Moodle → D2L

There are a number of "need to know" items that will help you efficiently use the WCLN resources for your students. Let's start with these

FAQ's (click question to jump to answer):

How to: Navigate within a Course?

Let's do a quick overview of a typical WCLN layout and how it compares in D2L vs. Moodle.

Since the grid format is popular, we created a similar layout in D2L for the front page of courses:


From the front page, the navigation is slightly different.   Given that, you and your students will adapt reasonably quickly to the navigation differences.

Here's a more general navigation summary from the D2L folks:

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How to: Manage your Marking?

A priority for online teachers will be finding an efficient way to grade assignments.

To directly grade an assignment, you can (similar to Moodle):

    • Click on the assignment (from Activities Tab).
    • View Submissions (vs. view all Submissions).
    • Click on each to grade.

Or (more common for Asynchronous Online Teachers), we depend on Grading Managers:

    • Instead of "Grade Me" in Moodle, you have QuickEval

quickeval by submission

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How to: Grade Student Work?

The actual Grading Experience is very similar to Moodle, but with more annotation flexibility:

    • Rubrics, Scales, or Direct Entry (same as Moodle).
    • File preview and Annotation within grading area (annotation works with .pdf, .docx, .pptx,....).
    • Grades written directly to gradebook.


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How to:  Change Tests Passwords?

In WCLN courses, the Unit Tests, Midterms, and Finals have passwords (by default).

These passwords are used to keep students from doing the tests in an insecure environment.

You will need to change (possibly add) the test passwords to your course.

To Change or Remove Test Passwords

    • Assessments (pulldown) > Quizzes
    • Beside the quiz you wish to modify use pull-down > Edit
    • Tab = Restrictions
    • Optional Advance Restrictions > Password
    • Save

change password

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How to:  Proctor Remote Tests?

Proctoring a test remotely can have challenges.    Below is a tested approach that works quite well:

These procedures are based on.

    • The teacher has Zoom Pro (for extra time and numbers).
    • You've sent your students to the video/checklist so they're ready
    • (eg. > Student Support > Preparing for a Remote Exam)

General strategy:

    • Open the Zoom room a few moments before planned exam time.
    • Chat with students as they enter to test audio and relax them.   Check out their phone arrangements and ask for adjustments if needed.
    • For exam student/exam, I change the passwords to something simple so they can enter the exam.   Remember to change-back as soon as they have it loaded.
    • Some use breakout rooms (one per student), while others keep them all in the main room.
    • If using breakout rooms, drop-in periodically.

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How to:  Adjust Individual Test Times (IEP)?

If you wish to give extra time to a particular student, you can adjust:

    • Communication (pulldown) > Classlist
    • Beside the student you wish to accomodate use pull-down > Edit Accomodations
    • Make adjustments
    • Save


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How to: Communicate with Students or Parents?

Communicating with students and parents is a key part of remote learning.

D2L's messaging leans more towards email than an internal messenger system.   Thus, you should organize your emails nicely as it's not does for you.

If you wish to send a note to all of (or most of) your students in a course, you can send a group message.

    • Communication (pulldown) > Classlist
    • Click "Email Classlist" button, or:
    • Select all (or some) > Email
    • Complete form > Send

Within D2L, there's a great way to "automatically" communicate with students - ie. using the Intelligent Agents (like conditions within Moodle but it can trigger emails).

Ideas for triggering emails:

    • Welcome letters (when first entering course).
    • Student Wake-up (if not logged in recently).
    • Student Check-in's (if not enough course activity).
    • These go to the students only.

While there's no "Progress Report" in D2L, so contacting parents can be more challenging.   There is a "Parent Account" feature (like Moodle), but it can be challenging to maintain accounts.

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How to:  Add Discussion Forums? 

If you are in a scheduled (classroom or blended) setting, you'll find that discussion forums are fantastic ways to get students "talking."

Classroom teachers are often surprised by how comfortable students are within a discussion forum, not realizing how natural this form of communication to digital natives.

To add a forum:

    • Communication > Discussions
    • New Forum
    • Title = "What's a question that can create some good discussion?"
    • Description = "This is your chance to start the conversation.  Provide some context and triggers."
    • There are various ways built-into Moodle to assess forums, but most teachers who have experimented with them decide to just give an overall "Forum Participation" mark at the end of your course.  

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How to: Hide Unused Sections?

If you are only using parts of a particular course, you may wish to hide the other parts to make it easy to navigate for students.

Some teachers prefer to keep the unused units visible for students to review other areas of the course when needed.

Your strategy depends on your students and how you present.   You can change your mind at any point.

With any section open, just toggle the 


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How to: Enroll Students into Your Course?

Originally (BC):  MyEd → MoE →D2L.

At this point (SD):  csv or API  possibilities (direct).

No decision yet on using SMS for pushing/managing accounts.


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How to: Adjust the Course Gradebook?

The Brightspace Gradebook works a little different than the Moodle one.

Default gradebook set-up involves assigning percent weighting to each category (eg. Learning Guides, Quizzes, Projects, Tests....etc) to match the course outline.

If you wish to add an activity, you just put it into the right category and there's no other adjustments to be made (within each category the average is determined by simple weighted mean of grades).

In D2L, if you wish to add an activity, put it in the right category, THEN adjust the weightings within that category so everything adds to 100% again.  The percent weighting, when set for categories, must also be used within categories.

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How to: Convert a Course?

Files: DownLoads, CheckList, Banners, D2L

Step 1: Prepare Moodle Backup.

Backup course from Moodle.

If math or science course, do conversion to pure MathML (replacing WIRIS format).

Step 2: Import Backup into D2L.

Open your empty "Shell" course.

More > Course Admin > Course Offering Info > 

    • Course Offering Name = Physics 11 (long name from Moodle)
    • Course Offering Code = PH11 (short name from Moodle or here)
    • Save

More > Course Admin > Import/Export/Copy Components > Import Components (from a course package)

Choose file and "import all components"………….and wait……..and wait……  :)

Step 3: Course Homepage & Layout (seems it often has to be redone on local site).

Top-right of opening banner to change image and intro text (add "Welcome to...").


More > Course Admin > Homepages

Go to Widgets & create custom widgets for each course.  eg:

    • Widget 1 (for each course):
      • Name = INTRO-PH11
      • See Reference Sheet.
        • Content = HTML of video/steps
        • Adjust video size to 445x250 
      • Content > Customize widget style - uncheck "display a title"
    • Widget 2 (IF student tools needed - eg. formula sheet):
      • Name = TOOLS-PH11
      • See Reference Sheet (same link as above).

Go back to Hompages & create a custom homepage..

    • Name = WCLN - PH11
    • Layout = "One" (first one)
    • Widgets (top to bottom) = INTRO, TOOLS, Visual TOC
    • Save
    • Set "Active Homepage" to your new Hompage > Apply

Go to "Course Home" - look good?

Step 4: Teacher Tools unit.

Rename the extra unit (prior to Unit 1) as "Teacher Tools" and hide

    • Click on "Imported Module" > ... > Edit
    • Name = Teacher Tools
    • Description = <p><img src="" alt="teacher tools" title="teacher tools" style="max-width: 100%;"></p>
    • *If "Formula Sheet" link is here, you can move link for "Course Tools" widget and delete here.
    • Any other student-specific items to move to "Course Tools"
    • Leave other items that are teacher-specific (eg. Teacher Notes, Teacher Feedback, ....).
    • Make invisible (to students) by toggling eye at top.

Step 5: Other Units and Header.

Main Course Banner (... in top-right).

    • Change image = Choose most closely related D2L stock photo.
    • Customize Banner Text (Custom) = Welcome to Physics 11!

Aside - Preparing Unit graphics in Photoshop.

    • Save grid images from Moodle to desktop.
    • Open the psd file (
    • Drag your images onto the psd (layers below rectangle) to make 360x140 with added boarder.
    • Export as png file.
    • B FTP files to the server (_LOR/course_banners/D2L/).

Adding new graphics to D2L units.

    • Click on each unit > ... > Edit
    • Replace <p> with HTML below, then adjust scr and alt:

<p align="center"><img src="" alt="U1" title="unit banner" style="max-width: 100%; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"></p>
<p align="center">

Step 6: Un-hide Quizzes

The imported quizzes/tests are all hidden from students (by default).

    • Go to "Assessments" > Quizzes
    • Select all (top box)  > More actions > Make Visible to Users
    • From here, it's a good time to "Preview" a few quizzes to ensure they look good.

Conversion Follow-up Notes:

We did some vetting and found a number of challenges during the Moodle to D2L conversion process.   Some we were able to resolve with D2L help, but some were unresolved when we ran out of time for release.   Here are some remaining items that were shared with D2L to address as they find time, hoping they can identify short-term and long-term solutions for all. 

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Last modified: Sunday, 25 September 2022, 5:01 PM