D2L Resources Blog

Beginning with version 42, Google have disabled by default in Chrome a technology called NPAPI, something relied upon by Java to work with web browsers. This blocks the use of Java with Chrome.

If you use Chrome, this change will prevent you from using the Screen Recording function of MU Video as well as any Java-based web content added to D2L courses.

For now, Google have provided a temporary fix by way of a hidden Chrome configuration setting. For more information on that, please read on. As a long term solution, the creators of Java-based web tools, including the maker of MU Video's screen recorder, are re-engineering their tools to use other technologies.


The following is from Enabling Java in Chrome:

Why don't Java-based tools work with Chrome now?

Beginning with version 42, Google have disabled by default in Chrome a technology called NPAPI, something relied upon by Java to work with web browsers. This blocks the use of Java with Chrome.

How can I make Java work in Chrome again?

You can re-enable NPAPI—and therefore, Java—by:

  1. Using Chrome, follow this link: chrome://flags/#enable-npapi
  2. On the page that loads, click the "Enable" link.

This will also let other NPAPI-based plugins work again, if you have others installed.

By 2:45 PM Eastern on Friday, 17 April 2015, Blackboard technicians had restored access to Collaborate sessions. Blackboard Collaborate is working normally now.

For more information, please see the original blog post about this issue.

Update - RESOLVED

By 2:45 PM Eastern on Friday, 17 April 2015, Blackboard technicians had restored access to Collaborate sessions. Blackboard Collaborate is working normally now.

Original Post

We are currently experiencing a problem with Blackboard Collaborate that is affecting access to Collaborate sessions. Blackboard technicians are currently working to determine the problem. An update will be provided before 3:30 PM Eastern.

Beginning at about 2:00 PM Eastern, on Friday, 17 April 2015, a problem at Blackboard's Collaborate data center began preventing access to Collaborate sessions. When you attempt to join a Collaborate session, you may see one of the following error messages:

  • "Unable to contact authentication server"
  • "Unable to get Join link for this meeting"

This problem affects only Blackboard Collaborate, commonly accessed through the Online Rooms tool within D2L. The D2L system is hosted at a separate data center and is functioning normally.

Blackboard, Inc. are aware of the problem, and their technicians are working to resolve the issue. Millersville University IT staff will update this post as we learn more.

The following feature and tool changes will be made to the Millersville D2L system on Saturday May 9 2015.

Misc

  • Last name is now default sort for all tools
  • Manage Dates no longer has all tools checked off for “Specific Tool” search by default

HTML Editor

  • Rearranged menu options
  • Visual ‘fly-out’ grid when creating a table
  • Will now use spell checker of browser in addition to editors spell-check feature

Accessibility

  • ARIA alerts are noticeable to users with screen readers
  • Content in line viewer now displays PDF’s without converting to images
    • Searching, text selection and hyperlinks supported
    • Full screen mode supported

Content

  • Welcome message now displays for instructors accessing Content page for first time     
  • Automatic navigation back to content if began editing an activity in content
  • Ability to evaluate Dropbox non-submissions from Content, for folders linked at Content
  • Activity Details, “Learning Objectives” and “Completion Summary” now appear as tabs rather than collapsible areas
  • In line viewer now displays uploaded PDF’s without converting to images

Discussions

  • Gridview reintroduced  (Millersville has had this feature since Service Pack 13 installed February 2015)
  • Swipe navigation screen added for topic view (Already have this feature in Content)
  • Individual users may now turn off default “subscribe to new thread” from settings
  • Posts are now marked as read as you scroll through a page, rather than all posts being marked as read just for opening the page.
  • Bulk edit added for deletion of multiple forums and/or topics at once
  • Can now click “more” to see full text of post from topic list
  • Can now assess all discussion contributions for a thread from a new context menu item: "Assess student". This opens the topic scoring window with the learner's contributions and a field to grade them. 
  • Turnitin now includes ETS e-rater, providing automatic diagnosis of students' grammar, usage, mechanics, stye and spelling

