FAQs

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***For more detailed information on any Desire2Learn tool or feature, please consult the appropriate section of the Help IconHelp located within the D2L system.

A

Assignment (Dropbox)

How can I set an assignment as a graded item that appears in my Grades tool?

When creating a new Assignment Folder or editing an existing Assignment Folder, on the Properties tab, select a Grade Item from the drop-down menu if it already exists in your Grades tool. Or, click the New Grade Item link, set the properties and click Save. Set the Out Of value, and click Save to save the changes to the Assignment folder. The assignment will display with a Tied to Grade Item icon Tied to Grade Item icon in the Folder List.

How can I grade a student's assignment through the Assignment tool?

Go to Assignment > Folder List. Click on the name of the folder to view student submissions. If a student has submitted an assignment, a "Leave Feedback" link will be displayed next to his/her name. Click the link. Enter any appropriate Feedback, Attachments, and/or Score. Click Save.

How can I see what an Assignment will look like to my students?

Go to Assignment > Folder List, and click the Preview icon Preview icon

The preview option allows you to view the Assignment tool as a student sees it. You can go through the steps that students go through to submit files, review their submissions, and check for grades and feedback.

Tip iconTip: You can make a preview submission visible on the Submissions page, but you cannot assign feedback, grades, or rubric scores to it because it is not tied to a real user.

How can I open an Assignment for a student who missed the deadline?

Go to the Assignment tool, and click the Edit icon Edit icon next to the assignment. Click on the Restrictions tab. In the Special Access section, choose the option to "Allow users with special access to submit assignments outside the normal availability dates for this folder." Click the Add Users to Special Access button. Set the appropriate Date Availability properties then check the box next to the student(s) to whom the special access applies. Click the Add Selected button. Click Save.

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C

Classlist

How can I find student withdrawal information?

Go to Classlist > Report. The Report area provides a summary of course enrollments and withdrawals.

Tip iconTip: Click the View grades View Grades icon or View progress icon View Progress icon beside a user’s name in the Withdrawals area to view their grades and progress at the time they withdrew.

Content

How do a move a topic from one module to another?

Go to Content > Manage Content. Click the Edit icon Edit icon next to the topic you wish to move. On the Properties tab, choose a new module from the Parent Module drop-down.

How do I re-order topics and modules?

Go to Content > Manage Content. Click the Re-Order icon Re-Order icon next to the module that you wish to re-order. Use the Sort Order drop-downs to select the numerical order of the topics. Click the Expand icon Expand icon to see the topics in other modules. When you have re-ordered all of the desired topics and modules, click Save.

How do I create a topic that links to another activity I have created in Desire2Learn, such as an Assignment, Discussion, Quiz, etc.?

Go to Content > Manage Content. Click the Add Topic Add Topic icon icon next to the module where you wish to add the topic. From the Content Source page, click the QuickLink option. Enter a Title. In the Content area, click the QuickLink icon QuickLink icon next to the URL field. Choose a Category from the drop-down menu, then choose the item that you wish to link to from the Link Details area. Click Insert. Click Save.

How do I hide a module or topic from students?

Go to Content > Manage Content.

To hide a single module or topic, click the Edit icon Edit icon next to the item you wish to hide. On the Restrictions tab, check the "Hide this module" or "Hide this topic" box. Click Save.

To hide multiple modules or topics, check the boxes to the left of the items you wish to hide. Click the Edit Selected Items Edit Selected= icon at the top or bottom of the content list. Check the "Hide" boxes next to the items you wish to hide. Click Save.

Tip iconTip: Hiding a module will also hide any topics or sub-modules belonging to the module. Therefore, it is not necessary to hide each individual item under the selected module.

Course Home

How do I customize the information that appears on my Course Home page?

The Course Default homepage is the active homepage for any new course. You cannot make edits directly to the Course Default, so you must go to Edit Course > Homepages, and click the Copy icon Copy icon next to the Course Default homepage. Click the Set button next to the Copy of Course Default homepage to make it your current active home page.

