Learning the D2L Basics

MTSU TrueBlue Learning D2L Header Area


Faculty Options

  1. Bootcamp Workshop: Attend a Bootcamp workshop prior to the beginning of the fall and spring terms.
    See the workshop schedule to sign up.
  2. D2L Bootcamp Course: Self-pace through a D2L course created by FITC to find detailed references and videos for using several features of D2L.
    Learn more and self-register.
  3. Website basics: Review topics below for quick instructions to get started with the popular D2L features. See below!
  4. Individual Instruction: We are always happy to help faculty with D2L or any instructional technology. Feel free to schedule an appointment

The D2L Basics - Faculty Support

Login/Course Access

Login Options:

  • URL: https://elearn.mtsu.edu
  • MTSU Homepage, choose Quick Links, choose D2L
  • Within Pipeline, click D2L (along the very top of the screen)
    Pipeline D2L Option along the top

Browsers: We recommend Chrome as your browser since D2L develops using Chrome. Firefox and Safari work very well too. Avoid IE since it is no longer supported by D2L.

Username and Password: Login to D2L using your Pipeline username and password. Remember to include the @mtsu.edu or @mtmail.mtsu.edu in the username.
(E.g. jdoe@mtsu.edu or jdoe@mtmail.mtsu.edu and not John. Doe@mtsu.edu

Find Courses: 

Use the My Courses widget and the options across the top of that widget to find D2L courses for a specific term. Also use the "Select a Course" option (the 9 square boxes to the right of TrueBlue Learning) to search for a course.
Finding D2L Courses with My Courses widget or 9 squares search

Students see the D2L course on the Start Date of the course and no longer see the course after the End Date. Typically courses open 5 days before the start of the term and close 10 days after then end of the term. Faculty may adjust these Start and End dates.

Building Content

Creating D2L Modules:

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
  2. Click Content in the navigation bar (navbar).
  3. Under Table of Contents, click Add a module and type in your module name such as Getting Started or Chapter 1-Linear Equations or Week 1-Linear Equations or Module 1-Linear Equation. Press Enter. Continue this process to build all desired course modules. 

Creating a File:

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course. Click Content and click the module name where you'd like to add a file of information.
  2. Click the New dropdown and click Create a File.
  3. Enter a Title.
  4. Enter the information that you'd like to share. You can type in the information and use the editor's tools to add bold, italic, tables, links, images, embedded videos and more. Or you can copy and paste the information in from some other place such as a Word file. 
  5. Click Publish.

Uploading File(s):

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course. Click Content and click the module name where you'd like to add a file or several files of information.
  2. Click the New dropdown and click Upload Files.
  3. Click My Computer.
  4. Click Upload and then browse your computer to find and select the file(s) to share. (Drag and drop files into the Upload area is another option at this point.)
  5. Click Add. 

Share Regular Course News:

  1. Login to D2L and notice the News widget on the Course Home page.
  2. Click the News dropdown and click New News Item.
  3. Type in your Headline and Content.
  4. Click Publish.

Want more detail?

Explore the many options that exist within these content setups. The information given here is the basics.


D2L Discussions require a Forum AND a Topic setup.

  1. Creating a D2L Discussion Form
    1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
    2. Click Assessments or Communication in the navigation bar (navbar) and then click Discussions.
    3. Click New and then New Forum.
    4. Give the Forum a Title such as Chapter Discussions.
    5. Click Save and Close.
  2. Creating a D2L Discussion Topic:
    Note: Students will click the Discussion topic name to participate.
    1. Stay within the Discussion area and click New and then click New Topic.
    2. Click the dropdown next to the Choose a Forum option and select the appropriate forum to house this topic of discussion. For instance, you may click the Chapter Discussions option from Step 1 above.
    3. Title your Topic such as Chapter 1 Discussions.
    4. Give a description of how you would like the students to participate.
    5. Click Save and Close.

