Links and helpful documentation to use for administering a course within D2L Brightspace.

Basic Course Administration Documentation

Documentation links for course administration and getting started in D2L each semester.

Release conditions allow you to create a custom learning path through the materials in your course. When you attach a release condition to an item, users cannot see that item until they meet the associated condition. For example, you could attach a release condition to the second topic in your course's content area that would hide that topic until users viewed the topic before it.

How do I manage course material such as importing, exporting, and copying course materials?

The video Import/Export/Copy Components Tool details how to use this tool. This tool is used for importing course content from one course to the next.

At the end of a semester, it is a good idea to export your course content to keep it as a master template for the content. Instructions on exporting course content can be found in the article titled "Export Course Content in D2L Brightspace."

There is also documentation on D2L's documentation website titled Copy course components.

You can also import Publisher content. Documentation on Importing Publisher Content via YouTube video.

Managing Teachers/Non-Editing Teachers/Tutors

Instructors on record of a course can add teachers, non-editing teachers, and tutors to their D2L course. Instructors cannot add or remove students to a course.

  1. Open the D2L course.
  2. Click the Communications tab, then Classlist.
  3. Click on Add Participants drop down menu, then select Add existing users.
  4. Enter a search criteria of the user you wish to add. You can enter their full name, username or University/Banner ID (referred to Org ID Identifier in D2L).
  5. When the search completes, scroll down to see the list of users that meet the criteria. Find the one you wish to add, and click on the checkbox to the left of the user's name. Then select the role you wish to add them to.
  6. Click the Enroll button at the bottom of the page.

You can add a user to one of these roles:

  • Editing Teacher role - full access to the course (edit content, update grades/assessments) This role is required to be able to copy content from that course to another course. This is the Teacher role without the ability to add users.
  • Non-editing teacher role - cannot edit content, but can access and update grades and other assessments. This role cannot copy content for use in other courses.
  • Tutor role - view content. Similar to Student role, but Tutors can not submit assignments, nor get assigned grades.

To remove a user that you added as a teacher/non-editing teacher/tutor:

  1. Open the D2L course.
  2. Click the Communications tab, then Classlist.
  3. Find the user that you want to remove and click the checkbox to the left of their name and profile picture.
    1. Remember, instructors cannot remove students from a course.
  4. Scroll to the top of the classlist and click the Unenroll button.
  5. Follow any prompts to complete the unenrollment

Opening and closing courses

Students can only access a course if the course is open. Instructors control when a course is open or closed and the duration of access.

To open the course, the instructor needs to:

  • Within your course, click Course Admin. Then, on the next screen, Course Offering Information.
  • Select the Course is active check box, then click the Save button.
  • Your course is now open and students can access it.

An instructor can use dates and times to control when a course is open or closed. By default, course start and end dates are set from the first day of classes to the last date of classes. To change this:

  • Within your course, click Course Admin.
  • On the next screen, Course Offering Information.
  • Select the Course is active check box.
  • Scroll down and check the box in Start Date, End Date, or both to set the desired date and times.
  • Click the Save button.

The course will now open and or close on the dates you specified.

Courses can only be closed to student access by the instructor. If the instructor does not close old courses, students see and access courses from previous semesters.

If the instructor is not using end dates to close a D2L course, the instructor will need to close the course.

  • Within the course, click on Course Admin.
  • Select the Course Offering Information link in the Site Setup area.
  • On the Course Offering Information page, uncheck the box next to Course is active.
  • Click on the Save button.

The course is closed, and students will no longer see it on their My Courses widget.

Organizing content in courses

Keeping students informed using Announcements

Other functions for engaging students

Adding Links to the Navigation Bar

To add links to the navigation bar.

  1. Select Course Admin.
  2. Select Navigation & Themes from the section labeled Site Setup.
  3. If you only see a navigation bar titled Course Default, you will need to make a copy. To copy the default navigation bar, select copy from the drop-down menu next to the Course Default navigation. The new copy is automatically named Copy of Course Default.
  4. Click on the link name of the navigation bar you just created or a title of the one you want to change. In this example, the name is "Copy of Course Default."
  5. On the Edit Navbar screen, you can change the name of the navbar title in the Name text box.
  6. To add new links, scroll down to the Links section.
  7. Click the Add Links button underneath the Content, Assessment, Communication, Resources, and Course Admin buttons.
  8. Check the box next to the tool you want to add from the Add Links list window. You can filter the links by System Links, Custom Groups, or Custom Links. For example, you can select the Online Rooms or Chat tool.
  9. Click the Add button.
  10. You will be returned to the Edit Navbar page. You should see your new link at the end of the list of buttons.
  11. You can reorder the links in the different Navbar areas by dragging and dropping a button in whatever order you desire.
  12. To save your changes, click the Save and Close button.

Setting a navigation bar as Active

  1. To set a specific navbar as active, select the drop-down menu in the Active Navbar box and select the title of the desired navbar.
  2. Click on the Apply button.

Adding a Widget

In Brightspace, the course home page can be customized through the addition of widgets. The course home page is designed to provide students immediate access to news and announcements and upcoming course deadlines. Typical widgets used on the course homepage are the News, Calendar, and Role Switch. However, additional widgets can be added.

  • Click on the Course Admin link in the navigation bar. On the Course Administration window, click on the Homepages link.
  • The active homepage is titled Course Default. To customize the homepage, create a copy of the Course Default homepage by clicking on the drop-down menu to the right of the Course Default title and selecting Copy.

    Homepage Widget - Copy
  • A new homepage titled Course Default - Copy will appear in the list of homepages. Click on the new title to edit the new homepage. In the Name box, you can enter a new title to reflect the new homepage. Adding a description in the Entering a Description box is optional. Next, scroll down to the Widgets section. Select the section of the page to which you want to add the new widget and click on the Add Widgets button in that section.

  • In the Add Widgets pop-up window, check the box next to the widget you wish to add, then click the Add button. In this example, we are using the Content Browser widget.

    Homepage Widget - Select Widget
  • You are returned to the Edit Homepage screen. Click the Save and Close or Save button at the bottom of the screen.
  • The new homepage must be set as active. On the Homepages screen, click the drop-down menu in the Active Homepage area. Select the new homepage you just created. Click on the Apply button.

  • Click on the Course title at the top of the page to display your new homepage and verify the desired widget is appropriately placed.

Making course content more responsive

Avoid using a static font size or a custom font. If you're creating a custom widget or writing content for an Announcement or Discussion post, your font size will automatically adapt for smaller displays.

Avoid using static sizes for containers, tables, or images wherever possible. For instance, instead of setting an image to be 700 pixels wide, you could set it to have a maximum width of 100 percent so that it will fill the display (or the widget box) without overflowing the container or without enlarging a small image to the point where it appears blurry or pixelated.