Get help with Brightspace transition at weekly open labs

Even though she has been teaching with the D2L Brightspace learning management system for the past two months as part of the system’s “soft launch,” Tracy Clark showed up at a recent Brightspace open lab with lots of questions.

Does Brightspace’s virtual classroom feature have closed captioning? What’s the best way to link course modules? How could she reduce the number of clicks it took for her students to get into an assignment?

Thankfully, Clark, a senior lecturer in English, had come to the right place. The West Lafayette weekly open labs – held from noon to 1 p.m. on Mondays in Beering Hall, Room B286 – are designed for faculty to drop in, ask questions and get help with any aspect of Brightspace. 

“When you think about getting started with Brightspace, you should plan on taking a week longer than you had originally intended,” says Clark, who adds that while the new system is fairly intuitive, it’s also significantly different from Blackboard Learn. “If you’re thinking about restructuring your course completely, I’d say it might take three weeks longer than what you’re expecting.”

In other words, Clark says, faculty need to get started sooner rather than later. Waiting for summer may be too late.

Brightspace open labs are drop-in events, but attendees are encouraged to register; more information is available here.

Can’t attend an open lab at noon on Monday? Colleges, departments and other campus units can schedule their own labs, where an consultant will be available to answer questions and provide assistance, by contacting

Don’t wait for summer – move content now

Waiting until summer to move your content from Blackboard Learn to Brightspace is a bad idea – the process isn’t automated and it might be a week before your content is copied into the new system. It's also likely some course materials will not transition properly, meaning additional work for instructors to make their content functional inside the new system.

Anyone with content inside of Blackboard should move the latest version of their courses now, and prepare to teach in Brightspace the next time their class is offered. Moving content for currently active classes is possible and will not impact those in your course, as student data is not moved during the process.

All instructors will need to request the movement of their own material; there are no plans to move content automatically. Follow the instructions found here to request transfer of course materials from Blackboard Learn to Brightspace and see details here about how to begin building new course content.

Summer 2020 courses and enrollments will be loaded only into Brightspace. Instructors can request to continue using Blackboard Learn for summer courses by submitting an opt-out request. More information about using Brightspace this summer can be found in this recent Purdue Today article.

Have questions about Brightspace? Talk with the faculty who are using it

Faculty using Brightspace to teach this spring as part of the “soft launch” will be the feature speakers at the next Tech Today event from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Friday, March 6, in Room 3121 of the Wilmeth Active Learning Center.

Purdue faculty, graduate students, and administrative personnel are invited to attend the event, which will include the opportunity to ask questions about Brightspace and learn from consultants who are helping to implement the new learning management system.

Seating is limited, and attendees are encouraged to register.

Get support: In-person, or via video

On campus during Spring Break? Use that time to get ahead with Brightspace by attending open labs and workshops designed to help instructors build and navigate their courses. Events are: 

Additional workshops scheduled for March and April can be found by clicking here.

Campus contacts

To stay up-to-date with implementation plans, including specific information for the Purdue Northwest and Purdue Fort Wayne campuses, visit

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

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

Last updated: March 3, 2020