Change may not always be easy, but what about the alternative?
When confronted with a shift in education technology, there’s a lot to consider. Students are probably comfortable with current platforms, and administrators know the intricate nuances of workflows. On top of that, teachers have found their groove with the tools and already have little-to-no extra time in their days, which is why asking them to migrate everything to a new learning management system (LMS) can be met with understandable resistance.
Yet when current systems aren’t working—whether they’re not designed to be flexible or aren’t focused on student success—change becomes essential.
When you’ve made the leap to migrate to Brightspace, there’s nothing you want more than for the transition to go smoothly and adoption to skyrocket. With the right systems, people and tools in place, you can achieve this.
Embracing the Change
Help ease the transition to Brightspace by getting people started on the platform right away:
- Schools need to be able to implement strategic change management processes to plan, communicate and measure progress. The new LMS can be used as a central hub for keeping documents and resources, sharing announcements, and tracking usage.
- Teachers want training that helps them feel comfortable and confident in using the tools available to them. They can leverage the bite-sized, hands-on training provided by D2L and transfer it to setting up activities and classes in the new platform.
- Administrators want to be able to keep teachers feeling motivated and informed. When teachers see a message from a leader right in Brightspace, it encourages adoption by showing that leaders believe in the system and that they’ve taken the time to learn it themselves.
Immersing teachers in the tools also gives them ideas they can use in their own classrooms, giving them a head start on day one of course setup.
You may start with posting information using the Announcements tool on your training course homepage in Brightspace and sharing the link to the message using your preexisting workflows, whether through email or another platform. This is a quick and easy way to introduce a new tool without causing too much interruption. Later, this could transition to automatic notifications directly to teachers from Brightspace whenever a new announcement is published. Finally, you can set the expectation that all announcements will only be shared in Brightspace going forward.
Similar tactics can be used for other workflows, such as collecting feedback throughout the migration process using the Brightspace Survey tool. Start by sharing the link directly to teachers and make your way to having teachers find future surveys on their own.
Here are more examples of how to ease the switch to Brightspace:
- Provide training materials for Brightspace right in the Content tool and author a living FAQs page. Make it interactive using Creator+ tools.
- Encourage open conversation between colleagues and offer a place to ask questions or discuss impacts of the new system using the Discussion board.
- Create a timely sequence of training and communication by tying Release Conditions to Content items, Quizzes and almost any other tool in Brightspace. When a teacher is ready to dive deeper, the system can be set up to automate the process. This helps avoid overwhelming people with too much information.
- Nudge teachers to jump back into training or provide them with additional resources based on activity by using Intelligent Agents.
- Motivate teachers and celebrate their achievements by leveraging the Awards tool. Badges and certificates can be set up based on whichever criteria you set.
- Measure adoption of the system and individual tools using the Data Hub and Performance+. Look at teacher performance coupled with LMS usage to find any correlations and demonstrate both impact and ROI.
“We’d been using all these clunky LMS platforms and getting frustrated. Brightspace is the first tool we found that doesn’t put a barrier between us and our goals, so getting teachers on board and building new courses is really straightforward.”Dr. John VanWagoner, Superintendent, Alpena Public Schools
Getting All Hands on Deck
Change requires buy-in from all stakeholders. Our services teams are equipped to support your district from day one, helping you make the most of Brightspace. Training and on-demand videos are readily available as teachers get started. Once you’re onboarded, support continues through our Customer Success program. Plus, if you need a little extra guidance in confidently navigating change, our learning strategy consultants can share insights, resources and approaches.
We want to set your school up for success—providing the support you need, when you need it, for as long as you need it.
Check out our free webinar, Expect the Unexpected: How to Prepare for and Embrace Change in Your District, to learn more.
Jackie Van Wyk is a Product Marketing Specialist at D2L with a focus on K-12. She has worked in the online education space for over a decade and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University as well as a Master of Digital Experience Innovation from the University of Waterloo.
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