A General Overview of D2L

D2L Homepages and Navigation

After successfully logging into D2L faculty and students view the My Home page. This page includes several widgets (the text areas each with green title bars, such as News, Welcome, and Library Resources). The News items are written by Leif Nelson, the D2L administrator for the UW-Green Bay campus. Also included is a list of all courses available to the individual logged on. Students can only see their current courses; instructors typically see all their courses including those from past and future semesters. No one can see courses they are not assigned to.

The Navigation bar (Nav bar) is the top banner that appears on My Home page and most other pages in D2L. The Nav bar is the best way to navigate when links are not available within the page. Internal links and links on the Nav bar are usually preferable to the Back button on the browser. The My Home link in the far upper-left of the Nav bar always returns to this homepage, a good thing to know if ever you get lost.

Clicking on a link in the My Green Bay Courses widget takes the individual to the desired class. Each D2L class has a course homepage. Course homepages can be modified by the instructor but they all have a few common elements. The course Nav bar at the top of the page now includes links to tools used in the course. Note that not all tools on the Nav bar are used in all courses; the instructor might decide to use some but not all of the tools.

The instructor also posts news on the course homepage. There can be any number of news items but only three display at a time and they’re usually in chronological order. To see all news items click on the Show All link.

The more commonly used course links are

  • Course Home: This always takes you back to the course homepage. Use this link if ever you get lost within a course.
  • Content: This is where instructors put their Syllabus, important Read Me files, and online content for their courses. This is usually a good place for students to start after reading any News postings.
  • Links:┬áThe Links tool enables you to provide URL links to external web sites, quicklinks, and internal course offering areas that are useful to users in your course. All links are organized into categories. For example, a psychology course might provide the link categories General, Psychology, Reference Materials, Online Publications, etc. Categories should ensure better organization of links and enable users to quickly find the information they need.
  • Dropbox: Some instructors have their students submit their papers electronically. Typically, they use the Dropbox for this function.
  • Discussions: This is the electronic bulletin board, a powerful, asynchronous (anytime, anywhere) communication tool that organizes threads of discussion. Many instructors create groups of students to facilitate in depth discussion.
  • Classlist: This includes a listing of all students and instructors in the class.
  • Quizzes: Online testing is common for quizzes and tests. Instructors have complete control over questions, timing, availability dates, number of times a student can take a quiz, etc. Many quizzes are automatically corrected and the grades exported to the Gradebook.
  • Grades: This is the course grade book. Instructors decide if and when student grades are made visible. Students see only their own grades, never anyone else’s grades.
  • Email: The email tool is an easy to use front end that sends email to one or more students and/or the instructor. All email is sent to the individual’s Outlook email account.
  • Logout: Students and instructors are logged into their D2L account until they click the Logout link or close all their browsers.