Rising to the occasion
Throughout the years since the initial launch of its online learning program, the University of Guelph partnered with D2L and harnessed the Brightspace platform to design, develop, and deliver high-quality learning experiences. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has built on these solid foundations and effectively utilized the various tools within Brightspace to create engaging and authentic courses.
“We were actually D2L’s first customer, and we’ve worked collaboratively with them over the past 20 years on the design of the Brightspace platform,” recalls Michelle Fach. “Members of our team sit on various working groups to help refine and evolve the platform’s capabilities, so we enjoy a very strong, two-way collaboration that helps us transform teaching and learning.”
The University uses the Brightspace platform to underpin its CourseLink website, which allows students to access remote and online learning opportunities. For example, they can view course content, participate in discussions, submit assignments, and create videos, take quizzes, view their grades and so much more.
OpenEd has developed a remote teaching and learning website that provides instructors with resources, best practices, videos, instructional sessions, and access to one-to-one consultation in transitioning teaching strategies to remote learning. OpenEd also provides instructional design and technical expertise for courses that are intentionally developed for a fully online delivery. Using the Brightspace Pulse mobile app, OpenEd also gives faculty and students access to these tools and resources on the go, enabling learning anytime, anywhere.
The University is constantly exploring ways to utilize the platform in innovative ways. Natalie Green, Associate Director, Distance and Continuing Education at the University of Guelph, comments: “Right now, we’re partnering with D2L on a competency-based learning project that’s exploring how we help students develop skills via the Brightspace platform. We’re learning together, and I anticipate that the resulting insights will have a long-term impact on our approaches to online course design and delivery for the University.”