Here we go again a new LMS selection process!
October 01, 2014

Here we go again a new LMS selection process!

Ed Lovitt | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

10.3

Modules Used

  • LE

Overall Satisfaction with Desire2Learn

We are a Community College using Desire2Learn for credit online and face-to-face courses. We provide course shells for all 2,000 sections offered each semester at the college. We currently have over 5,000 online students using the system. We migrated from our ANGEL LMS during the past year that was the major need from our faculty.
  • 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, ...).
  • Migration of content from ANGEL helped with the overall conversion time to a new LMS
  • Blackboard,Canvas,Moodle
The Desire2Learn system provided a greater ability to customize the learning environment than the Canvas system we evaluated. We did like the simpler interface that Canvas provides and the navigation was easy to follow. We also evaluated the Blackboard LMS and found a large variety of tools that were difficult to navigate.
I would never give any system a perfect score. In the technology environment today we need to be constantly looking at ways to improve the user experience and LMS companies like Desire2Learn need to know that we have options today with other systems and they need to stay current with features and listen to their customers.
Is customization of the learning environment important? Desire2Learn provides multiple tools for customization.

Using Desire2Learn

We have both students and faculty using the Desire2Learn system. We have three different roles in the system (System Adminstrators, Faculty and Students)
20 - We have our support of the hosted system inside Information Services and also faculty training and support with our Educational Technology Center
  • Teaching Online Courses for Credit Students
  • Supporting Face-to-Face Courses for Credit Students
  • Supporting both Continuing Education Courses and internal Professional Development for staff and faculty.
  • We use D2L for compliance training for faculty and staff
  • We provide student orientations for new students.
  • Use the system for additional Continuing Education courses
  • Use the system for free courses or MOOCS
  • Use for Clubs and Organizations at the college

Evaluating Desire2Learn and Competitors

Yes - ANGEL LMS system from Blackboard
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Third-party Reviews
We were impressed with the customer satisfaction from other schools that migrated from ANGEL to D2L
If possible to remove the sales teams from the evaluation process. We knew what we wanted but sometimes you are promised items without the ability to test and confirm. I would spend more time asking for a list of current customers.

Desire2Learn Implementation

The D2L implementation team listened to our concerns and built a system based upon our needs. We wanted to keep them after the initial implementation.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
Yes - We have the initial installation of the software on our servers in Phase I, Then we had implementation team work on specific settings for our institution, next we began migration of data from SIS system (BANNER) and then finally migration of existing content from ANGEL system. (About six months)
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - We needed to keep everyone informed to events and system settings
  • Correct installation on our servers (self hosted is not common today)
  • Migration of ANGEL data in to D2L is not perfect (systems do not always match content)
  • Integration with our SIS system BANNER is still ongoing (Final Grades to SIS)

Desire2Learn Support

They are responsive to our questions and will call me to clarify any questions they have about the help desk ticket.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Less knowledgeable
Yes - We currently pay for a TAM but had hoped that this would be a free service.
Yes - The bugs we have reported are typically replicated on their end and then sent to the next level of support for status update. This can sometimes take a few days to complete if not marked urgent.
Our implementation team did an excellent job of listening to our questions and have been available after the initial go live date. These relationships with the initial implementation team are very important.

Using Desire2Learn

Desire2Learn needs to look at other systems like Canvas for usability and ease of use for faculty. They have a great set of tools but they need to remove the complexity.
ProsCons
Like to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Familiar
Unnecessarily complex
Inconsistent
  • I liked the Grade book Wizard to help with setup
  • The student and faculty tutorials are all Closed Captioned and helped with the training process
  • The administrative interface (DOME) is very robust and provides administrators with tools to help with managing the LMS system.
  • The Discussions in 10.3 are very difficult to follow and grade from instructor perspective
  • The customization of home pages and themes is difficult to manage for a typical instructor
  • The Grade book is robust but very difficult to find all the settings in one location for typical instructor
  • The built-in D2L email tool is very old and does not provide abilities found in new systems like Google.
Yes - Mobile interface works for certain tools and needs additional work. The system is not customizable like can be found in the desktop system.