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Benefits and Insights

Why use D2L Brightspace?

Key differentiators & advantages of D2L Brightspace

  • Overview of Performance Trends: The built-in analytics features allow users to quickly look at overall trends in skill level and competency as well as zoom in on individual learners. 
  • Simplified Course and Content Creation: The UI lets instructors create lessons, move courses and content and duplicate lesson plans from one year to the next. 
  • Customization: It uses open standards and APIs for easy integration with other products. The company also provides highly-customized solutions for school districts or companies that need them. 
  • Parental Involvement: Parents can see what a student is learning, keep an eye on grades and make sure students are turning in assignments. 
  • Identification of Underperforming Learners: In certain packages, automatic notifications and competency tracking enable the easy identification of underperformers. It lets organizations identify employees or students who are exceeding expectations. 
  • Training for Instructors and Administrators: In addition to general help, it also offers paid training regarding course and content creation, implementation, creating learning strategies and data analysis. 
  • Learner Engagement: Gamification is central to the platform, which is why it offers achievements and rewards. It also integrates with YouTube, Google Drive and others for the seamless sharing of content. 
  • Competency-Based Education: It focuses on the development of specific skills. Through personalized learning paths, it measures whether students are grasping key issues. 
  • Content Curation: Through the integrated e-commerce solution Turnkey, teachers can browse content to use for courses. It has flexible payment options and integrates with both Salesforce and SugarCRM. Instructors can also browse a selection of apps to use in class. 

Industry Expertise

In 2019, Brightspace’s parent company D2L was one of five major players in its industry alongside Blackboard, CornerstoneOnDemand, IBM, and McGraw-Hill Companies, according to a report from Mordor Intelligence. Currently, D2L has a team of over 750 employees with offices worldwide.

Key Features

  • Social Hub: This feature lets people follow others on an activity feed. Instructors can post reminders for upcoming assignments and integrate social hubs to provide content from other platforms like Google Drive. 
  • Student Portfolio: The finished projects become an interactive student portfolio that allows learners to showcase their assignments. This tool is available after course completion. 
  • Parental Dashboard: Through a parental view of the dashboard, parents can keep tabs on their child’s learning and see their progress on assignments, grades and more. 
  • Security and Accessibility: It is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), ISO® 27001, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, 1973, and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Security. 
  • Online Hosting: As a software-as-a-service option, online hosting makes access easy for a large organization. 
  • Personalized Learning Pathways: This feature tracks the different areas where a learner is proficient or needing improvement. It personalizes content based on which areas are lacking. 
  • Mobile Accessibility: The product works across several different platforms and devices and has full mobile capabilities. 
  • Reporting and Assessment Tools: The depth of analytics varies between the three main versions: Brightspace Core, Performance Plus and Engagement Plus. They include class-wide performance abilities, progress reports, automated notifications in response to learner actions and can evaluate the effectiveness of quizzes and questions. 
  • Integration: It has an open-source code data and meets multiple standards which allow the integration with Student Information Systems and other programs. 
  • Video Integration and VR Classrooms: Available at higher price points, a library of videos with advanced search capabilities lets instructors publish video lectures. Virtual classrooms can be automatically recorded for face-to-face instruction and class hours. 
  • Adoption Dashboard: It gives an overarching view of when and where and how often this technology is used. This feature can also analyze login trends, enrollment data and more. 
  • Engagement Dashboard: This feature helps identify at-risk performers or people who are doing particularly well in their courses. 
  • Professional Development Tools: This feature can manage the personal development of individual instructors and employees. It can provide nontraditional continuing education content to viewers like TedTalks and YouTube while also tracking personal development goals. 

Brightspace Suite Support

Users can find support online through email, Twitter and the online Brightspace Community forum. It also offers paid support packages for system issues, analyzing data, constructing a learning strategy and other needs. In case of urgent needs, people can contact their local IT representatives or online administrators for help.
mail_outlineEmail: The Brightspace Community email is [email protected] However, Brightspace seems to push most users to the Brightspace Community forum. They can also ask simple how-to questions at the Twitter @Brightspacehelp or use the online contact form.
phonePhone: It does not have an all-purpose phone helpline.
schoolTraining: For self-paced training, it offers training brochures and video tutorials. For paid training, they offer subscription training, certificate programs and private training. Subscription training offers on-demand courses and live sessions online, certificate training teaches users content creation skills, and private training utilizes virtual workshops with hands-on activities.
local_offerTickets: A support ticketing process was used at one point in time. It is unclear if this is still the case.

D2L Brightspace Reviews

Average customer reviews & user sentiment summary:

352 reviews

82%

of users would recommend this product

Synopsis of User Ratings and Reviews

Based on an aggregate of reviews taken from various sources, the following pros & cons have been curated by a SelectHub Market Analyst.

Pros

  • Intuitive Interface: One of the most consistent commendations of Brightspace was for its easy-to-use interface and clean design, as discussed in around 50% of analyzed reviews.
  • Expansive Functionality: Many reviewers mentioned the platform’s features as a primary asset with over 40% praising functionality such as its content creation, course management, delivery options and performance tracking tools.
  • Good Customer Service: Just under 40% of reviewers were happy with the platform’s customer service and support options.
  • Sound Integrations: The platform integrates with multiple others and reviewers have been happy with the results with between 20% and 30% expressing satisfaction over its interoperability.

Cons

  • Dissatisfaction with Features: While most analyzed reviewers expressed satisfaction with the solution’s features, around 40% found it lacking. Two of the biggest complaints were that users didn’t feel it had enough communication tools or had issues with specific integrations.
  • Issues with Usability: While many users found the interface easy to use, between 20% and 30% had problems with one of the biggest complaints being that it wasn’t friendly to teacher use.
  • Grading Issues: A small but vocal minority of about 10% of reviewers found the grade book difficult to use and had issues with entering or reporting grades overall.

Researcher's Summary:

Brightspace has been lauded for its easy to use and pleasing design and the way it fits in with multiple content and course delivery options whether blended or fully online. The customer service was friendly and users enjoyed its navigation, course management tools and many of its options. As with many learning solutions, a significant subset found the tool difficult to use. Instructors and administrators found issues with the grading, communications functions and some integrations - though nearly 30% found the integrations worked well. It appears to be a good app for high education and K-12. The business functions have not been as widely reviewed, though some have been happy with them. Those considering it for enterprise use should do extensive research if they wish to consider this option.

User Sentiment i

Based on 352 reviews:

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