date and time picker in Brightspace Learning Environment, there have been updates to the web components related to date and time selection. These changes are intended to provide better usability for keyboard users and better integration with assistive technology. Changes include:

  • Ability to use arrow keys rather than the Tab key to improve keyboard navigation and accessibility.
  • Aesthetic changes to hide unused elements until they are active.
  • New selectable values of 12:01 AM and 11:59PM in the time picker
  • New default values for Start, Due, and End dates.
  • The new Set to Today button inside the date picker replaces the Now button outside the date picker.


Quizzes – Copy quiz workflow | Updated

Previously, to copy and continue editing a quiz, you had to navigate to the Manage Quizzes page, click the More Actions > Copy functionality, and then select the quiz you wanted to copy, rename it, and click Edit quiz after copy completes


January 2021


Assignments – The new assignment creation experience | Updated

Previously, in the new assignment creation experience, the time for an assignment Start Date defaulted to 11:59pm. Now, the default time for an assignment Start Date is set to 12:00am. Due Date and End Date remain unchanged with default times set to 11:59pm.


December 2020


Quizzes – Improved workflow for creating multi-select questions | New

As part of the ongoing initiative to improve the quiz creation experience for instructors, this release streamlines the interface for creating multi-select questions, making the workflow simpler and more intuitive.

When instructors initially launch the Question Editor to create a multi-select question, the interface displays the two main components of a multi-select question: the question and potential answers. Selecting a field displays a pop-up toolbar for formatting the text and adding images, links, and graphical equations. As each field is completed, the preview pane displays how the question and answers appear to learners. 

Next, instructors can choose to click Options to add the following optional information to the multi-select question: Add FeedbackAdd HintAdd Short Description, and Add Enumeration.

Instructors can then choose to randomize the order of answers, assign points, and determine how points are assigned to blanks.

For determining how points are assigned to blanks, a new grading type is available in the classic and new multi-select question experience: Correct Answers, Limited Selections. For this grading type, points are evenly distributed across correct answers only. The number of selections allowed is limited to the number of correct answers. Learners earn partial points for each correct answer selected. 


Quizzes – Improvements to the ability to retake incorrect questions in quizzes | New

Building on the Quizzes – Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts | New, there are several improvements to increase the value of the feature:

  • Instructors can now identify a Retaken Attempt while grading a quiz in the Quizzes tool on the User tab and the Attempts tab.   





November 2020


Assignments – Date picker change | Updated

This feature updates the date picker component for the new assignment creation experience. The new date picker has a more streamlined design and requires a slight workflow change: to clear a date/time, the X alongside the time field has been replaced by a Clear option inside the calendar.

Instructors can find the date picker in Due DateStart Date, and End Date fields on the Create and Edit Assignments page.

Grades – Display total points in Manage Grades | Updated

To improve usability of the Grades tool and reduce calculation errors, Manage Grades now includes total points for grade categories and Final Calculated Grade. Previously, there was no indicator of the total points while users were managing their grade book, and instructors were required to manually add up the points from all grade items to check if the total matched their syllabus.

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 Builder – Quiz preview | New

Instructors can now view a preview of their quiz from Quiz Builder. Clicking the new Preview button on the Add/Edit Questions view of the quiz opens a quiz preview attempt in a new tab for a complete view of how the quiz appears to learners. 

Quizzes – Retake incorrect questions in subsequent attempts | New

This feature introduces a new option for Quizzes Attempt settings that allows students to only retake their incorrectly answered questions from previous quiz attempts. Instructors can select this new option in the Assessment tab of a quiz. When the Retake Incorrect Questions Only check box is selected for subsequent quiz attempts, each 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.

A learner’s score for a Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt remains at minimum, the score they had on the previous attempt. Correctly answered questions on the Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt add to the learner’s attempts score. The Quiz Overall Score is calculated using the existing Highest/Lowest/First/Last/Average aggregation functions. The “Average” aggregation function can be used to give the student partial marks for questions that were not answered correctly on the first attempt.



October 2020


Quiz Builder – Question import improvements


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.

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

September 2020


Assignments – Additional functionality in the new assignment creation experience | Updated

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

  • Add special access conditions to assignments

    The new assignment creation experience with the Special Access functionality

    Figure: The new assignment creation experience with the Special Access functionality


  • Receive a notification email when assignments are submitted

    The new assignment creation experience with the Notification Email functionality
    Figure: The new assignment creation experience with the Notification Email functionality


Discussions – Visual word count for discussion posts | New

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 (Discussions Reading View only) and it also appears next to their posts in the Discussions Reading View and Grid 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.


