What’s New in D2L for Instructors?

MSU upgraded D2L from version 10.7.11 to 10.0.0 on April 26, 2018. Future upgrades will occur on a monthly basis for hosted institutions. The current version is 10.8.0.

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 (10.7.1 – 10.8.0):

  1. (10.7.1)Discussions - Instructors can post to all groups at once: Instructors can now post a discussion thread to all associated groups/sections from a group discussion topic.

  2. (10.7.1)Virtual Classrooms - New HTML5 client available: Instructors can now use the HTML5 version of the Virtual Classroom client in addition to the existing Flash version of the client.

  3. (10.7.2) Grades - Grade exports include all group and section enrollments: 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.

  4. (10.7.3) HTML Editor - Unsaved changes prompt: In the HTML Editor tool, when you make content changes and attempt to navigate away or close the browser or tab without saving your changes, a message prompts you to discard your changes or resume editing.

  5. (10.7.3) Quizzes - Shuffle questions tool: To discourage cheating in quizzes, instructors can now shuffle the order of all questions in quizzes or specific groups of questions (sections) in quizzes.

  6. (10.7.5) Assignments - Additional attachment types available for assignment submission folders: Links, Existing Activities, and Google Drive files can now be added to assignment submission folders as attachments.

  7. (10.7.5) Lessons - Instructors can create topics by adding a link: This feature enables instructors to create new topics in Lessons by adding a URL.

  8. (10.7.5) Virtual Classrooms - iOS native application available: An iOS native application is now available for Virtual Classrooms to allow participants to join meetings from iOS devices.

  9. (10.7.6) Content & HTML Editor - Google Drive and OneDrive integration: In Content, Google Drive and One Drive options can be added to the Existing Activities menu. The quicklinks picker in the HTML Editor can also include Google Drive and One Drive options.

  10. (10.7.6) Lessons - Linking options available: When browsing in Lessons, a unique URL is assigned to each unit, module, topic, and lesson. This allows instructors to link to a specific location in Lessons without learners having to navigate to the item manually.

  11. (10.7.6) Lessons - Create, edit, and delete documents from the HTML editor: The option to create a new document is available when adding materials to Lessons. Instructors can create HTML documents with the HTML editor and all its familiar features. Instructors can also edit and delete existing HTML documents that have been added to Lessons.

  12. (10.7.8) Assignments - OneDrive Integration: Instructors can now attach an item directly from OneDrive to an Assignment Submissions folder.

  13. (10.7.9) Intelligent Agents - Links to Intelligent Agents: This update introduces a system navbar link to the existing Agent List page that users can add to their navbars in addition to a link to the Intelligent Agents tool from the Class Progress tool.

  14. (10.7.9) Question Library - New Question Import Workflows: This update adds new ways for instructors to search the Question Library when adding questions to a quiz. Using a slide in panel featuring the questions in a tree structure enables easy navigation of questions to be added to quizzes. The ability to sort questions by their source collection, question type, points value, and question text has also been added.

  15. (10.7.9) Brightspace Learning Environment - Private file indicator for Google Drive materials: When instructors add private files from a Google Drive account to Brightspace Learning Environment, they are notified if the file is private and are given the option to change permissions so that anyone with the link can view the file.

  16. (10.7.10)Quizzes - Due Dates Available: Due dates are now available for quizzes. This allows instructors to better communicate when quizzes are due, and better identify when a learner submits a quiz late. A quiz will now be considered late when it is submitted after the due date is reached.

  17. (10.7.10)Exemptions - Additional launch points: Instructors may now launch the Manage Exemptions page from a variety of tools, including the Assignments tool, Discussions tool, and Quizzes tool.

  18. (10.7.10)Quicklinks – Self-Enrollment groups link: Instructors can now insert a Quicklink to self-enrolling groups. This update provides learners a direct path to sign up for their group and a new Group Self-Enrollment screen.

  19. (10.7.11)Quizzes - LaTeX editor added to the HTML Editor: The previously unavailable LaTeX editor has been added to the new quizzing experience.

