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Authored by Gary Page, Winter 2013

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Desire2Learn ,also know as D2L, develops an e-Learning enterprise suite that serves as the learning management system (LMS) and content management system (CMS) for schools, colleges, universities, virtual schools, governments, associations, and organizations. The company is headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and has staff in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.


John Baker, Chief Executive Officer John founded Desire2Learn in 1999 at the age of 22 while still a Systems Design Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. John's proverbial basement startup has become one of the major e-Learning Suites in use today.
Jeremy Auger, Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP As part of the executive team, Jeremy is directly responsible for product development/R&D, human resources, and strategic initiatives at Desire2Learn. With a strong commitment to client success, and a desire to constantly evolve the state-of-the-art, Jeremy has been part of the Desire2Learn team since its inception, and continues taking a leadership role in accomplishing success within the online education industry.
Brandon Nussey, Chief Financial Officer Brandon joined the Desire2Learn Team in 2010 as CFO and leads the finance and administration functions of the company.
Dennis Kavelman, Chief Operating Officer Dennis joined Desire2Learn in January 2012 and is a member of the senior executive team.Dennis, first as CFO and then as Co-COO, was a key member of the senior executive team at RIM from 1995-2010. During that time, RIM grew from 20 to over 15,000 employees and from $2 million to over $15 billion in revenue as BlackBerry created and shaped the wireless data and smartphone industry globally.
James Beer VP, SaaS and IT James Beer has over 15 years of experience in customer facing, revenue generating data center, and mission critical computing environments. Before joining Desire2Learn in 2012, James spent five years in a Director-level role at Q9 Networks, responsible for a national team of data center and managed services experts. James was also a Director at Bell Canada where he was responsible for data center design and construction, pre-sales architecture, customer positioning, support, and strategy. During his time at Bell, James oversaw double-digit compound annual growth rates with high efficiencies and profitability.
Nancy Buck VP, Human Resources Nancy joined Desire2Learn from Princeton Holdings where she was Vice-President, Human Resources providing a full range of strategic and tactical human resource services to their group of companies. There she was focused on the development of a high performance culture, talent management, high potential development and succession planning. Prior to Princeton Holdings, Nancy was President and Founder of Talent Outfitters, a consultant and advisory firm specializing in human capital strategy.
Brian Cepuran VP, Platforms and Architecture As one of the founding members of Desire2Learn, Brian has been integral in the development and evolution of the products and the underlying platforms. He strives to ensure Desire2Learn is always at the forefront of learning technology. Brian has a strong software development background gained from years of experience in the tech industry and building software for the educational sector. This includes extensive research and development in web-based technology design, enterprise architecture, usability, security, and privacy. His unique blend of skills, combined with a commitment to excellence, helps Brian drive innovation at Desire2Learn.
Kenneth Chapman VP, Product Engineering As part of the Product Development Leadership, Kenneth is directly responsible for the implementation and delivery of Desire2Learn's products. His team consists of dedicated and talented product and technology leaders committed to our mission of transforming teaching and learning.
David Kruis Senior Director, Product Planning Dave is responsible for Desire2Learn's overall product roadmap and product planning activities, providing business and product leadership to the development organization. Before joining Desire2Learn in 2010, Dave was founder and CEO of Metranome, a mobile solutions company acquired by Desire2Learn.
Jeff McDowell VP, Market Development Vice President, Market Development, Jeff is responsible for strategic areas of marketing and business development. Jeff looks at Desire2learn's markets in a holistic fashion and builds out go-to-market strategies for each business segment that includes unique product value, strategic partnerships, competitive intelligence, and segment marketing. Jeff also works closely with the product organization to map out product direction based on new strategic market opportunities.
John McLeod VP, Marketing John McLeod is a marketing and business development executive with 20 years' experience in the software development, telecommunications, and information technology industries. John joined Desire2Learn in 2005 and has led the company's marketing efforts through successive years of growth. Prior to Desire2Learn he was a key member of senior management teams driving growth in successful start-up ventures and large brand-name technology companies.
Adam Moore VP, North American Sales As a key member of the sales leadership team, Adam is directly responsible for overseeing both the sales and account management teams at Desire2Learn. He is focused on expanding Desire2Learn's presence throughout North America in the higher education, K-12, corporate, and government segments while have ensuring the highest level of customer commitment, satisfaction and retention.
Craig Walford VP, Services and Support An innovative and entrepreneurial senior technology executive with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to build successful customer and partner relationships, Craig Walford joined Desire2Learn in 2012. He brings with him over 20 years of experience in developing and managing customer support and professional service organizations, including 15 years at the senior management level. This experience has garnered Craig a solid track record in international operations, professional services, customer and technical support, information technology, and sales.
Michael Wysocki VP, Global Sales Michael is a results oriented sales executive with 22 years of progressive experience in building and leading high performance global sales and business development teams in the enterprise software and solutions industries. He has a passion for new technology and emerging markets and been instrumental in working with a number of successful start-up and mature organization in building their global businesses.

