Creating a Mid-Point Grade Item in the D2L Gradebook

This tutorial is designed for faculty who have previous experience using the Grades tool in D2L. For further information, please contact for assistance.


In this tutorial, I will cover the steps involved when you wish students to see a cumulative grade at a specific point in the term (typically the mid-point).  This is a common request at this time of year, so I thought you might like to learn more!


  1. Go to the Grades tool in your course, and make sure you are in the Manage Grades area.
  2. Click the New button and select Item.
    Click New and select Item
  3. Under Choose a Grade Item Type, select Calculated.Click Calculated
  4. Give your Grade Item a Name, select other parameters as required, then under Calculation, select the Grade Items you wish to include in your snapshot.Give your item a Name, then under Calculation, select the Grade Items you wish to include
  5. Scroll down, and under Calculation Method, select Milestone Grade Calculation. Then click Save and Close. Students will now be able to see what grade they have so far in the term.Select Milestone Grade Calculation, then click Save and Close

Things to Remember

You can also use the Milestone Grade Calculation to show a student their cumulative grade in the course at any point (i.e., using only selected grade items). What I mean by this, is that you can go back in and edit this item at any time to add more Grade Items to the calculation for students.

You can only create Calculated Grade Items if your grading system is Weighted.

BCcampus Inclusive Design Webinar Series

In case you haven’t heard, this month BCcampus has been running series of webinars related to Inclusive Design.

According to the Inclusive Design Research Center, “[i]nclusive design is design that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference. Designing inclusively results in better experiences for everyone.” With the addition of Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness policies at our institutions, and as we move more into the world of University Design for Learning (UDL) these webinars are a must for everyone to check out.

You can watch the recordings of the webinars, as well as peruse some great resource links on inclusive design and how to get started, by clicking on the links related to each of the webinars as listed for each of the Webinar headings.

Webinar 1: Part 1, Inclusive Design

Want to know more about what inclusive design is, and how it relates to accommodation and accessibility? Jess Mitchell from the Inclusive Design Research Centre discusses this and more in her presentation on Inclusive Design in which “[s]he touches on ideas like inclusion, design, transformation, innovation, access, diversity, equity, atypical, perspective-shift, data (quantitative and qualitative), anecdote, change, social justice, precarious value, intersectional, mismatch, multi-modal, and revolutionary.”

Webinar 2: Part 2, Presentations

Wanting to make your PowerPoint presentations more accessible, Josie Gray has some best practices for you in her presentation on Inclusive Design and Presentations. While the webinar addresses PowerPoint specifically, “the basic principles can be applied if you use a different presentation software. We talk about the technical aspects of setting up accessible slides, strategies to ensure all of the content on your slide is perceivable by people in the audience, and how making your slides available in multiple formats before your presentation can increase the impact of your presentation.”

Webinar 3: Part 3, PressBooks

Thinking about writing an Open Textbook? Josie Gray is back to give you some information on how to make your open textbook accessible in her presentation on Inclusive Design in PressBooks (soon to be available on the main BCcampus video site.

While “[t]his webinar [highlights] accessibility features of Pressbooks … [and] the importance of offering multiple formats, and other design choices that will improve the accessibility of your open textbook.”, the best practices presented are also applicable for other instances where you might be placing images, video, or audio in an online environment.

Webinar 4: Part 4: What Makes Something Inaccessible or Not?

As of the time of this post, there is still time to put the fourth webinar, “What Makes Something Inaccessible or Not?”, in your calendar. “This webinar aims to highlight overlooked or unrealized accessibility barriers by giving concrete examples of what might make something inaccessible and how that barrier might present for different people. By connecting the ideas of the previous webinars, we offer a way to think more critically about digital and print accessibility, especially as it relates to open textbooks and open educational resources. “

Go to the BCcampus Inclusive Design Webinar Series site for more information on how to access the webinar. If you miss it, no worries – the recording will be posted on the main BCcampus video site, where you will also find links to the many amazing webinars offered by BCcampus!

NEW in D2L: Assignment List Experience Opt-in Update!

If you use the Dropbox tool in D2L, you may have noticed a new option popping up for you. I wanted to let you know what this option will do, and how to turn it off if you don’t want to opt-in.

When you go to your Dropbox, you will see the following message appear:

Assignment List Experience pop-up

If you click Turn it on, the old table view will change from a table with the column headings: Total Submissions, Unread Submissions, Flagged Submissions, Due Date:

Old Assignment table view with column headings :Total submissions, Unread submissions, Flagged submissions, Due Date.

