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March 2020 Update

Announcements – Display author information

To provide more information to users, Announcements now supports displaying author information (name and timestamp) on new and edited announcements.

Groups – Set exact time learners can self-enroll

When setting up groups that allow learners to self-enroll, instructors can now add an exact time when enrollment opens, and an exact time when self-enrollment expires. Previously, instructors could only set the date when enrollment opened or expired.

Quick Eval – Support for anonymous marking

Assignments created with the Hide student names during assessment option selected now display in Quick Eval’s Submission view with learner names and profile images hidden. Instructors using anonymous marking can access Quick Eval with confidence that it supports their anonymous marking needs.

Rubrics – Confirmation message for partially unevaluated rubrics and Improved accessibility in Rubric grading

To prevent publishing partially unevaluated rubrics, the publishing workflow in the new Rubrics grading experience now includes a confirmation message that warns users when the rubric is not fully evaluated. Instructors have the option to continue publishing, or cancel. Warning messages appear when publishing a rubric for an individual student and when bulk publishing rubrics. Users attempting to publish an incomplete rubric evaluation must now click Publish to complete the workflow.

In Rubrics, when using keyboard navigation to tab to a row of selectable cells, there is now a focus indicator to help orient users on the page.

February 2020 Update

Assignments - Streamlined access to inline feedback

To streamline access to assignment feedback, learners can now immediately access inline feedback from User Progress, Grades, and Assignments. From these tools, the View Inline Feedback link takes the learner directly to the annotations view (or Turnitin viewer, if that is the tool used to provide feedback). The inline feedback also includes a link to the file for the assignment, so learners know which document contains the feedback. Previously, the View Inline Feedback link took the learner to the Assignment feedback summary page, where they had to click a second link to view the feedback.

Course Administration - Course Reset

Course Reset is a new tool that enables a course administrator to reset a course back to an empty shell. Course Reset permanently deletes course content, activities, associated files, user grades, user progress records, and interaction data from the course in a single bulk process. Users can optionally choose to include course groups, and/or course widgets, navbars, and homepages as part of the course reset process, or leave them in the course.

The Course Reset process does not affect user enrollments, sections and section enrollment, course associations, course paths associated to the course, user progress in linked SCORM objects, LOR objects in Learning Repository, email/instant messages sent to or from users in the course, LTI tool provider information, and Activity Feed posts.

Course Reset permanently deletes the course data and it will not appear in any reporting or data sets after the course reset process is complete. After performing a course reset, an Audit Log maintains a record of the course reset action, including the date and time of the course reset, the data that was selected for deletion, the user who performed the course reset, and any errors that occur during the course reset process.

If you need your course reset, please put in a ticket with us at https://avenue.mcmaster.ca/support/ requesting the course reset.

Grades – Tab delimited import into Gradebook

Users can now import tab separated value (.tsv) files into Gradebook. Previously, users could only import comma delimited files into Gradebook, which created a usability issue in some international regions.

MathJax – Ability to choose global MathJax settings

MathJax is a cross-browser JavaScript library that renders mathematical equations using MathML, LaTeX, and ASCIIMathML markup. MathJax, rather than the Equation Editor in Avenue to Learn determines the rendering size of the equation based on the text surrounding it. Previously, the default scaling provided to MathJax was 130% of the surrounding text.

Outcomes Management – Levels of achievement are mapped to rubric levels

Levels of achievement, used to measure progress towards learning outcomes, can now be mapped to rubric levels. Instructors no longer have to use a percentage score to translate rubric levels to levels of achievement. This means they can use text-only rubrics, as well as points-based rubrics, to automatically identify a suggested level of achievement for the learner’s performance.

Achievement levels are automatically mapped to rubric levels. If there are more rubric levels than achievement levels, some achievement levels may span more than one rubric level. In this case, the levels on each side of the center are symmetrically and evenly distributed.

If there are more achievement levels than rubric levels, some achievement levels are excluded in the map. In this case, the top and bottom achievement levels are automatically mapped to the top and bottom rubric levels and distributed evenly and symmetrically.

After the automatic mapping has occurred, instructors can manually adjust the alignment. The alignment levels can be manually adjusted by dragging the colored circles in the Achievement Levels row of the rubric to identify the desired mapping. Changes can be made to the alignment until a submission is evaluated using the rubric. At that point, the rubric and mapped achievement levels are locked.

Quick Eval - Course level filtering and Dismiss activities until next submission

When opening Quick Eval within a course, only the list of activities and submissions related to that course display. This helps instructors easily view and evaluate submissions on a course-by-course basis. If an instructor wants to view all submissions across all their courses, they can still use the More Options menu to see the Multi-Course Quick Eval, or open Quick Eval from outside of a course.

Instructors can now remove items from their Quick Eval list until a new submission is received for the activity. The removed activity appears on the Dismissed Activities list and can be restored at any time. Once a new submission arrives to the Quick Eval list, the previously dismissed activity reappears there.

Previously, instructors could only select a specific date or forever when dismissing an activity. This new option provides instructors with an additional option to manage the submissions on their Quick Eval list.

