FAQ - Brightspace Transition

FDC has produced several resources to help you learn Brightspace:

Blackboard will no longer be available for running Fall 2020 courses after August 26th. After that date we will still be able to access Blackboard ONLY for the purposes of retrieving information and finalizing Incomplete academic work. Blackboard will be entirely inaccessible for any purpose after October 25th, 2020. Brightspace will be our official LMS starting Fall 2020.

It cannot, however steps are being taken to ensure data from Blackboard will be accessed in some form. It will definitely not be available to run Fall 2020 courses on, though.

Everything on Blackboard going back to Summer 2014 is being archived to Google Drive. This part of the migration is almost done. As course archives land in Google Drive, they are then imported into Brightspace, which is a much slower process. Courses going back to Summer 2017 will be available in Brightspace by the August 26th cutoff. Older courses will gradually make their way to Brightspace over the fall semester.

Student grades and assignment submissions will be included in the course archives. However, they are not stored in a form that is easily human-readable. We have been assured that IT is working on a way to extract student grades and assignment info from Blackboard course archives. Student data from old courses cannot be imported into Brightspace.

 

If you would like further peace-of-mind, you can do the following in your courses so you have your own personal copies of courses, grades and student submissions. These are optional, but recommended, if you are teaching a Summer course on Blackboard and suspect you will have students that need an Incomplete:

 

 

Students can download files submitted for assignments via the Blackboard My Grades tool. There is more advice regarding students with incomplete grades forthcoming.

We are collaborating with the Learning Commons to produce training for students. The LC’s Learning Assistants will also be trained and ready to help students for Fall. The student training is finished. There is a button on the USM Brightspace landing page that will take them there and you can also give them the following link or include it in your syllabus: 

https://courses.maine.edu/d2l/le/discovery/view/course/86822

The Pulse app is primarily meant for students to receive course announcements, and updates via  push notifications on their mobile devices. The Pulse app is not “Brightspace for mobile devices.” The Brightspace site (courses.maine.edu) itself is mobile friendly. The full content for a course can be accessed by tapping the menu button in the upper-right corner of the Pulse app screen, and selecting “Launch Course Homepage.” This will take students directly to the full course on Brightspace in their device’s web browser..

Yes. Perform the following steps:

  1. In your course’s navbar, select Course Resources and then  Classlist. 

  2. Click Add Participants and select Add Existing Users.

  3. Search for the person you wish to add. Be careful. There are many people who share the same name! You can discern between them by looking at their maine.edu user name.

In the Role column, select either Instructor or Teaching Assistant, depending on your case.

No. The integration between Brightspace and Mainstreet is much closer and faster than it was with Blackboard. Changes made in MaineStreet are now reflected within 20 minutes in Brightspace. If faculty were able to add students to their courses from within Brightspace, they would be removed again because the student would not be enrolled in the course in MaineStreet.

Not for Fall 2020, but this is being investigated for future semesters.

Yes. The UMaine System recently acquired Turnitin. This is a very new development. As such, FDC has not yet had a chance to learn more about it or prepare training for instructors.. You are free to use it, but as of this time please rely on the following  documentation:

Course generation works the same as it did in Blackboard. Each semester, IT generates empty course shells for the upcoming semester. Faculty must copy the contents from a previous course into the empty shell. Consult Copying Course Materials within Brightspace in the FDC Brightspace Guide for instructions.

This is currently not possible in Brightspace. Module Start, Due, and End dates only make the links inside unclickable. You either need to use the manual visibility toggle button on each Module, or set a Release Condition that triggers the Module to visible/hidden.

In your course:

  1. Click the Assessments menu and select Quizzes & Exams.

  2. Click the Action button next to the Quiz or Exam and select Grade.

  3. Click the checkbox next to the student who needs a reset.

  4. Click the Reset button just above the student list table.

Please see Enable Student Preview in the FDC Brightspace Instructions.