Orientation Workshops: August 21, 2014

Come join us on August 21, 2014 for two workshops by the Learning Technology Center.

ClassroomOnline Teaching: A Primer
August 21, 2014
9:30 – 10:30 AM, UC 259B

Many of the basic principles of teaching are universal; however, the online learning environment has some specific challenges for students and instructors. This session will address these challenges, explore the basics of online course design, and give practical suggestions to make the online learning experience better for both you and your students.

Evaluating Online Student Group Work
August 21, 2014
11:00 – Noon, McGraw 115

Group work can be a valuable experience for students, but evaluating group work can be a challenge for any instructor. This session will explore common issues and concerns regarding evaluating online student group work, models for group work, and some simple tools for getting started with group assessment. Specific tools include the D2L Dropbox, D2L Rubrics, and PeerMark.

To register for these sessions, please sign up at:  http://signup.uww.edu.  Seating is limited.

If you have any questions regarding these sessions, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Desire2Learn Service Update (7/31)

On Thursday, July 31st, Desire2Learn Inc. deployed Service Pack 7 and 8 to our D2L Learning Environment. In this latest update, the following fixes were included:


  • If Question Library contains thousands of questions, attempting to delete hundreds of questions simultaneously no longer result in an error.
  • Previously, when users paged through the responses to a question that has more responses than other questions, the system remembered the page number they were on, and when they returned to the list of questions to grade a different question with fewer responses, the system brought users to a blank page 1. Now, quizzes correctly display questions and responses.
  • Because the same question cannot be imported into a Question Library more than once, an error page now appears to explain to users why some questions were not imported successfully.
  • The Equation Editor option now opens correctly when users open the HTML Editor in a pop-up window in Question Library and select it.
  • When editing quiz question types, users can now successfully delete answers with empty value fields without encountering an error.


  • Users working in Chrome browsers can now upload files to Dropbox folders successfully.
  • Instructors now remain on the Evaluation page for a user they evaluate after they click Publish, Update, or Revert. Previously, clicking these actions would automatically take instructors to the next student, and often instructors who were not aware of the change assumed their feedback wasn’t saved successfully and mistakenly do the evaluation again for a different student.
  • Dropbox now accepts submissions with file names that contain a period ending. For example, a Microsoft Word document called “MySubmission.” will upload successfully as “MySubmission..docx”.


  • The Content tool no longer automatically adjusts the Due Date or End Date for a module or topic when a user edits a Start Date or Due Date. The date and time associated with a Start Date, Due Date, or End Date will only change if they are explicitly set and saved. A validation message will appear to users when they set an end date to occur before a Due Date. Validation checks to ensure that the Due Date and End Date are after the Start Date still apply.
  • Uploading a file with a name that is identical to an existing topic file now updates the topic successfully and no longer causes the creation of a new topic too.

Import/Export/Copy Components

  • An error no longer occurs when copying a course with Dropbox folders that contain special access.
  • Course files with commas in their names now copy successfully to new courses and an error no longer occurs. For example, a course file with the name “Module1,Reading1″ now copies successfully through the “Copy selected components” or “Copy all components” workflow.

Discussions: If you attempt to export User Statistics from the Discussions Statistics/User tab, you will now get Discussion Statistics instead of Forums and Topics.

Grades: Instead of sorting by internal UserId and ignoring “Key Field”, the grades export file now correctly sorts by “Key Field” as set by the user.


  • Calendar events that include YouTube videos now display the video correctly when users read the events from the Agenda view.
  • User interface changes were made to the List view’s “Filter By” activity type control. The changes include fixing wrapping issues that caused the control to wrap across three lines, and the “X” icon is now replaced with the words “Clear all filters” to improve usability.

Competencies: Copying courses with a large number of competencies that have associated quizzes no longer results in a timeout.

User Progress: The system table holding user login history was restructured to prevent slowness in login and querying.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Distance Teaching and Learning Conference

MononaTerraceCloseThe University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the 30th annual conference on distance teaching and learning.  It will be held August 12-14 at the Monona Terrace of Madison, Wisconsin.

Explore the conference program and register today!

