ICET QuickGuide: Course Content (Student)

Version 10.0 or Higher

The content tool is where the course content is mostly located. Instructors will set up a course using modules to divide content into categories. Each of the modules will have content that may include documents, links, dropboxes, discussion topics and other activities. Students can access some Desire2Learn tools in more than one way. For instance, a dropbox can be accessed in the Content tool when it is listed in a module or submodule and that same dropbox can be accessed by clicking on Dropbox and selecting the dropbox from a list of available dropboxes.


  • Access to a Desire2Learn course
  • NetID and password


Desire2Learn is not required to be used by instructors. The extent to which it is utilized is determined by each individual instructor. While some instructors may only post a syllabus or class notes, others will use a variety of features including dropboxes, discussions, and grading. Specific questions about the extent to which Desire2Learn is used should be directed to the instructor.

Steps to follow:

  1. Log into Desire2Learn.
  2. Select the desired class to access content.
  3. Select the Content tab from the Navigation bar.

Note: If the instructor is using the Content Overview feature, that information will display as soon as the Content tab is selected the very first time you access the course. After the first view, the Course Overview can be accessed from the Table of Contents menu.

Navigation bar, Content Tab
Navigation bar, Content tab

  1. Breadcrumb links are available at the top of the page to navigate back to desired content areas.


  1. Completion tracking is reflected on the progress bar at the top of the page. Progress is tracked in one of two ways, determined by the instructor:
  • Option 1: Once content items (also referred to as topics) have been viewed, the far right side will turn from a circle icon to a checkmark icon

Progress bar screenshot
Progress bar

  • Option 2: A check box may appear to the right of the content item, requiring that the box be clicked before the item will track as being completed. 

Note: Independent of the method chose by the instructor, progress will still reflect in the progress bar shown above.

  1. Select desired option from the left navigation pane. Options include:
  • Course Overview
  • Upcoming Events
  • Table of Contents
  • Instructor created modules or sub-modules

Content page, left navigation bar
Content page, left navigation bar

  1. Table of Contents includes the modules and sub-modules that contain all course content.
  1. Select a module and the content within that module will display in the center of the page.

Note: The order of content and activities within a module is determined by the instructor.

Content page with a module selected
Content page, Module selected

  1. Select the desired topic to view by clicking on the title, highlighted in blue.  Content item link
  2. The document will open in a content viewer
  • Click the magnifying glass icons  on the bottom left corner to either zoom in or out of the image.Zoom in or out icons
  • Use the arrows next to the page numbers at the bottom to skip forward or backward a page at a time. arrows for page navigation icon
  • If you would like to view the document as unformatted text only, use the View as Text option at the bottom right. View as Text icon
  • Use the download icon download iconto download the document to the computer.
  • Content items (pdf, word document, excel document, etc.) must be downloaded to print.
  1. Below the content viewer, at the bottom right of the page is navigation to other topics in the module currently open. 
  • Select the title of another content item to open that item.
  • Select the arrows to either go forward or backward in order of content items within the module. arrows to navigate

Content viewing page with navigation within module
Content Viewing page, Navigation within module menu

  1. When modules are open, submodules within can be opened or collapsed using the arrow at the far right of the title pane.

Sub-modules, collapsible menus

  1. To search for a content item, type in a key word in the search bar and click the search icon.

Note: The search function only searches words in the titles of content items, not words within the documents. 

Search function results
Search function display

If you need further assistance, contact or phone 608.342.1792

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