I was very apprehensive to use D2L when VIU switched from Moodle. I was very comfortable in Moodle. It was a warm, cozy nest where I tucked all my learning materials for students. I had only used D2L once before, without any training and so took an instant, and arbitrary, dislike of it.
VIU decided to switch to D2L as D2L houses Canadian student information on Canadian soil. I agree that this is good, but I was dragged in to the new Learning Management System (LMS) at the last minute and unwillingly. I liked my Nest!
Now, of course, I wonder what all my issues were about. I enjoy D2L and find it very robust! It does what I want it to in a variety of ways. No longer do I have a cozy nest tucked full of interesting things but now I feel like I am a creator of a gathering place. Not only are there books, but there are areas for creative discussion, assessment, places to hand in work. It feels bright, open and airy.
Part of these changes may be the way I have grown while taking the OLTD courses, but part is also the way I can use D2L to create a community of learners. It enhances learning rather than driving it.
What I like about D2L:
- It can do so many things! I can post notes, create a quiz, start a discussion, have a dropbox for work, email, keep grades, make a checklist….
- I really love the gradebook. Students can have access to it if you wish and so can see what work is outstanding. Since starting to use the gradebook this semester I have not had to answer once, “What grade am I getting?” “What work do I need to hand in?”
- I can completely organize all my files in to neat and tidy folders. I just learned how to do this and I am very excited to try it out. My previous filing system was very haphazard (stick it somewhere and try to find it after)
What I dislike about D2L
- The lack of control on the appearance! I cannot adjust my frontpage. The colours I use are chosen for me. This does, however, create consistency between the different VIU classes
I am really happy that I have learned more about D2L through taking OLTD 504 as I am implementing a bunch of changes for intersession.