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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Desire2Learn?

Desire2Learn (Web Course Tools) is the brand name for the on-line Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that the Lamar State College-Orange has implemented to support and enhance teaching and learning. It is a set of:

  • educational tools for facilitating learning, communicating and collaborating through the use of the Internet and computers;
  • content building utilities for organizing course materials;
  • administrative utilities for managing and continuously improving a course; and
  • design utilities for constructing the course (color schemes, page layout, etc).

What are the advantages of using Desire2Learn?

From a faculty perspective, Desire2Learn allows you to:

  • teach courses using tools that are familiar;
  • create, maintain and add course materials interactively through the Web and release materials in a timely manner;
  • assess student performance at any time during the course and track results;
  • quickly update and change course content;
  • restrict access to specified materials until a certain level of learning is achieved, or a date is reached;
  • have students participate at any time, from any place;
  • give timed online tests, general comments on student answers, private feedback on student answers, automatically graded quizzes with class grade records that provide data for analysis of performance statistics.

What e-learning principles can Desire2Learn support?

Some of the e-Learning principles supported by Desire2Learn are:

  • encourage communication between instructor and students;
  • encourage cooperation among students through discussions and chats;
  • provide prompt feedback;
  • effective use of time;
  • communicate expectations;
  • Respect for diverse talents and ways of learning.

How can I get assistance in learning how to create and manage an online course in Desire2Learn? Do I need special training to teach online?

The Instructional Designer (ID) has the responsibility for fulfilling the training needs of faculty, which include training in the use of Desire2Learn and in software that can be used for presenting course materials in Desire2Learn. The ID will also help faculty adapt the use of these applications to their particular teaching styles and instructional objectives. If you have never used Desire2Learn before, you should either register for the workshops or contact the Instructional Designer at 882-3958.

Yes, you must undergo training to teach online at LSC-O. Online training is offered by the Instructional Designer every semester through Desire2Learn. Online videos and tutorials are available for faculty in the Distance Education Channel in MyLSC-O.

Am I required to use Desire2Learn?

LSC-O has moved to this system to provide continuous support and communication should the college be required to close campus for any length of time (hurricane evacuation, health-related emergencies such as an H1N1 outbreak, etc.). The D2L system is located OFF CAMPUS and outside of Texas. Therefore, even when our system is "down" you can still access this course. To access this course when our site is down, you will go to https://d2l.lsco.edu/. To log in to D2L directly, you should use your MyLSC-O username and your PIN as the password, The default PIN is your date of birth (MMDDYY).

However, if you are teaching a complete online class or a hybrid class (mandatory face to face meetings with students), then you will use Desire2Learn regularly.

How do I access my course on Desire2Learn? Can I access Desire2Learn from home?

To access courses in Desire2Learn from home go to https://d2l.lsco.edu/. Enter your username and your PIN as the password. The default PIN is your date of birth (MMDDYY).

You can access Desire2Learn from any computer with access to the Internet, whether you're on the college campus, or at home. As long as your computer has an internet connection you can access Desire2Learn.

How can I get a course space on Desire2Learn? How do I get a Desire2Learn shell for developing my course?

A Desire2Learn course shell is automatically created for every course listed with the Registrar, usually 4-5 months prior to the start of the term. If you are the instructor of record you will automatically have access to the course. This is true for both online and traditional courses.

If you are developing a new course that is yet to be taught, you need to submit a proposal to the Distance Ed Committee. On approval, the Instructional Designer will provide you with a shell in which to develop the course. The proposal form is available at the Distance Education Channel in the MyLSC-O>Faculty tab.

Can I select a different Username and password to use for Desire2Learn?

No, you cannot change your Desire2Learn username. To change the password, you will have to change your PIN.

Where can my students get help with Desire2Learn?

The help desk offers support for students with login problems and technical difficulties. Every online course also comes with Desire2Learn tutorials that guide students in the use of frequently used tools.

What are the minimum computer requirements that I should have for Desire2Learn?

Windows requirements:
Operating System (OS): WinXP - Windows Vista - Windows 7 - Windows 8
Browser(s): Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 17, Google Chrome (newest)
Other Requirements: Java - JRE Java - JRE v 6.0.xx
Java and Cookies Enabled

Mac requirements:
Operating System (OS): Mac OS X
Browser(s): Firefox newest or Safari 6
Other Requirements: Java - JRE Java - JRE v 6.0.xx
Java and Cookies Enabled

What software do I need to access a Desire2Learn course? OR What are the minimum hardware and software requirements for using Desire2Learn?

