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Unleashing Educational Innovation: Empowering Educators to Craft Dynamic Learning Experiences


Since 1964, we’ve been helping students fit their studies around their busy lives— going back to when DeSales University was just a local college. Today, with a student body exceeding 3,000, we’ve stayed true to our pledge of ensuring accessible education for everyone, be it undergraduates, graduates or adult learners. Our commitment is rooted in our Salesian values, where we firmly believe that learning should energize and enrich students, steering clear of stress and inconvenience.

Over the years, we’ve seen technology play an increasingly central role in education. When online learning first became available, we saw it as a fantastic tool to add flexibility to our learning experiences. Initially, we introduced it in our graduate and adult courses, but it didn’t take long for us to realize its valuable role in helping our day students balance study with work, family, sports and recreation. That’s when we decided to expand our library of online resources and courses.

Unfortunately, our existing learning management system (LMS) simply wasn’t up to this task. We felt that it offered limited options for creating engaging courses, which ultimately meant that a lot of our course content was very text heavy and difficult for students to process.

To revitalize our online learning environment, we made the switch to D2L Brightspace in 2023. With its comprehensive suite of tools, Brightspace empowered us to create resources and online content that are both engaging and inspiring. However, upgrading our LMS was just one piece of the puzzle. Our instructors had grown accustomed to the limitations of the old system—we’re all creatures of habit, after all.

As we transitioned to Brightspace, we realized that effective change management was nearly as crucial as choosing a robust new LMS. D2L really went above and beyond in assisting with this aspect, providing a personalized touch and dedicating time to genuinely understanding our needs. In addition to guiding us through the technical aspects of implementation, D2L conducted comprehensive training sessions. This not only equipped us with the necessary skills but also allowed us to establish an internal support team for our instructors. Armed with this knowledge, we empowered faculty members to make the most of our innovative new solution.

Navigating change can be intimidating, yet transitioning to Brightspace was smoother than expected and revealed a myriad of fresh opportunities for us. While we feel we’ve barely scratched the surface of Creator+ (D2L’s course authoring tool), we’re eagerly anticipating leveraging the hot spot and carousel features to segment course content into digestible portions and prompt student engagement through brief quizzes. We also recognize the immense potential of Performance+ (D2L’s analytics tool) in enhancing student success, so we’re delving into how this solution can aid in monitoring student performance and identifying those who may require extra support.

While we’ve only just started the next chapter in our online learning journey, we’ve already received positive feedback from students; they really value the extra flexibility that asynchronous learning gives them. We plan to expand this capability in the coming months, and knowing that D2L will be there to support us every step of the way gives me confidence that we will succeed in our mission.

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