Worth mentioning:

  • Faculty often check the box for "Users must start a thread before they can ready and reply to others".
  • For restricting times of participation, faculty may choose to Unlock the topic for a specific date range.
  • The Assessment tab allows you to grade the discussion and send the grade into an appropriate grade item in the D2L Gradebook.
Want more detail?

Accepting Assignments (D2L Dropbox)

Creating a D2L Dropbox for Digital Assignments:

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
  2. Click Assessments on the navigation bar (navbar) and then click Dropbox.
  3. Click New Folder.
  4. Type in a name for the assignment such as Chapter 1 Assignment.
  5. Type in the instructions for the student to follow for creating this assignment file to be submitted.
  6. Click Save and Close.

Worth Mentioning:

  • Click the Restrictions tab to put a Start and End Date on this assignment. Students will not be able to submit a paper after the End Date. Date/time stamps will be next to each submission.
  • Click the Turnitin tab to enable Grademark (online grading of this assignment) and Enable Originality Check. Percentage of Similarity match will be next to each submission and clickable for review and online grading options.
  • The Evaluation and Feedback area of the Properties tab allows faculty to associate the grade for this assignment with a D2L gradebook item.
Want more detail?


New Quiz and Question Library work together for building quizzes, tests or exams. To keep questions organized start with the Question Library and then design a quiz using questions from within your question library.

Step 1. Build Questions in the D2L Question Library:

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
  2. Click Assessments on the navigation bar (navbar) and then click Quizzes.
  3. Click Question Library.
    To organize the questions, start with creating a folder to hold questions of a similar type by clicking New and then click Section.
  4. Type in a meaningful Section Title (folder name) such as Chapter 1 Questions which will house all of your questions from Chapter 1. Check Hide Section Title.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Now click that new folder to open it and begin to add questions. Click New and then choose a question type such as Multiple Choice Question or True/False or Written Response (essay) which are the most popular question types. Notice the other options too.
  7. Type in the Question Text and the possible answers and put a check in the circle to the left of the correct answer. Click to Randomize answers if desired.
  8. Click Save or Click Save and New if you'd like to begin adding another question. Change the question type at the top of the page to a different type question when needed.
  9. Continue this process of adding questions to the folder.
  10. When complete, click Done Editing Questions.

Note: It is possible to put sections within sections (folders within folders) to better sort your questions if needed. 

Want more detail?

Step 2. Design the Quiz:

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
  2. Click Assessments on the navigation bar (navbar) and then click Quizzes.
  3. Click Manage Quizzes.
  4. Click New Quiz. 

    On the Properties Tab

    Name the quiz.

    Click Save.

    Click Add/Edit Questions to begin to add questions.

    You could at this point begin to select New/MC or New/WR and design questions on the fly if you omitted Step 1. Building Questions in the D2L Question Library. We suggest building within the Question Library (Step 1 above) and if you did use the process below.

    Click Import/Browse Question Library.

    Expand the sections of the question library and check those questions or entire sections of questions to present to the students for this quiz. This presumes you have completed your work in Step 1. Build Questions in the D2L Question Library (above). Click Add.

    Click Done Editing Questions.

    Click Save. (You can't click Save too often as your are designing.)

    Click Edit Values (to the right of Add/Edit Questions) and adjust the point values for the questions. When finished, click Save.

    Consider the Questions per page option. We suggest choosing a number between 5-10 and clicking Apply instead of putting all the questions in one long page for the student.

    For creating questions that are randomly selected, see our FAQ/Quiz area.

    On the Restrictions Tab...

    *Remember to change the status to Active once your quiz is completed designed and ready for delivery. Changes after becoming active may cause problems.

    Set the Start Date/Time and End Date/Time. Students may not enter the quiz outside of these parameters.

    In the timing section click Enforced Time Limit, set the Time Limit in minutes and give at least a 1 minute grace period for students to submit their quiz attempt once time has expired.  We recommend the Middle Exceeded Time Limit Behavior of "Prevent the student from making further changes" for most quizzes.

