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Building Brilliance: How D2L and Quality Matters Bring Engagement and Quality to Online LMS Templates

  • 5 Min Read

Save time, increase engagement and boost retention with high-quality, strategically designed LMS templates.

Bethany Simunich
Dr. Bethany Simunich

Vice President, Innovation and Research, Quality Matters

Dr Cristi Ford
Dr. Cristi Ford

Vice President, Academic Affairs

topics

Imagine logging into an online course where the structure hums with organization, the activities whisper “engagement”, and the students buzz with an eagerness to learn. This isn’t a daydream—it’s the reality unlocked by a quality online learning experience, one that starts with a great LMS template. 

Beyond Basic Blueprints: The Power of Well-Designed LMS Templates 

D2L and Quality Matters (QM) are pleased to present a new paradigm: LMS templates infused with quality practices and standards. Research shows that using a strategically designed template, (like one of D2L Brightspace’s QM-aligned offerings), can positively impact everything from student retention and learning outcomes to instructor satisfaction and increased institutional ROI. Rather than starting from scratch, instructors can design their course within a well-crafted template that provides efficient navigation, good organization and placeholders for vital information.   

LMS templates embedded with good design practices have been meticulously crafted to support, streamline and scale online learning for instructors, students and institutions. To aid organizations and institutions in developing a template that reflects their commitment to quality online learning, D2L and QM have partnered to create a self-paced Master Class. In this free, publicly available workshop, you’ll engage with short presentations and examples that will guide you through the benefits of LMS templates, a basic process with examples, and a resource to aid with quality course design.

The “What, Why, and How” of Quality-embedded LMS Templates 

What are quality LMS templates?  

Think of them as pre-built frameworks, infused with best practices for online course design, development and delivery. They’re blueprints for success, ensuring consistency, organization, and adherence to recognized quality standards, like QM’s Rubrics for Higher Education, K-12 and Continuing and Professional Education.   

How can LMS templates help you elevate online course quality?  

The benefits of using a tried and tested template are substantial:  

For Instructors: Save time and energy by starting with a solid foundation. Easily tailor the template to your specific course content and pedagogy. Avoid reinventing the wheel and focus on what matters most: nurturing your students’ learning journey.  

For Students: Navigate your courses with ease, via consistent organization across modules, activities, assessments for all online courses at an institution. Feel confident knowing your instructor has designed their course with learning excellence as the North Star.  

For Institutions: Achieve greater learning outcomes and student satisfaction. Boost instructor productivity and course development consistency. Demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement and quality assurance.  

Quality LMS templates are built to empower, not restrict. They provide a springboard for creativity and adaptation, freeing you to personalize the framework and infuse your own teaching style within.  

Myth-Busting: Dispelling Common Concerns Around LMS Templates

Myth: Templates limit creativity and stifle flexibility.  

Fact: Templates provide a foundation, not a cage. You retain ultimate control and can customize them to suit your unique course and teaching approach. Templates do not impact your pedagogical approach or design creativity.   

Myth: Setting up and adapting templates is time-consuming.  

Fact: Quality templates are designed for ease of use. D2L and QM offer comprehensive resources and support to guide you through the process, making it smooth and efficient. Plus, even though it may take some effort to develop an LMS template, once it’s put into practice, it becomes a vital support resource that saves time and increases design efficiency.   

Myth: Templates make all courses look the same.  

Fact: Templates ensure consistency in structure and quality, but the content and delivery remain in your hands, allowing your course to reflect your unique personality and pedagogical style.

The Invitation: Your Journey to Learning Excellence Starts Now  

Join us for a virtual practical session on January 24th at 1:00pm ET.  We’ll explore how to use D2L x QM templates, provide tips for designing engaging online learning experiences and more.  

Register to save your spot.

Beyond the Master Class: An Exciting Research Project Awaits  

D2L and QM are also collaborating on a groundbreaking research project to gather data on the impact of quality LMS templates on student success and instructor satisfaction. By participating in this voluntary survey on LMS templates, you can contribute valuable insights on templates as a resource and tool for quality online learning. If you currently use an LMS template, you’ll be able to provide targeted feedback on its development, use, and benefits. For institutions and organizations that aren’t currently utilizing an LMS template, you’ll have the option to indicate interest in being a part of a national research study, where you’ll be mentored in LMS template development and collect data on its use, benefits, and more.


This post was jointly written by Dr. Cristi Ford, VP of Academic Affairs at D2L and Dr. Bethany Simunich, Vice President of Innovation and Research at Quality Matters (QM).

  

Written by:

Bethany Simunich
Dr. Bethany Simunich

Vice President, Innovation and Research, Quality Matters

Dr. Bethany Simunich is currently the Vice President for Innovation and Research at Quality Matters, an educational non-profit dedicated to quality online learning at all levels of education. In this role, Dr. Simunich leads efforts to help faculty, instructional designers, and institutions collect data and design research to make data-driven decisions beneficial to student learning, disseminate and apply online research findings, and further quality assurance implementation and goals.


Dr Cristi Ford
Dr. Cristi Ford

Vice President, Academic Affairs

Dr. Cristi Ford serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L. She brings more than 20 years of cumulative experience in higher education, secondary education, project management, program evaluation, training and student services to her role. Dr. Ford holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia and undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of Psychology from Hampton University and University of Baltimore, respectively.

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Table of Contents
  1. Beyond Basic Blueprints: The Power of Well-Designed LMS Templates 
  2. The “What, Why, and How” of Quality-embedded LMS Templates 
  3. Myth-Busting: Dispelling Common Concerns Around LMS Templates
  4. The Invitation: Your Journey to Learning Excellence Starts Now  
  5. Beyond the Master Class: An Exciting Research Project Awaits