D2L: Make the classlist visible

Do you want your students to see the classlist and use it to e-mail classmates?

1.  First, click Edit Course.

Edit Course Image

2.  Next, click Navigation & Themes

Course administration image

3.  Do you have a copy of the SCC Navbar on your list? If not, make a copy by clicking on the dropdown arrow next to the SCC Navbar. Select copy from the list.

Navbar list

4.  Make the copy your default navbar. Scroll up to Active Navbar and select the copy. Click Apply.

Active Navbar Image

5.  Click on the SCC Navbar – Copy. Click Add Links.

Add Links Image

6.  Check the box by Classlist and click Add

Classlist box image

7.  Classlist should now be listed. Click Save and Close and check your homepage.

Save and Close Image


D2L Intelligent Agents

Use D2L Intelligent Agents to send automated messages to a students based on certain levels of activity or inactivity in a course.

With Intelligent Agents you can:

  • Send a reminder to a student that hasn’t logged in to D2L in several days to let them know that accessing D2L regularly is important in the course.
  • Notify students who receive a low grade on assessments to seek help.

To access Intelligent Agents log into a course and click on Edit Course on the grey nav bar.


Scroll down to Intelligent Agents under Communication and click on it.

Intelligent Agents Button

Click the New button

New Agent Button

To create a reminder to log-in

  1. First, give it a name and type in your description. Then check Agent is enabled.

    Agent description text

  2. Under Agent Criteria and Course Activity check the box next to Take action…and select User has not accessed course for at least..” Enter a number in the field.

    Agent scheduling

  3. You may select either choice under Action Repetition however always select the Use Schedule box under Schedule to prevent students from receiving e-mails after your class has ended. Click Update Schedule.


  4. The screenshot contains suggested settings. Click Update to save changes when you are done.


  5.  Lastly, to send the e-mail to the student who has not logged in put {InitiatingUser} in the To field. If you wish to send yourself a copy of the e-mail, enter your own e-mail address in the Cc or Bcc field. Add a subject and the message. Click Save and Close.


 To notify students to seek help

  1. Create a New Agent

    Agent description box

  2. Use Release Conditions


  3. Click Create and Attach to create a new condition. You will have many options but if you wanted a quiz score to trigger the e-mail, you would click Score on a Quiz as the Condition Type. Grade Value on a Grade Item may also be chosen.

    Attachment selection box

  4. Choose the condition type and then set the condition details. In the example below, students who score less than 70% on the orientation quiz will receive an e-mail.

    Condition details

  5. Select the first option under Action Repetition. Check the box next to Use Schedule. Click Update Schedule and set the date agent to run for the dates around the quiz due date. Click Update.


  6. Adapt your e-mail to the situation and click Save and Close.


Foothill College FREE Online Tech Conference

Decorative conference banner

Foothill College & Innovative Educators invite you to participate in the 3rd Annual FREE Leveraging Technology to Support Students, Faculty and Staff Conference on 

October 23 & 24, 2014.

This year’s conference is 100% virtual- so no travel expenses- all 24 webinars will be presented online, live- allowing for audience participation. Opening keynote speaker, Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons will kick off the conference Thursday, October 23, 2104 at 11am (Eastern Daylight Time).

Take this opportunity to hear about the CCC Online Education Initiative, new and proven student support services technologies, mobile apps, open educational resources, online professional development and much more.

Download the Conference Program!  Register now!

We hope you will be able to join us!

Using content reports to track student viewing

The Reports tool in Content can show you

  • how many of your students have viewed Content topics
  • how many times they’ve visited them
  • how much time they spent on them

To use reports click on Content:

1. Click the Table of Contents link located in the menu on the left.

2. Click the Related Tools button located near the top of the screen and select View Reports.

Screenshot of D2L content reports

3. Content modules and topics are listed on this screen along with the number of participants that have viewed each topic and the average time spent on each topic. To view specific information for a topic, click the number in the Users Visited column.

 Image of D2L content statistics page

D2L 10.3 Discussion Grading

Many of you have noticed and lamented the changes to DISCUSSIONS for D2L 10.3.

Sac City’s own Debra Crumpton reached out to Barry Dahl of D2L for comments and received a response that yes, this is a big issue and it might be fixed by October (you can see the full e-mail below).

While they fix this issue, please take a look at the instructions below for grading DISCUSSIONS.


Click Grades | Click Enter Grades (Switch to Standard View if you are not in that view by default. You are in Standard View if the button says Switch to Spreadsheet View). Click on the conversation icon to grade.

Screen shot of gradebookGradebook screenshot

Hello Debra.

Thanks for the note. Sorry to say, I won’t be of much help to you. The significant changes that were made in the Discussions tool for version 10.3 have caused a great deal of angst with many people who use the D2L Learning Environment.