Question Library – Search for and select questions in Question Library sections | Updated

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.



Question Library – Attach files in arithmetic and significant figures questions | Updated

Building on the attach files in written response questions functionality 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. This feature is only available in the new Quiz Builder Experience.
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.


Quiz Builder – Enhanced question reordering | New

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.


August 2020


Virtual Classroom – Update | New

Many backend and frontend components used in Virtual Classroom have been upgraded, to help improve the quality and stability of the platform. Along with the upgrades, various changes have been made to the user experience. 

You can find a list of all the updates in their release notes. 


Question Library – Attach files in written response questions| New

When creating a written response question, instructors can now allow learners to upload files in their answers and include embedded images. Learners can also record audio or video responses when answering written response question types. The maximum file size for a single file or embedded image attached to a quiz response is set to 100MB. The maximum file size for all files attached or embedded in a single quiz question response is set to 100MB.


Quizzes – User experience updates for editing quizzes with attempts | New

To improve the user experience for instructors who edit quizzes with previous attempts by learners, the following updates have been made:

  • Points for past quiz attempts are no longer modified when edits are made that affect the overall points and/or the grading calculations for a quiz. A learner’s grade on previous quiz attempts must now be changed directly by the instructor using the Update All Attempts workflow. Previously, the points for all past quiz attempts were modified automatically, which could alter a learner’s grade unexpectedly.
  • Warning messages now appear when editing a quiz question with previous attempts to clearly communicate to instructors that editing quiz questions does not affect the content or automatically change the score of learners’ past attempts.


Assignments – Copy assignment option | New

This feature adds the ability to copy existing assignments. Instructors can select the Copy Assignment option in the drop-down menu for an existing assignment to quickly create new assignments. This feature copies all settings of an existing assignment except the associated grade item and Turnitin settings .


Editing captions in Video Note | New

To edit captions in Video Note, from the Org homepage hit Admin tool > Video Note Captions > search for your video > Edit captions


July 2020


Widgets – Pinned tab in My Courses widget | New

A new Pinned tab now appears in the My Courses widget. The Pinned tab allows learners and instructors to create a curated view of their pinned courses.

The Pinned tab appears in the widget only after a user pins a course in the Course Selector. The tab remains in view until all courses are unpinned. The My Courses widget remembers the last viewed tab and shows that same tab the next time the homepage is viewed. This makes it easy for instructors and learners who only wish to view pinned courses to see those courses upon login.


June 2020


Annotation Tool in Assignment Submission  | New

You can now provide feedback directly in submitted assignments using annotation tools. Annotations allow you to markup student work and provide detailed comments online. Features of the Annotation tool include highlighting, striking through, and underlining. You can also highlight and comment or draw free hand on a specific portion of a submission. 

NOTE: Animated gif files will not display as intended when this tool is enabled in the folder.


Assignments – Create and Edit new experience | New

The create and edit Assignments page has an updated look and feel. The classic tabbed view has been transformed into a new, fully immersive one page layout.

If you are opting out of the new experience, a prompt appears encouraging you to leave feedback on the new experience.

Assignment new look and annotation tool access



May 2020


Calendar – Bulk delete items | New


To create parity with other tools and improve workflow, the Calendar tool now offers a Delete interface. Previously, it was impossible to bulk delete calendar items. This change enables users to multi-select and delete calendar items using the More Actions menu.


April 2020


Assignments – Assignments page column name | Updated

This feature updates the New column name on the Assignments page to read as New Submissions.


March 2020


Groups – Set exact time learners can self-enroll | Updated

When setting up groups that allow learners to self-enroll, instructors can now add an exact time when enrollment opens, and an exact time when self-enrollment expires. Previously, instructors could only set the date when enrollment opened or expired.


Rubrics – Confirmation message for partially unevaluated rubrics | New

To prevent publishing partially unevaluated rubrics, the publishing workflow in the new Rubrics grading experience now includes a confirmation message that warns users when the rubric is not fully evaluated. Instructors have the option to continue publishing, or cancel. Warning messages appear when publishing a rubric for an individual student and when bulk publishing rubrics. Users attempting to publish an incomplete rubric evaluation must now click Publish to complete the workflow.


