Brightspace Platform To Replace Blackboard

Courtesy of Software Advice

By Kate Dempsey


   The CUNY Board of Trustees has approved the implementation of the learning platform Brightspace to replace Blackboard following the end of CUNY’s contract with Blackboard. The Office of Academic Affairs will be managing the transition, which will be phased over a two-year period with a selection of CUNY colleges each semester to be fully integrated.

   According to the directors of the transition, the move to Brightspace was not only due to the end of the contract with Blackboard; it also serves to provide students with new ways of learning and engagement.

   “Our transition from Blackboard to Brightspace allows us to expand on CUNY’s mission of access to our education,” said University Executive Director Evan Silberman, who is overseeing the transition. “Brightspace gives us the opportunity to provide our students with new ways to help them connect with the CUNY community that can lead to a transformative experience in our students’ lives and impact generations to follow.”

   Platforms like Brightspace are known as learning management systems (LMS) that generally work to organize and integrate class material and exercises into a digital format. Similar to Blackboard, Brightspace can be equipped to conduct classes fully online, and can be connected to other education software that can check plagiarism, open student information systems (SIS), and allow for video meetings.

   According to CUNY’s framework for transition, “Numerous campus representatives will be involved in the LMS transition to Brightspace. We estimate that the transition team, including the governance groups […] will exceed 150 individuals.”

   Training to use the platform began over the course of the summer 2023 session in preparation for the first selection of colleges that will use Brightspace for the incoming fall semester. The first colleges will include John Jay, Medgar Evers, Queens College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College. The spring 2024 semester will see the integration of City Tech, Bronx Community College, and Queensborough Community College, followed by Baruch College, City College of New York, and Hunter College in fall 2024.

   Brooklyn College, along with Lehman College and the CUNY Graduate Center, are slated to be the last colleges to transition, with their integration scheduled for the spring 2025 semester. For Brooklyn College students who will graduate in fall 2024 or sooner, Blackboard will still be the LMS used for classes.

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