You Can Decide TODAY What Your CMS/VLE of Tomorrow Will Be

October 19, 2005

SYNOPSIS: Desire2Learn, the second largest eLearning technology company, restates its commitment to providing its clients industry leading products and services. Desire2Learn is designed for institutions looking to take control over their course management system (CMS) / virtual learning environment (VLE) within North America and Internationally.

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, Canada, October 14, 2005 – The recent announcement of the merger of two large competitors in the educational eLearning market has caused widespread uncertainty about the future of their Course Management System for many institutions. Desire2Learn (D2L) wishes to reassure its clients and all potential clients of its intention to remain independent, with no intention of merging or selling, and to continue to provide the best choice for client-focused, innovative teaching and learning systems.

Desire2Learn will continue to execute its plans for steady growth to market leadership. After the merger of competitors, D2L will be the second largest provider of eLearning technology to educational institutions, as determined by number of clients, and will retain the position as the leading enterprise elearning technology and service provider with well over 3 million learners worldwide – with clients across North America, the UK, Europe, Australia, South America, and other locations around the world.
Desire2Learn’s number one priority has been and always will be its clients. D2L has accomplished six years of rapid and profitable growth, is under no pressure to sell/merge, and is well positioned to continue its growth through partnership with clients. The company is dedicated to improving education through better technology, exceptional staff, and focus on educator and student needs.
In April 2003 The University of Wisconsin System (UWS) licensed Desire2Learn because “we saw the opportunity to move beyond the standard course management system to begin to create a real learning platform for all our students and employees.” Ed Meachen, Associate Vice President, Learning & Information Technology. According to Kathy Pletcher, Chair of the D2L Steering Committee, “The D2L model for rapid implementation enabled UWS to migrate from multiple course management systems to a single course management system in one year. We offered our first D2L courses in summer 2003, by fall one-quarter of the CMS courses had been converted to D2L courses and by summer 2004 UWS had completed its conversion to D2L. Faculty have adapted well to D2L and students like it. The growth in D2L usage has been 25-40% each semester. During the 2004/05 academic year UWS enrollments in D2L courses exceeded a half million. The UWS implementation has been a real success story.”

    For institutions wishing to take control of their course management system (CMS), Desire2Learn is the clear choice:
    • No cost conversion – Only technology provider to have a zero cost option for switching courses to D2L very rapidly and with minimal disruption to faculty and students.
    • Industry-leading adoption of open standards and specifications such as SCORM, IMS, IEEE, and others to ensure interoperability and portability for clients.
    • Ability for clients to completely tailor the learning environment to reflect their vision, mission, values, look and feel, approach to teaching and learning through the unique ability to define roles, security, and organizational structure.
    • Full functionality and more – Desire2Learn offers the fullest featured CMS available as well as next generation applications such as a standards-based Learning Object Repository and LiveRoom synchronous collaboration technology.
    • Continued commitment to price stability, lower total cost of ownership, and higher return on investment.
    • Responsiveness to client needs through tremendous investment in R&D and collaboration with academic partners.
    From the largest statewide consortium to the smallest campus, leading educational institutions (K12, Higher Ed) trust Desire2Learn (D2L) eLearning Technology. Many leading educational institutions and systems have made the transition with tremendous success:
    • The Ohio State University this Autumn quarter experienced just under 200% of targeted growth in terms of the number of instructors predicted. Of the instructors using the new Desire2Learn system, 75% made NO calls to the university help desk, and an additional 14% made only 1 call. Of particular interest: of the instructors with active courses, only about 20% took one of the university training workshops. This means that most people are able to use the system by relying on the online help resources provided by both D2L and the university, or with local assistance.
    • During the selection process, the University of Iowa adopted a process that had broad involvement from the campus to consolidate its CMSs into one mission-critical enterprise system. More than 28,000 students, 1,200 faculty and 13,000 staff at 11 colleges will be using the Desire2Learn system. “The Desire2Learn learning management solution provides the University with an opportunity to implement new functionality with a more consistent approach to e-learning for our students, faculty and staff,” said Steve Fleagle, Interim CIO at The University of Iowa. “This will be one of our most important systems…” added Fleagle.
“Our growth plans have not changed; we continue to add top talent to meet the anticipated needs of our current and future clients for superior technology, stable roadmap, and outstanding service and support,” states John Baker, President and CEO of Desire2Learn. “We will always put our clients first and look forward to building even stronger relationships and client satisfaction moving forward.”

From its inception, Desire2Learn has stated clients are at the top of its stakeholder list, and this prioritization of stakeholders and other important differences are contributing to the company’s success to date and continues to clearly differentiate Desire2Learn from its competitors, as illustrated again by the recent competitor merger.

“Desire2Learn wishes to seek the advice and opinions of our clients and potential clients that have comments, questions, and/or concerns about this recent event and the increased growth opportunity for Desire2Learn.” John Baker invites clients to email or phone the company, or join a new discussion on the topic of mergers in education at the D2L community

Desire2Learn will be exhibiting at booth #1130 at the EDUCAUSE 2005 conference in Orlando, October 18 – 21, 2005, and many other upcoming events.

For more information, to setup a demonstration or a meeting, or to talk with one of our clients that matches your profile, please visit the website, contact 519-772-0325, or email

About Desire2Learn Inc.
Desire2Learn Inc. is a world-leading provider of enterprise learning systems that empower education providers to build teaching and learning environments that reflect their values, goals, objectives, pedagogical approaches, branding and vision. Desire2Learn clients include primary and secondary schools, higher education, as well as associations, government, and other leading organizations. There are well over three million users of the Desire2Learn enterprise eLearning technology worldwide. Founded in 1999, Desire2Learn is headquartered in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. For more information, please visit

About the University of Wisconsin System
The University of Wisconsin System oversees all of Wisconsin’s public universities, including two (2) doctoral universities, eleven (11) comprehensive universities, thirteen (13) freshman-sophomore Colleges, and a statewide University Extension. These campuses are located throughout the State. UWS serves approximately 160,000 students and more than one million Wisconsin residents through its continuing education services.

About the Ohio State University
The Ohio State University, located in Columbus, Ohio, is one of America’s largest and leading comprehensive teaching and research universities. Nationally and internationally recognized, Ohio State offers more than 174 undergraduate majors, 111 graduate programs, and more than 93 professional programs through its 19 academic colleges and schools; regional campuses across Ohio; and extension services in Ohio’s 88 counties.

About the University of Iowa
Since 1847, The University of Iowa has distinguished itself as a national leader among public universities. Today, as the 19th best public research university in the nation, its programs in health, business, engineering, education, law, the arts, communications, and the sciences are known worldwide for their excellence and innovation.

The University of Iowa offers more than 100 areas of undergraduate study through its 11 colleges and numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary research with top-quality faculty. In addition, the University offers 97 graduate degree programs, including nine ranked among the country’s top 10 and 20 more ranked in the top 50. An Iowa degree spells success in the job market, giving students the skills to continue learning and growing throughout their careers.

Simone Moreau
Desire2Learn Inc.
(519) 772-0325