An Update on the Brightspace Transition from Blackboard

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Queens College’s transition to Brightspace began back in the Fall of 2023, being one of the first CUNY schools to begin this transition of Blackboard to Brightspace.

With QC now in the second phase of the transition, faculty now has access to training and resources through CUNY’s webpage on the Brightspace transition. 

Brightspace Training for Instructors will be offered for faculty all through the Spring 2024 semester until June. Beginning Fall 2024, Brightspace will have fully replaced Blackboard as QC’s Learning Management System (LMS). 

By Fall 2025, all CUNY colleges will have fully transitioned to Brightspace, “furthering CUNY’s mission to become the nation’s foremost student-centered University system, providing transformative, equitable access to higher education to our diverse student constituencies,” according to CUNY’s webpage on the Brightspace transition. 

D2L’s Brightspace is “A flexible and powerful learning innovation platform, Brightspace is built for learning at every stage of life—from the earliest days of school to higher education and beyond.

The Knight News followed up with Troy Hahn, QC’s Assistant Vice Principal and Chief Information Officer to get information updating staff and students on QC’s transition to Brightspace from Blackboard. 

 “It’s important to acknowledge that faculty member situations and experiences may differ. For those with years of experience and content in Blackboard, the transition to Brightspace presents unique challenges as they adapt their curriculum to the new medium,” Hahn said.Many faculty members who have received assistance thus far are pleased with the robust features and new tools that facilitate student learning.”

Students will also interact greatly with Brightspace. “To support students during this transition, Queens College has implemented a range of strategies. These include comprehensive orientation sessions, easily accessible online tutorials, and dedicated help desk support to address technical or procedural queries,” Hahn added.

Assistant Professor of the English department, Cliff Mak, was questioned on the transition and said, “I don’t know much about Brightspace yet, so I can’t say much about it. But the college is offering some webinars soon, and because it might be inevitable that every instructor will have to use Brightspace, I imagine I’ll attend one so as to be prepared either way.”

Professor Mak seemed to have his reservations on Brightspace being just another LMS like Blackboard. “Like many instructors, I have found the Blackboard interface to be clunky and counterintuitive. I prefer to keep my teaching style simple, and this extends to the technology I use,” he said. 

Many professors, like Professor Mak, have had their reservations on Blackboard. Many chose not to use it and use alternate LMS’s. With this new LMS the hope is more professors engage with it. 

Despite not knowing much about the new LMS, Professor Mak seemed open to testing Brightspace, despite reservations on CUNY’s past LMS — Blackboard.

Kyle Daniels, QC junior and Psychology student, said he hopes “Brightspace is an improvement from Blackboard.” He added, “Despite getting used to the quirks of Blackboard I found it difficult and annoying to use at times, I will miss the quirky nature of Blackboard, but I also can’t wait for a platform that is easier to use.” 

Brightspace is a new and unfamiliar territory for both staff and students, especially those who were familiar with Blackboard for a long time. But as Hahn said, “The faculty’s dedication and willingness to adapt to this new platform is a source of pride for us. As we continue to navigate this transition, I am confident and excited about the opportunities Brightspace offers for enriching the educational experience at our institution.”

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