Please navigate through our tutorials below to learn more about CourseDen (Brightspace D2L).

    Use the direct link to log into CourseDen

    • Getting Started

      CourseDen is an innovative learning management system for creating, hosting and editing online learning resources. CourseDen contains a flexible suite of tools for creating custom content for courses, instructor, and users. Use the navigation to the left, or select an icon below to get started working with the tools CourseDen has to offer

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Getting Started Guide.

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      Your Account
      General Topics
    • Accessibility

      Web accessibility refers to how easily people with disabilities can navigate and interact with websites. Disabilities may be physical (such as blindness, low vision, deafness, or fine motor skills difficulty), or cognitive (such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder). People with disabilities often use assistive technologies to help them navigate the web. An assistive technology is any device that helps a person with a disability. Common web assistive technologies include modified mice and keyboards, screen readers and screen magnifiers.

      Web accessibility occurs when websites support web accessibility standards, are compatible with assistive technologies, and are easy for people to navigate and understand.

      Desire2Learn follows web accessibility standards closely and works with interested clients to test the usability of their products for people with disabilities. They believe that instructional practices should focus on helping people learn, and should not be limited by the learning management system in which the material is delivered in.

      For how-to guides, information on accessibility and information on using a screen-reader, please visit our Online Accessibility page

    • Announcements

      Use the Announcements tool to create messages for students such as course information and other updates.

      Announcements items appear in the Announcements widget, but through your notification settings, you can also receive instant notifications about postings through email, SMS, and RSS feeds.

      The Announcements tool enables you to create messagess that help communicate course updates, changes, and new information to your users quickly and effectively. Since Course Home is the first page that users often see when they log in or access their courses, the Announcements widget is a good area for displaying important information.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Announcements Guide.

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    • Assignments
      The Assignments tool enables you to submit assignments in CourseDen, eliminating the need for students to mail, fax, to instructors. Simply direct students to upload their submission to the appropriate dropbox folder and submit.

      The Assignments tool allows you to see users’ submission times, download dropbox folders to your computer, view submissions with the document viewer on the Evaluate Submission page, associate assignments folders to rubrics and competencies, and return submissions with grades and feedback.

      You can view users' submissions and submission dates in the Folder Submissions area. This eliminates the need to collect assignments and helps you track when files were submitted.

      Create categories to group and organize your assignments folders. You can also restrict access to assignments folders by date and time, group membership, or special access permissions. Each folder's Folder Submissions area has search and filter options that enable you to find users' submitted files by username, submission history, and amount of feedback they have received.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Assignments Guide.

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    • Brightspace Community

      Brightspace is the name for D2L's integrated product platform, including all its familiar components that the University System of Georgia has been using all along. (Brightspace Learning Environment, Brightspace Insights, etc.)

      Join the Free Brightspace Community site  if you're looking for:

      • Video tutorials
      • Product manuals
      • Release information
      • Help file packages available for download
      • Product discussion forums
      • Barry Dahl and Barbra Thoeming's community blog - now called the Teaching and Learning Community of Practice (CoP)
      • Product Idea Exchange (PIE) - This allows you to add your product related ideas or to vote up other ideas. D2L looks at this area as they are planning future upgrades.

      To view the latest release information, including Feature Guides, Release Notes, Technical Release Notes, Platform requirements, and more view the Desire 2 Learn documentation.


    • Calendar
      Use the Calendar tool to arrange and visualize your course events in multiple views and enable integration of course content and your Calendar.

      You can use iCal to synchronize the Calendar tool to your personal calendars (such as Outlook and Google Calendar, as well as iPhone, Android, and Blackberry).

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Content Guide.

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    • Checklist
      A checklist is a way to highlight important or required assignments, readings, or other items to complete.

      Each checklist contains one or more categories, into which checklist items are organized. For example, you might have an 'Assignments' checklist with categories for written assignments and quizzes, both of which could have multiple items that you need to complete.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Content Guide.

