Awards | D2L Asia Pacific
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Awards & Recognition

We think our customers, partners, products, and staff are awesome, and we’re not alone! Check out our accomplishments below.

EdTech Breakthrough logo

EdTech Breakthrough

2020

Overall LMS Solution Provider of the Year

The EdTech Breakthrough Awards provide a platform for public recognition around the achievements of breakthrough educational technology in categories including e-learning, student engagement, school administration, career preparation, language learning, STEM and more.

Read more about EdTech Breakthrough"

Waterloo Area’s Top Employers logo

Waterloo Area’s Top Employers

2011 – 2021

This award exemplifies our ongoing commitment to establishing the best work environment. A variety of on-site amenities, support for employees work-life balance, employee development programs, and a company-subsidized social committee were highlighted as the primary contributing factors in our selection for the 10th consecutive year.

Read more about Waterloo Area’s Top Employers"

Canada’s Top Employers for Young People logo

Canada’s Top Employers for Young People

2012 – 2014, 2018 – 2021

This editorial competition recognizes employers offering the nation’s best workplaces and programs for young people starting their careers. D2L was recognized for the two-year graduate program that features rotations through four different product development teams.

Read more about Canada’s Top Employers for Young People"

Canada’s Best Employers for Recent Graduates logo

Canada’s Best Employers for Recent Graduates

2019 – 2021

D2L was selected for The Career Directory, a guide to entry-level recruitment for recent college and university graduates. Highlights for new graduates at D2L include various training opportunities, tuition subsidies (related to the job), a wide variety of new grad positions, & various work benefits.

Read more about Canada’s Best Employers for Recent Graduates"

Craig Weiss Group logo

Craig Weiss Group

2020

#1 Learning Management System for Associations

Analyst Craig Weiss named the Brightspace platform as the top learning management system for both EdTech and Associations. D2L was an award-winner in the Associations category last year.

Read more about Craig Weiss Group"

The Candidate Experience Award logo

The Candidate Experience Award

2019 – 2020

Top-Ranked CandE Award Winner

D2L named the top employer in the small employee category (2500 employees or less) – and number two employer overall. The Candidate Experience Award recognizes achievement in recruitment and delivering an exceptional experience for employment candidates.

Read more about The Candidate Experience Award"

Training Industry logo

Training Industry

2020

Top 20 Learning Management System (LMS) Companies (2020)

The Top LMS Training List is based on thorough analysis pf the capabilities, experience, and expertise of the LMS providers and is designed to help buy-side organizations in their search for the right training partners.

Read more about Training Industry"

Craig Weiss Group logo

Craig Weiss Group

2020

Top 20 Learning Systems for Associations

Global learning technology leader D2L has been recognized by prominent industry analyst Craig Weiss.

Read more about Craig Weiss Group"

SIIA CODiE Award logo

SIIA CODiE Award

2020

Best Professional Learning Solution for Faculty & Administrative Staff

The annual SIIA CODiE Awards recognizes the companies producing the most innovative Business & Education technology products across the country and around the world.

SIIA CODiE Award logo

SIIA CODiE Award

2019 – 2020

Best K-12 Learning Management System

Recognized by the annual SIIA CODiE Awards for the second year in a row. The prestigious CODiE Awards recognize the companies producing the most innovative Business and Education technology products across the country and around the world.

Diversity & Inclusion Award, Top Ten logo

Diversity & Inclusion Award, Top Ten

2019

World’s most attractive employers

Rated within the top ten most supportive, diverse, and inclusive employers in Canada in a survey of 23,000 students from over 150 Canadian colleges and Universities on Universum’s Diversity & Inclusion Index.

Read more about Diversity & Inclusion Award, Top Ten"

Ventana Research Digital Leadership Awards logo

Ventana Research Digital Leadership Awards

2019

Finalist, Human Capital Management

Congrats to our partner, Accenture, on being a finalist in the Human Capital Management category of the 2019 Ventana Research Digital Leadership Awards! The awards recognize vendors that contribute advancements in technology, drive change, & increase value for organizations.

