DePaul University Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > Desire2Learn > Common Questions

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Common Questions


Overview

How do I find my course?

After you log in to D2L (https://d2l.depaul.edu) using your Campus Connect credentials, your courses will be listed in the My Courses widget. For more information on viewing your courses, visit our detailed guide on searching for your course in D2L here.

Why can’t I find an older course of mine?

Per DePaul University’s Records Retention Schedule, Information Services/Faculty Instructional Technology Services retains online instructor materials for a minimum of five years from the end of the course. Materials may be available after that five-year period, but instructors should not depend on such availability.

Please note that the records and retention policy was updated during Autumn Quarter of the 2016-2017 academic year. Prior to the update, instructor materials were only retained for a two-year period. This means that courses in D2L prior to the 2015-2016 academic year have been deleted from the system and are no longer retrievable.

The university always sends out an email to faculty to give advance notice before older course sites are purged from D2L. As a best practice, we recommend that you export your older course sites, especially if they are courses you don’t teach frequently. When you export your course site, D2L packages everything in a .zip file, which you can then download and save on your computer. Exporting the course will save all course elements, but not student data or information. When you need it again, you can re-upload the course to D2L (and possibly other learning management systems.) View our Export a Course Site in D2L guide for step-by-step instructions.

If your course has been deleted and you didn’t export a copy of it, the Faculty Instructional Technology Services department will be happy to help you reconstruct it. Contact fits@depaul.edu to request assistance.

How do I activate my course?

Instructions for activating your course can be found here. Note that before students can access your course, you must activate your course.

How do I copy my course?

Instead of having to re-create your course each term, you can copy a previous iteration of your course. Once copied, you’ll need to update the dates in a course, upload your new syllabus, and make any other modifications. Instructions for copying your course can be found here.

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Classlist

How do I add a TA to my course?

If you have a Teaching Assistant in your class, you must manually add them to your D2L course site. TAs have the same abilities as an instructor—they view and assess student work—and show in the course classlist. For instructions on how to enroll a TA in your course, follow this link. If you would rather have our staff add a TA to your course, fill out the form on this page.

How do I add a CDM Grader to my course?

If you have a CDM Grader in your class, you must manually add them to your D2L course site. CDM Graders have the same abilities as an instructor—they view and assess student work—except that they do not show up on the course classlist and are invisible to your other students. For instructions on how to enroll a CDM Grader in your course, follow this link. If you would rather have our staff add a CDM Grader to your course, fill out the form on this page.

How do I verify enrollment?

If you need to verify that a student is enrolled in your course, you can either check the last time they were active in the course by following this guide. Alternatively, you can check a student’s status by using the enrollment statistics page, using this guide.

Where can I find a list of all of my students?

You can find a list of all your students enrolled in D2L by navigating to the “Classlist” tab in D2L. If you do not see “Classlist” in the main navigation bar, it might be located under the “More” menu. This will show you a list of students, instructors, and teaching assistants that have been added to your course.

Why is there a student listed as enrolled in Campus Connect but not in my D2L course?

If the student has enrolled in your course in Campus Connect in the last 24-48 hours, it is most likely that the server has not refreshed with the new roster yet. The process can take up to 48 hours after the student registers for the course. If a student still does not appear, verify that they are registered for your course. If so, contact fits@depaul.edu for additional help.

How do I enroll someone that is not affiliated with DePaul?

To add someone to your course that does not have access to D2L, they first need to be added to PeopleSoft. The course instructor should complete the Add a non-DePaul User form so that a “friend of the university” PeopleSoft account can be created. This form requires you to provide the name, email address, birth date, and phone number for each person.

Once the PeopleSoft account has been created, a user ID will be assigned to the person. This information should also be sent to lmsadmin@depaul.edu, along with the course code (e.g., ABC_101_102_0965), and the person will be added to the course.

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Communications

How can I email a single student or my entire class?

You can email a single student or the entire class from the classlist area. For detailed instructions, visit our guide here.

