Desire2Learn Launches New Integrated Learning Platform called Brightspace

Waterloo-based learning platform software startup Desire2Learn has partially rebranded and named its new integrated learning platform Brightspace. It’s also announcing new partnerships with Microsoft and IBM as well as a few changes to its main product.

This comes after several acquisitions since January 2013, including Degree Compass (Jan. 2013), Wiggio (Mar. 2013), Knowillage (Sept. 2013) and Achievement Standards Network (Mar. 2014). Going to the URL will now direct users to, which will be a property of D2L.

The changes come through CEO John Baker’s desire to see software drive students’ learning outcomes. It’s marking an evolution of sorts for D2L’s integrated learning platform, mainly through increased data analytics so that software can continue to compete with in-person teaching, another realm of education that’s been taken for a 360 degree spin over the past five years.

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Brightspace will provide full integration of its adaptive learning solution (D2L LeaP), more robust analytics, game-based learning, an expanded mobile offering with Windows 8 capabilities and the newest education content all within a single, open platform.

Moreover, in teaming with Microsoft, D2L has launched its “Binder app,” which will now be available for Windows 8 devices. Students can access content on essentially any mobile device. The integration also involves a content partnership with McGraw-Hill, Cengage Learning, Nelson Education, Pearson, Wiley and Macmillan. The partnerships enable students to purchase and rent textbooks on the web and through Binder, saving up to 75 percent of the cost of buying print editions.

IBM Cognos will be embedded into D2L’s analytics platform, which will help faculty drive student learning – providing a proven enterprise-class business intelligence tool at a time when scrutiny and expectations around data use in the education industry are increasing. With IBM, D2L will now be able to provide the tools to integrate and analyze vast amounts of learner data – and to provide a single, unified view of that data for all decision makers.

It’ll also helping students make the right choices: “predictive analytics provided by Degree Compass will help drive course recommendations for students, based on how previous students with similar backgrounds and majors have performed,” as Edsurge pointed out.

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