  20. (10.7.11)Quizzes - New user interface for creating sections: A new, simpler UI has been introduced for creating sections in a quiz. The new UI includes a preview of the quiz section. Additionally, the Section Title and Section Text are now visible to learners by default but can be hidden.

  21. (10.8.0)Grades - Adding feedback in bulk: This feature enables instructors to add generic feedback on learners' grades in bulk. Instructors can also sort the Feedback column in the Gradebook and quickly determine which learners need feedback.

  22. (10.8.0)Groups and Sections - Create sub-groups from sections and group: Users can now create sub-groups, based on Section or Group enrollment, within the Groups tool. When creating a new Group category, the Restrict Enrollments To option allows the user to restrict Group enrollment by course sections and all course-level groups.
  23. (10.8.0)Manage Dates - Improvements to the Manage Dates tool: This feature includes the following improvements to the Manage Dates tool:

    • Dates will now display for Quiz Submission view names and dates, Quiz report names and dates, Topic unlock dates, Forum unlock dates, Checklists, and Surveys.

    • The Status options have been updated from "Hidden","Limited", and "Visible" to "Hidden", "Visible", "Visible with conditions", and "Hidden. Conditions are inactive".

    • "Grade Object" now reads as "Grade Item" or "Grade Category".

    • "Topic" reads as "Content Topic".

    • From the manage dates page, instructors can now edit, offset, and bulk offset the start, end, and display in calendar options for surveys.

Changes to existing features / Fixed Issues (10.7.1 – 10.8.0):

  1. (10.7.1) HTML Editor - Improved paste functionality for quizzes: Administrators and instructors can now copy content from external sources such as Word or HTML and paste it as answer or question content in a quiz, while retaining all the formatting and images from the source.

  2. (10.7.4) Assignments - Instructors can now set the visibility state for Assignment content: Instructors can now set the visibility state for draft content within assignment submission folders in Content and Assignments.

  3. (10.7.5) Question Library - Import workflow changes: Instructors can now complete file uploads without leaving the Question Library, Survey, Self-Assessment, or Quiz creation workflow.

  4. (10.7.7) Assignments - Rubric Visibility:Rubrics are now positioned at the beginning of the assessment portion for an assignment. Previously, rubrics appeared below the Learning Objectives as part of a large list of rubric links.

  5. (10.7.9)Exemptions - Improvements: This update introduces an Exemptions Log Data Set and also introduces an option on the View Statistics page that allows instructors to either include or exclude exempted users in quiz statistics.

  6. (10.7.9) Quizzes - Removal of confirmation buttons to start and submit a quiz: This update alters the quizzing experience and now when learners click Start on the quiz instruction screen, they are taken directly to the quiz and do not have to click OK to commence the quiz. When learners complete the quiz and click Go to Submit Quiz, they are taken to the Quiz Submission Confirmation screen where they can either submit the quiz or return to one of the quiz questions using the Quiz Info menu.

  7. (10.7.10)HTML Editor – Advanced image editing: The HTML Editor has been updated to include expanded image editing capabilities. Users can now edit images in place (flipping, rotating, and adjusting brightness, sharpness, and color), edit the image description, and edit the size of the image.

What's new in (10.8.1 & 10.8.2):

  1. (10.8.1)Grades - Locked Name column and header row: This feature introduces the locked Name column and header row in the following pages in the grades tool, so that instructors may scroll through user grades without losing the context for which and whose grades they are looking at: Standard View, Spreadsheet View, Grade Category, Grade Individual Item, and Final Grades.
  2. (10.8.1)Quizzes - Imported quizzes are set as inactive: When quizzes are imported into a course, their status is set to inactive by default. This limits learner visibility of newly imported quizzes that instructors may not want students to access immediately.
  3. (10.8.1) Activity Feed – Pin posts to top of feed - AWS Enabled | New
    Instructors can now pin an Activity Feed post to the top of the feed. This can be used to display an important reminder to learners, or to call attention to an older post in the feed. Only one post can be pinned to the top of the Activity Feed at a time.

