This page includes Frequently Asked Questions and links to other information about UAlbany’s transition to Desire2Learn’s Brightspace as our campus Learning Management System. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please feel free to email us at Brightspace@albany.edu.
Training, Resources, and Support
What is Brightspace?
Desire2Learn’s Brightspace is a learning management system. Brightspace will replace Blackboard as our campus learning management system in 2023.
What is the difference between D2L and Brightspace?
Desire2Learn (D2L) is the name of the company. Brightspace is the name of the Learning Management System.
I’ve seen announcements from SUNY regarding the Digital Learning Environment (DLE). Is this the same thing as Brightspace?
Brightspace is the Learning Management System (LMS), which is the foundation of a larger unified DLE that SUNY is seeking to build. A coordinated integration of an LMS, related tools, and architecture comprise a DLE.
Where can I start learning about Brightspace?
Join the Brightspace Community to get support, answers, tips, and proven ideas from thousands of Brightspace users. This community is not affiliated with UAlbany and requires you to create a separate login.
What Blackboard features will be available in Brightspace?
Most of the features that are commonly used in Blackboard will be available in Brightspace, including the following:
- Content – files, pages, links
- Group management
This list of Brightspace Core Features includes additional details. Please note that blogs will not be available in our instance of Brightspace.
Will I be able to use add-on tools (like VoiceThread, Perusall, publisher packages, etc.) in Brightspace?
Yes, additional tools will be integrated into the Brightspace platform, but some may not be available right away. More detailed information will be forthcoming about the timeline for adding these tools to the system.
Will my prior courses be copied from Blackboard into Brightspace?
Courses that were offered from Summer 2021 to Fall 2022 will be copied into development courses in the Brightspace system and made available to faculty in late Spring 2023. Courses taught in Spring 2023 will be copied into development courses in the Brightspace system and made available to faculty in Summer 2023.
In the past, I had organizations in the Community tab in Blackboard. Is there a similar feature in Brightspace?
There is no communities feature in Brightspace, but there are several alternative solutions that organizations can use for communication and collaboration purposes.
How will students be informed about the transition to Brightspace?
The Brightspace Implementation Team is working closely with several student-facing units on campus to develop a wide-ranging strategy for getting the word out to students about Brightspace. A Resources for Students page will be made available soon.
Will I have access to materials that were previously available on electronic reserves?
With the SUNY-wide migration to Brightspace, the University Libraries will shift from the current electronic reserves service to a digitization service for course materials, effective Summer 2023.
Electronic course reserves content will be available for faculty to download from the Libraries and then upload to their corresponding Brightspace courses. Electronic reserves content will be available for download in early-April. An email message will go out to all electronic reserves users at that time with instructions for migrating content to Brightspace.
Library staff will continue to offer digitization services to support teaching and learning. Faculty can request PDF copies of book chapters and journal articles using our online request forms in ILLiad or the Libraries’ search tool. Requested materials will be scanned and delivered electronically, so faculty members can upload these materials directly to Brightspace. Librarians and staff are also able to provide assistance with direct links to electronic books and journal articles–please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your subject librarian for assistance.
When is UAlbany moving to Brightspace?
A small number of pilot courses will be hosted in Brightspace in Spring 2023. All courses will be offered in Brightspace starting in Summer 2023.
When will Blackboard courses no longer be available?
Blackboard will no longer be available to users after the end of Spring semester 2023. ITS plans to decommission Blackboard in Fall 2023.
When will faculty have access to Brightspace?
Faculty users will have access to sandbox courses in Brightspace in February 2023.
When will students have access to Brightspace?
Students will have access to courses in Brightspace at least two weeks before their first Brightspace course begins.
When will faculty learn more about the transition process?
A series of communications will be sent from the email@example.com mailbox during the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters.
Training, Resources, and Support
What resources will be available to help instructors learn how to use Brightspace?
There are many training resources for faculty.
- Brightspace offers a series of live and recorded Guided Training Webinars.
- The UAlbany Brightspace Functional Review Team is offering a series of Training Webinars throughout 2023.
- Brightspace offers a series of short video tutorials for specific instructor tasks.
- A set of resources will be made available in Brightspace. Instructors will receive more information about these resources when they have access to the system.
- SUNY has a series of recorded training webinars on the DLE website. To access these webinars, log in with your university credentials and select Trainings > Recordings from the top.
What resources will be available to help instructors learn how to teach effectively in Brightspace?
Educational Technology Resources in ITS provides support for teaching effectively with technology.
What ongoing support will be available to help instructors and students use Brightspace?
All users will have access to 24/7 support directly from the experts at D2L. Users can ask questions in live chat, by email, or by phone.