Many moons ago, I took a few courses using the Desire2Learn platform. It was in the early days of e-Learning and I am fairly certain those experiences gave me insight into what was needed to make online courses and served to fuel my later wish to pursue a degree in Instructional Design.
Recently, I was able to play around…yes, I said PLAY (I love these types of tools) with D2L from an Instructor and a Designer perspective. I was given one unit in a course on Shakespeare and a links to the college’s CSS formatting and asked to design a module for it on D2L. Unfortunately I only had one week within which to do this…so I had to get to work quickly.
First, I had to teach myself how to work within D2L from each perspective of student, instructor, and designer. Now and then I had to reign in my desire to play around too much, but it was interesting to learn about the various components. After I had worked with individual parts of the platform, I found there was an Instruction Design wizard that pretty much guides you through the entire design process…so I did that too, just to compare the experience.
Second, I analyzed the content given to me. This is where I put on my “instructor hat” and wrote down questions I would ask the actual instructor if the opportunity arose. I also looked at it from the student perspective and envisioned how this unit would look on a course syllabus.
Lastly, I got to work on the design. I played around with the overall look of the module and found that some of the parts I wanted to change were locked down by the college. Once I got over that, I used what I had learned from looking over the unit materials and decided what interactive components and accessibility needs were present and how I would design those around the main content. I played around with some of the images given to me in Photoshop and added a couple of them to the module. I then decided on InDesign to make an interactive flowchart. Even though it would not show up on mobile devices, in the given timeframe I made the call to go ahead with it. I found it fairly easy to upload the files I need to make that all work and learned a few shortcuts along the way.Under normal circumstances, I would have chosen another interactive element that everyone accessing it on whatever chosen devices could use.
Overall, I enjoyed working with D2L and hope to get a chance to learn more about it in the future.