D2L: Introducing the Desire2Learn Continuous Delivery Model

Jeremy Auger

Introducing the Desire2Learn Continuous Delivery Model

Desire2Learn values our relationships with our clients and it is our goal to make your experience with us as rewarding as possible.  As a rapidly growing organization we are constantly evolving to better serve you, with the goal of having you running the most robust version of our product to ensure the best user experience.  With that in mind we are introducing a Continuous Delivery model.

Continuous Delivery is a method of delivering updated technology to our clients that enables rapid, incremental delivery of high quality, valuable new functionality to users.  This new frictionless model makes it possible to increase collaboration with our clients and adapt software in line with user feedback and needs for incremental and easily integrated changes.

This more agile approach of incremental updates offers our clients the benefits of a greater code quality, as we remove the need to monitor a long list of historical releases.  This also provides extensive benefits from a support perspective as our teams can focus on the details of the current release and do not have to address issues that could be resolved in newer versions of the software.

We will be communicating more details around this Continuous Delivery model at FUSION in a session on Wednesday July 17th at 2:00 PM.  For those unable to join us at FUSION we will be holding a client webinar in the weeks following the conference. Should you have immediate questions about this program or you would like to coordinate a one-on-one discussion at FUSION about this we encourage you to reach out to your Desire2Learn Account Manager to coordinate scheduling.

Regards,

Jeremy Auger
CTO & Executive Vice President
Desire2Learn Incorporated

Minimizing A Widget On A Desire2Learn Homepage

You will probably find times when you want to minimize or collapse a “Widget” on a Desire2Learn homepage.  This is quite simple to do as long as there is a Chevron on the right-hand side of the title bar of the widget.  If there is no chevron, then the settings for the widget have been set so that it cannot be minimized.  One exception to the chevron being located on the toolbar, is the Calendar Widget.  The Calendar Widget has two chevrons, but they are located on the “Calendar” and the “Upcoming Events” sub-headers rather than on the title bar.

Adding Your Course Title to the Course Offering Code In Desire2Learn

To add a course title to the course offering code showing in your Desire2Learn course, you need to edit the “Course Offering Name” in the “Course Offering Tool” in your course site.  This entry is editable in D2L courses.  (Please note that the “Course Offering Code” entry is not editable because it has to remain unchanged so student enrollments can be automated.)

If you go to “Edit Course” and select the “Course Offering Tool” from the list, you can add your course title after the course offering code in the Course Offering Name box.  The we recommend is to a space, a dash, and then a space, followed by the title of your course.  Then click the blue “Save” button, and exit the Course Offering Information tool.

Making a Desire2Learn Course Active (Including Dates For Activation)

To make your Desire2Learn course active so students can view the content you need to make a change on the “Course Offering Information” page in your course tools area.  Dates can be entered as well so you can schedule the availability date of your course.  To activate (or deactivate) your course, click on the “Course Offering Information” link in your course tools area (edit course). Continue reading “Making a Desire2Learn Course Active (Including Dates For Activation)”

Best Practices: Opening A Document In A New (non-D2L Content Viewer) Window

For those wrestling with the issue of Desire2Learn blocking links in documents displayed in the D2L Content Viewer, there is one workaround that seems to work across web browsers and computer operating systems.  The workaround makes use of D2L “Documents” to link to files and then display them outside of the D2L Content Viewer.  Please note that this workaround requires the use of PDF documents to work properly.  However, Word and PowerPoint documents are easily saved in the PDF format by using the 2007, 2010, 2013 versions of Word and/or PowerPoint on Windows-based computers. All Apple Macintosh computers can save files in the PDF format. Continue reading “Best Practices: Opening A Document In A New (non-D2L Content Viewer) Window”

Blocked Links in Content Viewer: A Workaround

One issue that users migrating to Desire2Learn are finding is that the Content Viewer blocks the embedded links in a document being displayed.  As a result, when a user clicks on the link in the document, nothing happens.  Some instructors have many, many links in PDF, Word, and PowerPoint documents that their students need to access as part of a unit of study.

If you find that you have documents with imbedded links to outside URLs, there is one workaround that seems to work across all browsers and computer platforms.  This workaround prevents students from having to download the files to access the links.  If students have to download the files to access the links, then they also have to have the correct program (or free Microsoft viewer) to open the files and use the links.  The documents used for the workaround, therefore, must be PDF files.  These can easily be created using Word and PowerPoint 2007, 2010, and 2013. Continue reading “Blocked Links in Content Viewer: A Workaround”

Content Viewer

The content viewer displays user documents within the web browser being used.  The viewer displays many different types of documents not typically displayed by other learning management systems (LMSs) without some third party plugin or special coding.  Most LMSs force the user to download files to view them, unless the files are in the PDF format. Continue reading “Content Viewer”

Course Migration Checklist (Version 1.0)

I have created a checklist for those getting their migrated courses ready in Desire2Learn.  It has the most common things that need to be checked in courses migrated from Moodle and Blackboard.  Most of the items relate to the interaction of the elements (Quicklinks, Assessments or Activities, and Grade Items) imported into Desire2Learn, items that were not imported correctly or do not translate well to the new platform, or the duplication of items in the import process. Continue reading “Course Migration Checklist (Version 1.0)”

Negative Point Values On Dropbox Grade Items In Courses Imported Into Desire2Learn

A few of the imported Desire2Learn courses I have been working with have had Grade Items associated with Dropbox folders that have a negative point value.  This was noticed because the Dropbox items are not editable in the Content Tool’s Table of Contents or the Content Viewer.  When changes are made in those two areas a message is displayed that the system was unable to make the changes.  If you go to the Dropbox folder itself, however, the message that is displayed when you try to edit the item is that it has an invalid value for the number of points possible. Continue reading “Negative Point Values On Dropbox Grade Items In Courses Imported Into Desire2Learn”

Accessible Learning Management Systems: Bridging the Gap between Vendor and User Knowledge

Accessible Learning Management Systems: Bridging the Gap between Vendor and User Knowledge

This is the Desire2Learn’s LMS Accessibility white paper titled “Accessible Learning Management Systems: Bridging the Gap between Vendor and User Knowledge.”  It is  presented by: The D2L Accessibility Interest Group, with primary contributions by Sandra Earl, Mark Felix, Christie Gilson, and Ken Petri.  It was published on July 21, 2008.

Desire2Learn_whitepaper_accessibility