New software for Georgia State students

Beginning next semester, Georgia State will replace uLearn, its learning management system, with Desire2Learn (D2L).

According to Kenya Johnson, the marketing and communications manager at Information Systems and Technology, “Because Blackboard’s newest product did not offer the functionality needed, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, after extensive search and review, selected another system that would meet the strategic needs of its institutions.” 

According to Johnson, the University System of Georgia’s vendor service agreement with Blackboard Learning System ends January 2013, prompting USG to consider other systems.

While D2L provides similar functions that uLearn does, it also allows easier access from mobile devices, the integration of social learning tools and customized grade books, among others functions.

Some students are excited about ease of mobile access of the new program.

“If it’s easier to get to from my phone, then I’m sold,” Shirley Smith, a Georgia State student, said. “With uLearn, it’s too hard to look at things on my phone. If I want to check when something’s due and I’m not near a computer I have to go through to much.”

Others are worried about the functionality of the program.

“The only thing that might worry me, if anything, would be if D2L is drastically different from uLearn,”  student Michelle Brandon said. “If at the beginning of the semester I can’t just log in and know where to go for everything, then I’d have to take time out of my day just to learn it. Though, I doubt the Georgia State would choose something like that, too different.”

Though students will not have access to D2L until next semester, faculty have had access since Nov. 1, giving them time to confirm that their courses have been transferred to the new system.

The university will hold workshops for faculty and instructional support throughout November and December.

“Georgia State University students are invited to attend a demonstration of the university’s new learning management system, Desire2Learn, which replaces uLearn at the start of Spring Semester 2013,” Johnson said. “At the demonstration, you will have an opportunity to view the Desire2Learn environment, learn about its features and get your questions answered.”