Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > Desire2Learn > Tools > Course Home > Designing your Course Home Page

Designing Your Course Home Page in D2L

On first visiting your site, you will find the university-wide default settings in place for your Course Home page, but you can modify this page to best suit your preferences and the needs of your course.

To create a custom home page for your course site, you'll need to complete two steps: first, you'll create a new home page, then you'll make that page active. You can also add or remove widgets to your course homepage.

Create a New Course Home Page

The default Course Home cannot be edited directly by instructors. You must create a copy of the default course homepage and edit that copy.

  1. Click Edit Course > Course Administration on the right side of the course navigation bar. The Course Administration page will open.
  2. Click Homepages under the Site Setup heading.
  3. Click the dropdown arrow beside Course Default, then select Copy. A new homepage called Course Default – Copy will appear.

  4. Click Course Default - Copy. The Edit Homepage page will open.
  5. Enter a name for your homepage (required).
  6. Enter a description for your homepage (optional).
  7. Select an option in the “Type” section:
    • Widget-based (default option): The homepage will display widgets. See the Optional Steps section below for information on Changing Widgets and setting up a Widget-based homepage.
    • Tool: The homepage will display a specific tool for your course, i.e., Content, Submissions, etc.
    • External URL: The homepage will display a page from an external website.

  8. You can choose to include a homepage header, such as the full name of your course, which will appear below the main navigation bar and above any selected widgets or other page content. 
  9. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

NOTE: Your new homepage will not appear in your course until you make it active. See below for directions on Activating a Homepage.

Make a Homepage Active

When you have finished editing your homepage, you must set it as active on the main Homepages page.

  1. Click Edit Course > Course Administration on the right side of the course navigation bar.
  2. Click Homepages under the Site Setup heading.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow for the “Active Homepage” menu; a list of all homepages available for your course will appear.
  4. Select the name of the homepage you want to make active.
  5. Click Apply.


NOTE: After you have set your homepage as active, any changes you make to the homepage will be immediately visible to students.

Change Widgets on a Homepage

You can add, delete, or move the widgets that appear on your homepage, as well as change the way widgets are grouped on your homepage.

  1. Click on the title of a homepage you have created.
  2. Click Change Layout if you want to change the layout of your widget-based homepage. Two panels is the default option. Do not use "Three Column" as it does not work well with the mobile devices your students may be using.
  3. Select your layout. Click Update. The Widgets section, which appears below the Layout section, will reflect the new layout.

  4. Add, remove, or move widgets from the sections on your homepage:
    • To add Widgets, click Add Widgets in the section where you want to add more widgets. You will see a list of all of the widgets available. Select the checkboxes next to the widgets you want to add to the selected area, and then click Add.
    • course-home_add-widget
    • To remove a Widget, hover over the widget you want to remove. An X will appear in the top right corner of the widget. Click the X.
    • To move a Widget, click and hold the widget you would like to move, and then move your mouse to your desired location. (A gray bar will indicate the location to where the widget is being moved.)
  5. Click the Save and Close button when you are done making changes.


For information on customizing the look and function of your homepage widgets, as well as instructions for creating your own custom widgets, see the Managing Widgets guide.

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