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December 2021 Highlights

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D2L Brightspace updates for December 2021 – This will be installed on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021.  This is the last update for 2021Cat reading a document

This month’s updates for D2l Brightspace Include:

  • Assignments – New assignment creation experience universally enabled | Updated
  • Brightspace Editor – Hotkey shortcut to Brightspace Editor source editor | New
  • Brightspace Learning Environment – Alerts in the minibar persist for 90 days | Updated
  • Brightspace Learning Environment – Support for surname prefixes during sort function | Updated
  • Content – Updated count and overdue badges | New
  • Course Import/Export – Import and export intelligent agents | New
  • Discussions – Consistent evaluation experience | Updated
  • Discussions – Consolidated dates ON by default | Updated
  • Quizzes – Improved language terms | New

Assignments – New assignment creation experience universally enabled | Updated

This feature sets the new assignment creation experience to ON by default. This will mean that the classic assignment experience will no longer be available.

Brightspace Editor – Hotkey shortcut to Brightspace Editor source editor | New

This feature adds a new hotkey shortcut in the Brightspace Editor to access the source editor. Previously, the source editor was unavailable by a hotkey shortcut.

The hotkey shortcut is:

  • Windows: Ctrl+Shift+E
  • Mac: Command+Shift+E

This feature addresses the following accessibility criteria:  WCAG 2.1 Success criterion 2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts

Brightspace Learning Environment – Alerts in the minibar persist for 90 days | Updated

With this release, the Messages, Subscriptions, and Updates icons in the minibar contain alerts from the last 90 days. Previously, the alerts only persisted for 7 days.

The way these alerts display to users has not changed: when you click one of the icons, the 5 most recent alerts appear in the dropdown. When you click Load More, 5 more alerts appear.

Brightspace Learning Environment – Support for surname prefixes during sort function | Updated

In some countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Sri Lanka, surnames have one or more prefixes (known in Dutch as Tussenvoegsel) that are part of the formal last name. For example, van der Speigle or Van Gogh. In some cases, the sortable last name should not include those prefixes.

It is now possible to indicate if a user’s Legal Last Name differs from the Sortable Last Name. If clients include a Sortable Last Name, the Brightspace Learning Environment uses the Sortable Last Name in when alphabetizing user lists.

The following tools currently support the Sortable Last Name:

  • Classlist
  • Grades
  • Quizzes
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Manage Exemptions
  • New Content – Completion Summary

Additional tools will be added to this list in future releases.

To add a sortable last name to a user’s information, do one of the following:
In the Users tool, in User Information, add a Sortable Last Name.

The Sortable Last Name field on the User Information screen

The Sortable Last Name field on the User Information screen

Content – Updated count and overdue badges | New

In the Classic Content tool for instructors and learners, the count and overdue badges in the Table of Contents now reflect an updated appearance that is consistent with the New Content Experience and other Brightspace tools. The new count badge is circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits), with a grey background, and with higher contrast text. In addition, the overdue badge is now circular (for single digits) or a capsule (for double-digits). Previously, the count badge was rectangular, with a white background, and grey text/outline. The overdue badge was rectangular and red.

This feature has an accessibility impact, including:

  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
The new count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool

The new count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool

The old count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool

The old count and overdue badges in the Classic Content tool

Course Import/Export – Import and export intelligent agents | New

With this release, administrators and instructors can now include intelligent agents when importing or exporting courses. This allows administrators and instructors to share the dynamic notification interactions in imported/exported courses with other Brightspace instances. Previously, intelligent agents were not included when importing or exporting courses.

Discussions – Consistent evaluation experience | Updated

This feature is a continuation of the Discussions – New Discussion Evaluation Experience | Updated feature introduced in September 2021/20.21.9.

With this release, configuration variable is set to ON. This removes the ability to opt-out of the new Discussions evaluation experience.

Discussions – Consolidated dates ON by default | Updated

This feature builds on the default setting progression for visibility and posting restrictions in discussion forums and topics. In August 2021 / 20.21.8, it was possible for administrators to opt-in to the workflow. This was updated again in September 2021 / 20.21.9, when the default was updated to be on by default, but administrators could change the setting. With the final change to the workflow in December 2021 / 20.21.12, the discussion date consolidation is now ON by default for all clients, and cannot be turned off.
Note: All date overrides are cleared when the default changes to ON.
For more information, see the Changes To Availability And Locking Dates For A Consolidated Dates Workflow blog post.
Once the new workflow is enabled, the following changes are visible to instructors when creating or editing discussion forums and topics:

Note: These changes also affect the Classic Content and Manage Dates tools.

  • From the Restrictions tab, the previous Locking Options are now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options and display as the following new options:
    • Visible with access restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date, but they cannot access it. Previously, Classic Content was the only tool to make discussions visible without access.
    • Visible with submission restricted before/after start/end. The topic/forum is visible to learners before/after the start/end date and they can access it, but they cannot post new threads or replies. This effectively makes a discussion read-only. Previously, this was accomplished with the lock option or unlock dates.
    • Hidden before/after start/end. The topic/forum is hidden from learners until the start/end date. This is a new feature. Calendar events for Availability Starts and Availability Ends are hidden until the start/end date. Notifications are also not sent until the start/end date. Previously, the hidden status of a discussion topic was decided by the tool displaying the topic.
  • From the Restrictions tab, the Display in Calendar option is now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options, which adds the start date and end dates to the calendar. Previously, the tool decided which calendar event should be added to the calendar. With this change, calendar events for availability dates may change and additional events for Availability Start Dates may be added.
  • Calendar events for unlocked dates are now hidden from learners.
  • Where Discussions and User Progress may have previously hidden a topic or forum when outside of availability dates, those tools now may show them as visible, but inaccessible.
  • From Discussion Settings, instructors can now set the default visibility and access behavior for new discussion forums and topics. The defaults can be set at an organization level.
The new consolidated options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Restrictions tab

The new consolidated options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Restrictions tab

The new default options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Discussions Settings

The new default options for visibility and posting restrictions in the Discussions Settings

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.

For a detailed list of all language term updates in Quizzes, see the Quiz Language Updates blog post.

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PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.