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IndustryCloud Software: Educational technology
Key people
Number of employees

D2L, formerly Desire2Learn, is a global cloud software company with offices in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Europe, and Brazil. It is the developer of the Brightspace learning management system which cloud-based software used by schools, higher education, and businesses for online and blended classroom learning.[1][2][3] D2L is also the developer of Open Courses a Massive Open Online Course platform.


D2L was founded in 1999 by President and CEO John Baker M.S.C. in his third year of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo.[4][5] Today the company has over 750 employees.

In 2004, D2L first introduced support for Competency Based Education, and launched an integrated ePortfolio product to allow learners to document their own learning.[6][7]

D2L embraced open standards including SCORM, IMS LTI, IMS Course Packaging, IMS Common Cartridge and IMS Caliper.[8][9][10][11]

In 2011, D2L acquired Captual Technologies Inc.[12] and the technology is now known as Brightspace Capture.[13]

In 2012, D2L raised $80 million in financing.[14][15] In the same year, D2L became the recipient of Platinum Learning Impact Award in the event hosted by IMS Global.[16]

In 2013, D2L was recognized by the National Federation of the Blind for its leadership in Accessibility with the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award.[17] In the same year, D2L acquired Wiggio, and Knowillage Systems Inc., the creator of the adaptive learning engine called LeaP.[18][19][20][21]

In 2014, D2L raised an $85 million series B financing round.[22][23][24] In the same year, D2L acquired the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) to be an open API and open data system for curriculum standards globally.[25]

In 2016, D2L was the first and only LMS to partner with the National Federation of the Blind's Strategic Nonvisual Access Partner program to ensure learning systems are fully accessible.[26][27]

Launched in beta in 2016 and made generally available in early 2017, D2L became the first (academic) LMS to provide full capability on any mobile device using responsive web design as part of its Daylight User Experience.[28][29]

Patent battle[edit]

In 2006, D2L and Blackboard were involved in a legal dispute over issues related to US Patent 6988138.[30][31] D2L won the patent case on appeal at the Federal Circuit, and invalidated the patent at the USPTO.[32][33][34] In December 2009, the companies issued a joint press release indicating that legal proceedings had ended with both companies.[35]

Products and services[edit]


D2L's first Learning Environment clients included University of Guelph, VirtualHighSchool, and the University of Waterloo.[citation needed] The technology is now used by over 1200 schools, colleges, universities, and businesses around the world.[36]

Brightspace was built using micro-services and operates as a software as a service.[37] It incorporates Web Components and Google Polymer, HTML5, and responsive web design to provide a modern user interface that can work on any mobile device.

Brightspace combines a Learning Environment, ePortfolio, Learning Repository, Video Recorder, Virtual Classroom, eTextbook platform called Binder, and Mobile apps, in one cloud-based platform.[38]

Engagement Plus[edit]

Engagement Plus combines a cloud-based Lecture Capture system, interactive components for engaging course design, and a Course Catelog/Registration System.[39]

Performance Plus[edit]

Performance Plus is a bundle of learning analytics to help automate tasks and identify risks. An adaptive learning engine personalizes the content for each learner. Learning Analytics and Intelligent Agents provide early intervention to help learners. And a set of data that can be used to make improvements based upon analysis.[40]

In 2016, Fast Company recognized D2L as a leader in Data Science.[41]

Open Courses[edit]

In 2008, D2L entered the massive open online course MOOC market to support MOOC pioneers Stephen Downes and George Siemens.[42] D2L then launched Open Courses to facilitate experimentation with new pedagogy and develop new ways to reach global learners.

The University of Tasmania used D2L's MOOC platform to support tens of thousands of learners with >70% of those students starting the courses finishing, bucking the trend of low completion rates in large MOOCs.[43]


