Browser Blunders

Hey guys!

Recently we have been getting a lot of messages concerning the inability to upload documents to D2L from Google Chrome.  This is because of compatibility issues between an older version of Google Chrome and the most recent version of D2L. Specifically, the Pop-up windows were having trouble opening properly.

Google_Chrome_icon_(2011)However, I am here to tell you to panic no more!

The issue has finally been fixed and by updating your google chrome to the most recent version, you should be able to upload documents to your heart’s content.

If for whatever reason you are unable to update your browser in this way, you would have to choose a different browser in which to upload your documents. I would recommend Firefox as a second choice as it is billed as the most compatible with D2L.  Safari can be third if you are a Mac user, and Internet Explorer sits in last place. That is very reliable, if not fast, last place.

fire foxIf you use these browsers instead of Google Chrome anyways, then you probably both don’t know what I am talking about and have no concerns about uploading your documents at this time.

Whatever browser you use, I hope that you do not have to hurl yourself into a panic when your document doesn’t upload right away. Just calmly open another browser and upload your document and as soon as you are done; download the newest version of Google Chrome.

If you’re interested, there’s a list of supported browsers available on the D2L Platform Requirements page.

That’s all for now,

Thanks for your time!

Elaina

Take Back the Wheel with Drive

Hey Guys,

With finals coming up and projects looming ahead I’ll bet many of you are suddenly having some frustration with your flash drives.  Not enough space, not enough convenience, not enough reliability; not even worth it.

A resource that students have that they usually don’t realize, is your google account. I’m not talking about your personal gmail, but one provided to you by the school.

google sign inTo get to it, you simply login to google with just your school email and click sign in. After you do this, it will take you to a separate login page through the school, where you type in your UW-W login information.

Once you have done that it will take you to your school controlled google home page. It looks eerily similar to the normal google homepage, but it has your school email in the top right corner.

updtdClick on the tiny collection of squares that’s next to your email. It will give you a couple of different options that you can use. Google Search, Drive, Sites, and Groups.

updated warhawkWe are going to focus on Drive right now, so click on the green, yellow and blue triangle.

This will take you to your drive homepage. Here people can share documents with you, and you can store some of your own.

drive homepageYou have over 30 GB of storage available to you on here, so you can forget that annoying old external hard drive or your weathered and worn flash drive. Move to digital storage through the safety of the school and Google Drive.

That’s all I have for today!

Thanks for your time,

Elaina

Introducing The Lovely Lynda.com

Hey guys!

Welcome back from break! Most of you must be feeling the same sense of all consuming dread that the end of the semester is just 5 short weeks away? No? Just me then.

Well as a treat to help you guys hop back into the semester (and ever closer towards the oncoming storm of finals…), today we are going to talk about Lynda.com and your shiny new access to it!

lyndaMany of you have probably at least heard about Lynda.com, if you are not already a frequenter of the site. It is a place to help you with many of your digital needs. It has helpful teaching videos that will guide you step by step through a program.  Its knowledgebase includes, but is not limited to tutorials in 3D; Audio; Business; CAD or Computer-Aided Design; Design; Developer; Photography; Video; and Web.

I realize this is not necessarily useful for every major on a daily basis; but would it not be amazing to tell your future employer that you have experience with creative editing software? The answer is yes, it would. Plus you can learn how to operate different parts of the creative suite and immortalize all of those Spring Break pictures and memories!

Here’s how to begin! Just visit: http://go.uww.edu/lynda

There you will be directed to the University login page, where let’s be honest, you already know what to do.

Once you have entered in the proper information, you will have free range of all that Lynda has to offer! So relax! Stay awhile! Enjoy all that that charming gal Lynda has to offer!

That’s all I have for you today!

Thanks for your time and attention,

Elaina

Quest to Suggest and Suggest to Quest

Hey guys!

As a blog for student tips and tricks, you should know that we highly value student feedback! That is why this week we thought that we would try something different and ask about what you would like to see!

