Dynamic online learning platform streamlines student experience

Brightspace offers convenient new way for students to connect and communicate online

April 13, 2015 - Students enrolled in Saskatchewan Polytechnic's online courses now have a powerful learning platform right at their fingertips. Brightspace, by Desire2Learn (D2L) is a dynamic online integrated learning platform now available to students in all 577 online credit courses offered at Sask Polytech. This contemporary, user-friendly program helps students and instructors stay connected 24/7 though computers, tablets and mobile devices.

"At Sask Polytech, we're really trying to take the complexity out of the tools and allow students to quickly access the things they need," says Darren Myles, director of Learning Technologies. "It's a strong communication tool - not only between students, but between faculty and students. It's really building a strong community among our students."

With a single sign-in, students can access course materials, calendars, assignments, marks, library resources, videos, articles and even textbooks. Students can also participate in online discussions with their classmates and instructors and add their own course notes. An alert feature allows students to receive notifications when marks are uploaded, when assignments are due and other timely information.

The next step is making Brightspace available to all students at Sask Polytech. "We're actively working on releasing it to all other types of distance learners as well as on-campus students. If you're in a face-to-face class you'll soon have resources on Brightspace, so you might be sitting in class on a mobile phone and you can pull up your notes, your class reading material or the lecture capture of the last lecture you missed," says Myles. "We're excited to launch these modern tools and to be able to assist and support students with their learning.
Ultimately, it's about making students' lives easier and setting them up for success, Myles says. "Whatever we're doing has to be supporting our students and helping them achieve their goals. We only put the best tools and resources in front of our students and that's really something that the Brightspace platform has allowed us to do."

A new video at www.saskpolytech.ca provides a first-hand look at how Brightspace's leading-edge platform supports student learning.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 26,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

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