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Technological University Dublin

Adopting D2L Brightspace for a consistent user experience

Technological University (TU) Dublin is a higher education institution in the Republic of Ireland, serving the needs of students from apprenticeships up to PhD. The university’s 26,000+ students study across five faculties and three campuses, supported by over 3,000 staff. In 2023/24, TU Dublin navigated a change programme to migrate from three virtual learning environments to a single platform to improve the user experience and support future plans for integrated technology.

Client

Technological University Dublin

Platform
  • D2L Brightspace

INTERVIEWEE

  • Eamonn O’Brien, senior manager VLE

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Evaluation of learning platforms and their suitability for TU Dublin
  • User-centric change management programme
  • Scope for further future platform integration and improvement

It’s important that TU Dublin students have the same experience—irrespective of which campus their primary course of study is located on—to feel part of one organisation.

Eamonn O’Brien, senior manager VLE

Challenge

To streamline digital learning technologies

TU Dublin was formed in 2019 by bringing together three separate institutes of technology, each with its own digital strategy and governance. TU Dublin’s campuses in Dublin City already used Brightspace, whilst the Blanchardstown and Tallaght campuses used an alternative virtual learning environment (VLE) . The challenge was to align the newly formed single organisation under one VLE and optimise the experience for students and staff.

“For TU Dublin, digital education is a key strategic focus. TU Dublin will be an agile, technology-enabled, modern university, that facilitates learners in a advanced digital world” explains Eamonn O’Brien, senior manager VLE at the university. “TU Dublin’s focus is creating a technology-enabled university that enhances the student experience and supports the streamlining of information and operations. Moving to a single VLE, Brightspace will ensure we are meeting our strategic intent.”

A change of digital learning platform is always an adjustment. Change can be unsettling and disruptive, and TU Dublin wanted to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“We were using two of the most popular VLE platforms in Ireland so the choice, from a benchmarking perspective, would be to stay with one of those,” says Eamonn. “From an operational perspective, we have in-house expertise for both, so going forward this would reduce the implementation and training costs.”

TU Dublin is committed to delivering a digitally enhanced learning experience. It set out to align around one VLE with two main objectives. Firstly, to provide a common, cohesive and consistent experience for staff and students, irrespective of their campus, faculty or programme of study. Secondly, to streamline the website and knowledge base and lastly, to improve the support experience.

Solution

Brightspace is the platform of choice

Over semester one 2022/23, the TU Dublin team compared, contrasted and evaluated Brightspace and the other VLE in use. The goal was to select an out-of-the-box solution, with minimal to no customisation, that would meet the technical and pedagogical needs of the academic community.

“We wanted to establish which platform most closely aligned with our technical architecture and could provide the flexibility and workflows required by our staff and students. Following this evaluation, Brightspace was chosen.”

Brightspace proved itself to be a very robust, accessible and cutting-edge platform.

Eamonn O’Brien, senior manager VLE

A number of stand-out features and capabilities contributed to the team’s decision. These included Brightspace’s reporting functionality, the level of support from D2L, the ability to see tabbed history of a student’s course, and no downtime during rollover.

“It also has a large community site as a repository for documentation and access to a community of practice,” adds Eamonn. “There is a 24/7/365 helpdesk available to access via chat.”

Results

Supporting Brightspace’s introduction and planning ahead

During the academic year 2023/24 TU Dublin is supporting the implementation of Brightspace with a comprehensive staff training regime and engagement events.

Eamonn explains that his priority is to stabilise operations behind the unified VLE and enable staff to gain the most benefit from all the platform has to offer.

However, the team has big plans, including integrating the platform with the university’s student records management system. “I also want to rationalise our website and review all content,” adds Eamonn. “I want to maximise the opportunities of a single VLE, focusing on promoting and improving.”

I have found all of the D2L team extremely supportive, knowledgeable, patient, willing and ready to engage.

Eamonn O’Brien, senior manager VLE

TU Dublin embarked on a comprehensive change programme to implement Brightspace across its faculties and campuses . It succeeded in setting a technology strategy for a single, consistent VLE to harmonise the student and staff experience and provide a foundation for growth and technological innovation. As TU Dublin continues to expand its use of Brightspace across the university and enhance and refine its use of the learning platform, it can rely on its partnership with D2L.

Discover Brightspace for higher education, visit d2l.com/en-eu/higher-education.