Why am I not receiving emails from D2L?

If you have an email account other than an @depaul.edu one listed in Campus Connection/D2L, you often will not receive messages sent via D2L. This is because many email service providers, including both Yahoo and Gmail, have begun blocking email messages that are sent by proxy for security reasons. D2L sends messages in this way, i.e., it’s sending messages from its email server but using your Yahoo, Gmail, etc. address.
Some of your messages might be getting caught by your email service provider’s spam filtering service – it quarantines some messages, but others it will delete outright if it thinks they’re extra “spammy.” There isn’t really anything that can be done within D2L to fix this.

The best solution in this case is to obtain a DePaul email address and set it up to automatically forward to your other email account, then set your “depaul.edu” email address as your active one in Campus Connection (which automatically updates your D2L email address.) The Technology Support Center​ (TSC) can help you set up email forwarding if you need help.

Why can’t I send emails from D2L?

  • If you have an email account other than an @depaul.edu one listed in Campus Connection/D2L, you often will not receive messages sent via D2L. This is because many email service providers, including both Yahoo and Gmail, have begun blocking email messages that are sent by proxy for security reasons. D2L sends messages in this way, i.e., it’s sending messages from its email server but using your Yahoo, Gmail, etc. address.

    Some of your messages might be getting caught by your email service provider’s spam filtering service – it quarantines some messages, but others it will delete outright if it thinks they’re extra “spammy.” There isn’t really anything that can be done within D2L to fix this.

    The best solution in this case is to obtain a DePaul email address and set it up to automatically forward to your other email account, then set your “depaul.edu” email address as your active one in Campus Connection (which automatically updates your D2L email address.) The TSC can help you set up email forwarding if you need help.
  • If you get a “not authorized” error message when you try to send an email through the Classlist tool in D2L, it’s likely because you started a quiz but did not submit it. The reason for this is that D2L disables the emailing function whenever you start a quiz, and it remains disabled until you submit it.

    The first thing you should do when you receive this error message is check to see if you have a quiz attempt still in progress. The best way to do this is by clicking on the Update alerts icon, which is located at the very top of every page in D2L (the middle icon that looks like a document). If you have a quiz attempt in progress, an alert will appear in the dropdown menu that opens when you click the Update alerts icon. It will provide you with a link that directly takes you to the quiz attempt. Simply click on the link, then submit the quiz attempt. This will re-enable the emailing function.

How do I post an announcement to my students?

On your homepage, you can post a news item that each of your students will see when they log in to your course. To create a news item, follow the guide here.

Will my students receive an email when I post a news item?

Your students do not automatically receive an email when you post a news item. They will need to manually subscribe to receive emails. Your students should follow the instructions below if they would like to receive email or SMS notifications when you post a news item.

  • Click on your name in the upper right-hand corner to open the menu.
  • Click on the “Notifications” link to manage your course notifications setting.
  • In the Instant Notifications heading for News, select the box next to the items for which you would like to receive notifications. (There should be a blue check mark when selected.)
  • Click the Save button on the bottom of the screen to save any changes made.

NOTE: If there are boxes already selected with blue check marks, this indicates that you are currently subscribed to that item.

What is an intelligent agent? When do they typically run?

Intelligent Agents are a tool in D2L that can send automated email when instructor-defined criteria are met. For example, instructors can email students who have not logged in recently, whose grades have fallen below a certain level, or who have viewed a specific content topic. For information on how to set up intelligent agents, check out our guide here.

Intelligent agents typically run at 8pm CST.

What is the file size limit for email attachments?

There is a 10MB limit for email attachments. This is extremely small. Therefore, we highly recommend that you upload the files to your content area, then link to the content item in your email.

If a student responds to my email, will it go to D2L?

No, it will not. Email in D2L uses a proxy server based on the default email address you choose in Campus Connect. Because of this set up, if a student responds to your email, it will be sent to the email address listed in campus connect. As a reminder, there are some issues with Yahoo and AOL proxy servers, so we recommend that you use your DePaul email address as your default in Campus Connect.

