Several D2L improvements coming with summer course shells, eLearning tells Academic Senate

Faculty will notice several upgrades to D2L when summer course shells launch on May 13, eLearning’s Chris Richards told the Academic Senate during their April 23 meeting.

  • A new, interactive Activity Feed that can be added to the course home page of a D2L course. The Activity Feed provides a social media-like feed of D2L Assignment deadlines, messages and other information, with an opportunity for response by students.
  • An update to the D2L Assignments creation and evaluation experience that streamlines the process for creating new D2L Assignment folders and the evaluation of student submissions.
  • A new Accommodations tool, part of the D2L Classlist, that allows faculty to modify accommodations for an individual student once and apply that accommodation to every D2L Quiz available in a course.
  • Improved functionality on the HTML Editor.

Also during the meeting, two standing committees provided updates to the full Senate.

  • The Student Advisory Committee is focused on addressing food insecurity for students. Committee members are also meeting with colleagues across the college to better understand what resources are already available to students, and to collect that information into a single source for students. The committee hopes to use its findings to assist in a reexamination of the lcc.edu website design and potential implementation of a chat bot.
  • The Budget Committee is working on tips and tools to assist programs in improving their Program Operating Plans (POP). They are also creating Professional Activity Days presentations about POPs. Additionally, they are beginning to represent the Senate at meetings across the college that relate in some way to the budget.

Sen. Jim Luke announced he is stepping away from leadership of the Open Learning Lab, effective at the end of the spring semester. He requested the Senate’s support in continuing to advocate for the OLL’s place at the college. Senators thanked him for his work, and for championing open learning. Learn more about the history, achievements and goals of the OLL in this document. If you need OLL assistance, please contact the Center for Teaching Excellence.
 
Chief Financial Officer Don Wilske reported the Michigan Governor, Senate and House of Representative’s proposed appropriations to LCC for Fiscal Year 2022. All three are lower than what the college forecast at the February Board of Trustees meeting. The House proposal, in particular, is about $3.6 million lower because it reworks the funding model for community colleges. Those disparate proposals mean the state is unlikely to pass its budget prior to the college’s June 30 statutory deadline for its FY 2022 budget, Wilske said. Also, it is important to note the House proposal is the first concrete proposal to significantly overhaul the methodology used to allocate the appropriation among the 28 Michigan community colleges.
 
Director of Academic Quality Cheryl Garayta presented changes made to the Program Review timeline to align with feedback from the Senate Budget Committee. You can view the changes in this document.
 
Sen. Rick Williams proposed the Senate take a formal position in support of the rights of employees who claim “reasonable objections” to using a student’s preferred pronoun. The motion failed because it did not receive a second.
 
During the meeting, Senators approved a change to their bylaws and the Curriculum Committee’s recommendations. Those approvals are:

  • A change to the bylaws that will stagger the terms of the Executive Committee, thereby avoiding a changeover of the entire leadership at once. The amended bylaws provide for the vice president to be elected in the opposite year from the president and secretary. To reach that transition point, in the upcoming elections, the president and secretary will be elected to two-year terms and the vice president to a one-year term.
  • Proposed new programs of study in “Business, General Associate,” as well as “Business, Enhanced Degree,” with options in several sub-studies.
  • A proposed course revision to WELD 125.

The Curriculum Committee recommendations now go to the provost for approval.

The Senate will next meet 9-11 a.m. Friday, May 7. All employees are welcome to attend or make public comment. A Webex link for the meeting will be sent in the operations email on Monday, May 3. During that meeting, Senators will elect their next president, vice president and secretary.