Quarterly Updates for Summer 2019

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We’ve started posting Quarterly Updates to share changes to our online learning ecosystem so you get a fuller picture of what is happening and how it may affect you and your students. We do provide monthly Continuous Delivery updates, but the goal of this post is cast a wider net and talk about changes beyond D2L Brightspace. Hopefully some of these updates will make you happier.

D2L Brightspace

Here are the most interesting recent updates to D2L Brightspace.

Rubric scores transfer to grades

Rubrics that are tied to a grade item will have the rubric score transferred to the grade item score by default. Which is good.

The Rubric evaluation page will be visible to you 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 a change that is made on the Rubric evaluation page, the rubric score is transferred to the student’s grade item score automatically and you will no longer have to manually transfer the rubric score to a student’s grade item score.

Linking to a rubric

It used to be that you couldn’t share a rubric with your students until they had a graded activity. Not exactly the best way to communicate to your students about what you’ll be assessing. So you can link to a rubric any places in Brightspace where you can access the HTML editor.

Retiring of Open Dyslexic font

Later this summer, D2L will remove support for the Open Dyslexic font from the user preferences area. While this sounds bad, several studies concluded that there was no evidence that it improved readability. We will be notifying students who have selected the font with some alternatives that are known to improve readability.  (Hint: Helvetica,
Courier, Arial, Verdana and Computer Modern Unicode all performed well, and anything in italics reduced readability).

The open dyslexic font settings

Updates to the Quizzing experience

D2L is working on updates to the quiz experience for both students and for quiz authors. The students will have a much larger portion of the page dedicated to the quiz rather than all the stuff around it. This gives them (and your content) a little room to show off.

If you author quiz questions, you can look forward to some considerable changes (improvements, hopefully) closer to September. We’ll share more with you when we can show pictures, but here’s an example of the interface for a True/False question. Notice the open interface an live preview.

The question interface is more open and has a live question preview area.

End of Life for Binder

Binder was an app that allowed you to view course content, save for offline viewing, and annotate notes. We never promoted it because of accessibility issues. D2L is no longer supporting it and it will disappear from app stores this month. If you do use it, just be aware that there are no more updates coming, no support available, and no guarantee that it will continue to work.

Version naming

D2L updated it’s version naming to better… nevermind. You probably don’t care about the version naming. Donna likes the change though.

eTutoring

Did you know we provide free online tutoring to all for-credit students? As a member of the Western eTutoring Consortium, we provide tutoring in many different subjects. The platform we use will be moving to a new address on July 1st. Because of the transition, online tutoring won’t be available during the first week of the term. If you refer students to this resource, please note that the address will be changing to https://www.etutoringonline.org. Students can always access it from the Help menu in the navbar in Brightspace

Zoom integration

For spring term, we added the Online Rooms moniker back for Zoom. If you missed that, or are new to Zoom, check out our guide for setting up Online Rooms for your class. Zoom has been very popular for “office hours” and even some lecture time this spring. Just remember that videos recorded to the cloud are only saved for 6 months. If you want the recording for longer, save it to your computer and upload it to My Media.

Proctoring

We are still working out some kinks with our proctoring options. This summer, our courageous chemistry faculty at Cascade are using Proctorio for virtual proctoring. If you’re interested in using virtual proctoring in your classes for Winter term, please let us know!

Proctorio is a chrome extension and service that allows you to increase the security of your exams by using a combination of different practices like webcam recording, screen recording, IP checking, print disabling, and more. Plus, it gives you a nifty dashboard to see if there is any suspicious behavior during your exams.

The proctorio gradebook lists student quiz attempts, the score, and the relative level of suspicion.

The proctorio gradebook lists student quiz attempts, the score, and the relative level of suspicion.

2019 Online Faculty Summit

We hosted our first ever Online Faculty Summit on May 3rd. It was a blast and there was so much to learn. We’re working on collecting materials from the many presenters and will be working on doing some encore presentations based on feedback from attendees.

About Andy Freed

I'm the Manager of Online Learning Technology & Student Success in Online Learning, where I oversee our infrastructure, technical support, and online student services teams. I've been with the College since 2001 and have worked in sever... more »