D2L - Content

An overview of Content in D2L. NOTE: If you're looking for information related to audio or video content in D2L, see the document(s) regarding Kaltura.


Creating Modules and Organizing Content

Adding a Module

To add a module, go to the Content section. At the bottom of the modules list on the left-hand side, type the name of the new module in the box that reads "Add a module..." and type Enter when done.

Re-Naming or Deleting a Module

To re-name or delete a module, go to the Content section. Click on the module you would like to edit or delete in the menu on the left-hand side. You will then see the module title as the heading at the top of the page with a drop-down icon next to it. Click this drop-down and select either "Edit Title" or "Delete Module" as appropriate. When deleting a module, be sure to carefully read the option regarding removing content. Your choices are to:

  • Remove the module and all nested modules and topics from Content but keep all associated files and activities in the course.
    • This option keeps the course files in Manage Files but they will not appear in the Content section itself. If re-using these materials, you can add them from Manage Files rather than re-uploading them (which creates duplicate files).
  • Permanently delete and remove all nested modules, topics, and all associated files and activities from the course.
    • This does exactly what it says and cannot be un-done!

Moving a Module or Content Item

To move a module or a content item, navigate to Content and hover over the handle icon (three stacked horizontal lines) next to the title within the menu on the left-hand side for a module--you may need to expand the menu depending on how your modules are "nested"--or next to the specified content item within the list on the right-hand side. When hovering, you should see your cursor change into two intersecting arrows. Click and drag to move the module or content item. When moving, D2L represents where you are moving the item in the following ways:

  • A grey bar with dots on either side
    • This moves the item to a location BETWEEN two other items (at the location of the grey bar)
  • Highlighting a module in orange
    • This moves the module to WITHIN the highlighted module. NOTE: To move an item into a sub-module, you must first drop it in the 'parent' module, then open the parent module, and drag and drop once more into the sub-module.

Re-Naming a Content Item

To re-name a content item, navigate to it and view it in the content viewer. While viewing it, click on the heading (the name). This will give you an opportunity to type a new name and press the Enter key to set the change.

Alternative: Within content, navigate to the module containing the content item. Within the list of items, click the drop down next to the item and choose "Edit Properties In-Place." You can then click on the title which will give you an opportunity to type a new name and press the Enter key to set the change.

Hiding a Content Item (From Students)

  1. To hide a content item from students (set it to "Draft" mode):
  2. Within content, navigate to the module containing the content item.
  3. Within the list of items, click the drop down next to the item and choose "Edit Properties In-Place."
  4. On the right-hand side, click where it says "Published" and change this to "Draft." Do the reverse to again make the item visible to students.

You can also add date restrictions in this area by clicking "Add dates and restrictions" but NOTE: Setting an item to "Draft" mode will hide it regardless of date restrictions; even if your date restrictions say the item should be available, it will still be hidden if in draft mode.

QUICK TIP: To quickly set a number of items to draft mode (or set date restrictions), navigate to the module containing the content items and click Bulk Edit at the top. This will expand each of the items' "Edit Properties In-Place" menu.

Swapping a Content Item (e.g. Syllabus for New Semester)

To swap out an existing content item for an existing updated version (either from your computer or from Manage Files):

  1. Navigate to Content and find the content item you would like to replace.
  2. Click the dropdown next to the content item's name and choose Change File.
  3. Use "Choose Existing" to select from files in Manage Files or (more commonly) click Upload to select a file from your computer.
  4. Once you've selected the new file, remember to click Update.

Content Items

Content Overview

The content tool in D2L is a flexible means of storing and distributing various types of material. Upload text, audio or video. Post the course syllabus, class handouts, and links to resources.


In an empty course, clicking Content in the navbar brings you to an empty Table of Contents. Click in the Add a Module box and type a name for a module (e.g. Week 1). Content files and activities need to be organized into Modules.

