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20 years of transforming the way the world learns

  • 3 Min Read

This year marks D2L’s 20th anniversary. Over these 20 years, the worlds of work and education have seen immense change. Technology has transformed the way we carry out day-to-day activities and has opened up unimagined possibilities in communication, commerce and indeed, education.

Although it has felt like 20 years have flown by, this time has been time well-spent exploring and understanding the needs of learners and educators; inventing, creating and engineering learning solutions that transform learning and deliver results.

As an education company and partner to educators around the world, D2L has navigated and sought to capitalize on the rate of change all around us. Throughout, we have held our resolve on key values.

Innovation

The use of technology within education has streamlined the efficiency of many tasks that were previously difficult, helping adapt to the changing environment in which learning and teaching takes place. Through our learning platform, personalized learning journeys – a challenge to deliver at scale through traditional teaching methods – became possible, with adaptable learning pathways that meet individual needs, including those surrounding accessibility.

Where, when and how we learn can be starkly contrasted to how we learnt 20 years previously. Bite-sized, video-based and mobile learning are now in high demand. With the increased use of eLearning comes the potential to make intelligent use of data – measuring learning progress and adapting to improve learning outcomes.

The world of work has also changed. Automation is streamlining a range of tasks that were previously undertaken by employees with professional and technical skills. As a result, technical capabilities are having to be refreshed and upskilled on a more regular basis. Particularly, a new emphasis has emerged on durable skills – leadership, communication and collaboration. These skills aren’t gained and perfected by working in isolation through course content – they require practice. Learners need feedback on how they’re doing. So how can enterprises deliver what has traditionally been a classroom-based training course, online? D2L clients have successfully leveraged Brightspace to train soft skills through a programmatic learning approach, supporting action based learning through deliverance of a personalized, guided learning journey which engages interaction and feedback.

Teaching models have evolved over the years and to keep pace, so too have the tools that meet challenges surrounding outcomes-based learning – whether that is through solutions for programmatic learning, or competency-based education.

Throughout the past 20 years, our learning platform has adapted to meet the ever-changing demands of the times. Brightspace has constantly evolved to capitalize on the latest advancements in technology, including the recent completion of migration to the AWS cloud – meaning frequent and automatic enhancements for platform users, among a host of other benefits.

Partnership

Indeed, learning solutions don’t start and end with technology. Great learner experiences are built on strong partnerships. Successful implementations come from effective change management – organisations undergoing digital transformations transition smoother when platform providers and companies work together in close partnership.

Partnership is essential for key elements of digital transformation: needs definition, goals-setting, implementation and future development. Whilst some organisations benefit from support in the creation of courses; all need to be able to count on continuing vendor support and partnership.

The strongest partnerships take learning from each new relationship and use it to shape future development. This is a critical part of D2L’s ongoing product development, specifically through the Product Ideas Exchange blog on the Brightspace Community.

In the present day, for D2L it’s all about momentum, building on growth in all regions where we operate. Learning is not a short-term play and D2L, as an education first company will continue to be a willing partner in the market, working with educators to enhance learning experiences for organisations and learners. I believe we’re at a critical point in time for the future of work and learning, one where innovation and support are essential as we navigate change and explore the emerging technologies of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Looking ahead, D2L are excited by the challenges of the future. We anticipate the continuing evolution of learning, particularly in the areas of lifelong and work-integrated learning as well as education with a global reach. For the next 20 years and beyond, innovation and partnership will be central to optimizing learning and transforming the way the world learns.

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