Beginning in 2018, Trellis conducted user research with students to identify technological needs for student success relative to their time at the university.
Two key areas emerged. Students experience challenges in trying to organize and make sense of all their class efforts and they also desire to have a clear sense of how they were doing overall in a particular term. CatCloud can solve these concerns through two main points of interaction:
- A summary of upcoming items due across all enrolled classes, fed by D2L course data
- A review of grade performance and ability to achieve a grade goal within each enrolled class, fed by D2L course data
The intention is that by solving the friction experienced by students in these areas, student quality of experience, grades, and retention rates will all increase.
We have received feedback from students that barriers to a quality CatCloud experience are based on incomplete due dates and grade data, even for courses that are in D2L. While students can manually manage these gaps within the tool, many do not, leaving them with an incomplete understanding of how to manage grades and assignments across all their classes and how to assess how their progress and priorities.
Value of the D2L/CatCloud Relationship
OIA and academic leadership are pushing for increased incremental activity and feedback to students. When courses are managed individually in D2L or in other third-party systems, students’ struggles in managing many activities across their 4-6 courses are amplified. Furthermore, in students' first years, these unintended consequences become barriers and create equity issues for those who don’t have solid project management or technology skills to manage an array of tools and strategies individual faculty and instructors are using. The variable uses of D2L due dates in the gradebook against assignments, quizzes, and discussions, when compounded with choices to move outside of D2L, have direct impacts on student success. Having courses streamlined and available in a portal like CatCloud aims to solve these issues.
D2L New Instructor Orientation
Instructors can register for an essential overview of the tools in D2L and how to set them up. Once logged into D2L, you can select the Discover link in the navigation bar and find it within the featured courses.
D2L Course Templates
UCATT has developed a template that instructors can use to build their courses. Instructors can copy the template into their course shells and modify accordingly using the instructions on the Coursemaker website.