D2L Support
About Desire2Learn
  • Desire2Learn (also referred to as D2L) is the UW System learning management system (LMS). Currently all UW campuses are using Desire2Learn (D2L) which is hosted in Madison at the Utility referred to as Learn@UW.
  • Instructors may be using D2L in a blended environment (where you meet traditionally in a classroom and utilize D2L for collaboration, file sharing and asynchronous/synchronous communication) or you may be taking a fully online course (where your classroom will be virtual not physical).
  • Each instructor has the option to utilize D2L. Your instructors will explain to you how they will be using it. If you don't see your course in D2L, please contact your instructor, they are responsible for activating the course and setting the open/close dates.
  • To access D2L, login to the system using the correct link. The login page has two options; login with your falcon account or login with a guest account that was provided to you. We encourage you to use the "check your system compatibility" link to verify your computer and network is compatible with the D2L system.
How to Login to Desire2Learn

The Desire2Learn system is integrated with our Student Information System (eSIS). This means you will not be able to access D2L until at least one day after you register for courses.

  • There are two login buttons available
    • -Login with your falcon account
    • -Login with a guest account (this would have been provided to you via email)
  • If you are unable to login with your falcon account or receive errors, you can change your password at https://faa.uwrf.edu
  • If you are unable to login to the guest area, please send a message to DoTS@uwrf.edumail requesting help with your guest login.

If you are enrolled in a non-credit or special access course you may not have a Falcon Account. Instead a login account would have been created and you were enrolled in your class. Normally when accounts are created you will receive an email with your login information. If you are unable to login, please contact us at dots@uwrf.edumail and let us know the name of the course, the instructor, and if you are a non-credit student or a student from another campus..

Class rosters are loaded into each course nightly at 11pm. If you register for a course before 11pm on that day, then the next day after 8am you should be able to log into D2L.

After following the above suggestion and you still cannot log in, please ask for help!

Help Accessing Your Courses and Files

How to access your courses:
Once you are logged into D2L, access your courses in the "My River Falls Courses" widget. Expand the "+" sign next to the semester to display your courses. Enter your course by clicking on the name of the course.

How to access your course materials:
After you enter your course, your instructor will have materials for you. You might see a news item, or a calendar item. Most often you will need to access the materials by clicking on "content" on the navigation menu bars at the top.

Unable to see your course?: If your course is not listed in the "My River Falls Courses" widget, a couple things may cause this to occur:

  • your instructor has restricted access to the course until a specific date.
  • your instructor has not made the course active. Please email your instructor.

Can't download your files? Popups being blocked?:

  • Are you unable to access content in your course?
  • Are you unable to download some of the Word or PowerPoint files?
  • Do you receive "pop ups being blocked" messages?
  • Do you get a message saying "unable to display this page?
  • Do you receive a message at the top that this page has been blocked?
  • Do you receive a message at the top stating to help protect your security, IE has blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options?

Review the scenarios below to find out how to resolve some of these issues.

If you are using a PC, and Internet Explorer you may need to configure your browser to add D2L web page as a trusted site, allow popups and if using IE 8, make it a compatible site. To make it a trusted site and open popups, open your browser and choose "tools" from the menu bar. Then choose "Internet Options". Now click on the "security tab" and choose the "trusted sites" icon. Then click on the "sites" button to the right: See below:

 IE Security


Add the River Falls (D2L) site in, which is this:

Then click "ok"...now to set your browser to allow popups from D2L, choose the "privacy tab" above and in the "pop up blocker" section, choose the "settings" button and add the D2L site in as above. Save your changes, close your browser and start it up again to login to D2L.

If you are using IE 8 or 9 we recommend setting D2L as a compatible site. To do so open the browser and choose "tools" and "view compatibility settings" and add the D2L site in here also.

Even after configuring Internet Explorer, you may still have some browser issues. Below are some dialog boxes that you may receive when either clicking on the D2L login link or downloading a file:

IE8 Error Block

In order to alleviate the above error, answer this security message with "NO" when it appears:

This security warning message usually appears when you click on the class link after initial login to D2L. If you had answered "yes" to the message, the above error will not allow you to navigate to certain pages. This is because some of the content pages may be linking to "http" sites and some may be linking to "https" (secure sites). Thus by answering "yes" the message below explains that you will NOT be able to view those sites.

IE8 Security Warning

When attempting to download a file from the content area do you receive a message like this at the top: In Firefox or Safari, the wording may be different, but essentially it indicates that the popups are being blocked. Pay attention to the optional messages in your alerts section (top menu of browser).

Error Bar

There are 2 ways to resolve this. When you click on the bar for options, choose "download file" and chances are nothing will happen. Then go back into content and attempt to open the file again and now it should open. (Don't ask me why) If you would really like to resolve this, make a change in the Internet options. Click on tools > Internet options from the menu. In the Internet Options dialog box that appears (as in a few steps previously), choose the "security tab" and click on Trusted Sites icon. Now click on the "custom level" button in the bottom of the dialog box and scroll through the settings until you are at the "download" section:

IE Settings

Verify the settings are as above. Save and apply and ok the new settings. Close and reopen the browser and now when you click on content you should be prompted to open or download it right away.

