D2L - Summer 2017 Upgrade Features, Changes and Known Issues for Instructors

This is a list of new features, changes and known issues for the Summer 2017 update of D2L, which coincides with the upgrade of Brightspace from 10.6.0 to 10.7.0 MR1 on June 6-7, 2017. This was last updated July 11, 2017, 9:30 am.

Highlights

Discussions: Show Forum Descriptions in Topics Automatically
Check the “Display forum description in topics” checkbox to share the description. If topics already have a description, it will be shown after the forum description.

Grades: Rubric Scores transfer to grade items
Points-based rubrics associated with grade items now transfer scores from the Rubric to the grade item.

Groups: New Group Category: “Single user, member-specific groups”
Groups in this new category type contain only one student, and the group is named after the student. Discussion topics, Locker folders, Dropbox folders, News items, and more can be restricted to a specific student. 

Quizzes: Allow Additional Attempts Per Student
Along with allowing students unique start and end times and time limits for quizzes, instructors can now allow a different number of attempts for specific students.

Also in this update: changes to the HTML Editor, Equation Editor and copy/paste, new scoring and group organization features in Discussions, improved rubric and export in Grades, and upgraded Intelligent Agent abilities.

All New Features and Changes

General

Ensure You’re Using a Supported Browser

With the Summer 2017 upgrade, Internet Explorer 10 and Safari 6, 7 and 8 are no longer supported by D2L. The preferred browser is Google Chrome. Firefox is also supported. Edge and Safari are supported, but their use is discouraged.

There is no change in the support of mobile browsers.

Improved Copy/Cut and Paste from Microsoft Word and Excel

When pasting into D2L, users now have the option of pasting as plain text (recommended) or pasting with formatting preserved. When pasting, users are prompted with the options: Remove Formatting or Keep Formatting. Colors, font size, indentation and typeface changes are preserved. Table formatting and Excel cell layout are also preserved.

Note: there is no paste icon in the HTML Editor. Instead, press CTRL+V in Windows, or Command-V on a Mac. To paste as plain text, use CTRL+Shift+V in Windows, or Command-Option-Shift-V on Mac.

Improvements in Image and PDF Viewing

In previous versions of D2L, PDFs and images would load in the Document Viewer. Images and PDFs no longer require the Document Viewer.

  • Images load faster.
  • PDFs now display in the browser’s native viewer. Users of Acrobat Reader can now take advantage of built-in accessibility features.
Equations Now Previewed in the HTML Editor

The Equation Editor is updated and is now able to insert preview of equations directly into the HTML Editor.

Content

Accessibility Improvements
  • Breadcrumbs are easier to use in Content for users of screen readers or assistive technologies.
  • The topic list in Content is now identifiable by users of assistive technologies.

Discussions

Restrict Posts by Group

A new heading— Topic Type— is visible when creating a new topic. The default is “Open topic”, which is the behavior most familiar with instructors. Selecting “Group or section” means student only see posts or information posted by their own group (or section).

Once a topic is set, it cannot be changed back to an open topic.

Copy Replies with the Parent Post

When using More Actions > Copy while reading a post, a checkbox is available labeled ‘Copy replies’. If checked, the replies to a thread will copy along with the original thread post.

Grade Topics by Summing the Points of Posts

Using the “Sum of post scores” option for graded topics in the Discussions area, instructors can add the points of individual posts in a topic to arrive at a grade for the entire topic.

Forum Descriptions Can be Shown in Topics Automatically

The descriptions of forums can be shown in topics. Check the “Display forum description in topics” checkbox to share the description. If topics already have a description, it will be shown after the forum description.

Discussions Made from Groups Have More Descriptive Names

When making discussion topics from a new Group Category, groups now have more descriptive names. For example, making a new Group Category named “Week 1 Discussions” within a new Discussion forum will produce topics named “Week 1 Discussions – Group 1”, “Week 1 Discussions – Group 2”, etc.

New Topics are Automatically Created for New Groups

This feature will automatically create topics in Discussion forums when new groups are added that are already used by the forum.

  • Scenario 1: from the Groups tool, choose a Group Category that is already associated with a Discussion forum. Then, create a new group in that category. The Discussion forum will be automatically updated.
  • Scenario 2: a forum is copied to a course from a previous semester, along with the groups and group restrictions. Create a new group in the Group Category associated with the forum, and a new topic will be created. Rename the newly created topic to match the original topics.
Topic Scores Auto-fill When Assessing Topics Via Rubric

For Discussion topics with points-based Rubrics, when instructors assess a topic, the score of the rubric automatically transfers to the Topic Score. This also ensures the rubric score automatically transfers to Grades when the grade is published.