At our Global User Conference in July (FUSION), a team of product developers spent three days gathering input from attendees about the problems with the Discussions tool. That development team is now working to restore the previous functionality that you are referring to.

D2L management has committed to building back in the previous functionality along with the new functionality (some people do like it) – at which time there will be a choice as to which “view” you are using. I’m not sure if they will once again call it “grid view,” which is the name that was used in the previous tool – but I would guess so.

Now the really hard part. I don’t like to give timelines because they prove to be inaccurate about 80% of the time. I know that D2L management considers this to be a very high priority, but it does take time to re-write millions of lines of code without breaking something else. I have heard the October product update is a possibility, but I wouldn’t want to guarantee that. In fact, I cannot guarantee anything since I have nothing to do with this code development that I’m talking about. The previous functionality will be restored within the next few months is probably the best I can say at this time, and have a reasonable chance of being right.

That’s pretty much all I have for you on this topic. Thanks for the note, and stay tuned to more details which will be disseminated through your D2L site admin staff and your college administrators.

 Cheers, Barry

New to teaching online? Program for Online Teaching starts Sept 1

This is a decorative image The Program for Online Teaching is a free, faculty-led, 2 semester program through MiraCosta College. Prepare to give 4-5 hours a week for coursework and in exchange you will walk away with a certificate of completion, relationships with other faculty across the state, and the confidence that you are prepared to be an online or hybrid instructor.

For more information, please go to the program website 

What’s new in version 10.3?

Below you’ll find a list of the changes in this new version, grouped by tool. These changes apply to all users (both course owners and students).


Content Updated Notifications: Instructors can now notify students of changed content when they update or change a file from Content.

Notify students screenshot


  • Discussion Participation Improvements:  You can now force students to create a thread before being able to read and reply to other student’s posts at the forum level, which will then apply to all topics within that forum. This is great when you are making use of group topics – now the option only has to be set once, rather than on each topic individually.
  • Statistics Improvements: Discussion statistics now calls out the number of threads a student has created and replied to separately.
  • Discussion Post Ratings: You can set discussion post ratings on a per-topic basis, rather than for the entire course.
  • New Rating Schemes: One that allows the class to vote posts up and down, giving each post a cumulative score, and another that allows the class to only vote posts up as a way to show agreement or approval. In both, your vote displays along with the cumulative score for that post. You can also configure it to show only your vote for cases where you don’t want students to see the cumulative score. To make it easier for you to use these new rating schemes, you can set a default rating scheme in Discussions Settings that apply for all newly created topics and any topics imported to the course without a rating scheme set. If you wish to change the rating scheme in the middle of a discussion, you are free to do so, and all rating data is preserved in case they decide to switch back. Discussion statistics will include information about the number of votes Up or Down a forums and topic has received.
  • New Discussion View: Students and faculty can now see the author of the last post next to the topic. Click on unread to sort through unread messages quickly or use the Sort by function to sort messages by author, subject, or date.Screenshot of discussions2Screenshot of discussion 1



  • Email Classlist: The “Email” button in Classlist has been renamed to “Email Classlist” to better reflect the corresponding action.


  • Evaluate Empty Submission: It is now possible to evaluate a student from Dropbox even if no submission was made to the dropbox folder.


  • Role Switch Added: The Role Switch functionality has been placed in the profile drop-down menu in the Minibar.

Role change


  • Integrated Dropbox Functionality: Now students submitting to a dropbox folder from the Content Tool can access the dropbox folder’s evaluation rubrics before submission, and also access completed rubrics after their evaluations are published.

Making a digital reader

Decorative image of a reader

Photo credit: cohdra from morguefile.com

I still have gargantuan readers from my two favorite undergraduate courses. These monsters were painstakingly pieced together, article by article. Articles must have been added each year the class was taught, articles taken away as they became less relevant (hopefully), and of course, every contributing author was contacted and a price paid for the inclusion of their work and deservedly so—these beasts were over $90 bucks in in 1999!

As I set out to teach my first course last fall, I also painstakingly pieced together my reader, but this one’s all digital. Videos, articles, and audio files from open educational resources (OER)—if I could find them.  I relied on my own creations when Internet searches came up short: videos made with Camtasia or sound files saved on SoundCloud. Publishers definitely have enticing offers for educators in almost any subject but consider taking a look at OER resources before you send that textbook order to the bookstore:

OER Consortium



The resources above are “open” but perhaps you would like to use copyrighted materials. For these, you may want to become familiar with fair use guidelines and the Teach Act. If you are using the copyrighted material for your class, it’s usually ok if you are:

  • not making money off it
  • limiting the time students have to access it
  • only allowing enrolled students to see it
  • using only a portion (e.g., 10% of videos, 10% of original text, 10% of original music, up to 5 images from 1 artist)

If you are using more than those shares, attempt to find the rightful owner and ask permission.