Best Practice: Open Websites that Require Login or Require Enabled Cookies Into a New Window

In Desire2Learn, if you are linking to a website that requires students to login or that requires “cookies” be enabled, then you need to have that website open in a new window.  If the website is opened within the Desire2Learn environment (like in the content viewer), then students will most like be unable to login to the site.  This also applies to sites that include forms or surveys that must be filled out.  Most of these sites require that cookies be enabled so that the user’s session can be tracked throughout their progress through the form or survey.

Please note: The errors generated by these websites might not always point you to this issue.  A textbook publisher site that requires students to login or enter a code could return an error that cookies must be enabled.  If the browser is checked it will show that in fact cookies are enabled.  The problem is that the content viewer in Desire2Learn does not handle the cookie information sent by the website.  The website returns an error, because the website’s server expects that behavior when cookies have been disabled.  However, that is not the issue in this case.

The video below demonstrates how to open a website in a new window, rather than in Desire2Learn’s content viewer.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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