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Editorial

D2L best option for consistency

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February 2, 2007

There is a multitude of options for professors to choose from when deciding where to have their class information posted in the great expanse of the World Wide Web.

Many professors have become accustomed to using Desire 2 Learn (D2L) for posting class syllabi, turning in assignments and hosting discussions amongst the students.

Some instructors still use courses folders which are nearly impossible to access from the dorms or any off-campus location.

And for those not using either of the aforementioned methods, they either do not use the Web at all or they have individual Web sites that branch off of the UW-River Falls main Web page with all of their own class information listed.

Why isn’t everyone just using one format?

The courses folders and personal Web sites do not allow students to upload homework, create discussions or interact in any way. Instead, they are simply vehicles of information from professor to student. Though getting information into the hands of students is an integral part of learning, with tools available that allow actual interaction between students and their professors, why are some faculty members still choosing to use less convenient, outdated technologies? D2L, however is not without its faults. Even though it is the most advanced option, it has some problems: discussions are often difficult to use and tedious, sometimes the entire program is unavailable and not all students access it daily.

The largest problem with this most popular form of student-teacher sharing is that many professors still do not know how to use it properly.

We know that it is easy for a student to sit down and complain that grades aren’t uploaded or assignments aren’t posted, but we have never tried using it from any other perspective than our own. How difficult is the program to actually use?

We would hope that the faculty and staff are given some sort of training in programs like D2L and the courses folders to make the moving of information from one person to another as smooth and convenient as possible.

Apparently not even this is possible since there are still those classes where information is impossible to find, whether on D2L, a personal Web page or the outdated courses folder.

How about we make most of those options extinct and declare D2L the University standard — and soon.

This would not only help out the students a great deal, but it would finally make classes uniform campus-wide.