For a professor, operates in D2L and their Google Drive, the latter hosting any files shared with students.  

With hypothesis, you will choose the file you want students to read after you create an External Learning Tools link to  You create such a link (also referred to as LTI or Learning Tools InterOperability) for every individual text you assign your students to discuss.

You can create a account outside D2L, but you do not need to, and one is created for you automatically if you only operate through D2L.  This is the same for your students, too.

Table of Contents Troubleshooting

Other Tutorials

Using For the First Time (and Installing an Assignment.)

Prepare your Google Drive

Before going into D2L, log into your Canisius Google Drive.  For most of us, clicking the Google Drive link under My Applications in MyCanisius is fastest.
Create an LTI Link

Next, go into your D2L course space.  

In any module within the Content area, click the dropdown menu carat next to Add Existing Activities, and choose External Learning Tools.  Then click Create New LTI Link.

Create an Assignment Link

Add your own title. 

Add the following for the LTI URL:

Then click the blue Create and Insert button

Set the Assignment Link to Open in a New Browser Tab

Click the Dropdown Menu Carat next to the new reading title you just created, and choose Edit Properties In-place.  Check the box next to "Open as an Exteranal Resource.  Then click the module title on the left, or the Content link on the Navbar, to refresh the module within D2L.

Log into your Google Drive

Click on the topic.  You will be taken to a separate browser tab, and presented with the option to enter a website URL, or a PDF in your Google Drive.  For now, choose Select PDF from Google Drive, since that will have you connect your Google Drive to your identity.  You will be presented with a screen asking you to choose the appropriate Google Drive.  Click to choose your Canisius Google Drive.  Because you are already signed into that Google Drive, it should be listed as an option.

Google will ask you to confirm that has permission to work with files within your Google Drive.  This is necessary so you can share PDF files with your students.  Click the blue Allow button.

Choose your PDF

Following that, you should see a navigable version of your Google Drive file.  You can search and browse for PDF files.  Choose the appropriate file for your first assignment, or just for a test.

Set up PDF

Upon choosing a PDF file, you will see it appear in a viewer, along with the tools.  Note that a PDF file selected from Google Drive will set that file's Google Drive sharing rule to "Anyone on the internet with this link can view."

Open in Separate Tab

One last step:  In the D2L Content Area, click the dropdown menu caret next to your new link, and choose "Edit Properties in Place:"

Then, in the following screen, check the box next to "Open as an External Resource."  This means the screen with your PDF will open to you and your students in a separate browser tab.  This makes it more reliable and much easier to use.  

Simply click the module title on the left, or the Content link on the navbar, to reactivate the link for you.  It's all set!  

Install the student tutorial

Somewhere in the introductory material for your course, install the following video so your students can quickly learn what to expect in, and how to use


In order for PDFs to allow line-by-line, word-by-word highlighting in D2L, they require Optical Character Recognition (OCR) data.  Many PDFs have this already, but those scanned using a campus printer/scanner might require it.  Adobe Acrobat will work for this; as will's own scanning tool:


D2L will integrate scoring with, such that a grade can be sent from to D2L's gradebook.  

On the Content Topic's management screen, click Add a grade item...

Click the + button. 

Enter a name, and points value in the dialog box.  This will create your gradebook item or entry.

Note that in, you will only be able to enter a point value out of ten-point scale.  D2L will then translate that to a proportionate gradebook value.  

So, if the assignment is worth five points in your D2L gradebook, 9/10 in means 4/5 in your D2L gradebook.

This click the blue Save button at the bottom of the screen.

Some faculty may find having to think in terms of 10 points, and it's corresponding grade in their gradebook, as unwieldy.  Here are alternatives:

  • Copy grades down on a sheet of paper as you read and score student comments.  Then, transfer the grades into the D2L gradebook item.
  • Use two display screens, one with the D2L gradebook open, and the other with  

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