This summer D2L has received a series of updates and upgrades that, while minor, may be useful to faculty. Updated tutorials are or will appear on the D2L Self-Paced Tutorials for Faculty and Staff Wiki Page, but here’s some highlights.
D2L Activity Feed
The Activity Feed is an optional alternative to the News Feed on your Course Home pages. The most basic difference is that Activity Feed allows student comments in response to messages. This can allow you to discuss or answer questions about the content of the message right on your Course Homepage.
You can also create or link Dropboxes to the Activity Feed. This can allow students to make comments on the Activity Feed if they have questions about the Dropbox.
For more information on how the Activity Feed might be useful in your class, you can read this D2L Article.
Click this link or view the video below for a quick tutorial on how to activate the Activity Feed on your Course Homepage and for an overview of the Activity Feed.
D2L Accommodations Tool
The Accommodation Tool is similar to giving a student Special Access, but you can set special access for all quizzes in a course at once, rather than at each individual quiz. Once a student has been given an accommodation, you can easily identify the student in the classlist by looking for the Accommodations symbol to the right of their names. Learners with Accommodations will also see this symbol in the classlist and while they are taking quizzes.
To add an accommodation (for example extra time on quizzes) in the Classlist, click the dropdown arrow to the right of their name. In the menu, click Edit Accommodations.
Dropbox Grading Screen
In the dropbox grading screen things are more efficient. You can more easily find important information (ex, the student’s name, submissions, and so on.) When you are done making annotations on the student’s assignment, you can now make the evaluation column (the right column) larger so you can easily write feedback. If you need to edit the dropbox or provide a student more time to submit an assignment, click the three horizontal dots to access those menus quicker. Note that how you access the dropbox grading screen and make annotations and view assignments will remain the same.
Dropbox Editor Screen
In the Dropbox editor, D2L has moved some of the most useful features so that they are accessed on one page instead of being scattered across different tabs. Many settings are in the drop-down menus in the right column, which also means less scrolling. You can drop a menu when you need to make changes to a setting and zip it back up when you are finished making your changes.
Text (html) Editor Toolbar
D2L is updating the standard Text Editor Toolbar, found across the entire system. Formerly D2L called it the “html editor” but from now on, COLI materials will refer to it simply as the D2L Editor or Editor Tools.
The update includes larger icons and more sensibly-arranged tools.
The above picture shows the major changes, though some other tools, like Preview, Source Code, Word Count, and the Accessibility Checker have also been moved slightly. To access this larger set of tools, click on the three horizontal dots in either the Old Editor or New Editor.
If you used Quiz reports, Reports Setup will be moving from its current place as a tab in the Quiz Creation Screen. You will now be able to access reports set up by going to the Quizzes tab in D2L. From there, click on the drop-down menu arrow to the right of a quiz you wish to set up a report. From the menu that appears, choose Setup Reports. This is also how you View Reports. Aside from the change in place, how you set up a report will remain the same.
Quiz Introduction Feature Retired
To simplify the quizzes tool, D2L has retired the “Introduction” text box on quizzes. If you build new quizzes, simply use the Description field. Existing, unedited quizzes will continue working as before.
If you edit and save a quiz, D2L will transfer content in the Introduction field to the Description field. If it isn’t activated, you will need to activate it for those instructions to appear to students:
D2L will prompt you if you edit an old quiz or exam to follow these directions.
When Quiz Descriptions are active, they appear below the title of the Quiz when available to students in Content, and on the preliminary page.
You can see a step-by-step tutorial here, showing how to use the Description feature on a quiz.
Another option is to use a Section Introduction at the beginning of the Quiz.
The new Rubric Editor, available for several months, is now the standard toolset for building rubrics. It is generally more efficient than the old version.