  • The Import Course button allows you to import an existing course from another semester/section.
  • The Bulk Edit tool allows you to modify the attributes of all visible Content items.
  • The Related Tools button -> Course Builder button brings you to the Course Builder tool, which allows you to review your entire course at once.
  • The Related Tools button -> Manage Files button allows you to view of all your files for the course. You can create new folders to organize your course files, upload files, compress (zip) files, download files, and add Content Topics for course files (link the file to the View/Manage Content pages).
  • The Related Tools button-> View Reports button allows you to view statistics, and information about how long users are viewing content with in the D2L window.
    • If users download the content, or click on a link that sends them outside of D2L, this data (time/average time spent) does not accurately represent the amount of time they've spent using the resource.

Creating content items

Modules need to be created to hold content items. You can think of them as organization folders for your course. Typical module names are "syllabus," "week x," "chapter x," etc.

Click New and you will be presented with several choices:

  • Upload File - Upload and link to a file that is stored on your desktop, a disk, or somewhere else besides your course. After uploading, a copy of the file will be stored with other course files in D2L.
  • Video or Audio - Interface for linking to a video or audio, or uploading a video or audio file.
  • Create a File - This interface allows you to either manually type in text, or paste in text copied to your computers clipboard from another file.
  • Create a Link - This option allows you to create links to external resources. To avoid any potential security issues, check the box for Open as External Resource.
  • Add from Manage Files - Link to a file that has already been uploaded into your course files.
  • New Checklist, New Discussion, New Dropbox, New Quiz, New Survey - Provides an interface to create these activities through Content. This is an alternative process to going directly to these tools to create activities that you'd like linked back to Content.

Adding existing activities to Content

It's possible to link to existing activities through the Content tool. If you'd like to do this, it's best to link to all of your online course activities through Content for uniformity and clarity.

To link to existing activities, click on the Add Existing Activities button. The button is displayed from within a module.

Copy/Import Material from One Course into Another in D2L (E.G. New Semester)

  1. Enter the course which will receive the files and select Edit Course
  2. Select "Import/Export/Copy Components"
  3. Select "Copy Components from Another Org Unit" as well as "Include protected resources." Then click "Search for Offering"
  4. Another window will popup. Search for the course you would like to copy components FROM. The easiest way to search for your course is by course number (Ex: 303). Click the magnifying glass icon when finished.
  5. Select the bubble next to the course from which you would like to import material. Press "Add Selected" then follow steps 7+ below depending on what you would like to copy.
  6. Verify you're copying the correct course, then click "Copy All Components"
  7. Wait for the blue ‘barber pole’ loading bar to finish and be replaced with a green checkmark.

Then click “view content”

  • Delete old news items (be sure you're not just dismissing them--this means that students could still see the old news items. You have to use the small arrow to the right of the news item title to "delete" it).
  • Check to make sure your groups/group restricted topics are linked properly (go to edit course, click on the groups tool, filter by category, view membership--if students aren't filtered to those groups--no one will have access to the discussion area. Either manually assign students to a group, or create new groups, then tie them to the group restricted topic in the discussion tool).
  • Check any release conditions or intelligent agents that are imported from the previous course.

Need materials from another instructor?

If you need materials from another instructor's course, ask the previous instructor to email the Help Desk (helpdesk@uwgb.edu) granting permission for you to access the course, and specify the level of access (instructor, TA, student, etc.). If the previous instructor is no longer at the institution, the department chair may grant access, and specify the course role via email.


