Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What's new in D2L?

As you may remember, the NLU Online Campus was upgraded to Brightspace's "Continuous Delivery" system over the winter break. This means that we can deliver improvements, bug fixes, and new features on a planned, monthly basis without downtime! Since these improvements may go unnoticed by users who have no reason to be aware of them, from time to time your LITS staff will use this space to tell you about changes that are likely to be of interest to members of NLU's online community.

D2L Tool Improvement: Discussion Rubric Grading

Here's a spotlight on a February improvement that actually inspired a thank-you letter from an NLU faculty member: Discussion Rubric grading. (There are two potential locations for a Discussion rubric: the Discussion Topic itself, and the Grade item. This improvement is specifically for rubrics that are associated with the Discussion topic, rather than our more usual process of associating a Discussion rubric with the Grade item.
The exciting new improvement is that, for the first time, a user's posts in the Discussion grading interface and the rubric used for grading the Topic are visible in the same window.
How do Discussion rubrics work for students? When students the discussion topic, the rubric can be previewed right there. After you grade with the Discussion rubric, the rubric feedback is available to students through the Discussions area of "User Progress" (not, at this time, in Grades).

Bug Fixes

Each Continuous Delivery wave comes with information about fixed and known issues. There are two fixed issues in the March 2016 release that will be of special interest to NLU faculty.
  • Quiz statistics are so helpful, but have you ever had a timeout error when attempting to view them? No more! PRB0050932, which was responsible for this issue, was resolved in the March 2016 release. [Thanks to our own Anthony Boen for his efforts in documenting this bug for squashing.]
  • Toggling Draft/Published in the Table of Contents is a real convenience, but starting with our December upgrade, the result of such a change did not immediately appear for the user making the change. PRB0050866, which caused this problem, was also resolved in the March 2016 release.

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