Distance Learning
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Student Backpack with Student Help title

Using the Course Builder Tool

The new Course Builder tool allows you to build the structure of your course more efficiently than ever before using a drag and drop interface. You can quickly create placeholder items, objects (such as quizzes and discussion topics), or even attach existing objects.

Access the Course Builder by navigating to the Edit Course screen, then clicking the Course Builder link.

Course Builder Interface

Relationship Between Course Builder and Course Content/Files

  • When you add a module to the canvas, the system generates a content module which appears in the Content tool.
  • When you add a placeholder to the canvas, the system generates an empty content topic. This content topic is hidden from the Content tool until you attach an object to the placeholder - ie. students don't see placeholders while you are building the course structure.
  • When you add an object to the canvas, the system generates a content topic. This content topic is visible in the Content tool. If you edit an object's placeholder Name or Notes within Course Builder, you are editing the Name and Shared Designer Comments of the corresponding content topic within the Content tool.

Build Your Structure

Building Structure graphic
  • Drag items from the Build Structure section of the toolbox when you want to define the structure but don't have the content yet.
  • Drag items from the Create Objects section of the toolbar on the empty Structure elements or directly into a module when you are ready to create real content.
  • Insert objects that already exist in your course by dragging from the Browse Objects section of the toolbar over a structure placeholder.

When dragging, hover over a module until it turns orange to drop the selected object inside it.
To drop an item between two others, hover between them until you see a thin, gray line.

Drop between modules graphic

Copying Structure

Copy structure in D2L graphic

It's often good practice to keep the structure of your course consistent between modules. For example, each of your modules may have reading material, external video links, a practice quiz, discussion topics, and post quiz. Rather than creating each item again, we can create a sample module and copy its structure.

  • Create the structure of your first module using the Build Structure placeholders.
  • Click on the Additional actions icon Additional Actions icon for the module.
  • Choose Copy StructureCopy Structure.
  • Find the root node at the top of the canvas area- this will be the name of your course. Click on the Actions for placeholderAdditional Actions icon.
  • Choose the PastePaste option.

Rearranging Structure

  • Click and drag the module/topic you want to move.
  • Hover over a module until it turns orange in order to move your selected item to that module.

Drag an item to a module

  • To place the selected item between two existing nodes, hover your cursor between them until you see a thin line.

Drag item betwen two existing items

  • In addition, you can also use the contextual menu to rearrange items. Click on the Actions for placeholder Additional Actions icon and choose the action you wish to use.

Selected Node Panel

Selected node panel

  • Use the Selected Node panel to edit existing nodes, view additional information about a node, preview an HTML file, or launch the selected node's tool.
  • Select the node in the canvas pane. Notice how the Selected Node panel changes depending on what you have selected.
  • Choose a link in the selected node information box.