This post is about how my fellow LT coach at the Faculty of Arts – Hany Ibrahim and I organized and presented a workshop on D2L Basics. I will take you through the different stages of preparation and then the workshop itself.
What to cover?
First, after answering numerous professors’ questions on how to build a course on D2L, we realized we had to give a session on the very basic stuff, to instruct a bunch of people at the same time, rather than each one of them individually. We decided to cover the topics that regularly came up as questions during our one-on-one sessions and ended up with 5 large areas: Adding content into D2L, Communications with the Class, Creating a Gradebook, Creating a Dropbox, How to Release and Export Final Grades.
How to present?
Next, we had two ideas on how to present the material: as a PowerPoint Presentation or just to show directly how to do these things on D2L using our Sandboxes. After a long consideration, we decided to combine the two as our goal was to make something hands-on and visual. We also printed out hand-outs with instructions from elearn.ucalgary.ca
How to organize?
We set the date of the workshop and collaborated closely with our Associate Dean – Dr. Dawn Johnston, who helped us book a room, send out a series of advertising emails around the Faculty of Arts and even organize some catering (coffee and muffins).
How did it go?
It was great! The Workshop ran quite smoothly and received positive feedback.
What could be improved?
What we realized was that PowerPoint Slides are only good for presenting the overall structure of the Workshop, not for showing the sequence of steps a D2L User needs to take. Everything should just be shown on D2L, and the professors can simply rely on hand-outs from elearn.ucalgary.ca for detailed instructions that they can take home with them.
Another issue was the time. The room was booked immediately after our workshop, and we only had 1 hour, which was barely sufficient for the amount of information we were going to present. Consequently, we didn’t have much time for the profs’ questions. However, they had a chance to ask questions during our presentation as we went along.
Now we are planning another workshop for more advanced D2L users to cover some features professors may be unaware of. We would also like to incorporate the professors’ feedback and questions into it to come up to the expectations of as many people as possible.