Brightspace FAQs

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Brightspace Migration - Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Brightspace chosen as the replacement for Blackboard?

The decision to move to Brightspace by D2L was a thoughtful one, made over the course of the last year. In December 2016, a committee was formed to review the major Learning Management Systems available while considering a variety of factors including a cloud-based solution (to eliminate downtime for upgrades), the capability to retain integration with our current third-party plugins (such as Turnitin), mobile adaptability for students, end-user support, and of course, cost to the University. The committee enthusiastically recommended Brightspace by D2L (formerly Desire2Learn), and Senior Leadership accepted this recommendation.

What is D2L? What is Brightspace?

D2L (formerly Desire2Learn) is the software leader that makes learning experiences better. Brightspace, which is D2L’s cloud-based learning management system (LMS), enhances course delivery and promotes student collaboration. Brightspace is easy to use, flexible, and smart. Brightspace can be used as a supplement to the traditional face-to-face delivery of courses or to support online and hybrid courses. With Brightspace, institutions can personalize the experience for every learner to deliver real results. D2L is a world leader in learning analytics, and its Brightspace platform predicts learner performance so that institutions can take action in real-time to keep learners on track.

Will I be able to copy course materials I have put on Blackboard?

Yes, this is called migration. Migration is the process of moving courses/organizations from Blackboard to BrightSpace. You will most likely have some tweaks to do to your course/organization if you chose to migrate from Blackboard into Brightspace.

Will the migration process be a 100% foolproof method to transfer my course/organization content?

No migration process is 100% perfect. You will most likely have some tweaks to do to your course/organization if you chose to migrate from Blackboard into Brightspace. That being said, we are putting a large quantity of resources (documentation, videos, human support, phone support, email support) to make this migration as smooth as possible. Some users may find that rebuilding their course/organization from scratch is the better way to go.

Note: Migrating a course/organization keeps the structure and content of the course/organization intact, but does not maintain the student/participant contributions to the course (grades, discussion board, assessments, assignments, etc.)

Can I just continue using Blackboard?

No, the Blackboard system will be retired on December 31, 2017. XULA has adopted Brightspace (formerly Desire2Learn or D2L) as our learning management system (LMS). All courses/organizations will be live in Brightspace by spring 2018 semester.

Will I lose my Blackboard course/organization content after December 31, 2017?

You will not be able access Blackboard after this time. However, you will be able to migrate your course content into Brightspace to preserve the content. You can also export course content and save it to your computer. Some users may find that rebuilding their course/organization from scratch is the better way to go.

How do I migrate my Blackboard course/organization?

A call will go out allowing you to request the courses/organizations you want to migrate to the Brightspace system.

Should I migrate every course I have ever taught?

Choose one course to migrate from each course title. If you teach FREN 1010, FREN 1020, and FREN 2010, you will migrate a total of three courses (one course per title). Avoid migrating multiple sections of one course title. Instead, the course title you choose to migrate should include the most up-to-date content.

Note: If you teach multiple sections of a course, we suggest you migrate only one section, tweak the migrated section (in Brightspace) and then copy the tweaked version into your other Brightspace course section(s).

Will all my course/organization content be migrated to Brightspace?

The migration process will convert a number of Blackboard components over to Brightspace. However, not all Blackboard components can be converted to Brightspace. Review this conversion component information list to help you determine whether you want to migrate your course/organization or if you would just prefer to build your Brightspace course/organization from scratch.

Components Converted

  • Content
  • Announcements
  • Links
  • Files
  • Quizzes
  • Question Pools
  • Surveys
  • Self-Assessments
  • Discussions
  • Assignments (created using the Assignment Tool)
  • Grade Categories and Items associated to Quizzes, Discussions, and Assignments

Components Not Converted

  • Calendar Items
  • Groups
  • Journal
  • Blogs
  • Chat Rooms
  • Wiki
  • Rubrics
  • Adaptive Release Conditions
  • Glossary
  • Tasks
  • Java applet based equations (blackboard equation editor)
  • Test passwords
  • Access/PIN for Protected Content
  • User Posts in Discussions

How do I handle components I use in Blackboard that will not be converted over to Brightspace?

For components that do not convert (e.g., journals, blogs, wikis) you will be able to achieve the same functionality using new tools in Brightspace. Training materials will be provided.

What other systems currently integrated with Blackboard can we expect to be integrated into Brightspace?

The migration team is testing the following integrations with the Brightspace system:

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
  • Examsoft
  • My Class Climate (Scantron Inc.)
  • Mediasite (Sonic Foundry, Inc.)
  • Respondus LockDown Browser (Respondus)
  • Respondus Monitor
  • Turnitin Assignment (Turnitin)
  • WebAssign (WebAssign)
  • VoiceThread (VoiceThread)
  • Textbook publishers
    • Cengage Learning MindLinks™
    • McGraw-Hill Education
    • MindEdge Online (MindEdge, Inc.,)
    • Pearson Higher Education
    • WileyPLUS Integration by Blackboard

What should I do if an integration that I am currently using in Blackboard is not on the list of systems to be integrated?

Send an email with the system you would like to be integrated into Brightspace to

When will I be able to get training and access to the Brightspace system?

Faculty will be able to sign-up for training sessions that are scheduled to begin in October. Visit our events page to sign-up for the training sessions. Training sessions will be offered during regular business hours, but to make sure that you can attend, we will also offer other formats of training, from online documentation and FAQs to drop-in sessions. Keep an eye out for announcements from CAT+FD with more details about training and Brightspace access.