Brightspace Software


 

D2L, provider of Brightspace, offers a web-based Learning Management System (LMS) that helps businesses and organizations run both blended and fully online courses for their employees. The system is also accessible on connected mobile devices and through dedicated apps.

With Brightspace, businesses are able to boost employee engagement and productivity while also working to improve overall retention. Because the Discussions tool is designed to help drive conversations, new hires are able to participate in discussions, read blogs that share company best practices, and use various tools to help customize their interactions. After a self-assessment, onboarding is tailored to each employee while Intelligent Agents help automate the communications process and provide immediate feedback. Each employee has a different user experience than the next through pre-set Release Conditions, and various rubrics help executives gain an accurate perspective of how effective their training is overall.

 

Brightspace - Game-Based Learning
 
  • Brightspace - Game-Based Learning
    Game-Based Learning
  • Brightspace - Brightspace Learning Environment
    Brightspace Learning Environment
  • Brightspace - Brightspace Community
    Brightspace Community
  • Brightspace - Brightspace Insights
    Brightspace Insights
  • Brightspace - Brightspace Pulse
    Brightspace Pulse
  • Brightspace - Brightspace Course Catalog
    Brightspace Course Catalog
Supported Operating System(s):
Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Linux, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 8

44 Reviews of Brightspace

 
Software Advice Reviews (37)
More Reviews (7)

Showing 1-20 of 37

from PSU Research Professors
Specialty: Education

Innovation comes to the LMS

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Likes Best

Takes the LMS to the next level with ease of use, focus on the learner and on learning analytics.

Likes Least

Not always stable, sometimes the learning curve can be challenging for new users.

Recommendations

Look for feature set, analytics and data reporting and ease of use.

 
 

from Bob Jones University
Specialty: Education

Flexible enough to meet the needs of all of our courses

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Likes Best

I really like being able to use restrictions to force students to do certain things before they are allowed to see other things. I think I will also like their adaptive learning--once they make it a part of their base system rather than an extra charge.

Likes Least

Improvements come at a cost. I believe that as they make improvements (for example, closed captioning) that they would include them in the price that we are already paying.

Recommendations

Be aware of the updates that are coming. It is nice that they come in small chunks, but that makes it quite difficult to get the information to all of the users. When an update happens they all of a sudden have to use a different procedure to do something. When instructions have been added to all of your courses, minor changes become a major issue.

 
 

from Bob Jones University
Specialty: Education

Brightspace: a powerful, but not the most intuitive LMS

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Likes Best

Brightspace puts a lot of options at the user's disposal. It is a powerful, robust LMS that can be customized to fit a wide variety of preferences. As an admin and as an instructor, I really appreciated that the system did not lock me in to one way of doing things.

I also really like how much, especially in recent years, the Brightspace development team seeks for input from its users (and provides great forums for sharing ideas for improvements).

Likes Least

Currently, Brightspace does not have a very robust way of setting up communications throughout the course. They use a feature called "intelligent agents" for sending notices to students when they meet certain criteria (for example, sending a particular note to a student when he is inactive in the course or performs particularly well on an assessment). This feature, however, lacks a good deal of "intelligence" and is pretty restricted in what it can do.

I also feel that much of Brightspace is not particularly intuitive or streamlined. I'd like to see them improve on ease of use (without sacrificing power). A good example of this is the quiz feature where finding the exact page you need to get to in order to edit questions and grade values is a bit like a scavenger hunt.

Recommendations

Let your faculty and admins try out a number of different LMS's. Each LMS will have strengths and weaknesses and the question is which best fits the culture of your institution. In the world of LMS's, one size definitely does not fit all.

 
 

from Southwest Minnesota State University
Specialty: Education

Brightspace by D2L is simple and customizable

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Likes Best

The support team is very fast in replying to any issues that may arise. Additionally they provide many webinars and conferences that help the users to create a network and exchange knowledge.

Likes Least

The not so intuitive construction of the LMS. Some navigation buttons can be confusing. One of the drawbacks is that it doesn't keep preferences like restrictions as default and you have to push lots of buttons or tick many boxes for each course.

Recommendations

Compare the product with other LMS and try it first as a student and as a faculty.

 
 

from University of Northwestern-St. Paul
Specialty: Education

Admin Experience with Brightspace

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Likes Best

As an administrator at my previous employer, I appreciated the flexibility to change pretty much anything that I wanted in the system. The ability to change what things were called in the system were very nice. In the most recent version that I had used, Brightspace had taken steps to make some changes on how system settings were handled to update the interface. Previously, the interface of the DOME was one of the most painful parts of the system.

I also appreciated the service desk that Brightspace has built up over the last three years. When I began using Brightspace, items could get lost very easily with the technical teams, but after some difficult issues, Brightspace has turned around a great deal, and updates to tickets were timely and applicable for a while before I stopped using it.

