What’s New on Brightspace (November 2019)
Every month, Brightspace will release new features and updates. You can get a comprehensive view of the updates here, but this blog post will give you a quick overview of what’s new on Brightspace!
Assignments – Letter grading available
Grade Schemes can now be used by instructors to evaluate assignments by associating Selectbox Grade Items to an assignment. When grading an assignment through Assignments, Quick Eval, or Grades, the evaluator is shown a dropdown menu with the associated grade scheme levels. This feature functions identically for rubrics and numeric values as the previously existing Selectbox grade item type in the gradebook.
Any Selectbox grade item can now use an Organization level grade scheme, without having to copy the grade scheme into an individual course. This allows administrators to create centralized grade schemes for Selectbox grade items, and makes it easier for instructors to use those grade schemes in their courses. Grade Schemes have also been reordered so that the highest grade, rather than the lowest, defaults to the top of the list. API routes have been added to enable the creation of assignment Selectbox grade items.
Quizzes – Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log
When an instructor restores a learner’s deleted quiz attempt, they 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
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 On the quiz evaluation page, the Graded (G) checkbox and Save button have been replaced by the Publish and Save Draft buttons.
Intelligent Agents – Email images and enrollment permission checks
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.
New permission checks are now in place that limit assigning new enrollments using intelligent agents. Intelligent agent creators can no longer enroll users into a course they do not have enrollment permissions in or to a role they do not have permission to enroll. Previously, it was possible to assign a greater set of permissions than the intelligent agent creators themselves had the permissions to do. Now, when the user accesses the Change User Enrollments area, the New Role drop-down menu limits the Enroll options available to the IA creator. On save, the intelligent agent displays an error if the combination of course and enrollment selected are not permitted.
A new Intelligent Agents permission called Use Agent Unenrollment Actions that controls whether the unenrollment option is available to the user. This permission is ON by default to replicate the current experience.
Learning Outcomes – Ability to create custom outcomes not in the ASN
To increase the value and the efficiency of Learning Outcomes, program administrators can create outcomes at the org level that are available to all courses. This removes the dependency on the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), and enables clients to have more stringent control over the wording of outcomes used within their institution. The ability to create outcomes not listed in the ASN includes the following changes:
On the Administrator menu, when the administrator accesses Learning Outcomes (or, depending on your implementation of the d2l.Languages.Terminology.LearningOutcomes configuration variable, the Standards, Expectations, Objectives, or Competencies) at the organization level, there is a new Programs tab in the area where you create achievement scales. On that tab, there is a list of program outcome categories and the ability to create new program outcomes.
From the Course Administration Learning Outcomes management page, an option is available to import program outcomes created by administrators at the Organization level. When the instructor selects the program, a list of outcomes for that program appears. Instructors can create child outcomes for a program outcome.
Learning Outcomes – View assessment details on the Outcomes Progress Details page
To increase the value of the Outcomes Progress Details page, instructors and other instructor-type roles can now view feedback and submissions for assignments and discussion topics for individual learners. Previously, only some information about individual assessments appeared on the Outcomes Progress page, but not the full context of the assessment; with this change, a more complete view of the assessments is available on the Outcomes Progress page.
The page now links to a summary of the activity, the learner’s submission or demonstration of the activity, the assessment that an instructor has provided. The feedback page displays the following information (if it is available in Brightspace Learning Environment):
Score achieved by the learner
Start, due, and end dates
Outcomes and levels achieved
General feedback provided by the instructor or evaluator
Lessons – Users can no longer add or remove outcomes in Lessons
To provide a consistent experience when using learning outcomes in the Brightspace Learning Environment, the Add or Remove Outcomes button in Lessons is no longer available. However, the area where the button previously existed now has a link that takes the user to the Course Administration Learning Outcomes management page.
Because of this change, there is a single consolidated spot for instructors to import outcomes. Other outcome functionality in Lessons, such as the coverage gauge and alignment capabilities, are not changing.