65 Ratings
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Score 7.7 out of 100
4 Ratings
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Score 9.8 out of 100

Likelihood to Recommend

Brightspace

Brightspace can be a great platform for institutions looking for a multi-platform solution that works with standard cloud technologies and can provide a beautiful experience. The LMS can work well for online-only courses as sections can be segmented from each other inside of the same course, and grading can be automated depending on the scheme being implemented. Experienced instructors can still create useful workshops and courses with this tool, but it can be frustrating for newcomers or those used to other "plug-and-play" or "drag-and-drop" options. I would recommend trying the tool out and making some demonstration courses in which you are a student and learner in order to feel how it works and compares to other options on the market. Brightspace is definitely powerful and can provide a good experience once all stakeholders adjust to its handling.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

PowerSchool Special Education is well suited in one specific area: special education in elementary, middle and high schools. It works here due to the nature of the platform, which focuses on meeting the needs of students with all disabilities. The software offers information on specific cases, students, as well as Academics. This supports the mission of supporting all students and making it easier for educators, parents, and administration to be more heavily involved in tracking, monitoring and supporting students. When using PowerSchool Special Education, it simplifies the IEP process. Collaboration is one of the best abilities the software provides. There is a need to track program eligibility, including 501 accommodations and Title 1, and in a school with such a large population, the functionality that this software offers to users is important.
Christopher Power | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

Learning Management

Brightspace
8.7
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Course authoring
Brightspace
8.1
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Course catalog or library
Brightspace
8.3
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Player/Portal
Brightspace
9.3
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Learning content
Brightspace
8.1
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Mobile friendly
Brightspace
9.1
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Progress tracking & certifications
Brightspace
8.9
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Assignments
Brightspace
9.2
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Compliance management
Brightspace
8.0
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Learning administration
Brightspace
8.9
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Learning reporting & analytics
Brightspace
9.0
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
Social learning
Brightspace
8.5
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Pros

Brightspace

  • File sharing capability between users is largely unparalleled in the LMS space (from my experience).
  • The user interface has continued to receive valuable updates that have created an incredibly efficient platform to navigate.
  • Brightspace offers a single source of truth for standardized learning outcomes based on company objectives.
Joshua Melder | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

  • It provides all the documents necessary for supporting federal and state laws in regards to the special education program.
  • Extremely effective in helping to meet reporting standards for students. Teachers that fall behind on deadlines or timelines are given reminders and provided with processes to monitor progress and reporting.
  • Case management is easy, which leads to 100% compliance. This is important because the best strength is that this platform helps to increase funding by meeting all requirements of the Fed and State.
  • An additional strength is the collaborative potential it offers. The platform offers student portals to let staff access all resources on demand.
Christopher Power | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Brightspace

  • D2L should find a way to allow markup of student writing directly in the review panel of the dropbox. Blackboard and Canvas do this.
  • When you set the number of points an item is worth in the dropbox, it doesn't carry this value over into the grade book automatically, which means you have to be careful to enter the same information in two different interfaces.
  • The rubric function needs a wider range of options. It should be possible to upload rubrics from external files and make them usable within D2L.
  • The discussions are hard to reorganize. Grading discussions using a rubric is not possible inside D2L, as far as I know.
  • When using the Record audio function to provide student feedback, the audio quality is too poor to be used in many situations.
Tom Carlson | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

  • In terms of improvement, the interface is extremely ugly and simple in design, color and icon design. The platform needs to have a much more interactive and appealing interface so that use is more comfortable.
  • For parents, their side of the platform has a lot of options. That needs to be simplified. I think less and more drop downs within the key menus would help.
  • The disability codes are very lengthy. Perhaps there are easier or faster ways to access subsections to select.
Christopher Power | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Brightspace

Brightspace 9.0
Based on 25 answers
I would never give any system a perfect score. In the technology environment today we need to be constantly looking at ways to improve the user experience and LMS companies like Desire2Learn need to know that we have options today with other systems and they need to stay current with features and listen to their customers.
Ed Lovitt | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Usability

Brightspace

Brightspace 6.4
Based on 11 answers
Overall, the learning environment works as expected. However, there are plenty of bugs. For example, for a few versions, trying to print out a PDF from the Content screen in several browsers would produce a blank page. We inform D2L support about these issues, most of which are known issues. However, they are very slow to respond. D2L seems to spend more time selling than actually coding and testing their product. Most of the issues are not major -- however, there have been a few that are unbelievable. In fact, this past week we had a sudden issue where the "Submit" button in quizzes would not appear if users had a certain browser/operating system combination. This is a major problem, if students cannot submit their exams! D2L is slow to respond to these kinds of situations, which do occur more often than I would like.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Reliability and Availability