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    • Class Progress (formerly called User Progress)
       The User Progress tool helps track student progress in a course by measuring their completion of 9 different progress indicators. Instructors can use User Progress to track their students' overall progress and prepare progress reports, while students can use User Progress to keep track of all of their course-specific assignments and feedback. Progress reports are available for the following progress indicators: Grades, Objectives, Content, Discussions, Assignments, Quizzes, Checklists, Surveys, and Login History. For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor User Progress Guide.

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    • Classlist
      Use the Classlist tool to view who's enrolled in your course, check users' online statuses, send email or pager messages, and view shared locker files.

      Instructors can use the Classlist tool to add or remove course participants and change user roles. You can use the options in the context menu beside each user's name to view user progress and view group enrollments.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Classlist Guide.

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    • Collaborate

      Blackboard Collaborate Ultra software solutions offer a social, interactive learning experience with virtual classrooms, online conferencing, instant messaging, and more collaboration tools.

      Blackboard Collaborate Ultra no longer requires Java, which means that users do not need to install it, thus there are fewer technical challenges. The user interface is less cluttered and more intuitive.

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      For specialized assistance with Blackboard Collaborate after hours, contact them via the below options:

    • Competencies

      Competencies help track information about the knowledge, skills and abilities learners acquire as they participate in courses or other learning experiences. Competencies are an inventory of skills and knowledge, rather than measures of how good learners are at completing certain tasks. Other vocabulary used to describe competencies can include "proficiencies", "learning outcomes", "standards", "objectives", and "skills". Examples of competencies can include:

      • Certification to operate a forklift
      • Expertise on how to troubleshoot a network
      • Essential teaching skills acquired from a teacher education curriculum
      • License to operate a motorboat after successful completion of a boating safety course

      The types of competencies you create and track depend on your institution and what you ultimately want to do with the information.

      Use the Competencies tool to create competency structures to help you assess the learning outcomes of users' and determine if they have acquired the intended knowledge, skills, and abilities from a learning experience. The transparency and accountability of competency structures have an advantage over traditional grading mechanisms, because they do not mask gaps in learning with general, overall grade averages.


    • Content
      Use the Content tool to access course materials to create, edit, organize, and delete items within each course module. Course content is displayed like a table of contents and reveals all the learning modules in a tiered format.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Content Guide.

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    • Course Admin
    • Course Builder
      Use Course Builder to interact with your course materials, learning experiences, and assessments in one consolidated interface so you can visualize and review your entire course at once. The Course Builder interface is straightforward and efficient, transforming the process of course design and set-up from multiple steps in different tools into simple one-step actions. Whether you're starting from scratch or updating existing courses, Course Builder is an excellent tool for planning and organizing course materials.

      As you build your course, Course Builder interacts with the following CourseDen tools:

      • Content
      • Manage Files
      • Discussions
      • Assignments
      • Quizzes
      • Grades
      • Competencies

      As you build your course outline with modules and placeholders, you can add notes to each module and placeholder summarizing your course goals and learning objectives. When you are ready, you can populate your outline by creating appropriate lessons and activities within Course Builder.

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    • Discussions
      The Discussions tool is a collaboration area to post, read and reply to threads on different topics, share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, or work with your peers on assignments and homework.

      Use the Discussions tool in your course to:

      • Encourage users to share thoughts on course material with their peers.
      • Set up forums for users to ask questions.
      • Pose questions for the class to debate.
      • Discuss the answers to an assignment.
      • Create forums for groups to work on group assignments.

      For a complete walkthrough on the discussion tool, please visit our Student/Instructor Discussions Guide.

       New Discussion Style

      If you are tired of the post-and-reply-to-two homework style discussions, your students probably are, too. For information on restructuring your discussions to create classroom-like discussion interactions, check out these videos (brief and detailed) on restructured discussions. You will not only see how you can have engaging and meaningful discussions with your students, you will also save time.

