- It's very organized. From the moment you open it, you can see your courses taking up the majority of your screen. But you also have alerts for messages at the top, so that keeps you up-to-date on what you need to know right away, instead of digging through each course.
- It's very clear and easy to find what you're looking for.
- It's a great way to add content to a class, even if it is already a face-to-face course. You can use it to communicate with students, to allow them to see their grades as the semester is going on, or to give them supplemental information.
- If there was a way they could integrate the student's/professor's campus emails, that would be fantastic.
- I could see a video chat feature to be helpful, especially for online students.
- That's all I can think of for now, it's really pretty comprehensive and simple to use.
But I think it's also great as an addition to a face-to-face course. I think, in this aspect, it is underutilized. It would be a great way to add content to a course, and a great place to direct students to go to if they have questions once they are outside of the classroom setting.
- The grade book is very customizable. There is a learning curve, as there always is if something is flexible, but there are a lot of good options available for grading, displaying grades, and calculation of grades.
- Adding course content of many types can easily be done using drag & drop or copy-paste. It is easy to retain stored content from semester to semester. Updating an item takes three clicks. It is easy to organize and reorganize content and allows sub-sections. It records whether individual students have opened material and how much time they spent using an item.
- I like the flexibility of organizing the dropbox for student submissions. Deadlines in the dropbox or discussions automatically appear in the course calendar.
- I like the range of quiz question options, in particular, the "multi-select" question type.
- D2L should find a way to allow markup of student writing directly in the review panel of the dropbox. Blackboard and Canvas do this.
- When you set the number of points an item is worth in the dropbox, it doesn't carry this value over into the grade book automatically, which means you have to be careful to enter the same information in two different interfaces.
- The rubric function needs a wider range of options. It should be possible to upload rubrics from external files and make them usable within D2L.
- The discussions are hard to reorganize. Grading discussions using a rubric is not possible inside D2L, as far as I know.
- When using the Record audio function to provide student feedback, the audio quality is too poor to be used in many situations.
The file transfer speed (upload and download) went as low as %5 of what it should be. To make things worse, their server kicks you out when your upload or download is not done in 30 minutes. Their tech support after 7 months still does absolutely nothing. They practically ignore the existence of this issue. And worse than that many times my faculty and students reported issues such as file transfer termination, or when the transfer is done, the file is corrupt. This system is pretty much useless for us and our IT has told that D2L is not accepting the problem and they are blaming it on our ISP and web traffics. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
- It used to do well with grading.
- It used to do well with file upload.
- It used to do well with file download.
- The attendance and feedback are ok.
- They should go back to their previous server.
- They should actually admit that they made a bad move and try to fix the issues.
- Their tech support should stop blaming the user.
- Extremely versatile; because we have a very diverse faculty, each with a particular work-flow, D2L is flexible enough to meet the needs of everyone.
- The iPad grading application is a godsend! I can grade offline, and the second it's linked with WiFi it will upload the grades. Since I'm an English professor, this is incredibly useful.
- The ability to copy elements from one shell to another is helpful when you have multiple sections of the same class.
- The versatility is also its drawback. There are SO many different ways to do the same thing, that learning the system is overwhelming.
- Creating quizzes is not user friendly at all. It takes an inordinate amount of time.
- The shell itself is not customizable. It's difficult to draw student's attention because it is not at all visually appealing.
- I love the Dropbox feature, it's very easy to associate a grade from the Dropbox feature to the Gradebook which the student will receive immediately. In addition, the Feedback area is clear to the student and easy to use for me, as faculty - I have a larger window where I can see the assignment and type feedback while the assignment is in front of me.
- The Gradebook is easy to use and to set up. My students love that I can give them a total grade after each due date because I can set up a 'Grade to Date' Setting which includes only assignments that have been due.
- It's integrated into our student portal which allows students to have a single sign-in to their course shells from their student portal page.
- We use a hosted solution, and at times it feels 'slow' - I know that's not specific, but I do know that it isn't just on our network, but on my home network which has a fast internet connection. When I'm trying to go between student grades for instance, it will often time out as I click from one name, look at their grades, then click on the next arrow.
- Building quizzes to come up with random items from a specific block of questions can be difficult - that may be an integration issue with certain publishers.
- Once a rubric is built, it's extremely difficult to edit it - you have to start over again.
- I HATE the internal email system - it will forward emails to my .edu email, but I can't reply to them until I'm in Desire2Learn because it's all internal to Desire2Learn.
- Date release options for activities, details, and content groupings allow you to plan a dynamic learning sequence.
- Great flexibility for displaying media. It's very easy to build attractive and engaging lessons using all of Desire2Learn's media tools.