February 2020


Assignments – Streamlined access to inline feedback

Learners can now immediately access inline feedback from User Progress, Grades, and Assignments. From these tools, the View Inline Feedback link takes the learner directly to the annotations view (or Turnitin viewer, if that is the tool used to provide feedback). The inline feedback also includes a link to the file for the assignment, so learners know which document contains the feedback


Video Note – Automatic Closed Captioning

Video notes now provide automatic closed captioning for newly created videos and the ability to manually add or update closed captioning for all previously recorded videos. After video processing, users can view closed captions using video player controls.

In addition, users can now download a transcript and the closed caption file associated with a video independent of Video Notes. 

Note: Canadian English is not available for closed captioning and defaults to en-US.


EXIF data warning appears when uploading images

In some instances, when users upload .jpg files in any file upload area across SLATE, an EXIF (exchangeable image file) data warning appears informing the user that the file may contain geolocation data.


Grades – Tab delimited import into Gradebook

Users can now import tab separated value (.tsv) files into Gradebook. Previously, users could only import comma delimited files into Gradebook, which created a usability issue in some international regions


January 2020


Classlist – Total number of users field and floating buttons | New

To improve ease of use, the total number of users for their selection (whole class, section, group) now appears in a field at the bottom of the Classlist page for at-a-glance viewing to help instructors keep track of the total number of learners, which may extend beyond the users visible on the page. On the Print Classlist and Email Classlist pages, the clickable Print and Email buttons now float consistently on screen, to ensure easy access to these actions without excessive scrolling.


Copy Course Components – Add validation logic to the copy process | New

Copy Course Components now contains a validation logic step to the course copy process, which can inform users if they performed a copy from the source previously, avoiding unnecessary duplication of copied course components. The notice will apply whether you copied the entire course or select components.


Discussions – Assessment consistency changes | New

When assessing discussions, instructors have new multi-select options to Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback. In the Status column, the Draft / Published checkbox has been replaced by information on the date when feedback was saved as draft or published. These changes are visible on both the Users and Assessments tabs. The SaveSave and Close, and Cancel buttons have also been removed as their functionality has been replaced by the Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback options.


Groups – Self-enrollment group capacity, start dates and descriptions | New

This feature includes three improvements to Groups:

  • Group members can now see the description of their group. For self-enrolled groups, group members will now see the group description at all times, including before and after enrollment. For other group types, instructors can now choose to display the description to members of the group. This visible group description setting is off by default for non-self-enrollment groups. Previously, all group descriptions were hidden from group members.

  • An instructor can now increase or decrease the capacity for self-enrollment groups after they have been created, and prior to the group sign-up expiry date. Decreasing a group size to an amount smaller than has already signed up for a group will not re-allocate users to other groups. Previously, self-enrollment groups were not editable after they were created.

  • Instructors can set Start dates for self-enrollment groups. This feature allows them to schedule self-enrollment groups availability, ensuring learners are prepared and have equal opportunity to self-enroll.


Grades – Export sorting options | New

This feature introduces the ability to sort exported gradebooks based on the following options: OrgDefinedIDUsernameLast Name, and First name. The sort options available are based on the User Information Privacy permissions for the role.


Quizzes – Synchronization with Grades | New

Quiz scores and feedback entered in Grades now synchronize automatically with Quizzes. To further streamline the workflow, the Overall Feedback fields in Grades and Quizzes are now consolidated, and the Grade Item Public Comments field has been removed from Grades. All comments entered in the Overall Feedback field in Grades synchronizes automatically with the Overall Feedback field in Quizzes. This update creates a more direct workflow and aligns Quizzes with the consistent feedback experience implemented in Assignments and Discussions. Refer to the blog post Improving Consistency Of Synchronization Between Grades And Quizzes Tool (20.20.01 – January Release) for more information.

Note: Synchronization only occurs for new grade entries. Existing grade data for quizzes will not be migrated due to the high impact to all past data and reports.


Brightspace Learning Environment – Support for Internet Explorer | Removed

As of January 1st, Brightspace has ended support for Internet Explorer. All versions of Internet Explorer will no longer be able to access Brightspace.


December 2019


Release Conditions – Learners are notified when a release condition triggers new content

In a course that uses release conditions to unlock additional content, learners previously were not informed when new content became available as a result of a release condition that was satisfied. Because there was no automatic notification or refresh of the table of contents, there was the potential for frustration when learners think they are done a module, and are later informed that there are steps left to be completed.

