Select Page Updates & Tutorials

Mentioned in a previous post, has several new features that COLI has worked hard to update.

Up first, you no longer need to upload files to Google Drive. Instead, you can upload PDF files to a Module in D2L. Just make sure that the PDF is properly OCR’d (optical character recognized). If you are not sure, you can follow’s tutorials on OCR’ing documents.

Secondly, can now be used with Group Assignments. uses D2L Groups to determine the groups for the assignment. If needed, view COLI’s tutorial on creating groups in D2L.

Additionally, it is also easy to edit a Assignment, allowing you to switch out PDF’s and/or make a Assignment into a Group Assignment.

Otherwise, the general steps to create a Assignment have not changed. The above tutorials and other tutorials can be found on the Wiki Page.

Pedagogy Primer Podcast

In the latest episode of COLI’s house podcast, we sit down with Tracy Callaghan, Dr. Jennifer Desiderio, and Mason Bowes to discuss Canisius’ very successful First Year Experience program (FYE). The FYE is a foundational course for most of the university’s new students, and a crucial set of resources to help Golden Griffins start strong in their academic career.

You can find the Pedagogy Primer Podcast at Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app. You can listen to the latest episode here:

COLI Summer D2L & Updates and D2L both have a number of updates scheduled for this summer. Note that some of these updates, specifically the ones, have not yet been implemented. We will be working on them throughout the summer and have them ready before the Fall Semester. Stay tuned to the Dome and COLI Blog for more updates!

D2L Updates


First, creating D2L Discussion Topics will become easier and more streamlined. The new Topics screen will look and behave similarly to the Dropbox and Quizzes screen. Note that the way a Forum is created will remain the same. This new screen will be opt-in to provide a transition period. Take a look at our new D2L: Discussion Topics Introduction video to learn more.

New D2L Discussion Topic Screen showing a two-column layout similar to D2L Quizzes and Dropboxes.

Quiz Messaging

Whenever a student exits a quiz, D2L will give them a warning pop-up. This pop-up will contain a message that varies a bit depending on whether or not the quiz is timed or has an end date and when the student leaves. However, the general idea of the message is to warn students that, if they leave the quiz and come back, the Timer does not stop or they may be “locked” out because of the end date. Note: for these new pop-ups to appear, the student MUST click on the X in the upper-right corner in the quiz page. Exiting out of the tab or browser will circumvent these pop-ups. The following images are courtesy of D2L:

Student using the Close Quiz Button (X) in the upper-right corner to leave a quiz.
Exit Quiz confirmation dialog for quizzes with no end date, time limits, or a time limit that expires before the end date.
Exit Quiz dialog for a quiz with a time limit but no end date.
Exit Quiz dialog for a quiz with an end date that will occur before the end of the timer.
Exit Quiz Dialog for quizzes that are past the end date.


There will be multiple updates to the dropbox.

  • Similar to dates in Discussions, there will be a few options for Availability Dates in Dropboxes:
    • Visible with Access Restricted: Students can see the title of the dropbox only until/after the specified date. The dropbox will automatically open/close after the specified Start date/End date.
    • Visible with Submission Restricted: Students can see the title of the dropbox and description (if there is one) but will not be able to submit until/after the specified date
    • Hidden: The dropbox is completely hidden from students until/after the specified date
  • Easily see dates of dropboxes on the Dropbox page
    • You will now be able to view Start, End, and Due dates underneath the title of the dropbox in the Dropbox overview page

These updates are mostly “quality of life” improvements and should not affect your overall workflow (except for making it easier to use Dropboxes). Updates

Use PDFs Uploaded to D2L

You can skip Google Drive now! Instead of having to make sure the PDF is on your Google Drive, you will be able to use PDFs that you upload directly to D2L. This will streamline the process of making Assignments, allowing you to work entirely in D2L. This will also make it a bit easier when copying Assignments from one course to another course. Group Assignments

If you have ever wanted to break students into groups or have a certain group of students focus on one set of questions and another set of students focus on another set, now you can! will be able to access and use D2L Groups to create Group Assignments.

Third Party Tools and Integrations with D2L

As you prepare your courses for the Fall 2023 semester you may consider having third-party integrations for textbooks, online activities, or exam tools added to your D2L Course Spaces.

Before you request this, carefully read COLI’s policy on these integrations.

Immediately there are two things you know:

  1. Neither COLI nor ITS can provide you or your students support for these tools or integrations, past integrating them into D2L in accordance with the provider’s instructions. Our policy explains why, but just know that past the link out of D2L, you and your students must rely on the provider for all technology support. You should allow yourself plenty of time to determine that the tools are working, and get specific guarantees that your provider will support you and your students.
  2. Our (COLI and ITS) first priority is the health and reliability of course spaces and tools used by all faculty, and we will reject any tool we think potentially threatens any or all courses.

Plan to request integrations as soon as possible, and at the latest by June 30th, 2023. And read the above-linked policy; it is essential. COLI’s successful implementation of these integrations depends on the process going according to the third-party content providers’ instructions. If it doesn’t (and it occasionally doesn’t), that will mean delays