The University of Suffolk selects D2L's Brightspace to modernise its student learning experience


D2L, the learning technology provider, has announced that the University of Suffolk has chosen the Brightspace platform to deliver a more personalised, engaging learning experience to its students.

After gaining university status in 2016, the University of Suffolk decided it needed to upgrade from its Blackboard learning platform to one that made the learning experience more modern, engaging and accessible. Following a rigorous tender process, which included staff and students testing Brightspace and offerings from Blackboard and Canvas, the University of Suffolk selected Brightspace. The platform was chosen for its ease-of-use, responsive design, learning analytics capabilities and flexibility.

"Following a review of our academic strategy, we knew we needed to modernise our learning platform," said Ellen Buck, Head of Learning Services at the University of Suffolk. "As a university, we are fully focused on the student experience, therefore it was important that any platform we invested in was welcomed by those that would be using it."

Aaron Burrell, Digital Learning Systems Manager at the University of Suffolk, delivered many testing sessions and said: "The students unanimously chose Brightspace as their favourite platform. Not only is it modern, responsive and engaging, but it enables our students to be in control of their own learning."

Brightspace is being developed for students in the University's new blended learning degree apprenticeship programmes in Nursing, Social Worker and Police Constable. It will then be implemented across the entire university.

"We were recently awarded Hefce (Higher Education Funding Council for England) funding that enabled us to develop three degree apprenticeships schemes in response to local need," said Ellen Buck."These students are often working remotely, therefore require a mobile, adaptable learning platform that enables them to work around their employment. Brightspace is fantastic as it supports a blended learning approach, which gives our students the flexibility to learn wherever and whenever they need to. Whilst other learning platforms we tested were restrictive, Brightspace enables us to teach how we want to teach, and our students to learn how they want to learn. D2L has been a breath of fresh air to work with and we look forward to continuing our relationship."

Brightspace is mobile responsive, offers real-time analytics, a personalised learning experience and is built with accessibility in mind, all within one flexible Virtual Learning Environment. The dynamic and mobile Daylight interface lets instructors design courses easily, create content and grade assignments on their phone or tablet. Brightspace's built-in analytics lets the University of Suffolk monitor courses tailored to each learner's experience.

"We're excited about working with the University of Suffolk as, like D2L, it is committed to a culture of lifelong learning," said Elliot Gowans, Senior VP International, D2L. "Brightspace is transforming the University's learning experience by making it much more adaptive, engaging, and accessible – three key attributes of modern learning. We look forward to extending our relationship with the University."

Quick facts

  • 147 students and academic staff were involved in 40 Brightspace testing sessions before it was chosen
  • The tender process was conducted via the POISE framework to consolidate spend and reduce demand on procurement resources
  • Brightspace was up against Blackboard and Canvas, but came out on top during testing

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