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Avenue Homepages and Widgets

Welcome to the Avenue to Learn Homepages and Widgets workshop. This is a blended workshop - meaning that before you attend the in-person session, you will have viewed the resources on this page, tried some of these tasks in a course shell and then attended our face-to-face working session where you will put what you've learned into practice. We strongly encourage you to bring materials that you might use for your course to the session, that way you will be able to use that time for developing your actual course. If you do not have all your materials prepared, that's fine, bring what you can to the session.

The outcomes for this course are:

  • You will be able to create a new course Homepage and make it active.
  • You will be able to customize the Homepage to display only what you want your students to see.
  • You will be able to create and edit a Widget to add functionality or visual interest to your course.

Changes to homepages and widgets in the Brightspace Daylight Experience

In the Brightspace Daylight Experience, you can no longer set background colors or images for a homepage or select a color for widget headers. These limits ensure that information is not lost when the display resizes for tablet, mobile device, or other narrow displays. It also ensures that the Brightspace Learning Environment continues to provide a clean backdrop for announcement items, content, and other custom widget material.

To ensure that the Brightspace Daylight Experience is able to optimally resize for narrow displays, D2L recommends that you update your Brightspace Learning Environment to a one or two column homepage layout with your primary content on the left. When the display area collapses to a single column on mobile devices, the content in the secondary column appears beneath the left, primary content. If you do not want to lose the image in your widget header, you can create a banner image widget below the navbar or add an image widget in your secondary column to customize the display.

Some of the instructional videos below are slightly out of date, for any discrepancies, consult the vendor documentation at the following URL:

https://documentation.brightspace.com/EN/le/daylight/admin/changes_to_homepages_and_widgets.htm

Homepages

Accessing the Homepages tool

  • On your course homepage click on ‘Course Admin’
  • Click on ‘homepages’
  • From here you can preview, copy, edit, and activate your homepages

Copy a Homepage to use for editing

You can create a homepage from scratch using a variety of layouts, but for the purpose of this training we will copy the default layout, and then customize it by either adding or removing widgets.

  • Click on the upside down triangle to the right of the 'Course Default' text, and select 'Copy' to create a new editable homepage
  • Use the copied homepage to work with, as the 'Course Default' homepage cannot be edited

Edit Homepage properties

After clicking on the newly copied homepage you can:

  • Changing the name of your homepage
  • Add a description
  • Change the Type
  • Manipulate Header options
  • Change the layout
  • Edit properties of some widgets by clicking on the widget itself
  • Add and change the placement of system and custom widgets (including headers and footers)

Please review the following vendor video to learn about some of the commonly used functionality in manipulating homepages, and how to activate your custom homepage. They go through creating a homepage from scratch, but you can see the similarities between editing your copied homepage:


Widgets

Accessing the Widgets tool

  • On your course homepage click on ‘Course Admin’
  • Click on ‘widgets’
  • Here you can create, preview, and edit custom widgets
  • You can also customize and preview system widgets (by clicking on the 'system widgets' tab) Note: Some system widgets are not available for use, such as 'google apps'

To make a custom widget, please evaluate the following vendor documenation:


To use your custom widget, just repeat the steps at the very top of this page to insert it into your custom homepage.




For questions or concerns, Avenue support is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at (905) 525-9140 ext. 23757 or by completing the intake form located at http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/support/

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