To edit the Copy, click on the Name. You can assign a new Name to the homepage if you wish. Click the Content/Layout tab to add, remove, or reorder the Widgets that appear on your Course Home.

Tip iconTip: Keep the most important information at the top of your Course Home page. When possible, you want to prevent students from having to scroll too far down to see important course information.

What if the available system widgets don't have all of the specific information that I want to include on my Course Home page?

You can create custom widgets. Go to Edit Course > Widgets. Click the New Widget button. On the Properties tab, give it a Name. Then click the Content tab. In the Widget Content area, you can enter the information that you would like to display in your widget. Click Save. Follow the appropriate steps to add the widget to your active course homepage.

Course Management

How do I copy course material from a previous semester into my new course shell?

Enter the course into which you want to copy the material. Go to Edit Course > Import/Export/Copy Components. Choose the option to "Copy Components from another Org Unit." Click the Next button to follow the steps for copying components (you should see all courses in which you are enrolled as an Instructor in the drop-down menu). You may choose to copy any or all of the course components.

Tip iconTip: It may be easier to copy all components, and then delete what you don't want.

How can I import publisher content or test banks into my course?

 

Go to Edit Course > Import/Export/Copy Components. Select the option "Import Components" and "from a File." Click the Browse button to locate the file provided by your publisher or test bank software. Click Next and follow the steps to complete the import process.

You can import components from the following types of files: 

  • An export file from Blackboard (5.5, 6.0, 6.1.5), WebCT (1.2, 2.0), Angel (6.1), UCompass, or Desire2Learn Learning Environment.
  • A Respondus ZIP file.
  • A SCORM 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 content package.
  • An IMS CP 1.1.2 or 1.1.3 content package.
  • An IMS QTI 1.2.1 file (e.g. a Respondus file saved in QTI format).

How do I adjust the start and end dates for my course?

Go to Edit Course > Course Offering Information. Adjust the Start and End Dates as necessary, and click Save.

Important iconIMPORTANT: While you can adjust the period for which your online course content is available to your students, you cannot require students to do any work outside of the scheduled course dates as listed in the official course catalog.

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D

Discussions

Why can't students see the Discussion that I created?

In order for students to see a Discussion Forum, the forum must contain at least one topic. The forum is the container, and the topic is where all of the interaction and assessment takes place. You may add a topic to an existing forum by going to Discussions > New Topic. Choose a Forum from the drop-down list, enter a Title, and set any other desired details. Click Save.

Also make sure that the forum or topic that you wish your students to see is not hidden or the start and end dates are correct. You can check this by clicking the Edit icon Edit icon next to the desired topic or forum. On the Properties tab, the visibility options are shown in the Availability area. If you make any changes, click Save.

How can I set a Discussion as a graded item that appears in my Grades tool?

When creating a new Discussion topic or editing an existing Discussion topic, on the Assessment tab, select a Grade Item from the drop-down menu if it already exists in your Grades tool. Or, click the New Grade Item link, set the properties and click Save. Set the Score Out Of, and click Save to save the changes to the Discussion topic.

Tip iconTip: Remember that you can only set Discussion Topics as Grade Items. Discussion Forums cannot be graded.

How can I grade student discussions through the Discussions tool?

From the main discussions page, click the Assess Topic icon Assess Topic icon for the topic you want to grade. 

Do one of the following:

  • On the Users tab, click the Topic Score link beneath the name of the user you want to assess.
  • Click the Assessments tab, then click the name of the user you want to assess.

In the pop-up window, do one of the following, depending on the type of assessment:

  • If you are evaluating the entire topic holistically, enter the score for this user in the Topic Score field.
  • If you are evaluating individual messages, enter a score for one or more messages in the Score column at the bottom of the page.

Tip iconTip: If the users' messages are displayed across multiple pages, be sure to save the page before navigating to another page of messages. Any new message scores entered are lost if you change pages without saving.

