It’s that time of year again! Rubrics abound, bubble sheets have been scrupulously dotted with No. 2 pencils, pens have jotted countless comments in the margins of essays, and D2L overflows with dropbox submissions and quiz attempts. With grades due May 19, Academic Technology Services is hosting something they call “Gradebook Bonanza,” this week and next. Stop by Instructional Services 1010 either of the next two Thursdays, May 7 or 14, any time between 1 and 4 p.m., for additional assistance setting up, adjusting, or fine-tuning your D2L gradebooks. Instructors should also feel free to contact ATS by phone at 465-2416 or email at email@example.com to set up an appointment.
Nathan Kraftcheck from Academic Technology Services shares the following information, of possible interest to some who use the Desire2Learn course management and learning software:
“This message pertains only to D2L courses conducted during the Fall 2011, Spring 2012, and Summer 2012 semesters. Anything after the Summer 2012 term will not be affected. On or about March 31, 2015, all D2L courses from Fall ’11, Spring ’12 and Summer ’12 will be deleted. To delete a D2L course means to completely remove that course with no way of restoring it. There is no backup. If you need to keep parts of old courses — e.g., course files, grade books, drop box files, etc — please download that information soon. If you do not need to download course materials or student records, do nothing and these courses will be removed on schedule. If you have unusual circumstances requiring the retention of a D2L course in its entirety, please contact ATS by March 27 so appropriate steps can be taken before the course is deleted.”
In order to improve the course setup process for faculty and students, Academic Technology Services and the Registrar’s Office are eliminating the need to request a D2L component for courses. Beginning with the Spring 2015 semester, nearly all courses will automatically have the Desire2Learn course shell created for them. Instructors who prefer not to use D2L course shells are encouraged to contact ATS with those requests. Requests should include department, course number, and section if teaching more than one section.
Staff members in UW-Green Bay’s Office of Academic Technology Services report that the power outage and related problems with the servers in Madison have been corrected and the widely used Desire 2 Learn software is again up and running, statewide. The outage temporarily affected UW System access to applications including Shared Financial System and the Human Resources System, as well. The outage was caused by lightning strikes on the UW-Madison campus, where additional disruptions took place with their campus email and calendering systems. Those services have now been restored, as of about 9 a.m. https://twitter.com/uwdoit
D2L (Desire2Learn) has been out of service since approximately 7:50 am today (Wednesday, June 18). The widely used online-learning software is instrumental to many summer courses, online and otherwise, being offered not only at UW-Green Bay but across the UW System. The outage is being blamed on lightning strikes from the heavy storms that hit Madison this morning, knocking out power to the statewide D2L servers. The battery back-ups also failed. Staff members in UW-Green Bay’s Office of Academic Technology Services say that, at this point, technicians and electricians in Madison are working hard to get everything back up and running, but the system remains down. The UW-Green Bay ATS staff thanks everyone for their patience. They’ll be in touch as developments warrant. You can also call them directly at (920) 465-2286.
UW-Madison, UW System Administration struggle with power problems
Downtown Madison escaped yesterday morning’s tornado that tore up parts of the city’s west side, but the latest round of storms this morning created a whole new set of problems. Lightning knocked out power to the “DoIT” server that hosts Systemwide applications including Desire 2 Learn (see above), Shared Financial System and the Human Resources System. UW-Madison’s website and email services are down and voice mail for UW-Madison and UW System Administration employees has been interrupted. This means the email and voicemail services for the UW Service Center are also down. Our UW System Administration sources speculate that some service could be restored tonight (Wednesday) but it is likely systems such as HRS and SFS will not be available until tomorrow (Thursday).
UW-Green Bay’s D2L (Desire2Learn) is going to be upgraded June 4, 2014. The changes in this upgrade are minimal. Our friends in Academic Technology Services tell us the new version will entail some changes to the look and feel, as well as new features and improvements. ATS staff will be holding 30-minute upgrade sessions so faculty and staff have plenty of information and opportunities to learn about the D2L changes. To view all the dates and times for the sessions you can go to the following website: www.uwgb.edu/ltc/d2lupgrade.asp. Contact ATS with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org or (920) 465-2286.
The next D2L Lunch and Learn program is “Opening up Communication with ‘My Media.’” Instructors will explore a new tool within D2L which allows faculty a greater ability to use video as a means to give feedback, make announcements, clarify difficult concepts and, of course, lecture. Our friends in Academic Technology Services will repeat the session in IS 1004 from 12 to 12:45 p.m. Monday (April 7) and 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday (April 8).
Academic Technology Services is advertising its next D2L workshop to prepare instructors for the sprint to the end of the year: a session Monday (March 31) from noon to 12:45 p.m., which will be repeated Tuesday (April 1, no fooling), from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., both in IS 1004. The workshop will focus on the ins and outs of quizzes and tests in D2L. Instructors will review how to create a question library and use it to create an exam. They will also dig into some of the nuances of the quizzes tab in D2L: giving special permissions to students with special needs; setting date and time restrictions; handling situations when a student gets booted from an exam unexpectedly; and adjusting student grades.
(Note: A correction was made March 31, 2014 to this post with the room number amended to Room 1004 of the Instructional Services Building.)
Academic Technology Services is offering a series of D2L “Lunch and Learns.” The first program, “Revealing the Secrets of Online Rooms,” will be offered twice this week, from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday (March 25) and noon to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday (March 26). Read more.
The good people in Academic Technology Services have organized a series of D2L “Lunch and Learns” to help instructors navigate common problems as they gear up for the end of the semester. The first program will be “Revealing the Secrets of Online Rooms,” which will be offered twice next week, from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday (March 25) and noon to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday (March 26). The session promises faculty they will “discover a hidden treasure of D2L and find out how to use online rooms in Blackboard Collaborate to open up a new world of office hours, presentations, or review sessions.” To see all the upcoming D2L lunch and learns, please visit the ATS website.