Originally published December 17, 2018
Hello, Brightspace Community!
My name is Dana Knarr, and I run the Brightspace Teaching and Learning Certificate Program (BTLCP). The BTLCP is a trio of self-paced training courses that include the latest updates to Brightspace Learning Environment. To stay on top of product and resource changes, I use a set of resources to keep the course content current. I want to share some of the resources I rely on since they may be helpful to you, too.
- Need to stay on top of what is changing with the monthly releases of new features and changes to Brightspace products?
- Develop Brightspace training and onboarding materials, and need to know what is available?
- Need to keep track of the most up-to-date Brightspace videos and documentation?
- Want to stay in the loop when articles on Brightspace Community are updated?
If any of these statements apply to you, read on!
Understanding Product Changes: Release Notes
What it is: No surprise here: it is a summary of the product updates included in a release.
Why I use it: It helps me write content for the BTLCP, and guides updates to system variables I need to turn on.
How I use it: Each month, I sit down with the release notes and highlight changes that will impact the courses in the BTLCP; from here I start writing or editing course content. Another benefit: because the release notes include the config variables I need to turn on, I use them as a cheat sheet to know what I need to do to turn on new features. Note: If you (or your organization) opt not to turn on a feature for the time being, you can always review past release notes and find the information you need when you are ready.
Where to find it: In the documentation area of Brightspace Community. Interested? Check out the most recent version of the Release Notes.
Planning: Product and Services Preview
What is it: A look ahead at what is being planned over (approximately) the next 90 days.
Why I use it: It helps me stay organized and prepare for future changes.
How I use it: Although I know product changes occur monthly, the scope of change varies from one release to the next. That is where the Product and Services Preview comes in: it lets me plan for the size of the release and plan my time accordingly. I also use the Product and Services Preview to make better use of Brightspace Community. For example: when I read about the recent changes to the Assignment tool, I searched the Community for relevant information and came across some very helpful blog posts about the changes to Assignments.
Where to find it: In the Product News area of Brightspace Community. Interested? Check out the most recent version of the Product and Services Preview.
Tracking Changes to Community Content: The Follow Feature
What is it: An email notification that lets me know when an item on the Community has been updated.
Why I use it: It saves me time and keeps me in the loop with what’s new! Instead of actively searching for changes, I now take advantage of the follow feature to keep track of the content I use in the BTLCP courses.
How I use it: If I receive a notification that an article I use has changed, I quickly review it to ensure it still fits the context I was using it in. If an article is no longer available, I update the content to avoid broken links.
Where to find it: The follow feature is available on any article in Brightspace Community.