Corporate Values

File:Img values.jpg
Corporate Values Wheel
1. Learner Success Desire2Learn's relentless dedication to every learner and every client's success. We work with integrity and build lasting relationships. We have a commitment to fostering lifelong learning and igniting the desire to learn in everyone.
2. Creativity Desire2Learn's imagination and vision are used to create innovative solutions and richer learning experiences. D2L will not accept the status quo.
3. Passion Desire2Learn's intense desire, enthusiasm and commitment to make a difference in people's lives and make the long term investments to change the world.
4. Collaboration Desire2Learn's belief that the sharing of ideas drives the best outcomes.


Desire2Learn provides an integrated suite of products for online, blended, or in-class settings. The Desire2learn Learning Suite is available in both server and cloud implementations. Desire2learn continues to evolve as one of if not the standard technology solution for online learning in use today.

Desire2Learn has Learning Management Systems (LMS) characteristics. A Learning Management System (LMS) is used to facilitate access to learning content and administration. They are used by institutions, both public and private, for educational purposes to enhance and support classroom teaching and offer courses to a larger population of learners. LMSs are used by regulated industries (e.g. financial services and biopharma) for compliance training.

Student self-service (e.g., self-registration on instructor-led training), training workflow (e.g., user notification, manager approval, wait-list management), the provision of on-line learning (e.g., computer-based training), on-line assessment, management of continuous professional education (CPE),collaborative learning (e.g., application sharing, discussion threads), and training resource management (e.g., instructors, facilities, equipment), are all components of Learning Management Systems.

Desire2Learn also has Content Management System (CMS) characteristics. A Content Management System allows publishing, editing and modifying content as well as maintenance from a central graphic user interface (GUI). A CMS will provide procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual steps or an automated cascade.


File:D2L Suite.png
Desire2Learn Learning Suite
1. Desire2Learn Learning Environment

- A user friendly, intuitive learning management system with course building capabilities, reporting, assessment and collaboration options. This solution provides the flexibility for matching the learning environment to the unique learning preference of the organization.
2. Desire2Learn ePortfolio

- A user-centered social learning tool for storing, organizing, reflecting on and sharing items that represent the learner's experiences, goals and progress.
3. Desire2Learn Analytics

- A tool used to provide predictive analytics and transparency of data to enable educators to develop class awareness and retention strategies, identify intervention needs, meet compliance requirements, etc.
4. Desire2Learrning Repository

- A resource enabling clients to manage and share learning resources supporting re-use of existing internal learning materials and the ability to connect to external OERs.
5. Desire2Learn Mobile

- This solution gives learners the ability to learn anytime, anywhere suing a mobile device.
6. Desire2Learn Capture

- The product provides the ability to capture and broadcasting media presentations to both local and remote audiences in real time or on a recorded basis.
7. Open Platform

- The product provides tools and access to source to build and customize content for the Desire2Learn learning environments.


Desire2Learn announced the launch of Desire2Learn Learning Suite 10 in April, 2012. This is the company's latest platform with updates to the layout and interface.


  • One of the Market Leaders in the segment.
  • Implementations increasing on a year over year basis.
  • As consolidation in the industry takes place, Desire2Learn will likely be one of the companies remaining.
  • Available for server and cloud platforms.
  • Strong community of support.
  • Live Training, Webinars, and Tutorials available.


Blackboard, a rival company, filed a lawsuit against Desire2Learn for patent infringement. This was based on granted US patent on Internet-based education support system and methods. Desire2Learn appealed a court ruling in favour of Blackboard. The appeal was upheld and and the court overturned the judgment. The possibility of further legal actions still exists.

Moodle, another rival, is a free open source solution enabling educators to create dynamic online learning experiences emphasizing collaboration and community. With a focus on interaction over content, Moodle encourages a social constructivist approach to learning which comprises construction of meaning and new content through interaction with course content and peers.


Client Testimonials A variety of Desire2Learn clients discuss using the Desire2Learn Learning Environment.
James Moore Director of Online Learning, DePaul University discusses the Content Tool in the Desire2Learn Learning Environment.
Bill Carney Director of Online Academic Programs, Columbia University discusses the Desire2Learn Learning Environment.
John Redden Technology Integration Specialist, Maplewood-Richmond High School District discusses the Desire2Learn Learning Repository.


Desire2Learn Learning Environment Overview Desire2Learn Inc
Desire2Learn v10: Overview for Students Learning Technology Center, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Desire2Learn Overview South Central College


  • Beatty, B., & Ulasewicz, C. (2006). Online teaching and learning in transition: Faculty perspectives on moving from blackboard to the Moodle learning management system. TechTrends, 50, 36–45.
  • Berggren, A., Burgos, D., Fontana, J.M., Hinkelman, D., Hung, V., Hursh, A., & Tielemans, G. (2005). Practical and pedagogical issues for teacher adoption of IMS learning design standards in Moodle LMS. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2005.
  • Koszalka, T.A. & Ganesan , R. (2004). Designing Online Courses: A taxonomy to guide strategic use of features available in course management systems (CMS) in distance education. Distance Education, 25, 243-256.
  • Maloney, E.J. (2007). What Web 2.0 Can Teach Us about Learning. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 53 (18), B26.
  • Reigeluth, C.M. (1999). What is Instructional-Design Theory and how is it Changing? In C.M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, Vol. 2. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Santally, M. & Senteni, A. (2006). Personalisation in Web-Based Learning Environments. International Journal of Distance Education Technologies. Oct.-Dec. 2006. Vol. 4, Iss. 4; 15-21.
  • Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3, 265-283.


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