Blackboard will be replaced over the next year with a more user-friendly program.
MCCC’s “learning management system,” which students use to access assignments and grades, has been part of the college’s environment for more than a decade.
Jeff Peters is MCCC’s coordinator of e-Learning and Instructional Support. He manages the Blackboard system and provide help to users.
He also is chair of MCCC’s Instructional Technology Committee, which is comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators.
Over the past year, the committee has evaluated Blackboard and decided to replace it with a more user-friendly system, D2L, by Brightspace.
The committee conducted surveys and collected feedback from faculty before making the decision.
The committee brought D2L, which is short for “Desire to Learn,” to campus along with two other learning management systems. Faculty and staff were able to experiment with each of the systems.
“Overall, you’ll find it to be very similar to Blackboard in terms of tools and features, but much more user-friendly,” Peters said.
The user-friendliness of the program will prove to make the transition between it and Blackboard very smooth and seamless, Peters said.
He said D2L, Blackboard, and most other learning management systems have similar tools, navigation, and features.
D2L looks a lot like the “My Institution” page that can be found in Blackboard, but is cleaner, less cluttered, and easier to navigate, Peters said.
The transition will take place at the beginning of Spring Semester 2018, but training will start in Winter Semester.
The announcement email and communications will be coming at the end of this semester, with details about dates for workshops and training opportunities.
“We’ve still got a lot of time, and information will be forthcoming,” Peters said. “There will be ample opportunities to get training and get acquainted with the Brightspace system.”
“There will be more communication at the end of the Fall 2017 Semester regarding the switch to Brightspace, as well as Brightspace training and support opportunities.”
Training will be starting in January of 2018 to prepare students, staff, and faculty.
The Regional Computer Training Center in the W Building, which is currently supporting Blackboard, will transition to being the support center for the new system.
“If you need support, you can go to the RCTC, which will become the Brightspace Help Desk,” Peters said.