“The D2L team is incredibly helpful and responsive”, Morgan adds. “Any time we mention a problem or give feedback, they take it on board, and we often see an enhancement within the next few release cycles.
“A recent highlight for us is the improved Rubrics feature – every teacher at SIDES appreciates it and thanks you for it. One of our physics teachers is due to retire in six months, but he still asked us to show him how to use Rubrics in his courses, because it’s such a good way of assessing students’ progress in a consistent way and giving them useful feedback.”
From the perspective of the students, Discussions has been another popular feature, because it creates an engaging, socially interactive learning environment. Since many of SIDES students are home-schooled, they may not have the opportunity to spend as much time with other children as students in a classroom would—so the ability to interact with other students online is very important.
“The elementary discussion boards are unbelievably vibrant and fun to visit,” says Morgan. “The students are posting videos of their little science projects and encouraging each other,
which is great to see. It means that students not only engage in learning more, but also get another valuable opportunity for both social and academic contact with their peers.”
One student, Jeina, comments: “My History 12 course was so interesting to me that I often stayed up late at night to do my coursework. The content of it was something that I looked forward to studying, which I have never encountered with any other course I have taken.”
Michaela, who recently took a math class at SIDES, agrees: “I doubted my math skills at the beginning but this course has gotten me enjoying math and finding it exciting and fun. It is a great feeling to change my mind about something I’ve struggled with and disliked for my entire life!”