One of the main limitations for learning management systems is that many are constructed as silos, hiding the course contents from anyone not enrolled in the class. This limitation encouraged me and many other instructors to turn to the web to publish syllabi and course contents in an attempt to open the academy to viewing and interaction with a broader audience.
A little known feature of Desire to Learn (D2L) allows you to reintegrate your open web course page with the LMS. One reason to consider this tactic is that students have come to rely on the LMS as a one stop portal to find course material and check due dates. Replacing the default page for your course with your site allows them to access the full site without having to remember the URL. Creative design could also be used within the site to prompt the students to use D2L features like quizzes or discussion boards, if that’s something you want to do.
I first heard this tip from Adam Croom, and he mentioned it in a blog that he wrote about his PR Pubs course last January. Below is a screen capture demonstrating how to embed WordPress in D2L using Adam’s course:
One thing to note is that some D2L systems, including the one at OU, require that the embedded site have an SSL certificate (the site’s URL will start https:// instead of http://). If you are using wordpress.com, your site will automatically have a security certificate. If you are hosting your own WordPress installation, you can get more information about getting a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. If you are using OU Create or any other site hosted on Reclaim, here is a description for the button on the CPanel that you can click to activate your SSL license. If you have any problems with it, reach out to us through our contact form or email us.