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D2L Announces 2023 Excellence Awards Winners

D2L acknowledges innovators delivering diverse features and tools to help make learning more personal, engaging, and meaningful

Press Release

D2L, a global learning technology company, today announced the recipients of D2L’s 2023 Excellence Awards, which recognize educators, trainers, and leaders in employee engagement who have used D2L Brightspace to help deliver learning experiences that are innovative, collaborative, or have made an extraordinary impact on learning outcomes. Nominations could be submitted for an individual, team, program, or organization. 

“We are inspired by the ways that institutions around the world are using D2L Brightspace, and proud to celebrate innovative leaders pushing to reach and engage more learners,” says John Baker, CEO of D2L. “The 2023 Excellence Awards showcases creative thinking that delivers better outcomes in orientation and registration, justice-impacted learning, and professional development. We’re looking forward to celebrating these world-class exemplars at our Fusion conference this July and throughout the year.” 

American Prison Data Systems 

“The Master Plan” and “Liberation Education” are two “Inside Knowledge” D2L Brightspace courses that incorporate engaging digital experiences to help educate and motivate the justice-impacted learner while equipping them to earn a living wage career.  Co-created by APDS and formerly incarcerated teachers – best-selling author Chris Wilson and Kimonti Carter, advocate for the justice-impacted community – these are the first of many “Inside Knowledge,” courses built using APDS’s D2L HTML Template and Creator + that will be taught and co-created by experienced, inspiring teachers who themselves are system-impacted. These courses act as bridges to support learners through inner reflection and goal setting, while helping to prepare learners for the rigor of career pathways. They are uniquely designed to meet the learner “where they’re at” while helping to prepare them with career skills. 

York Technical College 

The Institute for Teaching Excellence (ITE) at York Technical College (Rock Hill, South Carolina) has implemented multiple D2L Brightspace integrations and new tools and expanded the use of D2L Brightspace to faculty and staff areas across campus. The ITE has implemented or piloted S3, Creator+, Competencies, Portfolio, the New Content Experience, and Awards this past year within the Brightspace environment. It has also expanded its D2L usage to include additional faculty and staff training and professional development courses, and reimagined virtual student orientation and admissions experiences. The ITE also facilitated a D2L and Colleague integration that helped make student enrollment and unenrollment easier and faster, while minimizing manual processes for several areas of the college. 

Deakin University 

Rising rates of students studying online, part-time, and from abroad are challenging educators to innovate equitable learning opportunities for everyone. When teaching client interviewing skills, Deakin University (Victoria, Australia) met this challenge by providing learners with an online interview simulation in D2L Brightspace. The simulation is an equitable access resource for practicing skills and receiving high-quality feedback. It presents students with a virtual interviewee and has them navigate the role of interviewer by selecting questions to pose. Formative feedback is delivered in real-time. The simulation has helped to significantly improve self-guided learning: there has been over a 40% rise in students accessing D2L resources to help their interviewing. Students’ average grades have also risen significantly from a Credit to a Distinction. Educators looking to provide equitable opportunities in decision-making or problem-solving tasks could benefit from adopting simulated experiences in Brightspace. 

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology 

The virtual LaunchPad student onboarding program at the School of Business in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Calgary, Canada) is a innovative approach to helping students transition smoothly into post-secondary education and to help them succeed in their academic journey. LaunchPad is available to students from the moment of program registration through its completion, functioning as a dynamic communication hub that evolves with the student as they progress through the program. The innovative use of new and existing tools within D2L Brightspace provides a holistic approach to better orient learners to the post-secondary learning environment and promote student engagement and persistence. The insights and experiences gained from developing and implementing LauchPad within D2L Brightspace can be valuable for other institutions looking to develop similar initiatives in support of increased student engagement, success, and retention. 

Georgia Gwinnett College 

In 2015, a group of researchers at a medium-sized college in suburban Atlanta sought to answer the question: Are our preservice teachers prepared to teach in a virtual environment? The researchers at Georgia Gwinnett College (Lawrenceville, Georgia) determined the answer was “no.” Although students were able to use D2L Brightspace – the institution’s learning management system (LMS) – for the courses they were taking, they were not being prepared to use an LMS to support online teaching and learning as future educators. The Technology Integration Project was developed in 2016 to help. Researchers designed the project with an emphasis on preservice teachers developing Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and understanding the relationships between and among technology and teaching (Koehler and Mishra, 2006). As a result of the project implementation, preservice teachers became more prepared to teach in various online formats and became technology leaders in their schools. 

About D2L   

D2L is transforming the way the world learns—helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our growing global workforce is dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than they found it. Learn more at  


Tory Waldron
Director, PR, D2L Corporation
[email protected]

Twitter: @D2L

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