D2L - Converting an Existing HTML site to a D2L Course (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.

D2L makes it easy to integrate or move existing online course materials into the course management system. This offers an integrated environment to use other D2L tools such as the gradebook or discussion forum. The conversion can be done in a number of ways:

1. Have public pages appear within D2L

If you wish to keep course materials online for the public to browse, you may have your existing course webpage appear in D2L under the navigation bar.

  1. Begin by selecting Edit Course and Homepages.
  2. Click the Create Homepage button and give the homepage a Name.
  3. Under the Homepage Type heading, select external URL from the dropdown menu.
  4. Enter the website address in the box that appears beneath the dropdown menu (be sure to type "http://" or if avaialable, "https://") and click Save.
  5. To activate the homepage, from the Homepages screen, click on the drop-down menu and click to select your new homepage and click the Apply button.

Be aware that some users may see security prompts (see Possible Security Prompt when Using Internet Explorer). Also note that copyrighted materials, even for course work, should not be made available on the public web (see Copyright).

2. Move or copy your webpages to D2L

Have your site administrator provide you a zip of all of your files or, if you have access, create a zip yourself. PC users can select all files, right click and select Send to compressed file. Mac users can select all files, right click (or control click) and select Compress or Create Archive.

To upload your files to D2L:

  1. Click Edit Course and Manage Files.
  2. When in the desired directory, click "" Upload, browse for the zip file and upload it into D2L.
  3. To expand your files in D2L, see Unzipping Uploaded Files in the "Manage Files" Section.
  4. To link to the new or existing HTML file, it is necessary to find the file path. Copy the file path to the files area in the gray stripe at the top of the file list (you may wish to write the path down or paste it into an external text editor). If the file is in a different folder, click on the appropriate folder first. Also note the name of the file you wish to link to.

There are two options for creating site navigation:

2a. Use existing internal Links

If your files use "relative" links (meaning links start with a "/" instead of a complete "http://" address) you need not make any changes or create any new links to use your course site.

Set your course homepage to point to your previous homepage file (possibly "index.html" on Using an HTML Page as a Course Homepage) under "Link to a HTML file within D2L."

2b. Create links in the Content outline

The content outline in D2L offers clear navigation for students throughout the course. After expanding your files, as explained above, it is easy to quickly add files to the outline. You may want to first read Adding Content to familiarize yourself with the module heading / topic (or linked file) distinction. To quickly create a content outline:

In Edit Course > Manage Files, check the files you would like to appear under a module heading (you need at least one). Click Create Topics. In the window that appears click Add Module and enter the information desired for the heading. Enter titles for each file that will appear under this heading and click Add. Repeat for each heading. The outline should now appear under the Content tool.

Note: dynamic or script pages (such as php or asp) will not work within D2L. These pages can only be used using method 1 above.

See Also:

Keywords:learn@uw learnuw d2l desire2learn convert copy move   Doc ID:9251
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW Madison
Created:2009-03-04 19:00 CDTUpdated:2017-12-01 12:20 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW Madison
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