New products focus on usability and personal organization as well as media support that will transform education, training and networked learning experiences; building the Desire2Learn momentum
Desire2Learn Incorporated (Desire2Learn), a leading provider of mission-critical enterprise eLearning solutions, this week provided a sneak preview of the new release of Desire2Learn Learning Suite, version 9.4. The release includes major innovations that will enable clients to improve the experience for their learners, instructors and administrators, and will have considerable influence on teaching and learning.
Our systems are designed to have a measurable impact on strategic priorities, remarks Kenneth Chapman, Senior Director of Product Strategy, Desire2Learn. The latest release of Desire2Learn Learning Suite will change the game in many ways as it is centered on productivity, notifications, usability as well as social and rich media experiences that elevate the online learning experience beyond the current state of the art. Once again our clients have been instrumental in helping guide our product direction and ensure we are delivering innovations to meet and exceed their needs.
This new release of Learning Suite was unveiled Monday at FUSION 2011, the Eighth Annual Desire2Learn Users Conference, to an enthusiastic audience of well over 850 attendees and streamed live globally using Desire2Learn Capture to all clients. This sneak preview showed off some significant enhancements to:
as well as major new versions of the Campus Life mobile platform and the rich-media webcasting platform: Desire2Learn Capture. More so than ever, this release was developed hand-in-hand with clients through extensive R&D partnerships.
This feature-packed release is highlighted with a major improvement to the Calendar tool, supporting aggregation of content and assessment materials into an Agenda view. This view, from any course a user is taking, enables access to this information from external calendars like Outlook and Google Calendar, or on mobile devices. Presenter and location information can now be added to calendar events and are tightly integrated with a new drag-and-drop Seating Chart tool. The Seating Chart provides a visual representation of individuals in a course and enables instructors to provide formative feedback, track attendance, and view learner statistics using performance filters for both classroom and online experiences.
Individuals can now use the Notifications area to choose how information is pushed to them from the Learning Environment. Organization and course news, upcoming assignment dates, and any new course material updates can now be sent to an individual via numerous delivery methods including email, SMS and RSS formats as well as Facebook notifications. User profiles have been enhanced to enable linking Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles into their Desire2Learn profile. Anyone viewing a user’s profile can choose to connect with that individual through these social networks without leaving the Learning Environment.
Assignment grading in the Dropbox has been significantly enhanced by allowing common document formats to be viewed and graded right within the browser, removing the need for instructors to download assignments and switch between windows while providing assessment and feedback to users. This is all without having to send student submissions to any 3rd party services.
The new 2.0 version of Desire2Learn Campus Life includes a full development Software Development Kit (SDK) enabling clients, partners and other developers to build their own mobile modules or repurposing their existing mobile applications to work within Campus Life. This new version also includes updates to the user interface and new content notifications to provide an even more engaging and complete mobile experience by using media and data already available at most institutions. Also included is a new tool for building applications and choosing modules, making launching a cross-platform mobile application easier and more cost effective than ever.
Desire2Learn Capture 7.1 adds integration into the core Learning Environment through a plug-in to the Insert Stuff Framework enabling students and instructors to easily embed their rich media presentations into courses and ePortfolios. By letting instructors capture their lectures they can re-use these, freeing up more of their time to expand and extend their instruction.
Desire2Learn Learning Repository makes sharing quality learning materials even easier through added support for versioning, allowing selection of a specific version when pulling content into the Learning Environment using the new drag and drop plugin for Course Builder. Metadata entry has been incorporated into the object publishing workflow to ensure key information is tracked on publish without overwhelming authors.
Desire2Learn ePortfolio continues to enhance user experience and foster social learning communities through the addition of a new browser plug-in that enables creation of artifacts while viewing any webpage, and for sharing these materials directly from the plugin. A new My Stuff area has been added to greatly simplify creation and management of ePortfolio materials. Any content made public in the ePortfolio can now be shared through Facebook, Twitter and Google+ social networks to reach an even wider audience.
All of these enhancements are available at no extra charge. Further details on these features will be highlighted in a subsequent release or can be accessed by visiting www.Desire2Learn.com/aw/thetimeisnow closer to the launch date of Learning Suite 9.4 at the end of August 2011. This includes information on:
- Adobe Connect integration
- Google Apps integration
- Microsoft Lync integration
- Video recording, feedback and media management
We heard very clearly from our educational and corporate clients that they needed better notification and personal management tools, as well as more options when it comes to integrating social and rich media into their programs in order to meet their vision for a high value learner experience, states John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. This new release further solidifies our product leadership position and will elevate our client’s ability to improve teaching and learning worldwide.