Great Falls College MSU

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Brightspace Learning Environment

Accessibility – Compliance with WCAG 2.1 | Updated

As part of our ongoing commitment to design and develop against WC3 accessibility best practices, there are updates to our shared web components, such as fonts, buttons, menus, and input fields, to ensure they align with WCAG 2.1 standards. These changes include:

  • Text color change from #56A5C to #494C4E for our standard font styles, which is WCAG Level AAA compliant.
  • Resetting clients to "Normal" for their Org default size to ensure that default configurations have appropriate legibility. In addition, the configuration option for setting a font override at the Org level has been removed. Users can still change their personal font preferences using Account Settings and existing individual user overrides are retained.
  • Changes to the color, borders, hover and focus styles of other web components such as buttons, menus and input fields to ensure they comply with WCAG 2.1 color contrast requirements for non-text components.

These changes will improve readability and provide better ability to meet contrast compliance with non-text elements. It is D2L’s intention to be an industry leader in inclusive design, and these changes improve support for individuals with alternative fine motor, cognition, and low vision needs. These compliance changes contain no changes to workflows; all changes are look and feel only.

In the August 2019/20.19.08 release, Brightspace Portfolio and Brightspace for Parents have updated to support the WCAG 2.1 compliance standard.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to all Brightspace for Parents and Brightspace Portfolio users to improve accessibility and align with WCAG 2.1 standards.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all Brightspace Learning Environment users. No further action is required.

Activity Feed – Visual improvements | Updated

The following changes are visible in Activity Feed:

  • When selecting between Message and Assignment posts, the chosen option is now underlined to better indicate the post type.
  • Field names have been added to improve accessibility.
  • The post type icon has been removed to provide more authoring space when creating posts.
  • Once a post is published, the new layout makes more efficient use of screen space.

Figure: Before and after view of Activity Feed

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to instructors and learners due to visual changes visible when creating Activity Feed posts.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Activity Feed users. No further action is required.

Assignments - Assignments list page for Learners | Updated

The learner view of the Assignments page uses the updated display and can no longer be configured by administrators. When learners view the Assignments page, Assignment, Completion Status, Score, Evaluation Status, and Due Date display for each assignment. These changes allow learners to easily identify assignments that require their attention, or contain feedback from their instructors.

For more information on this change, visit the New Assignment List Page In 10.8.9 Community Blog post.

Figure: Learner view of the Assignments page

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to Learners due to updated view of the Assignments page.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Assignments users. No further action is required.

Assignments – Spell check for annotation notes | Updated

When assessing submissions with the built-in annotation tools in Assignments, text within the comment annotation is now checked for spelling mistakes.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to automatic spell checking when using built-in annotation tools.

Availability: Available to Brightspace Core clients.

To enable: Ensure the d2l.Tools.System.Features.Annotationsconfiguration variable has override values set for courses planning to use annotations.

Note: D2L does not recommend using annotations with assistive technology.

Brightspace - Improvements to course notifications | New

To improve the delivery of course notifications in Brightspace Learning Environment, the Notifications option, available from the username on the minibar, includes the following changes:

  • Added a Summary of Activity option for receiving email notifications about the summary of activity for each course. Options include: Never, Daily, or Weekly (default).
  • Removed the following Customize Notifications options: Allow past courses to send me notifications and Allow inactive courses to send me notifications. Learners can now only receive daily email digests for current and future courses.
  • Removed the following SMS notifications for Instant Notifications: Content - content item created, Content - content item updated, and Content - content overview updated.

If any of the removed notification options are currently selected, learners will no longer receive these notifications after the monthly update. To receive content-related instant notifications, D2L recommends using the Brightspace Pulse mobile app or select the Email option for the instant notification type on the Notificationspage. Email content notifications remain unaffected.

This feature implements PIE item D2203.

Figure: The new Summary of Activity option in Notifications

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Brightspace Learning Environment users; however, learners may want to change the default notification settings.

Moderate impact to learners due to the addition of a new notification option and the removal of several existing notification options.

Brightspace Learning Environment – Supported browsers | Updated

New clients can no longer access Brightspace Learning Environment using Microsoft Internet Explorer. If users attempt to access Brightspace Learning Environment using Internet Explorer, an unsupported page appears. The unsupported page contains links to download supported browsers and a link to the Community End of Life communication. The text of the unsupported page is customizable using the Language Management tool. Users cannot log in to Brightspace Learning Environment using any version of Internet Explorer.

When a user tries to access Brightspace Learning Environment using any version of Internet Explorer, a retro pop-up dialog box appears. The text in the retro pop-up dialog box has been updated to include the January 2020 end of life date information. Users who had previously dismissed the pop-up will see it again following the August update if Brightspace is accessed using any version of Internet Explorer. The pop-up can be dismissed again and will not reappear with subsequent updates. Sites that have explicitly turned off the retro pop-up dialog box for their entire org are not affected.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to new users due to the inability to access Brightspace Learning Environment using Internet Explorer.

Availability: This functionality is removed from all new client sites.

To enable: This functionality is automatically disabled for all new Brightspace Learning Environment users. No further action is required.

