Brightspace latest LMS edition targets mobile learners

Summer16 works seamlessly across smartphones, tablets, and desktop browsers

Tags: United Arab Emirates
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Brightspace latest LMS edition targets mobile learners Alshazly notes learners today prefer not to be tethered to their desktops, and are looking for a seamless, device-agnostic experience.
By  David Ndichu Published  June 30, 2016

D2L, a learning technology solutions provider, has unveiled the Summer16 release of Brightspace—its cloud-based learning management system—with a new user interface optimised for mobile devices.

Created with a responsive design, Brightspace now works seamlessly across smartphones, tablets, and desktop browsers, ensuring that it is easy to use for a student population that is increasingly mobile-first. The release also includes smarter analytics, searchable video, social and game-based learning on any device.

Developing a seamless experience between desktop and mobile has never been more important to the Middle East and North Africa’s education sector – according to a recent survey, 70% educators believe creating virtual classrooms and implementing e-learning solutions will improve education, and 50% believe mobile devices are an important tool for doing so. This is especially the case in the UAE, which boasts a smartphone penetration rate of over 73%. But, despite the mass proliferation of mobile devices, mobile technology in learning is not as widespread as the use of mobile devices themselves.

“We live in a mobile world, but education has not kept pace, leaving millions of learners behind,” said John Baker, CEO of D2L. “With Brightspace Summer16, we’re making learning as engaging and interactive on a mobile device as it is on a desktop so that everyone can learn the way they want to.”

Highlights of Brightspace Summer16 LMS include:

New user experience: The Brightspace Daylight Experience is the new look and feel for Brightspace products, built with a responsive web design so Brightspace can be used on any device. In Spring16, Brightspace Capture, Brightspace Degree Compass and Brightspace Assignment Grader for Android were updated with Daylight. In Summer16 customers have early access to Daylight for testing in Brightspace Learning Environment. With an updated layout, fonts, icons, navigation, and responsive web design, customers will be able to see the impact that Daylight will have and how easy it will be for instructors and learners to use Learning Environment from any device. Once customers turn Daylight on, they’ll be able to follow along as new features are added each month.

Video: Brightspace Capture is now tightly integrated with Brightspace Learning Environment, making it easy for instructors to create and add captured videos for learners to find and watch. Support for HTML5 and adaptive multi-bit streaming means captured video can be viewed on any device and delivered with the best quality in all internet conditions. Polls can also be added to live events, helping instructors engage with learners by asking questions and getting feedback.

Gamification: The new Course Adventure Pack seeks to create a creating interactive and personalised learning experience, including a game-based learning service, dynamic story builder service, interactive assessment tools, and consulting from D2L’s team of experts to make developing an interactive learning strategy easy.

Learning analytics: Brightspace Summer16 delivers additional analytics tools that put intelligent, actionable information in instructors’ hands when and where they need it. As a part of the core analytics within Brightspace Learning Environment, the User Progress tool provides timely information on how students are progressing through a course and how they are accessing it, as well as their content download metrics. For Brightspace Insights users, Summer16 introduces a Class Engagement Dashboard: a class list with interactive data that enables instructors to filter, sort and search student activity, progress and achievement (and a predictive score, if enabled). This helps them easily identify top performers or those who might be at risk and then email the class or the individual student with one simple click. Finally, for institutional learning data users, in addition to Brightspace Insights open APIs, Summer16 improves data access by adding CSV exports with the new Data Hub, designed for easy data automation and integration.

Administrative: Summer16 incorporates streamlined workflows, Microsoft Outlook integration with Brightspace Capture, easy recurring event scheduling for Brightspace Capture, a Teaching and Learning Certificate program to enhance Brightspace skills, and improved eCollege course import capabilities.

“The use of mobile devices has been fast outstripping the use of desktops in the Middle East and Africa region, and users are increasingly turning to their smartphones for most everyday actions. Learners, too, prefer not to be tethered to their desktops, and are looking for a seamless, device-agnostic experience. At D2L, we recognize this rapidly changing landscape, and have developed Summer16 to address the evolving needs of today’s learners,” said Hanny Alshazly, regional director, MEA, D2L.

D2L’s track record of innovation has been widely recognized. In March, Fast Company Ranked D2L #6 on the Most Innovative Companies of 2016 list in the Data Science Category, amongst Google, IBM, Spotify, Costco, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. eLearning Magazine recently rated D2L as #1 in Adaptive Learning, and Brightspace was recently named the #1 LMS in Higher Ed by Ovum Research.

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