Technology Assistance Center Newsletter
December 2019

A look at the upcoming changes and improvements to the Brightspace learning environment that will take effect during the last week of December and more!

The December edition of the TAC newsletter is going out a couple of weeks early in order to include a reminder about the upcoming course evaluations.

16-Week and Second Block Course Evaluations

Course evaluations for 16-week and second block courses open on 12/6/2019 at 8:00 a.m.

The easiest way for students to access their course evaluations is to login to Brightspace, navigate to any course, and click on "Course Evaluations" from the navigation menu. Once there, the student will be able to take all of their currently active course evaluation surveys, as shown in the image below.

Instructors can login to the Course Evaluations portal to check response rate and see results, once they are available, after the survey period. Visit this link for instructions

Content - Sort HTML templates in alphanumeric filename order | New

Instructors will now be able to select an option to sort templates in alphanumeric order based on the filename of the template.

Content - Sort order changes in Upload/Create menu | Updated

Instructors may notice that the "New Assignment" option in the Upload/Create menu within the Content tool will now be moved above the New Checklist option.

Figure: Updated sort order of the Upload/Create menu.

Grades - Synchronization with Assignments and Discussions via API and import options | Updated

If instructors import grades via excel or CSV files the grades for Assignments and Discussions will sync to the grades for the individual Assignments and Discussions. This is in-line with D2L's other improvements to synchronizing grades for these tools between the individual objects and their associated gradebook items.

Quizzes - New Quiz Builder experience defaults to On (opt-in) | New

This change is not coming until January 2020 but the New Quiz Builder experience, which has had its default set to Off for the better part of a year will have its default set to On. Instructors will still be able to opt-out if desired for the time being.

Release Conditions - Learners are notified when a release condition triggers new content | Updated

Previously, if an instructor created a release condition to release new content to students based on certain criteria, the content item was released but the student was not notified that they had access to new content.

With this update students are notified that new content is available by way of an onscreen popup ("toast") message when release condition criteria is met that triggers new content to be released.

Release Conditions - Updated ordering of Tools | Updated

The order of activities and content that conditions refer to will now appear in an updated, alphanumeric, order.

Figure: When browsing for release conditions, Assignments is now at the top of the list of tools.
Figure: When creating new release conditions, Assignments is now at the top of the list of tools.

Rubrics - Pre-announcement for configuration variable default setting change | Updated

In January 2020 the default setting for the new Rubrics experience opt-in will change from Off to On. The default setting has been set to off since it was introduced nearly one year ago. Instructors will still have the ability to opt-out of the new Rubric experience until November 2020.

Beginning in January 2020, rubrics it will also be possible to share rubrics to courses from the organizational (top) level using the new updated Rubric creation experience.

Panopto Updates - Available January 4th, 2020

Embed player options - Users will be able to customize the size of an embedded video, set options like autoplay or start time, and modify the embed’s interactivity level, all from an easy to use UI.
Note: this does not apply to videos embedded in Brightspace using the "Insert Stuff" tool.

Recycle Bin - All users will now have access to the Recycle Bin feature, allowing them to view and restore their deleted videos. The Recycle Bin will also show who deleted the content and when it was deleted.

We're Happy to help!

If you have any questions about the upcoming changes, troubleshooting questions, or anything else related to Brightspace or the Technology Assistance Center, please let us know!

Visit us in G100,
give us a call at 406-771-4440,
or fill out our support form at,

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