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Customer Stories

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Customer Stories

Upgrading VLE is a Golden Opportunity to Upgrade Learning featured image
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Upgrading VLE is a Golden Opportunity to Upgrade Learning 36

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To promote active learning, Huddersfield University in the UK wanted to upgrade learning with a new virtual learning environment that could excite and engage faculty to use technology in innovative ways. Hear how this award-winning higher education institution is doing what they do best with our higher education VLE.   Video Transcript Speaking: Dr Daniel Belton, University Teaching Fellow - University of Huddersfield, UK The decision to move to Brightspace was a really big decision for us. Change management is always a challenge because our natural inclination is to resist change. So we’ve had an awareness campaign that’s really sort of made staff aware of what’s happening and why we’re doing this, and why it’s really important that we don’t just stay the same. You know if we stand still actually we’re going backwards. We really thought long and hard about what we wanted from VLE software, and we came up with over 2,000 criteria.  All too often, the online space can just be a passive content repository and what we really wanted was to get students actively engaged with the content and actively engaged with their learning.  We tested three different products and across the board in every category, Brightspace came out on top. That included you know the students testing it, they really loved it. Staff used it and they found it really intuitive to use. It’s going to be a lot of work to move from the old VLE to the new VLE, and we started off calling it a migration but then early on we decided actually that’s not the right terminology. We really wanted to use it as an opportunity to reinvigorate and re-energise how we teach online. Now it’s much more about how we can really get all the affordances of Brightspace, all of the fantastic opportunities that it gives us for promoting active learning.  We’re really getting people to think about the pedagogy of how they’re teaching and how they can use the online space to spport that. Something that we’re really excited about actually is some advanced development retreats that we’ve organised so this is two days away for staff, academics can sign up they have to fill in an application form and we’re funding fully funded places for staff just to get some time away and really focus on building some advanced features into their modules. We won the Graduate Teaching Excellence Award last year and we also got TEF Gold, which was a fantastic achievement for us, but these things don’t make us want to rest on our laurels, really these things motivate us to keep going to keep striving to be the best.  D2L really is our partner in delivering a fantastic education to our students and that’s really clear, that really comes across really clearly. 

Bridging the Triangle Between Parents, School, and Students featured image
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Bridging the Triangle Between Parents, School, and Students 32

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Students and Parents at The West Bridgford School in the UK are raving about the benefits of a mobile-friendly VLE. For the school, it’s never been easier to engage with parents and monitor the academic work of their students. See how WBS is creating a strong academic community that is helping students succeed throughout their unique learning journey.   Video Transcript Speaking: Mark Deans - Deputy Head Teacher The West Bridgford School "As a school, we are a very, very academic school, and our main key is learning in the whole of our focus is on learning and thinking and we were looking for some technological solutions to help us really leverage that triangle between home, school and what the pupils do between those two places. Brightspace, it’s been a really effective tool to do that." Speaking: Dan Alton - Teacher, The West Bridgford School "We don’t have any scraps of paper lying around anymore, it’s all in one place, we all have access to each other’s stuff so if we need to get, you know, sort of standardisation markings to file out we can all do it on there and there are no issues whatsoever. The students have access to their education from home straight away." Speaking: Matt Tansey - Student, The West Bridgford School "You can see all the grades you’ve got for anything and you can see sort of where you started and where you’re ending up and if you’re getting better or worse or anything that you need to change. So, there’s more of a relationship between student and teacher because you feel you can get their feedback clearer and easier than from writing than just text." Speaking: Lily Proudlove - Student, The West Bridgford School "On your phone or like on a tablet you can get notifications of when there’s a new grade put up or a homework new set so you can always get the deadlines and the times right." Speaking: Caroline Nolan - Parent "The fantastic thing about Brightspace as parents is that we’re able to, to look at a progress report and the grades and then interpret them which makes the parents evenings a lot more productive." Speaking: Dan Alton - Teacher, The West Bridgford School "The quality of homework that I’ve seen, the quality of classwork that I’ve seen from having Brightspace, and then having access to parts of it has gone up tenfold." Speaking: Mark Deans - Deputy Head Teacher The West Bridgford School "If students are consistently logging on in their own time at weekends, trying to find out what we’re up to and what materials I can access, discussions I can take part in, we know we’re doing the right thing." Speaking: Lily Proudlove - Student, The West Bridgford School "You can put overlays on it, so people have dyslexia, a lot of the time with colours it can seem quite confusing, whereas just putting an overlay just sorts it out completely. A lot of other people do struggle with having like dyslexia and like reading difficulties and it just, it’s just so much easier." Speaking: Caroline Nolan - Parent "We don’t need to check on them constantly, but what we really just are able to do is actually enjoy their journey as well in their learning."