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201703_10-6-11_Preview

Continuous Delivery Releases

March 2017/10.6.11 Preview Release

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The following preview release notes are for clients installing Brightspace Learning Environment 10.6.11 (March 2017).

To view the Preview Fixed Issues List for 10.6.11, see the Brightspace Platform 10.6.11 Preview Release Notes.

Note that the following feature was removed from the March 2017 preview release:

  • Brightspace Pulse - iOS 9 is no longer supported

Additional Information:

This is pre-release information. The functionality, screens, and configuration of features are subject to change before release. D2L recommends reviewing the final release notes to determine if there are any changes that impact your organization.

Release Notes

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Integrations

Virtual Classrooms and Video Assignments - Live Captioning Role available | New

integrations,rolepermissions,toolchange,usersonly

Virtual Classrooms can have a user assigned to caption a meeting while it is in session. The captions are visible in live and recorded presentations for any users subscribed to view captions.

Integrations Integration

Role Permissions Role Permissions

Tool Change Tool Change

Users Only Users Only

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to instructors due to the ability to designate a stenographer for Virtual Classrooms presentations.

n/a

1. To designate a stenographer, select the Layout menu and choose Closed Captioning from the available options.

2. Pick from the available languages and click Take Ownership.

3. Text can then be entered and is visible to anyone viewing the captioning for the presentation.

 

Slight impact to learners due to the ability to view captions in live and recorded presentations.

n/a

To view available captions, subscribe to closed captioning when accessing a presentation.

Virtual Classrooms and Video Assignments - Breakout rooms available in Virtual Classrooms Premium | New

integrations,toolchange,usersonly,workflow

To quickly divide a class into smaller teams for isolated discussions, instructors can now create breakout rooms in Virtual Classrooms Premium.

Integrations Integration

Tool Change Tool Change

Users Only Users Only

Work Flow Workflow

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to Instructors due to change in workflow when using Virtual Classrooms Premium.

Instructors have the ability to start, monitor, and close breakout rooms.

In the Virtual Classrooms Users pane, click the gear icon and select Breakout Rooms. Set the number of rooms, the time limit for the rooms, and if recording of rooms is available to learners.

Slight impact to Learners due to the availability of breakout rooms.

n/a

An invitation to join a breakout room is received once the room settings are finalized by your instructor. In the dialog box, click Yes to join the breakout room in a new browser tab.

Learning Environment

Daylight Experience - General availability | New

configurationvariables,globalchange,lookfeel,organizationwide,workflow

The Brightspace product suite has been redesigned using the Brightspace Daylight Experience. This new design provides increased visual appeal including new fonts, icons, colors, and simpler formatting. There have been changes to improve responsive navigation for mobile devices, tablets, and other narrow displays. Applications and tools now have a consistent look and feel with a focus on learning activities.

The Daylight Experience also features a new My Courses widget that provides a responsive tile-based layout and a new image library that contains over 3000 images.

Daylight Experience styles featured on a laptop screen

Daylight Experience styles featured on a tablet and mobile device screen

The Brightspace Daylight Experience is now optimized for production environments when using the Google Chrome browser. The core tools and workflows in Brightspace Learning Environment have been tested extensively on the Google Chrome browser. 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. 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

Global Change Global Change

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Work Flow Workflow

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to all users who are now able to use the Daylight Experience in a production environment optimized for the Google Chrome browser.

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

 

You must have this configuration variable set before you can use this feature.

Daylight Experience - Improvements to the My Courses widget | Updated

configurationvariables,lookfeel,rolepermissions,toolchange,usersonly,workflow

The My Courses widget has been improved in the following ways:

  • Improved ability to search for courses.
  • Relevant courses automatically display in the widget for most users. Based on your enrollments and Course Access options, 12 current and future courses automatically display in the widget. Users with more than 12 current and future courses that have not manually pinned at least one course continue to see a banner message to remind them to pin their courses using the options in the View All Courses page. The widget does not override any choice a user has made to specifically pin or unpin a course.
  • If you have See Course Info permission turned on an org unit, the My Courses widget now displays course start dates, course end dates, and course inactive states. If a course is inactive but has started, the course tile has a yellow dot in the top right corner. A banner displays in the widget indicating to the instructor that students are not able to access inactive courses.

    For users with permissions to see courses that arenӴ current or active, the My Courses widget displays course start dates, course end dates, and course inactive states.

  • If you have See Course Info permission turned on an org unit, the Course Offering information page is available as an option on the course context menu. Instructors can use this information page to quickly change a setting such as the course active state.
  • Course titles in the My Courses widget now display a total count of the unread course updates, including unread discussion posts, ungraded quiz attempts, unattempted quizzes, unread assignment submissions, and assignment submissions with unread feedback. If the total count is more than 99 items, the number appears as 99+ on the title. If you do not want to display all the unread items, you can turn on or turn off these settings in the My Courses widget settings.

