Quest to Suggest and Suggest to Quest

Hey guys!

As a blog for student tips and tricks, you should know that we highly value student feedback! That is why this week we thought that we would try something different and ask about what you would like to see!

Is there something that you haven’t seen yet, but would like to?  Something you do not quite understand?  Something you want to know more about? We want all of your questions and suggestions! (See what I did there?)

suggestion box

Write a comment with your questions and ideas and we will do our best to respond! You may even get a whole post written on it!  We want to make this blog all that you, the students want it to be!

Thanks for your time and attention,

Elaina

Calender: The Other Most Important Tool

Hey guys!

Today I want to talk to you about the D2L calendar tool. First, to access your calendar, go to the D2L homepage.

There is a ‘Tools’ button on the course navigation bar on the far right side underneath your name.

tools

If you click on it a drop down menu will appear, click on the ‘Calender’ link.

This will take you to the calendar homepage.  Here you can see what you have due in each of your classes within the month.

caldender

Anything that your professor has chosen to give an opening or closing date to will appear on the calendar and any changes that he or she makes will be automatically updated on your own calendar. This is convenient because you don’t have to worry or waste time going in and making manual changes when your instructor messes with the syllabus.

You can switch to different views of your upcoming events by clicking on the different options at the top; Agenda, Day, Week, Month, and List.

calender view

My personal favorite view is the Month view because I can see what weeks will be busier than others and plan my course of action ahead of time.

Your calendar could potentially contain content from every class that you are currently enrolled in as well as other things like ongoing jobs and general Whitewater content.

class list

You could manage what you see on the calendar by going to ‘All Calendars’. There it shows all the calendars that you are subscribed to. You can add and remove any calendar that you want. This means you can add on your work times or club activities if you wanted.  The display colors are also fully customizable if such things matter to you like they do to me.

task bar

The last and maybe most important aspect of the calender, is the fact that you can add your own tasks and reminders to it. You can do that by typing them in the bar on the right hand side of the page.

That’s all I have for now! That was the calender tool and if you have any more questions or concerns feel free to contact UW-W Desire2Learn Support.

Thanks for your time,

Elaina

Annual D2L Course Cleanup Process

D2L-ZipIn order to maintain optimal storage capacity and ensure the ongoing smooth operation of D2L, a purge of older courses from the system is conducted annually by the UW System Utility.

We’ve begun to prepare for this year’s D2L Course Cleanup process that will take place on Friday, May 2nd, 2014. On May 2nd, 2014, courses from Fall 2010 through Summer 2011 will be purged from the D2L system. Instructors with one or more D2L courses slated to be purged were contacted via email on Monday, March 3rd.

The D2L Course Cleanup resources site is available with more information on the Cleanup process and instructions on how to export course materials and student data.

If you have any questions or concerns about the D2L Course Cleanup process or need assistance, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Snackable Series: Digital Badging

Snackable Bag Spring 2014Digital Badging, March 19 – 20, 2014

The innovative use of technology in higher education continues to provide new possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning.  Feel free to bring a lunch and join us!

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.  Badges are currently awarded by Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon, the Smithsonian, Intel, Disney-Pixar, and some MOOCs as well.  In this snackable, the basic principles of badging, models of badging, and ways you can use badging in your course will be considered.

Digital Badging Sessions:
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from Noon to 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 11 a.m. to Noon
Location: iCIT Training Center, McGraw 112

To register for one or all of these “Snackable Series” sessions, please sign up at: http://signup.uww.edu Seating is limited.

If you have any questions regarding the Snackable Series and its sessions, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

“Open in New Window” Button in Content Item Does Nothing

With the deployment of the latest Service Pack for Desire2Learn (D2L), a new bug was introduced that causes the “Open in New Window” button within Content items to do nothing for all student roles.  This has been confirmed as a bug from Desire2Learn Inc. However, we do not have a timeline for receiving a fix at this time.  The image below illustrates the issue as well as the workaround.

Students
When using this workaround, you may receive a Mixed Content warning from the browser.  For additional details, see Firefox 23 – Mixed Content Handling.

Instructors
The issue only appears inside of Content items.  The work around is to have students click on the Quicklink Content item directly from the Content tool (either through the Table of Contents or that specific module).  If you are using a Quicklink in a News item to link to content, the current work around would be to link directly to the URL or file from the News item until the issue is resolved.

If you have any further questions regarding this, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

“You Have an ePortfolio” and Other Things You Didn’t Know

Hey Guys, Elaina here!

I know that it is halfway through the semester and many of us are stuck in our routine. As a senior, one of the things at the forefront of my mind is getting a job after I graduate.  Now of course there are no guarantees depending on the field you’ve chosen as well as the competitiveness of the current job market; but there are a few things that D2L can help with for your future.

