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Toronto College Adopts Desire2Learn Learning Suite

Centennial College in Toronto, Canada has adopted a new learning management system (LMS), the Desire2Learn Learning Suite, this summer.

Since the implementation began in January, 8,000 students have begun using the system, and 20,000 will sign on during the fall semester.

Desire2Learn Learning Suite features include:

  • The calendar tool, which allows instructors to share events with peers and students, and can import/export with Microsoft Outlook;
  • E-mail functionality that can be custom-configured for send-only messaging and internal messaging, and associates messages and contacts with course options;
  • A blog tool, which lets users read peers' blogs, and leave comments;
  • A discussions feature, which allows users to rate each other's message postings, and offer participation incentives;
  • Instant messaging, which lets students send private messages to each other while both are online. This can be turned off during quizzes;
  • A quiz tool, which offers a variety of question styles, and alignment with learning objectives to measure progress toward class goals;
  • The dropbox, which allows students to submit assignments. The dropbox offers submission management, the ability to provide written and audio feedback, document markup, and grading rubrics;
  • The gradebook, which allows for a variety of grading systems and Microsoft Excel or CSV file importing;
  • Tracking of progress that can be shared across courses. Colleges can assess organization, program, and course-wide results from quizzes, assignments, and other sources; and
  • A drag-and-drop course builder, which lets the instructor organize and manage course materials.

The college is also planning to use Desire2Learn ePortfolio, which allows students to publish achievements from previous courses, photos, videos, and reflections and also allows peers to offer feedback.

"The feedback from our early adopters has been universally positive," said James Allen, Centennial College chief information officer. "We are looking forward to leveraging the technology and actualizing our academic framework in new ways."

Centennial College, Toronto's first public college, has four campuses and seven satellite locations. It offers programs in business, communications, community and health studies, science and engineering technology, general arts, hospitality, and transportation.

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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