Is there something that you haven’t seen yet, but would like to?  Something you do not quite understand?  Something you want to know more about? We want all of your questions and suggestions! (See what I did there?)

suggestion box

Write a comment with your questions and ideas and we will do our best to respond! You may even get a whole post written on it!  We want to make this blog all that you, the students want it to be!

Thanks for your time and attention,

Elaina

Calender: The Other Most Important Tool

Hey guys!

Today I want to talk to you about the D2L calendar tool. First, to access your calendar, go to the D2L homepage.

There is a ‘Tools’ button on the course navigation bar on the far right side underneath your name.

tools

If you click on it a drop down menu will appear, click on the ‘Calender’ link.

This will take you to the calendar homepage.  Here you can see what you have due in each of your classes within the month.

caldender

Anything that your professor has chosen to give an opening or closing date to will appear on the calendar and any changes that he or she makes will be automatically updated on your own calendar. This is convenient because you don’t have to worry or waste time going in and making manual changes when your instructor messes with the syllabus.

You can switch to different views of your upcoming events by clicking on the different options at the top; Agenda, Day, Week, Month, and List.

calender view

My personal favorite view is the Month view because I can see what weeks will be busier than others and plan my course of action ahead of time.

Your calendar could potentially contain content from every class that you are currently enrolled in as well as other things like ongoing jobs and general Whitewater content.

class list

You could manage what you see on the calendar by going to ‘All Calendars’. There it shows all the calendars that you are subscribed to. You can add and remove any calendar that you want. This means you can add on your work times or club activities if you wanted.  The display colors are also fully customizable if such things matter to you like they do to me.

task bar

The last and maybe most important aspect of the calender, is the fact that you can add your own tasks and reminders to it. You can do that by typing them in the bar on the right hand side of the page.

That’s all I have for now! That was the calender tool and if you have any more questions or concerns feel free to contact UW-W Desire2Learn Support.

Thanks for your time,

Elaina

“Open in New Window” Button in Content Item Does Nothing

With the deployment of the latest Service Pack for Desire2Learn (D2L), a new bug was introduced that causes the “Open in New Window” button within Content items to do nothing for all student roles.  This has been confirmed as a bug from Desire2Learn Inc. However, we do not have a timeline for receiving a fix at this time.  The image below illustrates the issue as well as the workaround.

Students
When using this workaround, you may receive a Mixed Content warning from the browser.  For additional details, see Firefox 23 – Mixed Content Handling.

Instructors
The issue only appears inside of Content items.  The work around is to have students click on the Quicklink Content item directly from the Content tool (either through the Table of Contents or that specific module).  If you are using a Quicklink in a News item to link to content, the current work around would be to link directly to the URL or file from the News item until the issue is resolved.

If you have any further questions regarding this, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

“You Have an ePortfolio” and Other Things You Didn’t Know

Hey Guys, Elaina here!

I know that it is halfway through the semester and many of us are stuck in our routine. As a senior, one of the things at the forefront of my mind is getting a job after I graduate.  Now of course there are no guarantees depending on the field you’ve chosen as well as the competitiveness of the current job market; but there are a few things that D2L can help with for your future.

One of those things is providing you with an ePortfolio.

ePortfolio main

This does an excellent job of collecting all of the things that you have worked on and turned into your classes. You can upload your grades, papers, pictures, art projects, websites and more.  On your ePortfolio you can create a collection that contains all of your accomplishments. You could group everything you upload into collections for display purposes.

Once you are confident that your little corner of D2L properly reflects what you want to display to the world, you can invite individuals to view your page and in turn you can get invites for other pages. You can build sharing groups and solidify your connections for the future.  You can create reflections on your work as well as provide links to outside content and even a form response.

If you would like to know more about D2L’s ePortfolio, check out our YouTube video:

Graduation and entering into the job market is a scary thing, but trying to find a way to show all you have contributed to UWW shouldn’t be!  Use the tools that D2L has provided for you to help you in the future!