      Help Topics
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    • Email
      The email tool allows you to send email from within the Learning Environment. You can also organize received mail using folders and store email addresses using the Address Book.

      You have an email account for sending emails to and receiving emails from other users in CourseDen. You cannot send emails to external addresses.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Email Guide.

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    • Grades
      Use the Grades tool to assign/enter grades for assignments and tests. You can enter individual student grades, as well as see class averages and provide feedback.

      As an instructor or course designer, you can determine:

      • How to set up your grade book to best reflect your approach to evaluation.
      • The grading system your grade book uses.
      • The grade scheme your grade book uses to display achievement levels.
      • How grades display to students.
      • The type of final grade calculation you want to use and release to students.
      • How grades update in the grade book.
      • How to deal with ungraded items.
      • Which projects, assignments, discussions, quizzes, etc. you want to include in your grade book.
      • Which grade items to associate with other tools (e.g. Dropbox, Quizzes, Discussions).
      • When to release grades to users and what information they can see.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Grades Guide.

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    • Groups
      You can use the Groups tool to assign your students to groups for Discussions and Assignments. It makes it easy to email specific groups, to keep track of group projects, and to energize discussions by limiting the number of participants.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Groups Guide.

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    • Instant Messages

      The Instant Messages is an online messaging tool for sending text messages to classmates and other members of CourseDen. An instant message is quicker and less formal than an email. Use instant messages to quickly see which of your classmates are online, get an answer from a friend, or to send a reminder or notice.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor Instant Messages Guide.

    • Quizzes
      The Quizzes tool enables you to create and manage points-measured assessments. As part of your quantifiable assessment procedures, you can use quizzes to help evaluate learning progress of users and learning outcomes. Create and manage quiz questions from the Question Library or the Quizzes tool, and organize quizzes into categories to make it easier to find assessments with similar or related content. Use the quiz preview option to test the accuracy of content and grading before you release a quiz. In a preview, you can answer the questions, view allowed hints, submit the quiz, auto-grade answers, read feedback, and view report results.

      Once you receive completed quizzes from learners, you can view quiz statistics such as grade distribution, grade average, question statistics, and user statistics on the Statistics page.

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    • Rubrics
      Rubrics are an assessment tool used to evaluate an activity or item based on predefined criteria. They help ensure that activities are evaluated fairly and consistently. Rubrics within Desire2Learn can be used for grading alone or be used as a part of competencies to determine if learning objectives have been achieved.

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      Check out more Rubrics resources.

    • Videos

      You can often bring external content such as audio and video into CourseDen. The following tutorials will demonstrate how to successfully add and create videos for YouTube. If your students are experiencing trouble viewing the content, please have them contact the UWG Online Helpdesk at 678-839-6248 or online@westga.edu for further assistance.



      If you would like to create interactive videos/presentations for your students using software such as Camtasia or Captivate, please read the following tutorial:


    Faculty Services

    The following section features services the CTL provides for instructors. These services are useful in keeping up to date with the latest training, course development, and tools being used at UWG. See also our information on QM Training Program Online Learning Consortium, and UWG Onlinne's Policies and Procedures page.


    • Crosslisting Sections

      Multiple sections of a course or multiple courses can be grouped together in CourseDen. Read our crosslisting tutorial to find out more.

    • Google Apps

      Google Drive is a Web-based office suite all in one location. It allows you to create, edit and manage documents, presentations and spreadsheets while collaborating online in real-time. With Google spreadsheets and forms, you can learn to create, save, and enter data which can be shared with respondents of your choice. As they respond, their answers will be stored in a spreadsheet which you can use to analyze, graph and share the results. Access Google Drive.

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      Google Sites

      Google Sites is the easiest way to make information accessible to people who need quick, up-to-date access. People can work together on a Site to add file attachments, information from other Google applications (like Google Docs, Google Calendar, and YouTube) and new free-form content. Visit the Google Sites Help Center for more information.

