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FUSION 2014—Day 1 Perspective from John Baker

  • 3 Min Read

Today was a tremendous day. It’s difficult to identify a single moment that stands out, so I’ll share a few.

When the entire room stood to provide Colonel Chris Hadfield with a standing ovation at the end of his guest keynote today, I have to admit that I was thrilled to jump to my feet as well. His speech was utterly compelling—particularly the reflections on what the earth looked like from the vantage of the International Space Station. Not only was it beautiful but he said it changed his perspective. It caused him to reflect on the concept of “us” versus “them” and really shifted his thinking. This is such a powerful unifying idea—that we are really in this together. That we can really make a difference, both for each other and for the future of our world.


Another great moment for us—the reveal of the new brand for our integrated learning platform. We saw the Twitterverse catch on fire as Brightspace came to life on stage, on our web site, and across all our marketing initiatives. We are so thrilled to see the positive comments and support from everyone at FUSION and beyond as we shared this milestone with the world. Fifteen years of momentum, fifteen million users, and our commitment to building technology to improve the learning experience through our investments in analytics and delivering on the promise of personalization. As Colonel Hadfield so eloquently shared, this big vision is about “us”. It’s about the stories we create working with our clients. These are the stories that unite us.

There is no better opportunity than FUSION to share what we can accomplish when we work together. The amazing stories that were highlighted today demonstrate the tremendous results we’re seeing. We call these our mission metrics and they represent some of the ways we’re trying to measure impact. As we’ve said, it’s not about managing but improving learning.

Dr. Jaclyn Broadbent joined me on stage to talk about how she is driving personalization at scale at Deakin University in Australia and increasing student satisfaction rates from 3.9 to 4.72 out of 5.00 by using technology to coach and engage over 1500 students in a single class. Representing Tennessee, Chancellor John Morgan and Dr. Tristan Denley from Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) shared some very impactful statistics on retention and attainment. At Austin Peay University, D2L technology was able to predict with over 90% accuracy in which courses a student would achieve an A, B or C—directly impacting their choices and ability to obtain a degree. There are many other great stories and metrics that we’ll be talking about this week. You can look forward to hearing more about them through case studies and communications that we’ll be sharing with all of you.

Stay tuned for more from me tomorrow.

Thank you again to all who joined us today and to those who partner with us throughout the year. I truly believe that together, we are making a difference and building a brighter future.



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