Good news! D2L has updated their software and CourseLink has a new look for Fall 2017. The look includes a more up-to-date user interface, as well as a responsive design to better serve laptops, tablets and phones. With this new look, called Daylight, there are some changes to the layout of the system.
So briefly, what's changed?
- Overall, the system is cleaner and easier to use, removing the confusing customization options.
- The available screen width has increased by 22%.
- A new, more contemporary font is used and font sizes have been increased.
- The My Courses widget has been updated to list courses with a course image and the ability to pin your favourite courses.
- Course Home Pages have been updated with a modern look for widgets.
- Navigation Bars have been simplified, making course set up easy.
- Some of the language terms have been updated to be more intuitive for users.
What's not changed?
- The overall functionality of the system will be the same.
- There are no changes to any of the existing tools.
- Course content will be compatible from previous semesters.
A new look for the Course Home page
A Deep Dive Into What's Changing
Here is a more detailed description of the items listed above and how it will affect navigating within the system and within your course.
My Courses Widget
The My Courses widget has undergone a major transformation.
The widget has been rebuilt to create a visually appealing and flexible tool that resonates with students. The new tile layout, with curated images, allows for quick access to courses.
Some features of the My Courses widget:
- Courses automatically assigned an image from the image library
- Instructors can choose from 3000+ curated images
- Instructors can upload their own images if desired
- Automatically create a banner in your course
- Pin courses for quick access
- The top 12 current/future enrolled courses will be automatically pinned
How to search for a course
1. From the MiniBar click on the Select Course icon.
That will present a pull-down list of all your courses. If you have a lot of courses, you can use the search field. You can also pin or unpin courses in this list (2).
How to change the course tile image
If you have build access for the course, hover over the top right corner and click on the icon. That will bring up a list of options including Change Image.
Select Change Image and you can search the image data-base using a search term related to your course or you can upload your own image.
You will also be able to select this image as a Course Banner if you so choose.
Navigation bars and custom themes have been simplified to create a consistent, straightforward method for navigating courses.
All previously created themes will automatically adjust to the new layout with all link levels collapsing into one single row. If there are more links than available space, a More dropdown menu will display at the end of the row.
If your access allows you to edit the Navbar, hover over it and select icon at the right end.
The process of adding or removing links on the Navbar does not change. Instructors can still create copies of the default navigation bar and add or remove selected links.
Banners are a way to add visual content and appeal to the course. The simplified navigation bar means that each course will no longer have a coloured navigation bar associated with it. The banner can provide the central visual focus for the Course Home page.
You can automatically add a banner to your course, with the course title overlayed, by selecting Course Admin > Course Offering Information and checking the Homepage Banner checkbox. The image used for your My Courses widget tile will be used.
Instructors can create a custom banner on the Course Homepage by uploading an image under Course Admin > Course Offering Information and selecting the Course Image Browse button. Just remember that you will also update the My Course widget image by doing so.
If you plan on selecting your own images, there's a few things you should know.
Selecting the correct image is vital when trying to create a visually appealing course. Here are some guidelines that will help you pick an appropriate image.
- Use JPG or PNG files.
- Choose bright, clear images.
- The minimum image size for the My Courses widget is 370px by 200px (no banner).
- Course banners should have an image size of at least 1170px by 200px.
- Images should be 72 DPI to avoid large file sizes.
Some of the language in CourseLink has been updated to make the system more intuitive for users.
The following terms have been updated:
- The News tool is now Announcements
- The Edit Course link is now Course Admin
- The Pager tool is now Instant Messages
The Content tool is also getting a couple of language changes:
- The New button is now labelled Upload/Create
- The Add Existing Activities button is now labelled Existing Activities
The User Interface is not the only major overhaul in Daylight, D2L has also made extensive changes to page layouts to ensure that they are responsive across all devices. Most frequented pages and workflows have been prioritized to ensure the maximum benefits to learners and instructors. The old mobile interface has been replaced and the user experience will be the same on any device.
Mobile device differences can be seen as follows: