Transitioning to Canvas: What to Expect

Since the announcement to Canvas was made, many are beginning to wonder exactly what the transition will look like. Well, let’s try and clear things up !

Coming summer 2014.pngThe full switch of all courses to Canvas will be made in the summer of 2014. This means that spring 2014 is the last LAST semester any student and instructor will have access to courses on D2L. Keep in mind that there are a LOT of things that will be done to get us to that point.

Here are two timelines that may help put this into perspective:Picture1transition timelineA few things will have to occur before the switch happens in summer 2014.

Fall 2013

Starting November 1st, Innovative Learning Partners (ILP) will began doing behind the scenes things to prepare for Canvas. We will be doing awareness training and preparing for the pilot program in the spring. Be sure to back up your course materials from spring, summer and fall 2013 at the end of this semester.

Spring 2014

The BSN-C program will be piloting Canvas in spring 2014. We will also begin offering hands-on workshops and tools training (information about this is forthcoming). Information, resources and sessions will be provided to help faculty transition materials from D2L to Canvas.

Summer 2014

EVERY course will be created on Canvas. Faculty and students will not have access to D2L. ILP will retain a relationship with D2L in case we need to access courses and files. However, this access will be limited to system administrators after the summer 2014 session begins.

Other things to consider:

Most of the migration “work” will be done behind the scenes by ILP. Faculty will be responsible, in some capacity, for transitioning materials from courses and ePortfolio (more information to come) in D2L into Canvas. At the end of the fall semester, be sure to make an export of your course components from D2L. ILP will offer PLENTY of training/workshops for faculty/staff/students to become accustomed to the new system.

One thing to consider, since we are leaving D2L, we will no longer be using D2L Capture (Lecture Capture). ILP has selected Panopto as its new lecture capture platform and will begin trainings in the spring 2014 semester. Before the summer 2014 semester ILP will begin transitioning ALL videos from, to the new system.

Let us know if you have questions or concerns.

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D2L: Media Cannot Be Displayed

Internet browsers are constantly updating. Some of these updates are helpful for the end user, and, unfortunately, some of them are not. Recently, the main internet browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE) have begun handling “mixed content,” differently than in the past.

What is “Mixed Content.”

In this case, “mixed content” refers to:

  • Embedded media (YouTube, Kaltura, D2L Capture—videos embedded into the content area of the LMS)
  • Links within the LMS (If you have a link in D2L content that does NOT open in a new window)
  • Some custom widgets

What does this look like inside of D2L ?

If you are using any of the items above, you/your students may have received this when trying to view the item in D2L. Media Cannot Be DisplayedMedia Cannot Be DisplayedThis is the result of the browsers “beefing up” the security when dealing with outside media. In this case, YouTube/Capture/Kaltura/URL Links is considered “outside media” to the D2L LMS.

What browsers are being impacted ?

  • Firefox 23 (latest version)
  • Internet Explorer 10 (latest version)
  • Chrome (latest version)
  • Other browsers may be implementing this security feature in future as well.

How do I fix this ?

Unfortunately, there is no way to “fix” this permanently. D2L is working on a solution, but the problem is not a “D2L problem,” it is a “browser issue.” There are “workarounds” that allow faculty/students to view these items, as intended, inside of D2L.

The other workaround is to use either Safari or IE 9 as your main internet browser in D2L. You will loose the ability to “drag and drop,”  but you will not have these issues. I would at the very least recommend telling your students to use IE 9/Safari

How do I view mixed content in Firefox, Chrome ?
Viewing mixed content depends on the browser


Disable protection in FirefoxChrome:

Chrome unsafe elements




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Desire2Learn now covered in now has a tutorial on Desire2Learn. There are not a ton of videos, but it has a good variety of things like: personal settings, chat, discussion boards, gradebook settings, content, creating video notes, and even, setting intelligent agents and using release conditions. This is in addition to the help that is found from the homepage of the LMS.

If you haven’t yet created an account on, now is your chance. It’s free and there is a ton of information out there for you to explore. Here is a post on how to create your account.

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How to Locate Help Documentation in D2L

I’ve had a few faculty recently ask me how to locate help documentation. We do have plenty of this inside of D2L, and the instructions for locating it are below.

****You can also select this PDF, of instructions to save to your computer for future reference.

1. Log into D2L, go to the “My Home” page, and locate the “D2L Platform Help” widget. Once located, select the “Online Help” link.

D2L Help 12. Once selected, this will open a dialogue box. Across the top you will see a list of the available D2L products. For help with the tools within your D2L courses, select “Learning Environment.”

D2L Help 23. Once selected, you will see a list of all of the available tools within D2L. Select the one you need assistance with.

D2L Help 34. As you select each tool, there will be an explanation of the tool with screen shots.

D2L Help 55. As you scroll down you will see a list of “tasks” that you may need assistance with.

D2L Help 46. If you select any of these links, you will be given step by step instructions for completing the listed task.

D2L Help 6

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A Review of the Small Changes in D2L

The summer is the best time for us to work on big projects. One thing that we did over the summer was work on improving the D2L user interface (UI). We’ve made a few changes that I’ll highlight below.

1. Connected D2L to Maryville social media :

You will notice that we placed social media icons on the “My Home” page in D2L. These icons connect with the different Maryville University social media sites. You can select any of these icons and go out to your favorite social media platform and connect with Maryville !

D2L Changes 1D2L Changes 2D2L Changes 3

2. Placed more information on the site about D2L’s Binder App:

Binder is a powerful app (for iPad—Android coming soon) where students can pull content from D2L down onto their iPad’s and interact with it. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, I HIGHLY recommend it.

D2L Changes 4

3. We’ve added additional resources for students within the courses:

We’ve created a “Student Resources” widget that is FULL of resources to help your students with any issues they may have in D2L.

D2L Changes 5Below is a list of what each button does:

  • D2L v10.1 User Guide: Print documentation put out by D2L that gives step by step instructions on how to use D2L.
  • D2L Video Tutorials: 10 D2L created videos that will take students through how to do basic tasks.
  • Click or Call: D2L ticketing system and 24 hour help desk that students can call or submit tickets to at any time.
  • System Check: Will look at the students system to make sure it is compatible with D2L.
  • Academic Calendar: Goes to the official calendar on the Maryville website
  • University Library: Goes to the university library website.

That’s it for now !


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Fusion 2013

Recently, some of our Learning Design and Technology staff had the opportunity to attend the Desire2Learn User’s Conference – Fusion – in Boston. Personally, it takes me a while to digest and follow up on all of the tools, techniques and tips learned, so a post or two or three will be forthcoming. The best part of it for me this year was the connections I made with other users and institutions.

The department also had the ability to send an instructor who presented at the conference. Karen Fletcher, Assistant Professor of Information Systems in our School of Business, was a part of a panel discussion and presented on Gaming Strategy. Fletcher is gamifying her University Seminar course in the fall of 2013. Fletcher is also one of the departments’ Technology Associates and is one of the thought leaders when it comes to teaching effectively with technology at Maryville. You can read more about Fletcher’s reactions and thoughts about the conference on her blog site.

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D2L Announces New “Binder” iPad App

D2L has just released a new app called “Binder.”

What does Binder do ?

Binder allows for users (students, faculty) to interact with course content (PDF files, Microsoft Office files….etc.) directly from their tablet. You can either “fetch” files from D2L from your iPad OR send files from D2L to your iPad using the new “Send to Binder” tool. Once these files are on the iPad, you can download them locally to the iPad which gives you the ability to interact with the files using highlights, text notes, underlines, strikethroughs, or freehand notes. In addition, you will have the ability to easily organize your files by making favorites, tagging, searching, and archiving.

Stay Connected AnnotateKeep OrganziedWhat types of files are compatible ?

docs supported

What Tablets is Binder Available on ?

tablet available

For more information, check out Or view the instructional video below.

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Read D2L news and documentation at the D2L Community Site

Just in case you are interested, all Maryville faculty may register to become members of the Desire2Learn Community site ( ). This site will provide you with the most current documentation, teaching tips, product update news, discussions with other teaching faculty and developers, access to “sandbox” sites, and more.

LDT currently maintains an Instructor Resource “class” within our instance of D2L and each semester we enroll all faculty into this class. Over time, as more of our faculty being using the D2L hosted Community Site, we will begin phasing out the Instructor Resource site.

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