  • Be sure to check that your materials (content, news, grades, discussions, dropboxes, etc.) have all copied. If not, you must DELETE what DID copy before attempting another transfer or these items may be duplicated.
  • Double-check that if content does not appear that you are not switched into student preview mode--some content will be hidden to students.
  • Instructor level permissions are sufficient to use this tool.
  • You may need to create new groups and update group dropboxes, discussions, and other items so that students can access them.
  • Semesters are identified by a four-digit number, e.g., 1129. Numbers ending in 2 are spring courses, those ending in 6 are summer courses and those ending in 9 indicate a fall semester course. The second and third digits refers to the calender year, e.g., 11 = 2011, 12 = 2012, etc.
    • The semester digit above, 1129, refers to Fall (xxx9) of 2012 (x12x)
  • There is no 'undo' for this other than going in and manually removing the erroneous material.
  • You cannot import just part of a component. It's all of the component or none.
  • Importing Content and Files are separate but if you want to import Content you'll also need to select Files. They are kept separate because sometime instructors import just Files so they can reorganize their content structure.
  • Imported files will overwrite existing files with the same name. Please be careful. The best insurance is to keep the original file locally, e.g., in a folder on your M: drive.
  • The Quiz Library does not automatically include the quizzes. Click the radio button to include them.
  • Repeated Content imports will probably result in repetition in the Content structure that will have to be corrected.
  • QuickLinks are the single most serious problem with imported components. Please read the section below on Probable Problems with QuickLinks and Imported Content.

Best practices

  • For courses repeated from an earlier semester: Import all the components you think you might need before you start customizing (adding your new material). This way there's no chance of overwriting your revisions.
  • For multiple sections of the same course: The best option is to fully develop one section first and then import the desired components into the other section(s). If that's not practical, keep in mind that later imports will overwrite earlier files. If the files aren't changed it's less of a problem.
  • For multiple sections taught by different instructors: The best option is to fully develop one course that includes all components that will be used by the other D2L courses. Then, import those components and customize each of the sections.

Potential Problem with QuickLinks and Imported Content

This section only applies when components are imported from D2L courses created prior to 2005. QuickLinks are D2L links created in the HTML editor that link to other content, quizzes, surveys, etc within a D2L course. Conventional hyperlinks between content pages that were not created with the QuickLink tool are not affected. This message is NOT for you if this is your first semester with D2L, or you never imported content from one of your D2L courses to another, or never used the QuickLink tool in the HTML editor.

  • Background: QuickLinks refer to hyperlinks created in the HTML editor of D2L that were created with the QuickLinks tool. Other conventional hyperlinks that you might have created to navigate from one page to another are not considered QuickLinks. Links created by D2L that list content or quizzes are not considered QuickLinks. In most cases, QuickLinks link from a content page to a quiz or survey, but they can link from one content page to another. QuickLinks point to a database item rather than a file.
  • Problem: QuickLinks is a powerful and useful tool. The problem arises when content that uses QuickLinks is imported into another D2L course. The QuickLinks still point back to the original D2L course, not to the new course. This is unusually problematic because everything appears normal to the instructor, but that's because the instructor has access to the original course. Students do not have access to the original course so they get an error message when they click on the QuickLinks.
  • Solution: The only solution is to remove the QuickLinks and reenter them pointing to the current course components. If you have any questions contact the digital learning environment administrators at DLE@UWGB.EDU.

Course Copy Checklist





Verify semester is the correct one to copy from.

i.e. if it is a summer course dates will be easier to adjust if pulling from another summer course. Fall: Fall, Spring: Spring.


Automatically copies from the semester/version you are copying from



Make sure widgets are still accurate: RSS feeds working? Twitter feed pulling from correct #hashtag? Etc.



Adjust dates to release later, or delete old news items.

Make sure you’re actually deleting the news posts rather than just dismissing it with the small (x) in the upper right-hand corner.


Adjust dates to reflect new semester if applicable

Check external links to verify they’re still live

Check content for links that may have moved/404 errors

Check embedded Media

If you only selected certain content modules be sure to check the box: “Include associated files”


Adjust dates to reflect new semester if applicable

Verify Turnitin Integration

Check to see if it’s tied to a grade item

You may have to enable Turnitin with 10.6 integration and agree to EULA statement.


Adjust dates

Adjust group restrictions

Adjust visibility

Check to see if it is tied to a grade item. Verify instructor knows about 1-1 grade item relationship.

