Springboard is becoming Brightspace

sb-bs-logoThe board approved a five-year contract with Brightspace by D2L for our learning management software. The software, known on campus as Springboard, will move from servers in the Computer Center to the cloud. The contract includes 24/7/365 end-user support for faculty, staff and students. The software will be delivered in a Continuous Delivery model allowing faculty, staff, and students to take advantage of the most up-to-date functionality. The new Brightspace will be available for the Fall 2017 semester. 

Why is Springboard called Brightspace?

brightspacelogo-mdFaculty Senate voted to remove the Springboard name from the new system. In 2014, the vendor (D2L) named the system Brightspace. Beginning in Fall 2017, we will call our system Brightspace. This was done to make it easier for students and faculty to search for online self-help resources.

Will there be an Outage?

Yes. In order to make the transition to the new system, Springboard will not be available on August 24th. The last change that can be made to Springboard will be on August 23rd. Brightspace will be operational on August 25th.

Why was this date selected?

We realize that August 24th is only a few days before the semester starts.  The crunch is caused by our academic calendar:

  • Because the resolution could not be ready for the April Board meeting, we were unable to make this change during the slower summer period. 
  • Therefore we need to wait until summer classes end to make the transition.
  • Summer grades are due on August 22nd
  • Historically, we have always allowed faculty one day grace period in case there is a question about grade calculations or any unexpected technical issues with the system. Therefore, August 23rd is the last day to make changes on the current system.
  • That’s how we ended up with August 24th as the day we will need to make the transition.

What is the Project Timeline?

Date

Activity

Status

July 28, 2017 Pre-production Brightspace site created (matches current Springboard), testing Complete
August 3, 2017 Upgrade pre-production site to current version (10.7.3) Complete
August 4-23, 2017 Configuration and testing of new Brightspace site In progress
August 24, 2017 Cutover to new site, all systems will be down on this day Planned
August 25, 2017 By mid-day, we will be using the new Brightspace version 10.7.3 Planned

Will my Existing Courses Function as they do Now?

  • Your courses will continue to function as they do now.
  • All existing Springboard courses will be migrated to the new environment. There are no plans to delete anything from Springboard.
  • You will, however, have new functionality available to you.

Will Brightspace be Different from Springboard?

  • Yes and No.
  • The Brightspace software has been rebuilt using responsive design so it will adapt to different screen sizes to provide an improved user experience on computers, tablets and smartphones.
  • With new fonts, layouts, and a fresh colour palette, the software is more intuitive and engaging. This does mean that it will look very different than it does now.
  • Even though it looks different; in most cases, the steps you have been using will continue to work.  Once you get past the new look, you should find that your steps look very familiar. In some cases, you should find that you have fewer steps to get things done.
  • The software includes many additional improvements such as deeper integration of accessibility tools, improved data analytics, and new student engagement and assessment tools such as YouSeeU (an assignment-driven student video platform centered around educator and peer-to-peer feedback).

Will There Be Training?

Yes. Beginning on August 14th, there will be a number of training sessions that you can take. To view a full list of courses, with description, visit the Brightspace Training page.

Will Additional Support be Available?

Yes. After we complete the migration; the vendor (D2L) will provide support to all faculty, staff and students. This will be available 24 hours per day via phone, email, and chat.  We will provide contact details after the migration is complete.

When Can I Use the New System?

Now. You can use our current beta site at https://uakronprod.brightspace.com/. D2L has copied courses from Springboard to the beta site for testing purposes. Just use your UANet ID and password to login. Since this is a beta site, changes that you make in the new system will likely be overwritten by data in Springboard when the vendor completes the cut-over on the 24th.

  • If you need a sandbox site created on the beta site to test, send a request to support@uakron.edu. If you already had a sandbox site in Springboard, that site should be in the beta site.
  • You can learn more about the new system on the Brightspace Community site: https://community.brightspace.com/s/