To a table with the column headings Completed, Evaluated, Feedback Published, Due Date. Note that the numbers now show the number of items along with the total number of students in the course site:

New Assignment table view with column headings: Completed, Evaluated, Feedback Published, Due Date

If you click Leave it off, you can always turn it on later, or if you click Turn it on, you can always turn it off later, by clicking on the little down arrow at the top right-hand of the Dropbox area:

To change the status of the list view (on or off), click the down arrow in the top-right.

Make your choice. You can always go back and change it later.

Click Leave it on of Turn it off.

Note that there may be a point at which this new view becomes the default. We currently don’t know when that may happen.


In case you didn’t know, Camosun has purchased a licence for that all faculty, staff, and students at Camosun have access to through the Library.

What is Well, to quote the Research Guide on (, “ is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. There are over 4000 engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.”

Some cool things about how you can use Lynda:

  • You have access to the site 24/7 from on and off campus, and from a variety of devices.
  • Lynda not only has videos on how to use various software, it also offers courses on time management, teaching techniques, managing stress, communication strategies, etc.
  • You can embed Lynda videos into your D2L course. Click the Faculty/Teaching tab on the main guide ( and scroll down to find the Integrating Lynda Videos into D2L section on the right-hand side.

One thing to remember: if you are using Lynda to help you learn how to use some of the software we support in eLearning, such as D2L, Kaltura, WordPress, or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, be aware that the way the softwares are configured at Camosun may differ from how they are presented in Lynda. If you have any questions about this after viewing Lynda videos on any of these tools, please contact and ask to talk to Bob Preston or an instructional designer for clarification.

If you have questions about or need help with, click on the Need More Help tab (

Social Media Use in Education – Workshop Synopsis

Last May I ran some workshops related to social media and the use of online tools in teaching and learning. This month I am going to present a series of posts related to these workshops. This first post is a synopsis of the Social Media Use in Education workshop, which was promoted with the following blurb:  “Interested in integrating social media into your classroom?  This workshop will examine various social media tools used in the teaching and learning and discuss best practices.  In addition, participants will have the opportunity to share strategies on how social media can be incorporated into their own courses.”

Before beginning the discussions around what social media is and why you would use it to support your teaching, I wanted to find out what the participants knew about social media so I could start the conversation from where they were at. The two questions I asked to kick things off were:

  • What big question do you bring to this workshop?
  • What do you know about social media?

We decided social media is about:

  • Sharing and exchanging
  • Communicating, interacting, and collaborating
  • Networking
  • Managing relationships
  • Keeping in touch
  • Curating/collecting resources
  • Modifying resources
  • Bringing “the real world” into the classroom

Knowing this, we then discussed why faculty might want to integrate social media applications into their teaching. Some of the aspects social media brings to the table include:

  • Collecting and evaluating resources
  • Sharing works with small groups, the whole class, professionals in the field, etc.
  • Developing new resources through collaboration and teamwork
  • Transferring “control” to the students (fostering a sense of ownership over the course content)
  • Fostering peer-to-peer learning and critiquing
  • Supporting the development of transferable skills
  • Learning about community and social engagement
  • Opening the door to experts from outside of the classroom to see the students’ work
  • Bringing the world into the classroom

To give the participants some more specific ideas of what all this means, I showed some specific examples of social media tools:


Image sharing

Video sharing

Organizing and sharing information – Curation

Collaborative tools/Wikis


But of course, we also needed to talk about specific ways that these tools can be used to support teaching and learning.  The following websites all have great examples of social media use in education:



Image and Video sharing



Use of Collaborative tool like Google docs and Wikis in education

Of course, as with integrating any educational technology into your teaching, there are many considerations that need to be kept in mind as you investigate various online tools. For example:

  • Privacy – is the tool in compliance with BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and does it comply with Camosun’s privacy policy?
  • Accessibility – is the tool accessible to a range of abilities, devices, etc.?
  • Copyright and Intellectual property – who owns the content once it has been placed into the tool/environment in question?
  • Support – is there technical and training support available for you and for your students? Is there a cost? Who will pay for it?
  • Choice and evaluation – make sure to choose the right tool for the task/learning outcome, and evaluate the tools before committing to them.
  • Ask others – is anyone else at the college using this tool? What is their experience?
  • Plan, plan, plan, then design, pilot, revise. Start with one activity and one tool, then debrief – if things don’t work, maybe it wasn’t the tool – revise and try it again
  • Provide clear instructions to your students and be prepared to give them an alternate activity if privacy is an issue, or if they have technical challenges (i.e., what is Plan B?)

