Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Challenge to D2L Developers

I'd like to throw down a little challenge to the D2L development team as well as all the other VLE providers out there. Yes, even you Blackbeard. In this video I demonstrate the use of document editing tools inside D2L and ask the question of why these tools haven't already been developed inside D2L or any other VLE that is out there.

The catch is that these are not your father's editing tools. These are editing tools for students to use while working in the VLE. Why is that such a foreign concept? I'm serious, can anyone explain that to me?

The video is slightly more than 5 minutes long. I sort of lose my train of thought near the end. I decided not to edit that out, mainly because I just didn't feel that it was worth the effort. Here is a link to the video at To view full-screen, click on the little screen icon in the lower right-hand corner of the embedded video.


jeff said...

Barry, good question and post. I too have wondered why can't our CMS/VLE be modernized a la Google, Zoho, etc.

About a year ago, I was able to pose this question to Ken Chapman, D2L's product development lead. He cited accessibility issues as the primary reason that more modern web tools hadn't made their way into the D2L Learning Environment.

Frankly, I don't know where Google Apps, for example, stands regarding accessibility. But I do know that our expectations for a web application are drastically changing each year. CMS 1.0 will become dangerously close to irrelevancy in the near future unless radical redesigns are done.

A while ago I posted on how Google seemed ready to cobble together a learning management system. One big gap is at the quizzing and gradebook tools.

One last thought...when the CMS was first developed, the instructional world was still instructor-centric. I don't recall perceiving a significant need for students to collaboratively author online. Discussion boards seemed to meet most needs at the time. The CMS was built for instructors to be the designers.

cheers, -jeff

Bill Railer said...


Great Challenge! The Department of National Defence has asked the same question for 3 years running. That said we are glad that D2L is opening up Web Services and working on an SDK.