- I tried to use a grading rubric for my discussions, and it created a separate grading method. Discussion rubric grading could vastly improve the tool.
- Can we get the option to grade the discussions using the iPad app "GRADER"?
- Can we get the option to grade quizzes and provide feedback using "GRADER"? Feedback options seemed to be missing from my GRADER.
- Desire2Learn is a fairly simple LMS and is easy for end users, both faculty and students, to learn how to navigate. It is, to all intents and purposes, a file sharing system that relies heavily on drop down menus for navigation. Therefore, it's easy to teach faculty and students how to utilize both in person and remotely. I have had occasion to help students learn to use the product remotely and it's not particularly difficult.
- Our current version of Desire2Learn has a simplified grading interface included which improves our ability to access all the content that users have submitted related to a given exercise. The content is also integrated into the gradebook so that we do not have to toggle back and forth between the exercises and the gradebook in order to assess our students' work.
- The available analytics are quite useful for monitoring student engagement and keeping tabs on student progress. It is easy to tell which students are struggling to get started in a course. It would be lovely to include a feature which allows you to automate reports of that nature.
- Desire2Learn is overly reliant on drop down menus so it can be very clunky to navigate in, particularly on mobile devices.
- It is exceptionally difficult to use the e-mail system on a touch screen device. I cannot count the number of times that I have lost an entire drafted e-mail because the program froze up after a cursor was put in the wrong part of an e-mail window. It's essentially a huge exercise in frustration unless you're composing it with a keyboard.
- Certain features such as adding rubrics are also more laborious than they should be. They require you to select features from a series of menus instead of simply being able to upload a finished rubric to the system.
- One of the features that I believe Desire2Learn does better than some of the other LMS's on the market is the Gradebook. The Gradebook offers the ability to create categories which allow an instructor to easily drop the lowest x number of grades.
- Depending on how your particular course is set up, the news tool can work as a great place to send announcements to students. The ability to embed your own personalized YouTube video in this are can also be extremely helpful to students.
- I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the email tool. I am not necessarily a fan of the interface when adding recipients etc., however it does have some positives as well. Communication with students can get very overwhelming if you are using an outside the LMS email tool. I prefer to keep all course communication inside each class. Things like grade appeals are much easier to deal with when you have easy access to the Desire2Learn archived emails.
- One of the main things that seams to be a common source of irritation is the inconsistencies found throughout Brightspace. For instance, there are two main areas used to build a course, the Course Builder and the Content area. It appears that these two areas were created by different teams of technicians that did not communicate.
- Although we have been told that this issue will be fixed when we upgrade and I understand that this is not an easy problem to solve, the document reader not functioning has been the cause of a lot of support calls.
- Quizzes and the Question Library are a source of major annoyance to faculty and support staff. The issue is that the two areas are not connected as they should be. For instance, it is very possible to have questions inside of a quiz that are not in the question library. They should be connected. If a question is in any quiz it should also be in the Question Library. That is not the case.
- The rubric tool is another area that I have a love, hate relationship with. The tool can be very useful when used correctly, however it does not work as it should when using it with the discussion tool. The real issue is the students ability and ease when trying to view the completed rubric.
- It is also not helpful that rubrics can be associated with a tool (i.e. dropbox) as well as the Gradebook item. Desire2Learn does not seem to tie the two together even though the tool and the Gradebook item are associated.
If you have a solid local support team, Desire2Learn can be a fairly functional tool. I am not a large fan of the Desire2Learn support team, however that seems to be an issue with many of the big players including the last LMS I used, Blackboard.
- Tests are easy to set up and administer, as well as easily allowing student exemptions.
- Uploading files into the system is very simple.
- Presenting material in different modules, including links and discussions about a certain topic, allows easy changes after setup.
- Discussion boards are hard to read in the current format--the "threads" don't appear as easily as in some other platforms, and so it makes it difficult to follow what has been written.
- The internal e-mail feature has a very small file attachment size, which limits its functionality for sending materials.
- Grade book works very well, for keeping track of student's assignments, grades, etc. Provided a way to eliminate a paper grade book.
- Works well for providing additional materials to students for courses. Much easier to use than Blackboard.
- Ability to include recorded videos for substitute lectures for classes
- Setting up groups/group areas was difficult. Compared to Blackboard it is much more time intensive to complete.
- Easier customization of page layouts, graphics, etc.
- Online quizzing works very well and dumps automatically into the gradebook, which can then be exported to the university Registrar. Automatic grading is a plus.
- Surveys are good in that we use them to evaluate each course and faculty member who teaches in the course. Export of the data is fast and easy and gives a good overview of the data collected.
- Gradebook can be set up to mimic what faculty members have included in their syllabi regarding how they are calculating grades. Using percentages, weights, and custom formulas is a nice feature.
- D2L can be more compatible with browsers. We have had issues with Chrome and Internet Explorer. Typically in the drag-and-drop these browsers either do not work or work intermittently.
- Speed is always a problem with D2L. Depending on the number of people across the university using the program at any given time, it could cause issues with response to clicks.
- After the most recent upgrade it apparent that D2L is built as a multiple-programmer program in that navigation is not always the same going from module to module.
- I find that D2L has a user friendly interface and can be navigated by most instructors and students without too much problem.
- D2L integrates well with other tools, such as e-texts, and most softwares such as Respondus.
- D2L is easy for the help desk people to navigate, making it easy to provide good customer service for the people who do need help.
- D2L has some issues with some of its tools that take a while to correct. There have been some problems with feedback for submissions recently.
- There are a few things I would like to see added such as the ability to import rubrics from Excel and the ability to print the grade book.
- A functionality that I feel needs work is the Equation editor. I find it difficult to use the editor for some functions such as logic formulas.
- D2L provides a relatively easy way to create customize course pages. This is helpful as I design custom online courses and can create my own templates.
- The assessment data is helpful in the quiz area. Faculty members are able to see data for the test as a whole, individual questions, and individual answers. This allows us to make decisions on curriculum and assessment as we review/revise courses.
- The notification system is helpful for students. Students can subscribe to notifications through the news and receive updates via email or text. They can also subscribe to discussion boards/posts, get notifications via text/email about deadlines, grades, etc... A nice way to stay connected without having to constantly login to the LMS and "check" to see if something is new.
- I would like the ability to pull all discussion posts for a single user in a class for assessment purposes but this feature appears to have been removed in the recent upgrade to 10.2
- The WYSIWYG editor is a little messy at times so I often work on the code by hand or in a program like Dreamweaver then copy the code to D2L. This adds time to my work and makes it difficult for faculty to work independently.
- The new user interface in the Discussion Board area has been a problem for students. It is not as easy to review/read/follow discussion threads as it was in the previous version.
- It has become more difficult to delete discussion forums and modules in 10.2 - there was a way in previous versions to bulk edit and remove discussions/modules that you were no longer using on one page. You now have to remove one at a time. This is a time consuming process.
- The user interface design is not at all consistent from tool to tool. It appears that several different design/development teams worked independently. This makes it difficult for the tool to become "intuitive" to faculty users.
- The rubric tool is a bit rigid and does not allow for a high level of customization (ranges of points and in-line custom comments for students are my biggest complaints)
- Class content, email, discussion forums and basic structure.
- Easy navigation between the various sections of a course.
- Faculty can easily build a new course within a course shell.
- Email is confusing to use for some students, especially when trying to look up email addresses and place them in the 'To' field.
- The various settings for the discussion forum for Threaded view versus other views can be confusing for some.
Faculty also have problems changing items in their course and often need to call in for help.
- Migration of content from ANGEL worked fairly well.
- Grade book provides many options for faculty needs.
- The ability to customize the various widgets and changing the layout of the home pages was a feature our faculty appreciated.
- Collection and prioritization of new ideas from the user community is appreciated.
- D2L needs to review their community of ideas and move forward with prioritized postings.
- Additional cost for features not included is frustrating when they should be part of the product.
- The Discussion tool is very difficult to navigate and the user community is asking for a revision that needs to be recognized.
- There needs to be a greater working relationship with third party solutions (Turnitin, Ellucian, ...).
- As mention previously the ease of use across multiple platforms and operating systems. I have accessed Desire2Learn from Internet Explorer, Safari, along with Firefox. Same experience each time.
- The homepage is easy to find, you click the schools title page, additionally, all the links stay at the top of the screen which makes moving through the class easier as well. I get fewer questions from students on were to find a particular item, the ones I do get are easy to move forward.
- They recently updated the discussion tool, it makes it easier examine unread discussion and you can zero in on the new discussions to understand what the students are writing, faster than other programs that it becomes complicated quickly.
- One item is when working with editing the discussion questions, each question needs editing individual for dates, a mass change would be nice.
- Another problem I have run into is on replying in discussions, if you receive an e-mail through the program while you are in the middle of typing you lose what you have and need to rewrite.
- The dropbox area is highly developed. You can create both group and individual dropboxes. They can also be attached to the grades area allowing items to be graded from within the dropbox tool and then have it published to the grade book. They have also successfully integrated the use of rubrics with the dropbox. This allows instructors to grade a rubric that is attached to the dropbox and have it publish to the grade book. It is very slick! In addition, there is an ipad grading app that allows instructors to download the dropbox items to their ipad, grade offline, and then upload the graded items back into the dropbox.