Only copy forums if using group restrictions. It is easier to rebuild the groups every semester rather than retroactively tie them to the topic.


Verify auto enrollment for groups that require it

Verify that the groups in use are correct: # of groups, or groups of #.

Do not copy groups for group restricted topics.


Check question library

Review quiz settings

Adjust dates

Is it tied to a grade item?

If adjusting questions from the question library, be sure to also change them in the quiz as well. The quiz pulls from the question library—but makes a copy of the question.


Do you need to adjust weights, categories, or schemes?

Points/weights match syllabus

Auto-export/tied grade items are adjusted.

Go through Setup Wizard if adjusting multiple things: i.e. keeping final calculated grade up to date, final calculated or final adjusted grade released at the end of the semester, points versus weighted gradebook?


Adjust dates

Check visibility



Publisher Integration links

Custom links in Navigation Bar

Student resources links


Uploading a File (General) to the Content Section of D2L

This document describes how to upload a document into the content section of D2L. Instructors may wish to upload files PowerPoints, Images, or other content for students to access.

  1. Navigate to the "Content" section of your D2L course.
  2. Select the module where you would like to place the document.
    1. Tip: If no module exists, you may create one by typing in the name of the module in the box on the left-hand side of the screen underneath the Table of Contents. After typing in the name of the module, press "enter" on your keyboard and you will create the module.
  3. You have two choices for uploading the document:
    1. Drag and Drop: You may drag and drop the document from your computer into the box, which is outlined with dotted lines.
      1. Note: this function does not work in the Internet Explorer browser (If you drag and drop the document from your desktop, you are done at this point.)
    2. Browse and Upload: Press the blue "New" button and select "upload files" from the dropdown menu. This will allow you to upload a document in a fashion analogous to attaching a document to an email. (To upload files in this way, proceed to step 4)
  4. If you chose to upload a file, you should select the blue "New" button. This will open up another box where you may select the document you wish to add to your D2L page.
  5. Click on the document you wish to upload; then press "Open"; then press "Add."
  6. Now you are done and your document is added to your module.

Oops, your file could not be uploaded

This is an error message that comes up in D2L

Remove the special character and any leading or trailing spaces from the file name that you are trying to upload and then try again.

Unaccepted filename characters in D2L:

  • Quote "
  • Asterisk *
  • Slashes / or \
  • Colon :
  • Inequalities > or <
  • Question Mark ?
  • Pipe or Bar |

This error may also occur in other areas of D2L with other special characters in the file name. In general, it is best to limit file names to alpha-numeric (A-Z, a-z, 0-9) and underscore (_) characters.

Once the file name is changed you will be able to upload the file.

Getting a Word Document into D2L

This section describes three formats for MS Word documents in D2L content and a final note on file names. The formats are:

  • The Word document in its original form.
  • The Word document converted to a PDF file.
  • The Word document saved as a web page.
  • Copying and pasting in new D2L documents.

Putting Word documents on the web as Word documents

The process is simple (see the instructions for uploading a file above): add the Word document to the content folder. So what are the drawbacks?

  • Word documents usually require that the user has Word installed on their machine. If they don't have Word installed, there is a free Word Viewer available on Microsoft's site. Go to Microsoft and search for "word viewer."
  • Sometimes there is incompatibility with different versions of Word that prevent the document from displaying for some users. Users may need the Office Compatibility Pack from Microsoft.
  • Word documents have a "width" that might require the user to scroll left and right.

Converting Word documents to PDF files

PDF files are read-only files that look very much like their original Word documents. PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader, a third party plug-in, to display. The Reader is available at no cost. To download the Adobe Acrobat reader, go to: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html. There are many Adobe Acrobat products available on this site, most of which involve a cost. It's the free Reader that you want.

Creating PDF files requires Adobe Acrobat (not the Reader) which is not a free download. In newer versions of Word you can also use File > Save As to save a Word document as a PDF. If you've never worked with PDF files before you might want to try a few to see if they will work for your needs.

