November 12

D2L and MnSCU Collaboration Conference: 2016 MN IGNITE

Brightspace_logo_Stacked_RGB_300x275MnSCU and Brightspace by D2L invite you to join them at the annual MN IGNITE 2016 conference on April 15, 2016, from 7:45 AM–3:50 PM (Central Time) at Normandale Community College, 9700 France Ave S, Bloomington, MN. Ignite is your opportunity to connect, exchange feedback, display best practices, and network with other D2L Brightspace users.

Sponsored by D2L in collaboration with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and St. Catherine University, this conference will showcase many aspects of teaching and learning within the D2L Brightspace Learning Management System. Sessions will also feature related topics such as best practices in instructional design, technology integration and administrative management. A MN Ignite Conference is all about connection and collaboration. With presentations, training sessions, and time for peer networking, attendees can discover how D2L Brightspace—our integrated learning platform—supports every individual’s unique pathway and potential.

Proposals will be accepted after December 1, 2015, from higher education and K-12 faculty and teachers, as well as staff and administrators. If you have a topic you are passionate about, some best practices you want to share with colleagues, or an education program you want to promote, watch for the next e-mail and submit your proposal for sessions that fall into one of these five tracks:
1. Design and Development
2. Delivery and Instruction
3. Analysis and Management
4. Innovation and Engagement
5. Support, Training and Administration

This year’s sessions will be offered in the following formats:
• 50-minute Regular sessions
• 100-minute Extended sessions (may include hands-on activities)
• 30-minute Poster sessions


Did you develop a bright idea for using D2L Brightspace to enhance your students’ learning experience? Or did your team collaborate on a project to address a student, faculty, or organizational need? If so, we want to hear from you!

Please nominate yourself (or your team) for the third annual MN Ignite 2016 Awards.

The MN Ignite 2016 Awards, given out at the annual MN Ignite 2016 Regional Conference, recognizes educators or those in education who have used D2L Brightspace to deliver learning experiences that are innovative, collaborative, or have made an extraordinary impact on learning outcomes.

More information with links to proposals and awards will be posted soon.

April 27

I Diggio Wiggio!

By Paul Keyworth

Wiggio is a versatile community-building and collaboration tool recently acquired by Brightspace and fully integrated into D2L.  It is especially useful for managing group projects.  Indeed, I have been using it for the past few months for that purpose, including organizing the A.T.T.N! blog.  For me, the most impressive feature of Wiggio is its wide variety of functions for enabling communication within groups.  For example, one can “hold group discussions, assign tasks to group members, poll members, share calendars and schedules, upload and manage [and edit] group files, and communicate using live conference calls, video conferences, chat rooms, texts, emails, and voice mail” (D2L Resource Center).

As an instructor, you can set up groups by adding and inviting group members using their e-mail addresses. Or, you can have students set up their own groups with or without the presence of the instructor. In fact, they can do this on their own volition once they have access to Wiggio. It is also possible for students to set up sub-groups within groups which could be useful for group projects.

The current limitations for conference calls and virtual meetings are:

Conference Calls are 50 group members per call // Virtual Meetings are 10 group members per call.

Find out more about Wiggio by checking out the D2L Resource Center.

Also, WiggioProductions have posted a useful overview video on their YouTube channel.

QUICK TIP: When logging in, if you cannot remember the password you created, click on the red banner at the bottom which leads you to MnSCU’s D2L system where you can log in using your Star I.D.


Lastly, if you would like the Wiggio component added to one of your classes, please contact us using the tab at the top of the page. Once you have Wiggio set up in D2L, you can simply access it through there rather using the link.

April 22

The Positive Impact of Online Collaborative Learning on Student Success: An Assessment of Harvard Business School’s ‘HBX’ Initiative

Creative Commons "Harvard Business School Baker Library” by Chensiyuan (CC BY-SA)

Creative Commons “Harvard Business School Baker Library” by Chensiyuan (CC BY-SA)

An article in Inside Higher Ed highlights the following positive effects of Harvard Business School’s HBX CORe program which was designed to facilitate extensive collaborative learning:

  • A course completion rate of over 85% (usually lower than 10% for MOOCs).
  • High satisfaction rate with 80 to 90% of learners evaluating the teaching and program content as either four or five out of a five.
  • Very high levels of engagement with peers and course materials through program analyses, reflections, and content discussions with peers (via required participation).

Read the article to learn the principles of collaborative learning that Harvard Business School used in their online course design.