Sometimes it is helpful to "undock" your file if you see a blank page in your browser. You can "undock" a file by clicking on the "undock" button in your window that appears as below:

Undock Icon

Alternative Browsers:

If none of the above solutions work you may need to try using a different browser. Recommended browsers can be downloaded from the links provided below; each of these are free.

Mozilla or Firefoxlink (this works well on both Mac and PC platforms) This is installed on Davee Library Labs and the ETC lab PC's. Firefox is the recommended browser for D2L.

Safarilink and Firefoxlink are supported for Mac OS X.

Google Chromelink (Google's new browser).

Internet Explorer on Mac is NOT RECOMMENDED (strange and unexplained behavior may occur).

If you still experience trouble logging in or navigating in D2L, please send a message to: dots@uwrf.edumail

Class Rosters

Faculty can create a roster file by exporting from the D2L gradebook. The gradebook does not have to be setup to do this and the roster (in CSV format) can then be used in a number of other applications such as i>clicker.

To create a roster, login to D2L and choose “grades” on the nav bar.

 In the grades section, choose “enter grades” from the menu on the left:

Grades Area

Sort your gradebook by last name or first name before you export it by clicking on the “last name” or “first name” heading in the column: (the image below is sorted by last name as indicated by the up arrow next to the heading “last name."

 Sort Your Gradebook

Now you’re ready to export by choosing “export grades” and selecting the data as shown below: (the options in the “user details” can be modified depending on what you need in your roster, for example you may not need the e-mail address, if not, just uncheck that box)

Verify that you have unchecked all grade items as you won’t need those in your roster.



Choose the Exportbutton and a file will be zip-prepared for you:


Click on your zip file and open it with Excel to see a file in CSV format.

You may need to modify the CSV file to clean up the roster. For example, in the image below, this was exported on a Mac, so the “username” column has some funny characters in it (this doesn’t happen on a PC). We suggest you rename the heading to just “username”. Also you may want to delete the last column “end of line indicator”. The “#” signs preceding each username can also be deleted by using the “find and replace” function.

* the e-mail address doesn’t display in this example because Hoss is a test user created in the system without an e-mail

Without Email Example

Recommended System Requirements

D2L recommends the following system components to ensure you have a user friendly experience

Component Component Requirements  

Operating System

Windows XP, Vista or 7

Apple MacOS X or Lion


Internet connection via ISP(Internet Service Provider)
(ex: MSN, Earthlink, NetZero, Yahoo DSL, Comcast, etc.) 

DSL, or Cable (dial-up not recommended)



Browser needs to be Java-Script enabled and cookies enabled.

Check the browser help file for setup
Check our DoTS support page for other setups

Internet Explorer 8 or 9




Browser Plug-ins


Adobe Acrobatlink 

Real Media Playerlink 

Flash Playerlink



Ability to check email either with client or web based


Office Suites

Purchase MS Office at discount from WISClink

MS Office 2007 or 2010

 MS Office 2008 or 2011


Monitor capable of 960 pixel resolution 

Sound card and speakers/headphones


Audio Help

Your instructor may use audio files in the course. Most of the time using either Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers, when you click on the audio file link, it will open in your browser window and you will see a control bar such as this to play your file:

Audio Control

If your audio control bar does not appear in your window or does not function you may need to "undock" the file, which will open the file in a new window. To undock it, click on the "undock" icon as below:

Undock Icon

The most common type of file is mp3 format. You may need browser plugins (you might be prompted to download this) or you will need to have a program such as Windows Media Player, QuickTime or RealPlayer to name a few. If you do not have either of these programs on your computer you may download for free here:

Windows Media Playerlink (support info and setup...Win only)
QuickTimelink (support info and setup...Win and Mac)
RealPlayerlink (support info and setup)

Note that the above audio programs may need to be configured. In a perfect world they should just work after you download them. If you are unable to listen to audio files there may be other things on your computer preventing this. You may need to open your audio program and go into the "tools" and "options" or "edit" and "preferences"to see what files the program is associated with.

If you are using the computers in our labs it should work fine by undocking as noted above. If you are using your own computer at home and are still experiencing difficulty listening to audio files, please use the following links to help you troubleshoot:

Troubleshoot listening to Audio files in Firefoxlink

Troubleshoot listening to Audio files in Internet Explorerlink

Still can't listen to audio files? Send us an email by clicking on the link below and let us know the course and instructor, the name of the file and what browser on what system you are using. Also let us know the audio program you are using.

Help me I can't listen to the audio filesmail!

24 Hour Support

There are 2 areas of support available for you:

Primary level of support:

  • D2L Admin support (use for specific course help)
    • Let us know the specific name of the course and semester

  • DoTS: (use for general access help)
    • Send email to dots@uwrf.edumail
      • If the problem is not urgent

      • Call (715) 425-3687 (DoTS)
        • If the problem seems urgent

Secondary level of support:

Secondary support is available through the Learn@UW D2L system in Madison, Wisconsin. This support is available to you if the above mentioned support is not available or after hours.

Contact Learn@UW Madison directly by phone at 888-435-7589.

You will need to identify yourself as a River Falls student or faculty member. For those who do not have a "Falcon account" please indicate you are a non-credit student.

Need help?

dots@uwrf.edumail or (715) 425-3687 (DoTS)