For basic course access, a web browser that is Java and JavaScript enabled and that accepts cookies is required.  You can use a variety of software programs to create your course materials, ranging from Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to HTML editors.  You can also include any content in your course that can be displayed using a Web browser (e.g. PDF files, audio and video clips, animations, and graphics). Contact the instructional designer for help in choosing and using software to display content.

If you use material in your course that requires students to use any browser plug-in or special software for viewing, remember to provide the necessary information on how/where to acquire and install the programs.

Are there tutorials available online?

Desire2Learn tutorial handouts are available in the Distance Education website. You can also attend on-campus training sessions conducted every semester.

Can I use a different e-mail account for my class?

Though you can use a different e-mail account for your class, it is preferable not to do so. The real value of the Desire2Learn platform is the fact that all the course materials and communications are stored together, allowing for better organization. It also enables instructors and students to communicate without having to keep track of different e-mail accounts.

Can I use outside resources in my course? Can I have a link to the college library?

Yes, as long as it meets the copyright stipulations. You can create links to articles in various journals and publications. Links to the college library and the TechShare are already provided in your course.

How do I get a course approved for teaching online?

Course approval is obtained by filling out the Course Proposal form available in the Distance Education Channel for Faculty in MyLSC-O. The completed form must be submitted to the Division Director. The Division Director forwards it with comments to the Instructional Designer, who places the proposal before the Distance Education Committee for its approval. After the initial approval has been granted, the instructor has about 6 months to complete development of the course within the Desire2Learn platform for a final approval by the Distance Education Committee prior to teaching the course.

Can I use Desire2Learn platform in my face-to-face class?

Yes. In fact, we recommend that you use the tools available in Desire2Learn for all your classes. All classes are now available in Desire2Learn. You can use it:

  • to post the syllabus and other course material;
  • to email students;
  • for the calendar tool;
  • maintain gradebook;
  • give chapter quizzes;
  • for assignment submissions;
  • to make announcements.

Do I have to offer face-to-face orientations for online classes?

No, you do not have to offer a face-to-face orientation. Basic and general orientations are available at http://www.youtube.com/lscoedu . However, you may want to provide more in-depth orientation through email, video, podcast or chat session.

What support is available for me and my students?

Faculty and students can contact the Instructional Designer with specific questions.

How do I add my students to D2L?

Students are automatically added to the Desire2Learn course shell as soon as they register for the class. However, they will have access to the course the day the semester begins.

How do I obtain the official class rosters for my course?

Class rosters are placed in instructors' mail boxes.

What should I do if students who aren't on the official class roster are participating in my class?

Online students will be automatically removed from the class as soon as they drop the class. They will not be able to access the course nor participate in the class.

How do new online students receive their student IDs, e-mail addresses, etc?

The New Student Checklist provides all these details.

How do I get a faculty ID?

The Department of Information Technology will contact with you these details. You can also contact your Division Director for help.

How do I arrange for my students to complete an evaluation of me?

Students will be complete their evaluations online. The link will be sent to them via email a couple of weeks before the end of the semester.

What workshops are available for professional development and how do I register for them?

Professional development is now available online in Desire2Learn. You can take it when it is convenient for you. Other training workshops are offered on a needs basis.

How do I get assistance preparing online reserve readings for my online course?

LSC-O library will assist faculty in preparing electronic reserves and in securing the necessary copyright permissions.

How do I put a periodical on electronic reserve for my students?

Contact LSC-O library for course material reserves and for all other library services.

Where and how do online students purchase the textbooks for my course?

They should contact LSC-O bookstore

Who should I contact if I have a student that needs special assistance?

Contact LSC-O's Disability Services, which is a part of the Advising department.

If my streaming media files are not working properly, who should I contact for technical assistance?

The Department of Information Technology can help you with technical assistance.

I need to video-tape my class. Who do I contact to set up a time?

The Department of Information Technology can help you with technical assistance. The LSC-O library can provide media assistance.

What is the procedure for establishing online office hours for my online course?

Online office hours or virtual office hours should be clearly stated in the syllabus and can be set for any day. It can be used for synchronous chats with students.

Is compensation available for developing a online course?

The Distance Education Handbook provides these details.