MITT to launch college-wide learning management system (LMS) for fall

Originally posted: April 09, 2020

After a two-year piloting phase of various LMS options at MITT, a match has been found: D2L Brightspace—a Canadian-based LMS used widely by secondary and post-secondary education providers across the country.

Adopting a single LMS across campus will yield many benefits for instructional staff, students, and the Institute.

From the teaching perspective, an LMS opens a range of possibilities to develop and deliver online content in support of traditional in-class practical training; it provides a secure and centralized location for all course information and content; and it gives instructors myriad new options for flexible and creative interaction opportunities with students.

Students benefit from familiarity with a system many of them may have already used, real-time feedback on assignments and, in situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, safe and remote access to content, instructors, and classmates through the web.

The benefits to MITT include significant reduction of the paper required for traditional coursework; the long-term potential to deliver courses remotely, which would reduce the burden of finding physical space for courses on our campuses; and the ability to better understand and enhance our learners’ experiences through the feedback they provide within the D2L platform. 

The deployment schedule for D2L Brightspace is happening in two phases: a targeted, soft-launch in spring followed by a college-wide rollout for Fall 2020.

“We are excited about bringing this support to our teaching and learning teams,” says Mark Derro, Vice President, Academic. “D2L Brightspace will make a valuable contribution towards creating enhanced learning environment for our students and providing additional opportunities and supports for student success.”

What is D2L Brightspace/what is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
LMS is a broad term for a platform that hosts content for delivery to students and provides tools for communication and assessment.

D2L Brightspace is one of a variety of options available (such as Moodle or Blackboard), it is a Canada-based solution—currently the leading LMS option for Canadian secondary and post-secondary education providers—and one that allows instructors to offer a wide range of online learning experiences that complement the live classroom experience.

Why is it important for MITT to have an LMS?
An LMS provides instructors a centrally supported platform to deliver content, do assessments, and interact with our students. An LMS also facilitates instructional continuity—whether for an individual student, a single class or, as we are seeing during COVID-19, entire schools, colleges, and universities.

How will it benefit learners?
Learners can control the pace and place of their learning. Once a resource is on D2L Brightspace they can log in and review it whenever they want. Instructors can post recordings of their lectures for later review or other resources such as videos or documents/articles. Learners get real time feedback for their submissions for marks, as well as opportunities to participate in group projects and discussions.

How will it benefit instructors?

Along with the ability to have a “one-stop” virtual classroom environment, all instructors will be using the same tool, allowing them to build local—and access international—communities of support. Brightspace also has internal tools for simplified marking and grade submission. As courses evolve, instructors are able to build on what is already in the system, freeing up their time to focus on updating/enhancing material based on feedback gained from students throughout the program.

What about D2L made it a good fit for MITT?
D2L Brightspace has an intuitive user interface that will be a benefit to both our instructors and students. It will be familiar to many of our learners who will have already used it in other secondary or post-secondary experiences. D2L Brightspace comes with 24/7 support to help us ensure we use it to its full potential, and it is updated monthly, based on our feedback to ensure user-identified features are regularly added.

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