Click Save, then click Close.

Why are my student's scores for a Discussion topic not showing in the Grades tool?

In order for a Discussion score to show in the Grades tool, it must be marked as "Graded." You can do this as you grade individual students by checking the Graded box in the Assess Topic pop-up window. If you prefer to send the grades to the Grades tool only after all students have been graded, you can click the Assess Topic icon Assess Topic icon next to the topic, then click the Mark All Graded icon Mark All Graded icon. Click Save.

How can I prevent students from posting to a Discussion after the due date but still allow them to refer back to previous posts?

Locking a topic prevents users from posting new messages or modifying existing messages, essentially making the conversation “read only.” You can specify start and end dates for when a forum or topic is unlocked so you can set things up ahead of time to match your course’s schedule.

When creating a new or editing an existing forum or topic, on the Properties tab you can set locking options. If the options in the Locking Options section are not visible, click Show locking options.

  • To lock the forum or topic immediately, select Lock forum or Lock topic. The forum or topic will remain locked until you select Unlock forum or Unlock topic again.
  • To open the forum or topic within a date range, select Unlock forum for a specific date range or Unlock topic for a specific date range, then select Has Start Date or Has End Date and specify the dates.

Click Save.

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E

Email

How can I set my Desire2Learn email to be forwarded to another email address?

Go to Email > Settings. Under Forwarding Options, check the box to "Forward incoming messages to an alternate email account" and enter your email address in the space provided. Choose an option for handling forwarded messages. Click Save.

Why don't I see any messages when I look in the Sent Mail folder in my Email?

Click on the Sent Mail folder then choose All Messages from the Filter By drop-down.

What are the steps for sending a message via the Email tool?

  1. From the Email > Message List page, click the Compose icon Compose icon on the top tool menu.
  2. Click the Address Book icon Address Book icon at the top of the page to locate an address from your Address Book.
  3. Click the To, Bcc, or Cc link at the top of the screen.
  4. Click the Add Recipients button.
  5. Type a brief description of your email in the Subject line.
  6. Type your message in the large text box.
  7. Click the Spell Checker icon Spell Checker icon to check for misspellings.
  8. Click Send.

Tip iconTip: You can quickly send an Email from the Classlist tool by checking the boxes to the left of the people whom you want to send the message to, and clicking the Email icon Email icon at the top or bottom of the Classlist. 

Events

Why am I seeing events from all of my courses in the Events widget on my Course Home page?

The default display options for the Events widget shows events from All Courses. You can change the display options by clicking the Edit Display Options icon Display Options icon at the top of the Events widget and changing the Group/Section Events and the Course Events to the current course.

Tip iconTip: If you do not see the Display Options icon, you have the Course Default homepage set as your active Course Home page. You cannot make edits directly to the Course Default, so you must go to Edit Course > Homepages, and click the Copy icon Copy icon next to the Course Default homepage. Click the Set button next to the Copy of Course Default homepage to make it your current active home page. When you return to Course Home, you should be able to edit the display options on your widgets.

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G

Grades

Why are student grades not showing in my Grades tool?

Go to Grades > Grades Settings > Personal Display Options. Under Grade Details, make sure that the Points Grade and/or Grade Scheme Symbol boxes are checked, depending upon what you want to see in your grade book. Click Save. When you return to the Enter Grades area, you should now see the grades.

Why can't my students see the Final Calculated Grade in their Grades list?

First, go to Grades > Grades Settings > Org Unit Display Options. Make sure that the "Display final grade calculation to users" box is checked. Click Save.

Also, the Final Calculated Grade must be released in order for students to see it. Go to Grades > Enter Grades. Click the Enter Grades icon Enter Grades icon at the top of the Final Grades column. Click the Release All Release All button button. Click Save.

How can I reorder the items in my Grades tool?

