(Learn@UW 112) Choosing or Designing a Homepage with Widgets

This document is associated with the task, Setup and Design your homepage. It provides and overview of the D2L navigation bar and instructions for modifying it.

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Introduction

D2L Homepages consist of two parts.  First is the homepage Layout, which consists of boxes or frames that hold content in place.  The second part are the Widgets. Widgets are pieces of content or tools that users can interact with independently of each other.  Widgets are placed within the boxes in the homepage layout.  Both the Layout and the widgets are customizable.


Choosing a Homepage
When Learn@UW creates a course it automatically assigns a homepage.  You can choose to use that homepage, select a ready-made homepage, or create your own.  

To choose a ready-made Homepage
1.  Click on the Course Admin drop-down menu in the NavBar.  Select Edit Course.

2.  Select the Homepages Tool.

3.  Preview the homepages by clicking on the small black arrow next to the homepage title.
Homepage previw
4.  When you find a homepage you like click the little arrow next to the title, then select Copy.

5.  To change the active homepage, select the select the newly copied homepage from the Active Homepage dropdown list and click Apply.  Navigate back to your homepage to see the changes.

Modifying or Creating a Homepage 

There are actually two parts to creating of modifying a homepage. The first part it to create or modify any Widgets you might use.  The second is to choose the homepage layout and add the widgets.  

Modifying or Creating a Widgets
1.  Click on the Course Admin drop-down menu in the NavBar.  Select, Edit Course.

2.  Choose the Widgets Tool.

3.  To modify and pre-made Widgets find the Widget on the list.
  • Preview the Widget by clicking on Preview from the icons along the right side of the screen.
4.  When you find a Widget you wish to modify, copy the Widget by clicking on Copy from the icons along the right side of the screen.  

5.  The copy of the Widget should appear in the list.  Notice a new icon Edit Pencil.  That is the "Edit" icon.  Click on the icon to edit the copy.

6.  If you wish to create a new Widget click on the Aqua "Create Widget" near the top of the Widget page. 

7.  Name the Widget and write a description if you wish.  Then click on the Content tab.  This opens the HTML Editing tool. 

Using the Widget Editing Tool
1.  You'll see this editing tool many places in D2L.  It is pretty flexible.  You can add pictures, links, video, even a Twitter Feed .  For the most part, however, the most common use is to use the HTML Editing Tool kind of like a word processor.  Learn more at (CROSS REF CONTENT)

2.  If you know HTML code, you can switch to code view by clicking </> in the lower right-hand corner of the editing window.  D2L really only accepts light coding, and doesn't accept JAVA and more advanced languages.

3.  When you finish updating the Widget.  Click Save and Close.  

4.  Continue developing Widgets using this process. 

Populating a Homepage with Widgets

1.  If you are looking at the Widget list, you can click on the tab for Homepages along the top of the page.  Otherwise, click on Course Admin  and choose  Edit Course.

2.  Click on "Homepages."

3.  To modify an existing Homepage, click on the little black arrow next to the title and choose Copy.
Copy
4.  You can now edit the copy.

5.  To create a new homepage click on the aqua blue "Create Homepage"  button near the top of the window.

6.  Name the copy or newly created homepage.  Add a description if you wish.

7.  From the drop-down menu choose design a "Widget-based Homepage." 

8.  The "Layout" of the homepage can be modified by clicking on "Change Layout."

9.  Add Widgets by clicking on the "Add Widgets"  button in the layout frames.
  •  Please note, you can put more than one widget in a layout frame.  However, they do not sit side-by-side.  Rather they sit vertically.
10. The widget list should pop-up.  Select a ready-made widget, or one that you modified or created.  To see this list, make sure you have "Custom Widget" tab clicked.

Activating your homepage

1.   To change the active homepage, select the select the newly copied homepage from the Active Homepage dropdown list and click Apply.  Navigate back to your course home to see the changes. 



Keywords:learn@uw learnuw d2l desire2learn brightspace homepage widget customize   Doc ID:54711
Owner:Margene A.Group:Learn@UW Madison
Created:2015-08-05 11:38 CDTUpdated:2015-10-16 12:15 CDT
Sites:Learn@UW Madison
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