A review of Desire to Learn’s new app

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Written by Rhiana Bilderaya

Photo by Andy Tucker

FRCC students who are tired of checking D2L for their grades on their phone’s web browser have a good alternative. D2L now offers an app called Pulse, that students can download and start using on both iPhone and Android. 

The app is straightforward to use, with a simple user interface. After downloading and logging in, you will see a list of your courses. Clicking a course will display the different weeks, and within each week, your course content for that week displays. There isn’t nearly as much navigation to get to “course content” using the app as there is using a web browser on phone or computer.

Students can also use the calendar view by clicking on “Upcoming” on the bottom of the screen. This view will have a week at a time with a graph feature, indicating which days have assignments due and what those assignments are. I found this feature particularly useful for the straightforward display and integration of all courses, instead of just one course. 

Clicking on the “Notifications” tab will let students know when their grades have updated. I found this feature to lack the information that logging into D2L on a web browser provides. On the web browser, it’s much easier to see individual assignment grades. On the Pulse app, there are fewer notifications and clicking on a grade update will redirect to the website within an app, which can be frustrating to interact with.

Overall, Pulse is useful for a snapshot of your weekly work using the “Upcoming” feature and a quick reminder of your weekly work. The app isn’t as useful for doing any assignments, but the web browser on the phone isn’t either. Students still need a laptop to successfully use D2L, but the app is a good complement.

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