      Beginner's guide to creating a site

      1. Step 1 - Welcome to Google Sites
      2. Step 2 - Creating your site
      3. Step 3 - Building and editing your site
      4. Step 4 - Site access
      5. Step 5 - Advanced site tips
    • Kaltura MediaSpace Services

      Kaltura MediaSpace is an online multi-media tool that allows users to create, edit, stream, manage, access, and collaborate on multi-media projects. The tool can be used to easily capture audio and video, as well as deliver related documents or files. The tools can be accessed two ways, though options may vary depending on the access point:

      1. Use Kaltura MediaSpace Integration with courses in D2L/CourseDen - to share with students only (by default)
      2. Use Kaltura MediaSpace via a public facing website - currently read-only access has been granted

      This Quick Start Guide will help you get started with some of the different Kaltura MediaSpace services.

      For more comprehensive information, you can view this page dedicated specifically to Kaltura MediaSpace.

    • Piktochart

      Piktochart helps you to create infographics, share and get results in 3 easy steps. No design experience required. Using your UWG Google account (associated with your UWG Gmail account), you can create a free, limited account.

      Visit their website for more information.

    • PowToon

      PowToon will create the world’s most minimalist, user friendly and intuitive presentation software that allows someone with no technical or design skills to create engaging professional “look and feel” animated presentations. Using your UWG Google account (associated with your UWG Gmail account), you can create a free, limited account. For more information, visit their website.

      If you like to learn more about PowToon, visit their Blog, Cartoon Marketing E-Book, PowToon Examples, Knowledge Base, and Tutorials.

    • Prezi

      Prezi is a free web-based presentation application and storytelling tool that uses a single, infinite canvas instead of traditional slides.

      Prezi provides discounts to students and teachers who sign up with a school email address. If you do not have an email associated with your educational institution, please see the standard pricing. For more information vist their website.

    • ReadSpeaker

      The CourseDen ReadSpeaker Integration automatically enables ReadSpeaker online text-to-speech technology for CourseDen’s HTML content page for all users. Any student can hear their HTML course content spoken aloud or download it as an MP3 using only their internet browser. Students can also highlight and play back a subset of the content.

      Currently, this technology only works for HTML files created within CourseDen. If you think there is an issue with your ReadSpeaker, be sure your are trying to listen to a CourseDen HTML file.

      For a complete walkthrough, please visit our Student/Instructor ReadSpeaker Guide.

    • Smarthinking

      Smarthinking provides both synchronous and asynchronous assistance to UWG students/instructors in online courses, off-campus (Newnan, Douglasville, etc.) courses, and QEP courses. In order for students to access Smarthinking, they should click on the Resources/Tutoring tab of their courses. 

      For more specific information about the types of services and subjects available through Smarthinking, view their services and subjects

    • Turnitin
      Turnitin is an originality checking and plagiarism detection service used by millions of students and faculty and thousands of institutions worldwide.  Turnitin encourages best practices for using and citing other people’s written material.  It offers a complete web-based service to manage the process of submitting and tracking papers electronically, providing better—and faster—feedback to students.

      In a continued effort to support UWG's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), UWG's Center for Teaching and Learning offers faculty training and assistance for both integrated and non-integrated versions of Turnitin.  The tools available through Turnitin can help faculty "improve undergraduate writing in the core curriculum" and beyond.  Through Turnitin, faculty are able to provide effective, engaging feedback that "enhance[s] student writing competence."

      Turnitin Integration with CourseDen

      The integrated feature is located and activated from within the CourseDen Assignments.  Instructors access the Originality Check and GradeMark from within Assignments itself.  No separate login or account creation is required.

      A Dropbox assignment that has Turnitin activated will have a small icon next to the submission link.  Students will be able to see the icon as well, but they may not know what it represents.  Therefore, it is important for the instructor to provide information about the use of Turnitin and his/her policy regarding academic integrity.

