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The table below offers a comparison of features that are related to the logistics involved in using a course site or Learning Management System. Click on the name of a feature to read a more detailed description below. These recommendations are entirely based on DePaul's use of D2L and Digication and do not reflect how instructors at other institutions could use these systems.
Faculty Customization of Design:
In D2L, you can determine the navigation system for your course site, add pictures, and customize it according to your preferences. In Digication, you can build and customize an e-Portfolio to serve as a basic course site.
Instructors and students are encouraged to create profiles in both D2L and Digication. These profiles typically include a photograph and some text about the person, and they allow the individual to craft an online identity beyond just a typed name.
Course & e-Portfolio Templates:
Templates are extremely helpful for instructors, particularly when they are teaching multiple sections of the same course over time. In D2L, course templates can be downloaded and used to start building a course, and course content and design elements can be copied from one course site to another. Digication allows instructors to create e-Portfolio templates for their students to adapt and use for their own projects.
D2L makes it easy for instructors to copy components like files and text between course sites. In Digication, both students and instructors can copy entire portfolios (but not individual pages).
It is easy to post announcements in D2L, where they will automatically appear on the course home page for students when they log in. In Digication, announcements would have to be manually added to a portfolio that you're using as a course site, and students would not see it when they first log in.
D2L's Schedule system is fully integrated with the calendar widget that appears on each course's home page. Thus, instructors can add calendar items to the Schedule, and those events can be linked to other items on the course site (e.g., a Dropbox deadline can be set to appear in the Calendar). In Digication, a general calendar is available for your account, but it's not associated with a specific course and instructor-added events won't show up for students when they log in.
Instructors can use D2L to email students individually or as a class, and it is the only system that students can use to email each other. In Digication, it is only possible for instructors to send course-wide emails (although it can be difficult to find this functionality under the “Settings” tab).
Only D2L features a Checklist tool. A checklist is a way to highlight important assignments, readings, and other items that students need to complete. A checklist may list all the items students need to complete at once, or it may have items appear as they complete other items. Each checklist contains one or more categories in which checklist items are grouped. For example, your checklist might include categories like "Written Assignments" and "Quizzes," with several assignments and quizzes to complete in those categories.
Only D2L offers a built-in Attendance tool. The Attendance tool allows you to track your students' attendance in class sessions. You can create separate attendance registers for each course section if you have had those sections combined into one Desire2Learn course site. The attendance register will tell you a student's attendance percentage, but note that there is no integration with the Grades tool.
Digication allows students to set permission levels for each e-Portfolio that they create. This controls who is able to see their work, and it is fully customizable. It's possible for students to set permissions to "Public," which means that they can share work with audiences outside of DePaul (e.g., potential employers). In D2L, students can only make their work available to the instructor and their classmates.
Student Customization of Design:
Digication provides substantial creative freedom for students to design their own e-Portfolios, including the navigation system. In D2L, students have no control over the course site and can only change whether certain widgets appear on the course home page.
Students Retaining Access to Work:
One of the most important things about Digication is that students will retain access to their e-Portfolios indefinitely, and they can continue to create new ones long after they leave DePaul. In D2L, only the instructor has control over when a course site is deactivated and no longer available to students.