Now, when release conditions are satisfied, the learner is notified using a pop-up message that there are new items available in the course.


November 2019


Assignments – Improvements to Assignments | Updated

The Assignments page shows a count of new submissions and resubmissions in the New column. 



Intelligent Agents – Email images| New

This feature includes two changes to Intelligent Agents (IA):

  • Users can now insert images directly into the body of intelligent agent emails using the Add Image button in the HTML editor. The images are attached to the email and shown in place when viewed in the recipient’s external mail client.



Quizzes – Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log | Update

When an instructor restores a learner’s deleted quiz attempt, note the following workflow changes:

  • A deleted quiz attempt can only be restored if the learner does not have another quiz attempt in progress.
  • The Restore button only appears for the latest deleted quiz attempt.



Quizzes – Save feedback as draft | New

Instructors can now clearly see when feedback is saved as a draft, or published, while evaluating quiz submissions. On the quiz evaluation page, the Graded (G) checkbox and Save button have been replaced by the Publish and Save Draft buttons.


End of Life for Turnitin V1 – Jan 2020

Any workbenches or virtual communities using Turnitin V1 will no longer be supported after Jan 2020 by D2L. 

Version 1 has the OriginalityCheck Option on the Properties page:



Version 2 has the Turnitin tab:


More information is available on D2L’s page –


October 2019


Improvements to consistency

In the fall of 2019, you will see numerous changes to the platform that improve the consistency of the language and workflows for controlling activity visibility. To reduce the time and effort to teach, learn, and document workflows in Brightspace and  to work toward better consistency in the behaviour of activity visibility, which will help user’s confidence in the system here are key changes that will affect specific tools:

1. The language used to denote that an activity is not visible to a learner will become a single term: Hidden.

2. Similarly, the visibility icon (Hidden) for a hidden activity will appear consistently.

3. The different visibility form controls will be replaced by a simple checkbox.

4. The visibility form controls will appear consistently on the Restrictions tab.


This is a summary of improvements to consistency in each tool. 


September 2019


New rounding logic for arithmetic and significant figures questions in quizzes

Brightspace, the SLATE vendor has updated the rounding logic for arithmetic and significant figures questions in quizzes. This will make rounding a more consistent experience by using the same logic as in other areas in the platform. Values will now round half up from .5 by default (Round-half-up/Arithmetic rounding -Symmetric implementation). For example, 2.5 rounds to 3 and -2.5 rounds to -3 when rounding to zero decimal places.

Previously these types of questions were rounded to the nearest even integer (“banker’s rounding”/Round-half-even). As a result, with the updated logic, some calculations will round up where they previously rounded down from .5 (e.g., 0.65/2. The answer to that is, .325, which when rounded to two decimal places is .33 (Arithmetic rounding), but Brightspace previously rounded it to .32 (Banker’s rounding). Past quiz attempt scores are not affected by this change.

 It is recommended that you use an even number of items with weighted grading methods to minimize the need for rounding. In addition, it is suggested that you keep the grade default of 2 decimal places in SLATE to account for any fractional grades in your courses.

Note: This change is vendor driven and there is no option to opt-out. 


Assignments – Grades entered in Assignments and Grade Book are synchronized | New

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

Note: This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries. Existing grade data for assignment submissions will not automatically be migrated because it would impact all past data and reports.


Assignments – Improvements to Assignments | Updated

New save warning for the browser close / Back button: When a user attempts to close the browser, or clicks the Back button on the browser when assessing an Assignment, a new warning appears, prompting the user to either save their work / changes made on the page or actively choose to proceed without saving.


Discussions – Grades entered in Discussions and Grade book are synchronized | New

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 Discussion tool is updated by the Brightspace API or when Grade Book is exported and imported.

Note: This synchronization only occurs for new grade entries. Existing grade data for discussions will not automatically be migrated because it would impact all past data and reports.


Release Conditions – Release condition for topic completion | New

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.


August 2019


Course Outlines in SLATE

Course Outlines are now available at the click of a button at the course level navigation bar in SLATE. Every course will have the most recently approved course outline available. Workbenches and Virtual Communities will not display a course outline since no course is attached but will instead display a message to say it is not available.

This automatically achieves one component of Minimal Presence as outlined in the Teaching and Learning Technology Procedure and replaces the need for faculty to manually add this link to their online courses.

Please check this link prior to the start of your course to verify the accuracy of the course outline.  If you have any issues with the content of the course outline please contact your Associate Dean. 



