Desire2Learn renovations complete
By Courtenay Alcock
Memorial University has made significant improvements to its online course delivery system for the fall 2012 semester. Desire2Learn, the university's learning management system used by both distance and on-campus courses, was upgraded to the latest version of the software on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Users of the virtual environment will experience vast improvements in both its appearance and navigation, as the institutional and course homepages have been streamlined, improving access to courses, tools and resources.
"Technology is always changing, and Memorial's Desire2Learn environment isn't any different," said Rob Wells, associate director of learning technology and media design at Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support (DELTS). "We are committed to providing students, faculty and instructors with the best technology available — it's a continuous improvement process to ensure we provide an optimal teaching and learning environment for our online and on-campus learners"
The new version of Desire2Learn provides a more attractive design that includes a variety of themes that allow instructors to personalize their pages with one of five landscape backgrounds or a plain white background. Navigation within the environment has also changed for the better; a new "mini" bar is visible on all pages and provides easy, one-click access to courses, updates and personal settings.
"We understand it can be a challenge to adapt to changes in the technologies we use," added Mr. Wells. "That's why we try to make it as easy as possible for faculty, instructors and students to adapt to these changes with appropriate training and resources."
To ease the transition for the upcoming term, DELTS is providing a series of drop-in clinics to assist instructors with individual needs and requests. DELTS staff will be available to assist with setting up individual course homepages, loading content and creating gradebooks. It will also be an opportunity for faculty and instructors to get an overview of all improvements to the Desire2Learn environment, as well as ask questions to experts of the technology. Those not able to attend the clinics can request individual or group online sessions with DELTS as well.
For more information about the drop-in clinics visit www.delts.mun.ca, or contact DELTS at 709-864-8700 or toll free at 1-866-435-1396.