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Exploring ePortfolio Platforms: Desire 2 Learn
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 Desire to Learn 

Click here to access the Blackboard session. (Thanks to ePortfolio California for making this recording available.)

At the ePortfolio Californiasite: Thewebinar chat file is also available. The closed caption file of the webinar is available here.

The following questions are a compilation of the needs and concerns identified in an informal polling of eportfolio community members during spring 2011. The answers are the vendor's own responses.

What vision or understanding of learning informed the design of your tool?

Research with our academic partners and clients led to a highly configurable design to support multiple ePortfolio types. The design was specifically learner-centric to promote ownership of one's own learning through use of the tool.

How does your vision of learning promote a student-centered approach to education? (e.g. student ownership of his/her learning)

Students control the selection, reflection and presentation of their ePortfolio materials. The tool enables reflection, collection of evidence from within the LMS and creating associations between items in the learner's ePortfolio.

Does your tool allow students to control permissions? Can they share with people outside of the institution? How? (e.g., advisor, prospective employer, etc.).

Learners have control to create multiple ePortfolio presentations to support their different needs. Each ePortfolio presentation can be shared with people in the institution or with external users. Options for controlling the permissions are granular from allowing view only access to allowing view plus comment and/or assessment permissions.

What is the process for inviting feedback on work or artifacts?

Learners can enable comments when sharing artifacts to invite feedback or attach a rubric and enable assessment to invite more formalized or guided feedback. Additionally, students can submit a point-in-time copy of ePortfolio items for formal assessment within a course in the LMS.

Describe how your tool promotes and supports student-to-student collaboration.

Desire2Learn ePortfolio supports both self-assessment and peer assessment using comments and/or rubrics to collect and share ePortfolio items.

Describe how your tool promotes and supports student-to-faculty collaboration.

Desire2Learn ePortfolio supports student-to-faculty collaboration through flexible sharing options, tight integration with LMS courses and flexible commenting functionality.

How does your tool support and encourage the reflection process for students and faculty?

Built-in functionality to support written and audio recorded reflections plus learners can share reflections to others to share reflective thoughts and comments. Reflections can be associated to other evidence and/or included in ePortfolio presentations.

We anticipate a wide and diverse community audience, many of which will be educational leaders concerned with the administration of their institutions.

How does your tool address and support institutional level assessment needs (e.g., aggregating student data and generating reports for accreditation)?

The reporting functionality supports aggregation of ePortfolio activity and rubric data.

Does your application integrate with enterprise systems? Which ones? Do you have examples of effective integration in support of advising or other student services you can share?

Desire2Learn ePortfolio can be deployed standalone or as part of Desire2Learn Learning Environment (LMS).

What is the main strength of your application?

The main strength of Desire2Learn ePortfolio tool is the flexibility of configuration and usage to meet multiple ePortfolio needs across the organization including the tight integration with Desire2Learn LMS.

What weaknesses have been identified relative to the user experience and shared with you?

The flexibility may overwhelm first time users starting with the ePortfolio tool.

Please share some examples of user feedback.

"It [my ePortfolio] is so much more that a computerized resume. I feel a resume can’t do what an eportfolio does. It gives me an advantage in my field. It shows my well roundedness in a way I can’t in an interview or by handing in a resume. It gives depth, soul and life to my experiences.”

"The flexibility of being able to set it up in any way you need to for various departments and audiences, and the ability to share it with anyone on the internet for students let their work be seen by parents, other students, and friends was a real plus." (Dan Keonig, Associate VP Technology - Piedmont Technical College)

"The use of the ePortfolio made it easier all around to share pieces of writing that were drafts in progress with multiple people so that writing groups could peer review drafts.” (Dr. Karen Kelley, Curriculum and Instruction - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Please share examples of the successful use of your application to help students achieve their goals undefined admission to graduate school, career placement and advancement, etc.

Commerce students at University of Guelph are using Desire2Learn ePortfolio for co-op education placements to demonstrate to employers the depth of their achievements.

Piedmont Technical College is using ePortfolio for projects, journaling and portfolio capabilities within their engineering technology and health sciences programs.

What key changes or features do you plan to introduce in the near future?

Mobile application and further refinements to support educational activities.