So, what kinds of things are the workshop participants going to try? Well, some of them are going to think a little more about why, or if, they want to introduce social media into their teaching at all, but at the very least will be talking more with their students about things they should be considering when engaging with social media themselves. As for specific tool use, a couple of the participants will be exploring Instagram Stories in their courses (Instagram stories are…). In addition, Etherpad and blogging struck a note with a couple of faculty, which is exciting since Camosun now has a WordPress instance of its own that students will be able to use after May of this year.  If you have used social media tools to support your teaching, I would love to hear from you.  Feel free to post your experiences in the Comments, or send me an email at

Since I first ran this workshop, the face of social media has changed – tools come and go all the time.  This makes it a new workshop every year, so if you haven’t taken it before, or even if you have, I can guarantee you will learn something new when I run it again this spring!

Additional Resources

Introduction to the New Rubric Creation interface in D2L

If you use the Rubrics tool in D2L, you probably pull your hair out a little every time you try to add levels and criteria, and try to figure out what marks to apply to each criteria. So, let me take a moment to welcome you to the new Rubrics Creation Experience, which has now been enabled in Camosun’s D2L!

For the next several months, you will be given the option to opt-in or out of the new interface, but I highly recommend you opt in as this will eventually be the default rubric creation interface. This is what the Opt-In looks like when you click New Rubric:

Click Turn it on to enable the new rubric creation experience

Click Turn it on to enable the new creation experience.

You can turn off the new experience, if you don’t like it, by clicking on the little down arrow in the top right,

Click the down arrow in the top right

and then clicking Turn it off (or Leave it on if you decide to keep it!).

Click Turn it off to return to the old interface

Now, let’s look at the new interface.

First, you only have one screen to work in. In the old interface, you had a Properties tab (where you gave the rubric a Name, set its Status, chose what kind of rubric you wanted to create, etc., and a Levels and Criteria tab. In the new interface, everything is selectable on one screen.  The top part has the Name field, as well as Type and Scoring drop-down menus, and a Reverse Level Order option. You can change the Type and Scoring as you create the rubric if you want to see what different rubrics will look like.  Let’s take a look:

Add a Name, changed the Type and Scoring, or Reverse Level order

Underneath this, you have the Criteria and Levels table. You can click in the boxes to change the Criterion and Level names, the points, and the Feedback (each Feedback box is an HTML editor). You can add Levels by clicking the + at the far right, and add Criteria by clicking + Add Criterion at the bottom.

Add Criteria names, Level names, Feedback.

If you change the default points values, the points values at the end will also change automatically.

Change the points, and the points in the table will be updated automatically

You still have to adjust the Overall Score table manually, so that the Level names match the main table, and the overall score matches the calculations from the main table. The Options listed are also the same, as is the Advanced Availability. Remember a rubric has to Allow new associations in Competencies for you to attach it to an assessment. Your changes will save automatically, so when you are finished working on your rubric, you can click Close.

Manually adjust the Overall Score table, select your Options and Advanced Availability, then click Close - all your changes will be saved automatically

Also a reminder – if you have rubrics in Dropbox or Discussions, and those assessments are connected to a Grade Item, those rubrics will automatically appear in the Grades Feedback area once you have published the feedback in the associated Dropbox or Discussion Topic.

If you have never used the Rubrics tool in D2L, we highly recommend that you either attend a Rubrics workshop (two are offered this May/June – one at Lansdowne and one at Interurban) or book an appointment with an instructional designer by emailing

Setting a Default Path for a Module – D2L Tutorial

This tutorial is designed for faculty who have previous experience using the Content and Manage Files tools in D2L. For further information, please contact for assistance.


This tutorial will cover the steps involved when you wish to set a Default Path to a specific Manage Files folder for a Module in the Content tool.


  1. Go to the Content tool in your course.
  2. In the Table of Contents box, click on the title of the Module you want to work with.

    Click the title of the Module you want to work with

  3. Click on the down arrow next to the title of the Module and select Set Default Path.

    Click the arrow next to the Module title and select Set Default Path

  4. In the pop-up box, click Change Path. You will then see a list of the folders you have available in the Manage Files area.

    In the pop-up box, click Change Path.

  5. Select the title of the folder you want to connect to your Module. If you don’t see the folder you want, either use the + signs to open the folders to check for sub-folders, or click on New Folder at the tops to create a new folder. Once you have selected your folder name, click Select a Path.

    Select the folder you want to set as the default path for your module, and click Select Path

  6. You will now see the folder you selected at the end of the path name next to Change Path. Click Save. All files you upload to the Module will now be automatically saved in the folder you selected.

    Click Save.

Things to Remember

Remember to set up your Default Paths at the same time as you create your Modules. This will save you from having to reorganize your files in Manage Files later.