June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1135.1 - 14.1135.8
Teaching Engineering Technology Courses Using Desire2Learn (D2L)
In the last ten years the author has used course management software (CMS) such as CourseInfo (BlackBoard) and WebCT in several Engineering Technology (ET) courses. Due to the nature of our ET courses these software were adopted mainly for web-enhanced instruction. WebCT was a major improvement over CourseInfo as it offered several new and efficient tools for developing our ET course sites. The file management system was very useful particularly in our computer-assisted design/drafting (CADD) classes where it was necessary to download approximately a hundred student submissions (files) for each assignment. WebCT created a folder for each student and downloaded the part and drawing files to the appropriate folders.
In 2007 fall our board of regents decided to adopt Desire2Learn (D2L), a new CMS, for its improved features and better compatibility with the current student record management system. Many faculty members were hesitant to switch over to this software because of the learning process involved. But they readily adopted D2L after finding out about its new and better tools. Since 2008 spring the author has developed course sites for CADD (solid modeling), Statics, Dynamics, Strength of Materials, Vibration, Thermodynamics, and Fluid Power. It is very easy to create tools and pages, and edit and reorder them on D2L. There are numerous tools available under the navigation toolbar which can be loaded as necessary and avoid overcrowding of the course site. Assignments, tests and other course-related materials posted on the D2L can be edited online if they are saved in the html format. This feature provides a greater flexibility for the instructor by eliminating the dependency on a particular PC or any portable media device. D2L’s better file management system allows students to resubmit files without the need for retrieving the old files. The system downloads student submissions with the student’s full name along with assignment information and this feature is very helpful to the instructor while grading. D2L allows the instructors to easily change their role to a student and see the posted course information as a student without registering under some fictitious name. The e-mail is system is good but has some drawbacks. All messages sent by an instructor will be delivered to the same inbox. Students taking more than one course under the same instructor cannot easily relate the messages to the courses. This requires the instructor to mention the course name/number for each message that is sent to the students. The grading tool is very efficient because it allows posting of grades in different formats such as letter grades, points or percentage. It also calculates the adjusted and final grades. In conclusion we feel our university has made a better choice by adopting D2L for our web-enhanced and web-based instruction. Although the author uses D2L for web-enhanced instruction some instructors in our department use it for web-based instruction.
Sridhara, B. (2009, June), Teaching Engineering Technology Courses Using Desire2 Learn (D2 L) Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5118
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