At the start of every semester, calls would roll in to the CITS Service Center and Colleges Online OneStop Center “Where are my courses?” “I can’t get into D2L.” “How come I have to login to two separate D2Ls to see all of my courses?”
“Countless hours were spent directing students and instructors to the correct instance of D2L. We cut down on that a bit by creating a single login page with buttons for each instance,” says Karla Farrell, D2L site administrator for Colleges.
Fewer calls came in. But still, there were calls. A few years ago, discussions began between the instructional technology staff at both CITS and Colleges Online. They discussed the reasons that Colleges Online D2L was originally split off from Colleges D2L. Were they still valid? Would Colleges Online still have enough autonomy within the Campus D2L to provide an optimal user experience for their Online students?
Once the group determined that it would be a good idea to combine D2L Brightspace instances, they began to plan. Michael Merline, Thomas Arendalkowski, and Karla Farrell have been hard at work this summer organizing the merger of the two instances. Vivek Deshpande made changes in the Prism/D2L integration process to combine the two information streams into one. Test information was imported into the beta instance of D2L and they worked with Learn@UW to work the kinks out of the process.
“It hasn’t been easy to work on this, keep summer courses going, and conduct the usual fall semester preparations all at the same time. We know it will be worth it in the end,” says Michael Merline, D2L site administrator for Colleges Online.
Beginning on August 24, 2015 UW Colleges and UW Colleges Online will be officially merged into one D2L Brightspace system. This means that after August 24th all UW Colleges courses will be accessible in one place. The merger makes accessing D2L for students and professors significantly easier, because those who go to campus for classes AND take or teach online courses will no longer need to go to different sites or have to remember multiple passwords.
It is important to note that this merger will not affect UW-Flex students or instructors. University of Wisconsin-Extension Continuing Education, Outreach, and E-Learning (CEOEL) supports the UW-Flex D2L Brightspace instance.
For questions about the merger, please contact either Karla.Farrell@uwex.uwc.edu or Michael.Merline@uwc.edu.