Introduction to Desire to Learn (D2L) Part II

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Introduction to Desire to Learn (D2L) Part II
David Reamer

Today we will cover some of the more advanced features of D2L, including:

   •   The   Dropbox feature
   •   The   Quiz feature
   •   The   Discussion tool
   •   The   Gradebook

Created by David Reamer, 2006
The dropbox feature allows you to collect, comment on, and grade student work
online. Clicking on the Dropbox link will take you to the dropbox management

You can view the folders you’ve created and all student submissions from this
page. Clicking on the Admin button will allow you to collect homework, create
new folders, and change folder properties:

From here, you can add folders for students to submit work, set restrictions on
when students can submit work, and assign homework folders to an item in your

If you’ve associated the dropbox folder with a graded item, you can also assign a
grade and additional comments to the item before returning it. If you wish to
leave in-text comments, you will need to edit the file outside of D2L, then upload
it on this page.

Created by David Reamer, 2006
D2L’s quiz feature allows you to design quizzes that can be taken and
automatically graded online. Possible question types include: multiple choice, fill-
in-the-blank, short answer, long answer, true-false, and matching questions. You
can set a starting or ending time, number of attempts, and time limit (among
other options) for quizzes.

Creating a Quiz
Selecting New Quiz within the quiz module will bring you to the Edit Quiz page.
This page includes a number of tabs that will help you set up your quizzes exactly
as you’d like them. The Properties tab (shown below) allows you to name your
quiz, attach it to an item in your gradebook, and enable or disable automatic

The Restrictions and Attempts tabs allow you limit the time (start time, end
time, and total time) and number of attempts students are granted for each quiz.
You can choose to average or discard multiple attempts with the Overall Grade
Calculation dropdown (shown below).

Created by David Reamer, 2006

Views and Reports
The Submission Views and Reports Setup tabs allow you to change what the
students and instructors see after a quiz is completed. You can elect to display
students’ correct and incorrect answers, total score, and/or class averages to
students upon completion by clicking on the Default View or Add Additional
View links in the Submission Views tab (shown below).

The Reports tab allows you to create score reports for the entire class and send
them to the instructor, TAs, and/or students.

Creating Questions
Selecting Add/Edit Questions from the Layout/Questions tab will bring up
the question editor (shown below). From here, you can add questions of any item
type, or edit existing questions.

Created by David Reamer, 2006

A Note on Automatically Graded Questions: D2L will automatically correct and grade
several of the question types available. Multiple choice, fill-in-the-black, true-false, and
matching questions can be designed one or more correct answers for D2L to use as an
answer key. Quizzes consisting only of these question types will be automatically
corrected and, if you choose, the grades will be automatically placed in your D2L

When you create a new question, you will be asked to provide a title (which is
optional), a point value for the question (which allows you to weight questions
differently depending on difficulty or response length), and question text. For the
automatically graded types, you will also be asked to provide the correct
answer(s). For multiple-choice questions, you will also be asked to provide
incorrect answers. Be sure to set the correct answer’s weight to 100%.

For any of the automatically graded question types, you can provided more than
one correct answer—or answers worth partial credit—by increasing their weight
from 0%.

Created by David Reamer, 2006
Discussion Forums

D2L contains a great tool for hosting peer reviews that allows your students to trade and
comment on each others’ papers electronically. D2L’s discussion forum is easy to work with
and automatically organizes your students’ comments so that responses appear with the
original posting.

To set up your discussion forum, click on the Discussions link on the toolbar:

The first thing you’ll need to do is add a Forum, which is where all of your topics, postings,
files, etc. will go. Begin by clicking Create New Forum:

Now you’ll be able to type in a title and description of your forum. This is just the title of your
forum; you’ll be able to create groups for your students to work in in a few minutes. Take
advantage of this space—you’ll be able to type directions for your students and any other
information you think is relevant here. When you’re done, click Save and Add Topic:

Created by David Reamer, 2006

For our purposes, “topics” will be the actual peer review groups. You can create as many
groups as you’d like here, but again, be descriptive. This will help you to avoid confusion later
on. Be sure to save each topic after you’ve filled in the description. When you’re done, click
on the “Discussions” link on the toolbar again. You should now see all of your forums and
discussion topics, along with their descriptions.

Your students can now enter the appropriate topic and post their papers (by clicking “Add
Message”) and responses (by viewing a message and clicking “Reply”).

Created by David Reamer, 2006

You also have the ability to create and manage an online gradebook for your
students. The process is time-consuming, but it will save you some troubles later
on. The biggest advantage of this module is that your students can view their
own grades at any point during the semester by logging in to D2L.

      •   First, make sure you are viewing the page as an Instructor.
      •   Then, click on “Grades” in the upper left-hand corner. You will be
          brought to the grade maintenance screen.

      •   From this screen you can create Categories (such as “Reading
          Summaries”), then add individual graded Items to that Category. The
          Category menu also gives you the option of automatically dropping high
          and low grades (for example, on quizzes) if you have factored that into
          your syllabus.

Parent Categories are optional—you can create standalone items such as
participation that don’t fall under another category.

Created by David Reamer, 2006

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