Dropbox

  • Can now delete Dropbox folders from their individual context menus or from the “More Actions” button

Grades

  • The “Save and Close” button is now available in Grades
  • Page number and “#per page” selector has shifted left on the Enter Grades page
  • New icons used to denote visibility of final grade column

Homepage

  • Active Homepage remains active in a course copy
  • Layout of default homepage has been changed from 3 columns to 2
  • Role switch widget has been removed from default home page (feature available in personal dropdown menu of blue mini-nav bar)

Minibar course selector and My Courses widget

  • Users enrolled in less than 25 courses see an alphabetical course list in the blue minibar course selector, and can pin the courses they want to keep at the top of the list. Users enrolled in more than 25 courses see their most recently accessed courses, can pin courses they want to keep at the top of the list, and can also search for courses from the Search My Courses page by clicking the Advanced Search link or the Search all courses button.
  • If a user has more than one course, filters will appear as drop-down list options at the top of the My Courses widget. If there are more than 100 courses, a button and dialog combination will appear instead of a drop-down list to avoid performance and usability issues.
  • My Courses widget filter selections are remembered between sessions.

Quizzes

  • User Statistics now include the standard deviation and existing class average for the overall quiz.
  • Question Statistics now include standard deviation, discrimination index, and point biserial per question, along with the standard deviation and existing class average for the overall quiz.
  • Question Details now includes standard deviation, discrimination index, and average grade achieved per question.
  • Previously, statistics were calculated for all attempts of a quiz. For consistency and correctness, now statistics are only calculated from attempts against the latest question version, and only from the first attempt of the quiz as a whole
  • Quiz Restrictions tab has reorganized order of form fields and re-labeling of some form fields to be more descriptive and accurate.
  • Setting to “Allow attempt to be set as graded…” has been repositioned near the top of the Quiz Assessment tab page
  • Quiz timer now displays seconds, flashes a 10 minute warning for quizzes over an hour, flashes a 5 minute warning for quizzes under one hour and flashes a 1 minute warning for all quizzes.
  • In student view “Always” is now renamed as “Always Available” and displays for quizzes without date restrictions.

MU Video

  • Public YouTube videos may be included in My Media, channels, etc.
  • Permission to publish media may be shared with others
  • Ownership of media items may be transferred to others
  • Files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, etc.) may be attached to media items
  • Media items may be replaced with new, updated, or corrected items
  • Option to offer downloads of media items now off by default

VitalSource Technologies, the new owners of CourseSmart, will soon deactivate the CourseSmart tools within Millersville's D2L system. This will affect:

  • the CourseSmart Bookshelf widget
  • any QuickLinks you created within your D2L courses to the CourseSmart Bookshelf
  • any QuickLinks you created within your D2L courses to CourseSmart etextbooks or resources

Following the shutdown, the link in the CourseSmart Bookshelf widget, and any CourseSmart Bookshelf or etextbook links you created, will stop working. Attempting to use the links will lead you, and your students, to either an error page or an informational page on VitalSource Technologies' web site.

If you, or your students, previously purchased a subscription to a CourseSmart eTextbook or other digital resource, access to that item will remain available through the CourseSmart website, www.coursesmart.com, even after the CourseSmart tools in D2L stop working. By going to the CourseSmart website directly, you will be able to access your purchased item through the remainder of the license period.

If you currently use, or had intended to begin using, one or more CourseSmart eTextbooks or digital resources in your teaching, please contact the Millersville University IT Help Desk. If faculty members express interest, Millersville University will investigate replacing within D2L CourseSmart's soon to be defunct tools with new eTextbook tools from VitalSource Technologies.

This purchase, and shutdown, of CourseSmart by VitalSource Technologies only affects the CourseSmart tools within D2L. The remainder of the D2L system, as well as integrated eTextbook and digital resource tools by other, non-CourseSmart companies, will continue to function normally.

