eLearn upgrade?? What?!

First off, DON’T PANIC.

At the New Year, Desire2Learn upgraded all of TBR to D2L v10.5.5. And for the most part, nothing changed. It wasn’t anywhere as big of a change as the last major upgrade we had. Seriously, less of a mountain and more of a molehill. However, as some things have changed, we figured it was only right to let you know some of the most important things. (Because my idea of a Scavenger hunt for changes would have never gotten off the ground.)

That being said, let’s get started:

1. Tutor.com is here!

I’m sure you’ve all noticed it. A new widget. It looks at you, waiting for you to click it.

The widget for Tutor.com

This is Tutor.com, the new way for students to get online help with their coursework. They don’t have to pay anything extra, and it works in any course. As a matter of fact, this new widget is in every course.

I know it kind of throws off the look of the course, but we’re working on some ideas to help all of that.

2. Importing Content

Many of you copy from a previous semester into a current course, and then change dates. It’s a very standard process. But for the new courses, or for when courses get new publishers and the content changes, you’ll generally get a fancy little .zip folder that you’re supposed to import. And now, the process for that is a little different.

A new window has been added, allowing drag and drop of import files.

Once you click Import Components and “Start”, this new box comes up, allowing you to drag and drop the .zip into your course. It will read the file and tell you if it can import it, and then you can choose to import everything, or choose what parts you want to bring in. It’s not a major difference, but it’s important.

3. Deleting Components

If you’ve ever had a Dropbox Folder you wanted to delete, you’re familiar with this process:

  • Click More Actions.
  • Click Delete.
  • Select the Dropbox you want to delete.
  • Click Delete.

With the last update, they removed the first two steps. Now, you can select it, and click Delete. A few less mouseclicks may not seem like much, but it can be very helpful when it has to be done frequently.

4. Quiz Time Restrictions

When you’re setting up a quiz, one of the things you can do is set up how much time is allocated for each attempt. And I won’t lie, it used to be a little confusing.

It’s a lot easier to understand now:

Time restrictions in a Quiz

No more having to wonder if “Enforced” means that it keeps time, or if “Auto-Submit” does what it says (It didn’t). It’s all plain to see and well explained.

5. No More Weekend Maintenance

Moving to 10.5.5 has put us on what Desire2Learn calls “Continuous Delivery”. This means that they are adding updates in small portions all the time, and applying them in what are being referred to as Waves. This means that our 4th Sunday Monthly Maintenance is no longer going to be a thing. If we have any downtime, it’s because of a severe problem. In short, all the weekends are workable. No more 6 hrs of useless time each month.

More to come…

So I hope this gives you some insight on a few of the changes that came with the new version. I’m sure I’ll have more in the coming weeks.

Thanks for all your support!

-Steve @ Distributed Education