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  • 23 April 2019 11:07

Brightspace helps Victoria University restructure to boost grades and retain students

Australian-first Block Model fully-supported and driven by D2L Brightspace

Melbourne, Australia – April 23, 2019 – D2L, the global learning technology leader, has announced that Victoria University has boosted student grades and retention by restructuring the way degrees are designed and taught. It has done so becoming the first university to introduce the Block Model, a highly-acclaimed initiative that is fully-supported and driven by the D2L Brightspace learning management system (LMS).

Victoria University moved to the Australian first Block Model to equip students for the changing world of work– one in which graduates are expected to have practical, real-world applicable skills and the ability to manage the pressures of working environments. The format was initially introduced to first-year students, who now complete one course (or unit) every four weeks throughout two 16-week semesters. By 2020, it will be available to all students.

Michael Sturmey, Associate Director – Digital Learning Environments at Victoria University, said the move to this sequential learning model had many challenges and could not have been achieved without Brightspace and its comprehensive automation, flexibility and mobile functionality.

“Although Victoria University is traditionally a face-to-face institute, Brightspace turned technology into an integrated component of the learning experience for students, educators and staff,” said Sturmey. “The abundance of tools it provides allowed us to establish a fully-integrated blended learning culture built on customised courses and more meaningful engagements at all touch points.”

“As a result, Brightspace proved to be the optimal framework to fundamentally change the way we provide education to students,” said Sturmey. “The platform has been essential in the success of our transition to the Block Model, right from the learning design process through to enrolment, teaching and the provision of grades. It has given us the ability to provide active and collaborative learning, with smaller class sizes and a future without didactic and exam-heavy courses.”


• Instant, measurable impact: The Brightspace-powered Block Model has already delivered significant results for Victoria University. Thus far, Victoria University reports the average pass rate has increased from 76 per cent under the previous model still used by most universities around the globe, to 84 per cent with the new system.

o The impact has been most profound among students from non-English-speaking backgrounds and Indigenous Australians – up 14 and 19 per cent, respectively.

• Integrated education experiences: Brightspace has granted Victoria University’s educators and Learning Designers: automation of site creation with copied content from dedicated unit master spaces; support for checklists, rubrics, attendance data, and grades; automatic grades transfer to the student management system; and analytics dashboards to inform unit review.

• A modern app experience: Using Brightspace application programming interfaces (APIs), Victoria University was able to consolidate a multitude of student services into a single application – Victoria University App – that was downloaded more than 10,000 within its first month and received substantial positive ratings. The app combines all aspects of the Brightspace platform with timetables, maps and a feedback system, giving students a ‘one stop shop’ for all their university needs whether they are on campus or learning remotely.

o Victoria University has identified a direct correlation between engagement with Brightspace and student results; by analysing data extracted by Brightspace’s Data Hub feature, it found that students who access Brightspace via the app or desktop seven or more times in the first week have a 97 per cent probability of passing a unit. This number diminishes for less frequent users, with those who only use Brightspace once per week having only a 53 per cent chance of passing.

“Victoria University’s shift to Block Model learning reflects the changing demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Mark Yaxley, Director Australia and New Zealand at D2L. “Today’s economy requires dynamic, accessible education where the focus is on adaptable learning; to remain relevant, access to continued education is essential and approaches to education must be adapted to reach more learners, and support their studies to completion. With Brightspace providing a comprehensive and flexible foundation for its shift to a Block Model of teaching, Victoria University has provided its students with a new way to access education, allowing for highly-engaged learning experiences supporting more learners to succeed.”


Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform that makes online and blended learning easy, flexible, and smart. Brightspace is a quantum leap beyond traditional Learning Management System (LMS) – it is easy to drag-and-drop content to create engaging courses, supports all mobile devices, has industry-leading up-time, and is built with accessibility in mind for all learners. Plus, Brightspace enables the future of learning with a gaming engine, adaptive learning, video management, intelligent agents, templated interactives for course design, full support for outcomes or competency-based learning, and actionable learning analytics. D2L’s Brightspace was recently named the #1 LMS in Higher Ed by Ovum Research and #1 in Adaptive Learning by eLearning Magazine. In addition, Aragon Research included D2L in its highly coveted Hot Vendors In Learning list.


D2L believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests. Working closely with organizations globally, D2L has transformed the way millions of people learn online and in the classroom. Learn more about D2L for schools, higher education and businesses at

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© 2019 D2L Corporation.

The D2L family of companies includes D2L Corporation, D2L Ltd, D2L Australia Pty Ltd, D2L Europe Ltd, D2L Asia Pte Ltd, and D2L Brasil Soluções de Tecnologia para Educação Ltda.

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