Likes Least

I found that there were little things that Brightspace did not do well. For instance, workflows between different tools were very different based on the time that the original tool was designed. This led to user frustration and an increase of time training users on the common functions of the LMS. I also found that Brightspace tended to minimize small updates or fixes in order to focus on major updates. While major updates are important to survive in the field, sometimes known bugs would remain for years without a fix.

Recommendations

I have found that any LMS will introduce its own set of problems, and no single LMS will perfectly fit every single use case. Most LMS's will be able to fulfill the same basic sets of tasks: quizzing, assignment submission, and gradebook. I would suggest that you have end users try out multiple LMS products and look at which system fits your existing or ideal workflows best.

I would also recommend that you look at the flexibility of an LMS to fit your current academic or corporate ecosystem. This would include the ability of an LMS to integrate third-party software. No LMS can do both everything an LMS should (quizzing, assignments, gradebook, content distribution) and a lot of other things equally well, so you should look at the LTI extensibility as well as how well the LMS company works with other vendors and try to find out its reputation.

 
 

from Des Moines University
Specialty: Education

A professor's experience with Brightspace (D2L) LMS one year in!

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Likes Best

To be fair to D2L, the LMS has a nice look and feel about it (especially in the student facing view). Hence, students seem reasonably happy with D2L most times. They also seem to be able to navigate around the various tabs with some ease. Students DO have issues with the e-Portfolio feature which is far from intuitive and simply doesn't work at times.

Likes Least

From the course creation standpoint, the software is very unintuitive and inconsistent. It appears that this LMS was created by a team of software engineers that did not commit to a consistent architecture. Hence, methods to accomplish certain tasks vary by where you may be in the LMS. This makes it very challenging and time consuming to use.

The discussion forum functionality is very dysfunctional and quite restricting. Many students have commented on how archaic this feature is and I agree with them.

The help function is virtually useless. One flounders until an answer is "discovered" or one gives up.

Finally, the number of clicks to accomplish the simplest of tasks is mind numbering.

Recommendations

I would not consider this product under any circumstances. There are simply too many better alternatives available to consider D2L.

 
 

from Newbury College-Brookline
Specialty: Education

Excellent First Semester Use Experience

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Likes Best

It is very easy to set up and maintain a course. I really like that there are multiple means to complete tasks (i.e. upload course content, grade assignments/quizzes, contact students, change course structure). To add, the availability of supports and video is phenomenal. I was part of the Brightspace implementation team for our campus. The amount of time and effort put into making sure the product met the needs of the faculty and unique student body, and training of the first use faculty was quite impressive. It is also helpful to have easy access to student progress and monitor learning out comes.

Likes Least

It is a bit difficult setting up the gradebook. It is not impossible, but not easy. Also, since it is required that one create a new rubric, it is time consuming. It would be much easier if one could upload a rubric from another LMS (as is done with quiz content).

Recommendations

Make sure you have time to learn the product before it goes live.

 
 

from MN State University Moorhead
Specialty: Education

Brightspace

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Brightspace

Likes Best

Well organized, easy to use, flexible, appropriate learning environment for my work.

Likes Least

Some aspects are not intuitive and are cumbersome. Some changes made don't make sense and are not helpful.

Recommendations

Try it for a variety of courses. Get help setting up your course. Look at all aspects. Get feedback from students.

 
 

from Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

Review of D2L/Brightspace

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Likes Best

I like how easy it is to organize content. I like the updated look of Brightspace vs D2L. I like how easy it is to import & export content. I liked that everything was in one place for the students when I taught. Now I use Brightspace for an orientation to the simulation center. It is a great resource for faculty and students alike to be able to review material.

Likes Least

The grade book can be a little awkward to set up to get exactly how I want it. Also would like the ability to easly add bonus questions to tests, to give the student the ability to earn over 100% on a test.

Recommendations

When evaluating software think about usability: Is it well structured and straightforward? Is it easy to learn how to use? Does it crash often, or is there excessive, inconvenient downtime? Does it fulfill all of your needs?

 
 

from HGTC
Specialty: Education

I have used the product to teach online

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Likes Best

Ease of use for faculty. Good training helped me understand the product much better.

Likes Least

It almost seems like there are too many options or tools.

Recommendations

Familiarize yourself with the product. Learn as much as you can about the various tools the software has to offer.

 
 

from Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

I use D2L as my primary LMS for my courses both online and on campus.

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Likes Best

Format, structure, and ease of use in navigating the site. I like how it is easy to drag and drop files, and if a mistake is made, to erase the file. I also like the Dropbox feature and how students receive a confirmation they have successfully uploaded a file. Though other faculty may have not liked the change, I very much like how you can move through student discussion posts to read their responses. The menu on the side allowing us to click on posts and to see which ones we haven't read yet is a big help. (Please do not change the discussion board.)

