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Course Customization

Course Customization 

Course Homepages can be customized by adding or modifying the Widgets.  Widgets are the individual 'boxes' on the Homepage, such as NEWS, CALENDAR, and UPDATES.  However, the default course homepage cannot be modified.

There are two main steps to creating a custom homepage.

1.  First, create a NEW homepage. For ease of use, we recommend 'copying' the default homepage layout and then making modifications to the 'copy' instead of starting from a blank page.

2.  Second, add Widgets. These can be system widgets or custom widgets that you create.  D2L has several 'system' widgets to choose from or you can create your own widgets. Types of Widgets you might want to create include: Course Banner, Library, Instructor Info, etc.


Customizing Current Homepage | Customizing Colors | Managing Widgets | Creating Widgets | Banners


Customizing Current Course Homepage

1. Log into D2L.
2. Choose your course.
3. Click on Edit Course.


4. Click on Homepages.


5. Click on the Copy* option under the drop down menu beside Course Default.  We recommend copying the default homepage which includes the basic system widgets.

*Note: If you want to create a new blank homepage, click on New Homepage instead of the Copy icon. Follow the same basic steps.


6. Click on Copy of Course Default.


7. Rename the homepage if you desire.


8. Click Add Widget to add widgets from the System or Custom Widgets to your homepage. Click on the add widgets that is under the corresponding section you which to add them to.


9. Place a checkmark in front of the widgets you would like to add to your homepage. Then click Add.



10. Click the copy of the course you made under the active homepage drop down box and select apply to active it as your homepage.



11. Click on Course Home to return to the homepage.


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Customizing Colors

You can enhance or change the appearance of your course and help users identify your course more easily by modifying the colors used in the interface. The Learning Environment uses three color settings to render the areas within a course:

  • Dark Color is used for the title bar in the border surrounding the central area of each page and is used in pop-ups. White text is shown against this color.

  • Light color is no longer used in most areas (it's being phased out). D2L recommends that you use the same color selected for Dark Color. White text is shown against this color.

  • Soft Color is used for Tabs. Black text is shown against this color.

To select a new color:

1. Click on Edit Course.
2. Select Course Offering Information.


3. On the Course Offering Information page, click the Change Color control for the color you want to modify.
(Click a color control to display the selection menu) 


4. Select one of the predefined colors from the palette or specify a custom color by doing the following:
a. Enter the Hex Value for the custom color in the HEX field below the palette.
b. Click the Preview Hex Color icon.
c. Click the custom color chip at the bottom right of the palette.
5. Click Save.


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System Widgets

1. Log into D2L and go into the course in which you want to manage your widgets.

2. In the navbar at the top of the page, click the Edit Course link (far right).

3. Click on Widgets.


4. Click on System Widgets.



This screen shows all of the different widgets that are available to instructors through D2L.


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Creating Custom Widgets

You can create custom widgets such as a course banner or a widget with instructor information. To do that, you just:

1. Log into D2L and go into the course in which you want to manage your widgets.

2. In the navbar at the top of the page, click the Edit Course link (far right).

3. Click on Widgets.


4. To create a custom widget, click create widget at the top of the screen.


5. Create a name for the new widget. Then click on the content tab at the top of the screen. *Note: The description is not where the content goes.



6. Type your information in the content tab area. You can preview your widget by clicking Preview Widget at the top of the screen. If you want to customize the look and feel of your widget, click on the customize tab and select the features (colors, border size, etc) that you desire. Click on Save when you are finished.


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Adding a Banner to Your Course Homepage

There are several ways to add a custom banner to your D2L site.  The simplest method is to create a new 'banner widget' and upload an image to the banner content area.  The banner image can be any type of image file, but most people like to create their own banner.  To create your own banner image, try using PowerPoint.  Directions

1. Create a new homepage (see directions above).

2. Create a custom widget, follow the directions above. 

3. Name the widget something similar to 'Banner- course name' and Save. 


4. Then click on the Content tab (see image above).  You can enter just text, images, or both.  To add an image, click on the upload image icon (square picture icon).  Select and upload your image file.

5. Once your image file has been uploaded to the widget, click on the image to select it and then click on the icon on the widget toolbar to center the image (similar to Microsoft Word centering). 

6. Add text as desired. 

7. Click on the Customize button for more options.  SAVE.

8. Add this new widget to your New Homepage in the HEADER area -- see directions above for customizing your course homepage.


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