      Turnitin.com Account

      Faculty also have the option to create a Turnitin.com account external from CourseDen. This account will require a separate login for both students and faculty. Another difference from the integrated version is faculty will have access to the Peer Review tool, which is not currently available in CourseDen. Those wishing to learn more about this account or would like to create an account need to contact the CTL at ctl@westga.edu or 678-839-5289.

      Turnitin iPad App

      The Turnitin iPad app may be used for both the integrated and non-integrated versions.  It offers all of the same features and tools as the corresponding versions, and it may be used offline.  Those who have a Turnitin.com account and use the integrated piece may seamlessly switch between the two.  An access code is required to set up the app with the integrated version.  See instructions below for guidance.

      For additional information or training on Turnitin, contact the CTL at ctl@westga.edu or 678-839-5289.

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    Faculty Software

    Contact the Center for Teaching & Learning to learn more about our supported tools and software.

    • Supported Tools and Software

      The University, CTL, and UWG Online have the following software and license agreements that can help support your face-to-face and online courses. Contact us for assistance.

      • Brightspace by D2L / CourseDen is provided as the main Learning Management System for the University.
      • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra – Live and recorded, two-way audio and/or video presentation application; it allows for application sharing, on-the-fly assessments and surveys, instant messaging, texting, mark-ups via an integrated whiteboard, and has a phone-bridge in case participants need to call in via a regular phone line.
      • Turnitin – Turnitin integration with CourseDen's Dropbox. The integration features GradeMark and OriginalityCheck. 
      • ReadSpeaker - The CourseDen ReadSpeaker Integration automatically enables ReadSpeaker online text-to-speech technology for CourseDen’s HTML content page for all users. Any student can hear their HTML course content spoken aloud or download it as an MP3 using only their internet browser. Students can also highlight and play back a subset of the content.
      • Respondus Test Creator & StudyMate - Respondus Test Creator is a program that allows users to create tests that can be imported into CourseDen (D2L). Studymate allows users to create study items, including flash cards, crosswords, etc.
      • Smarthinking – Used for online tutoring, paper review, writing assistance, and general subject help for online West Georgia students.
      • CoursEval Server – This software allows for the automation of faculty and course evaluations for online courses.
      • Kaltura – online multi-media tool that allows users to create, edit, stream, manage, access, and collaborate on multi-media projects.

      Our department also has experience with and can provide limited support with the use of the following free open-source tools for use in the online classroom:

      Google Apps

      • Google Drive - Collaborative cloud based sharing for Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Sheets, and many more formats
      • Google Docs - Google Docs is part of Google Drive and allows for collaborative editing of documents
      • Google Forms - Part of Google Drive, allows users to quickly create and post an online form or survey online, for which the results are automatically collected in a Google Sheet (spreadsheet that can be downloaded into a .csv file for easy import into SPSS or other statistical analysis package)
      • YouTube - Repository for sharable video content

      Audacity - Free audio recorder and editor

      RSS feed creator - Allows instructor to include an RSS feed of their choice, within their CourseDen course

    • Faculty Downloads

      This list of downloads shows the recommended software to use CourseDen effectively. See Technology for Courses for additional information.

      Supported Internet Browsers

      Java Plug-In

      • Java Update
        Click on the download button; the website can tell whether you're on Windows or Mac and will download the appropriate version.

      Other Recommended Software

      For a list of software available through the University for your instructional needs, please see the Service Catalog at Information Technology Services.



    Workshops Information

    We offer online and face-to-face support for instructional design and best practices via our regular scheduled group works or one-on-one consultations at your convenience. If you can't find what you need, contact us to set up an appointment: ctl@westga.edu, or call ext. 95289.

    One-On-One, Personalized Training

    Email the CTL at ctl@westga.edu, or call ext. 95289, and we will set up an appointment with you.

    Dedicated Departmental Training

    Schedule a group training for your department today! Sessions are individualized to meet your department's needs and are available for anyone interested. Email us at ctl@westga.edu, or call ext. 95289.

    See the CTL Workshops & Training Google Doc for more information.

    See also: