Monday, August 4, 2014

D2L Trick: Flags in the Roster

So, I thought I would share this little D2L trick that I use for keeping track of students during the churn of add/drop enrollment. D2L's Roster has an "Enrollment Statistics" view that shows you the students who have withdrawn more recently, but it does not show you the students who have added!

So, that's a problem: I need to know who has added the class recently because I keep a separate roster — and I keep a separate roster because D2L doesn't actually have the data I need about students, so I have to run the roster in Google Docs; that's where I record the link to their blog address, their website address, student athletes plus athletic advisor email, all kinds of other info I need... and since I have to synch that class list manually with the actual enrollment in D2L, I need to know both who dropped AND who added the class.

Here's the trick: when I add a student to my roster, I FLAG them in the D2L roster (there's a flag in the roster that turns on and off just like the flag feature in the Gradebook; I use the flag feature in the Gradebook a lot too). This works because the flags are persistent in the roster view, and you can search by flag / not flagged.

That means I can search the D2L roster for "NOT FLAGGED" in order to see who has added the class recently so that I can be sure to add them to my list. After I add them to my Google Doc list, then I flag them in the D2L Roster. Then I check the "enrollment statistics" for most recent withdrawals to see if I need to remove anybody from my list.  Presto: the lists are synched, and it just takes less than a minute each time.

It bugs me that the D2L Roster and Gradebook are not like real spreadsheets where I can create my own columns, build my own filters, formulas, etc. inside the sheet, but at least this little trick helps me synch up the class list with the Google Doc spreadsheet without any trouble at all.

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