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Desire2Learn Learning Suite Gaining Google+ Integration

Desire2Learn is gearing up to release an update to its flagship e-learning suite, Desire2Learn Learning Suite 9.4. The company has also previewed new versions of its Campus Life mobile software and its lecture capture tool, Capture 7.1.

The Desire2Learn Learning Suite includes Learning Environment (the company's flagship learning management system), which provides tools for course management, development, and delivery of courses and learning materials, along with a suite of collaboration and assessment tools. The suite also incorporates Learning Repository, Desire2Learn's digital asset management and content management tool, used for organizing curricular materials and assessments and sharing digital resources among users; Desire2Learn Analytics, a Web-based business intelligence tool designed to help schools monitor and analyze data from the Learning Environment, such as enrollment trends and demographic information; and ePortfolio, a repository for storing, organizing, and presenting digital artifacts.

The latest release, expected to roll out near the end of August, includes enhancements to three of the core components of the suite--Learning Environment, ePortfolio, and Learning Repository

New features in Learning Environment include:

  • Calendaring enhancements, with a new "Agenda" view that aggregates assessments and learning materials, accessible through common platforms like Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar;
  • A new drag and drop seating chart tool that's integrated with other tools in the suite so that instructors can access attendance, grades, and other student information using a visual representation of the classroom layout;
  • New controls for push notifications, including news, assignment dates, and changes to courses, with new delivery methods that include e-mail, SMS, Facebook, and RSS;
  • User profile linking with Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, with access to external social network profiles within the Learning Environment; and
  • Expanded support for file types, allowing for greater flexibility in grading assignments within Dropbox without leaving the Desire2Learn environment.

The latest release of Learning Repository will include support for versioning and will incorporate metadata into the object publishing workflow.

Desire2Learn ePortfolio is also receiving some significant enhancements, including:

  • A new browser plugin for creating artifacts from any Web page;
  • A "My Stuff" feature that 's designed to simplify the creation and management of materials; and
  • Sharing through Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Desire2Learn is also previewing new versions of Capture and Campus Life.

Campus Life is a cross-platform mobile development tool designed for education institutions to provide students with access to news, maps, directories, institutional services, menus, event schedules, and other information. It supports Android, iOS, and Blackberry devices. Version 2.0 will include a complete SDK, along with a new user interface and enhancements to notifications. It will also include new tools designed to simplify application development, Desire2Learn reported.

The company is also releasing Desire2Learn Capture 7.1, an update to the company's lecture capture tool. The new version will include plugin-based integration with Learning Environment, allowing users to embed rich media into portfolios and courses.

Additional details are expected to be announced around the time of the Learning Suite release later this summer, includin-- according to the company--details about integration with Adobe Connect, Google Apps, and Microsoft Lync. There will also be further details about support for video recording and media management.

Further information can be found on Desire2Learn's site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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