November 15

Some Highlights of the November 28th MR3 Update

Just a few highlights from the update. Some are new features, others are fixes to issues experienced by on-campus users.

HTML Accessibility Checker. (new feature)

  • 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.
    • location of the new accessibility checker in the D2L WYSIWYG editor

Assignment folders available as release conditions again! (fix)

  • This is a fix. Since the last update it has not been possible to use any of the Assignment folder conditions as a release condition. With this release this bug has been squashed!

Long Answer (LA) question renamed Written Response (WR) (change)

  • The Long Answer (LA) question type (Quizzes, Surveys) has a new name: Written Response (WR). Nothing about the functionality of the question type has changed.

THE ICONS ARE BACK!!! (update)

  • Previously, icons displayed in Content to help users distinguish between content file types (for example, an icon for a video topic or an icon for a discussion topic). Now, icons reflecting the Daylight look and feel are re-introduced in Content. These icons are visible in the main Table of Contents view, the Module Content view, and the Table of Contents fly-out menu when viewing a topic or activity.
    •  

Quizzes – shuffle question order at quiz level (new feature)

  • To discourage cheating in quizzes, instructors can now shuffle the order of all questions in quizzes or specific groups of questions (sections) in quizzes. For example, an instructor could shuffle questions 1-10 in a quiz, or shuffle questions 3-10 (grouping those questions into a section) and retain the order of questions 1-2 at the start of the quiz.
  • When editing a quiz in the Quizzes tool, a new option to Shuffle order of questions at the quiz level displays in the Quiz Questions section. When creating a new section to group specific questions in a quiz, a new option to Shuffle order of questions in this section is visible in the Display Options section.
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  • Once the shuffle option is selected, a shuffle icon appears next to each affected question in the quiz.
    •  

Hide Assignment folders (new feature)

  • Instructors can now set the visibility state for draft content within assignment submission folders in Content and Assignments. When content is in a draft state, it is not visible to learners in Brightspace Learning Environment.
  • When instructors have set the visibility to draft, the hidden icon appears in the instructor view of the assignment.

 

The full release notes: MR3 Release Notes and Fixed Issues (PDF)

August 14

Intelligent Agents Tool in D2L Brightspace

A list of all tools under Course Admin i nD2L with Intelligent Agents circled

 

Intelligent Agents is a tool in D2L Brightspace that can increase instructor presence by sending pre-set, automated emails triggered by pre-set criteria.  I like to call it the Virtual Teaching Assistant as it helps with some administrative tasks, acting on your behalf.  You can see on the picture above where it is located under Course Admin. Below are the details about the tool, as well as how to set them up in D2L.

  • Automated Messaging System: Sends emails once pre-set criteria is evaluated for students.
  • Most common: log-in criteria or release conditions (e.g. no submission to a folder).
  • Notifies the course instructor about a potentially troubled student (providing additional background information, such as an unattempted quiz, a quiz grade or a task (in)completion).
  • Only the instructor sees this tool. When users are evaluated as true on the condition you have set, an email you have previously wrote is automatically sent. A personalized message with the ability to link to resources (remedial or reinforcing) leads to increased instructor presence and student satisfaction.

To set them up in D2L:

  1. Go to Course Admin, find the tool by name or in Communications category. Go to settings and Set custom values for this course (name that emails come from (your name) and put your preferred reply-to email). Save.
  2. Click on New.
  3. Name it, check it as enabled, set criteria (Course Activity log-in or Create and Attach a Release Condition (determine the Condition Type and Details from the dropdown menus)).
  4. Determine whether the Agent will act only once or set a schedule for running dates.
  5. Choose HTML as the Email Format. Copy-Paste the replace strings (To*: {InitiatingUser}; Email Subject: e.g. Reminder for {OrgUnitName}; start the email with, for example: Hello, {InitiatingUserFirstName}). Save and Close. Do a Practice Run, if you wish, to see identified users.

June 19

D2L Brightspace Awards Tool: What do you need to know?

Photo credit: www.brightspace.com

With the new D2L update SCSU went through  earlier this month, the Awards tool has been made available. I will summarize the main functionality and features here,but you can always access the full Awards Tool Guide here and a Webinar on the Awards tool.

WHAT IS THE AWARDS TOOL?

