D2L Brightspace vs. SmarterU.com

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
D2L Brightspace
Score 4.8 out of 10
N/A
Brightspace is an academic and corporate learning management platform. It provides core e-learning features, as well as mobile accessibility and granular personalization and analytics insights.N/A
SmarterU.com
Score 7.1 out of 10
N/A
SmarterU.com is a corporate-focused learning management software solution offered by Neovation Corporation.N/A
Pricing
D2L BrightspaceSmarterU.com
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
D2L BrightspaceSmarterU.com
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsMust contact vendor for pricing information. 30-day free trial is available.
More Pricing Information
Features
D2L BrightspaceSmarterU.com
Learning Management
Comparison of Learning Management features of Product A and Product B
D2L Brightspace
5.8
10 Ratings
34% below category average
SmarterU.com
8.6
2 Ratings
4% above category average
Course authoring2.010 Ratings8.02 Ratings
Course catalog or library10.06 Ratings10.02 Ratings
Player/Portal9.87 Ratings9.02 Ratings
Learning content9.69 Ratings8.01 Ratings
Mobile friendly1.09 Ratings7.02 Ratings
Progress tracking & certifications9.49 Ratings10.02 Ratings
Assignments2.010 Ratings9.02 Ratings
Compliance management8.01 Ratings9.02 Ratings
Learning administration2.09 Ratings10.02 Ratings
Learning reporting & analytics2.010 Ratings7.02 Ratings
Social learning8.49 Ratings7.92 Ratings
Best Alternatives
D2L BrightspaceSmarterU.com
Small Businesses
Tovuti LMS
Tovuti LMS
Score 9.6 out of 10
Tovuti LMS
Tovuti LMS
Score 9.6 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Jenzabar ONE
Jenzabar ONE
Score 9.5 out of 10
Bridge Learning Platform
Bridge Learning Platform
Score 10.0 out of 10
Enterprises
Schoology Learning
Schoology Learning
Score 9.4 out of 10
Bridge Learning Platform
Bridge Learning Platform
Score 10.0 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
D2L BrightspaceSmarterU.com
Likelihood to Recommend
1.2
(45 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.0
(25 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
6.4
(11 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Availability
9.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
9.0
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
10.0
(6 ratings)
8.0
(1 ratings)
Online Training
4.0
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
1.6
(3 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
9.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
D2L BrightspaceSmarterU.com
Likelihood to Recommend
D2L
If you're an educational institution (K-12, Higher Ed, etc.), this is an amazing tool, and it will provide you all the functionality to support anything you may want and need it to do. If you are looking at Brightspace as a tool for corporate training, I'm not sure exactly how good or bad it will be for you. My guess would be that it likely depends on your organization's size. Along that line, what I can speak to is how we use it for our customized training and in-house professional development/training, and it works fantastically for that. While we primarily use it for normal higher ed coursework, we regularly do training and professional development for all of our employees and I manage those along with our HR department. Because we use it for many other things as well, all of our employees are familiar with the product, which makes our trainings go that much smoother and makes my job that much easier.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
I think that SmarterU can be implemented in any organization in any industry. Especially in industries with more complex training requirements. The administration of the system is simple and the usability of the system to end users is even more simple
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Pros
D2L
  • Allowing users to embed content links from YouTube or Google Drive enables learners to experience a richer lesson.
  • Providing a powerful editor that allows developers to also include content from Adobe Stock as well as textbook publishers and cloud storage companies gives more power and creative ability to instructors.
  • Providing scaling for mobile and traditional computer systems ensures students will not have issues on the go.
  • The customization of home pages and groups enable courses to be used for small training sessions with breakout groups, large courses with separate sections, and even just more engaging courses that present themed icons and logos.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
  • Software works on multiple devices: computer, iPad, iPhone, Chromebook, etc.
  • Easy to navigate
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Cons
D2L
  • One can feel a bit rushed on the Brightspace platform during the log-out period. Security requirements may require this, but it makes end-users more conscious about getting through content than taking notes.
  • From my experience, there is not a direct connection between the platform and Outlook.
  • Some content on the platform can feel redundant.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
  • Reporting System can be improved.
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Likelihood to Renew
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Usability
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Reliability and Availability
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Performance
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
Really good support initially, now support is OK but we have fewer needs.
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In-Person Training
D2L
Did not participate in the in-person training due to distance; training was completed online
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Online Training
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
D2L
I have used Blackboard Learn 8 and 9. I am currently learning about Canvas. Blackboard is overall much clunkier and lacks the intuitive feel in some parts of D2L. Its grade book is much harder to control and manipulate than D2L's. Its navigation menu can be more radically modified from the default than D2L's, but this doesn't seem that useful to me. Discussions in Blackboard can be more easily reorganized than in D2L, but no grading of discussions is possible. Blackboard Assignments is a good innovation which allows markup directly in the students' submissions, but it displays student work in a confusing manner that doesn't allow for any customization, and its markup options need further tweaking. Furthermore, no rubrics can be used in Blackboard in any way to grade any kind of work (that I am aware of). Overall, I would choose D2L over Blackboard.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
Most online LMS systems work really well to track and manage training that the system is delivering. However, most systems are not very good at managing training requirements which are delivered outside of the system. For example, First Aid training, or license requirements are accomplished through third party. SmarterU was the only system we evaluation that was able to track these items with the ability to monitor the renew dates properly.
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Scalability
D2L
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.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
D2L
  • I cannot speak to whether this system is less expensive than the more fully featured Blackboard, but employees are far less efficient, frustrated, and require frequent calls to the help center to set up fairly simple course templates.
  • I have been asked to consider teaching courses which will be completely online at my current institution. I have done such online courses several times at other universities, but I have decided Desire2Learn is too frustrating and cumbersome to do so. I am now exploring using Google Drive to teach a course online. Otherwise, I will not teach online until required or I find an alternate system.
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Neovation Corporation (SmarterU)
  • It has helped us to make sure our training is consistent across multiple locations and trainers and ensured less drift.
  • The course tracking and certification allows us to manage new hires and make sure they complete all required training to later achieve an RBT certification.
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ScreenShots

D2L Brightspace Screenshots

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