May Changes to D2L

In a normal May break between semesters, I release all of the new features D2L has been trickling out throughout the year. That way, you can have a stable experience throughout the year and only have to worry about changes once per year. However, with the pandemic, most of the changes have been very minor and I’ve been turning them on as an opt-in feature. That means you can turn them on if you like, but if not, you can wait until it’s a forced change. There are four forced changes coming to D2L. However, I don’t think three of them are ready and will wait until they are before forcing them.

The only D2L change coming to PPCC this spring has already hit… the limit to the number of characters in discussion posts.

Discussions Posts Limited to 65,000 Characters

This one was forced upon us last weekend. Apparently, some ingenious students figured out if you put in millions of characters into a discussion post, it would crash the tool. So, D2L had to put a limit on the length of posts. They have chosen 65,000. If you need more than that, I think the best way would be to ask students to add an attachment (like Word) or a link to another site. If this becomes an issue for you, please let me know and I will join a few other colleges in pushing for a larger limit.

On now

Brightspace Editor

This is the HTML editor we work with in D2L. It’s the tool with the bold, italics, link, insert image, etc. in which we type our materials and announcements. They are going to a standard tool instead of a D2L created tool. It will have an accessibility checker along with a word counter. However, it’s not quite ready and is giving errors when instructors try to post announcements.

Current ETA: August 17

Consistent Assignment Evaluation Experience

D2L is trying to standardize the evaluation experience for all tools. That way, it won’t matter if you are grading an Assignment, Quiz or Discussion, the interface will be the same. However, like the Brightspace Editor, it’s run into issues, especially around Turnitin. Thus, we are waiting to force the experience until these issues are sorted out.

Current ETA: August 17

Consistent Assignment Create/Edit Experience

Like the assignment evaluation experience, D2L is trying to standardize the creation and editing of Assignments. Also like the assessment of assignments, this update has run into issues as well. This time, it’s around anonymous grading and Outcomes in addition to Turnitin. It looks like D2L has more work to do with this one as it won’t be fully ready until December. Unfortunately, this update will happen before the FA21 semester ends. However, it will only affect you in FA21 if you are creating or editing assignment folders the last weekend of the semester.

Current ETA: December 16

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