The University of Suffolk Selects D2L’s Brightspace to Modernise Its Student Learning Experience | Press Release | D2L Europe
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  • London

The University of Suffolk Selects D2L’s Brightspace to Modernise Its Student Learning Experience

Press Release

D2L, the global learning technology leader, today announced that the University of Suffolk has chosen the Brightspace platform to deliver a more personalised, engaging learning experience to its students.

After gaining university status in 2016, the University of Suffolk decided it needed to upgrade from its Blackboard learning platform to one that made the learning experience more modern, engaging and accessible. Following a rigorous tender process, which included staff and students testing Brightspace and offerings from Blackboard and Canvas, the University of Suffolk selected Brightspace. The platform was chosen for its ease-of-use, responsive design, learning analytics capabilities and flexibility.

“Following a review of our academic strategy, we knew we needed to modernise our learning platform,” said Ellen Buck, Head of Learning Services at the University of Suffolk. “As a university, we are fully focused on the student experience, therefore it was important that any platform we invested in was welcomed by those that would be using it.”

Aaron Burrell, Digital Learning Systems Manager at the University of Suffolk, delivered many testing sessions and said: “The students unanimously chose Brightspace as their favourite platform. Not only is it modern, responsive and engaging, but it enables our students to be in control of their own learning.”

Brightspace is being developed for students in the University’s new blended learning degree apprenticeship programmes in Nursing, Social Worker and Police Constable. It will then be implemented across the entire university.

“We were recently awarded Hefce (Higher Education Funding Council for England) funding that enabled us to develop three degree apprenticeships schemes in response to local need,” said Ellen Buck.“These students are often working remotely, therefore require a mobile, adaptable learning platform that enables them to work around their employment. Brightspace is fantastic as it supports a blended learning approach, which gives our students the flexibility to learn wherever and whenever they need to. Whilst other learning platforms we tested were restrictive, Brightspace enables us to teach how we want to teach, and our students to learn how they want to learn. D2L has been a breath of fresh air to work with and we look forward to continuing our relationship.”

Brightspace is mobile responsive, offers real-time analytics, a personalised learning experience and is built with accessibility in mind, all within one flexible Virtual Learning Environment. The dynamic and mobile Daylight interface lets instructors design courses easily, create content and grade assignments on their phone or tablet. Brightspace’s built-in analytics lets the University of Suffolk monitor courses tailored to each learner’s experience.

“We’re excited about working with the University of Suffolk as, like D2L, it is committed to a culture of lifelong learning,” said Elliot Gowans, Senior VP International, D2L. “Brightspace is transforming the University’s learning experience by making it much more adaptive, engaging, and accessible – three key attributes of modern learning. We look forward to extending our relationship with the University.”

Quick Facts:

  • 147 students and academic staff were involved in 40 Brightspace testing sessions before it was chosen
  • The tender process was conducted via the POISE framework to consolidate spend and reduce demand on procurement resources
  • Brightspace was up against Blackboard and Canvas, but came out on top during testing



At the University of Suffolk, we prepare our students for a world where nothing ever stays the same. We embrace change, and our students learn to embrace change too.

We have absorbed the best university traditions and aligned them with a twenty-first century audience and the modern world of employment and entrepreneurship.

Our purpose is to change lives – of individuals and communities – for the better. We embrace our role as independent stewards of community life and values; an anchor institution proud of its central ambition of working collaboratively to transform our local communities.

We are strongly embedded in the local region. Our unique, integrated partnership with three of the region’s Colleges is central to our identity and our vision for the future.

We have an attractive portfolio of courses within Arts and Humanities; Children, Young People and Education; Psychology, Sociology and Social Work; Business and Management; Health; and Science, Technology and Engineering.



Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform that makes online and blended learning easy, flexible and smart. Brightspace is a quantum leap beyond traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS)–it is easy to drag-and-drop content to create engaging courses, supports all mobile devices, has industry-leading up-time and is accessible for all learners. Plus, Brightspace enables the future of learning with a gaming engine, adaptive learning, video management, intelligent agents, templated interactives for course design, full support for outcomes or competency-based learning, and actionable learning analytics.

D2L’s Brightspace was recently named the #1 LMS in Higher Ed by Ovum Research and #1 in Adaptive Learning by eLearning Magazine. In addition, Aragon Research included D2L in its highly coveted Hot Vendors In Learning list.



D2L believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests. Working closely with clients, D2L has transformed the way millions of people learn online and in the classroom. Learn more about D2L for schools, higher education and businesses at

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