D2L, the global learning technology leader, has announced that Ghent University has chosen the Brightspace platform to enable a more flexible, collaborative and innovative teaching model that promotes active learning and provides lecturers with the flexibility to create more engaging lesson plans.
UGent is a top 100 university and one of Belgium’s largest leading institutions of higher education, with over 41,000 students and 9,000 staff members. Since its establishment, Ghent University has produced many prominent alumni, including Robert Cailliau (Internet Pioneer), Dirk Frimout (astronaut) and Peter Piot (United Nations), whilst employing Nobel Prize winners Corneille Heymans and Maurice Maeterlinck.
Today, Ghent University is one of the leading institutions of higher education and research in the Benelux region, with campuses not only in the Ghent region, but also in Courtrai, Ostend, Bruges and South Korea.
A key aspect of Ghent University’s educational strategy is the promotion and encouragement of active learning, wherein students can study more practically and develop an ongoing learning behaviour, rather than passively receiving information from lecturers. Ghent University chose the Brightspace platform as it enabled this model of teaching through the easy implementation of rich content to create interactive, collaborative and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom.
The decision to implement the Brightspace platform was made in June 2018, and Ghent University deployed the Brightspace platform across the university in phases, with a university-wide rollout completed in September 2019. The Brightspace platform was first used by a number of professors from varied academic disciplines, so they could share their experiences with other professors before the rollout was complete.
“Brightspace is being well received by the lecturers currently using it, and its increased functionality and usability over our previous system is helping push forward our strategy for more active learning teaching model. Those lecturers and professors are passing on their new Brightspace skills to other members of faculty and to students, so everyone will be able to benefit immediately from this new platform, which will be known as Ufora by users at Ghent University. This name was chosen as part of a competition among employees and students at the university,” said Frederik Gailly, Business Project Leader, Ghent University.
Although not part of the initial criteria for Ghent University in choosing the Brightspace platform, the robust feature set has inspired lecturers to embark on additional new teaching models. A flipped classroom approach has subsequently been adopted by many of the lecturers, wherein students can learn pro-actively in their own time, freeing up lecturers to pursue alternative and more rewarding classroom activities or lesson plans.
Professor Veerle Fack, one of the Ghent University lecturers using Brightspace explains: “Brightspace is a real help for me in building a flipped classroom course like this. I don’t have traditional lecture notes for my students to read but I have videos and exercises and website links. Brightspace allows me to compile this rich content in a coherent system that directs students to the materials they need to learn. So far, my students are reacting very positively to the flipped classroom approach, and this wouldn’t be possible without Brightspace.”
“D2L is proud of its work with Ghent University and in helping them build great learning experiences more easily. We will continue our shared goals in creating a more engaging, active learning environment for students. We hope to continue our support for future learning in line with the university’s own objectives, as lecturers continue to explore Brightspace’s features. We look forward to Brightspace being at the heart of Ghent University active learning strategy,” said Elliot Gowans, senior VP International, D2L.
- The Brightspace platform was initially deployed in September 2018, with a full rollout completed in September 2019
- The Brightspace platform will enable a more active method of learning, allowing teachers to deliver a creative, collaborative and innovative teaching model and build digital competency across the university
ABOUT GHENT UNIVERSITY
Ghent University is a top 100 university and one of the major universities in Belgium. Its 11 faculties offer a wide range of courses and conduct in-depth research within a wide range of scientific domains. It is also the first European university on the Songdo Global University Campus in South Korea.
Ghent University counts more than 44,000 students and 15,000 employees. With a view to cooperation in research and scientific service, numerous research groups, centres and institutes have been founded over the years. Several of them are renowned worldwide, in various scientific disciplines such as biotechnology, aquaculture, microelectronics and history. For more information, please visit https://www.ugent.be/en
Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform built by educators, for educators that works on any device. It’s secure, worry-free technology that puts customers first — allowing you to create engaging courses within your existing technology to fit your unique needs. With Brightspace, you can easily set up individualized learning paths for your students, keep them on track with automated nudges, provide them with personalized feedback and increase their engagement through gamification, social tools, video and other powerful features.
Brightspace is the only learning platform chosen as a partner of the National Federation of the Blind’s Strategic Nonvisual Access Partnership program, which has been redesigned as their Centre of Excellence in Nonvisual Access. Brightspace was named the #1 LMS in Higher Ed by Ovum Research and #1 in Adaptive Learning by eLearning Magazine. Aragon Research also included D2L in its highly coveted Hot Vendors In Learning list. To learn more, visit the Higher Education and K-12 pages on our website.
D2L believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests. Working closely with organizations globally, 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 www.D2L.com.
D2L Press Contact
Jamie Waddell and Laurence Cooper
Finn Partners, 020 7017 8434
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