The CourseSmart deactivation notice from VitalSource Technologies:

As you may be aware, this past March, Vital Source Technologies, Inc. announced the acquisition of CourseSmart, a leading provider of digital textbooks in higher education. The combination of Vital Source and CourseSmart will create the world’s broadest, most powerful, digital content channel providing customers with the best-in-breed technology, scalability, industry leading analytics, and the broadest digital content catalog in higher education.

Since the acquisition, we have been working diligently to create a migration strategy for each of CourseSmart’s institutional customers to the VitalSource platform. Through our due diligence we have reviewed the activity of your integration and identified that it is no longer active.

With that information in hand, we have determined it best to decommission your institution’s integration in CourseSmart’s Service Hub; this means that faculty will no longer have instant access to digital course materials for discovery, evaluation, and adoption, and students will no longer be able to access CourseSmart eTextbooks via an LMS integration. However, if faculty or students still have an active subscription to a title, that access will continue through direct log-in to coursesmart.com.

If you want to continue offering your faculty and students the benefits of an integration through your LMS, we would love the opportunity to discuss transitioning your integration from CourseSmart to the VitalSource platform. If you are interested, please let us know, and we will put you in touch with a VitalSource Account Executive.

The problem that caused "Access Denied" errors in MU Video has been resolved.

Technicians at Kaltura, the company that produces the software that powers MU Video, identified and repaired a corrupted search index in the MU Video system. That has eliminated the "Access Denied" errors.

For more information, please see the original post.

Resolved - Monday, 6 April 2015, at 6:40 p.m. Eastern:

The problem that caused "Access Denied" errors in MU Video has been resolved.

Technicians at Kaltura, the company that produces the software that powers MU Video, identified and repaired a corrupted search index in the MU Video system. That has eliminated the "Access Denied" errors.

Update - Monday, 6 April 2015, at 5:51 p.m. Eastern:

Technicians continue to work on resolving this issue.
This post will be update again by 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Update - Monday, 6 April 2015, at 4:33 p.m. Eastern:

We apologize about the inconvenience, technicians continue to work on resolving the MU Video "Access Denied" errors. If the outage is not resolved by 6:00 p.m. Eastern, additional information will be provided.

Original Notice

We are currently experiencing a problem with MU Video that is affecting access to, and playback of, media. Technicians are currently working to determine the problem. An update will be provided before 5:00 PM Eastern.

A Technology Conference for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


Thursday, May 14, 2015

8:00am - 4:30pm

West Chester University | Sykes Student Union

RECAP Conference Registration Now Open!

Join us for the RECAP Conference and connect with others in higher education that are infusing technology into teaching and learning. A day of insightful sessions, opportunities to network, and a motivating keynote away you! View the conference schedule.

Choose from 32 sessions across five themes where presenters will share ideas, provide demonstrations or engage you in discussions about their experiences integrating technology into teaching and learning.

Designing Instruction: For Flipped, Blended, or Online

Engaging Students

Managing Content

Assessing Learning

Reaching Higher: From Basic Tasks to Higher Order Learning Skills

Participate in the interactive keynote as speaker Karl Kapp presents “The Quest for Engaged Students: Technology, Millennials & Learning”.

Visit the iNOV8 and KINBER display.

Exchange ideas, share strategies, pick up new ideas to try, meet up with colleagues and make new acquaintances.

Follow us at @RECAPConference. Engage with other conference participants before, during or after the event using #WCURECAP.

Registration fee $75. Includes breakfast, lunch, and beverages. Waived for presenters.

Follow @RECAPConference



The RECAP Conference, Sponsored by West Chester University’s Information Services Division to encourage sharing of knowledge, collaboration and networking among colleagues.

www.wcupa.edu/recap
recap@wcupa.edu

Faculty:

You may now use MAX to request Summer and Fall 2015 D2L course shells.

