Desire2Learn® Learning Suite 10: Our Next Step Forward
John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn Incorporated
Announcing that Desire2Learn Learning Suite 10 is available for clients to upgrade is truly exciting. Our team has put in a tremendous effort to build the most modern, beautiful, and elegant learning system in the market. This new release of our Learning Suite is the result of a strong focus on design, creativity, and technology.
Months of ongoing communication with hundreds of clients including instructors and administrators, has made this possible. The input of learners and a focus on engaging them sparked real change with this release. This collaboration produced a solution that combines the most modern technology with sophisticated and elegant features focused on learning. Our clients and their users are really excited.
Our early-access program provided over forty clients with a beta site, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive on the enhancements we had made to the design and capability of the system. I also had the opportunity to review and showcase the solution to over a thousand clients attending both online and in person at the University of Waterloo in April via Desire2Learn Capture. It was extremely energizing to see the overwhelmingly positive response from learners, instructors, and administrators.
In addition to updates to the interface, we have delivered a few very important enhancements with this release, including:
- Enhanced User Experience - The system supports advanced drag-and-drop file upload, media management (video and audio), enhancements to our calendar sync with third party calendars, and more notification options. A new addition to the design is a minibar for quick dropdown access to courses, settings, and notifications. The improvements to the workflow for content creation save many clicks and the new design templates make courses look amazing on the web or mobile devices.
- Personalization and Analytics - The system is context sensitive for each individual allowing the learning experience to become more personal, leveraging our analytics to help predict if students are off track and help with the right interventions to get them back on the appropriate path.
- Advanced Assessment - Instructors are very pressed for time and the sheer amount of grading can become overwhelming so we've developed new methods of evaluating learners – such as Desire2Learn Assignment Grader (released first for the iPad device), which is the first fully offline mobile grading application produced for a tablet. With increasing calls for accountability, providing effective and authentic feedback is as important as ever, but it shouldn't be so time-consuming. We also made some significant improvements in learning outcome alignment and the gradebook to save time and help provide more clarity for clients.
- Mobile Accessibility - Mobile enhancements are prevalent throughout all products. Desire2Learn Capture now features mobile playback for iPhone, iPad and Android™ devices, and Blackberry® smartphones. Users will also enjoy enhanced post production, improved search capabilities, and support for podcasting or publishing to other media services. This is a great opportunity to expand open access to resources to reach a global audience, or to support flipping the classroom.
- Open Extensibility - We continued to build on our open platform strategy with new APIs and open web services, Google® Chrome browser toolbar plugins, the ability to integrate library systems and other content repositories with ease, and dozens of new integrations. You'll get a chance to see some of the hard work of students and developers on enhancing our platform at our FUSION users' conference as we acknowledge the winners of the Edge Challenge.
Desire2Learn Learning Suite 10 builds on the sophisticated features our clients need while providing an elegant design to spark engagement and expanded use of the system across every device from desktop to tablet to smartphone.
For clients taking the automated upgrade, we are providing dozens of resources including documentation, training guides, design templates that can be customized, test environments, and other support tools for clients to help make the upgrade much easier. We are seeing real excitement from our early adopters with this release.
This is our most advanced commitment to teaching and learning yet; a testament to our belief in the transformative impact of innovation. I look forward to seeing many of you at FUSION this July in San Diego, where we will further demonstrate the new advancements, engage with clients, and listen to your needs. Here, we will be announcing more exciting product announcements that you won't want to miss, and we have amazing keynotes and almost 200 presentations.
Thank you to everyone who made this latest release possible and to all of those who have helped Desire2Learn reach these exciting milestones, and a huge thank you to our clients who continue to inspire us with their commitment and dedication to education.
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