A Need for Central Access to Professional Development
Durham District School Board (DDSB) is a K-12 school district located northeast of Toronto, Ontario, with roughly 135 schools, 72,000 students, and approximately 12,300 staff members. While DDSB had access to the Brightspace platform through Ontario’s provincial virtual learning environment, it began to see a large increase in demand for blended learning.
Before launching its Professional Learning Hub in D2L Brightspace, professional learning was offered through various means: face to face, online courses, and resources housed on the staff portal. Online courses included mandatory health and safety training and optional device training courses for educators who wished to obtain a teaching device.
DDSB had heard from its Health and Safety Department that there was a need to deliver training and track completion for all staff (not just educators who had access to D2L Brightspace for classroom use). There was also a plan to revamp the staff portal that currently housed many resources and find a better way to organize and centralize professional learning and access for all staff.
Through a district-wide initiative, staff were invited to suggest innovative ideas to change processes within the district. As a result, the Innovation Education department began to create on-demand courses for educators on D2L Brightspace.
Due to the pandemic, DDSB also needed to change the way that learning is delivered to staff. Through D2L Brightspace, they have been able to deliver professional development remotely and to provide flexible and timely training to staff who require it.
As a result, DDSB decided it would create a separate instance of D2L Brightspace for staff use. A landing page was created for all staff with links to face-to-face learning opportunities, the DDSB staff portal, and other key professional resources.