Moderate impact to all users due to the update made to the text in the retro pop-up dialog box when attempting to access Brightspace Learning Environment using Internet Explorer. Availability: Text update displays to all clients.

Brightspace - OpenDyslexic font setting | Removed

The OpenDyslexic font is intended to increase readability of text for users with dyslexia. D2L introduced this font into Brightspace Learning Environment as a measure of support for users with dyslexia, based on interest from clients and initially positive media reports. However, to date, there is no empirical evidence that it improves readability or comprehension for users with dyslexia. To ensure that D2L offers true accessibility solutions and that we align our design system and development practices with the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1 Level AA Criteria), the OpenDyslexic font is removed in the August 2019 release.

For more information, see the Intent To End Of Life Notice For: OpenDyslexic Font Option In Account Settings blog post.

The OpenDyslexic font setting in Account Settings

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to users due to the removal of the OpenDyslexic font setting.

Availability: This feature is removed in the August 2019 release.

To enable: After updating to the August 2019 release, users who previously selected the OpenDyslexic font revert to the system default Lato font. D2L recommends that users who want to continue to use OpenDyslexic explore the Chrome browser plugin OpenDyslexic Font for Chrome. D2L also recommends that instructors and instructional designers who want to make good default choices for their learners read from the British Dyslexia Association.

Class Progress - View progress against learning outcomes | New

To view a learner's progress against learning outcomes in a course, the Class Progress tool now includes a Standards tab. This tab displays a history of the learner's submissions and assessments against all learning outcomes aligned to activities in the course.

For instructors, this enables them to:

  • View all the learning outcomes that are aligned to activities in the course, so that they can understand the learning outcomes that their learners are expected to demonstrate.
  • View each learner's current assessment against each learning outcome, so that they can alter or individualize instruction, based on the learner's performance.
  • View a list of all the evidence that has been assessed for a specific learning outcome, so that they can quickly familiarize themselves with feedback they provided for assessments.

For learners, this enables them to:

  • View all the learning outcomes that are aligned to activities in the course, so that they can understand all the learning outcomes they are expected to demonstrate in the course.
  • View their current assessment against each outcome, so that they can understand their progress against each learning outcome.
  • View a list of all the feedback their instructor has provided for a specific learning outcome, so that they can understand where they might need to make more effort.

Instructors or learners navigate to Class Progress, and then instructors select a learner to view. From Class Progress, instructors or learners click the Standards tab to view the history of submissions and assessments against all outcomes imported into the course.

The overview for the course lists all the learning outcomes that are aligned to activities in the course, with a mini-visualization of the last few assessments made for the learner against each learning outcome. Clicking a learning outcome provides a detailed view of an individual learning outcome, featuring a trend visualization of assessments, as well as a list of all the activities that have been assessed for the learner so far. Clicking on any activity displays the feedback/assessment area for the learner's submission of that activity.

This feature implements PIE item D2703.

Figure: The new Standards tab in the Class Progress tool

Figure: A detailed view of a learning outcome in the Class Progress tool

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Class Progress users, if there are learning outcomes imported into the course and aligned to assessment activities (assignments or discussions).

The language term used to describe learning outcomes depends on the value set for the d2l.Languages.Terminology.LearningOutcomesconfiguration variable. For example, the Standardstab in the User Progress tool might be labeled as Competencies, Expectations, Objectives, or Learning Outcomes.

Moderate impact to instructors and learners due to the new Outcomes tab in the Class Progress tool. N/A

Email – Add images to messages | Updated

When composing email messages, users can select Insert Image to add pictures from their computer, a URL, or Manage Files. Images are inserted in place, attached to the email, and display in place for the recipient. The Insert Stuff button is no longer shown in Email, as it has several workflows that are incompatible with the external email experience.

This feature implements PIE items D871, D5458, D2163.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to all users due to the ability to insert images into emails sent to external addresses.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Email users. No further action is required. Access to manage files is dependent on a user’s role permissions.

Email - Privacy noreply configuration variable | New

This feature introduces a new org-level configuration variable called d2l.Tools.Mail.PrivacyAddress. Enabling this new configuration variable hides user names in sent email messages to maintain privacy. All outgoing emails from the Compose Email screen appear to be sent from the configured From address and does not include any individual user names.

The value specified causes all visible email fields matching a {username} or {username}@{D2LMailDomainValue}, to display as {privacyAddressValue}@{D2LMailDomainValue}.

The d2l.Tools.Mail.PrivacyAddress configuration variable replaces the use of the existing d2l.Tools.Mail.UseReplyToInFromAddress configuration variable for hiding user names in generated email messages.

This new configuration variable supports and conforms to the DMARC protocol within the Email tool.

This feature implements PIE idea D735.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to the new configuration variable.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Configure the d2l.Tools.Mail.PrivacyAddress configuration variable with the desired display value.

Intelligent Agents - Release Condition Re-evaluations | New

Intelligent Agents now re-evaluate the status of release conditions at the moment of triggering to determine whether a user has completed a particular release condition or not. Previously, Intelligent Agents retained release condition information from users, even if users no longer triggered the retained release condition.