D2L's services include: cloud-based learning system, end-user help desk support, technical account management, technical data management, advisory consulting, program management, training, course development, customization, and accessibility design support.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tony Wan (July 14, 2014). "The Sum of Desire2Learn's Acquisitions: Brightspace". Edsurge News.
  3. ^ Dian Schaffhauser (2014-07-14). "D2L Unveils Revamped Platform 'Brightspace' with Adaptive Learning". THE Journal.
  4. ^ "EPC Spotlight-Desire2Learn". Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  5. ^ "D2L - Complete profile - Canadian Company Capabilities - Industries and Business - Industry Canada". www.ic.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  6. ^ "Desire2Learn Supports Educators Striving to Enhance Student Learning Outcomes | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  7. ^ "Desire2Learn Competencies and Rubrics: Part I". e-Literate. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  8. ^ "Desire2Learn First to Attain IMS Common Cartridge Compliance for Learning Management Systems | Press Release | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  9. ^ "Desire2Learn Leads the Way with Certification for IMS Basic Learning Tools Interoperability | Press Release | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  10. ^ "Desire2Learn Achieves Another Market First: SCORM 2004 Certification | Press Release | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  11. ^ "Brightspace Autumn15 Unlocks Analytics in the Classroom | Press Release | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  12. ^ "Desire2Learn acquires small e-learning firm". www.therecord.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  13. ^ "Brightspace Capture | Brightspace". Brightspace by D2L. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  14. ^ "Desire2Learn finally accepts venture investment". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 2012-09-04.
  15. ^ Ki Mae Heussner (September 4, 2012). "As ed tech heats up, Desire2Learn raises $80M in its first VC round". Gigaom.
  16. ^ "Learning Impact 2012 Award Winners | IMS Global Learning Consortium". www.imsglobal.org. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  17. ^ "National Federation of the Blind Awards $50,000 | National Federation of the Blind". nfb.org. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  18. ^ Ingrid Lunden; Rip Empson (March 8, 2013). "Flush With $80M, Desire2Learn Buys 'Anti-Sharepoint For Students' Platform Wiggio, Its 2nd Acquisition In 2 Months". TechCrunch.
  19. ^ "Desire2Learn Acquires Wiggio". EdSurge News. March 8, 2013.
  20. ^ CHRISTINA FARR (September 9, 2013). "Desire2Learn acquires Knowillage to bring personalized learning to classrooms". VentureBeat.
  21. ^ Jacob Serebrin (2013-09-09). "Desire2Learn Goes for Deep Analytics with Acquisition of Knowillage Systems". Techvibes.
  22. ^ Kolodny, Lora (2014-08-14). "Desire2Learn Raises $85M to Deliver 'Personalized Education'". The Wall Street Journal.
  23. ^ "Canada's Desire2Learn raises $85 mln for global e-learning push". Reuters. 2014-08-14.
  24. ^ "Bloomberg Business". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2015-01-26.
  25. ^ "Desire2Learn Acquires The Achievement Standards Network From JES & CO". Marketwire. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  26. ^ "The Question of Blindfolds". nfb.org. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  27. ^ "D2L Partners With National Federation of the Blind to Help Make Learning Accessible to All | Press Release | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  28. ^ "D2L Closes the Desktop-Mobile Gap With Summer16 Release -- The Classroom of the Future Is Finally in Hand | Press Release | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  29. ^ "D2L Brightspace LMS". PCMAG. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  30. ^ "Blackboard Inc. v. Desire2Learn Inc. Complaint" (PDF).
  31. ^ "Federal Circuit Rules in Favor of Desire2Learn Across the Board". Archived from the original on 2010-12-25. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  32. ^ "Blackboard, D2L Announce Patent Cross License Agreement and Settlement of Litigation". Archived from the original on 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  33. ^ Darcy, Darlene (Jul 27, 2009). "Court rules against Blackboard in patent case". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  34. ^ USPTO Image File Wrapper Petition Decisions 0492. USPTO.
  35. ^ "Blackboard Settles Longstanding Patent Fight With Rival Desire2Learn". Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  36. ^ "Grow me the money". www.cpacanada.ca. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  37. ^ "Brightspace Cloud | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  38. ^ "Brightspace Core Products & Support | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  39. ^ "Engagement Plus | Multimedia & Creative Package for Brightspace | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  40. ^ "Performance Plus | Learner Data & Success Package for Brightspace | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  41. ^ "D2L: Most Innovative Company | Fast Company". Fast Company. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  42. ^ http://halfanhour.blogspot.ca/2014/12/open-education-moocs-and-opportunities.html
  43. ^ http://www.utas.edu.au/wicking/understanding-dementia/data
  44. ^ "eLearning Services | D2L". D2L. Retrieved 2017-11-07.

External links[edit]