Not always intuitive but powerful and diverse LMS
December 11, 2018

Not always intuitive but powerful and diverse LMS

Ho'omana Nathan Horton | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Brightspace

Desire2Learn (now called Brightspace by D2L I believe) is used across our university as the learning management platform. Assignments, information, quizzes, etc. are distributed and submitted by students to this platform. I've used it for all of the classes that I've taught and taken over the past five years as a PhD student and instructor of undergraduate students. I've used it in face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses.
  • Brightspace makes inclusion of TAs, assistants, observers, etc. a breeze.
  • The export feature makes it very easy to share materials with other instructors or plan your class for the next semester.
  • Automatic grading of quizzes is a huge help when appropriate.
  • Brightspace has done a great job providing resources to help students avoid academic integrity issues (and help instructors detect and address it).
  • Although it's hard to figure out how to do it at first, the interface for each class is very customizable.
  • Although it's improved a lot over the years, it is NOT intuitive to use for instructors or students.
  • The documentation is just incredibly scant. Although our university offers some support, it would be nice to be able to get help without having to call our IT department.
  • Unless you customize the interface (which is a bit tricky to figure out), it can be pretty cluttered and overwhelming for students.
  • Brightspace provides a unified platform for student interaction.
  • It provides a unified place for students to submit and keep track of assignments.
  • It provides a clear place for students to keep track of their grades throughout the semester.
Although it's been some time since I used Blackboard (as a student in my undergraduate degree), it felt much more intuitive at the time than Brightspace has when I've taken or taught classes. However, I don't feel especially comfortable comparing them since it's been quite awhile and I never had the opportunity to develop or teach courses with Blackboard.
Brightspace has been particularly useful in my hybrid classes where we alternate online and face-to-face meetings. This platform is an excellent resource for bridging the gap and helping guide students through content and assignments. I teach language classes specifically, and I feel that Brightspace is very nicely suited for helping students with writing courses, especially the incorporation of which allows students and instructors to see how outside material is used in students' assignments.

Brightspace Feature Ratings

Course authoring
Course catalog or library
Learning content
Mobile friendly
Progress tracking & certifications
Learning administration
Learning reporting & analytics
Social learning