The University of Akron’s online learning management software formerly known as Springboard has now become Brightspace. This change will not mean anything to this year’s new students, however, for the returning student body and current faculty, the new platform will require some getting used to.
Springboard and Brightspace were both created by the software company D2L. The name change on campus reflects the company’s decision to change the software’s name. It makes it easier for students and faculty to find self-help online resources. Students will quickly find that the differences go beyond the name.
As part of a 5-year contract with D2L, approved by the Board of Trustees, Brightspace promises a new user-friendly environment. It is better suited for the variety of screen sizes and mobile platforms that exist these days. Brightspace will look very different from Springboard, yet students will still be able to access it through my.ukaron.edu.
D2L also provides a companion app called Brightspace Pulse available on Google Play and the Apple Store for smartphones. It will provide notifications on course updates, due date reminders, grades, and announcements to help students stay on top of their course work.
All profiles and courses created under Springboard have been migrated to Brightspace facilitating the transition. Improvements behind the scenes make it easier for faculty to design their courses and create assignments and activities.
It is important to note that system maintenance will be performed on the first Sunday of every month. Therefore, between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. on those days, Brightspace functionality will not be available. Be sure to obtain any necessary documents or upload assignments before the system goes down.
The contract with D2L includes assistance that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A number of professors and staff members have gone through Brightspace training but there is training available to everyone on the Information Technology Services webpage uakron.edu/it/.
Users can also call 1-800-325-7778 or submit an email through a link found on the Brightspace homepage. In addition to a link for tips and frequently asked questions, there is also a live chat function where issues can be submitted and discussed.