Grades

Automatically Release Final Grade to Students

Instructors can choose to release the final grade to students automatically. This feature is off by default, which matches the previous behavior of D2L. To enable this option, edit the Settings for your course’s gradebook. On the Calculation Options tab, check “Automatically release final grade”.

Export Group Membership with Grade Export

In addition to name and email, the membership of groups can also be exported from the gradebook. A column listing the Group Category appears in the export, with the membership of the group listed in the column for each student.

Rubric Scores Transfer to Grade Items

If a points-based rubric is associated with a grade item, the score now transfers from the Rubric to the grade item. Note: if multiple rubrics are assigned to a grade item, only the first overall score is transferred to the grade item.

Groups

New Group Category: “Single user, member-specific groups”

Groups in this new category type contain only one student, and the group is named after the student. Discussion topics, Locker folders, Dropbox folders, News items, and more can be restricted to a specific student. This feature is exceptionally helpful in the context of Discussion-based virtual office hours.

Intelligent Agents

Unlimited Agent Email Length

Agent emails have historically been limited to 4,000 characters. Agents now have a theoretically unlimited length. Be aware that excessive email size or length can prevent email from being delivered reliably.

Copy and Restore Intelligent Agents

The down arrow to the right of an agent reveals a Copy command. In addition, deleted agents can now be restored by clicking the More Actions button, then clicking Restore.

Agents Display Next Run Date

The Next Run Date column is listed to the right of the names of agents. It will always show the next date and time the agent will run.

Agents Stop Running after the End Date of Courses

When a course is deactivated or the end date of a course passes, agents automatically stop running. Inactive or disabled agents can be manually run at any time, even in inactive courses.

View Agent Run History

Clicking the down arrow next to an agent shows the history. Information listed includes the date and time the agent ran (including practice runs), the result (the number of students affected), the type of run, and who ran the agent, if available.

Practice Run an Intelligent Agent

Once an agent is created, click the down arrow next to the agent’s name to request a Practice Run. No emails will be sent. Once the run is completed, click the link to the right of the agent name to see the students that trigger the Intelligent Agent. Practice runs can be used on disabled agents.

Customize the Name and Reply-To of Emails

The name and reply-to email address can be customized by course for emails sent by Intelligent Agents. While the from email can’t be changed, specifying a custom name, and a reply-to address can make it easier for students to identify course emails, and reach instructors. Change these options by clicking the Settings icon in the Intelligent Agents tool.

News

Link Directly to News Announcements Using a QuickLink

News items can be linked to using QuickLinks. Wherever the HTML Editor is used in D2L, insert a QuickLink to a specific News item for reference.

Quizzes, Surveys

Allow Additional Attempts Per Student

Along with allowing students unique start and end times and time limits for quizzes, instructors can now allow a different number of attempts for specific students.

Quiz and Survey Answers Now Highlight

Multiple Choice, True/False and Multiple Select questions are now grey when the mouse moves over an answer, and the answer background turns blue.

User Progress/Class Progress

Weights Shown with Grades

In the Grades section of User Progress, grade weights are now displayed below the grade entered by the instructor.

Known Issues

Known issues are problems found with D2L or other tools associated with the D2L service that are considered incorrect behavior by the vendor. Known issues will likely be addressed at a later time.

Accessibility

  • (Firefox and Internet Explorer only) when viewing Content, pressing Enter on the keyboard may skip a page.
    • Workaround: Use Chrome to avoid the issue. The course file may also be downloaded.
  • JAWS 17 reads the time index of some videos instead of reading the captions. Note that this issue does not affect some kinds of videos.
    • Workaround: further troubleshooting may need to be performed to determine a workaround. Students should contact the UWM Help Desk and the course instructor to report the issue. Instructors should contact CETL for assistance.
  • Some buttons in pop-up windows may not be usable for users of screen readers.
    • Workaround: in Account Settings, uncheck “Show secondary windows as pop-ups”. Note that users of screen readers may need to adjust to the way pop-up dialogs are presented.

Awards

  • When updating the expiration date of an award, the expiration date is not updated for students who have already received the award.
    • Workaround: there is no known workaround.

Content

  • Students with more than 26 bookmarks may not see all bookmarks.
    • Workaround: there is currently no known workaround.

Discussions

  • Restoring a Discussion topic does not restore the grade item association.
    • Workaround: if the grade item was not restored, re-enable the association manually.
  • Subscription Alerts do not function when subscribing to a moderated Discussion topic in grid view.
    • Workaround: subscribe to topics using Reading View.
  • Where a Discussion is restricted to a group, and the group is deleted, group information is still visible in unthreaded view.
    • Workaround: View discussions in threaded view to filter out invalid group information.
  • Pasting an image from Word into a Discussion post may attach the image to the post twice. (Note: many users cannot paste images into Discussion posts directly due to default security settings on their computers.)
    • Workaround: manually upload images to Discussion posts.

