D2L Daylight FAQ

Q: When is Daylight coming to MSU?

A: May 11, 2018.

Q: What is changing in Daylight, and what areas will be impacted when I turn it on?

A: Some of the changes that are being implemented with Daylight include:

  • Simplified navigation design that is responsive for smaller devices
  • Wider page layout for your content so that it’s the focal point of the page
  • New fonts, icons, colors and simpler formatting of widgets provide a consistent experience
  • Responsive homepage layout that works best with two columns
  • New My Courses widget featuring rich photography in a responsive tile-based layout
  • New image library with over 3,000 images that you can choose from for course tiles

Note – turning Daylight on will not modify your content or other settings in Brightspace. If you turn Daylight on to do some testing, and then turn it off again without changing any other settings, your site will be restored to its’ original look and feel.

Q: What are the benefits of changing to Daylight?

A: Making the switch has resulted in many benefits for both students and faculty members. Top of the list, the change has increased access for students to use a fully functional mobile learning environment. The previous mobile environment did not work well and definitely was not easy to use. The deployment of a responsive design interface (which allows for the same digital learning environment to be resized depending on device) is simply the biggest game changer for student learning! 

Q: Are any other system widgets changing with Daylight?

A: The My Courses widget is currently the only widget receiving functional updates. Other system widgets will be updated to reflect Daylight's look and feel and responsive requirements. You may wish to update your custom widgets to match.

Q: Can I change the font, or make is lighter or darker?

A: You cannot change the font, but the January release will include an updated font that increases the weight of the font. A lot of care has been taken to make sure that this font will display beautifully, and that the spacing and alignment will look great across all devices.

Q: Can I turn Daylight on for only some courses?

A: No, Daylight cannot be turned on for only some courses. It is an org level config variable, so it can only be turned on or off for the entire organization.

Q: Where did the course selector go?

A: the course selector will be offered at all levels via a new icon next to the notification icons.

Q: How can I remove courses that I don't want to see in the My Courses widget?

A: Students and instructors can pin and unpin courses as desired. Features related to course enrollment and availability are unchanged.

Q: What courses will the user see in the My Courses widget?

A: We have some changes coming soon that will enable the new My Courses widget to display the current courses automatically for typical users. The ability to pin and unpin specific courses will remain.

Q: Who can change a course image?

A: The course images are tied to the ‘Change Course Image’ permission, so your institution can choose who is able to set images. In most cases we recommend that instructors are given this permission so that they can brand their course to fit their personal style.

Q: Can I set my own custom course image?

A: Yes, you can upload your own custom images. All standard image file types are supported. We recommend course images be 2400x960 pixels and that they don't contain text. This ensures they can be resized to look great in different contexts and on different devices. The catalog of images cannot be customized at this time.

Q: Can I turn off the course images and just have text?

A: No, this isn’t possible with Daylight. An image must be set. However, users with access to more than 25 courses also have access to the Advanced Course Search page which does not have course images.

Q: What happened to my navbar / theme?

A: To create a responsive navigation bar for use on all devices, we have greatly simplified the navigation bar in Daylight. We have removed the ability to customize the font or backgrounds, so you may notice a significant difference when you first turn Daylight on. You can still customize the Navbar to include desired links (hover to the side and click on the more options "..." icon), and you can edit the associated Theme page to include a custom logo.

Q: Why don't I see the green title bars on my Course Home like I see in other course homepages?

A: All default course homepages have the MSU Style with green title bars on the widgets. If you have an existing custom homepage, you can still apply the MSU style to your course. Click on the pencil (or ellipsis) menu at the bottom of your Course Home to edit the page. Then add the "MSU Style" widget somewhere at the bottom and save.

Q: How do I change my logo or strip of color in the navbar?

A: The organization logo is set in the "Left Logo" element of your active theme in the Navigation & Themes admin tool. The color for the strip across the top of the Daylight navbar is taken from your minibar background color, which can only be changed by your organization.

Q: Where did my Admin tools menu go?

A: On smaller screens or browser windows, some items in the navbar will move to the mobile slideout menu. You'll notice this happens with the navbar links, which become available via the mobile menu. The admin tools menu is available in the mobile menu.

Q: What will happen with third party widgets, such as Kaltura?

A: Third party widgets will still work. If you notice any problems with wrapping or colours, please let us know.

Q: How do I make the content within my course more responsive?

A: The possibilities and methodologies for making content responsive are almost limitless, much like HTML development in general. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Default fonts in Brightspace are responsive: When you’re building a custom widget or writing content for an Announcement or Discussion post, your font size will adapt for smaller displays automatically, provided you did not use a static font size or a custom font.
  • It is good practice to allow your content to resize fluidly: This means you should avoid using static sizes for containers, tables, or images wherever possible. For instance, instead of setting an image to be 700 pixels wide, you could set it to have a maximum width of 100% so that it will fill the display (or the widget box) without overflowing the container or without enlarging a small image to the point where it appears blurry or pixelated.
  • Responsive layouts require web development skills: Web designers use CSS media queries to allow the page content to use different layouts depending on screen size. For instance, reducing a two-column page layout to a single column, or moving an image around depending on screen size. This requires knowledge of HTML and CSS, but can certainly be accomplished in a custom widget or a Content Topic.
  • Want more help assessing the accessibility and responsiveness of your course content and widgets? Our Creative Services team has both an HTML Template and a Daylight Review service offering for purchase.

Q: Will you be providing an accessible template that we can use to create our courseware?

A: The D2L Accessibility Interest Group and D2L Courseware Team created a number of responsive, accessible content templates that are free to use under a creative commons license. These templates are a great starting point for instructors, or instructional design groups, that want to create responsive HTML content. You can find the templates at Daylight HTML Template in the Brightspace Community.