Prepare now for Fall 2020 Brightspace implementation

Purdue’s systemwide implementation of the D2L Brightspace learning management system to replace Blackboard Learn is still on schedule to take place before the start of the fall 2020 semester.

Although the COVID-19 emergency necessitated the move to remote teaching primarily via Blackboard Learn, that system is nearing the end of its lifecycle and should not be counted on to maintain its critical role.

“The situation is that there are both financial and technology concerns driving the implementation timeline, but the truth is that moving to the Brightspace LMS is better for our students and our faculty, especially with our current situations,” says Jenna Rickus, associate vice provost for teaching and learning.

"Brightspace has some advantages to make remote teaching and learning easier and more effective,” says Rickus. “For students, the mobile functionality and calendar-centric design facilitate online learning and time management.  For instructors, tools for virtual office hours and student activity reporting facilitate staying engaged with students. Overall the intuitive design and bright aesthetics make building new versions of courses easier and more appealing"

All instructors should begin preparing now for the move to Brightspace now and be aware of the following information and deadlines:

Key information and deadlines: 

  • Summer courses are loaded into Brightspace; instructors who want to use Blackboard may do so, but must submit an opt-out form before the course will appear in Blackboard. Deadline to opt out is April 27.

  • Blackboard access for all instructors ends on Aug. 24; the last day to request that a course be moved from Blackboard to Brightspace is August 17. Course materials currently in Blackboard Learn can be moved to Brightspace, but faculty must select which courses they would like to transfer.

  • Student grade/assignment data currently in Blackboard WILL NOT be moved with content into Brightspace. All faculty should plan now to download and save this information before Blackboard access ends in August. Instructions for downloading grade data can be found here.

  • Brightspace has some significant differences from Blackboard Learn so take advantage of the training and resources available now, either through a virtual workshop or via how-to videos. Faculty who have attended say these resources are a big help in getting up to speed.

  • For those who haven’t normally used a learning management system consider using Brightspace in future courses. The campuswide shutdown is unprecedented, but there is always the risk of personal circumstances taking instructors away from the classroom – having an LMS serve as the hub of your course helps keeps students connected and learning even in times of uncertainty.

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: April 7, 2020