Each month D2L releases new features and/or fixes in SLATE. D2L updates their page monthly with all the current release notes. Keep in mind not all features are applicable at Sheridan and may not apply. Below we have highlighted updates that are present in SLATE.
Archived D2L release notes, 2018-2020.
Group/Section Management – Asynchronous Group Creation | New
This feature moves group creation and enrollment to background task, minimizing risk of timeouts when creating large numbers of groups requiring enrollments.
When instructors create and save a new group category, the Groups tool displays the category and prompts instructors that their group or groups are being created in the background; further, it indicates that the instructor will be notified once the groups are created. The instructor who created the group receives a subscription alert in the minibar that indicates that the groups for their courses have been created.
While this is in process, the Brightspace UI indicates that “Group creation is in progress”. While processing, users are unable to make changes to groups or enrollments.
To facilitate these changes, and the potential for allowing clients to make much larger numbers of groups in a category, this feature introduces pagination to the Groups tool, that limits each page to a maximum of 200 groups. In addition, the header row for the category has been moved to above the grid and the Delete and Email options are added to the Category dropdown menu.
Intelligent Agents – Create Agent page facilitates more flexible scheduling and frequency options | Updated
Building on the Intelligent Agents – Agent List page changes | Updated feature released in February 2022/20.22.2, this feature changes the Intelligent Agents Create Agent page to facilitate additional scheduling options and frequency options to allow for improved flexibility.
The changes to the Create Agent page include:
- A modernized user interface. This is a visual upgrade and does not impact functionality.
- Scheduling options have been moved to the top of the page.
- The ability to expand/collapse each section on the agent creation page (Scheduling, Criteria, Actions) to improve usability.
- Two new agent frequency options:
- One-Time Run allows instructors to choose a single date and time to run.
- Hourly allows instructors to choose a date and time to run between. If no dates are chosen, the Hourly agent runs every hour with the first time being “now” (that is once the agent is saved and enabled).
- The existing Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Annually options all now have a Scheduled Time option that users complete to determine what time that the agent will run on the dates scheduled for the agent to run.
- The Subject line of the agents’ emails now supports up to 128 characters. This brings it inline with the Email tool. Previously, the character limit was 100 characters.
Announcements — Create new announcements quickly with new Copy option
This feature adds a new Copy option in the context menu of an announcement in both the Announcements tool and the Announcements widget. The Copy option is applicable to both course level and global announcements. This only appears when you are in the org unit where the announcement was created.
Users click Copy, which opens a new edit announcement page in draft mode with the details of the original announcement copied over. The following details are copied:
- Headline, with “Copy of ” appended to the front
- Display Author checkbox setting
- Show Start Date setting
- Release conditions
Content – Workflow improvements to creating media topics
When creating a new video or audio topic in Content, instructors no longer must wait for the uploaded media file to finish processing to continue creating the topic. While the media file remains unavailable during processing, instructors can navigate away from the upload page to work on other content creation tasks. If another user attempts to access the media file in the topic before processing is complete, a message prompts them to wait for the media file to become available. When processing is complete (or the uploaded media file is invalid or corrupted), a notification displays from Update alerts on the navbar, with a link to the organization home page. Previously, instructors had to wait for a media file to complete processing before they could continue creating the topic. Also, a lack of status information about the media file processing caused some instructors to upload media files multiple times, believing that the processing had completed or failed.
Content – Print and Download in fullscreen | Updated
The Print and Download buttons are now available when viewing a topic in fullscreen, using the classic Content experience.
Previously, the options to print and download a topic only appeared on the main Content view, and when users opened a topic in fullscreen by clicking View content in new window, those options were not available.
Intelligent Agents – Agent List page changes | Updated
This feature adds the following new functionality to the Agent List page, where users manage the Intelligent Agents they have created:
- The ability to create, assign, and manage categories; and
- A new Bulk Edit for some agent details: title, category, and active/inactive state.
This feature also updates the icons denoting the active/inactive state of each agent.
Calendar – Improvements to Date and Time Selection Web Components | Updated
Building upon the Calendar – Improvements To Date And Time Selection Web Components | Updated feature released in Brightspace Platform March 2021/20.21.3 Release Notes, this release updates the date and time picker in Brightspace Learning Environment to include the following usability changes:
- The Set to Today button is renamed to Today. The Today button continues to set the date and the time based on the context. For example, choosing Today for an End Date sets the current date and sets the time to 11:59 PM.
- Added a Now button that sets the current date and time. The Today and Now buttons only appear when a date and time are required. When only a date is required, only the Today button appears and functions the same as the Now button.
