Brightspace implementation starts in January: Here’s how you can start planning now

The Purdue University System will begin the transition away from Blackboard Learn this spring and move to the D2L Brightspace learning management system.                                                        

That implementation process means that faculty and staff who use Blackboard Learn should prepare to spend some of their time during the spring semester to move content and become familiar with the new learning management system. 

Purdue’s West Lafayette and Fort Wayne campuses are scheduled to use Brightspace for all courses at the start of the 2020 fall semester. Purdue Northwest is implementing Brightspace on a different timeline and will continue to use Blackboard Learn during the 2020-2021 academic year.

To stay up-to-date with implementation plans and to find resources for learning how to use Brightspace, visit

Important information to consider for the start of the spring semester includes:

Soft launch – Teaching with Brightspace this spring

A limited number of instructors on all three campuses are participating in the spring “soft launch” of Brightspace, and will be using the system to teach live courses this spring. Evaluations of software, tools and procedures throughout the soft launch will be used to help identify best practices useful for the full implementation of Brightspace.

Brightspace access – Start creating content, preparing for full implementation

All West Lafayette instructors will have access to Brightspace on or close to Jan. 21, although that date is subject to change. More information about how to access the site will be made available early in the spring semester. Once West Lafayette instructors have access, new courses can be built from scratch. A process to automatically migrate course sections from Blackboard to Brightspace is in development, and is expected to be available in mid January. However, only courses enrolled in the soft launch can be used for actually teaching a class this spring.

More information about access to Brightspace for instructors and staff at Purdue Fort Wayne and Northwest will be available early in the spring semester. 

Training – Resources to get started

Live training opportunities will be available throughout the spring semester for faculty and staff to learn how to navigate Brightspace, including weekly open lab times and a series of workshops. Courses are expected to fill quickly, so early registration is recommended. 

  • Click here to learn more and to register for workshops and webinars on the West Lafayette Campus.

  • Information about training opportunities for the Northwest and Fort Wayne campuses will be available in the spring semester.

Request a workshop for your unit/department/college

Purdue Innovative Learning educational technologists are available to host custom Brightspace workshops for campus units, including work-intensive setup sessions, or shorter informational meetings. Because of the high volume of requests expected, requests should be made as early as possible in the semester to ensure that schedules can be coordinated. To request a workshop on the West Lafayette campus, send an email to To request a workshop on the Fort Wayne campus, send an email to

Other resources

  • YouTube Brightspace tutorials: This page links directly to instructional videos with information specific to new users – like how to set up grading, how to create assessments and how to navigate the system’s user interface.
  • YouTube Brightspace Information. This channel offers resources for new users and seasoned professionals on how to create courses, use various tools, create content, and more.
  • The site includes videos, documents and a searchable database to help users – instructors, administrators and students – find answers to their Brightspace questions, as well as resources to help with creating content and managing courses.
  • Want to learn how others are using Brightspace? This site serves as an online community where Brightspace users – instructors, students, administrators and developers – can share resources, ask questions and get advice.

Campus contacts

To stay up-to-date with implementation plans and to find resources for learning how to use Brightspace, visit

Have questions about the Brightspace implementation plan? Contact implementation team members at:



Writer: Dave Stephens, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue, 765-496-7998,

Last updated: December 10, 2019