In the upcoming weeks, the Wilkes Office of Technology for Teaching and Learning will begin sending notifications related to the upcoming changes to Desire2Learn.
The university plans on implementing changes to the website between the end of the fall semester and the beginning of winter intersession. The changes will feature a new, cleaner interface and increased optimization, as well as a new name: Daylight.
The department previewed the new layout at an IT committee meeting last week, and has plans to preview it to students at the student government meeting Nov. 1.
Desire2Learn, or D2L, as the community refers to it, is the program the school uses for learning management. The website features ways for students and professors to keep track of their different classes as well as keep in communication with each other.
Kristine Pruett, the director of the Office of Technology for Teaching and Learning, spoke on the upcoming changes along with her colleague Jason Wagner, a course Web programmer and professor at the university.
“This is something that we are just in the early stages of the full campus communication plan because it’s a big change,” explained Pruett. “Granted, it’s not going to work any different, it’s going to look a lot different.”
The website will now feature a clean white and grey layout in contrast to the current navy blue and Wilkes themed background.
“If you look at the two systems side-by-side they have the exact same functionality but you could glance at them and not even think they are the same,” said Wagner.
Although similar in functionality to the original, D2L also made some major additions to their site which will make browsing more efficient. Wagner expanded on some of the new technological changes.
“When you first login, it automatically detects which courses you are taking that are currently in session and puts them front and center,” explained Wagner.
The site’s ability for use on non-desktop devices also earned praise for professors and students alike.
“It uses responsive design, the experience you get on a desktop computer is modified on a tablet, and even modified further for a phone depending on the screen’s resolution of the device you are using,” Wagner said. The site will have larger buttons and links to make clicking easier on mobile devices.
Most students rely on the website in order to properly participate in class. One of the more important aspects of the website is its ability for assignment submission, as well as online quizzes. The site currently does not allow mobile submission of assignments, but with the new update, D2L, or Daylight, will now allow it.
“The biggest benefit from a student perspective is that it will be a lot more easy to work on from all of their devices,” said Pruett
Miya Florozito, a freshman undeclared science major, was excited upon hearing about the new changes.
“It definitely will be more helpful that students have it on their phone. It’ll be easier for them to turn in assignments and do their work,” beamed Florozito. “I think it’ll be a lot better and more efficient.”
The university plans on having student demos in the Student Union Building in the next coming weeks, to be announced on Wilkes Today.