Learning Technologies Awards, Gold logo

Learning Technologies Awards, Gold

2019

Best online distance learning programme

OnDemand is a unique programme combining the discipline of a classroom with the flexibility of independent study. It is data driven, responsive and places the individual at the centre of their learning experience.

Read more about Learning Technologies Awards, Gold"

Chief Learning Officer Learning in Practice Award logo

Chief Learning Officer Learning in Practice Award

2019

Excellence in Community Service

Humanitarian projects need support from aid workers, but they have a lot to learn before they can work in the field. ICF worked with D2L to design a blended learning experience to prepare volunteers for rapid deployment—helping to respond faster in post-disaster situations.

Read more about Chief Learning Officer Learning in Practice Award"

IMS Global Learning Consortium logo

IMS Global Learning Consortium

2019

Technical Excellence Award

D2L Platform and Standards Architect Viktor Haag received the IMS Technical Excellence award recognizing an individual with significant and sustained participation to create and publish an IMS standard. Contributions include authoring and reviewing the specifications, developing reference implementations, and providing a cross-specification perspective.

BIG Innovation Award logo

BIG Innovation Award

2019

D2L Brightspace Pulse

This annual business awards program recognizes the organizations, products and people that are bringing new ideas to life. Nominations were judged by a select group of business leaders and executives who volunteered their time and expertise to score submissions.

Read more about BIG Innovation Award"

Canada’s Best Managed Companies logo

Canada’s Best Managed Companies

2013 – 2020

Platinum Standard

D2L was selected as a recipient of the award given to organizations that demonstrate vision, passion, and achievement. Our overall business performance, sustained growth, and continuing efforts to the transformation of learning were cited as factors in receiving the award.

Read more about Canada’s Best Managed Companies"

Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Awards logo

Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Awards

2018

Best Advance in Learning Management Technology

Recognized for driving an innovative approach to employee learning and development. The partnership was awarded bronze for Accenture’s use of D2L’s Brightspace to power its INSEAD Online Strategy Certificate Program.

Read more about Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Awards"

36th LEAD Corporate Leadership Award logo

36th LEAD Corporate Leadership Award

2018

Best Use of a Learning Management System

HR.com honours Epworth’s transformation from an institution primarily focused on compliance training to an elearning organization committed to improved work practices, learner-led learning and digital literacy.

Read more about 36th LEAD Corporate Leadership Award"

Brandon Hall HCM Excellence Awards logo

Brandon Hall HCM Excellence Awards

2018

Excellence in Leadership Development

D2L & Accenture captured Silver at the Brandon Hall Human Capital Management Excellence Awards. The awards recognize the organizations that have most successfully deployed programs, strategies, modalities, processes, systems, & tools with measurable results.

Read more about Brandon Hall HCM Excellence Awards"

CLO Learning in Practice Awards logo

CLO Learning in Practice Awards

2018

Division 2 Gold, Innovation Award

Dr. Nancy Robert, EVP and chief product and marketing officer, was awarded the Innovation Award. The award is presented to learning executives who have applied innovative practices, processes, and/or technologies in order to address an organizational opportunity.

Read more about CLO Learning in Practice Awards"

CLO Learning in Practice Awards logo

CLO Learning in Practice Awards

2018

Excellence in Innovation Award

The awards recognize top industry leaders who excel in the design and delivery of employee learning and development programs. D2L was awarded Bronze for creating an interactive video player to help the TSO encourage students and teachers to tune in to Canada’s musical heritage.

Read more about CLO Learning in Practice Awards"

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards logo

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards

2018

Collaboration (Runner-up)

Evaluation was based on the use of cloud technologies to address collaboration between one or more individual institutions or between one or more branch campuses within an institutional system.

Read more about E&I Cloud Leadership Awards"

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards logo

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards

2018

Cloud Storage (Runner-up)

Recognizing higher education institutions for their innovation in cloud computing. Evaluation for this category was based on the use of cloud technologies to address institution-wide administrative & academic storage challenges for staff, faculty and/or students.