- The course builder is a great tool. This is a great tool that allows you to get started in the course building process before having the actual learning materials and assessments created. It allows you to create a course outline by using placeholders. These placeholders can then be replaced with html pages, quizzes, discussions, and dropboxes at a later date. I use this tool all the time!
- In 10.1 D2L introduced many drag and drop features into their LMS. This allows for easy upload of files from the computer to the LMS. This was a great enhancement to their product.
- The use of rubrics in the discussion area and the quizzes area could use some TLC. The rubrics actually have to be added to the grade book item for them to be functional. In the Discussion area the instructor is unable to grade them discussions and publish them to the grades area. In quizzes, students are not able to see the rubric at all. If the rubric functioned in these two tools like they do in the dropbox they would be a very useful tool.
- The discussion area could benefit from a few different enhancements. There is currently no way to grade group restricted discussions without having to manually enter the grades in the grade book or setup a different grade item for each group and then someone restrict those grade book items to individual groups. It is not an easy process one way or the other. The discussion area would also benefit from the ability to add categories so that Forums could be grouped by a certain category (i.e. Units)
- D2L needs to invest some time and resources to develop/redevelop blogging, journaling, and wiki in the LMS.
- As a proficient user of competitive learning management systems, there was a slight learning curve when moving into Desire2Learn; however, after a few weeks I found this integrated learning platform to be user friendly to both me as the online course facilitator and my students. There are numerous online resources that assist in the learning curve.
- Modules within Desire2Learn create an organized online course room that enhance delivery of course materials.
- Revisions are "hassle free" and reorganizing course resources encourage frequent updates that enhance the online course and keep the material current.
- Students interact easily with online instructor and peers.
- Many times it seems that I have to flip back and forth between screens within the Desire2Learn course room to access information.
- Grade book functionality is a bit cumbersome.
- Level of support from Desire2Learn?
- Level of reliability of the integrated learning platform?
- How does Desire2Learn compare to competitors?
- Is the format user friendly with a minimal learning curve?
- Will proper training be available for all users (faculty, staff, students)?
- Are resources readily available online and through the college?
- Will help desk employees be trained to assist faculty, staff, and students?
Desire2Learn is the learning management system (LMS) used by all resident faculty and by the faculty offering courses online. It serves as a communication system between professors and students for delivering documents, keeping grades, sending messages, and posting announcements. While not all faculty use all the components of the system, all the faculty and the students have access to it. I use this LMS with all my resident classes in addition to the ones I have created for distance learning. I communicate via email and announcements (sometimes even with synchronous chats) as well as post documents, receive and return assignments, and keep grades with D2L.
Our university uses it for the delivery of training for technology resources, from the D2L system itself to workshops on leadership and advancement. It is also in use for delivery of faculty advancement portfolios.
- Providing an updated class list for ease of communication
- Storing documents that students will need to use
- Providing space for student groups to work in chat rooms and with document sharing
- Keeping grades that students can access at any time
- Allowing for a secure place to post recording from class
- Copying content and set up from one semester/session to the next
- The interface for creators of content can be clunky--lots of clicks, lots of steps to remember
- The discussions and dropbox files do not work well with rubrics--very awkward
- The system's updates, while helpful, seem to come both too often and without enough of the changes needed
- Desire2Learn is easy to navigate from both a student and instructor point of view. Students use an LMS for the end goal of learning course material. If they must invest a great deal of time first learning to use the LMS, it detracts from the flexibility of online learning.
- Desire2Learn is very customizable. An organization can create a branded look and feel for their D2L instance, while still providing flexibility for specific course customizations. However, if the organization prefers the courses all look and feel the same, they can remove permissions for other to customize their course shells.
- Desire2Learn is easy to use, even for people with little technical skill. While you do have the option to code your pages in html, you also have the option to use many WYSIWYG editors that make creating content as easy as using Microsoft Word.
- Desire2Learn could use added functionality in making content accessible to screenreaders. Creating screenreader accessible math courses proved quite difficult - especially higher level math. While I did find a way to make it work, it was quite a manual process. It would also be helpful to have a accessibility checker built into the LMS so that institution would have the ability to scan courses for inaccessible content.
- Often times updates seem to be haphazard and not well thought through. each update would fix one problem but create a new problem. However, this is very common with software in general.
- The way that the discussion forums are built makes it difficult to grade students and offer meaningful feedback.
- The eportfolio is a great tool, but it doesn't allow for peer feedback from multiple users.
