Moving all learning online
The initial implementation of the Brightspace platform had been a big success, so the University decided to scale up its use of D2L’s learning management tools and support services to help it handle the new requirements created by the COVID-19 crisis. From the outset, the University was confident that the Brightspace platform would be able to cope with the sudden increase in user numbers.
“As a software-as-a-service solution, we knew that the Brightspace platform offered the robustness required to support the move of all our classes online,” explains Vanessa Cox. “With a cloud-based platform, we don’t have to worry about our own network handling the massive rise in traffic, or the risk of infrastructure failures on campus. We knew D2L had us covered.”
As the first step in the switch online, the University built websites for remote learners and faculty members. The sites include quick access to the Brightspace platform and guidance for educators on how to use the online tools, in addition to advice on sharing PowerPoint presentations, notes, and prerecorded lectures.
Next, the University created a new shell in the Brightspace platform for virtual tutoring, enabling the academic success team to run virtual classroom sessions. In total, the University has 68 tutors running classroom sessions in just one shell, where they can use their chosen videoconferencing tools to conduct tutoring sessions.
The University also stepped up communications with its D2L End User Support Manager.
“Any time that we raise an issue, we know that our D2L contacts will either solve it or escalate to ensure we receive a quick fix. The quality of support has been fantastic; we could easily have been overwhelmed as such a small team, but we never feel alone with the D2L support team on our side.” – Vanessa Cox, Director of Online Learning, University of Dallas