- The Today, Now, and Clear buttons are center-aligned in the date and time picker.
Discussions – Scoring Rubric drop-down for evaluations | New
To make the Discussion evaluation consistent with the Assignments evaluation, this feature adds the Grading Rubric drop-down to the sidebar menu. This allows the instructor to choose a grading rubric when evaluating a discussion.
If a normal topic assessment with Points/Custom Points-based rubric is selected, this rubric is the one whose score transfers to the Overall Grade field. The score transfer does not occur if Allow assessment of individual posts or a Text rubric is selected.
Quizzes – Improved language terms | New
To offer more intuitive and consistent terminology to instructors and learners when using Quizzes, many interface labels and dialogs now use more descriptive language. For example, Automatic Grade is now Automatically Publish Evaluation. Previously, many interface labels and dialogs used short terms that did not provide clear meaning for some users.
Brightspace Editor – Additional support for drag/drop and copy/paste images | Updated
Expanding further on the Brightspace Editor – Drag/drop and copy/paste images | Updated feature released in October 2021 / 20.21.10 and Brightspace Editor – Improvements | Updated feature released in May 2021 / 20.21.5, additional tools and editors now support the drag/drop and copy/paste functionality, including:
- Quizzes > Feedback
- Grades > Feedback
- Grades > Comments
- Discussions > Feedback
This functionality is now available in user-specific areas that may contain images with learner-sensitive information. As a result, these images are stored in the database rather than the Manage Files area of a course offering. In addition, the Course Copy function does not include these images.
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
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.
Rubrics – Copy and delete criteria groups | Updated
In response to client feedback about the New Assignment Evaluation Experience, it is now possible to copy or delete a criteria group on a rubric. The delete option is only available if there is more than one criteria group.
Note: When a rubric with attached assessment items has submissions evaluated against it, the rubric is locked and can no longer be edited or deleted.
After you click Copy Criteria Group, a new criteria group appears below the original criteria group.
If you are using keyboard-only navigation, these options are available in the tab order after the criteria group name. Once the criteria group is copied using keyboard navigation, the keyboard focus moves to the new group’s name.
Rubrics – Additional information on Grade tiles | Updated
When a rubric is collapsed, instructors can now see if the rubric is complete. If the rubric is complete, the collapsed rubric shows the overall level of the rubric, and if the rubric is not complete, the number of unscored criteria appears on the tile.
Previously, it was only possible to see the overall score of the rubric when the rubric was expanded.
Import / Export / Copy Components – Export release conditions in course packages | New
Now when you export Brightspace Learning Environment course packages, you can export release conditions and any associations. As a result, you no longer need to re-create these release conditions when you import the course package.
Assignments – Create select box grade items in the New Assignment Creation Experience | New
This feature builds on the Add categories capability in the Assignment Creation Experience | New feature released in July 2021/20.21.7.
With this release, the new assignment creation experience supports creating new select box grade items. Previously, only numeric grade items could be created from the new assignment creation experience.
In addition, this feature provides support for choosing a grade scheme when creating numeric or select box grade items. Grade categories now progressively display when creating a grade item. Previously, grade categories always displayed when available.
Also, to make interface text more clear, the following labels have been renamed in the new assignment creation experience:
- 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
When creating a new assignment as an instructor, under Grade Out Of, click Ungraded.
Click In Gradebook, and then select Edit or Link to Existing.
From the Edit or Link to Existing dialog, the following options may display under Create a new grade item:
- If the Grades tool has available grade categories, the Choose Grade Category option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade categories for association.
- If the Grades tool has multiple grades schemes, the Change Grade Type & Scheme option displays. Clicking this button displays available grade types and schemes for association.
Click OK, and then Save.
Activity Feed – Date picker change | New
This feature updates the date picker component in Activity Feed. The new date picker has a more streamlined design and requires slight workflow changes: to clear a date/time, use the Clear option and to set the calendar to the current day, use the Set to Today option.
Rubrics – Increased accessibility with labels on radio buttons | Updated
To provide a better experience to clients using screen readers, criterion levels now indicate the level name and point value of each radio button when it has the focus. Previously, screen readers only indicated “radio button X out of Y” or “radio button, not selected” depending on whether the focus is on a selected criterion.
In addition, the mobile view of Rubrics now has radio buttons implemented to describe the level name and point value of each criterion level, consistent with the view on a larger screen.
Note: Depending on the screen reader you use, the way of listing all the radio buttons on a page differs. For example, In NVDA, press INSERT+F7; in JAWS, press CTRL+INSERT+A. In general, D2L tests compatibility with the following screen readers: NVDA, JAWS, and Voiceover.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.