Plans are in progress to pilot Brightspace, BU's new virtual learning environment (VLE), with an entire faculty and a number of courses taking part in this exciting transition from myBU.
Students studying courses at all levels in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, level 4 courses in the Faculty of Science & Technology, and those courses shared between the two faculties, will be first to use Brightspace from the start of the new academic year in September 2017. Selected courses from the Faculty of Management and Faculty of Media & Communication are also included in the pilot.
Wendy Drake, Principal Project Manager of Vision4Learning (V4L), the project overseeing BU’s VLE implementation, said, “We have had a large number of volunteers offering to be part of the Brightspace pilot. It has been important to offer the widest number of BU users the very earliest opportunity to move to Brightspace, whilst still being able to effectively manage and evaluate the entire University’s VLE user experience during implementation.”
Almost half of BU will be included in the first phase of the Brightspace implementation. The second phase will bring all remaining BU courses online in September 2018. “Those that follow in 2018 will be in a strong position to benefit from any lessons learned from the early adopters”, Wendy added.
BU’s decision to review its VLE was led by feedback from students and staff during the externally facilitated ‘Changing the Learning Landscape’ (CLL) project, which took place during 2013 - 2014. CLL identified confidence in core technology as an important factor in BU’s use of technology enhanced learning and the VLE, whilst BU’s legal obligation to offer the VLE contract for re-tender under European law provided a timely opportunity to respond to student and staff concerns.
Brightspace fought off strong competition to secure BU’s 10 year VLE contract, securing excellent staff and student feedback in usability testing for their product’s modern interface and intuitive navigation.
The new VLE’s responsive and personalised learning experience with powerful learning analytics capabilities, integrated social media, chat, game-based learning and advanced video features, makes it well suited to the modern student and to BU community needs.