Learning Hub September 2020 Updates

September 2020 Update

Every month the Learning Hub gets an update. This is an update overview of what’s changing in September 2020

New Additions

Brightspace Platform – Refreshed visual design of user interface components | New

To establish a modern and consistent visual design across products and tools in the Brightspace platform, this release refreshes several user interface components. This also provides essential updates to those user interface components that implement the latest technologies, accessibility (a11y) recommendations, and security best practices. 

Note: Due to the broad scope of the refreshed visual design, some user interface components were refreshed in the August 2020/20.20.8 release. As this work continues, you will see more user interface components refreshed in upcoming releases.

The previous visual design of a toggle in the Brightspace platform
Figure: The previous visual design of a toggle in the Brightspace platform

The new visual design of a toggle in the Brightspace platform
Figure: The new visual design of a toggle in the Brightspace platform

Brightspace Pulse for iOS – View Activity Feed posts and comments | New

To keep up to date on course activity, learners can now read Activity Feed posts and comments in Brightspace Pulse for iOS. Learners can also receive Activity Feed notifications. For example, in courses with Activity Feed enabled, instructors can use Activity Feed to post reminders about upcoming assignments and links to course materials. Learners then receive notifications about those posts in Brightspace Pulse, allowing them to view post details from the course homepages. Future releases will allow learners to post or reply to posts, if they have the appropriate permissions.

From the Courses tab, tapping a course displays the course homepage. The latest post and any associated comments display in the Activity Feed.

From the Notifications tab, tapping an Activity Feed notification displays the associated post or comment in the Activity Feed.

An Activity Feed post and comment for a course in Brightspace Pulse for iOS
Figure: An Activity Feed post and comment for a course in Brightspace Pulse for iOS

Discussions - Visual word count for discussion posts | New

A visual word count is now visible in the HTML Editor for discussion posts. All words in a discussion post are counted and include filler words such as “the,” “if,” and “to.” 

The word count is dynamically displayed to learners while they type in the HTML Editor and it also appears next to posts they have created in the Discussions Reading View and Grid View. Learners can view the word count for their posts only.

For instructors, the word count appears on the Assessment page during the discussions assessment process and it also appears inline with the post details in the Discussions Reading View and Grid View. Instructors can view the word count for all user posts.

This feature is controlled by the new d2l.Tools.Discuss.TextStats.DisplayWordCount configuration variable. By default, it is turned off. 

This feature implements PIE items D4352, D2057, and D988.

A discussion post with the dynamically displayed word count
Figure: A discussion post with the dynamically displayed word count

Updates

Virtual Classroom Update

Virtual Classroom has had visual and functionality updates.

Click here to view the updates.

Assignments – Additional functionality in the new assignment creation experience | Updated

Building on the functionality added to the new create and edit assignment experience in the August 2020/20.20.8 release, you can now do the following:

  • Add special access conditions to assignmentsFigure: The new assignment creation experience with the Special Access functionalityFigure: The new assignment creation experience with the Special Access functionality

 

  • Receive a notification email when assignments are submittedFigure: The new assignment creation experience with the Notification Email functionality
    Figure: The new assignment creation experience with the Notification Email functionality

Class/User Progress – Include Pulse activity in usage data | Update

Learner activity data is now captured more accurately through the addition of a new system usage metric. Previously, Pulse usage was not tracked, and learners who accessed their courses through the app were misrepresented as having low engagement and could not access conditionally released content.

These changes affect the following areas of Brightspace:

  • Class Progress has a new System Access performance indicator, which displays the number of times each course participant has accessed the system through the Learning Environment or Pulse in the last 30 days. Instructors can add System Access to the Class Progress dashboard by clicking Settings.
  • User Progress has a new System Access History section, which displays the number of times the user has accessed the system through the Learning Environment or Pulse in the last 30 days. Instructors can select System Access History to display in the User Progress report by clicking Settings.


Class Progress dashboard showing System Access indicator
Figure: Class Progress dashboard showing System Access indicator

User Progress sidebar showing location of System Access History section after Login History
Figure: User Progress sidebar showing location of System Access History section

System Access History summary, including number of system accesses, date the system was last accessed, and a small histogram
Figure: System Access History summary in the User Progress tool

Data Hub – Changes to Brightspace Data Sets | Updated

To increase the value of the Data Hub offering, this release adds new Brightspace Data Sets (BDS).

  • Survey Objects describes all the surveys in the organization.
  • System Access Log lists all the times a user has accessed the system through the Learning Environment or Pulse. System access starts when the user logs in, returns after 30 minutes of inactivity, or opens the app. System access ends after 30 minutes of inactivity.

This release also adds new columns to existing data sets.

  • WordCount added to Discussion Posts BDS.
  • AttachmentCount added to Discussion Posts BDS.

Question Library – Attach files in arithmetic and significant figures questions | Updated

Building on the attach files in written response questions functionality released in the August 2020/20.20.8 release, when creating arithmetic and significant figures questions, instructors can now allow learners to include external files with their responses and record audio or video responses when answering these question types. This feature is only available in the new Quiz Builder Experience.

When grading a quiz, similar to the behavior in the Discussions tool, instructors can view a list of attachments, download them, or open them in another tab. When reviewing their submission in Submission View, the learner can see their uploaded attachment if allowed to see their responses.

To support attachment responses, Quizzes data sets and quiz reporting enhancements will be released in the November 2020/20.20.11 release.


Figure: The updated New Arithmetic Question screen
Figure: The updated New Arithmetic Question screen 
  
Figure: The updated New Significant Figures screen
Figure: The updated New Significant Figures screen

Question Library – Search for and select questions in Question Library sections | Updated

This feature enables instructors to search for sections in Question Library by section title, as well as the ability to select and import the section in its entirety from the search results list. Previously, you could only search for questions by question text and you could not select sections in the search results.

Figure: The updated search and select capability in Question Library
Figure: The updated search and select capability in Question Library

Figure: The previous search and select questions capability in Question Library
Figure: The previous search and select questions capability in Question Library

Quizzes - Editing quizzes with previous attempts | Updated

This feature updates the Quizzes – User experience updates for editing quizzes with attempts feature released in August 2020/20.20.8.  
Points for all past quiz attempts are no longer modified when edits are made that affect the overall points and/or the grading calculations for a quiz. In the previous release, this update extended only to quizzes with attempts started after the June 2020/20.20.6 release. Now, all previous quizzes with attempts started before Brightspace Learning Environment version 20.20.6 will display the quiz and grading calculations that appeared to the learner at the exact time they made the attempt.