Subject:  Faculty support for D2L resolution



Hello former professors,


Hope that your new year has been off to a great start so far. I am contacting you in response to new legislation that has been passed through the Student Senate here on campus. During first semester, The Academic Affairs Committee and myself drafted a policy issuing all faculty have a D2L account for each class. This does mandate, request, or even imply that professors have to use this or regularly post anything. It will simply offer an additional resource to students by providing a full class list to everybody. FERPA concerns have been addressed and John Tillman our CIO has indicated it is a feasible request. It is our hope that if professors have an account without having to set it up, they may increase their usage as well. However I want to stress that we are not trying to mandate anything to faculty. This will be brought up in Faculty Senate and we would really appreciate some faculty support before we approach the senate. Please read the attached resolution and if you support this idea, please respond in an e-mail. Additionally, if you have any suggestions or questions please feel free to pass those on as well.


Thank you very much for your time,

Derek Kockler


Derek Kockler

UW-L Student Association President






Derek and Others,


I forwarded Derek’s letter to our D2L administrator, TJ Teegan, and he returned the following comments that I thought you should see.  As you review these comments please keep in mind TJ basically touches each D2L instance on our campus. 


John Tillman

Assistant Vice Chancellor
Chief Information Officer, 139 Wing Technology Center



Sorry for the novel.  The second to last paragraph is a decent summary.




I would have to consult with the technicians in Madison to find out exactly what we would have to do, but I know that other campuses map all of their courses to D2L and I am assuming we could also do it pretty easily.  I believe there would have to be some programming changes on our end.  This could be problematic because all of our developers are currently committed to the PeopleSoft project.


In terms of how we administer D2L on our campus I think we can handle the change and I am guessing that the time spent administering D2L would be about the same, but there are some drawbacks.  For example, we would lose the ability to generate reports on D2L usage.  Each semester I send out a report detailing D2L usage for our campus.  I would lose this ability if we asked Madison to map all of our courses into D2L.  We should consult the people on campus who receive this report before any changes are made to see how this would impact them.  I would also lose the ability to communicate directly with instructors that I know are using D2L, which is something I frequently do.


The students should also be made aware that when a course is automatically mapped into D2L it is still inactive.  The instructors still have to manually set their courses to active before students can access them.  I am not sure if Madison can set all of our courses to come into D2L as active rather than inactive.  Also, I’m not sure if that would be optimal.  There are many courses that show up in our time table that may not be relevant to D2L, for example discussion or lab sections of certain courses.  If the intent of the students is to have access to D2L for all of their classes regardless of whether or not the instructor plans on using it this may not be the best solution. 


If we made this change faculty members currently using D2L would no longer need to fill out the course request form each semester, but we would have to come up with a process for instructors to combine sections.  It is not uncommon for instructors to ask to have multiple sections of a course mapped into a single D2L course.  For example, an instructor who is teaching ENG 110 sections 1 and 2 may have both sections put into a single D2L course, that way they only have to maintain one course site.  Although we would be able to do away with the request form, most instructors would most likely end up having to complete a different form to get their sections combined.


Personally, I am pretty neutral on whether or not we make this change as long as everyone understands how that change will affect the campus.  I’d like to reiterate that we would lose our reporting ability, the ability to contact instructors using D2L directly, there would still be forms that many instructors would have to submit each semester, and students would not automatically have access to their D2L courses without their instructor’s involvement.  On the plus side, some instructors who do not combine their courses would no longer have to complete the request form each semester, and instructors would no longer have to worry about forgetting to request their courses.


Last semester 58% of our faculty used D2L.  Each fall we see a 5-8% increase in usage by instructors.  I’m sure at some point the growth rate of D2L adoption by our faculty will level off, but I have been saying that since we hit 35% usage and that rate of growth has stayed the same.  I would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of having Madison map all of our courses further.  Please let me know if you have any questions.


Thank you,


TJ Teegan
Web & D2L Training and Support Consultant
UW-La Crosse