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Your Course Content

How do I create a module or submodule?

Modules and submodules are excellent tools for organizing content in your course. Our office has curated a guide on how to create modules and submodules that can be found here.

What does it mean if an item is listed as “Draft” vs “Published”?

In your content area, some items may appear with the word “Draft” in italics off to the right of the title. This means that you can see the item, but your students cannot. Published items in content are visible to students. By default, the content area does not show the word “Published” to the right of the title; if the area is blank, it is published.
Note that you can make modules and submodules invisible to students by changing the status of the module to draft in the upper right-hand corner of the module view. Anything you place in this module will be hidden from student view. For example, you could place resources for yourself (such as lesson plans) that the students will not see, but you will have access to.

For instructions on how to hide modules or items using “Draft” status, visit our guide on setting dates and availability. Note that the instructions for hiding modules or an item is located near the bottom of the guide.

How do I upload a file, such as my syllabus or course schedule?

For instructions on how to upload a file, visit our guide here.

Why won’t my file upload?

Unfortunately there are a few reasons why your file might not be uploading:

  • The title of your file contains special characters or punctuation. To fix this error: remove special characters and punctuation from your title by sticking to alphanumeric text only.
  • The title of your file is too long. To fix this error: reduce the length of your title to less than 128 characters total.
  • The size of your file is too large. To fix this error: compress or zip your file by following these instructions for Windows Computers and for Mac computers.
  • The internet connection isn’t strong enough. To fix this error: find a different wireless internet connection or try using an Ethernet cable.

How do I create a link in my course?

For instructions on how to create a link in your course, visit our guide here.

What is the file size limit for uploaded files?

For files you—or your students—are uploading to D2L, there is a 1GB limit. Note that large files, even if under 1GB, can have problems uploading if the user has a poor internet connection. Additionally, the file size limit for email attachments is significantly smaller. For more information on email attachments, see our guide HERE.

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​Dates

How do I set dates in the content area?

You can set dates on modules, submodules and topics that can restrict access to the items. You can restrict when access becomes available, when it ends, and even what due dates show in the calendar. For detailed instructions on how to set dates, visit our guide here.

How do I set availability dates in dropbox, discussions, or quizzes?

Dropbox. It’s important to note that the use of end dates on dropboxes will not allow students to submit files after the listed date. We recommend that you use due dates, instead of end dates. The due date will appear in the calendar tool, and late assignments will appear in red—letting you know clearly who did and did not turn in the assignment on time. For instructions on how to set date-based restrictions on dropbox items, visit our guide here.

Quizzes. Quiz dates are similar to dropbox dates in that end dates cut off all access to the quiz. If you want the due date to appear in the calendar, make sure you check the “Display in Calendar” box when you set the dates. For instructions on how to set date-based restrictions on quizzes, visit our guide here.

Discussions. Discussion use two kinds of dates: visibility and locking. Visibility dates control when a forum or topic become visible to your students. Locking dates control when students can access a forum or topic. It’s important to note that the dates you apply to the forum apply to any of the topics within it. For example, if you hide the forum, you will not be able to see any of its topics. For instructions on how to set date-based restrictions on discussion forums and topics, visit our guide here.

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Discussions

How do I set up a discussion board?

Discussion boards are an extremely versatile tool that you can use to facilitate conversations outside of the classroom. To create a discussion board in your course, check out our guide here.

Can I create a discussion board that only some students can see?

You can create a discussion board that is restricted to groups of students or even individual students. Once you’ve created a forum and set up groups in your course, you can restrict topics in that forum to the defined groups. This can be extremely useful for facilitating conversations in small groups or creating a place for groups to discuss upcoming projects. For instructions on how to set up groups, visit our guide here. For instructions on how to set up discussion boards for groups, visit our guide here.

How do I grade a discussion board?

For instructions on grading a discussion board, visit our guide here.