Thanks for your time,

Elaina

Today We’re Discussing

Hey guys! This week I thought that I would go back and address the Discussions Page on D2L. I thought that we could, you know, sit down and talk about it…we could even discuss it.

It had to be said folks.

Anyways, I am sure you noticed a slight change to the Discussions page over the last couple of months. I have heard a wide range of reviews, good and bad.  However most of them all come down to appearance, not whether or not it is more user friendly. So I thought that this break down will be very helpful to you guys.

First to get to the Discussions page click on the link in the course navigation bar

discussion navi barThis will take you to your Discussions List Page.

discussions mainThis is something that many people find overwhelming initially but you don’t have to fret, most of what has been changed about this page is to help you stay organized. If you collapse everything then you have the ability to look at just one discussion forum at a time.

collapsedNow from there you can open one of the collapsed tabs and look at all the information within a single forum at a time.

open tabsThey have also made it easier for you to keep up with the updates that your classmates make to the post.  Along with the description of each discussion, they now have three little display categories; ‘Unread’, ‘Posts’, and ‘Views’.

unread views postsIf that is not enough by itself, on the right side of the page there are announcements on who last posted to the discussion and when.  If you would like an update about these as soon as they happen, there is a little ‘Subscribe’ button with a star right above that.

subscribeTo check on all of your subscriptions, click on the ‘Subscriptions’ tab at the top of your screen

subscriptionsWhen you would like to post to a discussion thread, click on it and you will be taken to the topic page.  This is what you traditionally think of when you think of discussions.

topic threadHere you can make your post and give your opinions and be on your merry way. You click on compose, you make your post and may subscribe to the thread from here if you so choose.  If you aren’t ready to post you can save it as a draft. You can maybe even just scrap the whole thing and try again later if you are having an off day.

composeYou can add a file, but you don’t have to. This could be useful in class if you are having a spirited discussion and you suddenly feel the need to post an article to prove your point. It could also be useful for posting appropriate reaction images to something that someone else said.

When you are all done carefully reading all of the posts, (or you have just clicked ‘Mark All Read’ because you want to get those dang notifications off of your D2L) click on the ‘Done’ button in the top right corner.

buttons mainThat is all I have for you today! If you want more information about the Discussions page, watch our YouTube video.

Thanks for your time,

Elaina

Don’t Question Your Quizzes

Hey guys! Today I am going to talk about the Quizzes page of D2L. Many of you may be thinking, “Elaina, what are you doing, so far you have just been going down the line and talking about the tabs in the order of appearance on the course navigation bar!” and to that I say: “I am a rebel that doesn’t follow anyone’s rules!”

Just kidding! I thought it would be the perfect time to cover this since so many of us are currently suffering with the weight of midterm quizzes looming ominously over our heads.

The first thing need to know is that you get to the quizzes page by clicking on “Quizzes” in the course navigation bar!

Quizzes Navi bar

This will take you to the quiz page where your professor may or may not have posted future quizzes that you will have to take.

quiz layoutThough some professors may leave their quizzes open to take whenever, most professors only allow their quizzes to be taken during a set few days.  These dates are located underneath the quiz title.

time stampThe far right side of the row, you will notice that there are a set amount of attempts that you have for each quiz. Some professors will allow you to have multiple attempts at a quiz, but most will only give you one attempt.

attemptsTo begin taking a quiz, click on the blue link to whatever quiz you want to take.  You will then be taken to a new window that contains all of your questions.

in progress quiz layoutOne tip for taking a quiz is that you save as often as possible. There is a save button after every question. Utilize this and click it as often as possible.  This is a good idea because in the event of a common computer tragedy (computer freezes, friend turns it off, dog eats it, etc.) all of the questions that you have completed and saved will remain intact.

save button quizThe easiest way to tell if you have answered and saved a question yet is by looking at the side bar on the left side of the screen. Another way to tell is by looking in the same row to the right of your question and there is a little floppy disk symbol (or save symbol, for those kids that don’t know what a floppy disk is).  All completed questions will have a blue floppy disk.  If the symbol is still without color, then it is unsaved and therefore unfinished.

side bar quizIf you think that you will have trouble remembering that, then never fear, there is a key to remind you what symbol means what, located in the sidebar.

quiz save finalWhen you are all finished with your quiz, I would recommend clicking “Save All Responses” (just to be safe), and then clicking on the “Go to Submit Quiz” button.

last chanceThis will take you to a last window where you can decide to make any last minute changes than you want. You can still click on the questions in the left sidebar and it will take you to those questions.  When you are truly and completely finished, click on the “Submit Quiz” button.

submissionSomething else that I should bring up is LockDown Browser.

