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Notes Through D2L's Discussion Forum Tool

This page gives you step-by-step instructions for creating a discussion forum to provide a secure area for notes in your course.  Below are the basic instructions. for those instructors who are familiar with the process. Detailed instructions are also available.

  1. View a list of students with disabilities enrolled in your course at DRC’s Instructor Login
  2. Log into D2L (http://d2l.arizona.edu)
  3. Create a group of students in your D2L course using the list provided through DRC Instructor Login.
    • Note: if a member of the class will be sharing notes, add the student(s) to this group so he or she can post notes directly
  4. To maintain confidentiality for the students enrolled in the group, remove “Groups” from the Navbar.
  5. Create a discussion forum.
    • Under the Restrictions tab, check the box for “Restrict this forum to the following groups” to limit discussion access
    • Add the group that you just created.
    • The note-taker(s) will be able to post notes anonymously, if desired, as a discussion topic.

If you need assistance, please contact the D2L Support Team at d2l@email.arizona.edu or Dawn Hunziker with the Disability Resource Center at hunziker@email.arizona.edu.

Detailed Step-by-Step Instructions

Below you will follow a three step process to set up a D2L-supported notes-distribution process: 

  1. Create a ‘group’ of students who will have access to posted  notes
  2. Enroll students into the ‘group’ (students identified by DRC as using note-taking as an accommodation)
  3. Create a ‘discussion’, as the location in which notes will be posted and restricting its access to  the identified ‘group’

I. Creating a ‘Group’

D2L Instructions for this step can be found at http://help.d2l.arizona.edu/content/creating-groups

  1. Log in to D2L (http://d2l.arizona.edu)
  2. Select a course
  3. Select  “Edit Course”
  4. Choose the link titled “Groups” under the Learner Management category
  5. Create a Group Category then enroll group member(s) by selecting New Category.
  6. For the next step:
    • Type in a Category Name... you may want to name the group “DRC notes”
    • Optionally, add a short description of the purpose of the group
    • From Enrollment Type drop down menu, select“# of Groups - No Auto Enrollments
    • Type in ‘1’ as the “Number of Groups
  7. Select Create on bottom right corner of category.

II. Enrolling Students in the ‘Group’

  1. Identify the students who will have access to the notes, through one of these options:
    • Students who approach you individually about note-taking as a reasonable accommodation
    • Students who are identified on the DRC’s Instructor Link
    • Contact DRC for a complete list of the students in your course who use note-taking as an accommodation (drc-info@email.arizona.edu)

D2L Instructions for this step can be found at http://help.d2l.arizona.edu/content/adding-participants

  1. From the Manage Groups screen, select ‘category list’
  2. Click the name of your created category , i.e. ‘DRC Notes’
  3. Select the down arrow, to the right of the category name and select ‘Enroll Users’
  4. Click the box to the right of each student’s name who should be enrolled in the group
  5. If a classmate(s) will be taking and posting notes, enroll those students in the group
  6. Click ‘Save’

III. Remove “Groups” from the Navbar to protect confidentiality

D2L Instructions for this step can be found at http://help.d2l.arizona.edu/content/modifying-existing-navigation-bar

To ensure that students who are enrolled in the group do not see the other group members you will need to take Groups off the Navbar.  After it is removed, instructors can still go to Edit Course and access the Groups Tool.

  1. Go to “Edit Course”, click “Navigation & Themes”
  2. Create a copy of the Default Navbar (click the down arrow to the right of the “Default Course Home Navbar”  and select “Copy”
  3. Click the name of the Navbar copy you just made – you can rename the Navbar if you like
  4. Use the “Links” area near the bottom of the screen to modify which links appear on the Navbar
  5. To remove a link, click the “X” that appears when you hover over the link
  6. Click the “Save and Close” button

IV.  Creating a Discussion & Limiting its Access

D2L Instructions for this step are at http://help.d2l.arizona.edu/content/creating-new-forums

  1. From the Course Home, select the ‘Discussion’ link in the top navigation bar
  2. Click the “New” button and select “New Forum”
  3. A new window will open
    • Title the forum
    • Click the box to “create a new topic in this forum with the same title”
    • If you would like the note-taker(s) to be able to post notes anonymously, choose “Allow anonymous messages” to be posted within the forum.
    • Click Save to save your changes (not “save and close”).
  4. In the “Group Restrictions” tab:
    • Click the box to the left of “Restrict this forum to the following groups” to disallow other students access to the notes
    • Click “Add Group” - opens a window with a list of the groups that have been created for the class
    • Select the appropriate group by clicking in the box to the right of that group.
    • Select ‘add’
    • “Save and Close”

For assistance, please contact the D2L Support Team at d2l@email.arizona.edu or Dawn Hunziker with the Disability Resource Center at hunziker@email.arizona.edu.