Dropbox

  • Adding or editing dates for Dropboxes (such as start, end, or due dates) might occasionally result in duplicate D2L Calendar dates.
    • Workaround: click the title of the event in the D2L Calendar, then click the chevron (down arrow) next to the name, and click Delete.
  • If a Dropbox is moved to a new Grade item after grades and feedback are given, the feedback will not move to the new grade item.
    • Workaround: browse to the specific Dropbox folder, view the score and feedback for each submission, and click the Update button.

Grades

  • Group information exported via the gradebook will only display the first group a student is a member of.
    • Workaround: there is currently no known workaround. Group membership is visible from the Groups tool. View group membership from other tools by filtering by group.
  • Entering grades using Spreadsheet view might make it look like the wrong grade items are dropped in a category. This bug does not affect the student gradebook view. Final grade calculation is not affected.
    • Workaround: grade an item in the category and save without making grade changes. The icons will be corrected.
  • Grades hidden by a release condition may not show a score when released through student activity.
    • Workaround: remove the release condition.
  • Importing a CSV of grades into a grade item with a category of the same name produces an error and may sometimes show an Internal Error message.
    • Workaround: either rename the category so the grade item does not have the same name, or remove the category. Instructors are encouraged to not use categories that have the same name as grade items.
  • Lowest dropped icons may be incorrect or vanish entirely for instructors. This is cosmetic, as grade calculations are correct. Students correctly see lowest dropped icons.
    • Workaround: there is currently no known workaround.
  • Text grade items incorrectly display Max Points and Weight when grading, even though Text items do not have scores. The points and weight displayed are placeholders and do not affect the final grade.
    • Workaround: there is currently no known workaround.

HTML Editor

  • It is not visibly obvious when empty table cells are selected. The black outline typical of selected table cells is absent.
    • Workaround: temporarily enter content into the cells.

Manage Dates

  • The unlocked date range of forums and topics can’t be changed.
    • Workaround: Unlock dates must be adjusted manually for forums and topics.
  • Changing the dates of a grade item along with a category of the same name displays an Internal Error
    • Workaround: do not change both category and grade item at the same time. Instructors are encouraged to not use categories that have the same name as grade items.

Quizzes

  • Videos from My Media, YouTube, and other sources cannot be played fullscreen from within quizzes.
    • Workaround: there is no known workaround.
  • Previewing Multiple Select questions may produce an Internal Error warning.
    • Workaround: add the question to a quiz and preview the quiz.
  • (Mobile devices only) Time Left while taking a quiz may be displayed wrong on mobile devices if the device falls asleep or if the lock screen appears.
    • Workaround: there is no known workaround. Students are strongly advised to not take quizzes on mobile devices as a matter of practice.
  • Students unenrolling from courses skews the recorded number of completed and graded attempts. The average score is also affected.
    • Workaround: go to the Grade area of a quiz. Then, click the Publish icon to unpublish all attempts. Then, save. Lastly, re-publish the quiz attempts and save.
  • Enabling “Allow automatic export to grades” does not export quiz grades calculated before enabling the export.
    • Workaround: uncheck “Allow automatic export to grades”, save, then re-check “Allow automatic export to grades” and save.
  • If a student submits a quiz late, the late time might be incorrect. However, quizzes that do exceed the time limit are correctly recorded as late.
    • Workaround: there is no known workaround.
  • (Edge only) Instructors may experience issues with adding options to Multiple Choice (MC) questions.
    • Workaround: use Chrome or Firefox. While officially supported by D2L, Edge and Safari are not recommended.
  • Quizzes that can have decimal scores may be calculated incorrectly. Example: if a quiz has 4 questions, and each question is worth 0.33 points, a score of 0.99 is possible, which may be miscalculated as a result of rounding.
    • Workaround: use whole numbers for the number of points for each quiz question. Instructors are encouraged to use whole numbers for quiz questions as D2L will automatically adjust scores for the gradebook.
  • Manually re-grading a quiz question may force the statistics from an associated grade item to fall out-of-sync. Specifically, the class average may be affected.
    • Workaround: go to the Grade screen of a quiz, click any completed attempt listed, then click the Save and Close button.

Surveys

  • (iOS only) Starting a survey via Content, and not answering the survey completely may result in what appears to be a blank screen.
    • Workaround: drag the page down to view the top of the page from within Content. Alternatively, use the Surveys link to access the survey.



Keywords:d2l d2l@uwm desire2learn brightsapce learn@uw learnuw luw upgrade release note notes 10.7 10.7.0 maintenance release new features changes bugs   Doc ID:73563
Owner:David D.Group:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Created:2017-05-25 12:38 CDTUpdated:2017-07-11 09:11 CDT
Sites:UW-Extension and Colleges, UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Feedback:  2   0