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D2L updates & quick tips

Archive for the ‘Course Content’ Category

Download MP3s and Podcasts

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If an instructor uploads an MP3 into the Content area  of their course, D2L will automatically try to play the file right inside of the browser. Now and then users want to download the file for listening later, rather than stream it. The following will allow you to do that:

1) Click on the Content button in the D2L course
2) At the “Table of Contents” screen, click on Print/Download
3) The next screen will provide you with a listing of all of the materials in the course. Check the box to the left  of each podcast/mp3, then click on the green download button (circled below).

4) A new browser window will open. A message reading “Your Download is Being Prepared…” will show for a few moments. A link will then appear that will allow you to download a Zip file containing the selected files. Save the ZIP file to somewhere where you’ll be able to locate it later (Desktop, My Documents, etc).
5) When you open the ZIP file, you may need to look under the Content and Enforced sub-folders before reaching the selected files.


Written by SRU Ed Tech

October 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Course Content

Posting YouTube Videos

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Due to changes in how both D2L and YouTube link and displays video, the following is the new proper procedure for linking to YouTube video in your course:

1) First, locate the video that you would like to share with your students on While it is playing, highlight and copy the URL out of the address bar of your browser.

2) Next, log in to D2L, navigate to your course, and click on the Content button.

3) Choose a module, then click on the Add Topic button across from it

4) In the next screen, click on the Create New File link (NOT the Quicklink button as before)

5) In the next screen, fill out the Title box with a short description of your video.

6) The bottom half of the screen will have a large textbox. The toolbar will have a button labeled Insert Stuff (circled below). Click it.

7) Click on Enter a URL in the window that pops-up, then paste in the YouTube address.

8) Click Next. D2L will show a preview of the video. Click Insert.

9) You will be taken back to the New Topic screen. Press Save to post the video to your course.

Written by SRU Ed Tech

September 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Posting Files to D2L – Bare Basics

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One of the most common uses for Desire2Learn is to upload and distribute handouts and other documents to your students. Here is our quick, one minute guide:

1) After logging in to your D2L course, click Content.

2) If you are working in a BRAND-NEW D2L course, before you can begin uploading files, you must create at least one module. To create a module, click the “Add a module…” button in the lower-left corner

upload file1

3) In the text box that appears, type “Course Documents,” then hit Enter on your keyboard

4) When the page refreshes, click the blue New button, then choose Upload File


5) Click the Upload button in the center of pop-up window that appears

6) Browse your computer for the file that you would like to upload, then click Open

7) Click Add to finish

upload file 3

You will be taken back to the main Manage Content screen, and your file will now be available for viewing by your students.


Note: You only have to create one module. To upload additional files, you can start with step 4 above.

Written by SRU Ed Tech

August 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Course Content

Uploading to D2L – Troubleshooting Tips

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Now and then we receive calls from both faculty and students having difficulty uploading to D2L. This can happen when a student is attempting to upload an assignment to the dropbox, or when a faculty member is trying to add materials to their course content area. Normally, when this happens, the user complains that the upload process takes a long time, the “Loading…” message stays up indefinitely, or that they receive a website unavailable/browser timeout message.

What Causes This?

Most of the time this problem comes from one or more of the following:

1)      The user is trying to upload a large file (generally 10-15 megabytes or larger)

2)      The campus network is tied up with a lot of web traffic. There is no easy solution to this; the connection coming in to the campus only has so much bandwidth, and it must be shared.

3)      The user is using a computer that has a weak connection to the Internet. For example, if you live in a remote area and must use dial-up or satellite Internet, or are using a 3G connection with a weak signal.

Now and then the Desire2Learn server itself experiences technical difficulties or goes down, but this is rare.

What Can I Do?

1)      If you are on a wireless connection, try moving to a computer with a WIRED, plugged-in-to-the-wall connection. For example, if you are using a laptop checked out from the library, see if you can switch to a computer at one of the desks or in one of the labs.

2)      If no computer with a wired connection is available, see if you can move closer to your wireless router. This will boost the connection strength.

Using Word or PowerPoint? – Reduce Your File Size

Is the file you’re trying to submit to the dropbox or upload to your course content a Word or PowerPoint document that has a lot of images? If so, try this:

1)      Open up your document.

2)      Click on ANY picture.

3)      In the top toolbar, click on the Picture Tools tab, then Compress Pictures.

4)      In the window that pops open, make sure that “Apply to selected pictures only” is unchecked, then click on Options

5)      Make sure that E-mail is selected as the target output. Press OK, then OK again.

6)      Re-save your Word or PowerPoint document, then try again.

Other Suggestions – For Faculty

The D2L Content area accepts any type of file, but most users tend to report disruptively long upload times starting at about 10-15 megabytes.

  • If you are trying to upload a narrated PowerPoint, you should take the time to learn how to use iSpring Free.
  • If you are using Audacity or other audio-recording tools, you should try to keep your lessons to about 10 minutes in length.
  • If you are trying to upload video, we suggest signing up for a private YouTube or TeacherTube account. These services do a better job at handling and compressing large media files. Also, you may bring your videos to room C-211 on the second floor of Bailey library and we can upload your videos to a special streaming server for you.



Written by SRU Ed Tech

June 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Course Content