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It’s spring semester again.  I don’t know about you, but for me spring brings to mind the return to vibrance as crepe myrtles, azaleas, camellias, and daffodils begin to bloom.  Though spring may not truly be in the air just yet, this spring semester you are spoilt for choice regarding the color palette and organization of your Brightspace/D2L garden of learning.

Click the gallery below to view an array of built-in themes that are now available in D2L.

You can adjust four aspects of your course look and feel, and there are unlimited combinations of colors, widgets, and links that can create an engaging and well-organized course that is customized to your course structure and teaching style:

  • Themes – Add a background image, adjust link colors and behaviors, and more. (View the gallery above to view some of the built-in themes, but remember you are free to create your own as well. We recommend making a copy of an existing theme and modifying it.  There’s a lot to configure.)
  • Navigation – The navigation controls which links appear in the navbar at the top of the course and which theme is used. Now you can add custom links to publisher content, social media groups, a class blog, or other content that is central to your course.  You can also remove links that you will not use in your course. (We recommend making a copy of an existing navigation and modifying it to ensure you don’t forget important links like Course Home and Edit Course.)
  • Homepages – Homepages determine which widgets appear on your course homepage and how they are organized (i.e. in one, two, or three columns).
  • Widgets – These are customizable blocks of content that can be added to your course homepage.  By default your course homepage includes the Calendar, News, and Content widgets.  Create widgets that display information regarding a semester-long project, act as portals to course support, or displays of other information so that the content is prominently displayed on your course homepage.  (View the gallery below to see some of the built-in widgets, but remember you are free to create your own widgets as well.)

Advance the gallery below to view an array of built-in widgets that are now available in D2L.

For help customizing the look and feel of your course, check out this quickstart guide or drop by the Center for Instructional Innovation in Library South, Room 106.  But remember the wisdom of Spider Man’s uncle, Uncle Ben – with great power comes great responsibility.  Use these powers to create beautiful, easily navigable, and well-organized courses that bring to the surface the most central content, resources, and interactions of your course. Good luck, and enjoy!