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MUSG, administrators look to expand use of D2L

Joseph Cahill

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Marquette Student Government will look to partner with university administrators to continue its campaign to expand the uses of Desire2Learn software.

Legislative Vice President Zack Wallace, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said D2L was one of the biggest topics MUSG worked on last year.

“There were a couple components of D2L that we worked on pretty extensively, and the online gradebook was one of them,” Wallace said.

Wallace said academic technology surveys showed that students wanted their professors to better utilize the online gradebook.

“That was the number one response, which is understandable,” he said. “(Students) want to see that feedback on all of our assignments and all in one place.”

The Center for Teaching and Learning, Wallace said, is a resource for faculty and professors to learn more about the Desire2Learn program. “They actually hold introductory courses and seminars to go over how to use D2L effectively.”

Associate Vice Provost for Educational Technology Jon Pray said in an email that about 85 percent of Marquette faculty currently uses D2L.

“Certainly we promote this in every way possible, ranging from a dedicated support person, a busy training schedule and encouragement at the dean’s and provost’s level,” Pray said.

Wallace said MUSG passed legislation concerned D2L last year, but it did not cover the use of the online gradebook. The legislation that passed extended the last day that students have access to the D2L page for their classes.

“Before this year, students couldn’t access their courses after the end of the semester,” Wallace said. “If you were getting feedback from one of your professors on D2L, there was no way to get that feedback after the semester.”

Pray played a large role in helping pass the legislation. “I’m the point person for D2L on the academic side of the house and I was always willing to meet with Zach Wallace and others with an open mind,” Pray said in an email.

The motion, Wallace said, was passed unanimously through the MUSG Senate as well as the Academic Senate Committee. Wallace said extending the deadline was essential to “move the academic experience forward.”

“A lot of the research that went into the legislation showed that several of our peer institutes have already been doing this and some even extend the deadline for months after the class has ended,” Wallace said. “So we have extended ours for two weeks after the last day of the semester.”

Pray said via email that after a survey was conducted of peer Jesuit institutions, Marquette was the only institution that closed courses immediately after the semester ended.

Wallace said MUSG has plans to continue its advocacy for D2L, but has no immediate proposals.

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