This feature implements PIE item D3497.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to instructors due to the optimization of release condition evaluations.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for all clients. No further action is required.

Slight impact to learners due to the optimization of release condition evaluations. N/A

Learning Outcomes - Usability improvements | New

To improve the usability of learning outcomes, this release includes the following improvements:

  • During assessment, outcome levels now display tool tips, allowing users to easily distinguish between names when there are multiple levels.
  • When adding learning outcomes to rubrics, the Browse Outcomes button is now aligned with the criterion description, and the Add Outcomes button is centered vertically in its section.
  • Removed extra space above learning outcomes.
  • Reduced the width and font-size of the tool tip displaying outcome alignment in a grading rubric. In addition, increased the spacing around the icon.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to interface improvements to learning outcomes.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Learning Outcomes users. No further action is required.

Login Page Management - Usability improvements | New

To improve the usability of the login widget for users, administrators can now configure the following from the Login Page Management tool:

  • A new HTML message box to display content below the login widget, above the footer. For example, you can include important information users should know before logging in. By default, the message box is empty.
  • Options to always expand, collapse, or hide the login widget. By default, the login widget is expanded.
  • An option to center the login and picture widgets horizontally. By default, the widgets are left aligned.

Figure: New options in the Login Page Management tool

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators due to new options available in the Login Page Management tool.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Login Page Management users. No further action is required.

Slight impact to users due to potential interface changes to the login widget. N/A

New Content Experience - Contextual course information | New

To provide learners with more contextual course information in the new Content experience, a new section in the table of contents menu displays the name of the course and overall course progress.

Impact of Change Technical Details

No impact to administrators.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for new Content experience users.

Slight impact to learners due to new interface improvements in the new Content experience.

N/A

Quizzes - General availability of Quiz Builder | Updated

The new Quiz Builder experience is now generally available and recommended for use in production courses. Quiz Builder is a new work flow for adding, editing, reordering, and deleting quiz content in the Quizzes tool. It is released with an opt-in/opt-out option.

Quiz Builder saves instructors time by streamlining the screens and work flows for building and arranging quiz content. Instructors can add questions, sections and question pools, or import from the Question library. From a single interface, they can edit, delete and reorder questions. They can also review critical information such as question points and total points in the quiz; mandatory and bonus status and shuffling behavior.

This feature can be enabled at the Org level or for individual org units. This feature can be turned on with an opt-in/opt-out option or turned on as the only supported view.

Once turned on, you can use the new Quiz Builder experience by clicking Add/Edit Questions on the quiz Properties tab. The updated Add/Edit Questions screen provides the option to add, edit, reorder, delete, and move between sections using keyboard interaction in the new experience. The experience is accessible when using assistive technologies.

When you opt out of the Quiz Builder experience, you are prompted to leave feedback on the new design.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Moderate impact to instructors due to the availability of the new Quiz Builder experience.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: Ensure the Quiz Builder is turned on in Organization Tools for individual org units. This feature can be turned on with an opt-in/opt-out option or turned on as the only supported view.

Ensure the d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewQuizBuilderExperience(OrgUnit)configuration variable is turned on.

Note: This is a temporary configuration variable. Quiz Builder will be turned on by default with the ability to opt-out at the end of 2019. The d2l.Tools.Quizzes.NewQuizBuilderExperience(OrgUnit)configuration variable will be removed and only the new Quiz Builder experience will be supported in the May 2020 release.

Quizzes - Restore quiz attempts in the Quiz Attempt log | New

Instructors can now restore deleted quiz attempts for learners from within a quiz using the new Quiz Attempt log. The New Quiz Attempt log tracks quiz attempt submissions per user, in both an overview and detailed set of logs.

The following actions are captured in the Overview:

  • Attempt Started
  • Attempt Submitted
  • Attempt Deleted
  • Attempt Restored

Figure: The Overview tab on the Attempt Logs page

The Restore button appears when a quiz attempt is deleted for a user. Instructors can access the attempt logs from the Quiz name drop-down menu and in the Grade Quiz area. The ability to see the Restore button beside deleted attempts is now controlled by the renamed Reset and Restore Attempts permission.

The Detailed Quiz Log captures the following actions:

  • Quiz Entry and re-entry
  • Response Save time
  • Page Movement time
  • Quiz confirmation screen / completion

Impact of Change Technical Details

Slight impact to administrators who must ensure instructors have the required permission to restore quiz attempts for learners.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for Quizzes users.

The Reset and Restore Attempts permission must be selected for Instructors at the course level.

Slight impact to instructors who can access Quiz Attempt logs for each quiz and restore quiz attempts for learners. N/A

Integrations

LTI - LTI 1.1.2 configuration variables - Updated

This feature adds the new d2l.Tools.Lti.Version.Inherit and d2l.Tools.Lti.Version.Default configuration variables to support setting the default for future LTI tools as they are created.

Impact of Change Technical Details

Large impact to administrators due to new configuration variables for future releases.

Availability: This feature is available to all clients.

To enable: This functionality is automatically enabled for LTI users. No further action is required.