Designing Your Course

Request a Development Shell

It is always best to develop your new course in a Development Shell. If you develop your course in a future D2L course, you may lose your content if an administrator in your department switches the course section you will be teaching. To request a development shell go the D2L support site, click faculty in the left navigation area, and fill out the development shell request form.


Use your courses' News Tool to identify the course and provide instructor contact information. News items should also be used to quickly provide new course information to students as they enter your course. Dates can be set on news items to specify when they should appear and disappear. News items can also be created that will only be visible to groups of users you specify.

News Items

Task or Section Included Comments

Course Information New Items



Welcoming message    
Connection to program (prerequisites)    
Discipline noted    
Main learning objectives    

Course Description


How This Course Works

What to do first and how to find it    
Describe generally how to proceed through course materials    
Define how many assessments and how many modules of content there are    

Due Dates



Sample Content Modules

Getting Started Module

Task or Section Approved Comments
Syllabus: Use the MTSU Syllabus template



Welcome Message (Customize) (Draft)


Instructor Contact Information (Customize) (Draft)



Review Course Expectations



Read the Syllabus
Create a Syllabus Using the MTSU Syllabus template



Course Information



Course Description



Course Objectives



Prerequisites and Co-requisites



Course Topics



Specific Course Requirements



Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements



Required Textbooks



Supplementary Materials



Hardware Requirements



Software Requirements



Web Resources



Instructor Information



Participation, Assessments and Grading



Testing Procedures



Grading Procedure



Grading Scale



Assignments and Projects



Class Participation



Late Policy



Course Ground Rules



Standards of Conduct



Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty



Other Course Rules



Guidelines for Communications












Students with Disabilities



Syllabus Changes



Technical Support



Introduction Discussion



Review the RODP Student Success Guidelines



Get Help (ADA, etc)



How to Check your Progress



Testing Information



Final Grade Calculation





Attendance Tool

If you are teaching a face-to-face course an easy method for tracking attendance is to use D2L's Attendance Tool. Create an Attendance Register to track semester attendance and either use the default MTSU Scheme or make your own attendance scheme. To take attendance begin each class session by marking everyone as "present" and then take attendance, changing the status only for the students who are absent. If you also track excused absences you can create your own attendance scheme and add that choice. Copy the default scheme and modify it.

Attendance Schemes

MTSU has created a default scheme that tracks present, absent, and tardy. You are welcome to copy this scheme and add another tracking option such as excused.

Attendance Registers

Create an attendance register and enter names for each class period for which you want to track attendance. Typically instructors will add dates. If a class meets once a week instructors may only week numbers.

Taking Attendance

Click on the attendance register name to open it. Click the pencil of the session for which you want to take attendance. Since most students are typically in attendance you may want to set the attendance for all students as present and then call roll. You will then only change the status of students who are not in attendance.


Import/Export/Copy Components

(Note: If you are creating your course from scratch you will not need to use this tool right now but you will use this tool later as you move course content  from your development shell to the next semester's courses.)

The Import/Export/Copy Components tool allows you to copy components from a previous semester course into a current semester course. It is important to remember that you need to start the import process from the course that needs to receive the course content. Search for the course that has the content by typing in the semester code. Example: 201410 = year 2014, semester/month = 1 for January, the zero is just a place holder. 201450 = summer semester and 201480 = fall semester. When you locate the course that contains the contain you want to copy use the first button to copy all the contents from the previous course or use the second button to choose specific content you want to move.

Note: It is easier to copy all of the content and delete what you don’t want to use in the new course than it is to move content in parts.


Manage Dates

The Manage Dates tool enables you to view a list of objects in your course and edit their date availability values. What this means is that you can take a course that you copied from a previous semester and edit all of the dates for discussions, dropboxes, quizzes, and content modules. It can save you a lot of time at the beginning of each semester. Manage Dates directions can be found at

Note: Dropbox Due Dates cannot be edited using the Manage Dates tool. Only dropbox start and end dates can be modified.



Tutorials and Tips are still being moved to this site from previous locations on MTSU servers.

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