Teaching Online

Comparing Vista to Desire2Learn

Vista Desire2Learn Glossary
Not available in Blackboard Intelligent Agents The Intelligent Agents tool allows faculty members to define criteria and set up notifications to recognize student achievements and identify those who are at risk.
Not available in Blackboard Checklist The Checklist tool allows you to spell out the steps of a specific process. Your students can then ‘check off’ each step of the process as it is completed.
Announcements News Tool The News tool can be used to communicate updates, changes and new information members of your course. The information is displayed in the middle of the course home page, the first page members will see when they enter the course. News can be created ahead of time and released according to dates that you enter and it can also link to other tools in the course (e.g., a particular assignment’s drop box).
Assessments – Self Assessments Self Assessments The Self-Assessment tool allows students to complete an ungraded quiz in order to monitor their learning.
Assessments – Survey Surveys The Survey tool can be used to collect anonymous survey data using a variety of question types.
Assessments – Quiz Quizzes The Quiz tool can be used to create and manage quizzes including creating and importing a variety of questions and previewing them. The Quiz tool also provides a number of release options.
Assignments – Publishing Locker The Locker tool is a work area where students, groups and others can access and share documents.
Assignment Dropbox Drop Box The Drop Box tool provides a space for students to upload electronic versions of their assignments. Faculty members can configure the drop box to create assignment deadlines (e.g., due date and time) and a space for group submissions. They can also grade assignments and return them to students with comments from the Drop Box.
Banners NavBar and Banner Images The NavBar contains links to the various D2L tools that you have defined and is located at the top of the D2L page. Editing the NavBar allows you to change the tools that are accessible to your students.
Browser Check System Check

On the login page, you will find a System Check link. The System Check is designed to ensure your computer system is properly configured for the Desire2Learn web courses
. It verifies the browser version, browser settings and display settings on your computer. The System Check also ensures that you have any plug-ins that your courses require.

Calendar Schedule The Schedule provides you and students with a space to create, share and view personal and course related events (including course work and upcoming deadlines). The calendar can be imported/exported to other calendar systems (e.g., Outlook®).
Chat/Whiteboard Chat The Chat tool allows for general (viewable by everyone in the course) and personal (only viewable by those added to a participant list) real time discussions.
Discussions Discussions The Discussions tool provides a space for peer interaction and collaboration. Users can read and reply to others in a forum. Discussions can be graded numerically and/or with a rubric.
Discussions Blog The Blog tool can be used to post entries for viewing and commenting by others. A variety of viewing permissions exist including private entries and public entries. External users can also gain access via a web link.
Discussions Journal The Journal tool allows you and your students to create and save personal journals.
File Manager, Web links, Media Library, Local Content Content Tool The Content tool is the central hub for managing and displaying your course materials. You can create, edit, organize, import and delete files and web links.
Grade Book / My Grades Grades Tool The Grades tool is the grade book with accompanying set up wizard. It allows you to enter, import and export of grades. You also have control of the grading systems, schemes and formulas.
Grading Forms Competencies and rubrics Competencies provide standardized assessment across programs or courses and allows for the formalization of program or degree requirements for certification, accreditation, etc. Rubrics assist in the assessment of competencies and the learning objectives and activities associated with them.
Group Manager Groups Groups can be created to arrange students in your class who should have different access to course tools.
Learning Modules Course Builder The Course Builder enables you to create and manage your course structure, upload files, create and edit learning objects, and manage learning outcomes from one central location.
Mail Email The Email tool can be used for sending, receiving and organizing emails to communicate internally and externally with students, whole groups and classes. For convenience, the email tool is also integrated with other tools (e.g., drop box).
My Files Manage Files D2L saves a variety of different Content pages as html files within the D2L system. Manage Files allows you to view, upload, or delete these files. In some cases, you can even edit the files within the Manage Files tool.
Roster Classlist The Classlist tool is a central area for managing information about members of your course. You can view a list of people in your course, view their profiles, blogs, progress, edit account privileges and run reports.
Selective Release Conditional Release Conditional release is used to define the order in which a student accesses course materials. "Release" means "visible or accessible to students." The most commonly used release conditions are date and time. Yet D2L allows instructors to define other types of conditions for release of material to students. These defined orders are sometimes referred to as "learning paths."
Student View Role Switch The Role Switch tool, found on the Course Home page, allows you to view your course as a student. However, when in student mode, you will NOT be able to view what a student would see in the Quizzes and Grades tools.
Tracking User progress and attendance The User Progress tool allows faculty members to monitor and print reports of a student’s participation in a course. Students can also monitor their own performance and compare it against their colleagues.
Who’s Online Pager The Pager tool allows users to send quick simple messages to one another.
Wizard – Design Instructional Design Wizard The Instructional Design Wizard builds on Desire2Learn’s tools (e.g., competencies – see below) to walk you through creating pedagogically-sound courses consisting of a range of learning experiences at various learning levels, aligned with the course objectives, content, instructional strategies and assessment.