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Open LMS 3.6 MP 2 Release

Here’s everything you need to know about the Open LMS 3.6 Maintenance Pack 2 Release. This is a working document, so follow this page and check back often for updates!

Availability

Release to production October 17, 2019. The release time depends on your location and time zone:

  • North America, Central America, South America (Virginia, USA datacenter): Clients will be upgraded according to their data center timezone:
    • Eastern, Amazon and Newfoundland-Labrador Timezones: October 17th at 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM EDT
    • Central Timezone: October 17th at 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM CDT
    • Mountain and Pacific Timezones: October 17th at 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM PDT
  • South America (Sao Paulo, Brazil datacenter): October 17th at 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM BRT
  • EMEA (Frankfurt datacenter): October 17 at 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM CEST
  • APAC excluding Australia and New Zealand (Singapore datacenter): October 17th at 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM SGT
  • Australia and New Zealand (Sydney, AU datacenter): October 17th at 12:30 AM – 2:30 AM AEDT

Non-Production Sites Upgrade Schedule
To improve the quality of the upgrade process and shorten the production upgrade window, non-production (sandbox) sites will be upgraded on Thursday, October 10th, 2019, between 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT.

Downtime will be required for your production and non-production sites during this window.

Snap theme improvements

Course load on demand: “Lazy load”

Open LMS now allows site administrators to enable Snap course load on demand, or lazy load functionality, which allows course sections and page module content to load faster. This feature is particularly useful for Snap courses with a large number of sections, activities, and resources.

Site administration > Appearance > Themes > Snap > Course display

Advanced feeds

There’s a new experimental feature in Snap’s configuration that allows loading content on the notification panels and the course cards list using web components and pagination. This functionality significantly improves the load time for your Personal menu.

Resource and activity cards redesign

We updated the design of the resource and activity cards so they’re more coherent in terms of design language. We eliminated internal scrolls and redesigned the restriction message. These changes only apply to these small activity and resource cards:

  • URL
  • External tool
  • SCORM
  • Lightbox gallery
  • File
  • IMS Content package
  • Folder

We made these changes to the design:

  • Multimedia files, like videos and pictures, aren’t rendered in the card summary view.
  • Scrolls within the card summary were eliminated.
  • Card type title and name appear with an ellipsis if the text is too long.
  • Card summary description displays a specific amount of text and hide the rest with a white gradient.
  • Restriction messages appear as a tooltip in the new restriction icon.


HTML support for PLD email editor

Rule creators can add HTML content to the body of emails sent through the Personalized Learning Designer (PLD). Rule creators now have more flexibility and creativity in creating email messages.


Collaborate reports for IntelliBoard

The latest version of IntelliBoard now includes reporting capabilities for Blackboard Collaborate sessions, including the ability to report on attendance by course or per learner.


Updated plugins

  • H5P (2019081600)
  • IntelliCart
  • IntelliBoard
  • SafeAssign (2019092401)
  • Grid Format (2018121906)

Issue description

Fix

UI before

UI now

Small graphic glitch when adjusting the window. The down arrows are pushed outside the container.

And extra CSS rule is added to impact only this arrows.
The export option was not being displayed on the Forum for the course in format Single activity.The export options are displayed on the Forum in a course with format Single Activity.  
The Sharing cart’s dropdown menu was overlapping some items.

Added a CSS style with top 2.5em for the menu on snap, on boost was working ok. Tested on mobile too.

There’s some options misaligned on the Admin’s check permission page.Added some CSS style to Boost and Snap.

When a student performs a file submission the view is updated with the file submitted and the submission date next to the file, however, this date is not being aligned properly.Added a CSS attribute float: left to the element assign-submission-data .fileuploadsubmissiontime
The TinyMCE HTML text editor do not appear when in a course you try to add a new sectionAdded a CSS style of height: 13em !important to the element section#snap-add-new-section #edit-newsectioneditor_ifr and four attributes (1) display: table; (2) flex-flow: row-wrap; (3) align-items: center; (4) border-collapse: collapse; to the element section#snap-add-new-section #edit-newsectioneditor_parent #edit-newsectioneditor_tbl
The teacher could see the link to message him/herself, and opening this create a conflict on the message API.Added a new validation on the course renderer, if the current user is a teacher don’t render the message link to him/herself. It render the link to other teachers anyway.
The setting “Display description on course page” is showing up for the mod_book, on Snap this is not functional.

