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Introducing OpenDal: Streamlined access to lifelong learning at Dalhousie

Posted by Faculty of Open Learning & Career Development on March 6, 2024 in General Announcements

An integrated system customized for the needs of lifelong learners. Welcome to OpenDal, a new way to experience online lifelong learning at Dalhousie.

Online lifelong learning courses feature flexible scheduling, multiple start dates, anytime/anywhere access, and open enrolment that strives to make lifelong learning an option for everyone. OpenDal, Dalhousie’s new fit-for-purpose integrated system for online lifelong learning, smoothly integrates course information, registration, payment, online course access, record-keeping and credential access into one single user experience. 

The system supports a wide range of online lifelong learning opportunities, including microcredentials for career development, standalone courses in professional and continuing education, courses for community members and partner organizations, as well as lengthier certificates and diplomas.   

The switch to OpenDal began in January 2024, with nearly 600 learners now using the integrated system. Built by connecting the Brightspace platform Dalhousie students are already familiar with and a student information system tailored for lifelong learning called Destiny One, OpenDal offers almost immediate access to a wide range of online lifelong learning courses. The Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development’s (OLCD’s) courses are now housed in OpenDal, along with online courses by the Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Health, and the Faculty of Dentistry.

The home page for the OpenDal login portal.
The home page for the OpenDal login portal.

“Reduced time to wait for access to online courses means we can satisfy those who are seeking an on-demand learning experience,” said Kate MacInnes, OLCD’s Director of Information Management, whose team led the OpenDal integration. “And with more online lifelong learning courses available for Dalhousie’s employee tuition waiver program and the ability for students to have a record of all of those learning opportunities in one place, we look forward to welcoming more of the Dalhousie community to OpenDal.”

OpenDal has the same look and feel as Brightspace, but with features tailored specifically for the needs of lifelong learners. As well, OpenDal provides access to the same teaching tools that Dalhousie learners are already familiar with, such as Panopto, Teams, Collaborate and Turnitin, to ensure the most effective, technology-enabled online learning experience.

OpenDal will look familiar to users of Brightspace while targeting the needs of lifelong learners.
 OpenDal will look familiar to users of Brightspace while targeting the needs of lifelong learners.

“It’s still very much the same quality of online learning experience Dalhousie has become accustomed to,” Kate said. “Overall, OpenDal offers a tailored, accessible, and flexible learning environment that supports online lifelong learners, wherever they are, in achieving their educational goals and having a self-serve record of their accomplishments.”

Want to experience OpenDal for yourself? Register now for an upcoming lifelong learning course