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Desire2Learn 9.0

Communication Tools: An Overview

Instructors and students can use many of the tools in Desire2Learn to discuss topics and communicate with one another. Which tools are used in a course is determined by the instructor. This document describes some of the tools that can be used for communication using their default names.

Chat
Chats allow multiple users to converse in synchronous (i.e., live, real-time) discussions. This tool allows you to enter a new Chat or view previous sessions of the Chat. Good uses for chats include virtual office hours and group meetings. For more information, refer to Working with Chats.

Discussions
Discussions allow multiple users to converse. Unlike chats, discussions are asynchronous (i.e., users do not have to be online at the same time to participate). Instructors can view, add, modify, or remove forums and discussion topics. Students can read and post messages; these messages are threaded (i.e., students respond directly to comments from other students). For more information, refer to Setting Up Discussions.

Dropbox
Using this feature, the instructor can have students submit their work online. Students upload their work in the Dropbox; the instructor can view it at their discretion and leave feedback for each student. Group assignments can also be submitted for feedback. For more information, refer to Working with the Dropbox.

Email
The email feature provides an easy method to email course participants. You can automatically address email to individual course members, groups, or instructors directly from the Address Book. Email generated through Desire2Learn is delivered to the email address recorded within Desire2Learn. For more information, refer to Sending Email in Desire2Learn.

Grades
Using this feature allows students to know how they are doing in the course at any given point in the instruction period. In addition to grades, instructors can leave general feedback on a grade item for everyone or specific feedback for a given student. For more information, refer to Working with Grade Items.

News
Instructors can create news items for all students in their course to read. The news appears on the Course Home page and contains any updates or information regarding the course. For more information, refer to Working with News.

Quizzes
This feature allows instructors to evaluate students online. Instructors can provide feedback on questions in general or on a question-by-question basis. For more information, refer to Creating a Quiz.

Schedule
The Schedule (calendar) provides a central location for course and personal events (e.g., add/drop periods, exams, personal appointments). For more information, refer to Using the Schedule.

Surveys
This feature allows instructors to assess students' opinions, their familiarity with materials, the level of familiarity with course software, and other topics. For more information, refer to Creating Surveys.

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