Read more about E&I Cloud Leadership Awards"

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards logo

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards

2018

Public/Private Cloud Security (Runner- up)

These awards recognize higher education institutions for their innovation in cloud computing. Evaluation for this category was based on the best application and/or approach to securing institutional public and/or private cloud resources.

Read more about E&I Cloud Leadership Awards"

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards logo

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards

2018

Innovation (Runner-up)

The E&I Cloud Leadership Awards recognize higher education institutions for their innovation in cloud computing. Evaluation for this category was based on the creative use of cloud technologies to address institutional challenges and/or operational efficiencies.

Read more about E&I Cloud Leadership Awards"

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards logo

E&I Cloud Leadership Awards

2018

Hybrid Iaas/Paas

The E&I Cloud Leadership Awards recognize higher education institutions for their innovation in cloud computing. Evaluation for this category was based on the best application and design for an institutional infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service solution.

Read more about E&I Cloud Leadership Awards"

Aragon Research Globe for Corporate Learning™ logo

Aragon Research Globe for Corporate Learning™

2017

"Leader" Distinction

D2L received a “Leader” distinction in the Aragon Research Globe for Corporate Learning™. D2L’s Brightspace was recognized for its differentiation in learner experience, social assessment, content creation and curation, integrated video across the platform, and analytics.

Read more about Aragon Research Globe for Corporate Learning™"

Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures logo

Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures

2017, 2020

Mid Market

D2L, for the second time, has demonstrated their mark of excellence in culture and performance by being among 10 mid-market corporations and awarded for their commitment and culture in 2020. This national program annually recognizes best-in-class Canadian organizations for having cultures that have helped them enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage.

Read more about Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures"

Learning Impact Awards logo

Learning Impact Awards

2017

Honorable Mention

St. Leo University’s implementation of D2L Brightspace was awarded Honorable Mention by the IMS Global Awards for 2017. IMS recognized the deployment of the learning management system because of its innovative use of technology to support and enhance learning.

Read more about Learning Impact Awards"

Best of Elearning! Awards logo

Best of Elearning! Awards

2017

Best LMS - Cloud

For the industry’s exclusive users’ choice awards, all nominations are made directly by users of solutions. D2L was chosen as the winner of the Best Learning Management System – Cloud category for its Instructional Design Wizard, TurnItIn integration, and flexible course delivery options.

Read more about Best of Elearning! Awards"

Waterloo Region’s Healthy Workplace Award logo

Waterloo Region’s Healthy Workplace Award

2016 – 2017

Platinum-Level Award

This award recognizes and celebrates workplaces in the Waterloo region that demonstrate a strong commitment to improved health for their employees. D2L encourages and supports the health and well-being of our employees. At D2L, we believe a healthy workplace leads to engaged employees, which contributes to a more effective and productive company.

Training Magazine’s Learning Design Challenge logo

Training Magazine’s Learning Design Challenge

2016

Silver Award: Brightspace Gamification & Silver Award: Analytics Suite

Training magazine rewards learning and development professionals for best practices in e-learning. D2L was chosen as a winner for its innovative learning analytics and gamification offerings.

IMS Learning Impact Awards logo

IMS Learning Impact Awards

2014

Platinum, Degree Compass

Recognizing the most impactful use of technology in support of learning worldwide, finalists are selected for having products and services that address the most significant challenges facing education. D2L is a two-time Platinum winner, recognized for its work with NYCDOE and Degree Compass.

Read more about IMS Learning Impact Awards"

Sustainable Waterloo Region logo

Sustainable Waterloo Region

2014

Leadership & Innovation Award

D2L received the award for our higher-than-average record of providing alternative commuting support through the TravelWise program. This award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated a strong commitment to—and creative solutions for—encouraging alternative transportation for employees. We were also recognized for our Eco Plan that rewards our Waterloo region employees who turn in their parking pass.

EY Entrepreneur of the Year logo

EY Entrepreneur of the Year

2013

Software and Technology

John Baker was recognized as Ontario’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Software and Technology category. The Canadian program honours the country’s most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award finalists are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.

Read more about EY Entrepreneur of the Year"

Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award logo

Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award

2013

Accessibility

In 2013, D2L received the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind for its groundbreaking work in accessibility. Specifically, this award is given to organizations and individuals who have made impactful contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality.