Likes Least

I do not really like the email client. I find it tough to easily search through email, though it is a minor complaint. I have most of my email forwarded to Outlook and use its search feature when needed.

Recommendations

Compare site organization and drag and drop features of D2L with your current LMS. I think the ease of use here will leave you wanting to switch from other products (especially Blackboard). Also use of Dropbox for loading student files is very easy.

 
 

from Florence-Darlington Technical Colelge
Specialty: Education

Works great unless you are on a phone!

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Likes Best

The structure of the pages is visually appealing. It is easy to be consistent among your different classes.

Likes Least

It is difficult to do some tasks that should be easy. (Example: When you forget to associate a test with a gradebook item, you have to come back and do that. The test will not automatically populate to the gradebook.)

The mobile app is not good.

Recommendations

Sit down with someone who uses it daily and ask lots of questions.

 
 

from Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

No more paper!

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Likes Best

I like that I've been able to do away with collecting paper in most of my courses. I am also able to easily arrange course materials for my students to access. Depending on your course, the original setup can be intense, but it is very easy to copy the course over for a new semester of a different section.

I enjoy being able to post grades and attendance in D2L.

I love that I can grade a quiz by question. Sometimes, I need to only look at one question.

Likes Least

There can be some misleading language such as "locked" on the calendar list next to a discussion assignment. Students see this as meaning that they cannot access the activity. But what it really means is that there is a period of time for which the assignment will be locked. It doesn't necessarily mean that the assignment can't be accessed at that time. I get lots of questions about this.

I still find the grade calculating tool is not as robust as I need it to be.

Recommendations

Consider how well it integrates with other technology tools that you use - (MyMathLab, Datatel, etc.)
Consider how well it performs on different platforms (pc, tablet, smart phone).

 
 

from Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

Versatility of Brightspace

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Likes Best

Brightspace allows me to manage my classroom, department and adjunct faculty. It acts as a single repository for information that is vital to effective communication. Faculty and students alike can get what they need to be successful. Tech support is wonderful.

Likes Least

Downloaded material gets renamed with a number making it difficult to know who the assignments belong to.

Recommendations

The more you use it the more valuable it becomes. You are able to be creative and provide many learning opportunities for your students and faculty.

 
 

from Trident Technical College
Specialty: Education

Brightspace has its lights on!

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Likes Best

It has an intriguing layout - easy to find information. The action banner is alive and draws you in, rather than being stagnant and flat.

Likes Least

I'm hard pressed to find something I don't like - its all there. It's done in an intuitive way.

Recommendations

Tour the entire site - discover the many features that's there to offer.

 
 

from Brunel
Specialty: Engineering

the use of different method to learn.

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Likes Best

I like the online learning possibilities and face to face courses.

Likes Least

The search function is difficult to use, especially when searching for specific training.

Recommendations

First, try all features of the software to be able to give a full judgment.

 
 

from Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

D2L Brightspace

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Likes Best

Some features are accessible and useful for working with students.

Likes Least

Some recent updates have made grading slower and more cumbersome, specifically the inability to move in dropbox from one student to the next without constant clicking and saving. We used to be able to grade a student, click "next" and it would save automatically.
Also, downloading an entire section of students that are only sortable by some id number makes it very hard for me to go through quickly and grade them. I never use the dropbox/download upload all feature, so this is annoying.

Recommendations

I have no recommendations at this time. The product is used in educational endeavors here.

 
 

from Health Science department at Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

All my classes are conducted through this platform.

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Likes Best

I like the ease of use for instructors and for students. It eliminates paper shuffling back and forth. Students/instructors can see grades at any time, including current average. It makes my job so much easier.

Likes Least

Mass editing of all tools is not always available to me. There are really only minor adjustments that could be made. In the earlier version, I could examine the class as a whole to see if particular items had been viewed/accomplished. Now I have to do this on an individual basis and this proves to be time-consuming.

Recommendations

It's a great learning platform. It's easy to set up classes and easy for students to use. It makes my job so much easier.

 
 

from Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

Good first LMS experience

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Likes Best

I like the ability to post supplemental instruction material for the students.

Likes Least

There's conflicting information regarding mail quota on the Home page vs individual course pages.

Recommendations

Make sure that you have the opportunity to review it as faculty and as a student as well, if used in education.

 
 

from Midlands Technical College
Specialty: Education

Brightspace for Online Teaching

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Likes Best

There are lots of good ways to use it. The upgrades seem to be responsive to what users need.

Likes Least

This is not particularly about Brightspace, but all LMS products seem a little clunky and sometimes not intuitive.

Recommendations

In my opinion, Brightspace is a very clean and fairly clear and straightforward LMS.

 
 
 
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