The Brightspace Daylight Experience is now optimized for production environments when using the Google Chrome browser. The core tools and workflows in Brightspace Learning Environment have been tested extensively on the Google Chrome browser. 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. 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

Tool Change Tool Change

Role Permissions Role Permissions

Users Only Users Only

Work Flow Workflow

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators due to change in workflow.

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

 

 

You must have this configuration variable set before you can use the Daylight feature.

Additionally, you must have the See Course Info permission to see the Course offering information page as a menu option on the course context menu.

Daylight Experience - Logos on department and course level navbars | New

lookfeel,organizationwide

Clients can now apply navbar logos at all org unit levels using the active navbar and theme. This feature allows institutions to showcase different logos at the org, department, course, and custom org unit level. Clients can also configure the org unit name to appear in addition to the logo, except on the org navbar (which always hides the name), and course navbar (which always shows the name)

The logo is pulled from the Left Logo field in the active navbar's current theme. If the logo's link destination is not My Home, a My Home icon (Icon - My Home) appears in addition to the logo.

The Org Unit Name appears in the Course Offering navbars, as in past releases. In addition, the org unit name appears in the course navbar on course offerings, and in other org unit levels if the navbar and theme are configured to display it. The Org Unit name is not displayed at the organization level.

The Brightspace Daylight Experience is now optimized for production environments when using the Google Chrome browser. The core tools and workflows in Brightspace Learning Environment have been tested extensively on the Google Chrome browser. 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. 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.

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators due to change in appearance of logo appearing at all org unit levels and new My Home icon for logos that do not go to the user's homepage.

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

If you want the org unit name to appear on other org unit levels, you must configure the currently-used navbar and theme to include the org unit name.

You must have this configuration variable set before you can use this feature.

Grades - Exempt a learner from multiple grade items | New

globalchange,lookfeel,organizationwide,toolchange,workflow

The grade exemption workflow in Grades has been updated to allow instructors to exempt learners from multiple grade items at one time, through the use of multi-select check boxes.

Bulk exemptions of grade items

Global Change Global Change

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Tool Change Tool Change

Work Flow Workflow

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators due to an existing configuration variable that must be set.

The existing d2l.Tools.System.Features.IsExemptionsEnabled org unit configuration variable must be turned on for the bulk exemption page to appear.

Administrators must turn on this configuration variable before instructors can use this feature.

Slight impact to instructors due to the update to the grade exemption workflow.

n/a

n/a

Microservices - Content Service | New

globalchange

The Content Service is a new underlying service that will house future Brightspace content. It currently provides and standardizes functions such as import/export, storage, preview, permissions, and basic search of SCORM objects in the Brightspace platform. In order to enable the Content Service, administrators must select their AWS region based on their location.

Global Change Global Change

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators who need to select the AWS region based on their location.

This microservice is regionally deployed to Amazon Web Services. Administrators must select their region based on their location.

Data is only transmitted between this service if the instance's Brightspace developer platform API is publicly accessible.

This service depends on the Authentication Service and Landlord Service.

When selecting the AWS region from the list below, confirm with those responsible within your organization whether there are any geographic or other restrictions regarding where your organization's data must reside. The following general guidelines might help with your selection, but you must first ensure that the region you select is consistent with local law, and with the contract that your organization signed with D2L:

  • If you are located in the United States, Central America, or South America, choose the US region.
  • If you are located in Europe, Africa, or the Middle East, choose the Ireland region.
  • If you are location in Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, China, India, or the rest of Asia (excluding Singapore), choose the Australia region.
  • If you are location in Singapore, choose the Singapore region.

Quizzes - Improvements to the new quizzing experience | Updated

globalchange,lookfeel,organizationwide,toolchange,workflow

This release introduces further improvements to the new quizzing experience for True or False, Multiple Choice, Long Answer, and Short Answer quiz questions, which include the following:

  • If instructors opt out of the new quizzing experience, they are prompted to provide a reason why they are opting out.
  • An option has been added that enables users to save the current question and copy the content to a new question that can be edited.

Opt out reason

Save and Copy

Global Change Global Change

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Tool Change Tool Change

Work Flow Workflow

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to instructors due to improvements made to the new quizzing experience.

Before instructors can use these features, they must be configured by an administrator. In the Config Variable Browser, under Tools > Quizzes, the d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewExperienceOpt-In configuration variable must be enabled.

These features are dependent on the Authentication Service.

You must have the d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewExperienceOpt-In configuration variable set before you can use these features and the new experience itself.

