FITS sent a message about the D2L upgrade to the university community, but it is worth repeating here:
On March 22rd DePaul's Learning Management System (D2L) was upgraded to a newer version. What you may not be aware of are the many enhancements that this new version brings you. Many of these new features are designed to make your experience as a faculty member easier and to enrich the student experience. Below are just some of the highlights:
Last year the ability to subscribe to discussions was added to D2L. This Spring you and your students will have the ability to subscribe to News postings as well. Using the Notifications tool (found in the My Settings Widget) users can now set their notification options. In addition to email notifications, users can now also receive some updates via text messaging if they wish. Of particular note is the ability to receive notifications of Dropbox assignments when the folder end date is 2 days away. For more information visit this link.
Changes to Dropbox
Speaking of Dropbox, instructors will now see enhanced functionality when grading items in Dropbox folders. Previously grading was a cumbersome process that required instructors to open submitted files outside of D2L. Now if students have submitted a Word or PowerPoint file, instructors will be able to view the contents of the file on the same page as the grading and feedback screen. While the file itself cannot be marked up from this screen, instructors can provide written (or audio) feedback using D2L's feedback tools. If a rubric is attached to the folder, feedback can also be easily provided using this tool. After saving the feedback the instructor can easily navigate to the next student with submitted work. For more information visit this link.
Improvements to Calendar, Schedule and Events
The Calendar tool has been updated in both look and feel. For those familiar with Google Calendar, you will be right at home with this new tool. The Calendar tool now makes it easier for instructors to set due dates and create events as well as for students to track these deadlines. For more information visit this link.
If you are interested in learning more about any of these tools (or have general questions about how to use D2L) open labs are scheduled throughout the quarter on both the Loop and Lincoln Park campuses. These labs are a fantastic way to build your course with support. Simply reserve your spot and bring your course materials (and questions) and get help from one of the FITS trainers. Open labs are offered in addition to regular training courses. For a complete schedule visit this link. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions at any time or check out the print documentation and video tutorials on the Teaching Commons.
Finally, when you are ready for your students to view your course content, please remember to make your course active so your students have access to it. Here is a link to the documentation on making your course active.