The PDF option is often preferred for Word documents with complicated layouts. One of the few limitations with PDF files is that they are almost impossible to edit once they're in the PDF format. Always retain the original Word document so you can make your changes there and then recreate the PDF file if changes are necessary. With that caveat in mind, PDF files provide a very good alternative to the other two choices mentioned here.

Converting Word documents to web pages

To convert a Word file to a web page: Go to File and select Save As and then Web Page. Select a location.

Word produces a web page and a folder of images, if there are any. Don't change the name of the folder! Move the web page and the folder together to the desired web location - you might want to zip them first.

Copying and pasting the content within D2L

Another option is to paste your document content into a file created within D2L. This will effectively convert the MS Word content to an HTML document, and much of the MS proprietary code (that could potentially cause funny formatting, etc.) will be removed, or "cleaned."

  1. Select all the content in the Word document (hold control + "a" to select all) and copy it (control + "c").
  2. Create a New File under Manage Content in course Content in D2L.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab above the blank text box.
  4. Click the Paste from Word (a clipboard with a "W"). You can also Paste as Plain Text. (a clipboard with a "T"). This will strip any problematic code as well as any formatting.

A note on filenames

Different systems accept or reject unusual characters in Word, PDF and HTML file names. To be safe, use only letters, numbers, and the under_score.

For example, "Chapter 8 review questions.htm" becomes "Chapter8ReviewQuestions.htm" or "Chap_8_ReviewQuestions.htm". Also, "Review for pages 3.14 through 3.28.doc" becomes "ReviewPages3_14To3_28.doc".

Inserting a weblink in the D2L Content Section

  1. First, select the content tab from the course navigation bar.
  2. Then, click the blue button labeled "New" and choose "Create a Link" from the dropdown menu.
  3. Next, give a name to the link - not the web address, but rather the name of the website. For example, put "Google" instead of www.google.com. Then, put the web address into the "url" box. After, check the box that says "open as an external resource."
  4. Finally, you’ll see a newly created link in your Content page.

Embedding a PowerPoint in D2L

  1. Upload your PowerPoint file to OneDrive (access OneDrive at portal.microsoftonline.com and sign in with your UWGB credentials)
  2. View your PowerPoint in OneDrive
  3. Click the menu button in the upper right and select "Embed"
  4. Choose the 962x565 (or similar) size
  5. Copy the text in the Embed Code box
  6. Navigate to D2L content, Select New and Create a File. Provide a title as normal.
    1. NOTE: this can also be done anywhere D2L has a rich text editor, e.g. Discussions, News, and Locker files.
  7. In the body of the new file click "Insert Stuff"
  8. Choose Enter Embed Code on the left-hand menu
  9. Paste the embed code in the box provided
  10. OPTIONAL: Find where the embed code says width='962px' or similar. Replace the 962px with 100% being sure to keep the quotes. (This just makes the powerpoint look and behave a little better in the frame in D2L)
  11. Click Next
  12. If asked, check "Always trust this URL" and click Allow.
  13. Preview your PowerPoint and click Insert
  14. Click Publish (at this stage you would click "Post" if creating a discussion, etc.)

Web Materials from Outside D2L

Adding Links

The Links tool allows the instructor to add additional or supplemental Web resources to a course. In most cases, these are general in scope and not specific to any one topic in Content. For example, if an instructor requires students to write in an APA style, Links might include resources that help students understand and adhere to that standard. In this example, this resource supports all writings for this class. Another example might be an astronomy course that includes links to major observatories. Again, these are general in scope and not specific to any one Content item.

To add a Link

Click on Links on the Navbar. Links are organized by categories much as discussions are organized by forums and content is organized by modules. Click on New Category. Add a Category Name, including as much description as desired. Your description will appear under the Category when students view links. Click Save when finished.

