Activities are underway for the transition from Blackboard to the new Brightspace platform. The focus for the last several weeks has been working with our D2L project manager and implementation team to get our new site configured and online. Work begins this next week on setting up user authentication, which will then allow us to activate individual accounts for all of our adjunct instructors. At that point, we will enroll everybody in the standard instructor training course from D2L. That is a self-paced modular course that will available for you to use at your leisure. We will also be providing additional, specific training of our own along the way.
Work is also beginning on connecting the LMS platform to our student information system. This is what handles course enrollment and registrations. Sean is also working with our project manager to begin testing the bulk processes of migrating courses from blackboard to Brightspace.
We will plan in July to begin offering specific instructor training for our AGS faculty, especially those of you that will be teaching on the new platform starting in mid to late August. Please be aware that all new incoming cohorts that begin on or after July 1 will be taught on the Brightspace platform. We will be making a determination over the next several weeks as to what instructors will decide to those courses. Providing training for those instructors will be the first priority. This also means that some of you will be teaching courses in both Brightspace and Blackboard at the same time, so be mentally prepared in case you are asked to do that.
Having spent more time in the system these last few days, I am confident that you will enjoy this new environment and be very pleased with the aesthetics, the functionality, and the ease of use. Features such as SMS/texting notifications of updates to courses and announcements, the one-step ability to add video comments or notes into content or grading, a very powerful and user-friendly mobile platform for phones and iPads, and a much cleaner gradebook will make the online teaching and learning experience much more pleasant, I believe.
If you are eager to be an early adopter and want to be involved in training as soon as it is available, please do not hesitate to let me know.