Grade columns are displayed in the order they are created. To Re-Order the columns in your Grades tool, click the Re-Order button Re-Order icon at the top of the screen. Use the Sort Order drop-downs to set the order of the items in your Grades tool.

How do I delete a column from my Grades tool?

Go to Grades > Manage Grades. Click the Delete button Delete icon at the top of the screen. Check the boxes next to the items you wish to delete. Click the Delete Selected button.

Tip iconTip: If an item is tied to a grade item (i.e. Assignment, Discussion, or Quiz) in Desire2Learn, it will have an Association Information icon Association Information icon next to it. You cannot delete a column from your Grades tool if it is tied to a grade item. You must first delete or disassociate the item. Then return to the Grades tool and follow the steps for deleting the column.

How do I disassociate a grade item from a column in my Grades tool?

Go to the grade item (i.e. Assignment, Discussion, or Quiz). Edit the item. From the Grade Item drop-down, select None. (For Assignments and Quizzes this drop-down is found on the Properties tab. For Discussions, it is found on the Assessment tab).

How do I create a column in my Grades tool for an activity that was not done in Desire2Learn (e.g. a participation grade or an on-site exam)?

Go to Grades > Manage Grades > New Item. Choose a Grade Item type. Enter a Name and the Max. Points. Set any other desired properties. Click Save.

Can I include extra credit items in my Grades tool?

Grade iconYes. When creating a grade item, in the Grading area, check the "Bonus" box. Bonus items will help students' grades if they do well, but will not hurt students' grades if they do poorly or do not complete the bonus item. Bonus items are denoted by a star icon Bonus icon in the Grades List.

Can students see their classmates' grades in the Grades tool?

No. Students only see their own grades. To view how a particular student will see his/her grades, go to Grades > Enter Grades, and click on a student's name. Click the Preview button Preview button at the top of the screen. The preview of the grades list for that student will open in a new window. Close the window when you are done.

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M

My Courses

Why am I not seeing a course in the My Courses widget on the My Home page?

If you have more than a certain number of courses, your My Courses widget might display a search field, and a list of the 10 most recently accessed courses. Use the search field to locate a course if you don't see it immediately.

If you have different roles in different courses, your courses are listed in separate tabs. So courses you are enrolled in as an Observer are listed on a separate tab from courses in which you are enrolled as an Instructor.

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N

NavBars

How can I add, remove, or reorder the tools that appear in my NavBars?

Go to Edit Course > NavBars. Your course NavBar has four sections: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right. Use the tabs to select the section of the NavBar that you would like to work with. The Current Active Links are the ones displayed in the NavBar at the top of your screen. Use the left and right arrows to move items between the Inactive Links and Current Active Links lists. Use the up and down arrows to reorder the items in the Current Active Links list. When you have made all of the desired changes, click Save. The changes should be reflected in the NavBars at the top of the screen.

Tip iconTip: Some tools appear in the NavBars by default. If there are tools that you are not planning on using in your course, remove them from the NavBars so your students do not expect to find course material there.

It is recommended that you leave the My Home link in the first position of the Top Left section of the NavBars and the Course Home link in the first position on the Bottom Left section of the NavBars. In this way, you and your students will easily be able to locate these important links.

News

Why can't I edit, delete, or move the News items that have a globe icon Global News icon next to them?

When you see this icon, it means the News item was posted by an administrator. These news items typically contain important information about system outages, planned maintenance, etc. It is important that users read these messages. Therefore, they can only be managed by Desire2Learn administrators. These messages will only stay visible as long as the information is relevant.

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P

Pager

How can I respond a page that was sent to me by another user?

Depending upon the preferences you have specified for your Pager tool, you will see the Pager icon in the NavBar flash Incoming Page icon and/or hear a sound. Simply click on the icon to read the page, and click the Reply button if you wish to respond.

How can I send a page to someone in my course?

The easiest way to send a page to another user in your course is to go to the Classlist tool, check the box next to the user's name, and click the Page Selected Users icon Page Selected= at the top or bottom of the Classlist.

