Supports available as instructors transition to Brightspace learning management system

The ongoing rollout of Brock’s learning management system is continuing to welcome new users this winter.

On April 6, the University announced that its new Learning Management System (LMS) is D2L’s Brightspace, which boasts a simple user interface, support for online marking and feedback, a mobile app and continuous updates.

In an effort to support as many instructors as possible in making the move to Brightspace for January, the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) has a number of different training sessions, including those for new users and for building in Brightspace using content that has been migrated from Sakai. In the Winter Term, the CPI team will also add several deeper dives into specific tools in Brightspace.

CPI’s Interim Manager, Educational Technologies Alisa Cunnington, said Brightspace’s modern interface makes it easy to use in developing and accessing course content.

“Some of our early adopters have enjoyed the robust grading features in the assignments tool that preview submissions rather than requiring them to be downloaded,” she said.  “Other aspects we are excited about include the smooth integration of images into course content, available templates in course content areas, the ability to share resources across courses, and the possibility to develop program level learning outcomes that can be attached to course assignments.”

One of the instructors who has already found success with the system is Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Michelle Vine, who used Brightspace for her online Spring/Summer course in the Master of Public Health program.

“It was user-friendly, intuitive and offers functions that I did not see while using Sakai,” she said. “My students also seemed to enjoy using it and I rarely heard of any technical issues on their end.”

As Vine prepares to again use the system in the Winter Term, she said the ease of uptake was thanks to the commitment of the CPI team to address any questions that arose.

“The support I received from CPI when using Brightspace was incredible,” she said. “The team provided an immediate response to any issues that came up in my course; and if they did not know the answer, they went into immediate troubleshooting mode to figure it out.”

Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning Rajiv Jhangiani said Brock’s investment in a modern, dynamic and user-friendly learning management system is an important illustration of the University’s prioritization of the teaching and learning experience.

“With Brightspace, our digital learning infrastructure has received a significant upgrade, one that supports a broad range of innovative, participatory and student-centred pedagogies,” he said. “We look forward to supporting our community of educators in exploring Brightspace’s many affordances and integrations, as well as capitalizing on the advantages of the interplay between technology and pedagogy to advance teaching practices.”

A full list of Brightspace supports and workshops can be found on CPI’s ExperienceBU page.

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