Click on New Link to actually create the link within the category. Enter a Title. The title is the text the student will click on to access the Web page so make it brief but fairly descriptive. Add the URL. The safest way to add an URL is to copy it from the address line of another browser window and paste it in the URL textbox. "Open in a new window" means opening in a new browser window. In most cases that is a good idea, so you should leave the check on. Add whatever Description is appropriate. The description will appear under the link when students view Links. Change the Category if necessary. When you're finished, click Create Link.

You can add any number of links to a category and any number of categories. You cannot 'time release' links.

To add, remove, and edit Links

To add or remove links, click Links from the navbar. Click on New Link to add a link. To delete a link or links, tick the checkbox next to it/them and then the trash can icon to delete a link or links. When deleting individual links, you can also click on the drop-down arrow next to the link name and choose Delete. To edit a link, click on the link itself.

Placing Material in D2L with Embed Code

Embed code is a great way to bring outside material into your D2L site. Using embed code will make you the envy of your peers.

  1. Many items that you can "share" on the internet allow users to copy "embed code," which allows people to place materials in their websites or blogs. One example is YouTube, but other sites are similar. Once you find the "embed" link you may copy the code (which the site will usually highlight for you).
  2. You may place that internet content just about anywhere in D2L where you can enter text: News items, Content Pages, Quiz Questions, and Discussion Posts. You will know that it is o.k. to place the embed code if you see the following icons in the lower right corner.
  3. Click on the icon that looks like two brackets with a diagonal line through it.
  4. You should now see a box where you can enter your text, called the "html source editor."
  5. Paste the embed code you copied from the outside website into the source editor. Put the code in between <body> and </body>. If there is material already in the page, this editor will look fuller and you will have to search for the best place to paste your code. (But, you can do it!)
  6. Before saving your changes, note whether or not the web address in the embed code begins with "http" or "https". If it begins "https" your life is good and you will be done. If the address begins "http" you will have to instruct your users on how to undo the security feature in their web browser that will block materials that are insecure. The "s" in the web address stands for security.
  7. If the website was secure - started with https - then you are done and your page will look like this in D2L.
  8. If the web address began with "http", you will have to disable the protection in your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Safari). Different browsers have different procedures, but the two most common at UWGB are Firefox and Chrome. To disable the protection look for the signal in the address bar. Safari and Explorer will have analogous buttons to click. Once you disable the protection, you will be able to see the content. You will have to instruct your students on how to disable their browser's protection as well.

Embedding a Website in D2L with an Iframe

An iframe is a good way to bring a website into your D2L course rather than linking students outside the site. Note: this will work best if the website you want to bring in is secure, i.e. the web address begins with "https" instead of "http."

  1. You may embed a website into D2L anyplace where you see the html edit and preview icons in the lower right corner. Select the icon that looks like two brackets with a diagonal line in between (the HTML editor).
  2. You should now see the "html source editor."
  3. Now you will have to do some coding, but you can do this!
    1. Copy the following text and place it in between <body> and </body>:
      <iframe src="Your Web Address" width="800" height="800"></iframe>
    2. Copy the web address that you would like to bring into D2L.
    3. Paste the address you copied where you see "Your Web Address."
  4. Save and close and your website should appear.
  5. If you had a web address that began with "http" instead of "https" you will have to disable the security in your browser in order to see the website. (You will also have to instruct your students to do the same, if you want them to see it.) Different browsers place their protection icons in different places.

Importing Course Files to D2L (from Zip folder)

When exporting files from a D2L course, D2L produces a Zip file containing course materials. To import these files into another course