One of those things is providing you with an ePortfolio.

ePortfolio main

This does an excellent job of collecting all of the things that you have worked on and turned into your classes. You can upload your grades, papers, pictures, art projects, websites and more.  On your ePortfolio you can create a collection that contains all of your accomplishments. You could group everything you upload into collections for display purposes.

Once you are confident that your little corner of D2L properly reflects what you want to display to the world, you can invite individuals to view your page and in turn you can get invites for other pages. You can build sharing groups and solidify your connections for the future.  You can create reflections on your work as well as provide links to outside content and even a form response.

If you would like to know more about D2L’s ePortfolio, check out our YouTube video:

Graduation and entering into the job market is a scary thing, but trying to find a way to show all you have contributed to UWW shouldn’t be!  Use the tools that D2L has provided for you to help you in the future!

Thanks for your time,

Elaina

Desire2Learn Service Update (2/27)

Desire2Learn logoOn Thursday, February 27th, Desire2Learn Inc. deployed Service Pack 14 to our D2L learning environment.

In addition to the fixed issues listed below, this update includes a hotfix for several performance fixes including quiz query performance and delayed or problematic launching of external learning tools.

Content:

  • External links now open correctly in a new tab or window when they are accessed from the Content Browser widget.
  • When inserting a URL Quicklink into a Content item, insecure content links (http) now automatically convert to secure links (https) or are set to open as external links in a new window to help mitigate blocked content errors caused by browser security changes.
  • Adobe Presenter package in Content Viewer now maintains the viewing window size and no longer increases unnecessarily.
  • When using a larger font size, user-generated content now renders correctly without text overlap.
  • Frames now size correctly within Learning Environment webpages.

HTML Editor: When using Internet Explorer 9, the browser no longer crashes when users use the HTML Editor.

Dropbox: An error message no longer displays to users when they view Dropbox due date notifications in the Minibar.

ePortfolio: Changing item sharing visibility now works correctly at the org level.

Course Package Converter:

  • Content files no longer contain broken links when using the course conversion service for Blackboard 9.1 packages.
  • Descriptions for Content objects (i.e., modules and topics) now convert correctly for Blackboard 9.1 course packages.
  • Support was added for converting Significant Figures question types in WebCT packages.

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

Today We’re Discussing

Hey guys! This week I thought that I would go back and address the Discussions Page on D2L. I thought that we could, you know, sit down and talk about it…we could even discuss it.

It had to be said folks.

Anyways, I am sure you noticed a slight change to the Discussions page over the last couple of months. I have heard a wide range of reviews, good and bad.  However most of them all come down to appearance, not whether or not it is more user friendly. So I thought that this break down will be very helpful to you guys.

First to get to the Discussions page click on the link in the course navigation bar

discussion navi barThis will take you to your Discussions List Page.

discussions mainThis is something that many people find overwhelming initially but you don’t have to fret, most of what has been changed about this page is to help you stay organized. If you collapse everything then you have the ability to look at just one discussion forum at a time.

collapsedNow from there you can open one of the collapsed tabs and look at all the information within a single forum at a time.

open tabsThey have also made it easier for you to keep up with the updates that your classmates make to the post.  Along with the description of each discussion, they now have three little display categories; ‘Unread’, ‘Posts’, and ‘Views’.

unread views postsIf that is not enough by itself, on the right side of the page there are announcements on who last posted to the discussion and when.  If you would like an update about these as soon as they happen, there is a little ‘Subscribe’ button with a star right above that.

subscribeTo check on all of your subscriptions, click on the ‘Subscriptions’ tab at the top of your screen

subscriptionsWhen you would like to post to a discussion thread, click on it and you will be taken to the topic page.  This is what you traditionally think of when you think of discussions.

topic threadHere you can make your post and give your opinions and be on your merry way. You click on compose, you make your post and may subscribe to the thread from here if you so choose.  If you aren’t ready to post you can save it as a draft. You can maybe even just scrap the whole thing and try again later if you are having an off day.

composeYou can add a file, but you don’t have to. This could be useful in class if you are having a spirited discussion and you suddenly feel the need to post an article to prove your point. It could also be useful for posting appropriate reaction images to something that someone else said.

When you are all done carefully reading all of the posts, (or you have just clicked ‘Mark All Read’ because you want to get those dang notifications off of your D2L) click on the ‘Done’ button in the top right corner.

buttons mainThat is all I have for you today! If you want more information about the Discussions page, watch our YouTube video.

Thanks for your time,

Elaina