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System Widgets

Available System Widgets

System widgets are defined by the Desire2Learn platform. You cannot modify the contents of system widgets, but you can change where the widgets are located on your course homepage and customize their display options.


This widget is used to bookmark pages in course content. The bookmark widget is typically located on course offering homepages.


Once calendar events are created, the widget displays all events for the current month. To create a new event:

  1.  Click on the drop-down arrow next to Calendar.

    Go to calendar widget link
  2. From the drop-down list, click Go to Calendar.
  3. Click on Create Event.
  4. Enter a title and a time for the event, and then click Create.

Course Administration

The Course Administration widget displays links to your course admin tools. The number of links you are able to see in the Course Administration widget is determined by your role’s permissions in the Roles and Permissions tool.


The Events widget displays upcoming Schedule events. If there are no events, the widget displays a “No Events” message. After events are created (users can create events using the Schedule tool), the widget will display any upcoming events.

Google Search

The Google Search widget enables you to search the web from your homepage. Your search results open in a new window using your default internet browser.

My Admin Tools

The My Admin Tools widget displays all of your available administrative links and provides easy access to the tools that you need to manage. The number of administrative links you are able to see in the My Admin Tools widget is determined by your role’s permission settings in the Roles and Permissions tool.

My Settings

The My Settings widget only displays links the user has been given permission to view. These permissions are located under Preferences in the Roles and Permissions tool.


The News widget is used to communicate important updates and information to users. You can create news items with formatted text, graphics, and Quicklinks.

To create a news item:

  1. Click on the drop-down arrow next to News.
  2. From the drop-down list, click on New News Item.

    New News item for News widget
  3. Enter a headline and content for the news. Both of these fields are required. You may use the indicated bar to format the font for the news item as well as add links and other content.
  4. You may also attach documents by clicking on Add a File under Attachments.

Picture Library

The Picture Library widget displays images from the Picture Library tool and provides links to create and edit picture albums.

Quick Eval 

Add this widget to your course homepage to get alerts of any submitted student work that requires evaluation. The widget will only display alerts relevant to that course.

quick eval alerts

You can also access the Quick Eval tool from the Resources tab on your BeachBoard homepage. Accessing the tool from the homepage will display all activities that need your attention across all courses.

Role Switch

The Role Switch widget enables you to temporarily switch your active role to another role in your organization by selecting it from a drop-down list. You can then navigate the org unit based on the permissions of another role without having to log out and log in as another user. For example, you can select another role to see how Course Home or a quiz appears to users in that role.

Note: Switching to a role only applies to the current org unit. If you navigate to another org unit, your normal role is restored.


The Updates widget can be configured to display any of the following links:

  1. New Dropbox Submissions
  2. Unread Dropbox Submissions
  3. Unread Discussions Messages
  4. New Email
  5. Ungraded Quizzes
  6. Not Attempted Quizzes
  7. Self-Registration Updates

Note: The Updates widget can only be configured by a Desire2Learn Implementation Services Specialist. Please contact your Account Manager if you want to customize the links displayed.

Work To Do 

Add this widget to your course homepage so students in the class will get alerts of any upcoming, unfinished assignments due. This is a great tool to help keep your students on track with their assignments!

work to do alerts

This widget will only be visible in the "student" role. To preview how the widget will look for your students, select your name on the top right of the page and select "View as Student."

view as a student link

Using System Widgets

Adding and Moving Widgets on Your Course Homepage

  1. Navigate to the course in which you’d like to modify your course homepage.
  2. Click on Edit Course in the upper right of the screen.
  3. Under Site Setup, click Homepages.
  4. Next to Course Default, click the drop-down arrow.

    Copy homepage link
  5. Click on Copy.  "Copy of Course Default" will appear.
  6. Click the drop-down list under Active Homepage and select Copy of Course Default
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click on Copy of Course Default as it appears in blue text below the drop-down list. 
  9. On the next page, scroll down to access the Widgets layout.
  10. To add widgets to a particular area of your homepage, click Add Widgets in the corresponding area. 

    Add widgets button
  11. If desired, click Filter By: System Widget.
  12. Select the desired widget(s) to add.
  13. Click Add.
  14. To move a widget from one location on your homepage to another, drag and drop the icon for one widget across another.