What’s New in D2L for Instructors?

MSU will upgrade D2L from version 10.6.3 to 10.7.0 on May 12, 2017. Future upgrades will occur on a monthly basis for hosted institutions.

To see what the current version is at any given time, go to d2l.msu.edu, click on the “Admin Tools” icon (top right corner), select View Product Versions, and note the version listed under “Learning Environment.” The items below indicate new features and changes since the last version. For full details on version updates, see the Release Notes on the Brightspace Community site. Sign up or login using your msu.edu email address for access to additional resources.

New features:

  1. (10.6.5) Quizzes and Surveys - Direct export of report data to Microsoft Excel: You can export quizzes and surveys data using the Export to Excel button in Quizzes and Surveys. The Excel format supports Unicode and accented characters.
  2. (10.6.6) Grades - Include group and section information in grade exports: When exporting grades from the grade book, under User Details, there is a new option to include group and section membership information for each user.
  3. (10.6.7Quizzes - Create / Edit Multiple Choice Questions : This feature is a visual redesign of the Quizzes tool that improves and modernizes its look and feel. This feature also enables responsive multiple choice question editing layouts. Administrators and instructors can opt-in or opt-out of this new look and feel. There is no change in the workflow related to creating and editing multiple choice questions. 
  4. (10.6.8Announcements - Link directly to an announcement: This feature allows instructors to link directly to individual announcements by using the Insert Quicklink button from the HTML Editor.
  5. (10.6.8) Assignments - Assignment submission email notifications: When instructors create or edit an assignment submission folder, they can now fill in a Notification Email field in the Properties tab. This allows instructors to receive email notification when a new submission is uploaded, and helps instructors manage folder submissions and perform grading on recently submitted assignments.
  6. (10.6.8) Class Progress - Dropped Grades appear on Summary and Grades tabs: Changes to the Class Progress tool now provide more clear information about which grades are included in the calculation of a final mark and clearly indicate which items are included in category totals.
  7. (10.6.9) Grades - Automatically release final grades: This feature allows final grades to be released automatically to learners so that instructors don’t have to manually release them as learners enroll in a course. 
  8. (10.6.11) Grades - Exempt a learner from multiple grade items: 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.
  9. (10.7.0) Document Conversion Service: 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.
  10. (10.7.0) HTML Editor - TinyMCE Accessibility Checker: 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.

Changes to existing features / Fixed Issues (10.6.4 – 10.7.0):

  1. (10.6.4) Intelligent Agents - Tool Improvements: Brightspace Learning Environment 10.6.4 introduces new features and functionality for Intelligent Agents, including a history page, Practice Run, custom values for Name that emails come from and Reply-To address for responses, unlimited character limit on email text and a copy feature.
  2. (10.6.7Groups - Single user, member specific groups : There is a new group category type called Single user, member-specific groups. Using this group category creates a group with a single user where the first name and last name of the learner is the name of the group. When a new learner is enrolled in the course a group is automatically created for them. Instructors no longer have to rename groups of one. This new category type is now on by default.
  3. (10.6.7) HTML Editor – Cut and Paste: Users can now copy and paste content from a Microsoft Word document or HTML source and the content retains the look and feel of the source document.
  4. (10.6.7) Intelligent Agents - Tool Improvements : Brightspace Learning Environment 10.6.7 has brought even further enhancements to the Intelligent Agents tool. Scheduled intelligent agents now stop running if a class is inactive or the end date has passed. Users can not multi-select and delete agents on the Agent List page. This improvement has also created three new replace strings, {LastLoginDate} {LastCourseAccessDate} and {OrgUnitId}. Finally the settings page will contain a note that indicates the time of day the scheduled agents will run.
  5. (10.6.8) Class Progress - Improved display of grade item weights: Gradebook items now display the weight of the item as part of the final mark. Weights for both the weight of each item and category and the marks achieved in both item and category provide the learner with information about how they are progressing at every point in the course.
  6. (10.6.8) Quizzes - Create / edit True or False questions: Building upon the visual redesign of the Quizzes tool, this feature enables responsive True or False (T/F) creating / editing layouts. Administrators and instructors can opt-in or opt-out of this new look and feel. There is no change in the workflow related to creating and editing True or False questions.
  7. (10.6.9) Discussions - Single Topic Filtered by Groups: Brightspace Learning Environment 10.6.9 simplifies the management of group discussion topics. New Topic workflow - When you are creating a new topic, on the Properties tab, the topic type defaults to Open topic. Administrators and instructors can select the new Group or section topic option instead. Once you create and save the topic, you cannot change the topic type. If you selected the topic type as open, you can access the original Group Restrictions area on the Restrictions tab.
  8. (10.6.9) Quizzes - Create / edit Long Answer questions: As another stage in the visual redesign of the Quizzes tool, the Long Answer (LA) question creation and editing layouts have been updated. Additionally, on the question creation page, a drop-down menu now gives users the ability to select the type of question they want to create. Administrators and instructors can opt in or opt out of this new look and feel. There is no change in the workflow related to creating and editing Long Answer questions.
  9. (10.6.10) Create / edit Short Answer questions: As another stage in the visual redesign of the Quizzes tool, the Short Answer (SA) question creation and editing layouts have been updated. Administrators and instructors can opt in or out of this new look and feel. Some additional updates were made to Short Answer questions along with the visual redesign:
    • All answers for a blank are assessed using the same comparison method, that is, either Text (case insensitive text), Case-Sensitive Text, or Regular Expression. Each blank can still be assessed using a different method. In the original experience, each answer for a blank can be assessed using a different method.
    • Points for each blank are calculated automatically and evenly distributed. In the original experience, each blank can be weighted differently.
  10. (10.6.11) Quizzes - Improvements to the new quizzing experience: 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.
  11. (10.7.0) Quizzes - Renamed Long Answer (LA) to Written Response (WR): 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.