July 2019


Accessibility – Compliance with WCAG 2.1 | Updated

There are updates to shared web components, such as fonts, buttons, menus, and input fields, to ensure they align with WCAG 2.1 standards:

  • Changes to the colour, borders, hover and focus styles of other web components such as buttons, menus and input fields to ensure they comply with WCAG 2.1 colour contrast requirements for non-text components
  • Text colour change from #565A5C to #494C4E for standard font styles, which is WCAG Level AAA compliant.

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.


Navbar – Display user initials when there is no user profile image | New

If a user does not upload a user profile image in SLATE, the navbar now displays the user’s initials in the user-profile badge. This change occurs for all displays in the learning environment navbar. Previously, if a profile image was not uploaded, a blank user image displayed. If the user has a preferred first and last name, the first letter from the preferred first and last name display.




Figure: A blank user image previously displayed in the navbar




Figure: User initials now display in the navbar


June 2019


Discussions – Save feedback in draft state when associated with rubrics | Updated

This feature provides you with the option to save feedback as a draft on discussions associated with rubrics before publishing it to students. Now, when you add feedback for discussions with rubrics, the Save Draft and Publish buttons display. This feature extends existing Save Draft and Publish options available in other assessment tools to discussions that are only associated with a rubric.

Note that if a discussion topic is associated with more than one rubric, then both the rubrics are now visible in the same pop-up dialogue. Previously, the rubrics had to be opened individually to complete evaluation.

Rubrics – Consistent assessment experience for Discussions | New

When you use the updated rubrics grading experience with Discussions, the following workflows present the same assessment experience:

  • if a rubric is attached to a discussion that is not associated with a grade item
  • if a rubric is attached to a discussion and associated with a grade item, but you click on the rubric name to assess instead of topic score

In these workflows, the same assessment screen displays, with the details, score, feedback, post information, and all rubrics available to grade.


May 2019

Discussions – Save feedback in draft state | Updated

This feature provides the option to save feedback on assessments in draft state prior to publishing it to the student. Now when you add feedback to assessments, the Save Draft and Publish buttons display.

Note: The Save Draft button does not appear when a discussion topic is only associated with a rubric.


Grades – Transfer rubric score to grade item score | Updated

Rubric scores are transferred to the grade item score by default. The Rubric evaluation page is visible if a rubric is associated to a grade item, and the grade item is not associated with an activity such as an Assignment, Discussion, etc. When you save changes made on the Rubric evaluation page, the rubric score is transferred to the student’s grade item score automatically and you no longer have to manually transfer the rubric score to a students’s grade item score.


Quizzes – Full-screen quiz evaluation | Updated

You can evaluate quiz attempts in full-screen mode. 


Rubrics – Rubrics Grading Experience available for group Assignments and Discussions | New

The Rubrics Grading Experience available for assignments and discussions is now available for group Assignments and group Discussions. When a rubric assessment is in draft state, the assessment is not viewable by members of a given group. Once the assessment is published, all group members can view the rubric assessment. Previously, the new Rubrics Grading Experience was only available for regular Assignments and Discussions.

In addition, when a non-file submission assignment is connected to a grade item in the gradebook, the assessment symbol on the Grade All screen launches the assignment assessment experience.


Binder – End-of-life | Removed

As of May 31, 2019, Binder is no longer supported by D2L. Binder will no longer work with Brightspace, and it will be removed from the Apple AppStore and Google Play app store.

Users who have Binder can continue to use it after May 31, however, no further maintenance or update of the app will be available. Be advised that over time, the app will stop working as the operating systems that Binder depends on incur updates.

For users who want to access course materials offline, D2L recommends the Brightspace Pulse app for iOS and Android which is free to download from the Apple AppStore and Google Play store.


April 2019

QuickLinks – Create Quicklink to Rubrics

Instructors are now able to create Quicklinks directly to Rubrics in the Create a File (Content tool). The ‘rubric is visible to students’ setting has to be enabled in the Rubrics tool. In addition, users can also access Manage Rubrics at the bottom of the Quicklinks menu.



March 2019

New Annotation Tool in Assignment Folder – Coming Soon-Launch Date TBA

You can now annotate directly into the assignment folder in SLATE. Check out the Annotation page to see all the options.

February 2019

New Rubric Creation View

Rubrics are easier than ever to create!

Check out the Rubrics page to see all the changes!