- Instructors were really excited about the ability to provide audio feedback to students. We felt that would give them an easier way to provide the substantive feedback we required and that students would be more inclined to listen to it.
- As an instructional designer, I loved the easy conversion from Word feature which stripped out the excess MS code to create clean HTML for easy loading on student computers. I wish the current system I'm using would have that! :(
- The Respondus and TurnItIn integration were great and made things a lot easier for our faculty.
- while I'm not sure if the Intelligent Agents ever got implemented, I thought they had great potential to be used as an early alert system for the faculty to keep track of those students who might normally fall through the cracks.
- We had some initial miscommunication problems during the negotiation stage which did get successfully resolved.
- There were also some wonky things during the set-up process. Some features didn't work as expected. For example, the Nav Bar didn't work in the way that we were lead to believe and we had to scrap a plan to give faculty access to that.
- The training for our high-level staff was definitely inadequate, but then I find that's so with every learning management system I've ever used, big or small. It would be nice to have had some training that made our training a little more challenging.
D2L is a key element in most of our online courses as this serves as an entry portal for the course where students will find the task lists, handouts, interactive online activities, online assessments, etc. The ability to track students performance is a key feature in D2L. This helps us to identify who we need to reach out and identify their needs or challenges in the online classroom.
- Regarding the software itself, there are tools that are particularly key in our organization and these tools have been improved in every upgrade. For example the User Progress Tool is one of our favorites because offers the capability to monitor students performance within the course and helps address the student's challenges before they fail. It also helps on assessing what extra resources are being used by the students and what others are not really useful at all. Overall, I think D2L tries to keep up with improvements that can ease ease the user experience. There is still more work to do, but we've seen how this product has evolved.
- Regarding new mobile capabilities, D2L has increased these like any other LMS is doing. The Grader App is currently used just by few of us, but the ability to access and review course content using the basic Mobile web is incredibly handy. Many instructors and students carry their mobile devices and embrace the ability of having instant access on the go.
- Desire2Learn technical support is good and we have received a decent turn around time in their response whenever we have specific questions or request extra help. I believe their first tier level of technical support is pretty responsive. Some of the technical support people are very knowledgeable and have an immediate answer to incidents we have had in the past. I would like to see more people like this in tier one as I have learned a lot from their help support.
- The extensibility of the software and capability to integrate with textbook publisher's content or other external applications is highly important and so far has been an easy setup in D2L.
- The ability to send notifications to students when a grade or news is posted has been an asset for our instructors and students.
- The Attendance Register is a time-consuming tool. It would be great to have the ability to create the attendance based on set of dates. For example if my course is a 10-week course it will ease my work if I can just define end and start dates, and the number of sessions the class meets. The software would generate 10 records based on the dates provided. I believe Educator used to have this option.
- I would rather have visible quick options for "Delete, Reorder, and Copy" These are now collapsed in a button. Users are more familiar with having visible Delete/Copy options. Also the "Delete" is kind of odd. One must click "Delete" to display the "list of items that can be deleted" then mark what you want to delete and click another button. This is just confusing for our users.
- It would be great to have the ability to restrict submission views per students and within a time frame. Right now to do this I have to restrict the visibility of the quiz per student and create a submission view to for Post-quiz review, and then a "Close post-quiz review," but this only solves part of my problem as I cannot give access to submission views based on time and per student. Let's say that I have two students who want to review the quiz at different times on the same day. I have create a submission view for that student and give her access to the quiz. Once the student's "review period has expired" I have to go back into the quiz disable her special access and enable the access for the second student who will review the quiz in the afternoon.
- Easy to use - It is intuitive to navigate and create new assignments. Easy drag and drop features allow instructors to design their course layout with little training.
- Online Quizzing - There are many built-in features in the quizzing tool that give the instructor control over the management of the quiz. They can assign time/date restrictions, randomization, and auto-grading to their quizzes. The grades can then be populated to the Gradebook automatically.
- Calendar - There seems to be some recurring issues with the Calendar Tool. It is one of the more difficult areas to navigate and manage.
- Most students are used to learning in a traditional classroom, so Desire2Learn's technology makes the online transition easier for students.
- As an interactive instructor, I find Desire2Learn platform easy to incorporate lectures, webcasts, YouTube videos, and other media for an engaging classroom experience.
- As the world becomes more mobile, I am particularly impressed with Desire2Learn's mobile application and features.
- Although the mobile application is excellent, more features could be added to make it more user-friendly.
- Again, the mobile features could be better aligned with the full features of the Desire2Learn platform.
- The grade book feature in Desire2Learn is good, but not as user-friendly as the rest of the platform.
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