Read more about Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award"

EdTech Digest Awards logo

EdTech Digest Awards

2013

Leadership Award

The EdTech Digest Awards recognize technologies, trendsetters, and leaders throughout the education sector for their innovative contributions. As part of the 2013 EdTech Digest Awards program, D2L was chosen as a winner for its outstanding solutions in the field of education and technology.

Ovum “On the Radar” Award logo

Ovum “On the Radar” Award

2013

Best Implementation of Big Data and Analytics

For delivering an analytics solution that helps institutions develop meaningful insights from educational data, the Big Data category profiles organizations that have created new products, services, or processes to address previously unsolved challenges with an innovative approach.

Greater K-W Chamber of Commerce logo

Greater K-W Chamber of Commerce

2012

Business of the Year

This award recognizes an organization that makes an exceptional contribution to the business community through involvement and leadership while also acting as a role model in the community.

Read more about Greater K-W Chamber of Commerce"

Microsoft Public Sector Partner of the Year logo

Microsoft Public Sector Partner of the Year

2011 – 2012

Education Solution Partner

The award recognizes a partner that excels at providing innovative and unique solutions based on Microsoft technologies to education customers. D2L was recognized for exemplifying how innovative solutions can be delivered by embracing Microsoft technologies to deliver D2L Learning Suite.

Read more about Microsoft Public Sector Partner of the Year"

Best Small and Medium Employers logo

Best Small and Medium Employers

2010 – 2012

Top 50 in Canada

A national study named D2L one of the top 50 best small or medium-sized employers in Canada, citing high levels of employee engagement. This is a particularly important award for us, as employee opinion is the predominant factor in determining an organization’s overall score.

Read more about Best Small and Medium Employers"

Junior Achievement logo

Junior Achievement

2011

Business of the Year

The Business of the Year Award recognizes a company that is outstanding in all areas of business, with a history of leading-edge marketing strategies, support of youth throughout the community, exceptional corporate citizenship, and high quality standards.

Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ logo

Deloitte Technology Fast 50™

2011

Leadership Award

Candidates are judged on their ability to create a distinct competitive advantage in a high-growth market. A panel of subject matter experts evaluates companies based on several key criteria: competitive advantage, size, growth, market attractiveness, management effectiveness and organization, and financial performance.

National Federation of the Blind logo

National Federation of the Blind

2010 – 2011

Nonvisual Accessibility, Gold Level Web Certification

D2L has made a pledge to support the NFB nonvisual web accessibility program. We aim to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to annually test and certify D2L’s learning environment against the NFB’s standards, reflecting our belief in building inclusive design into our research and development practices.

Brandon Hall Learning Technology Award logo

Brandon Hall Learning Technology Award

2010

Best Advance in Technology in Learning Analytics or Reporting

The category looks for functionality related to collecting learning data, querying data, creating reports, visualizing data, comparing variables & data sets.

Read more about Brandon Hall Learning Technology Award"

IMS LearnSAT logo

IMS LearnSAT

2010

Best in Category Award, Learning Management System

D2L was the recipient of first place in the Learning Management Systems category, a Best in Category Award for learning management that was based on the results of the 2010 IMS Learning and Education Technology Satisfaction and Trends (LearnSAT) survey.

AMCA Awards logo

AMCA Awards

2007 – 2010

Platinum MarCom Award

D2L has received the prestigious MarCom Platinum Award in recognition of conference material and special event plans for our annual users’ conference, Fusion. Winners are recognized for their excellence in terms of quality, creativity, attention to detail, and resourcefulness.

Read more about AMCA Awards"

Fueling up:

Upskilling to grow careers

Name: Zaria
Age: 27

Policy prescriptions: Invest in a Learning-Integrated Life; Transform the learning of today with new partnerships; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

Zaria has five years of work experience and is ready to change jobs and enter a field that has high growth potential in her region. The national government has been investing in collecting better skills-based labour market information for years and has developed a public platform to offer individuals specialized tools to assess their skills against current market needs, and to locate employers that are currently hiring.

