31 May 2013

Using the Role Select for My Courses

Some users are enrolled in course offerings in different roles. For example, at CRC all of the faculty are enrolled as Member in a course offering used to conduct elections for the academic senate. Those who also use D2L for teaching will therefore also be enrolled as Instructor in other course offerings. Another example is the Prior Term role, which instructors are encouraged to use so that they can de-clutter their homepages.

In the My Courses widget, only course offerings for one role display at a time. If you have different roles in different course offerings, you can select another role by clicking on the Role select menu and choosing another role. The system remembers your role from the most recent course offering you visited. It is easy to forget that you last visited a course offering in which you are enrolled as Prior Term, for example, and then return to your homepage and wonder where your current-term (Instructor) course offerings are.
If you only have one role that you are using (this applies to most students), then the Role select menu does not appear.

28 May 2013

Class Progress Overview

I found a video on a new tool in Desire2Learn: the Class Progress tool. It is linked from the Edit Course page, and this video from Ralph Mayer at Midlands Technical College does an excellent job covering the tool:

Managing My Courses

Once a user's enrollment exceeds 50 courses with the same role, Desire2Learn no longer can safely display all of them on a single page and the "Last 10 accessed courses" box appears. You can search for a course by name and term code. This is the four-digit code that identifies a term and is part of the course offering code. Here is the syntax:

  1. First digit is always a 1
  2. Second third digits are the last two digits of the calendar year
  3. Fourth digit is 3 for spring, 6 for summer, and 9 for fall.
For example, the term code for summer 2013 is 1136. Note that the term code is not included in the course offering code for a developmental course offering. Those include the string _dev_, so you could type that to find all of your development course offerings.

You can also move any of your course offerings to another tab in your My Courses widget by changing your role within each course offering. Desire2Learn creates a new tab in this widget for each role. This is helpful also if you  no longer want to see course offerings from previous terms (think of it as "de-cluttering" the widget). There is a role called "Prior Term" that has the same privileges as the Instructor role. [VIDEO DEMO]

08 May 2013

Edit the Course Homepage and Create a Custom Widget

The default homepage for course offerings can be edited. Widgets can be removed and added, and custom widgets can be created.

05 May 2013

Grades and Feedback

Enter Grades

Entering grades can be done a couple of different ways depending on whether the item has an "association" or not. Associated items are those that are connected to a quiz, discussion topic, or dropbox folder. For these items, the grade and feedback should come from the associated tool itself. If a grade item does not have an association, the grade and feedback must be entered manually on the Grade Item page.

In this example, there are three grade items titled "Document Analysis," and each is associated with a dropbox folder. When the students' submissions are evaluated in the associated dropbox folder, the score is automatically pushed to the appropriate grade item. If the score is changed in the dropbox folder, the score on the Grades page is also changed. The data does not flow the other way. If the score is changed on the Grades page, the score for the associated dropbox folder is not changed.

The same example has a couple of items that do not have an association. Both are titled "Midterm Exam." When grades are ready to be posted for these items, the action menu for each includes a link to the Enter Grades page for that item.

Individual Activity for Associated Items

For associated grade items, there is also a way to view an individual student's submissions (for a dropbox folder), attempts (for a quiz), or posts (for a discussion topic) from the grades page and without having to go to that tool. A link to the individual student's activity is on the Enter Grades page, whether that is the page for an individual item (accessed via the action menu and the Enter Grades link on the Manage Grades page) or the Enter Grades page, which shows all students and grade items in a grid.

02 May 2013

Edit the Navbar

The navbar for a course offering is how the instructor shows which tools will be used in a course offering. The default set of course tools may not be the same tools in use, and instructors are encouraged to make changes as appropriate. Links can be added to course tools, course resources, and external web sites.

Create Custom Link Groups

The default course offering navbar includes a link group called "Student Resources." It is possible for instructors to create their own custom link groups.

01 May 2013

Quiz Converter without Respondus

Rich Path at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created a tool to convert test banks that are in any word processing program (Word, iWork, etc.) into a Desire2Learn question import file. The file can be imported directly into a quiz or the question library. This basically does what Respondus does for free.


It is Windows and Macintosh compatible. Here is some sample syntax for four different question types (true/false, multiple choice, long answer, and ordering). Notice that the questions are numbered sequentially and there is a blank line between each question.
1. I am a college student.

2. What color is the sun?
A. Red
B. Blue
C. Green
*D. Yellow

3. Describe the process you used to select a college major.

order 4. From shortest to longest, order by length:
For a more detailed reference view the D2L Question Tool Documentation.