Little to no “Desire 2 Learn”

Little to no

Story by Rita Fay, Staff Writer

I have a love/hate relationship with D2L. I stay with it because even though it sometimes treats me poorly, there are those days when it saves my butt simply because I didn’t write an assignment down.

Desire 2 Learn was made with the idea to make classroom work easier. Instead, it just added work to the material students already have to do in class. It can make a three-credit class feel like a five-credit class.

D2L can be helpful in some situations. The content area is always useful when you need to find the syllabus, powerpoints, or assignment sheet. It is very convenient to look at your grades on the website. The drop box area is handy for submitting papers. So I’m not completely against D2L; some of its functions make the course
easier for the student and for the professor.

However, D2L is not always used in the simplest way possible. Often, it creates more work for the student.
I have had professors that know how to use D2L in a helpful and positive way. Unfortunately, there are some who use it far too much. Some professors will assign homework to be handed in at the next class, as well as work to be done on D2L. This makes more work for the student.

I have heard countless times from my professors that I should try and get my work done early, just in case something goes wrong with D2L. Sorry, what? It’s not my fault if D2L is down for maintenance when the deadline for a class comes. Also, D2L is ALWAYS down for maintenance. That is not the fault of a student. Students are busy, and we shouldn’t be punished academically simply because technology is unreliable.

Discussion topics can be interesting, sometimes. I think much of the time, especially for lecture classes, the discussion board is used as busy work. I know it can be helpful for students who are too shy to speak in class, but that doesn’t make it beneficial. Those students still are not being heard because nobody reads the discussion board.

When a student has a minimum requirement of responses to make, most of them are unhelpful. The responses end up sounding something like, “I agree with you! Great post!” There is very rarely any constructive criticism, let alone something that resembles an actual intellectual discussion with your classmates. The discussion board is used as one-way communication, not two-way. Little learning is gained from engaging in these “discussions” online. It would be much easier to talk about these topics in class where critical thinking and collaboration can be exercised with fellow classmates.

It seems that D2L is helpful when it comes to providing material in a convenient and accessible manner. It can also be useful when used for quizzes or grades. But D2L should not be used to pile on more homework or to discuss topics better suited for in-class discussion.

D2L should be used as a resource, not as a classroom.