Request a D2L shell
"Shells" are the spaces in the D2L Brightspace learning system that are created for online course components and other collaborative projects ('Course Shells' and 'Organization Shells', respectively). Shells can contain attached documents, learning materials, quizzes, assignments, discussions, and more.
A "Course Shell" is associated with a specific course, in a specific term, at Toronto Metropolitan University. Course Shells need to be requested each time you teach the course to a different cohort of students, but you may request a copy of materials for up to 2 years.
"Organization Shells" function similarly to course shells, except that they are not associated with a specific course. Organizations can be used for research groups, departmental communication, and more. Learn more about Organization Shells and how to request one.
If you are teaching a combination of types of courses:
If you are teaching a combination of types of courses, which include online and regular classroom-based courses, and you wish to request a D2L Brightspace course shell for a regular (classroom) course, click on 'No' and follow the step-by-step instructions below to request your D2L Brightspace course shell.
If you are teaching a Chang school online distance course:
If you are teaching a Chang School online distance course (with no classroom component) that you have taught before, and you want to create a D2L Brightspace course shell that is a copy of that past course, click on 'Yes'. Please follow these step-by-step instructions to fill out the course shell request form that you will see.
If you are teaching a Chang School online distance course (with no classroom component) for the first time, DO NOT PROCEED. Email email@example.com for assistance creating your course shell.
If you weren't able to include your section numbers in the request form, once you can see them in MyServiceHub (formerly RAMSS), you will be able to associate your section(s) with the Course Shell, a process that takes less than 2 minutes. If you don't see your sections listed in MyServiceHub, it is too early for us to add them to D2L because students have not been enrolled in the class yet in MyServiceHub. We are not able to override this for you. We strongly recommend putting a reminder in your calendar to associate your course sections around 1-2 weeks prior to the start of class. If you neglect to do this, your Course Shell will not have any students in it.
REMEMBER that this form will create ONE Course Shell containing ALL of the courses and sections you have listed.
Want to request a separate Course Shell for each section (of the same course)?
- As each request form will result in one Course Shell, you need to submit separate requests for each Course Shell that you want.
- In each request form, select one course/section to be included in the shell.
- In each request form, make sure you select the checkbox to "Include section number(s) in title". This will ensure that you can differentiate between the shells, by section.
Undergraduate (non-CE): Undergraduate courses or sections that are not taught through Continuing Education.
Graduate: Courses or sections taught at the graduate level.
Chang School (Continuing Education): Courses or sections taught through Continuing Education.
NOTE: if you are teaching an online Chang School course and are working with Digital Education Strategies (DES) to deliver the course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org regarding your course shell. These shells cannot be requested using this form.
I think I requested the wrong course or made some incorrect choices when filling out the form. What should I do?!
If you are confident about what you intended to do, fill out the form again, with the correct information. Once you receive a confirmation message that your Course Shell was created as you intended, and you are happy with it, send an email to email@example.com with the details of the incorrect Course Shell(s) (include the shell code from the confirmation email, if possible), and we will remove it from your list, so that it will not create confusion for you.
If you're not sure how to correct your mistake, email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much detail as possible of what you did (course code and section, shell code, what you typed, clicked on, etc), and what you actually want, and we can provide you with some guidance for how to proceed.
I don't see my courses (or sections) listed in the “Setting up Brightspace shell” section of the form. What do I do?!
Usually, this is simply a timing issue. If you were just hired to teach a course, or if it is currently more than 2-3 weeks before the start of classes, this information may not be set up in MyServiceHub (formerly RAMSS) yet. If you have some time before classes start, wait until you can see this information in MyServiceHub, and then submit your course shell request.
If you are in a hurry, read the instructions above, under Identify your course & sections > Don't see your course listed?, and follow the instructions carefully. Your D2L Brightspace Course Shell will be created without any students in it. Once your course(s)/section(s)/enrollments are appearing for you in MyServiceHub, you can follow our instructions to associate your course section(s) with your shell.
I requested my Course Shell, which is a copy of another instructor's course, but I don't see it yet. What's happening?!
When you submit your request, a blank Course Shell is created immediately, and a permission request email is sent to the instructor whose content you have requested. The content in a course shell is the intellectual property of the instructor, so we need their direct written permission before we can copy it. Once our team receives that permission, someone will copy the content and send you a confirmation email. If the instructor declines the request, we will let you know, so that you can pursue other options for your course content, such as creating your own, or reaching out to someone else in your department. If you do not hear from us, this is because we have not heard from the instructor. You could try reaching out to them yourself, to remind them. Keep in mind that no instructor is obligated to share materials that they created.
I'm not teaching this term, but I want to work on my course content for a future term. How can I do this?
This is not a problem. It's fine to create a shell that won't be used for teaching. Fill out the form to create a shell. If the term you will be teaching in isn't listed yet, just choose the term that is furthest in the future. You can copy this shell later. Instead of selecting a course section, follow the instructions for Don't see your course listed? Keep in mind that this shell will only exist in D2L for 2 years from the creation date, so if you need to keep it longer, once the end date is near, you can either copy it into a new term, or email email@example.com to extend this shell.
From now on, when you request a Course Shell or Organization shell, you will automatically get both a Brightspace shell AND a corresponding Google Group. If the Brightspace shell code is abc123_f21_02, the email address for the Google Group will be firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brightspace shell and Google Group contain the same members - including automatic updates based on enrollments (for example, students enrolled in a specific section of a course) and members added individually using the Self Service tools in my.torontomu.ca. There are a few exceptions, mostly in non-course training shells and a few organizations.
You can find a list of the members included in BOTH the Brightspace shell and the Google Group by going to the Self Service tools in my.torontomu.ca.
Will pre-existing Brightspace shells now have Google Groups?
Yes. You will see groups for your recent shells listed in Google Groups. This is useful for course and organization shells that are ongoing - you can start to make use of the Google Groups if you want to start sharing Google-based resources.
Where can I get help with Google Groups?
Google Groups is supported by Computing and Communications Services - you can contact them at email@example.com with any questions
Google Groups don't have the same member roles as D2L Brightspace.
- Instructors and Shell Managers are given a "Manager" role in the corresponding Google Group.
- All other shell members - students, TAs, Course Builders, etc. - are all given a "Member" role in the corresponding Google Group.
This means that the course TAs and Course Builders don't have special access to the Google Group that corresponds with their course shells.
The Google support team in CCS recommends that you make a few changes when you first get your course Google Groups.
To set up your Google Group, please do the following:
- Login to Google Groups to set your mailing list preferences.
- Assign posting privileges to specific members in your list.
- Ensure only "Group Managers" can view members' email addresses. On the left panel, select Group Settings > General and scroll to Member Privacy. Change "Who can view member email addresses" to "Group Managers".
- To add new members or remove members, please contact the CCS Help Desk.
Be sure to keep student privacy in mind whenever upgrading a member's Google Group privileges.