Marist Transitions to New Learning Management System
Dear Marist faculty,
Over the last 8 months we have performed a comprehensive review of iLearn, our existing Learning Management System (LMS), while also exploring options for a new system. This was a continuation of the process that began in 2019 that was paused due to COVID. This review included input from many of you through a cross-disciplinary task force, community-wide surveys, and open “sandbox” sessions that allowed you to try the various systems that were being evaluated and provide your feedback.
Based on this extensive analysis, we have decided to adopt Desire2Learn’s Brightspace platform as our new online learning community, which we believe will give faculty, staff and students a simpler to use, more modern system with expanded capabilities and analytics. Brightspace is already used by over 1,500 colleges and universities nationwide, including many New York institutions such as all SUNY schools, NYU, Pace University, Long Island University, and more.
This is an exciting transition for our faculty and an opportunity to support your instruction both in and out of the classroom with more innovative tools and the ability to collaborate more easily with students. The possibilities through Brightspace are extensive and we’re building training and support resources to assist you with the transition.
Here are a few of the key benefits Brightspace offers over our current Sakai-based iLearn system:
- Modern user interface – the design and user experience is similar to many web sites and apps we’re familiar with using in our daily lives, with more visual elements, drag-and-drop capabilities for files and intuitive navigation.
- Mobile app – faculty, staff, and student surveys revealed having a mobile app is a top feature desired in a new LMS. Additionally, students complete much of their online activities on mobile devices today, and Brightspace was voted the best student mobile app according to Apple store ratings.
- Advanced analytics and dashboards – rich visualizations of adoption, engagement, and assessment analytics are available to not only track what is going on in a course through data, but also access information to help inform and direct your decision making and empower you to quickly see at-risk students and, with a click, action that data. Faculty can create centralized grading dashboards and automate many processes.
- ePortfolios and video – faculty, staff, and students have expressed a need for a location to organize their learning. Brightspace offers an ePortfolio that can follow students after they’ve graduated and offers the ability to use video within assignments and feedback.
- Award-winning accessibility standards – Brightspace exceeds industry accessibility standards, with automated closed captioning and many other features, to ensure all users have equitable access to, and experiences with, the system.
We will deploy a phased transition to Brightspace starting with summer courses, and prepare for a full deployment at the start of the fall 2023 semester. Extensive training resources will be available starting in March to ensure a smooth transition for all faculty and staff.
- Both synchronous trainings (in-person and Zoom ) and asynchronous training materials will be available; a separate announcement will be sent shortly to sign up for a session.
- All courses from the last academic year on the current iLearn LMS will automatically transfer to the new Brightspace LMS. An exception request process will be available if older files need to be transferred.
We know change can be difficult. But we’re committed to building ample transition time, providing a variety of support resources, and helping build a powerful new online learning community for you so that it becomes a valuable asset in your academic planning and student instruction.
- Review our FAQs https://my.de.marist.edu/transition-faqs which address some of the common questions you may have about this transition to a new LMS.
Additional communications will be forthcoming to update you and guide you throughout this process, but if you have questions in the meantime, please contact email@example.com.
Thank you for your support and engagement in this important enhancement to Marist’s learning management system.
James Snyder and Julin Sharp