Desire2Learn was upgraded over Thanksgiving. Here is the update message from FITS:
As you log into your Intercession and Winter Quarter classes you will notice that D2L looks different. DePaul upgraded from D2L 9.4 to D2L 10.3 (a jump of 4 versions), so a lot is different, but be assured that all of your content is still there and your courses should function much as they always have. The D2L update does, however, bring a modernized, touch-friendly look and feel to D2L, a completely revamped Content tool, and often-requested feature updates to Discussions and Dropbox. Highlights of these new features can be found in this short video: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the D2L Upgrade (7:04). The print version of the The Hitchhiker's Guide is also available.For more information about the new features please see the newly revised print documentation (videos will be added soon) on the Teaching Commons website . Training sessions and open labs have been added throughout December and January for those that prefer attending a workshop. To register see: http://fits.depaul.edu/workshops/Pages/default.aspx
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.
Email Notifications from Discussions
For those of you who missed this feature from Blackboard you will be excited to know that you can now subscribe to discussions in D2L and get new notifications sent directly to your email.
To enable, simply click Subscribe to Topic after clicking on a topic heading. As an added convenience you get to decide how often you receive notification – e.g. once a day, upon posting, etc.
Course Names not Numbers
DePaul heard from many faculty that course numbers were confusing and hard to navigate so a change was made to show the PeopleSoft Course name on the My Homepage. For example, an accounting professor will now see Financial Accounting as their course offering name instead of Accounting 500. Course numbers and course names will now appear inside the course as part of the Default Navigation (see below for an example).
Need a convenient way to keep attendance for your class? The Attendance tool is now easily accessible in D2L. Use of this tool allows you to keep track of students who are present, absent, excused or late. Teaching Commons has more information on how to use the tool.
New Navigation Bars Available
DePaul has listened to feedback and have heard from faculty and staff that the default course navigation includes more links than they really need or not the ones that they want. To make things easier faculty can now pick from 2 additional navigation bars shared from the University.
- Basic Navigation Bar: The basic navigation bar comes populated with links to Content, Classlist, Grades, and Attendance
- Collaboration Navigation Bar: This navigation bar comes populated with all the links in the Course Default as well as links to Chat and Groups for those instructors wanting to integrate collaborative tools in their classes
To use either of these navigation bars (in place of the Course Default), click on Edit Course and then Navigation and then Change. For more information about Navigation bars, including how to make your own, can be found here.
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.
For those of you working on building your course, there are a number of open labs scheduled 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. Additional training sessions on Collaboration, Quizzes, Assessments and Personalization have also been scheduled. For dates and times as well as registration information please go here.
And don’t forget that print documentation and video tutorials can be found here. In particular you may find the Desire2Learn: Short, Short Version a good starting place.