Skip to main content

How to Develop Competencies and Skills With D2L Brightspace

  • 6 Min Read

Find out how to prepare students with skills that will help them succeed in the workplace.

Paige O'Grady
Paige O'Grady

Product Marketing Manager


This guide is here for educational institutions that are looking to equip their students with the competencies and skills that will help them flourish in their careers after graduation.

You don’t need us to tell you that the needs of education are changing. Major shifts are happening in the workplace, and the skills people need today might not be those they need tomorrow. What can higher education do to prepare students for the future?

Ultimately, providing education that supports skill development for the workplace will help give institutions an edge over their competition and set students up to be successful.

Use the Brightspace platform to build and showcase skills connections in the following ways.

Help students develop durable skills

Given the pace of change, quickly adapting programs that support students in developing durable skills to meet evolving workplace needs are invaluable.

Here are a few tools to incorporate into your programs to achieve this:

Team Learning

Brightspace can be configured to support teams of learners with tools that allow them to easily create, share, communicate and collaborate on projects and group projects.

  • Provide a seamless way to connect face-to-face with multiple parties for instruction, assessment and feedback using virtual classrooms. Schedule live discussions, office hours, video-based training and more. Video sessions can be automatically recorded and seamlessly embedded directly into a course alongside other learning materials.
  • Make it easy for learners to collaborate by using the Groups tool for any group assignment or activity that requires users to interact, submit or share materials.
  • Enable your learners to learn from each other with peer reviews of video assignments.

Instructor-Led Learning

Assignments, activities and assessments can be created to allow for full instructor control similar to conventional face-to-face learning models.

  • Quickly assess work and provide feedback across all courses from one location. Brightspace provides instructors with a single assessment hub where they can provide in-line annotations on documents, grade offline with the grader app, use a mobile phone to assess learners in the field with a rubric, and provide feedback via audio and video.
  • Learners can gain repeated skill practice and knowledge application within a real-world context by using Video Assignments. Instructors and peers can quickly provide learners with personalized, pointed feedback with timestamped text and video comments, rubrics and grading.

Independent Learning

An independent learning experience can also be configured in Brightspace that allows for setting up automatic controls for feedback and assessments independently based on the type of learning or training opportunities you wish to create.

  • Keep learners engaged with game-based learning and interactive assessments.
  • Instant feedback is provided to learners with auto-analysis in Video Assignments. It reports on metrics such as speech clarity, use of filler words, speaking rate, and key terms so that they can make immediate improvements.

Provide flexibility for students to learn exactly what they need.

Each person has a different path and a different set of circumstances in life. You can use tools within Brightspace to make sure that each student can learn specifically what they need to, at the pace that works for them.


Learners and employees will stay motivated by driving their own learning experiences. With Brightspace, you can let learners to choose courses and programs from an online course catalog and allow them to register and get started independently.

  • It’s easy and intuitive for them to search for, discover and self-enroll in courses that interest them by using the Discover tool in the Brightspace platform.
  • If you’re looking to include payment options, an integration with Course Merchant is available to create an integrated course registration storefront with flexible payment options.

Prescribed Learning With Learning Groups

Brightspace allows you to create specific learning paths for students to ensure they move through the learning experience in a manner determined by your institution. You can set a prescribed pace and time limits and create specific gates learners must pass through before moving forward in their programs.

  • Attributes, such as department or location can be used to group individual users into learning groups, making it easy to assign courses to users who have similar needs.
  • Membership rules automatically enroll users in learning groups and assign the appropriate learning.

Self-Directed Learning Paths

Allow learners to work through content and activities at their own pace by creating learning paths.

  • Group multiple courses into a logical, easy-to-follow learning path, enabling learners to chart their progress and see what they need to work on next.

Personalized Learning With Adaptive Learning

You can easily set up personalized learning paths within the Brightspace platform, with the ability to configure the release of content, activities, and assessments automatically based on individual learner performance and preferences.

  • You can create a questionnaire or prior learning assessment that will release specific content based on a participant’s responses. Some learners can be overwhelmed by seeing all the content at once. By releasing it incrementally using tools within Brightspace, learners can focus on immediate topics.
  • Such personalization allows you to provide the exact content and activities a learner truly needs. This type of learning experience is an important component and value add for adult learners.
  • Many learners face time constraints, and the functionality in Brightspace makes it easy to create short videos and other micro-learning activities for the personalized learning paths, which can all be accessed on mobile devices.

Make it easy for organizations to know what skills people have.

When an organization talks to a job candidate, the interviewer wants to know what the candidate has to offer. Tools within Brightspace help collect evidence of skills acquired and showcase them.


With Brightspace, you can provide a variety of credentialing options to recognize and reward learner mastery, including certificates, badges, and micro-credentials that can be saved and exported using a range of information systems.

  • Badges created in the Awards tool are easy to share and contain various metadata about how the learner achieved the badge, who issued it, and what evidence is available to demonstrate the skill. These are not just stickers for adults, but instead contain key information about what a learner did to earn this badge, the competency aligned to it, and information on the organization issuing the badge to ascertain validity.
  • Information about knowledge, skills, or abilities can be tracked as competencies or outcomes.

Keep your programs fresh

It’s easy to evolve with the changing needs for your programs when you have a learning platform that is simple to use and integrates well with the other systems that you use. Even better is when it provides data that you can act on to continue to refine and grow your programs.

Turn-Key Solution

Brightspace can be easily integrated into your current business processes. We can help you design a system that’s immediately ready to use upon implementation so you can have programs up and running when you’re ready to go live.


The Brightspace platform integrates with major student and client information systems and third-party applications.

Advanced Analytics

With Brightspace, participant data is available through a variety of reports available to learners, instructors, and administrators depending on their specific needs. This level of data and analytics can provide clear insight into learner and content performance so you can make needed adjustments as you see fit.

Partner With D2L for the Future

Work with the team of experts at D2L to optimize your strategic initiatives. Our Workforce Partnership Consulting service helps you maximize the use of the Brightspace platform by leveraging D2L’s experience and expertise to design, develop and implement innovative education programs to support workforce partnerships that cultivate and grow a community for lifelong learning.

Other services are available to help on topics such as course design and the effective use of data and analytics.

Written by:

Paige O'Grady
Paige O'Grady

Product Marketing Manager

Paige O’Grady is a Product Marketing Manager at D2L, specializing in the education space. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, specializing in Marketing and Brand Communications.

Stay in the know

Educators and training pros get our insights, tips, and best practices delivered monthly

Table of Contents
  1. Help students develop durable skills
  2. Provide flexibility for students to learn exactly what they need.
  3. Make it easy for organizations to know what skills people have.
  4. Keep your programs fresh
  5. Partner With D2L for the Future