  • The instructions for requesting courses are available in the D2L Resources wiki.
  • As you make a course request in MAX, the D2L Course tool there will present you with a default name for your new shell, and at that time, you can adjust the name as you like. If you accidentally skip that renaming opportunity, or decide upon a better name later, you can rename your course shell right from within D2L.
  • If you want to combine two or more sections (CRNs) into a single D2L course shell, please use the combined course request option in MAX's D2L Course tool. Attempting to combine shells after they have been created will take days away from the time you have to work on building your course and may force you to re-upload or recreate course materials.
  • While the D2L Course tool in MAX won't let you and a colleague combine your sections into one D2L course shell, the help desk can assist with that. So, if you want to combine sections with a colleague, please do not request independent shells using MAX. Contact the help desk with your request.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the help desk.

Due to scheduled maintenance at the Turnitin data center, all Turnitin services, including Plagiarism Detection and GradeMark, will be unavailable from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern, on Saturday, 7 March 2015. The Turnitin company recommend instructors modify assignment due dates to fall before, or several hours after, the maintenance period.

The D2L system itself will not be affected by the Turnitin maintenace period. Only the Turnitin services, available from within D2L's dropbox tool, will be affected and made unavailable.

Though Blackboard have not yet issued an update regarding the Collaborate outage, the Collaborate system appears to be back online and working normally again.

Resolved, 2:05 P.M. Eastern:

Though Blackboard have not yet issued an update regarding the Collaborate outage, the Collaborate system appears to be back online and working normally again.

Original Post

At this time, the Blackboard Collaborate (Online Rooms) web conferencing system is not available. Attempting to enter a Collaborate session by following a Join link within D2L returns the following error message: "Unable to get Join link for this meeting".

Blackboard technicians are working to correct this problem, but they are not able to provide an estimate on when Collaborate will work again.

D2L, Inc.'s technicians identified and corrected the problem that prevented some email messages sent from within D2L from leaving the system. D2L messages sent from within D2L are now leaving the system promptly and being delivered normally.

The D2L system did not lose any messages due to, or during the time of, the problem. Messages that did not leave D2L servers during the time the problem was in effect were queued on D2L's servers. All messages stored in that queue have now been sent out.

Resolved - 28 January 2015, 1:32 p.m. Eastern

D2L, Inc.'s technicians identified and corrected the problem that prevented some email messages sent from within D2L from leaving the system. D2L messages sent from within D2L are now leaving the system promptly and being delivered normally.

The D2L system did not lose any messages due to, or during the time of, the problem. Messages that did not leave D2L servers during the time the problem was in effect were queued on D2L's servers. All messages stored in that queue have now been sent out.

Original Post

Some email messages sent from within D2L are not reaching their destinations. Not all email messages are affected; most messages are being delivered normally. Some messages though are becoming stuck within the D2L system instead of being sent out for delivery.

Technicians at D2L, Inc., and at the data center that hosts Millersville's D2L system, are working to resolve this issue.

This problem is occurring within D2L's servers and affects the D2L systems of multiple PASSHE universities.

Millersville's email systems are functioning normally, and sending email from D2L to other, non-Millersville email addresses will not avoid the problem. Email messages sent from D2L to non-Millersville email addresses appear to be blocked at the same rate as messages sent to Millersville email addresses.

There is no way to tell from within the D2L system whether an email message has reached all its intended recipients. Furthermore, some messages are reaching some, but not all, intended recipients, so sending a copy of a message to yourself does not provide a reliable indication of whether or not the message reached others.

D2L technicians believe that all undelivered messages caught up in their servers by this problem will be delivered when the problem is fixed.

Grid View Is Back

The Return of Grid View in Discussions

Due to overwhelming demand, D2L, Inc. have once again made grid view available in discussions. D2L, Inc. had previously removed grid view because the it does not work well with screen readers, but now the view is back.

If you would like to change your view of discussions from reading view to grid view, please see Switching to grid view.