Tip iconTip: If a user is currently online, there will be an Online icon Online icon next to his/her name in the Classlist tool. If you page users while they are not online, they will receive your page the next time they login.

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Q

Quizzes

What are the basic steps for creating a Quiz?

  1. Create your quiz questions: You can create questions in either (A) the Question Library, or (B) by importing them.
  2. Create a quiz Create a quiz by: (A) Defining a quiz name and general properties, (B) establishing the quiz restrictions, (C) establishing the quiz attempts, (D) establishing the quiz reports, (E) populating your quiz with questions, and (F) setting up the quiz layout.
  3. Preview and release the quiz.

How can I preview a Quiz before releasing it to my students?

Go to Quizzes > Manage Quizzes. Click the Preview icon Preview icon beside a quiz in the quiz list to view the quiz as a user would see it.

Why aren't my students' Quiz scores showing in the Grades tool?

If you want Quiz scores to automatically be sent to the Grades tool, you must select the following two options on the Properties tab when setting up the Quiz:

  • allow automatic export to grades
  • allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion

Grade iconSelect/Unselect as Graded icon

How can I reset an attempt of a Quiz for a student?

Go to Quizzes. Click on the Grade icon Grade icon next to the Quiz. On the Users tab, click on the Display Options link. Check the box that says “Allow Reset.” Click Save and close the Display Options window. Check the box next to the attempt that you wish to reset, and click the trash can icon Delete icon to reset the attempt.

How can I setup a Quiz so students cannot see certain details of their results until after the availability period has ended?

When setting up or editing your Quiz, click on the Submission Views tab. You can change what information is released immediately by clicking the Default View link. You can also create an Additional View that is released when the availability period is over. Click the Add Additional View button. Give it a Name, e.g. “Quiz Results.” Set the date when it will become available, i.e. whatever you have set as the end date for the quiz. Choose the View Details that you would like to release to the students.

How can I open an Quiz for a student who missed the deadline or requires extra time?

When setting up or editing a quiz, click on the Restrictions tab. In the Special Access section, choose the option to "Allow selected users special access to this quiz." Click the Add Users to Special Access button. Set the appropriate Date Availability and Access properties then check the box next to the student(s) to whom the special access applies. Click the Add Selected button. Click Save.

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R

Role Switch

What does the Role Switch widget do?

The Role Switch widget enables you to temporarily switch your active role to another role by selecting it from a drop-down list. For example, you can select the Student role to view how your course appears to students.

Can students use the Role Switch widget?

No. The role switch widget is not available to actual students, even though you can still see when you are viewing the student role.

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S

Schedule

Why can't my students see the event that I posted in my Schedule?

When you add an event to the schedule, the default event type is "Personal Event" which means only you can see them. If you want your students to be able to see them as well, the Event Type should be the name of your course. Note that you cannot change the event type after it has been saved, so if you chose the wrong type, you would have to re-create it. Personal Events are denoted on your schedule by a Personal Event icon Personal Event icon. Course Events are denoted by a Course Event icon Course Event icon.

How can I set course-related events, such as due dates and availability periods, for other tools to be displayed in my Schedule?

When creating or editing an item, the availability is typically found on the Restrictions tab. You can specify Start and End Dates. If you wish for these dates to show in the Schedule, check the "Display in Schedule" box. This capability is available with the following tools:

  • Assignment
  • Checklist
  • Content
  • Discussions
  • Grades
  • Quizzes
  • Surveys

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U

User Links

Why can't my students see the links I have posted in the User Links widget on my Course Home page?

When you post a link using the Add Link Add Link button button in the User Links widget, the link is added to the "My Links" category. This means it is a personal link which only you can see. To add or manage course links that all members of your course can see, you must add the Links tool to the Current Active Links in your NavBar. When you click on the Links tool in your NavBar, you can organize, add, and manage your course links.