D2L Debuts Desire2Learn Essentials


2/27/2007—Software developer Desire2Learn is lowering the ante for campus-wide CMS/LMS adoption. The company today debuted a new version of its course and learning management system designed for schools, districts, virtual high schools, and e-learning programs with fewer than 5,000 users.

The new tool, called Desire2Learn Essentials, offers functionality similar to that of D2L's large-scale Desire2Learn Learning Environment, along with customization features designed to enhance experiences for students and faculty alike.

"Desire2Learn Essentials addresses the core issues smaller institutions face. By offering a competitive edge to access a powerful enterprise-scale application, with all the required tools and functionality enabling rapid development, delivery, all learners can benefit from a quality online experience. Desire2Learn Essentials empowers smaller institutions to maximize their resources and enables them to have the same e-learning opportunities as larger institutions," said Patricia Fellows, instructional technology and training coordinator at University of Wisconsin Colleges, in a prepared statement.

Essentials is a Web-based suite hosted by Desire2Learn that provides a widget-based interface for customization of elements, such as news, user guides, events, and various other types of optional content. Some of the specific features include:

  • Customization throughout the interface, down to the course level;
  • A variety of question types for quizzes and tests;
  • Self-assessment features for students;
  • Tracking of student involvement in the system, including materials read and tests taken;
  • Gradebook features;
  • Discussions and blogs;
  • Support for RSS; and
  • Dropoffs for assignments.

D2L told us that implementation of Essentials, including conversion of courses, can be accomplished in five business days. Essentials is available now for institutions with fewer than 5,000 users. Pricing is determined on a case by case basis.

Please visit the article link below to view our more in depth look at this new course management system.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).