D2L mandate a possibility

Hannah Baker

Hannah BakerNews Editor

Currently, SDSU professors are not required to use the internet information program Desire2Learn with their classes. This may soon change.

The South Dakota Board of Regents is currently looking at requiring professors to use Desire2Learn for posting course content, grades, syllabi and other class materials.

“The mandate is at a beginning point of discussion, but there is no mandate in place right now. It has been a topic of discussion at the Board of Regents and we are currently studying and looking at the usage of D2L amongst faculty,” Provost Laurie Nichols said.

Nichols said the goal of the mandate would be to have professors at least post course syllabi, if nothing else.

“We want all syllabi to be on D2L for students so there’s easy reference and access to course requirements. This should be universal,” Nichols said. “It would be nice if professors used it for grades. Students like to track how they are doing in the class.”

Lyle Olson, professor of journalism, said he is pleased with D2L compared to other programs SDSU has used in the past.

“D2L is the fifth or sixth software I’ve used … Blackboard is the Cadillac system but it’s expensive, so I think that was a factor in why we chose to go with D2L, but I’m satisfied with it,” Olson said. “I think every program we’ve used was an improvement on the previous one.”

Olson said although there were a few kinks to work out in the beginning, D2L has been sufficient for his online, hybrid and in-class courses. He said he would not be surprised if there was a mandate soon for all professors to use D2L.

“It’s helpful for students to see where their grades are and helps them stay on track. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a mandate for professors saying they had to use it,” he said.

Many students on campus said they would be in favor of the mandate requiring all professors to use D2L.

“Only two out of six of my professors use D2L … I wish they all did,” said Lizzy Bieber, freshman psychology major from Sioux Falls. “I like D2L because some professors put up PowerPoints so you can follow along with them in class, and I can keep track of my grades.”

Michelle Iddings, a sophomore undeclared major from Sioux Falls, agrees.

“I use [D2L] a lot when I’m looking at my grades and at course syllabi. It would be nice if all my professors used it,” Iddings said.

Nichols said the time when a mandate would be implemented is unknown, but such discussions will take place at future BOR meetings.