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Tech for Teaching @GC

Community-based, student-centered, technology-enhanced learning and teaching

Posts tagged Desire2Learn


ePortfolio is for everyone.

Posted Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 Tagged:

ePortfolio is a tool in Desire2Learn that simply means Electronic Portfolio. Students, Faculty, and Staff all have their own ePortfolio. This tool is a great way for the users to showcase the work they have done in digital form.  The way the presentation is presented is in the form of a standard website. For faculty review, it eliminates the waste of paper and troubles with the mobility and storage of those bulky binders. ePortfolio is much easier to store and submit to the VPAA Office. It can be shared with others across the institution for feedback and even collaborative work.

For students, they are able to save and upload their best works and showcase them for graduation. Students are even able to save their presentation and use it for their future in Grad School or job seeking opportunities.

Users are able to place many forms of media including: documents, images, videos, audio, and text. It is up to them to be creative and make it look nice.  There are some limitations in the themes, but the portfolios can look professional.

After doing many training sessions for students, I have seen a lot of good presentations and a few not so good ones. The students seem to enjoy making the presentation after they get adjusted with using the tools. I see using the ePortfolio engages students with using new technology. Students are so used to the standard papers and tests that they could easily not get excited. The presentation can show the students’ skills in a different way than tests and papers, and ePortfolio is something they can be proud of creating themselves. It allows the instructors to have a window looking into the students learning and seeing their progress and achievements. Instructors can see in this window and are able to give feedback on their learning to help them with future work. The students have the opportunity to be creative, think critically, and reflect upon the work they have done.

I think using ePortfolio just for a single class can be a great aspect. The ability for sharing and collaborating work would make it ideal for group presentations. My idea is using it as a final presentation for the whole semester experience. It could be filled with reflections, summaries, and pictures (for art classes and COR 103 classes.)

Some people may not know that ePortfoilio has the capability to make multiple presentations.

If you want to use ePortfolio for a class or are already using it for a major requirement, here is some advice to have more success and have high quality presentations from your students:

◦ Let the students know early on in their career or class about ePorfolio. They will want to make sure they are saving their works to add it later.

◦ Let them know your full expectation with the final result. I have seen some students lost and unaware of what they need to have in their presentation.

◦ Create assignments that will go well in an ePortfolio.

◦ Let them know that the ePortfolio is a professional tool and the text should be used in that manner. I have seen text used identical to a social media site. This would not be good if they were using it for a job search.

◦ Encourage them to be creative when they show their work off.

◦ Show them examples of other presentations to inspire them and see that it can be done.

◦ The last piece of advice is to get them trained. Schedule a demonstration time for ePortfolio. I am free to come to your class to show the students how to use the tools properly.

Here is a video that D2L made about ePortfolio:
YouTube Preview Image

If you personally want to learn more about ePortfolio or have training, feel free to schedule an appointment or stop by my office.


Desire2Collaborate: How can we learn from other D2L clients?

Posted Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 Tagged:

Online learning isn’t about using technology for its own sake. Rather, the technology is seen as a medium by which we can engage learners in new and creative ways. I know this ideal and truly believe it, but I also recognize that good technology surely can make e-learning more effective when applied in the right way and at the right time.

Thanks to our partnership with Desire2Learn as our learning platform, I recently had the privilege to hear from the University of Wisconsin about their award-winning instructional approach, U-Pace. The U-Pace approach is a prime example of using technology to improve learning online and lead to greater success academically. In this post, I am sharing resources to help you learn more about U-Pace and the Desire2Learn Community, wherein I was able to learn about this innovative approach. I hope to inspire some online instructors at Greenville College to consider the U-Pace approach, and perhaps apply it in their courses.

The University of Wisconsin U-Pace Approach

The webinar recording “Implementing an award-winning, technology-enabled instructional approach in your online program” linked below is provided courtesy of Desire2Learn.  The webinar explains how developers used a combination of D2L’s release conditions and repeatable quizzes along with instructor-initiated amplified assistance to improve student learning.

Webinar Recording (March 12, 2014)

U-Pace Website

U-Pace Whitepaper

University of Wisconsin System Case Study

Desire2Learn Community User Network:
Perhaps the best way to collaborate with other D2L clients

This site is a free resource available to all clients who are using Desire2Learn, giving everyone a direct way to collaborate with Desire2Learn and other colleges and universities. Every Greenville College instructor using Desire2Learn is highly encouraged to join the community.

What kinds of things can you do in the D2L Community? You can ask questions. Look for answers. Learn from what other schools are doing.  Post new ideas. Suggest product improvements. “Vote” on product ideas others have posted. Ideas with the most votes get the most attention from D2L developers!

To learn more, contact me. I’d be happy to collaborate with you!


One Term to Another

Posted Monday, January 27th, 2014 Tagged:

Calendar ImageAs faculty busily ready their courses for a new semester, my office is often inundated with phone calls and emails for D2L help.  I hope that this post will be of assistance to some of you who just need a reminder how to get started. After all…that’s half the battle!

Faculty FAQ’s

FAQ’s (click the link above) are available to assist you with the most basic tasks in D2L, such as adding assistants, copying material from a prior course, and publishing your syllabus.

Desire2Learn Spring ‘14 Semester Start Workshops

Monday, Jan. 27 at 10 am or 2 pm
Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 2 pm
Library Computer Lab

Come be reminded how to get your course started on D2L. We’ll talk about things like doing a course copy from a previous semester, how to upload a syllabus, how to collect papers in a basic dropbox, and how to setup & release grades. TA’s & administrative assistants who use D2L to support you are also welcome to attend. Please pass the invitation along.

No need to RSVP; just come if you can!

Monday – Friday: Individual Appointments Available

Not the workshop type? No problem. Schedule a personal appointment with Rhonda to discuss exactly what you need to and get your spring classes prepared on D2L. Email or call (618) 664-6839 to set up a time.

Please Note:
You should bring some of your own course materials to work with during the workshop. You will accomplish more with a completed syllabus than without it.

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