Leading the way
As one of the first institutions to harness the power of online learning, CCNB is always looking for new ways to empower instructors to deliver impactful lessons and help a wider variety of students enhance their learning. They need education technology such as a learning management system (LMS) to reach students who might not be able to attend a physical classroom or who might live 4-time zones away.
René-Jean Aubé, Technical Analyst at CCNB, explains: “We have been providing online learning for external students for many years, and we wanted to help our instructors and students harness the same tools in the classroom too. As well as increasing the adoption of our digital learning solutions, we also aimed to diversify the education we offer. For example, we wanted to build courses for students with different ability levels, deliver those courses flexibly to fit the mobility of students’ and instructors’ lifestyles, and facilitate collaboration with partner institutions across New Brunswick.”
Digital technology was a key ingredient in CCNB’s plan to evolve its online learning offerings. They want to empower instructors to become not only proficient in using education technology, but also innovators when it comes to developing new ways to teach both online and in the classroom.
To address accessibility issues, CCNB is reviewing the integration of Brightspace with ReadSpeaker, a text-to-speech solution that can help people who are visually impaired or have low literacy levels, dyslexia or other issues that make it difficult to engage with text. Aubé explains, “diversity is vital to our mission, Brightspace allows us to open up our courses and help people who have traditionally been left behind by educational institutions.”
We were looking for a versatile, user-friendly online learning platform that could be easily integrated with other applications.René-Jean Aubé
Speaking the same language
The D2L team worked alongside the CCNB team to help with migration and ensure a smooth implementation process. “We expected it to take a year, but it only took 6 months,” says Aubé. “And that’s a huge positive for us. It’s like I’m talking with someone I’ve worked with for years. It makes it much more warming to work with people who are friendly and knowledgeable at the same time.”
CCNB is currently working with D2L creative services to create new content, courses, and new ways of interacting with students. The goal is to support instructors and instructional designers to use their pedagogical expertise to enhance the online learning space.
Instructors and administrators have told me that the biggest thing they’ve noticed is the ease of use. When putting students into the system, they won’t have to spend hours to train.René-Jean Aubé
Easy maintenance in the cloud
Because Brightspace is a cloud-hosted solution, CCNB no longer needs to spend time and effort manually maintaining the platform.
Aubé explains, “When we hosted our system on-premises, we spent a lot of time on administrative work. Brightspace is updated monthly, allowing CCNB to get the latest tools as quickly as possible, pushed out automatically across all devices. But because of incremental changes, they are better able to help faculty and students to get used to new updates. Because of continuous delivery, we can focus our own IT resources on developing new course content instead of troubleshooting technical issues.”
Integrate to innovate
To further enhance its learning platform and course content, CCNB has integrated several third-party solutions into its Brightspace platform. Says Aubé, “The D2L platform can be easily integrated with third-party APIs, which opens up so many options. For example, we’ve integrated tools to create virtual classrooms with live video streaming.”
Engaging learning for all
Today, CCNB is better equipped than ever before to empower a more diverse range of students to acquire, apply and develop new skills. “We were able to migrate more than 98% of our existing course content to Brightspace without experiencing any issues,” says Aubé.
Working with D2L has been amazing. They have completely transformed our learning platform, empowering us to provide instructors and students with a richer variety of innovative learning resources.René-Jean Aubé
Building stronger partnerships
Besides enabling instructors to teach at multiple institutions, CCNB is also using the D2L solution to share resources and content with other institutions in New Brunswick.
“Brightspace makes collaboration much easier,” comments Aubé. “Most other schools and universities in New Brunswick utilize D2L, so it’s effectively a standard platform.