Adding a content module to a D2L course

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Fig 1. Enter a title for the new module
Fig 2. Enter a title for the new sub-module
Fig 3. Switch modes
Fig 4. Select to edit the module title
Fig 5. Select to add a module description

About this article

This article demonstrates how to add a content module to a table of contents (TOC) in a Desire2Learn (D2L) course. It is intended for instructors.

What's a module?

In D2L, instructors provide students with access to course materials by building a TOC composed of headings and links. The headings are called modules and the links are called topics. There are many ways to organize content and any TOC could include a combination of approaches. For example, instructors could organize content by:

  • Timeline. Modules represent some unit of time (e.g., Week 1, Week 2).
  • Subject. Modules represent chapters or subject areas in textbook fashion (e.g., Biological Bases of Behavior)
  • Type. Modules group content based on type (e.g., handouts, slides, videos, links).


For all instructions below, first navigate to a D2L course and select Content from the Materials menu. This will take you to the D2L Content Tool.

Adding a module

  1. At the bottom of the sidebar region, select Add a module... (Figure 1).
  2. Enter a title for the new module and press Enter on your keyboard.

Adding a sub-module

  1. From the sidebar region, select the module or sub-module under which you want to place a sub-module.
  2. In the content region, select Add a sub-module... (Figure 2).
  3. Enter a title for the new sub-module, and press Enter on your keyboard.

Switching between published and draft mode

  1. From the sidebar region, select the module or sub-module that you want to switch.
  2. Select the down arrow to the right of Published or Draft to open the pick list.
  3. Select either Published or Draft (this will differ depending on the current mode) from the content region (Figure 3). This will close the list and switch to that mode.

Renaming a module or sub-module

  1. From the sidebar region, select the module or sub-module that you want to rename.
  2. Select the title of the module or sub-module at the top of the content region (Figure 4).
  3. Change the title and select Enter on your keyboard to save it.

Adding a description to a module or sub-module

  1. From the sidebar region, select the module or sub-module that you want to rename.
  2. Select Add a description... on the content region (Figure 5).
  3. Use the editor to create the description and select the Update button to save it.

Additional details

  • New modules and sub-modules are always appended to the end of the list. They can then be moved if needed.
  • It's good practice to keep module and sub-module titles short so they fit on the sidebar. Titles longer than 16 characters (including spaces) will wrap to a second line.
  • By default, new modules are set to published mode and access is unrestricted. You can control access by switching to Draft mode or by setting restrictions at the module-level (e.g., if you don't want students to see a module until after a certain point in the course). This will restrict access to all of the sub-modules and topics underneath it.
  • Module and sub-module descriptions can help orient students and give your TOC a polished look.
  • If you plan to import a publisher-provided course pack or cartridge, it is not uncommon for that process to result in the addition of several new modules and sub-modules. For example, the publisher may include links to PowerPoint slides under a "PowerPoint Presentations" module. This import can be done at any time, even if you have already added modules yourself. Any new modules created by the installation of a course pack are typically added at the bottom of your existing TOC. These modules can then be edited, moved, or deleted.
  • If you are going to merge course sections, do not create modules until after the merge is complete and the new merged course appears on your class list.
  • Be careful when deleting modules and sub-modules. Depending on how you delete the module, you may also delete child sub-modules and topics.

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