On the employer side, the human resources team is closely examining a recent internal skills audit done at their organization and determines that the organization needs additional digital marketing specialists. They initiate a search for individuals with the skills they will soon need and spot a strong candidate in Zaria who requires only light training on regulatory issues regarding the sale of electric vehicles, along with some formal skills development courses on social media marketing strategy. After a successful interview, Zaria is offered the job.

Upon joining, Zaria will receive an educational benefits stipend from the company, and access to a company-provided platform of curated programs for skills building from approved providers. Upon completion of a set of courses, Zaria will receive a credential from a company approved program verifying her technical knowledge and marking the end of her probationary period at the company. To ensure she continues to build her skills, she will move into a formal mentor program with one of her colleagues to receive continual peer-to-peer feedback on her demonstration of skills and knowledge. information

This affordable and accessible learning through employer-funded training has enabled Zaria to begin working while also upskilling to ensure her long-term success in the company and growing industry. The employer is investing in its employees, and company leaders are thinking further into the future about the skills the company needs, and the types of job candidates who will succeed. This match, based on skills potential, was made possible because of government investment in high-quality labour market information and a national platform that matches job candidates with career opportunities based on the candidates’ skills and the identified skill needs of a given job.

Taking the road less travelled:

A networked postsecondary education

Name: Sam
Age: 18

Policy prescriptions: Transform the learning of today with new partnerships

Sam is a prospective postsecondary student who has always been interested in pursuing a global and interdisciplinary education. Sam’s siblings have all instilled in her the importance of studying abroad, having spoken fondly of their academic exchange semesters, field research trips, and intensive language immersion programs. She is inspired, but unsure whether this pathway will be available if she chooses not to complete a four-year degree at one institution.

Sam is interested in understanding how emerging technologies can be used to modernize and improve government services—an area in need of talent not only in her home country of Canada but also abroad. She could take on a general political science, public administration, engineering, or computer science degree at the university close to her home, but none of those degrees feels like the right fit to build the skills she needs to pursue this career interest.

While researching options, Sam learns of a new degree completion pathway that allows students to take courses from a network of universities, colleges, and polytechnic institutions throughout Canada and stack them for skills-based  credentials that are recognized by major Canadian employers. A set of four of these credentials grants an individual a degree-equivalent endorsed by each institution. Sam identifies the skills and knowledge she wants to work towards and charts out four credential pathways:

  1. Service delivery design
  2. Change management
  3. Applications of emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence)
  4. Machinery of government

With this customized learning pathway, Sam has full flexibility to decide how she wants to structure her courses, the institutions within the network she will study at, and the format and model of courses she prefers—whether live in-class instruction or online courses.

Cost flexibility is built in as well—students pay a standard fee based on the number of competencies they intend to learn rather than the normal standard of ‘credit hours’. The province in which Sam lives has endorsed this networked model of  postsecondary education and adjusted its financial assistance program to better support students. Grants and other non-repayable assistance take into consideration the number of courses the student is taking across all institutions when assessing financial need. Previously, Sam would have been required to be a full-time student at every institution to receive support.

Sam also has the option of starting with foundational courses or applying for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) information so her existing knowledge and skills can be tested and she can move on to more advanced topics.

Sam completes her first three credentials in three years and uses her certifications to apply for a one-year work-integrated learning experience with the federal government in Germany where she can learn first-hand about the applications of artificial intelligence in government. When she returns home, she applies for PLAR to certify her learning on the machinery of government and is granted a degree acknowledging her four-part customized education.

The collaboration between universities, polytechnics, and colleges to create a networked approach to degree completion, and its endorsement by the provincial government, allowed Sam to graduate as an alumnus of multiple postsecondary education institutions. Her exposure to different thought spaces and networks was highly valuable for ensuring she was engaged throughout her education and set up for post-graduation success. In the rapidly evolving field she has chosen, she understands how important it is to continuously upskill, and is prepared to return to formal education for more stackable credentials as she continues throughout her career.

