D2L : Desire To Lament

If you’ve felt an overwhelming urge to throw your computer at the wall, or scream expletives until you can no longer breathe, chances are you’ve been using the new D2L interface.

We all complain when websites change under the guise of “improvement.” Facebook does so at least three times a week. However, even Facebook cannot match D2L’s attempts (and success!) at failing miserably toward being user-friendly.

“D2L is designed by people who clearly don’t teach,” complained a professor in an aside on why she couldn’t articulate the difficulty in attaching comments to grades. I would take that a step further, however, and state D2L is designed by people who clearly don’t understand how to use a computer.

There are the usual complaints about the homepage, which I’m sure was created with the intent to give the appearance of being organised. It is the ugliest mash of text and colour that could ever possibly exist. Ironically, if irony is your thing, there’s a direct link to D2L Support. Don’t worry. It won’t help.

Let’s then select a course from the top of the page, and ignore the list of courses on the side. MATERIALS. COMMUNICATIONS. ASSESSMENTS. RESOURCES. Fine. Let’s click Resources… Atomic Learning, Calendar, EasyBib- no. Nevermind. Assessments? Attendance, Dropbox, Grades, Quizzes, Rubrics… Really? Oh, here’s a laugh. User Progress. For every course I am currently enrolled in, my User Progress (I can’t tell you what that means) displays the same course. Yes, every time. Don’t understand that? Neither do I. Go take a look at yours, if you’d like a good “Why does the school do this to me?” chuckle.

I’m not the type of person who demands dancing kitten graphics on every website to keep the short attention span I’ve been trained by society to have, but why- how- is the D2L website this awful. Does MnSCU not have graphic design students they could “employ” to make this site slightly more amenable to any species with opposable thumbs?

Let us write letters to whoever is responsible for this mess, in the hopes that they will read them (unlikely) and fix the many issues we have with the website. Not too great at writing? Don’t worry, I have a form for you!

Dear Sadistic Mastermind,
I am a student at __[enter school here]__. I am forced to use your (deplorable; ghastly; stupid) website to assist me with my classes. It’s not helping. I would appreciate it greatly if you would try again. Otherwise, I will be led to (boycott D2L; sob hysterically; pull out my teeth in frustration).
Sincerely,
___[enter name here]___