Add/Remove Tools


Overview: “Add/Remove Tools” gives tool customization abilities to instructors in terms of what tools show up in the Course Navigation bar and Course Resources drop down list. Instructors who do not not intend to use certain tools can elect to deactivate them which will render them invisible to users.

How to do it Before disabling
Tool Notes Additional Notes

How to do it:

Login to D2L and go into the appropriate course.

Select the "Course Admin" link in the upper right-hand corner of the Navigation Bar.

BSLE CD screenshot - select "Course Admin" link


Select "Tools" from the Course Administration page.

BSLE CD screenshot - select"Tools" icon

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A list of available tools will appear.

BSLE CED screenshot - the list of available tools is displayed - it is a long list

Status of tools can be determined at a glance:

By default all tools in the list are set to a status of 'on' if changes have not been made.

If a tool's status is 'on' (blue checkmark) the tool is active in the course rendering it visible and functioning to all course users.

If a tool's status is 'off' (gray 'x') the tool has been deactivated in the course rendering it invisible to users (though still functioning).

BSLE CD screenshot - description of the status indicators

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To set a tool's status to 'Off':

Start with the tool status set to 'on' and select the button.

BSLE CD screenshot - example of selecting to turn a tool off

To set a tool's status to 'On':

Start with the tool status set to 'off' and select the button.

BSLE CD screenshot - example of selecting to turn a tool on

Before disabling (deactivating) a tool, be aware of the following:

  • Release Conditions based on the tool are not enforced as long as the tool remains disabled.
  • Competency activities associated with the tool are hidden, but are still associated with any learning objectives to which they are attached. Users cannot complete these learning objectives while the tool is disabled. You should detach or delete any activities associated with a tool before disabling the tool.
  • Grade items associated with the tool remain, but you must manually update them in the grade book.
  • Quicklinks to the tool’s items persist but a “No Resource Found” message displays when they are followed. You should remove any related Quicklinks when you deactivate a tool. You may not be able to delete others' Quicklinks.

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Tool Notes:

Changing tool status acts on a tool to make it visible (activated) or not visible (deactivated, disabled).
Generally: For instructors, when a tool is deactivated it will typically disappear from the 'Course Admin' area, the 'Course Navigation Bar' and the 'Course Resources' area. For Students, deactivated tools will typically disappear from the 'Course Navigation Bar' and the 'Course Resources' area.

Some tools are only seen/used by instructors and will have no effect on the student experience (tools like: Manage Dates, Import/Export/Copy Components).

For Instructors, setting tool status to "off" on certain tools may cause unexpected behavior.
Special information related to setting tool status to "off" for certain tools is detailed below:

  • 'Accelerator' tool -
    • removes link to the 'Instructional Design Wizard' in 'Edit Course' area
    • removes link to the 'Course Design Accelerator' in 'Edit Course' area
    • removes link to the 'Learning Activity Library' in 'Edit Course' area
  • 'Calendar' tool -
    • removes the link from the 'Course Resources' list in the course only - 'My Home' page calendar link is still available though course events will no longer show in the calendar at the 'My Home' level
  • 'Competencies' tool -
    • removes ability to associate Rubrics (replaces the "Add Rubric" button in all places where rubrics can be added with the "No rubrics selected" statement even though there are published rubrics available - user can still create new rubric but it cannot be associated either)
  • 'External Learning Tools' tool -
    • selection mechanisms will no longer show in the 'Edit Course' area and the Content area's 'Add Existing Activities' drop menu so deactivating the tool can affect the use of 3rd party integrations (like textbook integrations)
  • 'Google Apps' tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'Import/Export/Copy Components' tool -
    • removes the link from the 'Content' area as well as from the 'Edit Course' area
  • 'IMS Configuration' tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'Locations' tool -
    • has effect on 'Seating Chart' - can't manage locations and so cannot utilize seating chart
  • 'Locker' tool -
    • removes the link from the 'Course Resources' list in the course only - 'My Home' page link is still available
    • eliminates access to group lockers via the 'Locker' link on the 'Course Resources' list - access via the 'My Home' area does not feature course specific group lockers - this change applies to both Student and Instructor role
  • 'Media Integration' tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'Media Platform' tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'Online Rooms Framework' tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'Pager' tool -
    • has no effect - DOES NOT remove it from the 'Course Resources' area and mini-bar
  • 'Question Collections' tool -
    • has effect on Quizzes, Surveys and Self Assessments tools - the "Add/Edit" buttons disappear as well as the links to the "Question Library"
  • 'Remote Plugins' tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'Rubrics' tool -
    • removes the "Add Rubric" button (and related connections and descriptors) in tools like Discussion, Dropbox, and Quizzes
  • 'SCORM' tool -
    • removes "SCORM Reports" of SCORM Objects from the Reports area of Content tool
  • 'Seating Chart' tool -
    • has effect on 'Locations' - users can't do anything with seating chart if locations is not made active
  • 'Self Registration' - tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'User Information Privacy' tool -
    • renders individuals in the course classlist anonymous - which will effect all tools that utilize names from the Classlist of a course: Discussions, Grades etc.
  • 'User Profile' tool -
    • has no effect
  • 'Video Capture' tool -
    • has no effect

This list is not necessarily comprehensive - it may be that all combinations have not been revealed.

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Additional Notes:

It takes time for any changes made to propagate through the D2L system. The change is NOT instantaneous. Instructors using this tool must have patience for any tool related changes to appear and be reflected in the course offering.

Deactivating a tool does not delete any items or user data inside the tool, it simply hides the tool from your course offering. If you turn the tool back on, it restores the data.


  • Instructors should have an explanatory document available to students describing purpose of all tools they are electing to use in the course as part of a course information module.
  • Caution should be exercised when inactivating major course tools.
  • Timing issues should also be taken into consideration - generally speaking, instructors should make changes prior to the beginning of a new semester as opposed to during the semester UNLESS they notify students prior to making the change(s).

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NOTE: What dialogue box windows look like and how dialogue box windows and browsers interact is dependent upon the operating system and browser being used. The screenshots in this tutorial will most likely differ somewhat from the screen that the user is viewing when performing the actions described in this tutorial.