Provide access to students
To ensure your students can access your course shell, two things need to be in place:
- The RAMSS section number(s) for your courses must be added to your course shell (to load the students).
- The course shell must be made "active".
Here are some guidelines for setting this up.
Find your students in the Classlist tool, in the menu of your shell.
What is a section number?
Each course is divided into sections - this way, students can be identified as a group. Even if there is only one group of students, there is a section number.
Section numbers are usually 3-4 characters long, and can be all numbers, or a combination of numbers and letters. Section numbers can look like 011, 061, 2J0, 701e and 801i.
Students cannot be added to your D2L course shell without the section number(s), so this is a very important step.
Where do I find my section numbers?
ALWAYS confirm your section numbers in RAMSS first. If your section numbers do not appear in RAMSS, it may be too early to add your sections to your course shell.
If you need help with RAMSS, please be sure to check their support website.
How do I associate my D2L shell with a section?
This can be done in one of two ways:
- Section numbers can be identified when you fill out the course shell request form.
- If you weren't able to identify the section numbers in the course shell request, and your section numbers are now available in RAMSS, you can use the Manage Shell Student Sections feature in Self Service to add them to your course shell.
Once the section number(s) have been associated with your course shell, the students registered in that section will automatically be added to your D2L course shell. If a student drops the course, they will automatically be dropped from your course shell.
How do I know once my sections have been added?
You can go into your D2L Brightspace course shell and check the Classlist tool. Your students will be listed here, and can be filtered by section.
When a D2L Brightspace shell is first created, it is 'inactive'. This gives the instructors and course developers time to set everything up properly before releasing the course shell to the students.
When it is inactive, "course admin" users (like Instructor, TA, Grader, Course Builder) can access the shell, but "learners" (like Students, Auditing Participants or Attendees) don't even see the shell in their My Courses list.
Once you are ready, you can make the shell 'active'.
Set your course to 'active' from the D2L homepage
Set your course to 'active' from within your course shell
Note: This option does not disable your editing rights. Therefore all editing options will still appear to you. However, students will not see any editing options. The benefit of this option is that enables you, as the instructor, to continue editing your course while seeing your course as your students will see it.
Warning: Some tools may not show a complete or accurate view as a student because using the role switch does not represent a real user in the course. For example, there is no place for the instructor to see a quiz attempt or a file submitted to an assignment folder. Additionally, the role switch “student” will not show items with restrictions or release conditions set such as Discussions, Quizzes, or Assignment folders restricted by date, or released by group.
A special note about Grades and using role switch:
Using the Role Switch, the instructor is unable to see actual scores in Grades, since there is neither grade data nor an actual user associated with this view. The instructor will only be able to see the names of the grade items and the denominator (total points) value for each item.
What is a dummy student?
A dummy student is a sample user account that an instructor can add as a student to his or her course in order to test/navigate the course from a student’s perspective.
Testing your course using the dummy student is a great way to make sure tests and assignments have been made available, as well as to see the process students go through when submitting tests and assignments.
Use a dummy student to:
- Submit a quiz or assignment.
- View a quiz attempt or a file submitted to a Dropbox.
- View items with restrictions or release conditions set such as Discussions, Quizzes, or Dropboxes restricted by date, or released by group.
- View actual scores in Grades. (Since there is neither grade data nor an actual user associated with the Role Switch view mode, the instructor will only be able to see the names of the grade items and the denominator (total points) value for each item.)
How do I request a dummy student?
If you would like to request a dummy student account, email firstname.lastname@example.org indicating you need a dummy student account to use in D2L.
Add your dummy student to your course shell
Once you have a dummy student account, you can add it to any of your course shells using the Manage Shell Members tool.
Add your dummy student username, and select the 'Auditing Participant' role. This will be sufficient for testing content, assessments and grading. If you need to test Discussions or Groups as a student, please contact our support team for an alternative option.
Why use a dummy student over role switch?
The "Role Switch" view mode offers a quick and simple way to preview your course as the average student would. This view mode keeps you signed in as the instructor, so you can still make edits.
However, since the Role Switch view mode doesn’t represent a real user, there are certain features that are unavailable in this view mode, including those listed in the recommendations above.
Where do the students find out how to login to D2L?
- Their instructor: We highly recommend that instructors take the time to introduce their students to their course site by showing it to them in class.
- The support website: Many students know that they have online components on D2L, and can find out the URL for the website from many sources (including the www.ryerson.ca, some school communications, etc.). Here, they are given information on how to login, how to determine their username and what technical requirements are needed to access D2L from home or school.
Where do students get technical support for D2L?
As students and faculty receive support from different groups here at Ryerson, we ask that students not be directed to contact the Faculty & Staff support team or the DMP.
These support people will simply forward them to the student support, which may add frustration and wait time to the process for the student.
If you just want a list of your enrolled students, it’s probably best to download your class list from RAMSS, as it is the most up-to-date.
Alternatively, you can download the list of students from the Grades tool.