    See Special Access in our Top FAQs

    Click Save. 

    On the Assessment Tab...

    Select the grade item from the D2L gradebook to send the quiz grade into and typically faculty check the boxes above and below that grade item so the quiz is automatically graded and automatically exported into the grades area.

    If you would like the student to have more than one attempt, that is also adjusted at the bottom of this tab. 

    Click Save.

    On the Submission Views Tab...

    By default, the student sees only their score on the quiz once complete. They will see something like 10/15 in the quiz area. Using the Submission Views tab, faculty may allow students to see more information once the quiz is complete such as any incorrectly answered questions. 


Typically faculty use one of two methods for grading:

  1. "Points" Grading System: Adding up all the assessment scores achieved by a student and dividing that score by the total number of assessment points possible.
  2. "Weighted" Grading System: Several categories are grades have different weights to arrive at the final grade. Typically each item is out of 100 points possible.

The directions below cover setting up a points grading system.

Watch this video for a sample in setting up a weighted grading system. <link>

Look under Settings in the Grades area for overall gradebook display and calculation adjustments.

Organizing your D2L "Points-type" Gradebook

Create a Grade Category

Grade Categories are like folders which will house similar types of grades. Grade Categories MUST be used if the instructor intends to drop any grades within certain categories.

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
  2. Click Assessments on the navigation bar (navbar) and then click Grades.
  3. Click Manage Grades.
  4. Click New and then click Category.
  5. Type in the Category name such as Homework.
  6. Click Save and Close.
  7. Continue until all of your grade categories are setup.

Worth Mentioning:

  • Instructors who intend to drop any grades within a category, take notice when creating the Category that there is an option to "Distribute points across all items" and then select the "Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop" options.

Create Grade Items

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
  2. Click Assessments on the navigation bar (navbar) and then click Grades.
  3. Click Manage Grades.
  4. Click New and then click Item.
  5. Click Numeric (most of the time).
  6. Type in the Item name.
  7. Click the dropdown for the Category (next to the word None) and select what category this grade item should fall under.
  8. Type in the number for the Maximum Points possible for this grade item.
  9. Click Save and Close.
  10. Continue this process until all of your grade items are setup and sorted into appropriate categories.

Worth Mentioning:

  • Faculty who only use a few grade items and do not drop any grades may not need to sort into Categories and might simply create the few Grade Items.
  • When setting up the items, there is a Bonus checkbox for items that are to be Bonus points only.

Entering Grades

  1. Click the Enter Grades option within the Grades area and then Switch to Spreadsheet View.
  2. Enter the values for the grade item for each student and click Save.

Want more detail?

D2L Classlist & Email

One way to email an entire class of student is to use the D2L Classlist feature. Note: When using Classlist to send email, the email message stays contained within D2L's email tool and does not flow out into the person's mtsu.edu or mtmail.mtsu.edu inboxes outside of D2L.

Best Practice: If you intend to use this feature, please inform your students to regularly check email within D2L in addition to their MTSU outlook/webmail.

Using D2L Classlist to Send Email:

  1. Login to D2L and go into your course.
  2. Click Communication on the navigation bar (navbar) and then click Classlist.
  3. Click the Email Classlist button (near the top of the screen).
  4. Click Send Email (near the bottom of the screen).
  5. Type in the Subject line and the Body of the message.
  6. Click Send (near the top of the pop-up).

Worth Mentioning:

  • Within Classlist to send to a single or couple of students, click the box to the left of the student's name in Classlist and then click email at the top of that column. Fill in the subject and body and click Send.
  • Find email messages to your D2L email inbox by clicking Email on the My Home page or Email within the course Communications navbar listing. There is a "Filter By:" option that allows the selection of "All Messages" which may be helpful in finding messages. 
Want more detail? 

My question is not answered here. What do I do?

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