D2L - Organization of Course Builder (UW-Madison)


UW-Madison is adopting Canvas as the single, centrally supported learning management system, and discontinuing support for Desire2Learn (D2L) and Moodle. Access to D2L and Moodle will permanently end June 1, 2018. For information about retaining materials from D2L or Moodle, please refer to this document.

The Course Builder user interface contains three main sections: the Toolbox, Canvas and Selected Node Panel.


You can move modules, placeholders and objects onto the Canvas to build your course structure. This can be done from three areas in the Toolbox:
  1. Build Outline - provides you with module and placeholder elements that you can add to your canvas to create your course outline.
  2. Add Content - provides you with a selection of objects you can create and add to the canvas or drag onto placeholders on the canvas. Direct access to object types within Course Builder enables you to bypass the complexity of setting up objects in their individual tool areas.
  3. Browse Tools - displays a library of pre-existing objects in your course tools. From this, you can locate and add these pre-existing objects to the canvas or drag them onto placeholders on the canvas. If you want, click on pre-existing objects in Browse Tools to view their details and associated grade items or learning objectives before you decide to add them to your course structure. This section of the toolbox features a drill-down menu with breadcrumb links that appear at the top of the toolbox as you navigate deeper into the menu. You can click on breadcrumb links to return to a previous section.


The canvas is a visual representation of your course structure. It displays the hierarchy of your course content as a series of nested nodes.
  • Node - Each structure element on the canvas is called a node. Node is a general term that can represent a module, placeholder or object. Each node on the canvas includes an icon indicating its type. This can help you to see what's in your course at a glance.
**Note: Once you're satisfied with the arrangement of your course, you can click on Content link in the upper left hand corner.  This will bring you to the Table of Contents (TOC), which is what students will see when in your course.

Selected Node Panel

When you select a node on the canvas, the selected node panel displays its details and enables you to perform actions on that node. From the selected node panel, you can:
  • view general properties for an object
  • edit placeholder properties to change the display name or add planning notes
  • edit object properties
  • launch an object's associated system tool
  • perform node-related actions

See Also:

Keywords:learn@uw learnuw d2l desire2learn course builder organization toolbar content selected node canvas   Doc ID:14878
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW Madison
Created:2010-08-16 19:00 CDTUpdated:2017-12-01 12:20 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW Madison, Learn@UW Utility
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