MyLS gets an upgraded look

Graphic by Lena Yang
Graphic by Lena Yang

Wilfrid Laurier University’s online learning environment has undergone a transformation. The new MyLearningSpace (MyLS) went live at the beginning of May and has demonstrated a variety of systematic changes and upgrades.

MyLearningSpace is a product of Desire2Learn (D2L), an enterprise in eLearning solutions and developer of online Learning Management Systems. The changed appearance of the learning system now sports the university colours and shows photographs of Laurier students on the login page. Above all, however, MyLS has upgraded their internal system, which now has different portals, links and dropdown menus that may be unfamiliar to longtime users.

Mary Scott, manager of Laurier’s educational technologies explained that the website has not changed as much as it may seem.

“[MyLS] was reformatted because it was an annual task,” Scott explained. “It’s an upgrade to keep up using the most current software.”

Aesthetically, MyLS comes off as an entirely different website, but Scott assured that the only true alteration was internal.

“To be honest, [Laurier] doesn’t plan the new MyLS,” Scott said. “We’re just supposed to keep it up to the current version.”

In terms of systematic improvements, a key upgrade comes from the instructional perspective. According to Scott, for professors and teaching faculty members, their online interface for getting material into the system is much smoother.

“They can drag and drop as opposed to just uploading file by file… they can really just take a whole folder and copy it onto the system,” Scott continued.

Other changes include sidebar links and paths. Class ‘content’ is no longer immediately visible on the page; users will have to go under drop down menus from the top. However, for those expecting any unique or different features, Scott assured that MyLS is really just the same system with a brand new face.

“Certainly the look and feel of it has changed,” Scott admitted, “[but] there’s no one tool that [D2L] added that we didn’t have before.”

Scott also said that the new upgraded system is in no way a response to the glitches MyLS experienced this past academic year. Moving forward, Laurier is hoping that the newest version of MyLS will not experience any system issues.

Kayla Chafe, a fourth-year English student, explained that she is happy with the new interface and spoke positively about some of the new features.

“I like how in my course I can physically click on links to videos my professors have posted or links to the discussion group I’ve been placed in,” she said. “It also shows you how much you’ve completed [with a task] and I’m liking it.”

Regardless of where users will position themselves on the new upgraded system, the changes to MyLS may take some getting used to on campus.

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