Many Useful Features for those Willing to Explore
September 25, 2015

Many Useful Features for those Willing to Explore

Frances Wright Breland | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

2.0

Overall Satisfaction with Desire2Learn

We use Desire2Learn as a part of a statewide collaborative of colleges and universities to offer college courses to students at our member institutions. Desire2Learn makes it possible for end users to create, modify and engage in a wide variety of course offerings across a complex system.
  • 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.
  • This is not something I can specifically speak to system-wide. However I think when teachers are willing to use the analytics provided by the system, it has the power to help them provide earlier interventions in the learning process. It is my observation that earlier interventions for learners who are struggling also improves learning outcomes.
I was not involved in the choice to use Desire2Learn vs. Blackboard.
If you are primarily interested in having a place to aggregate files for people to share in order to facilitate a course, Desire2Learn a great choice. It's easy to put materials together and it's not hard to access them. However, unless you have a sophisticated interface to layer on top of it, it isn't going to really work for multimedia presentations. I would also not recommend it for mobile learning.

Using Desire2Learn

As noted, it is not hard to learn to use and there are useful features included. However, certain aspects of the system are more cumbersome than they ought to be.
ProsCons
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Consistent
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • It is particularly easy to use the data analytics attached to this system.
  • The features which integrate user responses into the grade book are great. I am particularly fond of the grading interface attached to the Dropbox.
  • The calendar feature is very handy and easy to work with.
  • The e-mail system is cumbersome on a mobile device.
No - I do not think they have an interface specifically designed for mobile devices. The grading app they have created is useful although it takes a long time to sync with the LMS.