By: Ed Vannatter, Senior Product Manager; Stefano Nicoli, Senior Product Manager; Susan Kleisath, Product Manager
Brightspace assessable activities inside the New Content Experience (NCE) are getting an exciting makeover in the January (20.24.1) update! These new pages will be available for Assignments, Quizzes, Discussion Topics, and External Learning Tool (LTI) links. Here is an early preview of this update so that you can review, prepare, and raise any questions you may have.
Currently, in NCE, educators and learners have to navigate out to new tabs/tools to access even basic info on Assignments, Quizzes, and other tools.
Figure: Current view of an Assignment in NCE for educators and learners
The new display pages in NCE bring information on each activity front and center with a consistent layout across activity types, and the pages include completion information and submission workflows, improving the user experience and closing a major gap between Classic Content and NCE.
Figure: New display of an Assignment in NCE for educators
Why did we do this?
Our goal is to simplify common tasks for first-time or infrequent users, while giving easy access to the advanced features that our experienced power-users love. Bringing consistency between all activities in Brightspace will help us achieve this goal. We recently re-imagined the create/edit workflows for instructors in NCE, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes. Now that creating and editing different activities is consistent, we are introducing a new display of those same activities for consistency that will improve viewing activities by both educators and learners.
Note, if you are currently on the Classic Content experience and are considering switching to NCE to benefit from the upcoming changes, the Content Experiences blog post provides instructions on how to turn on NCE. You can also enable NCE for a small number of courses if you want to check out the changes but are not yet ready to make the shift. All content experiences remain fully supported.
Consistent Layout of the Display Pages
The new display pages include the informational section for both educators and learners, and below this will include either the ‘Completion Summary’ for educators, or for learners, their ‘My Work’. This consistency makes it familiar and easy to learn when looking at different activity types.
The informational section of the activity looks exactly the same to educators as it does to learners. This section of the activity provides educators with confirmation of the activity as authored on the Edit pages. In this way, educators can review the activity to ensure that it has all of the right properties and settings applied and can feel confident that the learner is seeing the activity as intended.
The informational section provides learners with the expectations on how and when to complete the activity. Learners also get an at-a-glance status of where they’re at with activity which saves them time searching for feedback. A status card shows whether the activity has been started, submitted, waiting on evaluation, or evaluated and with a quick link for the learner to access their feedback.
This change ensures that educators and learners are aligned on the expectations for the activity by clearly presenting all activity information on a single page including ‘what the activity is’, ‘how to complete the activity’, ‘how will this activity be evaluated’, and if dates are applied, ‘when the activity is expected to be completed’. It also provides educators in both blended and online environments with the opportunity to guide learners through the activity since they are very literally ‘on the same page’ as them.
The Completion Summary is for educators. It follows the informational part of the activity on the page and acts as a hub for educators to monitor learner progress on the activity so that they can provide support and intervention when needed, and launch into evaluation workflows to view and evaluate evidence for one or more learners. It combines some of the best features and capabilities found in both Classic Content’s Completion Summary, as well as, the various submission lists within the activity tools into a single experience.
- Filter by Exempt, Completed, and Not Completed to monitor progress, provide nudges and connect with learners to offer support.
- Evaluate either individual learners or all learners appearing in a filtered Completion Summary so that only those who have already completed the activity can be evaluated. Multi-Select and bulk actions to come in the future!
- Display both the learners overall completion status as well as the individual submissions and attempts logged by date so that educators can see the history and progression of the activity.
- Display both ‘draft’ and ‘published’ state of evaluation per learner to help educators manage and keep on top of their evaluation workload.
- Identify new submissions/attempts that have not yet been viewed or evaluated through the presence of an orange dot (screen reader users are informed of the presence of ‘new’ submissions/attempts.)
- Search for a specific user using the search input.
The My Work is for learners, and also follows the informational part of the activity and is a single place for learners to participate in the activity, find previous submissions, and review all feedback and evaluations. Learners can review the activity details and expectations while participating which gives them the confidence that they have the necessary information to be successful.
- Submit any type of assignment, launch Discussions to post, and launch the quiz to attempt, so that students have the information they need before starting the activity to be successful.
- List the submissions, posts, and attempts with individual scores where appropriate for review of progress.
- Display grade and overall feedback with a link to complete feedback so that learners can quickly access important evaluation feedback without leaving Content.
Stay tuned and follow along with the monthly release updates including updates to the High Impact Change Timeline on Community as we get closer to the launch date of the new assessment display pages in January. The new pages will be controlled by the configuration variable d2l.Tools.Content.LessonsRenderActivitiesInline. The default setting will be in the OFF state, and we encourage all Brightspace administrators to set this new experience to ON when the time is right. Remember, all existing Assessments are compatible with the new display pages and administrators can safely enable the pages to try the new workflows and share their feedback with us.
After this release, we will also be working to iteratively extend the new display pages to non-assessment activities such as HTML pages, web links, PDF files, and media files. Look for these updates early next calendar year.
We’re hosting a community event you won’t want to miss! Join us on November 22nd, 2023 from 12:00-12:45pm ET for a sneak peek at the new display pages for assessable activities to see how it can benefit you in your Brightspace instance! 📅Register Now