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May 2019 Update

Assignments - Annotations

When annotating submissions in Assignments, instructors can now toggle to a full screen view. This allows for more screen space to display learner submissions and insert annotations, while removing unnecessary navigation menus.

If Annotations are enabled for a specific course, instructors can now determine if they want to use the annotation tools when assessing submissions for a specific assignment. Previously, if you had Annotations enabled in a course, all assignments displayed the annotation tools with no option to disable them. The new option allows instructors to easily opt-out of using the annotation tools, without the need to request a configuration change from Administrators.

Instructors can use the Page Rotation function when assessing assignments using the built-in annotation tools. Depending on the format of a learner submission, documents may appear rotated when initially rendered in the document viewer. Use Page Rotation to quickly reorient the document so it displays as expected.

Discussions - Save Feedback as Draft

This feature provides instructors the option to save feedback on assessments in draft state prior to publishing it to learners. Now when instructors add feedback to assessments, the Save Draft and Publish buttons display.

Note: The Save Draft button does not appear when a discussion topic is only associated with a rubric.

New Tool - Quick Eval

Quick Eval – Find and prioritize unevaluated learner submissions in one location

Quick Eval is a new tool that allows evaluators (instructors, teaching assistants, and so on) to see a list of unevaluated learner submissions from all their courses. Submissions from Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions are displayed in one location to improve efficiency when locating work that requires evaluation and providing feedback to learners.

Educators can sort, filter, and search submissions to prioritize their evaluation work. Sorting can be done using the first or last name of the learner, Activity Name, Course Name, and Submission date. Filtering can be done using one or more of the following categories: Activity Name, Course Name, and Submission Date. Clicking on a user’s name opens an evaluation screen directly from the Quick Eval list where the evaluator can complete their assessment. The search function in Quick Eval allows evaluators to locate submissions for evaluation by searching for a specific user, assignment, quiz, discussion topic, or course.

When learner submissions are evaluated and published, they no longer show up in the Quick Eval list. An empty Quick Eval list gives educators confidence that no learner submissions are pending evaluation.

Be aware that when using Quick Eval, you will de-anonymize Discussion posts and other activities that can be set to Anonymous. This has been reported to D2L as a bug to be addressed in a future update.

April 2019 Update

Activity Feed – New Features

Activity Feed now allows Instructors to opt-in and change the setting of the widget to allow Students to post without moderation. There is also a slight redesign of the tool allowing for a notification pop-up to appear when new posts are added to the feed, but the page has not been refreshed.

Assignments - Notifications Improvements

When instructors evaluate assignments and new or updated feedback is published, email instant notifications are available for learners.

March 2019 Update

Assignments – Brightspace Assignment Grader

More info can be found on our support page at https://wiki.mcmaster.ca/avenue/brightspace_assignment_grader

Assignments – Annotate learner submissions

Note: At this time, D2L does not recommend using the built-in annotation tool for use with assistive technology.

Instructors can now use the built-in annotation toolbar in Assignments to provide contextual feedback with highlighting, free hand drawing, shapes, and associated commenting. This allows instructors to complete all their evaluation and feedback work directly in Assignments, without the need to use any external tools or applications. Annotations remain editable until the feedback is published by the instructor. If instructors want to add additional feedback after publishing, they can update the annotations and re-publish them.

Assignments - Improvements in Assignments

Learners can now submit .cs file types as assignment submissions.

Import/Export/Copy Components - Quizzes set to 'inactive' by default

When quizzes are copied over using the 'Import/Export/Copy Components' tool, the quiz now is set to 'Inactive' by default, in the destination course

February 2019 Update

Class Progress and User Progress - No Longer Display System Login Information

The Class Progress and User Progress tools also displayed System Login information to all users who had access to this tool. While this may be helpful to determine if someone is logged into the system, we feel that this is not information that should be exposed in this way. In this update we are turning off the ability to see this information. If there is need for this information with regards to academic appeals, we will work with the department or faculty on those requests to provide the appropriate information.

January 2019 Update

Assignments - Improvements to Assignments List view

When accessing Assignments, the list view now displays updated information. Previously instructors would see information on the assignment name, Total Submissions, Unread Submissions, Flagged Submissions, and Due Date. Now instructors see information on the assignment name, the number of learners who have completed the assignment, the number of learners who have been evaluated, the number of learners who have had feedback published, and the Due Date. This allows instructors to quickly determine what assignments they need to evaluate, how far along they are with their evaluations, and if they have published the evaluations.

Original Assignment View for Instructors

New Assignment View for Instructors

Original Assignment View For Students

New Assignment View for Students

Learners also have an updated view of the assignments list, and are now able to see the assignment name, the Completion Status (Not Submitted, Submitted, Completed), their Score, The Evaluation Status (Not yet evaluated, Feedback: unread, Feedback: read), and the Due Date. This change to the list view allows learners to easily locate unfinished assignments, as well as access their scores and view instructor feedback on their work.

This is currently set to ON (Opt-In) which means that any user can customize this view, and if they don't like it, can revert to the previous view.

A specific error message now appears to users who click a quicklink to an activity that is outside the availability dates (not yet available or no longer available). The error message appears for the following unavailable activity types:

  • Announcements items
  • Calendar events
  • Chat sessions (if the user is not part of a group chat)
  • External learning tools links
  • Templates (that are not available in the current org unit)
  • Groups (with expired self enrollment option)

This feature builds on a previous feature of 10.8.6 that added a specific error message for some course activities. With this feature, the specific error message, “Unavailable Quicklink. The <activity type> is not available” appears for many additional course activities.

Intelligent Agents - Export agent run history to CSV

Intelligent Agent run history, previously only visible in Brightspace Learning Environment, can now be exported to a CSV file. The export can include all agents or a specific agent. It can also include runs made during a specified date range. This feature allows instructors to better track learners that are triggering Intelligent Agents.

Rubrics - Improved rubric creation experience

To improve on the new rubric creation experience, rubric creation has been changed to a single-page workflow. Clicking New in the Rubrics tool immediately brings the user to the rubric authoring page. As well, the two previous Rubric Tool options Properties and Levels and Criteria are now condensed into a single Edit option.

Again, this feature is configured to ON (Opt-In) which allows the user to revert to the old view if that is preferred.



For questions or concerns, Avenue support is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at (905) 525-9140 ext. 23757 or by completing the intake form located at http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/support/

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