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April 2017/10.7.0 Release

View all Release Notes >

The following release notes are for clients installing Brightspace Learning Environment 10.7.0 (April 2017).

To view the Fixed Issues and Known Issues List for 10.7.0, see the Brightspace Platform 10.7.0 Release Notes.

To view the lang term updates for 10.7.0 see Brightspace Platform 10.7.0 Lang Terms.

Note that the the following features contain updates:

  • Activity Feed - removed dependency on Content Service
  • Document Conversion Service - updated availability and location information

Additional Information:

Release Highlights

Release Notes

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Integrations

IPSIS - Improved Logging | Updated

integrations,lookfeel

To help administrators troubleshoot errors more efficiently, IPSIS log messages have been improved to include the context in which the error occurred. Log messages are also now titled in a consistent manner so they are grouped in the error view. Additionally, when metadata is available in the log message, users can search and display the metadata in more detail.

Integrations Integration

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators due to additional error information included in log messages.

When metadata is included in log messages, it displays in a Metadata section. It consists of all data points gathered from the original request, which might not display in the error message itself.

To view IPSIS log messages:

1. From the Admin Tools menu, select IPSIS Administration.

2. Select one of the log messages to see the error information.

Learning Environment

Activity Feed - Limited release to US and Canada | New

configurationvariables,organizationwide,rolepermissions

Activity Feed is a new course homepage widget for Brightspace Learning Environment available to clients in the US and Canada. Activity Feed provides a central location for instructors to post messages and links to course materials. It gives learners the ability to quickly access links to important materials, and comment on messages made by instructors and classmates.

Instructor view of the Activity Feed

Student view of the Activity Feed

Configuration Variables Configuration Variable

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Role Permissions Role Permissions

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators due to a configuration variable that needs to be enabled, and having to map IMS roles to Brightspace Learning Environment roles.

Before this widget can be used, the configuration variable d2l.Tools.ActivityFeed.ShowWidget must be enabled. Features of the tool can be turned on for specific courses by adding override values in the Config Variable Browser. Administrators must access Admin Tools > IMS Configuration to map IMS roles to Brightspace Learning Environment roles.

The configuration variable to enable Activity Feed will be available after all continuous delivery wave deployments are complete. It will not be visible when Brightspace Learning Environment 10.7.0 is first released.

This feature is not available to self-hosted clients as it is dependent on the Authentication Service, Landlord Service, and Content Service.

1. In the Config Variable Browser, set the d2l.Tools.ActivityFeed.ShowWidget configuration variable to on.

2. From the Admin Tools menu, select IMS Configuration and map IMS roles to Brightspace Learning Environment roles. Brightspace Learning Environment roles for student, parent, and instructor must be mapped to the IMS roles for student, mentor, and instructor.

3. Add the Activity Feed widget to the default course homepage, or notify instructors that the widget is available for them to add to custom homepages.

Slight impact to instructors due to the availability of a new widget.

n/a

1. Add the Activity Feed widget to a course homepage from Course Admin > Homepages.

2. Post messages and links to course materials.

Slight impact to learners due to the availability of a new widget.

n/a

View messages and links posted by instructors, and add comments to communicate with the class.

Brightspace Daylight - Optional course image banner on widget-based homepages | New

configurationvariables,lookfeel,onprem

Instructors can now add a course image banner below the navigation bar on widget-based course homepages. The banner provides a venue to personalize the look and feel of course homepages and provide a connection between the course tile in the My Courses widget and the course homepage.

Administrators control the prominence of this feature in the Brightspace Daylight Experience. By default, the d2l.Tools.Homepages.Banner.EnabledByDefault configuration variable is turned off, indicating that instructors can opt in to using the banner image. If the configuration variable is turned on, and the form element Use Course Image is set to Is Displayed instructors can remove the banner using an option on the Course Offering Information page.

When instructors are required to opt in to using the course banner, they must select the Display the image in a banner on the course homepage checkbox.

If the d2l.Tools.Homepages.Banner.EnabledByDefault configuration variable is turned on, instructors are required to set a banner for their courses. In the Course Offering Information dialog box, instructors can select the course image.

Instructors can choose a course banner image using the Course Offering Information box by clicking the More Options menu

The Brightspace Daylight Experience features are now optimized for production environments when using the Google Chrome or Apple Safari browsers. The core tools and workflows in Brightspace Learning Environment have been tested extensively on these two browsers. In the coming months, D2L will continue to make updates across the product suite that reflect Daylight design and will continue to optimize the Daylight Experience in other browser environments. Turning on Daylight does not modify your content or other settings in Brightspace. All workflows and features in the Brightspace Daylight experience are available on all supported browsers; however, D2L is continuing to optimize performance and improve page load times on browsers other than Chrome and Safari. If you turn on the Brightspace Daylight Experience to do some testing, you can turn off the configuration setting to restore your site to the original look and feel.