Company Profile

Desire2Learn is one of the fastest growing providers of enterprise eLearning solutions, we have a global presence serving higher education, K12, corporate,
government and associations which continue to grow at a rapid pace. Having won the Deloitte Fast 50 award 4 years in a row, Desire2Learn’s solutions
come with assurance not only of our organizational experience and vitality but also of the robustness of our suite of eLearning products. Desire2Learn Learning Suite is
comprised of six key web-based platforms:
1. Desire2Learn Learning Environment
2. Desire2Learn Analytics
3. Desire2Learn ePortfolio
4. Desire2Learn Learning Repository
5. Desire2Learn mobile solutions
6. Desire2Learn Capture.

All of these are built upon our highly interoperable and expandable Learning Platform. As a company we have a track record of unparalleled innovation, support and partnership. We focus on our clients' success and foster a culture where talented people, listening to and collaborating closely with our clients, can express their
creative passion for developing and supporting innovative eLearning solutions.

Customer base/size:
Desire2Learn services over six million users in 500 client locations worldwide. We have clients in North America, Latin America, UK, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Student license pricing model: Please contact

Institutional pricing model: Please contact

Postgraduate/transfer student license model: Please contact

Institution service agreement model: Our service agreement models are negotiated on a case-by-case basis and are unique to each institution. Therefore there is, unfortunately, no standard model which we can provide or share.

Online support information: Desire2Learn Help (online help resource) and the online user community of Desire2Learn clients are both free support resources that our customers have access to. The Community is a tremendous resource for training, support, and information on best practices. Clients can share their knowledge with each other using our discussion boards and build partnerships for collaboration, content sharing, and pedagogy. Clients can also submit incidents to our Helpdesk online via the Desire2Learn Incident Management System.

Institutional support services (Free): Both Desire2Learn Help and The Desire2Learn Community are free support services.

Institutional support services (Feebased): Desire2Learn offers three tiers of fee based support that gives clients direct access to our knowledgable and friendly Helpdesk. These three levels of support are Standard, Premium, and Premium Plus. These three models service the Support needs of our smallest (under 500 users) and largest clients (over 300,000 users).

IT staffing requirements: Typically the IT staffing requirements needed to support Desir2Learn ePortfolio would include a System Administrator, Database Administrator, Application Administrator, Trainer, and Helpdesk staff if Desire2Learn Support services are not purchased.

Technical Specifications

  • System Requirements End User: The system requirements described below are minimum requirements:
  • OS: Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X
    Video: SVGA monitor minimum resolution 800x600
    Internet Speed: 56K modem
    Sun JRE: v1.4.2.x, 1.5.x, 1.6.x
    JavaScript: Enabled
  • System Requirements Server: All Desire2Learn software is built on Microsoft technologies, including SQL Server and Windows Server. Developing a close working relationship with Microsoft has been critical to our platform development and deployment, as well as developing a technical edge over our competitors.
    Application Server Requirements
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard/Enterprise/Datacenter (32 or 64 bit)
    • Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard/Enterprise/Datacenter (32 or 64 bit)
    • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise/Datacenter (32 or 64 bit) Database
    Database Server Requirements
    • Microsoft SQL 2005 Standard/Enterprise (32 or 64 bit)
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard/Enterprise (32 or 64 bit)
  • Hosted service?Yes. Desire2Learn Hosting Services can be counted on for highly-reliable uptime, data protection and the ability to accommodate high loads as well as growth. Depending on the support level you choose, our dedicated hosting facilities enable a secure environment with 24x7 support, and fast, reliable, and scalable resources.
  • Storage Capacity (per account): Flexible, storage capacity can be defined by role.
  • Privacy policy relative to student accounts and underage users: Configurable.
  • Standards compliance: Desire2Learn adheres to the following standards:
    • IMS: IMS-CP, IMS-Enterprise IMS-RDCEO, IMS-QTI, IMS-CC, IMS Basic LTI and others
    • Web: HTML, XML, SOAP, REST

    Desire2Learn builds its products according to the following accessibility guidelines:
    • Section 508
    • W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
    (WCAG) version 2
    • W3C Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) guidelines
    • W3C Accessible Authoring Tool Guidelines (ATAG) version 2
  • Section 508 compliance: Desire2Learn ePortfolio complies with the applicable industry standards of Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • Published API: REST Web Services.
  • Migration/Exportation: XML system exports and HTML version exports are supported.
  • Systems Integration(list known): Desire2Learn Learning Environment.
  • Accepted artifacts/media (pictures, video, audio, text, html, documents, etc.): All file types except .exe files.


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