Brightspace

Brightspace 9.0
Based on 1 answer
Both students and instructor enjoy the 24-hoiur access. After, all isn't that the point of online learning. As an instructor located in an Eastern time zone state it is great to connect with students located in a Pacific time zone state. I have gotten comments about the early hours I am in the course room grading assignments . . . 4:00 a.m. PST; 7:00 a.m. EST So, it's sleep time for my students and "first cup of coffee" time for me.
Randi Tucker Barr, MBA, PhD | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Performance

Brightspace

Brightspace 9.0
Based on 2 answers
Easy to navigate; little to no delay from one section of the course room to another; actually fun to use after overcoming the learning curve.
Randi Tucker Barr, MBA, PhD | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Support Rating

Brightspace

Brightspace 9.9
Based on 5 answers
I have had excellent support from Desire2Learn. Any ticket that I submit is acknowledged immediately and the correction is usually almost as quick. We use this for thousands of classes and it is pretty well liked by both faculty and students. We have been using it for almost 4 years now and most of our instructors have become pretty proficient with it.
Steven Mitchell | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

In-Person Training

Brightspace

Did not participate in the in-person training due to distance; training was completed online
Randi Tucker Barr, MBA, PhD | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No answers on this topic

Online Training

Brightspace

Brightspace 4.0
Based on 2 answers
The training provided online did not, necessarily, fit the version of the system that I was using. Screens were somewhat different and not all options were readily available. This could have been due to customization on the part of my institution however, I rather believe it was due to version changes and training materials not yet being updated.
Ken Matthias | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Implementation Rating

Brightspace

Brightspace 1.6
Based on 3 answers
The D2L implementation team listened to our concerns and built a system based upon our needs. We wanted to keep them after the initial implementation.
Ed Lovitt | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Alternatives Considered

Brightspace

Desire2Learn is similar to Blackboard but with less functionality and intuitiveness in terms of use. Grading options are more limited. Desire2Learn uses a cluttered interface with many tabs and options needing to be used to create even basic assignments for upload and grading. When entering grades in Blackboard, changes are instantly saved but Desire2Learn requires you hit a Save button at the bottom of the interface. If you fail to hit save, your grade changes will not be entered.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

There is no other software on the market that is specifically focused on improving the support of special education programs. PowerSchool Special Education system has a similar interface and structure that Moodle Rooms offer; however, Moodle Rooms is for content management and student management. PowerSchool Special Education is not related to course curriculum management, it is primarily focused on special education programs. Managing special education programs can be very difficult and stressful. It is impossible to successfully comply and healthily support a special education program without tools such as PowerSchool Special Education. Even more important than what other software does do for schools and educators, this platform makes it more convenient for families. Electronic forms and parent portals make processes easier.
Christopher Power | TrustRadius Reviewer

Scalability

Brightspace

Brightspace 9.0
Based on 1 answer
During my first semester working with Desire2Learn the integrated learning management system was more down than up. This meant reconfiguring assignment due dates, frustration for both the instructor, students, and help desk staff. After an upgrade, Desire2Learn has been reliable.
Randi Tucker Barr, MBA, PhD | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Return on Investment

Brightspace

  • D2L has allowed us to create master courses that are regularly updated and then copied over from semester to semester. The copy process is very quick and easy so this have been a time saver for us.
  • Sometimes the learning curve for end users has been a little difficult as the recent upgrades (9.4 to 10 to 10.1) have had some very significant changes. In the end I think the changes are an improvement but sometime faculty and students get nervous because "things look different".
Jennifer Hendryx | TrustRadius Reviewer

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

  • There is also a positive impact on ROI for the school. Utilizing this software provides the school with the ability to increase the potential it receives in Title 1 funding. Title 1 funding is a major source of funding for inner-city schools in particular.
  • Normally, the IEP and tracking process is lengthy, filled with paper, and often takes more time than necessary. Utilizing this software speeds up the process and provides clear requirements to be met, which reduces the number of questions and confusing meetings or papers left in teacher mailboxes.
  • I have not experienced a negative return on investment with the software, because, without it, the paper trail would be too lengthy and the process would be much more convoluted, with long meetings, long sheets of paperwork, and missed deadlines due to a lack of clear collaboration.
Christopher Power | TrustRadius Reviewer

Screenshots

Pricing Details

Brightspace

General

Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
No

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Brightspace
8.7
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs
9.0

Likelihood to Renew

Brightspace
9.0
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Usability

Brightspace
6.4
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Reliability and Availability

Brightspace
9.0
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Performance

Brightspace
9.0
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Support Rating

Brightspace
9.9
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Online Training

Brightspace
4.0
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Implementation Rating

Brightspace
1.6
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

Scalability

Brightspace
9.0
PowerSchool Unified Classroom Special Programs

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