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Learn@UW - Basic Information for Students
Desire2Learn is a system that allows you to keep up to date on course news, access course materials, participate in discussions, take quizzes, submit assignments through the dropbox, view grades online, and more. This document is intended to help students who are new to Learn@UW. It provides information on logging in, how to navigate the interface, and some basic information on the most commonly used tools (such as Content and Quizzing) within courses.
To begin using Desire2Learn, go to the login page. There you'll need to choose your login method (UW NetID, or Visitor). Most users will use the UW NetID login method. For more information, please see "Learn@UW (UW-Madison Only) - Which login method to use?".
- NOTE: NetID account holders must have activated their NetID in order to log on; please be aware that it can take anywhere from 24-72 hours for Desire2Learn to recognize your NetID if it's a new account.
Understanding the Difference Between My Home and Course Home
- My Home (shown above) is your starting point inside Desire2Learn. It's where you can access your list of Desire2Learn course sites.
- Course Home is the first page you see when you navigate to a course site. It features all of the course-specific information that your instructor has chosen to provide.
The minibar is your main navigation tool to courses and personal settings in Desire2Learn. It contains a link to your My Home page, the course selector, alerts, and your personal menu (where you can manage all of your Desire2Learn settings and log out of the system).
- Course selector. Your courses are listed in the course selector and you can sort them by name or by date last accessed. You can also "pin" courses in the course selector to the top of the list, making them easy to find later on. If you have a lot of courses, you can click Load More Courses to expand the course list or use the Search field to find a course.
- Alerts. The three alerts icons show you when something needs your attention. If you have unread alerts, a red circule appears next to the appropriate icon.
- The envelope icon shows when you have new IM alerts and ePortfolio invitations.
- The notepad icon shows when you have new and updated news posts in your courses, upcoming end/due dates, new/updated grades, and ePortfolio item assessments.
- The text bubbles icon shows when there are new posts in discussions to which you've subscribed and new comments about your ePortfolio items.
- Personal Menu. The personal menu contains links to your Desire2Learn account settings, profile, notification options, account settings, and log out.
Similar to how the minibar is your main navigation tool within Desire2Learn, the navbar is your main navigation tool within the My Home page and within each course site. Within your courses the navbar displays the course name and tool links. Keep in mind that each of your courses might have its own unique navbar, depending on how your instructors have set them up.
|Tool Name||What it Does||Did You Know?||We would suggest|
|Classlist||Lists everyone enrolled in the course, including your instructor(s)/TA(s).||You can send emails to classmates and instructors/TAs from the Classlist.||Upload a photo to your Desire2Learn profile to get to know your classmates.|
|Content||Provides access to course materials such as syllabus and reading assignments.||On most course pages, you'll see a "Content Browser" widget which allows quick and easy access to this same course content.||Download content to your own computer, for more convenient access.|
|Grades||Shows your grades on assignments and tests. When your grades are published, they appear on your personal Grades page in the course. Depending on how your instructor sets up grades permissions, you might also be able to view grading comments and overall class statistics.||Final grades in Desire2Learn are NOT official. You should always go to My UW-Madison for your official final grades.||Use the gradebook to track your progress in a course, but note that not all instructors use the gradebook in the same way.|
|Dropbox||Enables you to submit (upload) assignments to dropbox folders, eliminating the need to email your work to instructors.||You can view your dropbox submission history to make sure your file was properly submitted. In fact, this is always a good practice. For more information see here.||Watch your e-mail for verification that the file was successfully submitted.|
|Quizzes||Allows you to take a quiz.||You are able to view your quiz score or class quiz stats if your instructor has enabled this permission.||Save each question, and be certain to fully submit your quiz when finished.|
|Discussion||Lets you collaborate by posting, reading, and replying to discussion threads on different topics. In some courses, discussions are used to share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, or work with your peers on assignments.||You can subscribe to discussions, which sends you a notification when someone has posted something new.||Compose responses outside of Learn@UW, just in case your connection is lost.|
|Groups||In some courses, instructors may create student groups.||In some courses, instructors may choose to give assignments to groups instead of individuals and accept one dropbox submission for the group. In those situations, any member of the group can submit files to the dropbox folder.||Use the Groups tool as an easy way to e-mail other group members.|
|IM||Allows you to send instant messages to classmates and other Learn@UW users. You can use IM to quickly see which of your classmates is online, or chat with a classmate or friend.||Sometimes instructors choose to disable the IM tool during online quizzes.||Use the "View" menu to select a class before trying to add an individual to your contact list.|
|ePortfolio||A personal portfolio tool for storing, organizing, reflecting on, and sharing items that represent your learning. You can include documents, graphics, audio files, videos, presentations, course work, etc. to demonstrate your improvement or mastery of a certain area. See here for more information on ePortfolios.||Even if your instructor chooses not to use ePortfolio as part of your course, you can still use ePortfolio independently of your courses by going to My Home, the clicking the ePortfolio link in the My Settings widget.||Use the ePortfolio to collect work that you want to show to others outside of the classroom.|
|Calendar||Allows you to view and arrange your course events.||You can subscribe to your Desire2Learn Calendar from your personal calendars (for example, Google Calendar).||Not every instructor uses the calendar. Be mindful of course deadlines which do not appear in the calendar.|
Some tips adapted from UW-Green Bay.