  1. Log in to the course into which you would like to import the materials.
  2. Navigate to “Edit Course” and select “Import / Export / Copy components.”
  3. Select the last option to “Import Components” and click “Browse” to load the Zip file.
  4. Click “Start.”
  5. A blue bar will indicate that the Zip file is loading. D2L will then “Preprocess” the file and indicate when it is finished downloading the file and reading the package. Click “Continue.”
  6. If your course is empty, you do not need to worry about overwriting any files.
    1. NOTE: If you are copying files into a course which already contains content, selecting “Overwrite the existing file” will replace any file with the same name as one being imported.
    2. NOTE: You typically do not need to select the option to “Import metadata.”
  7. Choose all of the components you would like to import. To import everything, check the box next to “Select All Components.” Selecting “Select individual items to import” will provide you with an additional page to select which specific files to import.
  8. Click “Continue”
  9. If you selected “Select individual items to import,” the next page will allow you to choose which files to import. If not, D2L will display a list of the items it will import.
  10. Click “Continue”
  11. D2L will display “Importing Course Material.” Once all the processes have changed from circling blue dots to green check-marks, click “Continue.”
  12. D2L will display the “Import Summary”

Viewing, Downloading, and Printing a Coursefile in D2L

Downloading a file from Content

  1. To download a file from Content, navigate to the file.
  2. Click on the small downward facing arrow next to the file name.
  3. Two options will appear. View Topic and Download. Click Download. Then Save File.

Printing a file in D2L

  1. Navigate to Content
  2. Open the content item you would like to print
  3. Is this a D2L / HTML file?
    1. If yes: a print button will be available at the bottom of the content window. If this button is there, use it to print a copy of the file.
    2. If no (PDF, PowerPoint, etc.) you will need to download a copy and print it. Click the Download button at the bottom of the content window. Once downloaded, open your file with the appropriate application (Adobe Reader, PowerPoint, etc.) to print it (usually by clicking File and Print in the menu).

If downloading a D2L file, follow the steps to download a file according to your browser. Some things you may need to do to download a file:

  • Confirm you trust and would like to "download" or "save" a file.
    • Many times "download" will send the file to a default location (a Downloads folder) and "save" will allow you to choose a location (like your desktop)
    • In some browsers you can select an option to "open" a file directly (it will download it to a temporary location and open it so you can print it)
  • Select a file location
  • Allow your browser to check the security of a file
  • Wait for the file to download (larger files take longer)

Viewing as Text or as a Page

  1. With D2L, it is possible to view documents such as a Microsoft Word document as plain text. Essentially, this means viewing text on a page like you would a news article, instead of viewing a snapshot of the file.
  2. To view the document as text, open a file under Content in D2L, at the bottom right of the preview box is a button that says View as Text.
  3. To switch views back to the default, navigate to the same location as the View as Text button. This time, it will say View as Page.


Creating a Custom Widget in D2L

To create a customized widget in D2L:

  1. Click Edit Course in the navbar and select "Widgets"
  2. Click "Create Widget"
  3. Give your widget a name you will recognize (e.g. Twitter Feed)
  4. Go to the "Content" tab. NOTE: This is where you will need to enter the content of the widget, not under the description are of the Properties tab.
  5. Type text in the box provided for a text widget or use "Insert Stuff" and embed code for other content. Savvy users can also use the HTML source editor but should be aware that the editor will in many cases strip the widget of CSS or JavaScript material.
  6. Click "Customize Widget Style" to choose whether the widget will display the title bar, what color the title bar will be, and what title should be listed (if different than the title you provided in step 3)

Under the Widgets page (Edit Course > Widgets) click the pencil icon to edit widgets you have already created, the paper with magnifying glass to preview the widget on its own, and the trash can icon to delete a widget. The monitor and paintbrush icon is a shortcut to the "Customize Widget Style" page. The two sheets of paper icon creates a copy of a widget. This is nice if you want to adjust a widget but don't want to break it in the process.

Add a Widget to a D2L Course Homepage

To add widgets to your homepage:

Change to a copy the default homepage

  1. Choose Edit Course from the navbar
  2. Click Homepages
  3. Verify that you are not already using a copied homepage (by looking under the Active Homepage dropdown. If you are already using "Course Default - Copy," advance to "adding a widget to your copied homepage")
  4. Click the dropdown next to "Course Default" and choose "Copy"
  5. A blue link will appear in the homepages list called "Course Default - Copy"
  6. Select "Course Default - Copy" from the Active Homepage dropdown and click apply.