Quizzes – Learning Outcomes can be aligned to Quiz questions

In the new Quiz Builder, questions can be aligned to learning outcomes. After you align an outcome to a quiz question, that outcome is aligned for all quizzes in which the question appears. This feature builds on the availability of learning outcomes with other tools, including content items, assignments, and rubrics. After instructors align learning outcomes to one or more questions in a quiz, they can evaluate levels of achievement against learner quiz attempts. Suggested outcome achievements are provided for questions that are auto-graded with the ability to overwrite the suggestion. The default outcome achievement suggestion is based on the default outcomes achievement scale for the course. After the learning outcomes are published, quiz attempts appear in the outcomes progress page as individual demonstration of the learners' achievement toward the outcomes. They are also visible to instructors when evaluating or reviewing attempts from within Quizzes and visible to learners within Quizzes if a submission view is set up to show quiz questions, responses, and associated outcomes to learners.

Instructors can align outcomes to all questions in a question pool by selecting the question pool from the main Quiz Builder page and then selecting Align to Outcomes from the More Actions menu. They can remove alignment to a particular question or set of questions within a question pool by opening the pool and selecting the clear option next to outcomes tag on each individual question.

Note: Outcome alignments are copied between courses, but are not included in export packages.

Video Note – Automatic Closed Captioning

To improve accessibility, video notes now provide automatic closed captioning for newly created videos and the ability to manually add or update closed captioning for all previously recorded videos. After video processing, users can view closed captions using video player controls.

In addition, users can now download a transcript and the closed caption file associated with a video independent of Video Notes.

Localized closed captioning is available for the following languages:

  • US English (en-US)
  • British English (en-GB)
  • Canadian French (fr-CA)
  • German (de-DE)
  • Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR)
  • Korean (ko-KR)
  • Italian (it-IT)
  • Spanish (es-US)
  • Modern Standard Arabic (ar-SA)
  • Russian (ru-RU)
  • Japanese (ja-JP)
  • Turkish (tr-TR)
  • Dutch (nl-NL)
  • Chinese Mandarin (zh-CN)

Notes:

  • Canadian English is not available for closed captioning and defaults to en-US.
  • Chinese Traditional (zh-TW) closed captions are not currently available and defaults to zh-CN.
  • Mexican Spanish (es-MX) closed captions may not be available and defaults to US Spanish (es-US)
  • Swedish closed captions are not available.

Integrations - MacVideo

As part of the integration with MacVideo.ca, we have enabled the ability to capture using Kaltura Capture - which allows for seamless capture from a desktop or laptop video camera - all from within Avenue to Learn. This new feature will directly upload and machine caption videos, saving them to MacVideo.ca and playable within Avenue to Learn.

January 2020 Update

Avenue to Learn Environment – Support for Internet Explorer

As of January 1st, Brightspace has ended support for Internet Explorer. All versions of Internet Explorer will no longer be able to access Avenue to Learn.

Brightspace Pulse – Additional languages supported

To provide consistent language support with the Brightspace platform, Brightspace Pulse is now available in the following additional languages:

  • Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Danish
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Swedish
  • Turkish

Previously, Brightspace Pulse was only available in: English (U.S.), Spanish (Latin America), French (Canada), Portuguese (Brazil), and Dutch.

Classlist – Total number of users field and floating buttons

To improve ease of use, the total number of users for their selection (whole class, section, group) now appears in a field at the bottom of the Classlist page for at-a-glance viewing to help instructors keep track of the total number of learners, which may extend beyond the users visible on the page. On the Print Classlist and Email Classlist pages, the clickable Print and Email buttons now float consistently on screen, to ensure easy access to these actions without excessive scrolling.

Discussions – Assessment consistency changes

When assessing discussions, instructors have new multi-select options to Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback. In the Status column, the Draft / Published checkbox has been replaced by information on the date when feedback was saved as draft or published. These changes are visible on both the Users and Assessments tabs. The Save, Save and Close, and Cancel buttons have also been removed as their functionality has been replaced by the Publish Feedback and Retract Feedback options.

Grades – Export sorting options

This feature introduces the ability to sort exported gradebooks based on the following options: OrgDefinedID, Username, Last Name, and First name. The sort options available are based on the User Information Privacy permissions for the role.

Groups – Self-enrollment group capacity, start dates and descriptions

This feature includes three improvements to Groups:

Group members can now see the description of their group. For self-enrolled groups, group members will now see the group description at all times, including before and after enrollment. For other group types, instructors can now choose to display the description to members of the group. This visible group description setting is off by default for non-self-enrollment groups. Previously, all group descriptions were hidden from group members.

An instructor can now increase or decrease the capacity for self-enrollment groups after they have been created, and prior to the group sign-up expiry date. Decreasing a group size to an amount smaller than has already signed up for a group will not re-allocate users to other groups. Previously, self-enrollment groups were not editable after they were created.

Instructors can set Start dates for self-enrollment groups. This feature allows them to schedule self-enrollment groups availability, ensuring learners are prepared and have equal opportunity to self-enroll.

Quick Eval – Dismiss activities from list

To improve the ability to manage items on their Quick Eval list, instructors can now select items that appear in their Quick Eval list and remove them temporarily or permanently. Instructors can view their dismissed items in the Dismissed Activities List and restore them to the Quick Eval list at any time.

Quizzes – Synchronization with Grades

Quiz scores and feedback entered in Grades now synchronize automatically with Quizzes. To further streamline the workflow, the Overall Feedback fields in Grades and Quizzes are now consolidated, and the Grade Item Public Comments field has been removed from Grades. All comments entered in the Overall Feedback field in Grades synchronizes automatically with the Overall Feedback field in Quizzes. This update creates a more direct workflow and aligns Quizzes with the consistent feedback experience implemented in Assignments and Discussions.



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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