Route guidance:

Personalized professional development

Name: ZheYuan
Age: 33

Policy prescriptions: Prepare teachers for their own lifelong learning journeys; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

ZheYuan is about to join Marama’s school as a new secondary school teacher. He completed his professional teacher education a decade ago, and teaching looks a bit different today than it did when he was studying. With the incorporation of learning technologies in the classroom, and expectations of teachers delivering competency-based education information, he needs personalized professional development to feel comfortable and supported in this new opportunity.

The school district has been on its own learning journey since shifting to a competency-based education model, and has had some growing pains. Over time, the district has come to recognize that success depends on school administrators working closely with teachers to co-create systems of instruction, and pathways to professional development. The district has its own online learning management system (LMS) for teacher professional development, with a catalogue of content covering a range of subjects including:

  • Strategies for student-centred instruction
  • Design thinking—how to prototype and iterate on solutions to test new approaches
  • Online content—using learning management systems to advance competency-based education
  • Data analysis—interpreting student progress

ZheYuan is excited that he can take on professional learning to suit his needs on his own schedule. He recalls an earlier time when he had to spend nine hours a month in-person taking the same professional development courses as his peers who were teaching very different subjects and had varied skill levels and pedagogical needs than him, which was less than effective.

ZheYuan can also take advantage of his teacher community in the LMS, connecting both in asynchronous chats and in live discussions with other teachers and experts from across his region to ask questions and share his experiences. He sees some upcoming dialogues hosted by his school district to share learnings and signs up for those sessions, knowing he will get a valuable peer perspective from other teachers. ZheYuan is thankful that his school leaders recognize and value professional learning and provide the supports and the time needed for improvement.

D2L Whitepaper Contributors

Lead Authors:
Malika Asthana, Manager, Strategy and Public Affairs
Joe Pickerill, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, International

Contributors:
Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer
Mark Schneiderman, Senior Director, Future of Teaching and Learning
Brendan Desetti, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, United States
Mike Semansky, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, Canada
Nia Brown, Senior Manager, Strategy and Public Affairs

In the driver’s seat:

Owning the personalized learning journey

Name: Marama
Age: 14

Policy prescriptions: Prepare teachers for their own lifelong learning journeys; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

Marama is enrolled in a school with a competency-based education model information. Students are responsible for owning the personalization of their learning pathways, making choices alongside their teachers in how and when they learn.iii Teachers play a central role in guiding and validating all learning, regardless of where it takes place—offering formative assessments to evaluate a student’s mastery of skills and knowledge. Teachers use data from these assessments, gathered through an online learning management system (LMS), to differentiate instruction and provide targeted supports so that all students progress toward graduation. As a student diagnosed with a learning disability, Marama is supported in her education by this personalized learning pathway.

All students complete an assessment in ninth grade to identify their natural strengths as a learner. Their teachers use the results as inputs to design tailormade educational pathways with learning materials and activities that suit the individual students’ learning needs. In Marama’s case, this includes:

  1. Supplementing lecture-based teaching with structured but independent reading
  2. Shadowing professionals who work on the concepts she is learning about
  3. Taking the stories and lessons she’s learned and sharing it back with classmates by designing a creative and interactive presentation

Over the course of the school year, Marama spends a third of her time in live lectures (sometimes online) with her teacher alongside other classmates—but the rest of her time is spent learning in the ways that suit her best. She can log into her online LMS from her mobile device to access her school resources and complete on her own schedule before the assigned deadline. When Marama finds a concept that interests her, she can ask her teachers and counsellor for support in finding a working professional to speak to, or work alongside for a couple weeks, from the network her school has curated over time. And when she has learned something, she is encouraged to reinforce her learning by applying her skills and developing content to share back with her classmates.

Marama’s personalized learning journey empowers her to own her education by learning in ways that are effective for her, with the support that allows her to be successful. Her teachers have high-quality data about student strengths and performance they can share with her parents to show them how she is mastering specific skills, and where she may need extra support. Her school experience empowers her to embrace her subject interests very early on, and she advances to deeper topics quickly as she submits evidence of learning that demonstrates her proficiency. She graduates having cultivated a mindset for self-directed learning early in her education.