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Edmonton Catholic School District (ECSD)

Revelation Online


Revelation Online delivers flexible online school programs that help high school students succeed.

At a glance

Client: Edmonton Catholic School District (ECSD)
Students: 3,000

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Interviewee

  • David Nesbitt, Online Consultant—Revelation Online, ECSD

Highlights

  • More than 90% success rate of all students who enroll in Revelation Online complete their courses
  • Students unable to attend a traditional high school receive a quality education
  • Revelation Online plays a major role in the graduation rates of many high schools students
Edmonton Catholic School District (ECSD) Logo

School

Revelation Online, using D2L’s Brightspace platform, is a virtual high school classroom where learners and teachers collaborate. It’s dedicated to providing educational opportunities to everyone. Revelation Online delivers high-quality student experiences with a lean team.

"We really appreciate how the Daylight user interface makes the Brightspace mobile experience so responsive and intuitive. All the learning capabilities of the desktop version are easily accessible— even the more complex interactive elements of our courses."

David Nesbitt, Online Consultant—Revelation Online, ECSD

Summary

Revelation Online aims to ensure that all students— including those unable to attend a traditional high school—have access to high school courses. Using the Brightspace platform from D2L, Revelation Online offers a virtual classroom environment, empowering learners to study flexibly and complete courses at their own pace.

Making Learning Flexible

Founded in 1888, ECSD is the Catholic School Division of Edmonton, Canada. In its School of Alternative Education Services, Revelation Online strives to deliver flexible school programs for students who need an alternative to a traditional high school.

David Nesbitt, online consultant for Revelation Online at ECSD, explained, “Not every student is able to complete a typical high school education program. Whether it’s for students with medical conditions or those training for sports or athletic competitions, we aim to deliver alternate programs that allow every learner to be successful in completing high school.”

As a government-funded program, ECSD’s School of Alternative Education Services is always looking for innovative ways to deliver high-quality education programs within the constraints of lean budgets and teams. “Funding has always been a big challenge, but it’s crucial for us to provide responsive and effective support for the students, even with a relatively small staff,” continued Nesbitt. “As well as teaching our classes, our educators are responsible for developing and regularly updating course content—a key requirement to minimize the risk of plagiarism.”

Offering programs online

To deliver flexible high school programs to students across the district, Revelation Online, an online learning environment that enables students to study in virtual classrooms with their peers and teachers. Revelation Online allows each learner to pursue an independent, self-paced path.

“One of the big benefits we see in the Brightspace platform is the fact that it is delivered from the cloud,” commented Nesbitt. “Our district Information Technology department typically needs to perform maintenance on our systems during the evening, on weekends or over holidays—times when our students are likely to be working. We are on a planned monthly update program with D2L that is done live and has very little impact on our end-user experience, which helps maximize the availability of our platform for students.”

student on tablet at home

Delivering a responsive mobile experience

With the Daylight user interface, Brightspace makes it easy for students to navigate courses and for instructors to update them—on both desktops and mobile devices.

“Our students were born online, and mobile devices play a huge role in how they consume content and interact with their peers,” said Nesbitt. “We really appreciate how the Daylight user interface makes the Brightspace mobile experience so responsive and intuitive. All the learning capabilities of the desktop version are easily accessible—even the more complex interactive elements of our courses.” Using D2L’s Brightspace platform, Revelation Online is shaping student-centric course materials that help drive engagement of learners.

“Because we’re offering a self-paced journey, it was important to us to design courses with as few time restrictions and deadlines as possible. Working with D2L has allowed us to achieve exactly that. Our students can access their course materials at times that suit them and complete the required tests and quizzes whenever they are ready.” – David Nesbitt, Online Consultant—Revelation Online, Edmonton Catholic School District

Inspiring high student engagement

By embracing the Brightspace quiz tool, Revelation Online can incentivize students to maintain momentum throughout the programs they are working with.

“We’ve found that due dates and deadlines are poor motivators when it comes to student engagement and achievement,” said Nesbitt. “By setting up release conditions in Brightspace, we can tailor when and how much new content is released to each student based on their individual scores on a quiz, for example. The solution also enables us to randomize the questions, ensuring that two students taking the same exam won’t see the same questions.”

“The Brightspace quiz tool is phenomenal; I don’t think I’ve seen a better quiz tool out there in terms of user-friendliness and versatility. One of the teachers in our math department has been a true pioneer with the tool. He has set it up so that his students can submit a practice quiz online but won’t be able to access the real quiz until they have submitted any corrections to their practice quiz to him for review.” – David Nesbitt, Online Consultant—Revelation Online, Edmonton Catholic School District

"With Brightspace, we get practically all of the core functionalities we need to deliver our online education program straight out of the box. The support we receive from D2L is excellent, and their team always goes the extra mile when we need a little additional help—freeing our team to focus on the learning experience for our students."

David Nesbitt, Online Consultant—Revelation Online, ECSD

Setting learners up for success

With Brightspace at the heart of the program, Revelation Online is achieving its goal of delivering outstanding learning experiences with a lean team and budget.

“With Brightspace, we get practically all of the core functionalities we need to deliver our online education program straight out of the box,” continued Nesbitt. “The support we receive from D2L is excellent, and their team always goes the extra mile when we need a little additional help—freeing our team to focus on the learning experience for our students.”

By enabling learners to study at their own pace, Revelation Online helps ensure positive student outcomes and high success rates at the end of its programs.

“We have many students who join us from grade 10 and need more than the usual three years to complete all their courses—and with Revelation Online, we can offer them that flexibility,” explained Nesbitt. “We have very high success rates, and our completion rates are an average of 80% overall and more than 90% for some classes, and the Brightspace platform is a big part of what makes those outcomes possible.”

Revelation Online’s students and teachers alike have become big fans of the Brightspace platform. “You can choose the best learning management system in the world, but if you don’t have the staff that are going to use it properly to engage the students, then it’s all for nothing,” concluded Nesbitt. “Our teachers truly recognize the value of Brightspace, and they are some of the most passionate innovators and advocates of the D2L solution. The combination of great teaching and a great platform is one of the reasons our students are so successful—and it’s always a pleasure to see our learners achieve their goals.”

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