Friday, May 17, 2013

Piazza Integration with D2L

Piazza is an online discussion site, best used for student Q & A. It has some advantages over the D2L discussion board, such as a wiki functionality to allow for editing/collaboration, a way for students to initiate discussion topics, and a simple way for the instructor to validate responses without having to reply. An economics professor found Piazza, thought it might meet some needs that D2L was not meeting for her class, and noticed that it integrated with D2L. We explored this option and determined that moving forward with Piazza integration was a good idea. Our D2L admin, Roxie Muldoon, set up the integration and had some "lesson  she said I could share here:

·         I originally did not create the link for Piazza at the organization level on our D2L instance; once I recreated the link at the org level and also shared the link with every org unit within our organization:

then I was able to create the Piazza link in any D2L course

·         Also, create an institutional account in Piazza, not a personal account, to link to Piazza for the organization; I originally created an account in my name which resulted in other UWEC users seeing me as the “logged in” person in Piazza:
Piazza staff severed the connection between the Piazza link on our instance and my personal account

Users who want to add Piazza to the navbar or other course locations won’t see the that tool in the tool list as they may expect. To add Piazza or any integrated  tool to the navbar, follow these steps:

·         Access the navigation bar for your course (Edit Course à Navigation & Themes) and copy and activate the existing navigation bar if not already done
·         To add Piazza to your copied navbar, click on the name of the copied navbar in your course; in the desired area of the navigation bar, press  rather than “Add Links”
·         In the Create Custom Link dialogue box, name the link, i.e., Piazza
·         Press 
·         The Insert a Quicklink dialogue box appears
·         Choose External Learning Tools in the Type dropdown menu
·         The External Learning Tools dropdown menu appears; choose Piazza from the list and press Insert below
·         The Insert a Quicklink dialogue box disappears
·         Choose Same window or New window in the Behavior dropdown menu on the Create Custom Link dialogue box
·         Press Create
·         The Create Custom Link dialogue box disappears
·         SAVE your changes to your navigation bar; activate if not already done
·         The Piazza link should now appear on the navigation bar in your D2L course

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