  4. (10.8.1) Brightspace Daylight Experience - Configuration options for minibar color moved to Navigation and Themes tool | Updated
    The option to change the top strip color of a minibar is now available in the Navigation and Themes tool. A unique color may be set for each theme. 

  5. (10.8.1) Manage Dates - Improvements to the Manage Dates tool | Updated
    This feature includes the following improvements to the Manage Dates tool:
    -Offset other activity dates – In addition to offsetting start, end, and due dates, instructors have the option to offset other dates associated with activities. Affected dates are: discussion topic and forum locking dates, quiz submission view dates, quiz report dates, and survey report dates.
    -Manual calendar events - Instructors can edit the start and end dates of events that were manually created and not tied to existing activities or content topics. As a result, instructors can manage all course dates from a single location.
    -Display of course start and end date - The course start date and end date appears at the top of the Manage Dates page and acts as a reference for instructors when operating on the dates of the various activities. If instructors have the Manage Courses > Change Start and End Dates permission, they can launch a dialog box and then edit the dates.
    -New links to the Manage Dates page - A new “Review and Manage Dates” button appears on the Copy Course Components History page at the end of copy course components, course import, and course import advanced.
  6. (10.8.2) Copy Course Components - Date Offset | New in copy process
    When instructors copy the content of one course to another, old course dates are also copied over. This feature enables instructors to offset those old dates to dates relative to the new semester. This feature also eliminates the burden of tweaking delivery and due dates for their learners. When instructors copy course components in bulk, they can enable the offset to occur to the items copied into the course by days or hours. Note: Does not show for “Copy all” process. 

  7. (10.8.2) Grades – Linked discussion threads are now available | New
    When assessing a discussion post in the Assess Post pop-up, an instructor can now see a link to the original discussion post. This allows instructors to see more information about why the user posted that reply, or what other learners replied to their post. Previously, there was no hyperlink, and instructors had to open Discussions and manually find the information. 

  8. (10.8.2) Groups and Sections - Interface improvements on Enroll Users page | New
    Fixed headers and wider columns now appear on the Enroll Users page in Groups. This change helps users easily view and scroll through large numbers of groups and sections. This change is available in the Daylight Experience only. 

  9. (10.8.2) HTML Editor – Emoticons available | New
    Emoticons are now available across Brightspace Learning Environment in the HTML Editor. Use them to express feelings or mood in announcements, instructions, discussion posts, and anywhere else the HTML Editor is available. Alt text is built into the image html tags. Items may be resized by clicking on the item and dragging the handle tags. 

  10. (10.8.2) Quizzes – Question pools replace random sections | New
    Question pools are now available to improve the process of creating quizzes with randomized questions, and are an effective way of preventing cheating on quizzes. All the functionality random sections provided is now located on a single screen, with a simplified workflow. When creating a question pool, instructors enter a title, the number of questions to select, and the points per question. On the same page, they can browse the Question Library to select the desired questions to add to the pool. Instructors are also able to edit or delete questions in place. This feature only shows in the new question experience, which can be turned on by accessing the chevron menu. 

  11. (10.8.2) Rubrics - Control rubric visibility for learners | New
    This release introduces the ability to control rubric visibility for learners. This is useful for preventing learners from using preview rubrics as answer keys for activities. For example, an instructor can now describe assessment expectations in assignment instructions, hiding the associated preview rubric. Once the assignment is graded, the instructor releases the graded rubric as part of the learner's assessment details.

    - Instructors can set the visibility of individual rubrics. Creating or editing a rubric includes the following new options: Rubric is always visible to learners, Rubric is hidden until feedback published, and Rubric is never visible to learners.

    - To indicate rubric visibility to instructors, rubrics that are hidden until feedback is published or rubrics that are never visible now display an indicator in the Rubrics section of the associated activity. Visible rubrics do not display an indicator. During a course import or copy, the visibility status of rubrics associated with activities are also imported or copied.

    - The visibility status of a rubric can only be changed at the rubric level, not at the activity level. For example, you cannot change the visibility of a rubric from an assignment. For instructors that want to keep rubrics visible, there are no workflow changes.