Configuration Variables Configuration Variable

Look and Feel Look and Feel

On-Prem On-Premise

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators who can set the content image banner to optional or required.

 

The Brightspace Daylight Experience feature is now available to clients who turn on the d2l.system.BrightspaceDaylightExperience configuration variable.

Administrators can set the d2l.Tools.Homepages.Banner.EnabledByDefault configuration variable to require instructors to use a course image banner. By default, this variable is turned off.

You must have the Brightspace Daylight Experience configuration variable turned on before you can use this feature.

Administrators should consider turning on the image banner by default if instructors have requested increased personalization options in the Brightspace Daylight Experience.

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to add a course image banner to their course homepage or review the banner if it is turned on by default.

If the d2l.Tools.Homepages.Banner.EnabledByDefault configuration variable remains turned off, instructors can select the Display the image in a banner on the course homepage checkbox on the Course Offering Information page.

If the d2l.Tools.Homepages.Banner.EnabledByDefault configuration variable is turned on, users can click the More Options menu on the course banner remove the course banner.

Instructors need the See Course Info and Change Course Image permissions to add, remove, or edit the course image banner.

Data Hub - Brightspace Data Sets | New

configurationvariables,globalchange,lookfeel,organizationwide,rolepermissions,systemrequirementchange,toolchange,workflow

To provide administrators with access to more comprehensive data, this release introduces a new type of data set to the Data Hub tool: Brightspace Data Sets. This new data set type consists of raw, user-level data from Brightspace Learning Environment, which grants administrators the flexibility to filter, aggregate, and transform the data according to their needs.

Specific benefits of Brightspace Data Sets include:

  • Gain access to raw, user-level data
    Use the Data Hub UI or API to gain access to Brightspace Data Sets in CSV format.
  • Easily combine data sets
    Brightspace Data Sets are designed to work with each other. Import your data sets into a database to combine the data sets you need to create more complex data sets or reports.
  • Create custom aggregations and filters
    Import your data sets into a database to filter and aggregate on the fields that answer your questions. You can always review the user-level data to fine-tune your results.
  • Generate data visualizations and reports
    Import your data sets into a database to use with your favorite Business Intelligence (BI) tool or spreadsheet and create data visualizations.
  • Use your data for research
    Mine your data and combine with data from other systems for research to gain further insights.

Brightspace Data Sets in the Data Hub tool

Configuration Variables Configuration Variable

Global Change Global Change

Work Flow Workflow

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Role Permissions Role Permissions

System Requirement Change System Requirement Change

Tool Change Tool Change

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Significant impact to administrators due to changes to system requirements and new data sets available from a new tab in the Data Hub.

Brightspace Data Sets are compatible with Brightspace 10.7+, and are available to Brightspace Insights and Brightspace Core clients.

Brightspace Data Sets are CSV extracts of data from Brightspace Learning Environment, available in the following regions:

  • North America
  • EMEA
  • APAC

With Brightspace Data Sets, administrators download the complete historical data for the data extracts. However, there are the following exceptions:

  • There is a default system limit to return 150 million rows of the most recent data.
  • There are a few data sets where the data is limited to the last two calendar years (noted in the descriptions of the data sets).

Brightspace Data Sets are refreshed daily. During the enablement process, D2L sets up a scheduled task to generate the data sets, which refreshes the data.

Depends on the following microservices:

  • Authentication Service
  • Brightspace Data Platform

To learn more about Brightspace Core, contact your D2L Account Manager.

Significant impact to administrators due to new role permissions and configuration variables.

The ability to run Brightspace Data Sets is controlled by data set-specific permissions.

From Admin Tools Menu Icon Admin Tools > Roles and Permissions > Brightspace Data Sets, grant the permissions that correspond to the data set you want the user to be able to run. For example, to run the User Enrollments data set, grant the Can execute User Enrollments permission at the org level.

Brightspace Data Sets use the following configuration variables for performance tuning, visible only to D2L:

  • d2l.Tools.BrightspaceDataSets.BatchSize (Org) - Batch size to use for the Brightspace Data Sets queries. The default is 100,000.
  • d2l.Tools.BrightspaceDataSets.RowLimit (Org) - Maximum number of rows that any Brightspace Data Set outputs to a file. The default is 150,000,000.
  • d2l.Tools.BrightspaceDataSets.TruncateLimit (Org) - Limit of how many characters are exported for fields with no maximum length from the Brightspace Data Sets. The default is 1,000.

1. Ensure that the Data Hub tool is enabled.

2. From the Admin Tools Menu Icon Admin Tools menu, select Roles and Permissions, and grant the following Brightspace Data Sets permissions at the org level:

  • Can Access Brightspace Data Sets
  • Can Execute <data set name>. For example, to run the User Enrollments data set, grant the Can Execute User Enrollments permission.

For detailed information about Brightspace Data Sets, refer to the new Data Hub - Administrator Guide when it is released.

