How to Re-engage Students Using Tools in Ontario’s VLE | D2L
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How to Re-engage Students Using Tools in Ontario’s VLE

  • 4 Min Read

With the holidays coming soon, students, especially those in secondary school, are becoming more and more checked-out. They are having trouble focusing, may not be feeling that great (thanks to cold and flu season), and may just be ready for a break from being in the classroom. Luckily, with help from the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), as an Ontario teacher you have easily accessible tools that can help you energize and refocus unengaged students.

Tools to re-engage Ontario students

Today’s students have grown up with technology – they grew up with cell phones, social media, and games – technology is what they know. While computers and technology have been in classrooms for decades, it is now the expectation of educators and students alike that teaching and learning include technology and, at times, gaming. Brightspace (by D2L) in the VLE embraces technology in learning and is proud to introduce two tools to Ontario educators to help keep students engaged and energized:

  1. Gamification in the VLE
  2. Brightspace Pulse, mobile app

Gamification in the VLE

You can help motivate and reward your students by using gamification without a ton of additional work on your end. Ontario’s VLE includes an Awards tool which allows you to gamify your courses and reward achievements with badges and awards. You have the option of creating awards and badges, designing them using the Badge Designer, and assigning them to students or classes. You can easily see which students have awards and why they received those awards.

Some ways to use the Awards tool in your eLearning or blended learning classroom in the VLE include:

  • Reward student behaviours: attendance, extracurricular activity involvement, etc.
  • Award to students or entire classes for accomplishing goals
  • Use awards to recognize excellence in learning
  • Create a collection of badges that they can collect by completing different activities

For additional ways to use the VLE Awards tool, check out our “5 Bright Uses of the Awards Tool” post in the Brightspace Community.

Brightspace Pulse App

Ontario students and educators have a lot going on and are constantly on the go, which is why D2L created the Brightspace Pulse app! Pulse is a free mobile app that we have designed so students and educators can easily control their schedules, get push notifications, access courses, and complete course activities from their phone with access to content offline. Pulse is a purpose-built app to help students stay productive and can launch into the online version of the VLE with single sign-on. This app, combined with the VLE’s responsive design – meaning that the layout of the VLE fits the screen of any device with no need to scroll horizontally or pinch and zoom – delivers a great mobile learning experience.

Pulse Artboard

Brightspace Pulse through the VLE lets students:

  • Stay in control of their schedule: Pulse gives students an at-a-glance, personalized view of their schedule that is easy to understand and manage. Students can prioritize, plan, and see action items on their checklist directly from Pulse – checking off important dates as they are completed.
  • Receive push notifications: Students know what’s new and what’s next when educators use push notifications via Pulse. When educators use grade notifications, students instantly know when their grades are in and can easily jump to review any feedback they received.
  • Access courses from their phones: Students can view and interact with courses while on the go.
  • Access content offline: Students can download files for offline viewing in Pulse. This helps solve low-connectivity and internet connection issues.

Check out this video to see Pulse in action and learn how it will make your students’ lives easier.

Join our upcoming webinars:  Re-engaging Students Using Gamification and the Brightspace Pulse App

Want to re-engage your students and keep them energized? Curious about how to use gamification or the Brightspace Pulse app? Join our upcoming webinar to learn more. We will cover creating and using awards to gamify your VLE to engage students throughout the school year as well as show you how to use Brightspace Pulse to push notifications to students. We will finish the webinar with a Q&A session where you can ask questions about using gamification, Brightspace Pulse, or the VLE in general.

Comment attirer vos apprenants avec la ludification et l’application mobile Brightspace Pulse

Cherchez-vous des manières de motiver vos élèves à nouveau ? Aimeriez-vous incorporer la ludification ou l’application mobile Brightspace Pulse ? Venez à notre prochain webinaire pour en apprendre plus ! Nous aborderons comment créer et utiliser des Récompenses afin de rendre votre EAV plus ludique tout au long de l’année scolaire, ainsi que comment naviguer Brightspace Pulse pour envoyer des notifications mobiles à vos élèves. Nous terminerons ce webinaire de 45 minutes en répondant à vos questions à propos de la ludification, Brightspace Pulse, ou l’EAV en général.

Ready to try Brightspace? Did you know that all K-12 public school teachers in Ontario have free access to Brightspace as part of a provincial Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)? To get Brightspace for your classroom, reach out to your Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching (TELT) contact or email

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