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All UB courses delivered via Brightspace beginning this fall

Stylized photo of a faculty member with a student featuring the words "UB Learns Powered by Brightspace.".

Brightspace, UB's new learning management system, will be fully implemented for the fall semester.


Published August 21, 2023

“With the implementation of Brightspace, our faculty and students will have a best-in-class learning management system to support a transformative academic experience. ”
Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School

Beginning with the fall 2023 semester, all UB courses will be delivered using Brightspace, the university’s new learning management system (LMS). This marks the completion of a three-semester transition that engaged faculty, staff and students throughout research, discovery and selection phases.

“The transition to Brightspace has truly been a campus-wide effort,” says Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School. “Faculty and staff from all academic and many administrative units have worked hard over the past two years to have an inclusive and collaborative review and implementation process.”

Brightspace is the leading LMS providing a highly customizable, accessible, digital-forward platform to support students on their unique academic journeys. The adoption of the system supports UB’s goal to provide students with transformative, innovative and research-grounded educational experiences.

Instructors and students will also have access to a free Brightspace Pulse App, where they can view course content, grades, upcoming due dates, notifications and discussions in one place.

The transition is supported by the Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation (CATT). CATT staff continue to develop extensive training resources, as well as provide direct support to help users understand and implement the new LMS.

“The collaboration between the administration, faculty and various units within the university has been extensive to ensure the smooth implementation,” says Jessica Kruger, Faculty Senate IT Committee chair and LMS review committee co-chair. “It has been eye-opening to see how much time, effort and planning has gone into preparing for students and faculty to use Brightspace.”

Select classes began utilizing Brightspace this summer. Stuart Inglis, an instructor in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, was one of the individuals who opted to use Brightspace for a summer course in anatomy.

“I took advantage of all of the live training programs I could attend and watched additional recordings when I had time to focus on specific areas of the platform that were important to me,” he explains. “I found the training easy and effective.

“The support from CATT has been fantastic,” he adds. “If I ever had a difficult time navigating something, I would email their staff and they’d immediately follow up with a response and an opportunity for a Zoom call to talk through things more.”

Vivian Jimenez, director of tutoring and academic support services, has been preparing to use Brightspace beginning this fall. She’ll use the platform for self-guided training for university tutors, coaches and mentors, as well as a course for academic success strategy.

“I received a ton of help from CATT when I needed it, and I began to really tinker with everything in the platform,” she says. “While there is an opportunity to migrate everything over from Blackboard, I decided to start from scratch. It was fantastic. Brightspace made me much more organized and intentional about how I set up the class. I think it’s going to make it a lot easier for students to understand the ‘why’ of the content.”

Instructional support staff from across the academic and administrative units will continue to provide direct support to faculty and staff heading into the fall semester.

“I encourage our faculty to seek assistance from their instructional support staff and our Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching Transformation to utilize the robust features of Brightspace in their course development and delivery,” Hammill says.

In addition to recordings from past training sessions, which are available on the LMS transition website, training and walk-in support opportunities are taking place through Aug. 25. There are also extensive self-guided resources on the LMS transition website.

Students and instructors with incompletes for 2023 winter, spring and summer courses will have access to their course in Blackboard until December. If individuals need access to grades or materials in Blackboard beyond December, they must download those items before the end of the year.

“With the implementation of Brightspace, our faculty and students will have a best-in-class learning management system to support a transformative academic experience,” Hammill says.