In a perfect world, one style of teaching could reach all students—but that’s just not reality. Students come from a variety of backgrounds with different needs and abilities. To teach with this mind, it’s important to ensure that students have personalized content, learning paths and communication. For educators, this is where technology and digital tools come in.
In this blog, we look at how educators can integrate D2L Brightspace tools with their current teaching practices to provide students with tailored and engaging learning experiences.
Provide Special Access to Content and Assessments
Depending on students’ individual needs, you may have to provide more flexibility. This may include alternative assessment formats or modifications to evaluation parameters, such as extending quiz time. The Accommodations and Special Access tools in Brightspace allow educators to alter access to specific activities for students or groups of students:
- Quizzes: Change the time limit, or allow the ability to right-click.
- Surveys: Assign specific users a different set of available survey dates. Increase the time limit for special-needs users and allow different start and end dates for individual users.
- Assignments: Extend the deadline for students who require additional support or are submitting work beyond the original scope of the assignment (such as planning notes or a bibliography).
Additionally, when students have accommodations that span the entire term, instructors can use the Classlist feature to configure special access for the entire course.
Create Custom Learning Paths with Release Conditions
Personalizing learning is more than just altering access to content; it also consists of personalizing learning pathways to help students progress Within Brightspace, this can be achieved with Release Conditions. When you attach a Release Condition to an item, users cannot see that item until they meet the associated requirement.
For example, you could attach a Release Condition to the second topic in your course’s content area, which would hide it until students viewed the topic before it. Or you could create a condition that required students to view content before accessing a quiz, or one that required them to post to a discussion topic before they could see a content module, for example, or a new lesson or unit.
Customize Communication with Intelligent Agents
In addition to providing special access to material and creating custom learning paths, a third foundational component of personalized learning is to individualize communication to make sure students are hitting their own learning goals. After all, announcements and class messages don’t always apply to every student. Brightspace helps personalize communication, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.
Intelligent Agents help perform a task on your behalf, such as emailing students when they fulfill or don’t fulfill criteria you set for them, including:
- when a defined student activity, such as submitting an assignment, occurs in a course
- when an activity such as failing to complete a quiz doesn’t occur in a course
- when a student does or doesn’t enter a particular course
By setting up intelligent agents in your courses, you can create a personalized learning path for your students to help them keep track of their progress and stay engaged in the learning process.
Learn How You Can Help Optimize Your Brightspace Classroom
Looking for more tips and tricks for creating personalized learning paths, or just want to see them in action?
Register for our Teaching and Learning webinars for K–12 educators, teachers and administrators to learn new ways to optimize your Brightspace, whether you’re teaching online, teaching in person or combining both.
Puneet Kaur is a Technical Account Manager, Optimization Services. She is passionate about the 21st Century models of learning that empower learners to become successful individuals in all walks of their lives. Puneet graduated in MEd from the University of Toronto in 2018 and her major research paper was, “Paving a Path for Global Competencies in the Ontario K-12 curriculum.” Prior to joining D2L, she worked as a curriculum analyst, education-researcher, and elementary level educator.
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