Blackboard dismissed for new program

Vanessa Flores

In the summer semester of 2013, many LMC students wanting to sign into “Blackboard” will find themselves signing into the new system “Desire2Learn” instead.

According to LMC Technology Systems Manager Mike Becker, instructors at LMC, CCC and DVC wanted to use the same learning management system across the district. A task force was put together to evaluate various learning management system products, including “Blackboard.”

The task force included students, faculty from all three colleges, library representatives and some members of IT departments. Among them was Becker, who was involved in selecting Desire2Learn.

According to DVC Instructional Technology Coordinator Neal Skapura, they met for a year to establish goals and criteria, review products, as well as invite companies to do demos. Then they tested and reviewed the learning management systems available.

“We made our final decision in May 2012, going with our top choice Desire2Learn.”
Desire2Learn focuses on breaking down learning barriers and creating a more personalized experience that engages, inspires, and enables students to achieve their potential.

One of the benefits of Desire2Learn that students may look forward to, is that they will be able to set up notifications which can be sent to their e-mail or via text message to their phone. According to Becker, these notifications can be customized so that messages specifically for things like new assignments being posted or a test has been graded can be sent to the user. Another benefit is that it is viewable on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.

For those students taking online classes, courses from any of the three CCCD colleges will all be on the same system. Students will have to adjust to the new system. Instructors will also need to be trained and will need to move their classes over to Desire2Learn.

“The transition is a lot of work,” said Becker. “I think it will be worth the effort,” he added. “Even with all of the work, there are a lot of instructors at all three colleges that are excited about the change.” “I’m looking forward to teaching on it, using the notifications to better reach out to students more easily collecting and tracking submitted assignments. [As well as] having a more useful grade book and hearing what students think about [the program] once they are in Desire2Learn class sites,” said Skapura.

Some of the awards Dersire2Learn has won this year, are: Microsoft US Public Sector Partner of the Year, Platinum Learning Impact Award and Business of the Year, as well as Best 50 Small and Medium Employers in Canada for the second year in a row.

There will be information for students on the LMC web site and sent through e-mail to educate them of the changes.