By Eric Hagan, August 10, 2023

Unless you are brand new to DeSales or have been living under a rock, you are aware that DeSales decided last academic year to transition learning management systems. Blackboard is out, Brightspace is in. Thank you for your commitment to making this transition a success to the benefit of our students. 

Many courses have successfully run on Brightspace this summer. Beginning with our fall terms all courses will be taught using Brightspace. I taught an Adult Studies online course in Brightspace at the beginning of the summer. The students in the course were either returning Adult Studies students or day students taking a summer course – in other words, they were all used to Blackboard and new to Brightspace. The students barely mentioned the change, and if they did, it was a positive comment. So the good news is that the transition to Brightspace will not be a big change for students. To them, it’s just another website to navigate. If your instructions are clear, the students will be fine.  

The transition to Brightspace is more significant for the faculty. Many of us take satisfaction in setting up our course in the learning management system just the way we want it. Although all the basic content and some of the structure can be copied over from Blackboard, Brightspace has differences and new capabilities so give yourself plenty of time to set things up the way you like.  

CERT offers plenty of support to the faculty through live training sessions (https://www.desales.edu/workshops), online resource courses in Brightspace – look for the Faculty Orientation and Faculty Resources courses in Brightspace, and one-on-one staff support. D2L also offers a plethora of training videos and support documentation.  

Once you get over the hump of getting your courses up and running in Brightspace, you’ll have a chance to explore Brightspace’s benefits and enhanced functionality including: 

  • Clean, modern interface 
  • Great experience on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets 
  • Deep commitment to accessibility for students with learning challenges 
  • Useful retention support / analytics tools 
  • Integrated high-end content creation tools that make it easy to present content in a highly professional manner 
  • Ubiquitous on-the-fly video integration so you can provide quick on-the-fly video messages to student 
  • Superior integration of our 3rd party tools 
  • 24/7 support from D2L via text and business hours support through the DSU Helpdesk