Emerald Release

At D2L we’re passionate about working closely with clients, listening to your feedback and requests. We’re excited to share the latest enhancements – including a new way to provide professional learning, a more efficient approach to timely data, the ability to take action from your analytics, more features to help keep your students and parents engaged, and new services to help you improve student engagement. With a track record of consistently implementing your ideas in each release, we’re continuing to deliver with 27% of features in this release suggested by you in the Product Ideas Exchange on the Brightspace Community.

Emerald Release Webinar

Join our product experts on May 31st for an overview of the new features in the Emerald Release.

Register for the Higher Education webinar
Register for the K-12 webinar

A Robust Experience for Professional Development and Learning

Schools, colleges and universities can use the Brightspace platform not only to deliver engaging courses to their students, but also as a professional development and learning environment for teachers, instructors and staff – using one single platform for all their learning needs and encourage life-long learning. With new functionality to organize, assign, and track professional development with a dashboard, Brightspace can be used to help provide a robust professional learning experience. Complementing these enhanced capabilities in Brightspace, a new service package focuses on delivering customized implementation and consulting services and will help ensure a successful professional development experience.

An Efficient Approach to Timely Data

It’s now easier for you to get recent student data more efficiently with daily differentials – providing incremental data instead of you having to download the entire set of data each time – saving you time as data is processed. Hourly data can also be purchased as an add-on if you have more frequent data needs.

Take Action from your Analytics

We know that you’re constantly striving to motivate and retain your students, and providing relevant feedback is a key way to help your students reach their goals. The Class Progress tool can give you valuable insight into how your students are doing, and now you can jump right into action by clicking on the link to go directly to intelligent agents, where you can provide feedback via automated emails that go to students that have met defined criteria. Automated triggers to enroll students into courses based on their activity can even be created, keeping students on track for success.


Keep Students Engaged

The activity feed provides one central spot to communicate easily with students about reminders, upcoming assignments, new content, or discussions in an engaging way to keep everyone on track. Enhancements to the activity feed make it even easier to get organized and create an engaging experience for students; with the ability to display images and videos inline, easily upload content from OneDrive and Google Drive ™ online storage service, new formatting options to draw attention to important information, notifications to alert students of new items, pinned posts to keep essential items at the top, and more.

Connect with Parents

Brightspace for Parents is a great way to stay connected with parents and guardians, keeping them engaged in their child’s education. New features include visibility into individual assignment grades, feedback from the teacher about the grade, the ability to see how the grades tie into assignments, and final grades. Not every parent remembers to log in to Brightspace for Parents, but weekly emails provide them with a summary of what’s happening so that they can stay connected with their child’s classroom. And all of this can be done with very little extra effort from the teacher – making it easy to keep parents in the loop.

A Fun Way to Share Projects

Students, young and young-at-heart, have been having a blast capturing and sharing their work using Portfolio’s friendly, animated cartoon “Funster” to guide them through every step. For courses with older students, teachers can now set whether the “Funsters” are used, and whether evidence approval is required or not. Students now also have the flexibility to use their own devices to collect and reflect on items. Evidence collected in past courses is now available to students, their parents, and authorized teachers. Teachers can look at a student’s past evidence and personalize how or what they teach based on this record of learning. It’s easier than ever for teachers to share, categorize and approve portfolio evidence with bulk action options. By popular demand, teachers can now set up their own categories to organize student evidence, and use them to collaborate with other teachers in the course. And finally, teachers can even leave private notes or reminders for themselves. Portfolio has fast become a fan favorite, with teachers raving that it is revolutionizing the classroom.




Partner with D2L to Improve Student Engagement

D2L offers a variety of services that can be purchased by schools to help take their learning experiences to the next level. The Learning & Creative Services team offers many options to help make a course as engaging as possible, including a Course Adventure Pack with game-based learning, interactive assessments, a story builder, awards leaderboard, and consulting sessions to make the most of these tools. With Learning Strategy & Consulting, schools can collaborate with thought leaders on a variety of topics, including how to effectively undergo internal changes to adapt, evolve, and improve student outcomes. With years of experience helping schools navigate successfully through change, the Change Management offering from the Learning Strategy & Consulting team helps make the change management process go smoothly by focusing on communication and resistant management pieces to bring everyone together as the change is implemented.

More Time-Saving Features

Have you seen the new Content Experience?

Brightspace has an alternative Content experience that provides an intuitive way to create lessons aligned to standards, outcomes and expectations.

  • Teachers and Instructors can build up their course as they go, with a variety of activities and content to choose from, including their own HTML documents, or documents located in Google Drive or OneDrive ™ online storage service, links and videos from the web, external learning activities, video assignments and more.
  • Context can be added with visual and rich descriptions for content, including embedded images and videos. For schools that have a catalog of templates to choose from for HTML documents, those templates can be accessed in a simple drop-down menu when new content is being created.
  • As activities are added to the course, they can be shared with students immediately via the Activity Feed, or scheduled for later. Content can be made visible or hidden to students using a quick ‘hide/show’ toggle, or by using release conditions to personalize the pace and path for individual learners.
  • While building and teaching the course it’s easy to see how the course satisfies the required outcomes, expectations or standards.


Try it today — new Content experience can be turned on as an “opt-in/out” option, allowing educators to go back and forth between the two experiences and choose according to their preference. Note that the new experience does not yet offer advanced capabilities in setting availability restrictions (based on start/end dates), visual completion tracking or other visual statistics, bookmarking, and bulk editing.

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