CMS Pilot – Desire2Learn

Desire 2 Learn pilotI signed up to participate in the CMS pilot program for the fall to give input on a possible replacement for ANGEL – There were 2 options – Moodle and Desire2Learn (D2L). I chose D2L because I’ve worked with Moodle already and wanted to cover more ground. I’ll report my experiences here as I go along. I’m using it with my fall ESL 4 class.

Yesterday, I got an assist from the D2L rep to upload quizzes into the course shell. I wanted the experience of uploading everything else so I opted not to import the entire course from ANGEL – so I could get a better feel for uploading and organizing content in this tool. So far so good.

I see a few differences in organization – content isn’t under one tab (Lessons) – it is broken out into content, discussions, and quizzes – pretty easy to navigate though – links are across the top of the page.

Instructors are given a “sample student” in their list of roles, so they can switch back and forth and do things as a student to test things.

The gradebook seemed to be pretty straightforward as well – same as ANGEL – choose points or percentage, then create assignments placeholders…. a few differences, but explanation boxes were helpful.

*********** 8/23/2010**********************************************************

Today is the first day of class – I’ve created an icebreaker discussion forum – so let’s see how it goes – also a grammar pre-test… so 2 functional items to check out today. D2L has an optional blog… but I couldn’t see how to do it easily – so I may just keep with the PSU blog tool for this semester….

I videotaped ESL students on day 1 reading a short passage to analyze some pronunciation issues… I uploaded the files to my personal PASS space and linked to them in D2L – wanted to be able to make them private to individual students so I could add my comments – but can’t figure that out yet – maybe a discussion forum and make individual students into separate groups…ANGEL Help is thinking about this too for me…Initially I created topics – but I can’t make them private to individuals – Topics are either hidden to all or not.

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