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D2L Upgrade: Issues and Work Arounds UPDATED Jan.23, 2014

Regarding upgrade from a week ago


I have received word that the D2L Document viewer, the feature that allows users to view PDFs, Word Docs, etc. directly in D2L should be working better and faster than it has in previous days.

D2L was able to identify and apply some configuration changes that appear to have addressed the issue.  At the time of testing, files are generally rendered and displayed within a few seconds.

Although risk remains that the problem may re-emerge, we believe the issue is under control.


Thank you.

Sarah Bradway

D2L Site Administrator


Original Posting

Our upgrade to D2L version 10.1 occurred about a week ago and we have identified some issues that I want to bring to your attention.  Both issues impact the way that Content is released and displayed to students.

Issue 1: Document Viewer

I've received several reports regarding the D2L Document Viewer (the feature that allows users to view PDFs, Word Docs, etc. directly in D2L) failing to load documents or giving errors.

The source of this problem lies in the document viewer itself.  If a file has not previously been rendered by the new 10.1 Document Viewer, a D2L application must process it before the item can be displayed.  The problem we are running into is when a lot of people try to access items for the first time, the rendering process gets backed up and the item is not displayed in a timely fashion.

The good news is that the item only has to be rendered once for the user.  Once it is rendered and displayed, the computer remembers that item and it is displayed much faster on subsequent visits to the item.  The other option for a work-around is to download the item and view it in its native program.

I have been assured by the UW System Utility that D2L is engaged at a high level and is actively investigating options for correcting this issue or mitigating its impact.

Unfortunately, we may continue to see this problem for some time.  It will be especially apparent during start of term when many users are accessing items for the first time.  We will be doing our best to inform users of the download option.


Issue 2: Change in Functionality for Content Availability

This issue applies to you if you use the start date or draft option to restrict when students see Content modules.

In previous versions, if you added a start date to a Content module or topic students did not see the Content until the date and time you assigned.  This has changed in version 10.1.

Now, if a start date is set, students will see the module or topic listed on their content page.  They will not be able to access or open that piece of content until the desired date.

In order to completely hide a module or topic from student view, it must be set to "Draft" status.  This will prevent students from seeing the item on their content page or in the calendar.

Additionally, draft/published status works completely independently from the start date.  You must manually change draft status to published status. (In other words, if you set an item to draft and set a start date, the start date will not automatically change the status from draft to published.)

One thing that has not changed is the ability to control start dates and draft vs. published status at the module level.  For example, if there is a module with several items within the module.  If you change the module to "Draft" the students will not be able to see the module or anything within that module.  You do not have to set each topic status individually.



Many of you have contacted me with questions and problems regarding the upgrade.  Please continue to do so, in most cases the issue is due to traditional technical difficulties (slow connections, browser issues, etc).  However, we also identify bigger issues through your reports, so please do not hesitate to report strange or different behavior.


Thank you.

Sarah Bradway

D2L Site Administrator