The Awards tool can be used to create Badges and Certificates to reflect the achievement of different milestones within a course offering. In the Awards tool, instructors can design badges and certificates and link them to release conditions to allow automatic awarding. Learners can see the awards that they have already earned, as well as those that they have yet to earn, in the associated My Awards tool.

WHY USE THE AWARDS TOOL?

  • Reward learners with badges and certificates immediately after they have completed an activity or assignment.
  • Build an element of gamification into your course and better engage your learners.
  • Provide a consolidation/ celebration piece to the completion of an assignment or activity.
  • Track learner progress and development.
  • Build a hands-off method of instant feedback.
  • Provide learners with certificates that they can share through social media.

CREATING AWARDS

Go to Course Admin and find the Awards tool. Select Create Award to build from scratch. Add a name and description, and select the Award Type (badge or certificate). The award icon image can be selected from the existing images in the Award Icon Library, uploaded from your computer, or created using Badge Designer.

Once your award has been created, you can associate it with release conditions and credits by selecting Edit Properties on the Course Awards page.  Once associated with release conditions, the award will automatically be awarded to all learners who achieve that condition, including those who completed the condition in the past.

D2L Awards five badgesD2L Awards handshake badgeAwards a description of an issued badge

June 8

D2L Visual Design Change to Daylight Experience

As we have previously announced, D2L update brought a visual design change that is much more responsive – works the same on different devices and matches our students’ needs. Below you will find a quick overview of “before and after”, so you can easily navigate the new design right away. The text describes the circled areas on the D2L homepage and course page.D2L Dayligh Visual Design Changes

D2L Dayligh Visual Design Changes

May 31

D2L Brightspace Webinars

Photo credit: www.brightspace.com

Here are some upcoming webinars organized by D2L for you!

Restructuring Online Discussions to Save Time and Engage Students – Live Webinar

Discussions are rightly an integral (if not time-consuming) part of engaging students in online learning environments. This session shows how a simple change of discussion structure and the question style can save you time, while creating conversations that re-create the excitement of engaged learning in face-to-face discussions.

Register now

Build Your First Intelligent Agent in Brightspace – Live Webinar

Are you interested in using Intelligent Agents but don’t know where to start? In this webinar we will help you create your first Intelligent Agent (or maybe even your second or third). We’ll help you decide:

  1. Why you should create an agent
  2. Who you should create an agent for
  3. How to create the agent
  4. What’s in it for you – prizes, that’s what’s in it for you! 

We’ll give away prizes to a couple of lucky attendees through a random drawing near the end of the live webinar.

Register now

April 18

D2L Brightspace The Daylight Experience

**Attention – If you don’t want to read further just check out this super short overview video! 🙂

D2L Brightspace is bringing a new design with their updates. Daylight: the overarching project name for the user interface change of design – to help everything be more web responsive.

The biggest reason for this change is to make D2L easy to use on tablets or mobile devices – keeping up with e-learning trends.

Here are some of the visual changes:

Courses will be listed  by tiles instead of text links.

courses as tiles not text in D2L

D2L will keep the same functionality, this is just a change in the user interface design, new font style, more pictures, slight changes on home page and navigation bar, and drop down menu more defined.

deesktop vs. mobile page widthIn addition, click here for a starter guide to Daylight experience.

Finally, a full one-hour Webinar about the Daylight experience (click to access).

 

 

December 28

SIG Spring 2017 Free Webinars on D2L Brightspace & Teaching, Learning, and Technology

Just a reminder, the Special Interest Group: Learning Spaces and Instructional Technology (SIG) and Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI) webinars start in less than two weeks.  These are FREE and open to anyone.  Below you will find the scheduled webinars for spring semester. Tuesday’s webinars will focus in D2L Brightspace. Wednesday’s webinar will focus more on teaching, learning, and technology. Only Wednesday webinars will be recorded and can be found on the MOQI website three weeks after the session is held: https://minnesota.qualitymatters.org/video-resources/.

Click here to register for the sessions described below.

sig_spring2017

 

October 26

Setting The Tone In A Brightspace Course With QM Standard One

Photo credit: www.brightspace.com

Photo credit: www.brightspace.com

Yesterday at noon D2L hosted a webinar on using QM™ Standard One in your D2L Brightspace course to set the tone. Three instructional designers from University of Maryland College shared their experience and best practices.

The webinar team has provided a link for viewing the webcast at any time. Click here to access the recording!