Added a new css style to hide this setting.

When adding custom user profile fields to the user profile template there is the option to display on signup page with additional options for required yes/no. The profile will only appear in Snap if it is marked as required.

Modification of a current style in core.scss:

.collapsible-actions,
.ftoggler {
display: block;
}

A new improvement has been added to the PLD email action view. Now you will be able to send HTML messages using the site’s HTML editorsModifications to snap _core.scss
A new improvement has been added to the PLD email action view. Now you will be able to send HTML messages using the site’s HTML editorsModifications to snap _core.scss for the HTML editors box height, the !important clause was mandatory because the height property was overridden each time the action email edit page was invoked.

Accessibility improvements

Adding new ID’s and Aria attributes

To improve the accessibility over Snap pages and activities, a research followed by a development was made to add new ID’s and Aria attributes in some elements, finding six main pages which will be benefit from this change.

Page

Changes made

Home

New ID’s

  • Browse all courses link, when adding featured courses.

    browse-all-courses-featured-courses

Personal menu

Aria labels modified

  • The user name when opening the personal menu before this fix, it had a role=”heading” attribute, for the sake of the personal menu view, the title with the user name needs to act as a H1 tag, but for the sake of the DOM structure, only one H1 can exists in the page. For this, the better solution and the one that was made is to remove this attribute so a screen reader do not think this is treated as a header, and internally with the help of aria-level=”1″, this will be displayed (only graphically) as a H1.
  • Inside personal menu exists icons which image has a role=”presentation” attribute, this normally represents an error because this role hides the image from the accessibility and will not show the alt attribute contents, but for this case it is okay to leave it as it is. Declaring a role of presentation says that the image is for layout, is decorative and meaningless, whereas the non-empty alt text implies that the image is meaningful. An empty alt attribute was added to go along with this behavior.

New ID’s

  • User name.

    snap-pm-user-profile

  • Links below user name in the personal menu as Profile, Dashboard, Preferences, Grades, have new ID’s.

    - snap-pm-profile
    - snap-pm-dashboard
    - snap-pm-preferences
    - snap-pm-grades

  • Snap personal menu updates links now have unique ID’s over the small tags.

    - snap-pm-deadline
    - snap-pm-feedback
    - snap-pm-messages
    - nap-pm-forum-posts

Course

New ID’s

  • Create new section and course dashboard links in the course have new unique ID’s.

    - snap-new-section
    - snap-course-tools

Course Dashboard

New ID’s

The principal links inside the Course Dashboard now have unique ID’s. To not repeat the code block, all of these ID’s have the same estructure.

ct-"name of the course tool"
e.g, ct-gradebook

  • Course settings
  • Open Grader
  • Gradebook
  • Number of participants
  • Open Reports
  • PLD
  • Competencies
  • Outcomes
  • Badges
PLD main viewAs explained before for personal menu, the role=”presentation” in the images are being used correctly. An empty alt attribute was added to go along with this behavior.
Open forums

Labels modified

Before the fix, the form tag had a role=”region” attribute and this was changed because this type of role should only be added to sections of the page. From this the role was changed to role=”form”.


Bug fixes and minor enhancements

Coming soon!


Important information about end of life components in December

Progress Bar block

In January 2018 we communicated our plans to End of Life the Progress Bar block. The Progress Bar block is no longer being updated by its maintainer and has been replaced by the Completion progress block from the same developer. The original timeline was to End of Life the Progress Bar block in the Open LMS 3.4 release in July 2018. This timeline was delayed but the Progress Bar block will be unavailable following the Open LMS 3.7 release in December. Any institutions still using the Progress Bar block are encouraged to transition to the complete Progress block prior to the 3.7 production release.

What do you need to do?