Adding a widget to your copied homepage

  1. After changing to a copy of the default homepage
  2. Navigate to Edit Course > Widgets (if not there already)
  3. Click the blue "Course Default - Copy" link (there should also be a green checkmark to the right which says "Active")
  4. Click the "Change Layout" button to select a new layout for your course (if desired). Select the layout you would like and click "Update"
  5. Click any of the "Add Widgets" buttons to add widgets to the corresponding sections. Check the boxes to select the widgets you would like to add and click "Add"

Textbook Integrations

Some textbook publishers provide integrations that work with the Learning Management System (LMS), D2L. In most cases, you can create a link in content through which students can enter a purchase code and access the materials. Some common publishers are listed below along with the steps for creating this link.

McGraw Hill

  1. Go to Content
  2. In the module where you would like the link to be, click Add Existing Activities
  3. Choose External Learning Tools
  4. Select McGraw-Hill Campus from the list
  5. This will add the McGraw Hill link at the bottom of the module. You can then move it just like any other content item.
  6. Follow the instructions provided to you by the publisher.

Cengage or Pearson

  1. Go to Edit Course
  2. Go to Course Builder
  3. If you do not already have a module where you would like to put the integration, create one by dragging the book icon from "Build Outline" on the left hand side
  4. Drag or click the appropriate integration (Cengage or Pearson) from "Add Content" on the left to create new the link's location
  5. You will be prompted that the “Application ... is trying to access your information. Would you like to proceed?” Check the box next to “Do not ask me again for this application” and click Continue
  6. Follow the instructions provided to you by the publisher.

Cengage integration missing "identity," "context," and/or "role"

Sometimes a MindTap/Cengage integration link will not work and will tell an instructor or student that they do not have: a user identity, a course context, and/or a user role.


Contact your instructor. Your instructor must set up the link to function with D2L.


The Cengage/MindTap link needs to be created through the Course Builder under Edit Course. You may need to contact your Cengage representative for support as they will need to set up the textbook for your course. Your Cengage rep is also willing to walk you through the integration process.

Archiving Course Content and Student Work

Export and save copies of course content and student contributions by utilizing the available download options in D2L tools.

Download Course Content

  1. Go to Content and click Manage Files.
  2. Check the boxes for the files/folders you wish to retain (files used as content topics are indicated by a red "t")
  3. Click Download (green circle with white down arrow)
  4. A new window will pop up after the file(s) has/have been zipped
  5. Click on your file to open or save it

Export the D2L Gradebook

The D2L gradebook can be exported as a CSV (comma separated value) text file which opens in Excel. To export a gradebook:

  1. Click on Export in the enter grades window.
  2. Select User name, Points Grade, Last Name, and First Name.
  3. Select the grade items you want to export (If you don't want all items, be sure to remove the check by "Export all items.")
  4. Click Export to Excel or Export to CSV. You should see a popup dialog box prompting you to save the text file just created. Save it to an appropriate location. Excel can open both Excel files and CSVs. D2L cannot import Excel files into gradebooks though, only CSV file types.

Download Student-submitted Dropbox Files

  1. Click on the Dropbox tool and then the link for the assignment folder.
  2. Put checks by the papers you want to download. Note: if you want to select all the student papers lick on the check box at the top of the left column, immediately to the left of the Delete button.
  3. Click on the Download button. The student files will be combined into a single zipped file.
  4. Save this zipped file to your computer. To open the zip file double-click or right-click on the zip file and and select Open with Winzip. Winzip opens and lists the files. To extract the files click on the Extract button, select a location, and click Extract. All student papers are identified with the student's name in the file name

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Owner:Luke K.Group:UW Green Bay
Created:2018-08-31 10:01 CDTUpdated:2018-08-31 13:41 CDT
Sites:UW Green Bay
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