January 2019

Assignments – Improvements to Assignments List view 

When accessing Assignments, the list view now displays updated information. Previously you would see information on the assignment name, Total Submissions, Unread Submissions, Flagged Submissions, and Due Date. Now you can see information on the assignment name, the number of students who have completed the assignment, the number of students who have been evaluated, the number of students who have had feedback published, and the Due Date. 

Students also have an updated view of the assignments list, and are now able to see the assignment name, the Completion Status (Not Submitted, Submitted, Completed), their Score, The Evaluation Status (Not yet evaluated, Feedback: unread, Feedback: read), and the Due Date. This change to the list view allows students to easily locate unfinished assignments, as well as access their scores and view instructor feedback on their work.

Instructor View vs Student View, you can op in or out of the view by clicking the arrow in the upper right hand corner (red square in the picture below)


HTML Editor – Descriptive error message for quicklinks to unavailable activities

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

  • Announcements items
  • Calendar events
  • ePortfolio (for items that not shared to the user)
  • External learning tools links
  • Groups (with expired self-enrollment option)

This feature builds on a previous feature of 10.8.6 that added a specific error message for some course activities. With this feature, the specific error message, “Unavailable Quicklink. The <activity type> is not available” appears for many additional course activities.


November 2018

Homepages – Edit Homepage Banner Image Titles

Instructors can change the homepage banner image titles. The title can be changed to the Org Unit Name, a custom value (such as Hello {FirstName}) or the title can be deleted to display no title.

Video Note – Now has Closed Caption Support

Homepage Widgets – Visual Updates to My Course Widgets

To provide added value and ease of use to the My Courses widget, the following changes are now available with the widget course cards:

  • New status badge indicates Inactive and Closed states for courses
  • Cleaner layout of the course name, code, semester, and dates
  • Course notifications are sorted by the tool. When a user hovers on the notification icons, a tooltip provides more information.

Figure: The My Courses Widget now displays a course status badge and sorts notifications by type.

Quizzes Now display in full screen.

When a learner clicks Start Quiz, the navbar disappears. This provides additional screen space for the quiz by removing unnecessary navigation elements from view.

Assignment Types – New Submission Types

Include File, Text, On Paper Submission, and Observed in Person. On Paper Submission and Observed in person can now be added to Content from Existing Activities.

YouSeeU has been rebranded to Bongo.


October 2018

New Rubric grading:

  • The new rubric grading is consistent across all workflows and tools
  • It auto-saves your changes as you grade
  • It separates rubric Total from Overall Score making it possible to communicate both the numeric grade, and the level of achievement to learners (by the end of the year)
  • It has a responsive mobile view making it attractive to grade on tablets and phones


June 2018

Question pools replace random sections

Question pools are now available to improve the process of creating quizzes with randomized questions, and are an effective way of preventing cheating on quizzes. All the functionality random sections provided is now located on a single screen, with a simplified workflow. When creating a question pool, instructors enter a title, the number of questions to select, and the points per question. On the same page, they can browse the Question Library to select the desired questions to add to the pool. Instructors are also able to edit or delete questions in place.

Offset Dates

When instructors copy the content of one course to another, old course dates are also copied over. This feature enables instructors to offset those old dates to dates relative to the new semester. This feature also eliminates the burden of tweaking delivery and due dates for their learners. When instructors copy course components in bulk, they can enable the offset to occur to the items copied into the course by days or hours.


April 2018

Instructors can add generic feedback on student’s grades in bulk using replacement strings to personalize the content. The feedback column can be sorted to quickly determine which learners require feedback.


March 2018

SLATE now has two new interactive tools to improve teaching and learning with video : Video Classroom and Video Assignments. Powered by YouSeeU, these tools can help foster engagement and collaboration and support more authentic assessment.

D2L delivers updated technology that is based on user feedback and needs to its clients with the goal of improving the user experience. We at CTL monitor these updates and would like to keep our community informed of the changes through this page.

Listed as most recently updated:

HTML image editor


This feature updates the HTML Editor to include expanded image editing capabilities for the WYSIWYG editor.

This update is currently unavailable for the Quizzing experience.

Self-enrolment groups

In the Content tool, instructors can create a self-enrollment link for learners to choose/select their own groups for discussions.

Quiz due dates

To improve the consistency of dates across tools in the Brightspace Learning Environment, due dates are available for quizzes. This allows instructors to better communicate when quizzes are due, and better identify when a learner submits a quiz late.