Create Custom D2L Widgets
Instructors using Brightspace and wanting to customize the content of their course homepage.
Custom widgets are great ways to display important information to your class. Custom widgets often include things like:
- Office hours
- Textbook information
- A video that introduces you to your class
- Hyperlinks that will be needed throughout the course
Or many, many other things. It is limited only by the imagination.
Adding a Widget or Customizing a Homepage
There are full instructions on how to customize a course homepage (including adding widgets to the homepage) at Managing and Adding Home Page Widgets.
Creating Custom Widgets
So, you have followed the instructions in Managing and Adding Home Page Widgets but, when you looked at the list of available widgets, you didn't find a widget that addressed your needs. It is time to create a custom widget.
Instructors can look at the list of currently-defined widgets or create new widgets through the New Widget dialog.
- Enter your course and select Course Admin from the minibar navigation at the top of the course window.
- Select Homepages from the Course Admin menu.
- Click on Widgets at the op of the Homepages dialog.
- Click the Create Widget button at the top of the page.
At this point, you will se the New Widget dialog. (See the example on the right.) There are three tabs in the window:
- On the Properties tab, enter the name of the new widget and the widget's description. (The description is optional and is for your information only.) The name that you choose for your widget is used in two places:
- The widget name appears in the Custom Widgets list and in the widget selection lists within the Homepages area.
- It also appears in the colored bar at the top of the widget when the widget is displayed in the Brightspace course homepage.
- The Release Conditions tab holds definitions for any conditions that must be met before the widget is displayed. This may include completion of assignments, the current date, or many other facets. There are full descriptions of Release Conditions, how to create them, and how to use them in the Release Conditions Quick Reference Guide.
- Finally, the Content tab is where you create the actual content of the widget. Content is added using the same editor as creating Content Topics. There are complete instructions on how to use the editor in the HTML Editor Quick Reference Guide.
Saving Your New Widget
Use the Save and Close or Save buttons to save your new widget.
Updating Custom Widgets
Once the widget has been created, you will want to add it to your page or perhaps make modifications.
The widget name will appear in the Custom Widgets list. To the far right of the name is a set of icons like the ones pictured here. From left to right:
- Customize allows you to define the colors and formatting of the widget. Current properties are displayed in a pop-up. Make your modifications and save it.
- Copy lets you duplicate the widget if you wish to create another custom widget that is similar to this one.
- Edit takes you into the same definition windows described above as part of widget creation. You can modify the name, change the content, etc.
- Preview displays the widget in a new window. It allows you to see how the widget looks before you add it the homepage.
- Delete removes the widget from your list and discards it.
Additional information on customizing home pages in D2L can be found in the Faculty Exchange Series featuring Brandy Schillace discussing Custom D2L Course Home Pages.
For a complete listing of topics, select from the category list below.