  • Create a support ticket to request the Completion Progress block be added to your site.
  • Navigate to Site administration > Plugins > Blocks > Manage blocks.
  • Locate Progress Bar on the page. The second column will indicate the number of instances of the block. Click on the number to see a list of courses using the block. The Progress Bar block should be replaced with the Completion Progress block in these courses. If the list contains non-active courses, you may choose not to replace the block. The Progress Bar block will simply no longer display after the 3.7 upgrade.
  • If the Manage blocks page indicates more instances of the block than courses listed, the block may be applied at a higher context check for the block in the following locations:
    • Site administration > Appearance > Default Dashboard page
    • Front page
    • If you are still unable to locate instances of the block, open a support ticket for assistance.

If you have any additional questions or would like to speak with a Open LMS representative, please reach out to us at [email protected]. You may also submit a support ticket should you have any additional questions, comments or concerns.

Clean and More themes

As part of the constant evolution of Moodle, Moodle HQ decided to remove the Clean and More themes from their codebase starting in Moodle 3.7. This change allows Moodle HQ to focus on the Boost theme and new themes with more modern technology and user experience.

The Open LMS team stated we would support the Clean and More themes as long as they were part of Moodle HQ’s codebase. With the announcement from Moodle HQ, Open LMS will remove the themes as well in the Open LMS 3.7 release in December.

If you’re using the Clean or More theme, during the 3.7 upgrade they will be removed and replaced with the Classic theme.

Classic theme

Moodle HQ created a new theme, Classic, that mimics the Clean theme. This theme offers more modern technology and an updated user experience. The Classic theme is available and supported starting with the Open LMS 3.6 release. We encourage you to review this change prior to the production upgrade to 3.7 in December.

More on Classic theme

More on Snap theme

More on Boost theme


Vendor plugins

The following vendors are no longer participating in the Open LMS Approved Plugin Program:

  • Workday/MediaCore
  • Internships.com
  • WizIQ
  • Echo360
  • ConnectYard
  • Palgrave
  • BFW

Please be aware of the following changes:

Effective with Bb Open LMS v3.6 (current version)

  • Vendor plugins continue to be available in your Open LMS environment but will move to an unsupported status. This means the plugins are no longer updated in Open LMS.
  • Support questions related to the plugin are to be directed to the vendor.
  • Plugins are removed from our Plugin Matrix and not enabled on any new Open LMS client sites.

Effective with Bb Open LMS v3.7 (Targeted for the end of the year)

  • Vendor plugins move to End of Life status. This means the plugins are removed from the Control Panel and no longer available of Open LMS client sites.
  • All plugin-related questions are to be directed to the vendor.

Please plan accordingly based on the above targeted Open LMS releases. While our intent is to provide sufficient lead time regarding this change, we want you to be aware that any issues with vendor plugins may require the acceleration of the plugin End of Life plan. This means that at Blackboard’s discretion, we may remove an offending plugin from the Control Panel and codebase to avoid errors for our clients or with other plugins. This action would likely occur without prior notification in order to safeguard our client sites.


GDPR Compliant Plugins

As Blackboard continues to build on our existing data privacy practices, we have extended that focus to our Open LMS 3rd party plugins.  To ensure 3rd party plugins have implemented the necessary Moodle privacy code and support the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Blackboard has been proactively reviewing and reaching out to vendors for updates and recertification of their plugin.  In an effort to improve visibility of 3rd party plugin privacy compliance, Blackboard will be updating the Open LMS Plugin Matrix to reflect compliant vendor plugins which have been recertified or in process of recertification.     Open LMS clients should be aware of the following:

  • A 3rd party plugin that has not been recertified and does not include the required Moodle privacy code will not be enabled on a client’s Open LMS site. 
  • A 3rd party plugin that has been enabled on a client’s site but is non-compliant, can remain enabled on the client’s Open LMS site.  Client can determine whether to disable a non-compliant plugin.
  • A 3rd party plugin that is not compliant with the release of Open LMS v3.7 will be moved to an Unsupported status.  All support requests will be redirected to the vendor and no updated plugin will be included with Open LMS until privacy code is implemented. 
  • A 3rd party plugin that remains non-compliant may need to begin End of Life status and be removed from the Open LMS codebase.  Target for removal of non-compliant plugins is Open LMS v3.8. 

More on Moodle and GDPR

More on Blackboard and GDPR