D2L: Getting Started for New Faculty

D2L:  Getting Started for New Faculty



D2L (Desire2Learn) is a Learning Management System (LMS) that integrates course set up, user management, content presentation, class communication, and assessment functions. D2L allows instructors to present course content, communicate with students, create learning activities, and manage assessments in their online course delivery.

Note:  Download PDF in Files section on this page.

Login ID and Password:

D2L uses our federated login system which allows users to sign in with their DSU email and password.  See Accounts & Password category if you have not picked up or setup your accounts.

Access My D2L Courses:

All of your courses are automatically loaded into D2L. You can access directly through D2L login page https://d2l.sdbor.edu. Or you can access it through MyDSU Portal.

Go to the DSU web page http://dsu.edu/, click My DSU in the top right of the page.

screen shot of banner MyDSU button
On the login page, click Login to MyDSU Portal.

Enter your username and password.

Click Login in.

Your DSU portal page displays. You can view D2L information and the link(s) of your current course(s). 

Click the Connect to D2L button to go to your D2L homepage.

screen shot of My Courses, Connect to D2L button 


Student Enrollment:

You don’t need to manually enroll students in the course spaces in D2L. Student enrollment is automatic through the Banner-D2L integration, and is updated every night. When a student drops a course, it will be automatically updated in the matching D2L course that night. Apart from the integrated student enrollment, you can add participants and guest observers through the ClassList on the course navigation bar. In the ClassList, you can see who’s enrolled in your course, change their enrollment status, and send selected students emails.

screen shot of Add Participants button


Course Sections Combined:

Multiple sections of identical courses, such as CSC 105 D01, D02, and D03 can be combined into one single course site. Cross-linked courses from different departments such as BADM 494, CIS 494 and CSC 494 can also be combined into one single course site. If you want to have your multiple sections to be combined, you can request a course combination here.

Copy and Import Course Components:

D2L allows you to copy and import course components including course homepage, custom widgets, Dropbox folders, and quizzes, from one course (past or current) to another course (current or future). This is a very useful tool for instructors who offer similar courses simultaneously.  To copy/import course here is how:

Open your desired D2L course into which you want copy materials. Go to 'Edit Course' and select 'Import/Export/Copy Components'.

In the Import/Export/Copy Components page, select the default option Copy Components from another Org Unit, and click 'Search for offering'.

screen shot for What would you like to do?

This will open a new window where you will search for the course from which you would like to copy resources from. Search for and select your course offering, and choose 'Add Selected'

screen shot of Copy the selected course components

Select all or any of the components you want to copy. Click Continue.

The next two pages will let you select and confirm what you selected.

Once it's done, you'll see a confirmation message.

Where Can I Get Help?

There are several supporting resources you can use to get help.

Self-paced training courses in D2L. You need to login to access the following courses. We encourage you to look through the training resources that include user guides, tutorials, videos, and tips for using the D2L learning environment.

DSU D2L Support Resources for Instructors

DSU D2L Support Resources for students

For instructional and technique support, email d2L@dsu.edu.

For one-to-one training or consultation, contact jordan.stewart@dsu.edu

Use the "Help" link within D2L.  The "Help" link is located on the My Home menu in the top banner of the site.  This help link gives you a Table of Contents of options available and links to descriptions about those functions.

D2L Components:

There are several tools in D2L. In this document, we will show how to put in course Content, use class email, and manage assignment Dropbox to help you get started.

Manage Course Homepage:

The course homepage has several widgets that provide information and links to documents and tools. From the Course Home, you can

Access Content, Discussions, Dropbox, Quizzes, ClassList, Grades, etc. listed under the menu on the course nav banner.
View and edit course related widgets, including DSU Getting Stated, Events, News, Course Information, Content Browser.
Access Course Management Console (Edit Course).

View a short video of D2L Homepage (D2L login required to access).

Add a Syllabus Link in the Getting Started Widget:

Class click to expand the dropdown menu for the Getting Started widget and select "Edit this widget".

screen shot of Getting Started drop down menu, Edit this widget

In the Edit Widget window, select the Content tab.

screen shot of Edit Widget, Content button

Highlight Syllabus and then click on the Insert Quicklink button.

screen shot of insert quicklink button on menu

The next window will show a list of options for a Quicklink. Select Course File to link the course syllabus.

Manage Course Content:

The content area is where you post your course materials and learning activities. Course content in D2l is organized as modules and topics. You can create new Web pages using the page editor directly in the Content area. Or you can have your documents prepared in advance and upload them into the Content area. These documents can be web pages, text documents, Word documents, PDF file which can all be directly opened and viewed by students in the D2L Content window. You can also upload images, audio, and video files into the document area. Standard image files such as gif and jpeg files can be directly opened and viewed in the Content window. MP3 audio files can be directly opened and played in the Content window. Video files vary in type and in browser support compatibility. Some can be directly opened and played in the Content window. Some cannot.

