Wednesday, March 21, 2012

D2L and Webdrive... finally resolved... and feature requests.

In one of my previous blogs I outlined the issue we were having with D2L and Webdrive. I also updated the progress on the issue on Twitter. I am extremely pleased to say that the issue is resolved.

All this year I have been publishing my recorded classes so students are able to download recordings and watch them... either as an unplugged Elluminate Live recording or as file to be viewed on a mobile device. That process involved publishing the recording to a computer and uploading the file through the D2L content manager. I am pleased to say that, with Webdrive (WebDAV) working, I can now start the process of publishing a recording directly to my courses in D2L and walk away... when the publishing is done, the file is inside D2L. That saves me the time consuming step of loading from a local computer to D2L.

As well, returning late work has become faster. I can now just open folders and drag & drop student work into the proper place. Again I am able to bypass the content manager to save time.

I also find it much easier to navigate my files in D2L using Webdrive than what I do for the manage files area of D2L.

The use of Webdrive got me thinking about what would like to see in future versions of D2L.

In terms of recorded classes, I would like for the Elluminate Live/Blackboard Collaborate manager to have a publish to LMS option. Let the server's computing abilities render the recordings and save them to D2L directly. That is a request for partnering... so I can put the request here :)

I would like for D2L to have the ability to transfer a file from a local computer to a folder in D2L simply with drag and drop. That would avoid the need of Webdrive for file transfer ease.

In terms of the clicking under the content manager, I would like for D2L to have the ability to link a folder (not file) under content for tracking. Then if an instructor places a file inside that folder, D2L intuitively knows that, since the folder is being tracked, all files inside that folder are being tracked too. That would save a great deal of content manager work for an instructor, like me, who tracks everything. A practical application of this use would be releasing that folder to an individual student, and tracking every assessment piece in that folded to see if students have opened returned work. It would also work for tracking recorded classes.

But for now... Webdrive working with D2L has made me very happy.

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