To create a widget that describes how you maintain Regular Effective Contact in your online and hybrid courses…

Step 1:
Log in to D2L, select a course, then select Edit Course.

Step 1 - Edit Course

Step 2:
Widgets -> Create Widget -> Name it something like “Regular Effective Contact”


Step 3:
Select the Content tab, and paste something like the text below into the Contents box, then Save and Close:

Per Title 5, Section 2204 and LRCCD Board Policy 7145, this course includes regular effective contact/regular substantive interaction.  In this course, the following tools/methods are used to implement such contact:

-Course Announcements (e.g., videos, weekly summary, weekly review)
-Personalized Feedback
-Discussion Boards (e.g., question and answer forums, VoiceThread)
-Videoconferencing (e.g., Skype, CCC Confer)
-Intelligent Agents
-Collaborative Projects (e.g., group blogs, group discussions, wikis)
-Created Modules
-Lectures (e.g., recorded, streaming, slides with audio narration)
-Virtual Office Hours
-Private Messaging
-Other (List)

Title 5, Section 2204
Any portion of a course conducted through distance education includes regular effective contact between instructor and students, through group or individual meetings, orientation and review sessions, supplemental seminar or study sessions, field trips, library workshops, telephone contact, correspondence, voice mail, e-mail, or other activities.

LRCCD P-7145.3.5
Any portion of a course conducted through distance education shall include regular substantive and effective faculty initiated contact with students. The determination of regular substantive and effective contact is an academic and professional matter. (34 C.F.R. § 602.3; Title 5, § 55204, subd. (a))

Step 4:
Add the widget to your Homepage.

Greg Beyrer (CRC) has created a helpful video detailing the steps to editing your course homepage and adding widgets.

D2L self-help materials, including video tutorials, are now available to all faculty as part of a new D2L Self-Help course account in D2L.  You should see “FLC DE Academy – D2L Self-Help” in the Training and Development grouping once you change your role to “Student.”  If you don’t see this course account, contact Zack and he’ll get you set up.


Q:  What’s different in D2L v10.1?
A:  There are some nice interface changes – dropdown menus where there used to be lots of clicks, drag-and-drop in a lot of places – that will make managing things easier.  The changes you’ll notice most are in Content, but if you’re used to D2L, it will only take you a little bit of time to get used to v10.  In any case, most of the minor process changes happen when you’re creating content, so if you already have content that you want to copy into a new course from the prior semester, you won’t notice much at all.  For additional details about the changes, check out this handy guide put together by Jory Hadsell at SCC:

Q:  How much work will I have to do to get my D2L course sites looking the way I like them to look?
A:  That depends.  If you’ve done a bunch of custom homepage work, a fair amount.  If you use the stock template, not much at all.  Whenever there is a system update, you can expect some amount of work to get things in order.  If you’re looking for the FLC News, Twitter or Contact widgets, they can be found in Edit Course -> Widgets – feel free to customize a homepage and add these.

Q:  Why is the stock template so _____________ (plain, ordinary, boring, colorless, etc.)?
A:  Clean, functional design wins over fancy any day of the week, especially in terms of accessibility and mobile devices.  You can create a custom Homepage if you want to fancy things up via Edit Course -> Homepages.  You can customize the Navbar and Theme as well via Edit Course.  Simply make a copy of “FLC v10 Navbar” or “FLC v10 Theme,” make your changes, and make your new, perfected Navbar or Theme active.  With enough tweaking, it’s possible to make a D2L course shell look like anything but a D2L course shell.  Realize, however, that our students are often enrolled in multiple courses that use D2L, not only at FLC, but at our sister colleges as well.  As such, they sort of expect things to be in more or less the same places.

Q:  Why are there only two columns, with News on the left?
A:  We’ve learned that this works best for screen readers like JAWS, a program that helps students with disabilities successfully interact with D2L.  See above for details on changing the stock template if you’d prefer a different layout.

Q:  I’m confused and I need help.  What do I do?
A:  You can check out various self-help materials (above) and here, or send Zack an email and he’ll help you out, though after this week, he will be out of the office until August.  We’re working on a plan to have some peer support opportunities during FLEX, and there will be plenty of opportunities to get a handle on things early in the Fall 2013 semester.  Stay tuned, smile, and breathe! 🙂

Here is a list of the notes that I made.  If I’ve forgotten anything, or if you have other ideas, please stick them in the comments and I’ll update the post.

Potential date for Unconference – November 4

Dave’s D2L Lessons for Faculty: Lessons.html


Screen Capture:

iShowU (Mac)

Jing (Cross platform)

Ideas for next meeting (Friday, September 16th):

  • Show and Tell!
  • Faculty Inquiry – Cell Phones in Classroom Findings
  • F2F MetaTutor for Online Learning, D2L, etc.
  • Gamification

Here’s the “convert Word documents (properly structured) to D2L question format for import” tool:

Other things:

  • Skype allows up to 10 simultaneous video chat participants, although they recommend no more than 5 for performance reasons.  Anyone want to help Kent test this out?
  • EdTech approved proposals for Google Apps, a WordPress pilot, an opt-in to text messaging program for students, and a top-to-bottom review of institutional readiness as it relates to mobile.

In early January 2011 LRCCD will be upgrading to the newest version of the D2L System, 9.1. The upgrade will bring us many improvements to existing functions and some new tools as well.  Detailed information about the changes and improvements here.

The D2L Faculty Request Interface (FRI) has been updated with Summer and Fall 2010 courses, which means that you can now request official D2L courses.  Remember that students will not appear on your D2L classlists until 7 days prior to the official start of the course.  To request your D2L courses for Summer and Fall 2010, visit and select “D2L Faculty Request Interface.”