The conference will include 56 information sessions, 16 workshops, discussions, ePosters, and showcases.  Topics such as MOOCs, mobile learning, gamification, learning analytics, competency-based learning, and generational learning styles will be addressed.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Michael Quinn Patton, Founder and Director of Utilization-Focused Evaluation
  • Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor of Online Learning, University of Illinois Springfield and Director, UPCEA Center for Online Leadership and Strategy
  • Jane Bozarth, ELearning Coordinator, North Carolina Office of State Personnel

For more information, visit the conference website: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/

D2L v10.3 Discussion Tool Changes

The latest upgrade in D2L to version 10.3 included a complete interface overhaul of the Discussions tool. This new interface includes a change to the structure of Discussions and some new features, which are outlined in the video below.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Discussions tool or the changes, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Universal Design: More than Just Curb Cuts…

For this post, Eric Mueller from the Center for Students with Disabilities has joined the LTC Instructional Resources blog as a guest author.

Since 2002, students enrolling in at least one online class has increased 22% according to the Journal of Post-Secondary Education and Disability (2011). Due to this increase in online enrollment, it is imperative that faculty and staff understand the unique needs of all student learners, regardless of abilities.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the UW-W Learning Technology Center’s 2014 Summer Institute, and I presented on Online Accessibility and Universal Design. During this presentation, I was able to demonstrate and promote the valuable components of Universal Design (UD) and Universal Design of Learning (UDL).

Participants in the 2014 Summer Institute also experienced disability simulations, and I demonstrated specific assistive technology that students at UW-Whitewater are utilizing to make online content accessible (ZoomText and Kurzweil 3000) and provided tips in creating accessible documents for students.

To view Eric’s presentation on Online Accessibility and Universal Design given at the 2014 Summer Institute, please watch the video below.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Snackable Series: Digital Badging

A digital badge is an earned credential, which validates a person’s specific accomplishment, knowledge, or skill.  “Badging” can be used to supplement letter grades, combat grade inflation, instill motivation to advance their level of competency, and showcase learning outside of the formal classroom.

This presentation introduces the basic principles of badging, models of badging, and ways you can use badging in your course.

What’s New in D2L Version 10.3

Desire2Learn is scheduled for an upgrade to version 10.3. The upgrade outage will start at 9:30 PM on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 and end at 10:30 AM on Thursday, June 5th, 2014 (all times CT).

During this upgrade, D2L will NOT be available. This outage and upgrade will greatly affect Summer courses, so please plan your course work accordingly. It is also suggested that you end any dropboxes, quizzes, or other deadlines a half hour before the outage’s start time (i.e., 9:00 PM CT) if there are items due on that day.

In addition, Learn@UW has scheduled server maintenance on Saturday, June 14th from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Desire2Learn will not be accessible during this window.

We have a “What’s New” video for instructors that highlights some of the changes that are coming with the upgrade.

A “What’s New” wiki page is also available that covers version 10.3 tool changes in more detail, and you can visit that page here: https://geturl.uww.edu/1sk

If you have any questions about the D2L upgrade, please Contact UW-W D2L Support.

D2L eGrading Process Now Open for Spring 2014

The D2L eGrading process allows instructors to transfer final grades from their D2L Gradebook to their WINS Grade Roster in a few simple steps. This process is currently open and available for instructors to transfer their semester grades from D2L to WINS.

For more information on how to use this process, please see the following Instructional Resources wiki pages:

We also have a video available to guide you through the first two steps:

If you need additional assistance with your Gradebook or if you have eGrading questions, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Now Introducing: Lynda.com!

UW-Whitewater recently gained access to Lynda.com. Lynda.com is an extensive and valuable knowledge base of video tutorials for different kinds of technology and software. Topics covered include (but are certainly not limited to) 3D and Animation, Audio and Music, CAD, Design, Photography, Video, Web, and other specific software programs. All UW-W students, faculty, and staff have access to Lynda.com.

lynda_com screenshot

To access Lynda.com, go to http://go.uww.edu/lynda, and log in with your UW-W Net-ID and password.

Once you are logged in, you can browse the Lynda.com library or search for a topic. You can either individually watch one video tutorial at a time on a specific subject or you can watch an entire class. You can view which courses are recommended for you, create playlists of your favorite videos, or view your course history. Lynda.com is a wonderful resource that you can utilize for learning a new technology or brushing up on some rusty skills!