Kenny More of the sportscotland institute of sport

A shared space

Virtual learning environment for the sporting workforce

To prepare for future learning and development needs, and service a more technology-focused population, sportscotland have procured and developed a new virtual learning environment for sport.

The Brightspace system will deliver online opportunities for sportscotland and Scottish governing bodies of sport (SGBs), providing virtual learning for people across Scotland’s sporting system.

The new platform has been procured by sportscotland for leaders and coaches at all levels, athletes and experts in performance sport and members of SGBs. 

People can learn online on a flexible and accessible basis, enrolling on courses and accessing materials in their own time or taking part in real-time sessions. Learning can be tracked and recorded and a personalised learning journey can be established, offering a consistent approach. 

Some of sportscotland’s current learning and development opportunities can be seen on our learning catalogue. New learning opportunities will be added to this catalogue on a regular and ongoing basis as it is developed.

Development of the platform is ongoing, but many people involved in sports such as swimming and canoeing have already started to benefit from the courses and learning materials. Read more about their journey below.

Other partners and SGBs developing their offering include Commonwealth Games Scotland, Horse Scotland, Scottish Disability Sport, Netball Scotland and Scottish Squash. One of the aims of the new system is to use the ability to share and transfer content and resources to avoid duplication of work across the sporting system.


Swimming teachers across Scotland have started to use the Brightspace platform, choosing from 16 self-directed ‘Learn-2-Coach’ modules.

Scottish Swimming plan to expand the offering as they embed a new coaching framework, using Brightspace to enable coaches to study for qualifications.

A spokesperson for the governing body said: “Scottish Swimming believes that people development is critical to delivering a quality environment and we specifically know that teachers and coaches play a pivotal role in assisting children and athletes to fulfil their potential.

“We continue to offer a blend of learning opportunities to the workforce and traditionally, qualifications, courses and workshops have provided the backbone of teacher/coach education and development.

“More recently, we have introduced digital learning opportunities to both recognise the importance of encouraging self-directed learning and to provide flexible, on-demand access to information.

“This approach became even more important as we prepared to return to the pool. To support teachers as they transition back to lesson delivery, we decided to relaunch a range of ‘Learn-2-Coach’ modules which focus on generic ‘how-to’ elements of teaching and coaching with topics ranging from ‘how to keep it fun’ and ‘how to build rapport’ to ‘how to organise’ and ‘how to enhance learning’.

“We are delighted to have access to new learning environment, Brightspace, for the delivery of these online modules.

"Once they have signed up, teachers are given access to the modules they have chosen to work through at their own pace. They will then be awarded a credential for completing each module.”  


The Scottish Canoe Association (SCA) aims for its Brightspace environment to support the future learning and development needs of members such as coaches and leaders.

The new platform will deliver online learning opportunities, commencing with the new Performance Coach qualification.

Andy Murray, SCA head of coaching and development, said: “This is an exciting development to support the appetite of learners to engage more flexibly in learning.

“Brightspace provides new ways to learn both individually and as a community of learners.

"It is complemented by other face-to-face, practical and online learning opportunities. We are delighted to be one of the first sports to go live.”

One of the first learners to start working towards a qualification with the SCA, Sam, added: “Brightspace has been a useful tool in my progress towards my Performance Coach Award.

“My experience so far has been a stable and intuitive to use platform, especially while accessing course modules which has tracked my progress and allowed me to revisit topics with ease.

“I look forward to accessing more of the tools on offer as I work to towards finishing my course.”

Find out more

  • Visit the sportscotland virtual learning home page
  • Brightspace is a web-based platform that is also available through iPhone and Android app stores. Find out more about the platform by watching this short Brightspace in a minute video  

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