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Why K-12 Professional Development Is Best Offered in an LMS

  • 4 Min Read

The top five benefits of using an LMS for teacher professional development


Teachers, like their students, deserve every opportunity to benefit from digital tools. If we want our teachers to embrace new education technology, then it only makes sense to support them with training that aligns learning outcomes with learning paths. So why not leverage what a learning management system (LMS) like D2L Brightspace has to offer in the domain of professional development (PD)? 

Professional Development for Teachers: Five Benefits of Using an LMS 

Using Brightspace for teacher PD provides the same advantages as the ones enjoyed by K-12 students who use the platform through school, such as access to materials and supplementary content. It also helps enhance teaching and learning. In this blog post, we look at the top five benefits of using an LMS to facilitate educator PD.

1. Supports Personalized Learning Options

One of the joys of learning is forging new paths. Typical PD training can zap that joy, reducing the experience to an endurance test. An LMS that provides adaptive learning tools can be a professional development game changer. 

Brightspace allows school systems and schools to create a library of general professional development courses that can be accessed by educators, administrators, and education leaders. This library gives staff the ability to self-enroll in courses, empowering them to choose their own learning paths. Course designers can create custom learning paths using release conditions, which unlock new pathways and resources depending on learners meeting certain requirements, like passing a quiz. 

You can also use Brightspace to personalize learning using attributes—such as date hired, department, location or job title—to help group individual users into learning groups. That makes it easier to assign courses to users who have similar needs.

2. Provides Constant Access to Training

Learning when and where you want is powerful. Some people are at their peak at 8am, while others don’t feel ready to learn until 8pm. And for people who live in more remote areas, driving to in-person training can be an insurmountable barrier. Providing the flexibility of professional development through Brightspace helps teachers engage. 

Freed from the constraints of conferences or mandatory professional development meetings, teachers can work on their professional development interests when they’re ready and able, brightening what could otherwise be a dull requirement. 

Brightspace provides educators with courses and training that can be accessed outside of traditional PD events. Users can revisit material and content as much as they please, either to refresh their memory or inform specific teaching practices. Brightspace is also optimized for mobile devices, enabling teachers to access content online and offline. That removes many of the constraints associated with traditional PD, allowing learners to engage on the fly.

3. Uses the Same Learning Platform as Students

When teachers use their students’ LMS for their own learning, they’ll spend less time being trained on a second piece of technology. They’ll also be participating in the same learning environment as their students. 

Teachers who are also learners in an LMS are better equipped to field student questions, problems and confusions. This shared learning platform generates camaraderie between teachers and students as fellow learners and helps develop a sense of empathy and collaboration. This means that the teaching and learning dynamic becomes complementary. 

Plus, in Brightspace, it’s easy for teachers who are taking PD to navigate between courses they’re teaching and ones they’re taking using site tabs.

4. Reduces Time and Cost for PD

It’s often said that there’s not enough time in the day for everything a teacher must do. Traditional PD might require hiring substitutes to cover classes so teachers can gather in the same training session, or sending staff to conferences with a dedicated trainer. 

Using Brightspace for PD reduces the barriers associated with in-person learning. It can help school districts save time from developing their own training courses for teachers and staff with ready-made, interactive content. Districts can also leverage accredited content from providers to hit the ground running with pre-built courses.

5. Helps Develop Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

PLCs are groups of educators—teachers and administrators—who work collaboratively and share their experience to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. Within these communities, communication and collaboration are central components of improving pedagogy and student learning. 

Brightspace helps foster these communities, bringing educators together under one digital roof with an array of learning tools like discussions, surveys and self-evaluations. Teachers can use these tools as they share best practices and brainstorm innovative ways to improve learning and drive student achievement. 

Help Elevate Professional Development With Brightspace 

School administrators and decision makers have to help make sure that the PD needs of staff are being met. Brightspace helps give teachers and staff the next-generation tools they need to learn, develop and succeed. 

Whether you are facilitating compliance training, professional development or lifelong learning, the Brightspace platform helps give you the tools to facilitate high-quality programs that drive results.

Written by:

Zeina Abouchacra

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Table of Contents

  1. Professional Development for Teachers: Five Benefits of Using an LMS 
  2. 1. Supports Personalized Learning Options
  3. 2. Provides Constant Access to Training
  4. 3. Uses the Same Learning Platform as Students
  5. 4. Reduces Time and Cost for PD
  6. 5. Helps Develop Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  7. Help Elevate Professional Development With Brightspace