By Emily Kastor
Desire2Learn, or D2L: the one thing that’s supposed to help make it easier for students to succeed, but when not used properly by professors can cause students to miss weeks worth of assignments or quizzes. It seems a bit backwards. While the program itself does have good intentions, D2L is continuously the bane of many students’ and professors’ academic existence, causing unnecessary amounts of extra stress for students.
D2L is an academic program. It is supposed to make it easier for students to not only contact and interact with their professors, but also check grades, do homework, take quizzes, submit papers, check the syllabus, receive class updates, get exam study guides and much more. It’s supposed to make succeeding in college easier and more achievable.
The key word here, though, is “supposed.” While D2L is supposed to do all these things mentioned above, the reality is that many professors hardly ever upload stuff for students to be able to have access to or straight up don’t even use D2L at all. Because all students are forced to use this frustrating program, professors should be expected to actually use it as well. After all, students have a right to know their grades in classes and this can be accessed through D2L.
While most professors are good at uploading grades, the largest problem is accessing homework and study guides. There have been many incidents where students go weeks without turning in a shred of homework, not because they’re lazy or don’t want to do it, but because they had no idea that there was homework assigned in the first place. The reason these students aren’t aware of their homework is because their professors aren’t telling them how to access it. In some cases, this information isn’t even in the class syllabus. Other times, professors expect students to be taking weekly quizzes through D2L but never announce this in class, don’t put it in the syllabus, and don’t create a reminder in D2L, which then causes students to miss these quizzes and in most cases, they won’t get to make them up. D2L has the potential to be an absolutely great resource for students and professors alike, but only when it’s used properly.
The intentions behind D2L are positive, seeking to help students and make it easier for them to turn stuff in and access help. The problem arises in the professors misusing it. In the orientation that incoming freshman are required to go through, there is a lecture regarding how to use D2L as a student, so most MSU students do know how to use the program. Professors are most likely required to do similar training for how to use D2L as a teacher, so why are there still issues? When students experience these problems and extra stress they should be telling their professors about it. Students have a right to gauge their progress in classes through D2L, and professors have a duty to provide this right to them.
Emily is a freshman double majoring in Liberal Environmental Studies and Philosophy. She is a liberal and is very passionate about basic human rights and how issues of inequality effect MSU’s campus. Emily can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.