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​Assignments & Assessments

What is the easiest way to collect assignments in D2L?

The easiest way to collect assignments or projects in D2L is using the Dropbox feature. Although confusing, D2L’s “Dropbox” is not the same as Dropbox.com. D2L’s Dropbox feature is like a digital folder where students can go to upload and submit one or more files. You can create a single Dropbox for each project or segment of a project. For instructions on how to set up a Dropbox, visit our guide here.

How do I set up a Dropbox for a group of students?

You can create a Dropbox that a group of students can submit to if, for example, they are doing a group project and need to submit a file together. First, you must set up your groups in your course. For instructions on how to set up groups in D2L, visit our guide here. Once your groups are created, you can then use them to create group-restricted Dropboxes. For instructions on how to assign those group restrictions to a Dropbox, visit our guide here.

How do I grade a Dropbox submission?

There are two ways to grade a student’s Dropbox submission.

  • If you would like to download all of your students’ files in order to mark or grade them with track changes in Microsoft word, you can batch download and batch upload these files in D2L. For instructions on how to do this, visit this guide.
  • If you just need to be able to read and respond to your students’ files in a single comment or give credit for participation, you can give grades and feedback directly in the Dropbox tool. For instructions on how to grade in Dropbox, visit this guide.

Can I check my student’s assignments for originality or plagiarism?

Yes, you can. DePaul subscribes to a service called TurnItIn that verifies the originality of students' work. It works by comparing the student’s submission to prior submissions to TurnItIn as well as public sources. After the file is processed, TurnItIn creates a report that estimates the percentage of “non-original” work in the student’s file.

However, we highly recommend that you take those numbers with a grain of salt. If you are having your students use a template file, this can skew the “non-original” number. Additionally, just because the “non-original” number is high, does not necessarily mean that there is an academic integrity violation. For information on DePaul’s Academic Integrity policy and tips on how to respond to suspected plagiarism, visit this page.
For instructions on how to set up originality checking in your Dropbox, visit our guide here.

How do I create a quiz in D2L?

For instructions on how to create a quiz, visit this guide.
For additional help with how to set up specific question types, visit the University of Colorado’s page on common features or the University of Wisconsin’s specific guide to question types. Both of these sites are excellent resources for troubleshooting issues related to specific question types.

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​Grading

How do I grade a discussion?

For instructions on grading a discussion board, visit our guide here.

How do I grade a dropbox?

There are two ways to grade a student’s Dropbox submission.

  • If you would like to download all of your students’ files in order to mark or grade them with track changes in Microsoft word, you can batch download and batch upload these files in D2L. For instructions on how to do this, visit this guide.
  • If you just need to be able to read and respond to your students’ files in a single comment or give credit for participation, you can give grades and feedback directly in the Dropbox tool. For instructions on how to grade in Dropbox, visit this guide.

How do I set up my gradebook?

To set up your gradebook in D2L, check out our guide here. Once your gradebook is set up, the next step is to create grade items and/or grade categories.

Should I use a points, weighted, or formula gradebook?

When setting up your gradebook, the system will ask you what type of gradebook you wish to create.

Points. Grade items can be worth a certain amount of points that are totaled for a final grade. For example, participation is worth 50 points, the midterm is worth 100 points, etc.
Weighted. Grade items can count as a percentage of a final grade worth 100%. For example, participation is worth 10%, the midterm is worth 20%, etc.
Formula. Grade items are calculated as part of the final grade based on a custom formula that you define (only used in special cases; contact the FITS staff with questions).

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​Your Course Homepage

How do I add a calendar event?

Some tools—such as Dropbox or module dates—automatically push dates to your calendar. However, sometimes you may want to add in an event for something else, like a guest lecturer or field trip. For instructions on how to set up your own calendar event, visit our guide here.

Which events show up on my course calendar?

When you add due dates to the Content or Dropbox area, those dates are automatically added to your Calendar.