Quizzes - Enhancements to Short Answer questions | Updated

globalchange,lookfeel,organizationwide,toolchange,workflow

Short Answer questions have been enhanced. Instructors can select the new Students must answer all blanks correctly grading option, which is an all or nothing grading option. Learners must answer all short answer questions accurately to receive marks.

Grading Option - Students must answer all blanks correctly

Global Change Global Change

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Organization Wide Organization Wide

Tool Change Tool Change

Work Flow Workflow

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Large impact to instructors due to enhancements made to Short Answer questions.

Before instructors can use this feature, it must be configured by an administrator. In the Config Variable Browser, under Tools > Quizzes, the d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewExperienceOpt-In configuration variable must be enabled.

This feature is dependent on the Authentication Service.

You must have the d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewExperienceOpt-In configuration variable set before you can use this feature and the new experience itself.

SCORM - New Brightspace SCORM solution | New

configurationvariables,lookfeel,rolepermissions,toolchange,workflow

A new SCORM solution is available for the Brightspace platform. This solution does not replace the original one, but is an alternative option that administrators can enable for their organization. The new features and improvements include the following:

  • Integrates a new, robust SCORM Engine and Content Player to support importing, playing, and tracking interaction data for all versions of SCORM.
  • Basic search capabilities of an instructor's own SCORM content.
  • Static and dynamic linking of SCORM objects, and linking to multiple courses.
  • Makes use of the new SCORM Engine to open and play SCORM objects in a new browser tab to optimize screen real estate, instead of objects playing inline as they do in the existing solution.
  • Equivalent navigation between the Brightspace Learning Environment interface and the SCORM interface, and between versions 1.2 and 2004 of SCORM objects.
  • Users are only marked for one attempt on the content when they open the SCORM object in full screen mode, instead of being marked for an additional attempt as they are in the existing solution. Additionally, SCORM objects in full screen no longer play over top of objects playing inline since in the new solution, SCORM objects automatically open and play in a new window.
  • Has its foundation in the new Content Service, which provides standardized content access and management.
  • Resides in AWS

The new SCORM solution still allows users to do the following:

  • Instructors can import, export, and copy courses that include course content and SCORM objects, both SCORM 1.2 and 2004.
  • Learners can play and interact with a course that includes course content and SCORM objects, both SCORM 1.2 and 2004.
  • Instructors can view high-level interaction data for their SCORM objects. In the future, more detailed interaction data will be available.
  • Instructors can connect SCORM objects with grade items that automatically enter into a grade book, if that functionality is enabled within their instance.

New SCORM Object option in the Content tool

New SCORM Object selection/upload dialog window with basic search field

Static and dynamic linking options

SCORM Object in a content module with Open in New Window option

Sample SCORM Object open and ready to play in new browser tab

Configuration Variables Configuration Variable

Look and Feel Look and Feel

Role Permissions Role Permissions

Tool Change Tool Change

Work Flow Workflow

 

Impact of Change

Technical Details

Next Steps

Slight impact to administrators who must enable the new SCORM solution for their organization.

Administrators must do the following to enable the new SCORM solution:

  • Enable the Content Service by setting the d2l.Tools.ContentService.Endpoint configuration variable.
  • Enable the Content Service under Organization Tools.
  • Set the appropriate permissions for the Content Service and External Learning Tools.
  • Ensure that user roles that need to add or upload SCORM content have the IMS role of "Instructor" at the organization level, and roles that need to view content have the IMS role of "Learner".

1. In the Config Variable Browser, set the d2l.Tools.ContentService.Endpoint configuration variable to the URL for the appropriate region, according to your location (see Content Service release notes).

2. In Organization Tools, set the toggle for Content Service to on.

3. In Roles and Permissions, grant the appropriate permissions to users, that is, ensure instructors have the Content Service > Can add new SCORM objects, Can view SCORM objects, and Can view SCORM reports permissions, and the External Learning Tools > Manage External Learning Tools Links permission, and learners have the Content Service > Can view SCORM objects permission. Note that the Manage External Learning Tools Links permission must be granted to the user at the organization level.

Slight impact to instructors due to changes in some workflows within the new SCORM solution.

Existing SCORM content does not transfer to the new solution. Existing content remains where it is, and users interact with it in the same manner as before. If organizations choose to enable the new SCORM solution, all new content that is uploaded will leverage the new capabilities and workflows.

Instructors require the Content Service >Can add new SCORM objects, Can view SCORM objects, and Can view SCORM reports permissions, and the External Learning Tools > Manage External Learning Tools Links permission.

n/a

Slight impact to learners due to changes in the look and feel when they access SCORM objects in Brightspace Learning Environment.

Learners require the Content Service > Can view SCORM objects permission to access SCORM content.

n/a


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