The News Tool in D2L
News items are used for announcements, reminders, etc. They are prominently displayed so students are less likely to miss them. They can be created ahead of time and then dated so they appear at the right time. Because of this, some instructors use News for welcome messages, due date reminders, course change & reading announcements, and more. News items can also include a single attachment, much like an email attachment.
Notes for Students
- Most (but not all) instructors keep their News feeds on the home-page of their course.
- Some instructors do not post to the news area (they may use email or other communication instead).
- If there is no news, the area will say "There is no news to display." If you do not see this or some news item(s), your News tool may be collapsed
Accessing the News Tool
To access the News tool (Instructors: to create new news items. Students: to view all news items for the course. Two options:
- Click on the word "News" in the heading area of the widget (window within D2L)
- Click the drop-down next to the word "News" in the heading area of the widget and select "Go to News Tool"
Instructors can also access News via:
- Edit Course > News
Create a News Item (Instructor)
- Click the drop down next to News and select "New News Item" OR Click "News" in the header of the widget and then click "New Item"
- Give your News Item a Headline (required)
- Use the rich-text editor to type your news item. Note: You can include any rich-text content here, including embedded media.
- Choose whether or not you want the news item to display its start date.
- Choose when you would like D2L to release this news item.
- Choose whether you would like this news item to expire (end date). If you would like the news item to disappear at a certain date and time, check this box and then select an end date.
- Upload or add any attachments you would like on your news item. These items will not be embedded. Rather, this will allow students to download a copy. You may, for example, wish to remind students that an assignment is due and attach a copy of the instructions. Note: When "attaching" files, you can select from "Course Offering Files" if you've already added the file to content in your course.
- Attach release conditions if appropriate
- Click Publish Note: If you selected a future start date, the news item will appear in the News Tool but not the News widget on the home page (until the specified date/time).
Edit a News Item (Instructor)
Method I: Access the news tool (above) and click on the name of the news item you would like to edit OR click the drop down next to the news item name and select "edit." (This works for "dismissed" news items.)
Method II: Within the News widget, click the drop down next to the news item heading/name and click "edit" (This will only work for non-dismissed news items)
Then edit the fields just as you would for a new news item (above).
Dismiss a News Item
To dismiss a news item, click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the news item (This works both in the widget and in the news tool for instructors. This only works in the widget for students.)
Note for Instructors: Dismissing a news item does not delete it or hide it from student view, it only hides it from your news widget. To hide a news item, Edit the item (above) and set the end date to a date in the past.
Un-Dismiss ("Restore") a Dismissed News Item
It can be confusing that D2L calls returning news items from deletion and from dismissal restoring. Nonetheless, dismissed news items (those that appear under the news tool but not in the widget) can be restored (put back onto the widget). Note: This is a personal setting. If you dismiss a news item it disappears from the widget only for you (this applies to both instructors and students).
To restore a dismissed news item:
- Access the news tool (above)
- Click the drop down next to the headline of the news item
- Select "Restore"
Delete a News Item (Instructor)
To delete one news item, access the news tool (above).
Click the drop down next to the headline and click "delete." You will be asked "Are you sure you wish to delete the news item?" Click Yes.
To delete multiple news items, access the news tool (above)
Tick the boxes next to each news item you would like to delete:
Click the Delete button above the list of news items:
You will be asked "This will delete the selected news items. Are you sure you wish to continue?" Click Yes.
Restore a Deleted News Item (Instructor)
To restore a deleted news item:
- Access the news tool (above).
- Click "More Actions" at the top.
- Choose "Restore"
- Check the box next to the headline of the item(s) you'd like to restore. Note: Click on the headline to see a preview of the news item.
- Click "Restore" at the top of the list
Note: If you delete an item after 'dismissing' and then deleting it, it will restore in a 'dismissed' state. Un-dismiss it (below) to see it in the home-page widget.
Get an RSS Feed for the News in your Course
Students: Access the news tool (above) and click the "RSS" button at the top.
Instructors: Access the news tool (above) and select "RSS" from "More Actions" at the top.
Notes for Instructors
Creating a Welcome Message
- Let the students know that they are in the right spot, i.e., they are in the correct D2L course
- Often tell students how to get started.
To create a Welcome, create a new news item (above). Headline, e.g., "Welcome to Micro Economics". The Welcome News item typically includes the name of the class, including section and semester(s), the name of the instructor, and a line or two on what the class is all about. It also includes a line or two telling the students how to get started, e.g., "To get started in this class click on the Content link and read the Syllabus and Introduction files."
The HTML Editor
D2L has an HTML editor incorporated into many tools, including News, Content, Discussions, and many more. The HTML editor is a user-friendly interface that allows for more sophisticated formatting for authors without HTML coding skills. It can be found under the Advanced tab attached to the textbox when creating or editing News items.
Attachment File Names
D2L can be very picky when it comes to file names. It is strongly suggested that everyone limit their file names to UPPER and lowercase letters, digits (1234), and the under_score. Avoid spaces, slashes, extra punctuation, unusual characters, etc. File names can be very descriptive, even within these limitations. In the past there have been serious problems when wandering from these guidelines.
Order of News Items
By default, D2L displays five news items. If there are more than five items a "Show All News Items" link appears so the user can access hidden items. By default the most recently posted News items appear at the top of the list. To change that order (Instructors):
- Click on the drop down arrow in the News Navbar
- Choose Reorder News Items (green arrows)
- Use the "Sort Order" drop downs to sort them.
Note: Time-released items may re-re-order themselves as they get released (new items are automatically placed first).