Teaching & Learning Toolbox

D2L logo Desire2Learn

What it is

The Desire2Learn (D2L) Learning Environment is an industry-leading learning management platform that contains a variety of robust tools ranging from communication to the online submission of course assignments. D2L can support online, face-to-face, or hybrid course models. You can turn course tools on and off so that the tools available in your course are specifically tailored to your pedagogy and course materials. A complete list of D2L tools is provided below, divided into four categories:

  • Assessment
  • Communication
  • Content
  • Course Administration

For each tool, a name and a description is provided. "Default" indicates that the tool is present on the default course navigation bar. Non-default tools can be added by the instructor: For more information, see Getting Started with Learn@UW.

To view videos highlighting some of the actual uses of the following tools please visit the Learn@UW Example Courses page.

 

Content Tools
Tool Description Default
checklist Checklist The Checklist tool is used to highlight important or required assignments, readings, or other items for students to complete.  
content Content The Content tool is used to organize course materials, such as the syllabus, lecture notes, readings, etc. Instructors can use it to create, edit, organize, and delete modules and topics in a course. X
discussions Discussions The Discussions tool is a collaboration area where instructors and students can post, read and reply to messages on different topics, share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, or work with peers on assignments and homework. The Discussions tool can be used to post questions for the class to debate, encourage students to share thoughts on course materials with their peers, and discuss the answers to an assignment. X
groups Groups

The Groups tool is used to create group work areas for students. Groups can be used to organize students' work on projects or assignments, or to create special work areas for users with different learning needs. Students can belong to any number of groups in the same course. For example, a student could belong to a group for each class project, a special interest discussion group, and a group for advanced students all at the same time. Each group can have its own discussion forums, dropbox folders, and locker area to work in. Members of groups can be graded as a team or individually.

X
locker Locker

The Locker tool is used to upload and store files. Using Locker, students or instructors can easily upload files from your PC, or to create new HTML files.

 
quizzes Quizzes Instructors can use the Quizzes tool to manage quizzes that they have created, copied, or imported; manage questions using the question library; preview, organize, and grade quizzes; view quizzes by category or availability; view current, future, and past quizzes; view course and quiz statistics; create categories and place quizzes in them. Students can use the Quizzes tool to take a quiz, review quiz results, and see class statistics for a quiz. X

 

Assessment Tools
Tool Description Default
dropbox Dropbox

The Dropbox tool allows students to submit assignments electronically, directly in the course. This eliminates the need to mail, fax, or email assignments to their instructor. Instead, students can simply upload their assignments to the appropriate folder.

X
ePortfolio ePortfolio

An ePortfolio is a digital collection of objects created by students to demonstrate their learning. ePortfolios can be used to track student progress across multiple courses, improve academic and career advising, and to manage student deliverables. Click here to learn more about ePortfolios.

X
grades Grades The Grades tool lists students' grades on course assignments and tests. Students can see their individual grades and comments, as well as class averages and feedback. Students can also use it to view their final grade and the grade formula used to evaluate it, if the course owners chooses to release the grades. The Grades tool is flexible: instructors can choose between a weighted or points system. Instructors can select which projects, assignments, or tests to enter, as well as when grades are released to students. "Scantron" grades can also be imported into the gradebook. Instructors can also control when grades are released to students, as well as the amount of information students can see (percentage, letter grade, class statistics, etc.). X
quizzes Quizzes Instructors can use the Quizzes tool to manage quizzes that they have created, copied, or imported; manage questions using the question library; preview, organize, and grade quizzes; view quizzes by category or availability; view current, future, and past quizzes; view course and quiz statistics; create categories and place quizzes in them. Students can use the Quizzes tool to take a quiz, review their quiz results, and see class statistics for a quiz. X

 

Communication Tools
Tool Description Default
discussions Discussions The Discussions tool is a collaboration area where instructors and students can post, read and reply to messages on different topics, share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, or work with peers on assignments and homework. The Discussions tool can be used to post questions for the class to debate, encourage students to share thoughts on course materials with their peers, and discuss the answers to an assignment. X
IM IM The IM tool is a real-time, text-based messaging tool. Messages can be sent between individual students enrolled in the course, or between students and instructors. IM can be used to quickly communicate with students who are simultaneously online. X
chat Chat The Chat tool is a real-time, text-based collaboration tool. Chat can be used to create public or invitation-only Chat rooms by topic. Chat can be used to hold virtual office hours, brainstorm ideas, hold a question and answer period, have a debate or discussion, or organize a remote study group. As opposed to other collaboration tools, such as Discussions, Chat conversations occur in real-time.  

 

Course Administration Tools
Tool Description Default
attendance Attendance The Attendance tool enables instructors to create registers that track attendance for activities within a course. Attendance can be tracked for any number of activities and registers can be customized.  
classlist Classlist The Classlist shows all users enrolled in a course, including instructors, students, and any other types of course participants. X
groups Groups

The Groups tool is used to create group work areas for students. Groups can be used to organize students' work on projects or assignments, or to create special work areas for users with different learning needs. Students can belong to any number of groups in the same course. For example, a student could belong to a group for each class project, a special interest discussion group, and a group for advanced students all at the same time. Each group can have its own discussion forums, dropbox folders, and locker area to work in. Members of groups can be graded as a team or individually.

X