Other tools, such as Discussions and Quizzes, are set up such that you must select a setting in the start and end dates that will add the dates to the Calendar automatically. For information on setting dates in Discussions, visit our guide here. For information on setting dates in Quizzes, visit our guide here.

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Customization

How do I customize my homepage?

To customize your homepage, visit our guide here.
If you are interested in more advanced customization of your homepage, you can set up an appointment with our office and we would be more than happy to sit down with you and help. To set up an appointment, head over to our scheduler.

How do I customize my navigation bar?

To customize your navigation bar, visit our guide here.
If you are interested in more advanced customization of your navigation bar, you can set up an appointment with our office and we would be more than happy to sit down with you and help. To set up an appointment, head over to our scheduler.

Can I create a custom widget?

You can create a custom widget to display on your course homepage with information about yourself, the course, special resources, or anything else you want shared on the front page. For information on creating a custom widget, visit our guide here. Note that once you create the widget, you will need to add the widget to your course home by following the instructions on this guide.

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​Audio & Video in D2L

What kind of multimedia can I put in my course?

The content area can house the following files types through D2L:

  • Web documents
    • HTM, HTML, MHT, MHTML
  • Text documents
    • RTF, PPT, PPTX, PPS, PDF, DOC, DOCX, XML, XLS, XLSX, TXT, WPD
  • Image
    • JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIF, TIFF
  • Multimedia
    • SWF, MPG, MPEG, RM, MP3, MP4*, M4V*, M4A*, AVI, WAV, RAM, ASF, MOV, RA

For multimedia—especially audio and video files, we highly recommend that you use Panopto to place the content in your course. This server not only buffers faster, but it allows you to also track user statistics related to the content.
Note that other file types may be uploaded in your course,

How do I insert a video into my course?

To insert a video (or audio file) into your course, use the following guide about Panopto, our streaming server.

Can I record my lectures with Panopto?

Yes, you can record your lectures with Panopto. In the past, we taught a software (Screencast-O-Matic) to instructors that can use to create screencast. While you may still use this program, our office now supports the use of Panopto to create screencasts. For instructions on how to record with Panopto, look at this guide here​.

Can my students upload videos to the course as part of an assignment?

Yes, your students can upload videos to D2L. For instructions on how to do this, please contact our office.

I’m trying to insert a Panopto video, but there’s no insert button.

On some computer screens, the insert button gets hidden. Once you’ve selected your video, click and drag on the bottom right corner of the screen. As you make the screen bigger, you will see the insert button appear in the lower right-hand corner. Unfortunately, you may need to do this every time you insert a video.

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Presentations (VoiceThread)

How do I create a VoiceThread?

For instructions on how to create a VoiceThread, visit our guide here. For additional documentation, visit VoiceThread’s website: https://voicethread.com/howto/.

How do I insert a VoiceThread into my course?

To insert a VoiceThread into your course, check out our instructions here.

I copied my course, but my VoiceThreads aren’t there. What happened?

When you copy your course, the shells of where each VoiceThread lived as well as the content are copied over, but they are no longer linked 1:1. You will need to manually re-link each VoiceThread by clicking on the title, then selecting the VoiceThread that you want placed in that shell.

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Attendance

How do I track attendance in D2L?

You can create an attendance register in your D2L course that lets you track attendance in one of two ways:

  • You can track by just present or absent.
  • You can track by present, absent, late, or excused.

For instructions on how to set up a register, visit our guide here.

How do I see the last time a student accessed my D2L course?

To see what date the student last accessed your D2L course, navigate to your course site.

  • Go to Edit Course > View User Progress
  • Click on the student’s name
  • In the sidebar on the left-hand side, click the last option, “Login History”
  • At the top of this page, you will have information for:
    • The number of times the student has logged into D2L in the last 30 days
    • The last date they accessed your course
    • The last date they accessed D2L in general

Note that the specific times listed below each date as a session represent the times they accessed the system in general, but not necessarily your course.

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Teaching Commons

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