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Here are notes from ITS and COLI administrators that are the result of our investigations or recorded observations about D2L and it's various features.  The latest of these have not yet made it into our training videos, but will be included in the next replacement of the appropriate video.

D2L Quiz Submissions - Instructor Setup

The "View Restrictions" date establishes the time after which the quiz submission views will become available to students taking the quiz.  

Submission views require the quiz to “allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion” in order to appear to students.  If there is no grade, there is no submission view available to students.

If there are multiple attempts allowed, the earlier grade can be replaced by a higher grade, depending on the quiz options set for multiple attempts. (Overall Grade Calculation)  

D2L has a minor bug in the "Attempts" selector within quiz submissions.  If the Instructor chooses an attempt for a particular submission view, the instructor must also include a min score and max score.  This can be Min Score - 0 and Max Score - 100.  If these are left empty, the submission view will not function.  Min and Max score stipulations are not necessary if the Attempt selector dropdown is left at N/A.  

Printing Exams

Not directly possible.  In PIE https://desire2learn.brightidea.com/ideas/D3718.  Can try to preview/print, but rough.

Student Appears in Classlist, but not Grades, Dropboxes, or Quizzes

Check to see if the student's account is inactive.  You will see a gray dot (not green) next to the student's name in classlist.  

At the very beginning of the semester, students who are just enrolling or cancelling enrollment at the college sometimes are enrolled in classes in D2L, before their Net ID is active, or after it is deactivated.  This state may last only hours.  

Award Certificates

In D2L you can set up certificates that auto-generate when a student completes some sort of task.  D2L can include a student's name, and the date the certificate was issued.  This means students can complete certain tasks to receive certificates at their own pace, without you having to generate a certificate for each student yourself.  

This is done through the Awards tool.  D2L considers a certificate as part of an "Award," which is issued to students upon completion of release conditions.  

Create Award Certificate Template

  • This is an Adobe PDF with Form fields, or boxes that make the certificate fillable by you or D2L.   D2L will use these boxes to fill out the form with information you'd like on each student's certificate.  For example, I might have a certificate template that D2L uses to generate certificates that include a student's first and last names.  
  • Use MS Word to create the certificate, leaving space for the student-specific information you need D2L to install.  Safe the certificate template as a .pdf.
  • In Adobe Acrobat, install the form fields.
  • Within the template, the form fields must be named with appropriate codes in this document: https://documentation.brightspace.com/EN/le/awards/admin/create_new_certificate_templates.htm?Highlight=certificate%20template

Create the Award

In the course, go to Edit Course → Awards.  

Course Awards, click "Create" to create a new award.

Fill out the New Award Form.  

  • Choose an icon for the Award Image.  This isn't important for the certificate itself, but if you'd like to develop your own, you can do so.  Otherwise, use one of D2L's pre-loaded designs.
  • Under "Choose Certificate Template," choose "Upload New Template" and upload your .pdf template.
  • Under "Issuer Information," fill in your office name, webpage URL, and point of contact email (this can be you or your program director, or an office email address.)
  • It is not recommended that you make awards available for other classes.  

Create Release conditions under which award is granted to student.  This determines when the award is generated.

A few minutes after a student completes the condition, D2L will authorize the award for the student.  This may take a few minutes, so counsel students that they should come back a few hours later.  When they do, they will get a pop-up dialog on screen that will offer to take them to the award screen.  There, they can click "Generate Certificate."  This will generate a certificate with filled form fields, per your template. 

Create a link in Content

Students do not, by default, get a link to the awards area for a course.  If you have a link in content where students can return to the Awards area, they can generate or re-generate their personalized certificate, so long as the course is open to them.  

In the Awards screen, copy the following URL portion:  

You will note that this is: "https://d2l.canisius.edu/d2l/awards/", followed by a course identifier number, followed by a slash.  In the above example, that's "85367/," but it will obviously be different for your course space.

In a Content area module, create a link using that URL.

Organize everything in the Content Area, including any content or activities relevant for the release conditions.  For example, to earn my certificate my students might need to achieve an 80% or better on each of four quizzes.  I can list those quizzes in a content module, together with the link to the Awards screen.  So students can complete the quizzes, and then easily find the awards screen below them.  


Allow Multiple Attempts on a Quiz

Within the Quiz Editor's Assessment Tab, you can specify whether students can take a quiz multiple times, or only once.  This is a dropdown menu under "Attempts."

Advanced Attempt Conditions on Quizzes

You can build a quiz that allows students to take a second (or subsequent) attempts on a quiz, provided their performance on an earlier attempt is below or above a certain score.  

The "Min" box should have the lowest percentage a student can receive, in order to be offered a second attempt.  If they score lower, they are not offered a second attempt.

The "Max" box should show the highest percentage a student can receive, if they are to be offered a second attempt.  If they score higher, they are not offered a second attempt.

In the below example, only students who score at or below 75% can take the quiz a second time: 

Discussion Post History

You can see the history of your students' discussion posts in D2L. This includes revisions.


Changing Grade Value Denominator: Dropboxes and Grades

In the process of understanding how D2L handles various grade value changes.  

Experiment: Set up Dropbox and accompanying grade item worth 10 points.  Awarded student 9 points.

  1. Changed dropbox value to 20 points.  D2L did the following:
    1. changed gradebook item value to 20 points, to match Dropbox value.
    2. changed student grade to 4.5 points(!) Now, dropbox and gradebook do not even match proportionately.  
  2. Retracted student grade successfully at Dropbox.  This also cleared student grade at grade item.
  3. Awarded student 18/20 at Dropbox.  
  4. Changed value of Grade item to 200.  D2L issues this warning:

    The trouble with this advice is that D2L Dropboxes do not have a bulk retract option.
  5. Pressed on with change of Grade item.  D2L then keeps 18 at the gradebook but changes the dropbox to 1.8.  
  6. Retracted student grade.
  7. Made dropbox (and gradebook) worth 10 points.  
  8. Issued student 90 at dropbox.  This meant 900%.  
  9. Changed dropbox value to 100 at dropbox, which carried to gradebook automatically.  D2L did the following:
    1. issued 1 point at dropbox.
    2. issued 10 points at grade item.

Current advice:  If you need to change the value of a dropbox or grade item:

  • Export your grades, or be sure you have a record otherwise.
  • Make the changes in D2L.
  • Adjust grades using your exported or external record.
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