The Course Branding tool (CBT) allows for bulk branding of Course Offerings in Brightspace. Thus, courses that would otherwise be grouped together (same Faculty, same Year, re-offering of the same course, etc.) can appear and behave in the same manner.
The Course Branding tool can apply a consistent homepage, navbar, and course tool active status across many courses at once. Examples include: a particular branding for a product division, each school in a district, or even departments within a school or group of schools.
The choice of how to brand courses is usually done in one of two ways: Explicit branding and Structure-based branding.
Explicit branding consists of explicitly choosing, on a course-by-course basis, a source course to copy branding from and a destination course to apply branding to. The branding tool supports a simple two-column “source,destination” input file located in a configured location in Brightspace.
Using Explicit branding
- D2L recommends that you use Branding Mode as your configuration mode when using Explicit Branding. Be sure that CsvSimple is set in the branding mode configuration. The reasons why you would do this are described above.
- Place a CSV file in the csv-in path and CBT reads the directory and applies the branding from the source courses to the destination course. Note that when you use this mode (and there are subsequent branding modes in the branding mode configuration) they are skipped.
- The format of the CSV file to be placed in the csv-in path is Source_orgunit_code or id,destination_orgunit_code or id
Therefore, CSVs should look like the following:
Structure-based branding brands courses based on where they are in the organizational structure instead of taking user-defined input. For example, courses in each faculty or college can be branded based on a standard for that faculty or college. Any level can be used to define a branding area (faculty, colleges, departments, and even semesters or course templates) and all courses are branded consistently within that region of the organization.
Appearance elements (like navbar and logos) are set based on configuration settings, while functional choices (like tool selection and homepage) are left for individual courses to set.
Branding can come either from the branding-level item itself (e.g., the Department org unit itself can have its branding copied to its descendants) or a special navshell course within each branding area. In this manner, areas of the organization can opt-in and opt-out of the branding process by choosing whether to have a navshell or not. Areas without navshells use the default course branding theme set for the organization.
Using Structure-based branding
If you choose to set Structure Level is Source to true, as soon as the scheduled task is set, all child courses under the set parent (Default Structure Level -> department for example) inherit the branding from the parent. You can choose to exclude specific Course Offerings by adding them to the ignore list via the add-ignore process.
If you plan to use structure-based branding (suggested), the following settings are required:
- Make sure you set the Default Structure Level (Department is default).
- If you want ‘departments’ to choose when they opt-in to their own branding:
- set ‘Structure Level is Source’ to false; and
- Ensure the Course Offerings used as your branding sources have the navshell string in their Course Offering Code.
- If you want to enforce course branding under each ‘department’ to mimic what the department org unit, then:
- Set ‘Structure Level is Source’ to true;
- By setting this, all courses under each department inherit the branding from the department org unit itself
- If there are courses under each department that should be skipped in terms of branding, ensure you add a CSV file with those courses to the add-ignore folder. To remove items from the ignore list, make sure you add a CSV file with its org unit code to the remove-ignore folder.
- If you plan to use explicit branding, make sure you put your CSV files in the CSV In Path.
To use structure-based branding, D2L recommends the following configuration:
- Structure Level is Source (true/false) – if true, the second option below is used. If false, the navshell mode will be used.
- Branding Mode – make sure that remove-ignore|add-ignore|full is set in the branding mode configuration. The reasons why you would do this are described above.
- Navshell pattern – configure the pattern in this setting if you want "departments" to opt-in.
Option 1 - If you are using the navshell model
- Create a course under the department and make sure that the course code includes navshell <what you configured in the navshell pattern configuration> in its name.
- Go to the course.
- Set the branding in the course. The steps to do so are described below, but D2L recommends that you do this (i.e., create theme, navbars, homepages) at the org level. In the branding course you select the navshell, homepage specific to this parent org unit.
- Create a new theme (if needed).
- Create a new navbar (make sure it is shared with the organization) and set it as active in the course.
- Create a new homepage (make sure it is shared with the organization) and set it as active in the course.
- Set the new branding in the course.
- Set the tool status.
- Go to Course Admin.
- Select Tools.
- Turn tools on/off based on what you want your end users (i.e. instructors and learners) to see.
- Next time CBT runs, it finds the navshell and applies branding to all courses under the parent.
Option 2 - If you are using the Structure Level Is Source model
- Go to the Org Unit Editor.
- Find the org unit item that is the Structure (e.g. department).
- Click the Homepage link in the Jump to section.
- Setup the branding that will be set across all courses under this parent.
- Set the branding in the course.
- Create a new theme.
- Create a new navshell and make sure it is shared with the organization.
- Create a new homepage and make sure it is shared with the organization.
- Set the tool status.
- Next time CBT runs, it selects the branding for each parent and applies that branding to all courses under that parent. With this path, a parent (department for example) cannot opt-out of this configuration, so all courses under each department have the same branding as the department org unit itself.
If you want to exclude certain courses for either use case above, you need to include a CSV file in the add-ignore folder. The CSV file should have the orgunit_code or id in each line. If in the future you want that course to follow the same branding as its siblings, create a CSV file with the orgunit_code or id in each line then add it into the remove-ignore folder.