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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students prefer D2L classes

D2L has been a helpful tool for both teachers and students, but when a class does not have one, some students say it can make their lives more difficult.

Nicole Gaudette, a microbiology senior, said it is inconvenient not having a class on D2L.

Without a class list it becomes difficult to email fellow students about lectures she might have missed, she said.

“”I physically have to walk up to people and ask for their email addresses rather than sending out a mass email to students who are in my class,”” she said.

This semester her biostatistics class is not on D2L, but is instead using two separate websites, which Gaudette says can be difficult to keep track of.

“”Every class on campus should have D2L,”” she said. “”It’s more convenient having all your classes on one website, and the features like grades and content are helpful. It makes everything easier,”” she said.

Gaudette thinks the reason some professors don’t utilize D2L is that they may not understand how to use it.

In addition to that, she said a lot of professors in the Eller College of Management use Blackboard, a system similar to D2L. Since many professors in the college are using Blackboard, other professors in Eller will not actively try to get onto D2L, according to Gaudette.

Mark Felix, an instructional applications administrator on the D2L support team, said, “”an instructor decides if they would like to use D2L as a tool that supports the instruction and learning in their course.””

They go to the help pages, click “”Instructors”” and then click “”Request-A-D2L Course Site.””  

From there, instructors fill out the form and in one to five business days, they receive a message back saying the site is ready for them to begin loading their materials.

Felix said much of the faculty on campus is using portions of D2L.

Mary Voyatzis, an anthropology professor, said she started using D2L last year. She had been head of the classics deparment for nine years and knew people were using it.

Once she came back into the classroom, she said she figured she should learn how to use it.

“”Other colleges were so pleased with it, students liked it and people said it wasn’t hard to learn,”” she said.  

Voyatzis said she had a graduate student help her set it up. At first, she said it was a little confusing how to enter assignments and weigh grades in D2L, but there are classes on campus to assist professors with the website.

Voyatzis said the tool is helpful for both teachers and students. For the teachers, it allows a common place to put assignments and communicate with students, and for students it is a good way to keep track of where they are academically.

“”It is a new technology, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some colleagues are reluctant to use it,”” she said. “”Students don’t understand, they are born with computers in their hands, practically.””

Before D2L, she said she had handouts that students could purchase with the books for her class.

“”D2L is a nicer place to be,”” Voyatzis said. “”Next semester I am going to teach a course again on D2L, and I’m looking forward to updating and refining it — but it won’t be like starting from scratch.””

Charles Scruggs, an English professor who teaches an undergraduate class on World War I literature, does not use D2L.

“”There is no point in having a D2L for this course. It’s a senior seminar and it focuses on two monster texts,”” he said.  

Scruggs said he hasn’t yet heard a student complain about not having a D2L for his class.

“”I just use D2L when it is too expensive to buy a book for my class, then I will provide texts for the students.””

If students are sick or cannot make it to a class, he advises them to come to his office hours so he can help them catch up.

“”I’m pretty retro,”” Scruggs said. “”It is my 44th year here.””

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