The Impact of D2L Downtime on Faculty and Students

Last Updated: 05/30/2013

The last two weeks of January, 2013 were difficult for the campus because the Desire2Learn (D2L) system experienced periodic outages, some of which were quite prolonged. OIT held several sessions in late January and early February to listen to feedback from faculty, students, and staff who were affected by these outages. These sessions provided OIT staff with critical information about the impact of the downtime and about the ways OIT should respond to this situation. A summary of the information gathered in those listening sessions is available online. 

Briefly, the impacts of the downtime were: 

  • Assignments and quizzes were trapped inside D2L.
  • Students in Continuing Education's fully online classes were blocked from doing their work.
  • As the outages progressed, faculty members put off communicating with students.
  • Instructors assumed they were not allowed to make adjustments to their assignments that were due during the outages. 
  • Students assumed they were expected to turn in work that required them to use D2L even though it was down.
  • An alternate means of accessing online course content was not known. 

The recommendations for OIT were:

  • Faculty and students would like more, and more frequent communication from OIT.
  • Faculty and students would like more communication from academic administrators.
  • Changes to the D2L interface should only be done in the summer.
  • OIT should proactively communicate known upcoming changes to D2L.
  • Members of the committee that selected D2L would like direct communications from OIT. 

The full report is available here