Set Up Content for Your Course

The Content tool in your course is a flexible way to organize and share files and links with your students.

Students typically access Content via the Activities and Content widget on the home page, or via the Content link in the navigation bar.

The Content tool is made up of modules (folders), files, and links. You can use these pieces to make simple or complex structures — here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your course content affects the way your students navigate the course. 
    Students may access content in ways you don’t expect.
  • Reducing the number of links in content can help keep your content clear, and easy to update.

Understanding Navigation in D2L Content
Where to Start
Decide on a Structure
How to Add Modules, Files, and Links

Understanding Navigation in D2L Content

Getting around in D2L can be one of the most challenging parts of using the tool. Here is the most common point of confusion in the Content tool:

  • Nothing is actually stored in the Content tool. Anything you add or see is linked from a different tool in D2L, or somewhere on the web.

The Content tool is primarily used to display files, like a syllabus, course schedule or weekly readings. Beyond just displaying files, you can go as far as to use the Content tool to organize your entire D2L course, creating a unique navigation structure. This kind of set up is not for beginners, and can be very difficult to maintain. Regardless of the complexity of your course setup, think about the Content tool as a thing that helps students get from place to place in your course.

Where to Start

Take a moment to outline the content you want to present to your students, don’t think about the D2L Content tool just yet.

  • How many files from your computer do you want to display in D2L?
  • How do you plan on organizing your files? By week? By topic?
  • Are you using a lot of web resources that students access by links? For example, do you have videos from YouTube, library articles, links to websites, etc?
  • Are you using D2L tools such as the Quiz tool, the Assignments (Dropbox) tool, Discussions, etc? If so, what instructions do students need to know what to do?

Once you have gathered this information, think about how you would present this information if you weren’t using D2L at all (with the exception of D2L activities, like Quizzes or Discussions).

Decide on a Structure

If you are new to D2L, try starting with a flat structure, as opposed to a nested structure. An example of a flat structure might be a set of folders, that each contain only files.

A nested structure is more complex; it might have folders, that contain additional folders, creating several layers of content. In order to access the inner-most folders, you have to get through the outer layers. Nested structures are more difficult to maintain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use sub-folders (folders inside another folder), but try to use the minimum number of layers possible.

A Note on Links

The D2L content tool allows you to create links, both to internal and external resources. Internal resources are ‘inside’ your D2L course, things like links to Quizzes, Discussion topics, etc. External resources are web links that have a web address outside of D2L.

External links are great, they can add a lot of richness to your content. Be sure to test all of your links before the course begins, as there is no guarantee that something on the web will still be there at a future date.

Internal links are a bit trickier. They aren’t strictly necessary, students can always access activities from the course navigation bar. Consistency is key here, make sure your communication about assignments and tasks is clear, and not spread out across tools and links too much.

How to Add Modules, Files, and Links

Add a Module (Content Folder)

  1. Click on Content from the navigation bar in your Course

  2. Find the Table of Contents column on the left. Scroll to the end of the column.

  3. Enter the name of your module in the Add a module field.

  4. Hit the Enter key on your keyboard to create the module.

 Upload a File from Your Computer

  1. Click Content from the navigation bar.

  2. In the Table of Contents column, click on a module (folder) from your list.
  3. Click the New button, and click Upload Files.

  4. Click the Upload button in the pop-up window.

  5. Navigate to the file on your computer, and select it.
  6. Click the Add button from the pop-up window.

Add a Link from the Web

  1. Click Content from the navigation bar.

  2. In the Table of Contents column, click on a module (folder) from your list.
  3. Click on the New button, and then Create a Link.

  4. Give the link a descriptive Title in the text box.
  5. Paste the link URL in the text box.
  6. Check the box for Open as External Resource (optional, but tends to work better).
  7. Click the Create button.

 

Add a Link to a Quiz, Assignment, Discussion or Other Activity

  1. Click Content from the navigation bar.

  2. In the Table of Contents column, click on a module (folder) from your list.
  3. Click on the Add Link To button, and choose an activity type from the list.
  4. Follow the menu options to select the activity to add.