Answers: how language differs in ANGEL to D2L switch

Hit the online message boards and found an answer to my questions last week about how language and conceptualization is different in D2L.  It feels like culture shock to me.  The things that are the most similar can ironically cause more problems than things that are clearly different.    I’m gonna steal and not attribute source to protect anonymity.

Desire2Learn (D2L) has a hierarchical structure to a lot of it’s tools, and the term “topic” is a general catch-all term for a unit/thing that users view or interact with.

For an example, in the content tool, there are modules and topics. A module is similar to a folder on your computer, it’s a container for files. A content topic is most often a file (word file, powerpoint, pdf, etc) that people access, but can also be a link (either to a URL, like, or a link to another part of the course, like a quiz). So, in content, a topic refers to a file or link people access.

In the discussion tool, there’s a similar hierarchy, with similar terminology. A forum contains topics, topics contain threads, and threads contain replies. A forum can have multiple discussion topics (i.e. week one forum > monday’s discussion topic), and a topic can have multiple threads, with multiple replies. Threads are discussion posts people (students or instructors) start, and replies are other people’s responses to the thread. In discussions, a topic refers to a place that can have multiple discussion threads under it. and could be helpful with moving from Angel to D2L.

And from one of those links:

ANGEL to D2L Terminology

Term in ANGEL Term in D2L
Agents Release Condition
Announcement News
Assessment Quizzes
Associated Files Content >Manage Files
Automate Edit Course > Intelligent Agents
Course Course Home
Discussion Board Discussion Forums and Topics
Export Console Edit Course > Import/Export/Copy Components
Folders Module
Home My Home
Import Console Edit Course > Import/Export/Copy Components
Lessons Content
Link Quicklink
Manage Edit Course
My Grades/Gradebook Grades
Nugget Widget
Page New Document
Preview as Student Role Switch > Student
Report Edit Course > View User Progress
Roster Classlist
Teams Groups

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