Teachers often inherit the default choices and organization of Desire2Learn modules from the school IT admins, but these choices are frequently not permanent. This online video training covers quick tips on how to create a custom theme that will adjust the color scheme and design of D2L, personalizing your course design choices.
- [Narrator] So what you've seen so far throughout this course is basically the out of box experience for D2L at least in terms of appearance, but you aren't stuck with that by any means. The appearance of D2L its color schemes and other visual elements is controlled by creating a custom theme which is then applied to the course. You create a theme in the course administration page which in our case is found by selecting Course Tools and then choosing Edit Course. From there you'll hopefully see navigation and theses under the site set up category.
If you don't see Navigation and Themes well with apologies, you might be out of luck. Many schools lock users into a theme and don't actually let you customize. In our set up in fact you'll notice that I'm logged in as an administrator. Assuming that you see Navigation and Themes though go ahead and give it a click. In the resulting interface select the second option at the top labeled Themes then select Create Theme The next screen basically breaks down into thirds.
The top third shown here shows identifying information like the theme name and description. The middle third allows you to manipulate various components of the theme. And the final third previews changes before you lock them in. Let's start by giving our theme a name. We'll call it Experiment Theme One. The next step before getting into colors is to choose a theme layout which sets the design of course headings and links.
Basically this whole area right up here. The default layout which is shown is pretty straight forward but to explore your options select Change Layout. This pulls up a selection pane with all of the available choices. This color here is always going to represent the logo while this color will represent the links. One detail I really like about this feature is how it suggests when certain layouts might work best. This layout for example with a split in the link section right down the middle is useful if you have two sets of links each with their own identity.
Like one for course level resources and one for school resources. I kind of like that idea so let's update with that layout. As you can see the preview down here updated right away. Now it's time to customize the color scheme. We'll begin with the Navbar and the Navbar is actually comprised of several different components which you can manipulate individually. We'll begin with the biggest one which is the Navbar Background.
You can adjust the color here and since we're out here recording by L.A. we're gonna go with California. Next let's design the individual navigation links. So we'll hide the properties here and pull up bottom left link area. From this interface we can control things like the style of the containers as well as link alignment, the space between the links, and whether we add a separator. I personally like some division between my links so we're going to add a light separator and down here you can see how the appearance has changed.
This one has separator. This one does not. You can also control the style of the links themselves. Like whether they use icon and text or just one or the other. You can select specific TypeFaces that you prefer. Adjust the TypeFace color and adjust the font size as well as any styles. Most interestingly you can also customize hover effects which control how a link behaves when a user hovers their mouse over it but before they actually click.
We'll hide these properties. One thing you can't do for the record is actually set up target for specific links. That gets handled in the Navbar Editor and is discussed in the video Customize the D2L Navigation Bar. Finally let's customize the Homepage Background and Side Panel Background. Which will control this area right here. We'll begin with the Homepage Background and we're going to change the background color to apricot.
As you can see it's changed as well. We'll hide these properties and then change the Left Panel Background to saddle brown. Again hide properties and do the same thing with the Right Panel Background. There's a lot of other things that you can adjust but once you're satisfied with all your choices select Save and Close. Now here's the gotcha. You pull a theme into active use not from the theme section but from the Navbars section.
So you're going to want to create a new Navbar and then apply that theme when customizing the Navbar. For details about how to do that watch the video Customize the D2L Navigation Bar.
- Communicating with students
- Developing course competencies and learning objectives
- Setting up a classroom, include a digital dropbox and discussion board
- Adding assignments, quizzes, and exams
- Providing feedback
- Setting up a gradebook
- Customizing Desire2Learn
- Managing discussion boards
- Using Desire2Learn as a student