LDB iconThis is a protected browser that you are required to use for some quizzes. You will have to download it first if you have never used it before. When LockDown is running, you are unable to open other windows or access other parts of the internet. It allows you to take your quiz in a controlled environment as designated in D2L. LockDown should not be used in other areas of D2L.

If you would like more information on how to download LockDown Browser, visit our wiki page about it.

That is all I have on Quizzes for the moment. If you would like to learn more, check out our YouTube videos.

Thanks for your time,

Elaina

Dropping into Dropbox (The article formerly known as “Boxing with Dropbox”)

Hey guys, today I am going to talk to you about Dropbox and all of its aesthetic changes.

With that said, I know you guys are rolling your eyes at my title; but coming up with  a clever title is hard some days, guys! I did originally want to title this “Boxing with Dropbox”, but I didn’t want you guys to think that Dropbox had any kind of fight left in it. In reality Dropbox is just there to help.

Dropbox NaviThe first thing that might have caused you to panic is the little icon next to Dropbox in your course navigation bar.  It has a slightly different little picture now; which is terrifying; don’t get me wrong. The rest of Dropbox is far less scary.

Dropbox layoutThe first column that you will notice upon clicking the link in the course navigation bar is the Folder column. This holds all of the assignments that need to be turned in. There are different types of symbols that can be found next to the assignment folders.

originality checkThis particular symbol means that this assignment is “Originality Check Enabled” so that professors can check and verify that the student’s submitted work is 100% there own.

group workThe second symbol means that the folder contains a group assignment. In a group Dropbox assignment, any one person could submit something to it, but the score and the feedback for that submission will be given to everyone within the group.

scoreThe Score column is pretty self explanatory but I will cover it anyways. This is where the professor enters in your grade in the form of a numeric fraction. If nothing has yet been submitted, or if the professor has yet to enter in your grade, then it will show a dash instead of a number. In the case displayed above; a perfect score would be 10/10.

submissionsNow submitting something to D2L can be tricky from time to time; so I will go through it step by step.

submit filesFirst you click on the Folder column that you would like to make a submission to. Then click on the “Add a File” button and then upload if you would like to grab a file from your computer or flash drive. that you would like to Submit.

upload windowIf you would like to add something that you have saved to your locker or ePortfolio; you may do that as well.  When you are finished choosing, click the blue “Done” button.

done blue buttonYou are free to write additional details about the submission or the assignment in the white box below. When you click on it, basic writing and editing tools appear.  After you are finished with your message, or if you do not want to write one, click the blue “Submit” button below.

edit textBack on the main Dropbox page there are two more columns that I haven’t covered yet. One you are probably familiar with but the other one, Due Date is the new addition to the Dropbox family.

due date columnFeedback  is what your professors give you in response to what you have submitted. This might be just your grade or a rubric sheet of the professor’s own creation. It could even be a response to your work; explaining in detail why you got the grade that you did.

Finally, last but certainly not least, is the Due Date column.  It is what you all have been waiting for! You just didn’t know it yet!  Instead of laying awake in bed those lonely nights and wondering whether or not the Dropbox will still be open tomorrow; you will sleep soundly with the knowledge that it will not close until 11:59 PM the next day.

If you want to hear me rant more about the Dropbox, check out the video we recorded!

Now that you know a little more, I hope you aren’t Boxing with your Dropbox and instead decide to drop in to D2L and stay a while.  Thanks for your time!

Elaina