Add a New Module near the bottom of the table of content panel on the left in Content. Modules can be collapsed or expanded by clicking the title bar. The choice will stay if you logout of D2L when you exit. Modules can be moved up and down by dragging the left handle of the module bar. For each module, you can add dates and a description and select Draft / Published status.

screen shot of Add a module


Add New Content by clicking on the dropdown menu to add New content, you can upload video by entering URL or embed code, upload video and audio from Desktop, create a file form Manage Files or create a new (HTML webpage) file.


Add New Activities by clicking on New Discussion, New Dropbox folder, New Quiz, New Checklist and New Survey or External Learning Tools: McGraw-Hill Campus, MyLabPlus (MyMathLab)


Drag and Drop files by Drag-and-drop from desktop (supported by IE 10-11, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox current, not supported by IE 8-9 or Safari).

screen shot of Drag and Drop files from desktop

Edit a Topic by clicking the dropdown menu of the topic to go to Edit Properties In-place

Edit Properties in Place

Add a description
Release dates
Access restrictions

Change File
Edit HTML (for web page)
Send to Binder

View a short video of Course Overview (D2L login required to access)


Desire2Learn (D2L) has its own mail system which you can use to communicate with students in your online classes. To access D2L Mail,

Login D2L, select the Message Alerts drop-down menu near the top right of the D2L navbar.

screen shot of message alerts on banner bar in D2L

D2L acts as a 'send only' communication system. Messages sent from D2L Course Mail will be forwarded to the recipent's external email address as defined in Banner. In most cases this is the students university assigned email address. Any subsequent replies, forwards etc., will be handled outside of D2L, just like regular email.


Create a Dropbox Assignment:

The Dropbox tool allows you to set up folders that the users can submit their assignments to. Once a student submits a file, the instructor can come in to retrieve the file, provide feedback, and give a grade. The instructor can also attach back files with comments or other feedback.

To create a dropbox folder:

Select Dropbox from the Assessments menu on the course nav bar.

Click New Folder and add a folder name.
screen shot of New Folder and add folder name

Grade Category is optional. Few instructors use it.

You can connect the dropbox to a grade item, either an existing one or a new grade item.

Add a rubric by clicking Add Rubrics that will be used for the assignment if you want.

Assign a value in the Out of box.

Enter an instruction for the assignment in the Instructions box.

Optionally, you can attach a file to the assignment. Click the Add a File button and then attach the desired file.

Click the Save button.

Click the Restrictions tab. In the Restrictions tab, you can set assignment start date, due date, and end date. Due date is the date by which students are expected to turn in their work. End date is the date on which the dropbox folder will be closed and no longer accessible to the students.

Select Release Conditions if you want to attach to a condition to the assignment.

Special access can be given to any students who need an extension on assignment due dates. Simply click the button Add Users to Special Access, and then select students who need special access, and set a different date and time.
screen shot of special access Add Users button

Select the check box close to the student name(s) and then click Save.

D2L has an integrated plagiarism detection tool called Turnitin. To activate Turnitin on a dropbox folder, select the Turnitin tab. In the Turnitin tab, check the box of Enable Turnitin for the folder. 
screen shot of checkbox to enable Turnitin

Click the Save and Close button.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial of Create a D2L Dropbox Assignment (D2L login required to access)


The Grades tool can collect grades from assignment dropbox folders, quizzes, and discussion topics and give students accumulated grades. Grade items can be connected to assignment dropbox folders, quizzes, and discussion topics. You can also add grade items without connection to dropbox folders or quizzes.  In the Grades page, there are four links above: Enter Grades, Manage Grades, Schemes, and Setup Wizard.

screen shot of banner for Enter Grades, Manage Grades, Schemes, Setup Wizard


Enter Grades lists all the grade items and grades currently available in the course. You can enter grades on each individual grade item here. This is also where you can manage the Final Grades.

Final Grades release:

Grades > Settings > Calculation Options > Final Grades Released

Grades > Enter Grades > dropdown action menu of Final Calculated or Adjusted

Grades > Select Grade All

Manage Grades is where you see a list of all grade items and where you can add new grade items, or delete unwanted grade items.

Setup Wizard guides you through multiple steps that contain set up options you must choose from to create your grade book.


The Discussions tool is a collaboration area where you can post, read, and reply to messages on different topics, share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, or where students can work with peers on assignments and homework.

Class discussion vs group discussion
Group setup
Post before read
Grade a topic by selecting Edit Topic and then grade the topic under the Assessment tab.

Other Assessment Tools:


Respondus (download from D2L home) and Lockdown Browser


User Progress (from Assessments Link Group and ClassList)

Learning Objectives (can be associated with almost any learning activities)

Please access DSU D2L Support Resources for Instructors to learn more about D2L tools.


Article ID: 29323
Thu 4/13/17 10:58 AM
Tue 11/19/19 2:35 PM