Desire2Learn (D2L)

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What is it?

Desire2Learn, or D2L, is a Learning Management System or a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of eLearning.

How does it work?

D2L contains course sites for courses found in the schedule of classes, which is from information units representatives enter into PAWS, (UWM’s Student Information System) that are released each semester.  Students and instructors are enrolled into these course sites based on information unit reps enter into PAWS (course name, section numbers, instructor by course) and the courses in which students are registered in PAWS.

D2L lets the instructor deliver digital course content, organize their gradebook and share grades with students, collect and assess assignments through the dropbox, create and deliver online quizzes and exams, facilitate online discussions and groups.

Why is it significant?

The main objective of D2L at UWM is to facilitate technology-enhanced, blended, and online learning.  Students have the expectation that each course will have a D2L site, the D2L sites will be available prior to the start of class, and that D2L sites will be used, at a minimum, to distribute the syllabus and student grades.  The use of D2L for blended and online courses and programs is far more significant since the course sites will distribute required reading and lectures, provide a space for assessment, online discussions, assignment submission, and more.

D2L was implemented over a decade ago to replace the previous system after significant failures were incurred. The identification and implementation was a UW System initiative.

Who is using it on campus?

All UW System campuses use D2L. eUWM leads the System in use of D2L.

  • Over 90% of students use D2L
  • Approximately 3000 faculty and staff use D2L
  • Every school/college uses D2L
  • 2,900 course sections were in D2L in the fall, 2012
  • 123,332 course enrollments

What do they think about it?

The UW System LMS Task Force states that students reported ease of use (81%-95%) of the tool and usefulness of the tool (89%-98%). Also, they reported overall positive LMS experience (95%) as well. Instructors reported (from neutral to strongly agree) a positive experience (91%), would recommend to their colleagues (89%), and made managing courses easier (92%).

The UW System study revealed is that students continue to expect that an LMS will be utilized in all their courses, including face-to-face, students expressed a desire for more consistency in their instructors’ LMS use across their courses, students expressed a perception that their instructors may not have adequate IT skills to carry out instruction, and student satisfaction would improve if course content were presented in a more organized manner.

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