From education to employment

University of Groningen partners with D2L to support blended learning goals

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D2L Brightspace will optimise teaching models, improve personalisation, and deliver the flexibility to facilitate lifelong learning for more than 34,000 students 

D2L Inc., a global learning technology leader, today announced that The University of Groningen (UG) has selected Brightspace as its learning platform to better integrate online and offline teaching, support lifelong learning and prepare its students to enter the global labour market. 

Located in the Netherlands, the University of Groningen is a research university with a rich academic history. It is one of the oldest and largest in the country and is consistently ranked within the top 100 universities in the world. As a truly global institution, UG has close links with renowned international universities. Since the establishment in 1614, the university has brought forward striving academics, like the first female student, the first Dutch astronaut and various Nobel prize winners.

UG delivers high quality, research-driven education that enables its students to develop their talents and to become globally engaged citizens. As such, the university prioritises interdisciplinary study in education that builds on its traditional foundation of Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Engineering, and Health. To prepare students to enter and navigate the global labour market, UG strives to embed employability in the educational process wherever possible. 

“Students succeed when their learning is contextualised, so our education and research programmes are strongly intertwined across the full breadth of academic disciplines,” said Gerda Croiset, Dean of Education and Training UMCG at The University of Groningen and Chair of the learning platform Steering Committee. “With rising student numbers and the increasing diversity of our student body, we require continuous innovation across our teaching model and overall learning environment. Unsurprisingly, technology plays a big part in this.” 

UG had a legacy online learning platform in place for twenty years, however, the university wanted a new platform that provided greater flexibility and more options for students and lecturers. D2Lwas selected for its functionality and usability, following a test with 90 end users.  

“While in-person education remains a cornerstone of our strategy, we are blending on-campus and online teaching methods to optimise our model,” continued Croiset. “Combining our vibrant campus life with online and blended learning creates opportunities for more efficient interaction between students and teachers, while digital technologies and the integration of online education enables us to personalise student learning journeys and offer more flexibility.” 

UG is preparing for the first courses to go live with Brightspace in February 2022. The university is initially rolling out 20 ‘early adopter’ courses, before scaling up to 100 courses by April. The migration is due for completion in September 2022. 

“This is a great partnership for D2L, as the University of Groningen’s interdisciplinary programmes, blended teaching models and its impressive focus on lifelong learning and workforce readiness are fully aligned with D2L’s mission and the features within Brightspace,” said Stewart Watts, VP EMEA, D2L. “The world of work is rapidly evolving, and the education sector must keep pace. It’s refreshing to see institutions such as UG putting this front and centre in their course design and overall growth strategy – and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.” 

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