Document Conversion Service | New

globalchange,systemrequirementchange

To improve the document viewing experience for users, this release introduces the Document Conversion Service. When documents are uploaded to the Content tool, Assignments tool, Brightspace Learning Repository, or Brightspace ePortfolio, the documents are converted to PDFs, which display inline in the tool or product. Previously, the DocumentBuilderService rendered documents as images at different zoom levels.

Global Change Global Change

System Requirement Change System Requirement Change

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Moderate system requirement impact for administrators because of potential data residency issues.

The Document Conversion Service is automatically enabled for all new and existing clients hosted in Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) data centers, and is only available to these clients.

The Document Conversion Service is located in all AWS locations currently used by D2L.

The Document Conversion Service depends on the Authentication Service, located in AWS U.S. East (N. Virginia).

D2L recommends checking your organization's policies regarding data residency, and consulting with your legal advisors.

For detailed information regarding data residency, privacy, and transmission, refer to the updated Microservices in the Brightspace Cloud guide when it is released.

Slight impact to instructors and learners due to the valid file types that can be uploaded.

Documents are converted during upload instead of during user access, which reduces wait times when serving documents to users.

Valid file types include: .ppt, .pps, .pptx, .ppsx, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt, .odp, .xls, .xlsx.

Converted documents display as inline PDFs in the tool or product. If an uploaded document is an invalid file type, it fails to convert and render in the tool or product.

When users download documents, they are saved in their native file formats.

N/A

HTML Editor - New Question Authoring experience | Updated

globalchange,lookfeel,organizationwide,usersonly

The HTML Editor tool now makes use of the updated Math Editor when instructors create quiz questions using the New Question Authoring experience. As a result, instructors can preview equations inline when creating quiz questions.

Updated Math Editor within New Question Authoring experience

Global Change Global Change

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Users Only Users Only

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to instructors who can now preview math equations within the HTML Editor tool when using the New Question Authoring experience.

n/a

n/a

HTML Editor - Accessibility Checker | New

toolchange,usersonly,workflow

An accessibility checker is now available within the HTML Editor for use within Content, Widgets, Quizzes, Assignments, Calendar, and any other tools where an instructor or student can access the HTML Editor.

The accessibility checker is available on the HTML Editor bar. After you add content to the HTML Editor, you can click the checker to ensure that the HTML page conforms to WCAG and Section 508 accessibility standards.

Click the accessibility checker to verify that the content you have added to the HTML Editor conforms to accessibility standards

The accessibility checker reviews content for the following items:

  • Use of paragraphs as headings
  • Sequential headings
  • Adjacent links
  • Ordered list structure
  • Unordered list structure
  • Contrast ratio of text to background colors
  • Image ALT text
  • ALT text filename
  • Table Caption
  • Complex table summary
  • Table caption and summary
  • Table heading scope, markup, and headers

The checker indicates if there are no issues, or offers suggestions to fix identified accessibility issues.

If the accessibility checker does not find any issues in the HTML content, an message appears to indicate that the content conforms to accessibility rules

If the accessibility checker finds an issue, it indicates how the content does not meet guidelines and suggests a way to fix the issue

Note that the accessibility checker does not check multiple files at the same time, and does not check files that you have imported into a course. Also be aware that the accessibility checker is only available for HTML files in the HTML Editor; it does not check any other type of file, such as MS Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and so on.

This feature implements PIE item D3094.

Users Only Users Only

Tool Change Tool Change

Work Flow Workflow

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to instructors and learners who create HTML content in Brightspace Learning Environment using HTML Editor due to the new ability to perform accessibility checks on their content.

 

 

 

N/A

When users add content using the HTML Editor, the accessibility checker helps to meet WCAG and Section 508 compliance.

HTML Editor - Version updates for TinyMCE and the TinyMCE PowerPaste plugin | Updated

globalchange,toolchange

The versions of TinyMCE and the TinyMCE PowerPaste plugin used in the HTML Editor tool in Brightspace Learning Environment have been updated (to 4.5.3 and 2.1.10-115, respectively).

Global Change Global Change

Tool Change Tool Change

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to users due to fixes included in updated versions.

n/a

For specific details on the fixes included with this update, see PRB0053120 and PRB0053695 in the Brightspace platform 10.7.0 Fixed Issues List.

For additional information, see the TinyMCE Changelog.

Quizzes - Renamed Long Answer (LA) to Written Response (WR) | Updated

globalchange,lookfeel,organizationwide

In the Quizzes tool, the Long Answer (LA) question type is now Written Response (WR). The question type was renamed to make the name more intuitive for administrators and instructors.

Written Response question type in the Question Library

Creating a Written Response question in the new quizzing experience

Creating a Written Response question in the old quizzing experience

Global Change Global Change

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Organization Wide Organization Wide

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators and instructors due to the renamed Long Answer question type in the Quizzes tool.

The Written Response (WR) question type is a lang term change only.

Written Response (WR) displays in the old and new quizzing experience, with no opt-in or out option.

N/A


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