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Learning Management Systems

Purdue Begins Transition to D2L Brightspace

Purdue University recently announced a major learning management system change: By the start of the fall 2020 semester, the entire university system will move from Blackboard Learn to D2L Brightspace. The decision is the result of a yearlong review and case study-based request for proposal process incorporating input from more than 1,200 faculty, staff and students, according to a university statement.

In particular, the university is using the migration as an opportunity to think about the teaching and learning process and how to take advantage of new LMS features or approaches. "We're not approaching it just as a simple software change," commented Jenna Rickus, vice provost for teaching and learning, who is overseeing the implementation process. "We really see it as an opportunity for continuous improvement, in the way we're teaching and the way students are learning."

Education technologists and IT specialists across the system are currently testing Brightspace to explore its capabilities and come up with a plan to help faculty and instructors create courses in the new system, the university said. While Blackboard Learn will continue to be Purdue's primary LMS through summer 2020, the goal is to complete the transition as efficiently as possible.

"The advice we received from peer universities who recently changed their LMS was to move quickly and avoid time running two platforms at the same time, as it causes confusion for students and faculty," said Rickus. "We've already had a lot of interest from faculty who want to get in the new system so that they can take advantage of Brightspace's new features. That's why we intend to move quickly and strategically, while still giving instructors time to plan ahead."

The university has created a website to share information about the Brightspace implementation, including a project timeline, resources and frequently asked questions.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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