Adopting a digital culture
In transforming to adopt a digital culture, the university started from first principles, with a strategy that focused specifically on teachers. If the teaching team has digital skills and is trained to work in virtual environments and embed digital technologies into their classes, then they will be able to share this knowledge with their students.
As a first step, a team from DEAMeT and a group of volunteer teachers were trained to use the Brightspace platform with support from D2L. Next, this team set up workshops to train more IBERO teachers in the basic use of the platform. Finally, DEAMeT established a permanent program of techno-pedagogical training, which has gradually grown to include courses and workshops on digital teaching skills and trends in educational innovation such as the flipped classroom. These education sessions can be delivered face-to-face, partially face-to-face, or via a hybrid model, and the number of teacher training courses has grown from four to more than 60 in 2019.
“We looked for a learning management system that would give our teacher training program flexible access to the full range of pedagogical possibilities provided by digital educational applications,” says Ana María Berruecos Vila, Director of DEAMeT.
“We didn’t want to be limited to using just the tools that were built into the platform, and we wanted to give teachers a simple, friendly and intuitive way to acquire new skills. Brightspace has been a great help in this process.”
In addition, with the analytics tools built into the Brightspace platform, teachers can track the progress of their students, monitor their performance, and identify any students whose academic results are at risk, so that they can help them by providing additional materials to reinforce their knowledge.
Furthermore, one of the main advantages of the Brightspace product suite is the Pulse smartphone app. Students needed an app that would allow them to review their assignments and assessments quickly, without feeling tied to a computer. With Pulse, both students and teachers can access the platform wherever they are.
Pulse has been a game-changer for students. The mobile app gives them everything they need to keep on top of their university career. From a single screen, they can easily visualize the amount of work they need to do, manage their deadlines, follow class discussions, receive notifications about their courses, and see when their latest grades are available. Moreover, students can view and complete course activities directly from their mobile devices.