In order to ensure a smooth transition from Blackboard to Brightspace, the first step is to prepare your courses for migration.
The resources on this page have been designed to help instructors prepare for the upcoming Learning Management System (LMS) migration from Blackboard to Brightspace. Taking the actions outlined here and in the downloadable, pre-migration checklist will support a smooth migration from Blackboard to Brightspace when courses are automatically batch migrated in early 2023.
Batch migration will occur in three phases:
You will be notified by email as your courses are migrated to Brightspace. Please refer to the Learning Management System Transition web page for further information and details about the transition process.
Only the course content and the course structure will be migrated. Student rosters, activity data and submissions will not be migrated.
The Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation is dedicated to supporting you in preparing your current Blackboard courses to migrate over to Brightspace. Click here to watch a recording of our pre-migration workshop to learn more about the transition timeline and how to prepare your course for the move from Blackboard to Brightspace.
Prior to your course migrating to Brightspace, it is important to review and revise your course. The pre-migration checklist, as well as the pedagogical strategies below, will help you with the review and revision process. Please see the steps below.
After reviewing your courses and identifying areas of improvement, determine the appropriate research-based pedagogical strategies below to integrate into your course.
|Reflect on previous learning experiences ||Prior to beginning discussions on new concepts, provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding from the previous class. Take the time to review prior learning experiences to help students deepen the connections between previous and upcoming concepts. || |
|Create student intrigue ||Consider your teaching approach and how you will draw your students in to your class’s big ideas, concepts and/or themes. Thoughtfully think through different teaching methods so that you can transform your class from a traditional lecture that is a passive listening exercise in to a student-centered learning experience by including active learning strategies.|| |
|Help orient your students||Help orient your students. Work collaboratively to help them understand where they were, where they’re going and how they’re going to get there. Doing so will offer your students a sense of direction and help facilitate their learning. || |
|Deliver interactive instruction and guided practice||Design mini-lectures (no more than 10-minute chunks) and identify and review no more than 3-4 big ideas per class. There is only so much information your students can take in, process and store. Take the time to share with your students the importance and relevance to what they’re learning. An organized and interactive lecture that consistently engages students increases their understanding. || |
|Summarize big ideas, key concepts and themes||Encourage students to synthesize important ideas, concepts and themes in pairs, triads or small groups. Giving students the time to actively process these important concepts and themes collaboratively will improve students’ critical thinking skills, as well as increase their understanding and ability to retain and transfer their new knowledge. || |
Integrate active learning strategies such as:
It is essential to include opportunities where you and your students can formatively assess and monitor their progress. Monitoring students’ progress each class is essential to their success in achieving the learning outcomes and transferring their new understandings.
Some strategies you can implement include:
Have your students reflect on what they have learned, the skills they have developed and the learning activities they have experienced. Reflection helps students develop metacognitive and self-directed learning skills. Both increase a student's self-efficacy and improves their higher-level cognitive abilities such as writing, test-taking and problem-solving.
Some strategies you can implement include:
Establishing an active and engaged classroom community that is accessible and promotes and instills equitable and inclusive principles is imperative to increasing students’ success. The following strategies are excellent first steps to create a welcoming environment for your students where they feel valued and respected.
Some strategies you can implement include:
Follow the OSCQR Rubric to review and improve course quality and accessibility for Brightspace.
Prior to migration, it is important to remove the clutter in your Blackboard courses, including identifying and removing unused files and materials, as well as unused tests, quizzes, pools and surveys. This will help improve the efficiency of your courses, reduce the storage size and prepare your course for the eventual migration to a new LMS. For more detailed information, please refer to the document, "How to clean up your course content."
The Files area acts as a repository for all files that you have uploaded to Blackboard. Keep in mind that when you add and update files in your course each semester (e.g., your course schedule or syllabus) Blackboard retains the previous version of your file in the Files area. This adds to the overall file size of the course.
The Course Content window will open and display all files and folders that are saved in your course. You will most likely notice duplicates of the same file or files from previous semesters that you no longer need. These are files you will be deleting.
The Blackboard Ally Accessibility checker can assist you in determining which files in the course may not be in use.
Once you have determined that a file is no longer needed, removing the file is very easy.
Note: The Recycle Bin will hold these removed items for a period of 30 days after which time the items will be permanently deleted. If you determined that you need a file that you accidentally removed, you can retrieve it if it is within that 30-day period.
In addition to the listing of files, you may also notice several folders within your Course Content. Many of these folders contain unused content from previous semesters. You should open each of these folders (and subfolders) and remove the unused files from them following the same steps as above.
Note: You should never remove an entire folder from the Course Content area before verifying that there are no files within it that are linked in the course.
Prior to migration, check the Tests, Surveys, and Pools areas in Blackboard. When courses are copied from semester to semester, unnecessary files are copied over as well. This can present many challenges in the Grade Center.
The easiest way to determine if a quiz or test is not being used in a course is to see if it is deployed to a content area or module folder.
There may be several pages of tests and quizzes to display. It is best select the Show All button to bring up all the tests and quizzes in that course. This will allow you to easily scan what you have and determine which quizzes or tests are not being used in the course.
Once the Tests page is displayed, you may notice several out-of-date or duplicates of other quizzes and tests. You will also notice a “deployed” column. Any item with a date assigned indicates that the last date the test was edited.
Video recordings tend to take up considerable storage in the courses, causing excessive “bloat”. Any previous versions continue to be copied and saved in the Files area of your course. It is recommended to move these files to Panopto (our recommendation), YouTube or some other service which videos can be linked. Once moved to one of these platforms you can link your video to your course.
Note: If you do not have a copy of the file on your local drive, you can download the item first and then upload it to Panopto.
To add the videos to Panopto, please follow this guidance. You must provision your course with the Panopto Course Tool Application link before you can add Panopto content. Instructors can also record and edit video and audio content from their computer or mobile device.
This step-by-step guide shows you how to create an archive file and how to create an export file.
Archives files capture all the student and instructor interactions in a course. It is recommended that you capture this information at the end of each semester.
Note: Check with your department for more specific information regarding details of what to keep, the length of time to keep the information and where to store it as the information provided here is a generalized overview.
Next, you will need to select the Archive copy options
The export course feature creates a zip file of your course content that you can import to create a new course—without any users or user interactions with the course. The export only includes what you select from the list. Note that attendance isn't included in the list.
Once submitted, you will need to wait for a confirmation email that the process completed. Once this email has been received, you can return to the course to see a zip file in the Course Export/Archive area. If you still do not see it, you may need to refresh the page.
Export packages are downloaded as compressed ZIP files and are imported in the same format. To begin the download process, simply “click” on the file. It will download to your computer. Don't unzip an export package or delete files from the package, as then the contents won't import correctly. Once the download is complete, save the file to UBbox, OneDrive or your device.
As you prepare for the migration to the Brightspace learning management system, you will select a single course site for each course that you teach, which you will prepare for migration. Since most recent course sites have been most recently updated, it is likely that you will want to select the newest version of your course sites for migration. Other course sites that will not be migrated should be archived and then deleted using the UB Learns Class Setup Tool. The following guide will help you navigate the Class Setup Tool and prepare your course for migration, archival or deletion.
Be sure to save all files and documentation you create in organized folders on your computer or a cloud storage service (e.g., UBbox) to make it easier to find the information you may need after your courses have been migrated to Brightspace. As a reminder, only course content and course structure will be migrated. The student roster, activity data and submissions will not be migrated.
These resources will help your transition from Blackboard to Brightspace go as smoothly as possible.