Transition to D2L Brightspace learning management system starts next week

The transition away from Blackboard Learn to the D2L Brightspace learning management system begins in earnest with the spring semester, with access to the new system for all West Lafayette faculty and staff beginning next week.

The following information is for faculty and staff at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Click these links for implementation information at Purdue Fort Wayne and Purdue Northwest.

Semester of Transition

“The move from Blackboard Learn to Brightspace is a major undertaking that has been in development for more than two years,” says Jenna Rickus, the associate vice provost for teaching and learning and chair of the systemwide implementation steering committee. “But it’s more than just a change of technology or infrastructure, I see it as an opportunity to improve the way we are teaching and students are learning.”

The goal is for Brightspace to be the West Lafayette learning management system at the start of the fall 2020 semester, with no courses still using Blackboard Learn. For 2020 summer courses, the goal is to have as many as possible using Brightspace.

Throughout the spring semester, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to learn about Brightspace through workshops, webinars and instructional videos – all part of an effort to ease the transition. Weekly articles in Purdue Today, along with regular emails and other communications, will be targeted to help provide the latest information about the implementation.

“Faculty, instructors and staff should find some time during the spring semester to become familiar with Brightspace and to begin creating content or moving course content out of Blackboard,” says Rickus. “I also encourage everyone to take advantage of the resources we have available – workshops, videos, consultations – to make the transition smoother.”


  • Jan. 21: Faculty and staff can log into Instructors will be able to create new content and request new course shells to start building content.
  • Jan. 28: Course migration process goes live, allowing faculty and staff to migrate content from Blackboard Learn to Brightspace.
  • Feb. 28: Summer courses are loaded into Brightspace.
  • March 20: Fall courses loaded into Brightspace.
  • August 24: (First day of fall semester) Blackboard Learn is decommissioned for West Lafayette campus. Brightspace is the learning management system. 

Summer Courses in Brightspace

Brightspace will be the default learning management system during 2020 summer terms; instructors who need to use Blackboard Learn will be able to opt-out of using Brightspace. More information about the opt-out process for summer courses will be made available as the process is finalized.

Training and Resources:

Live training opportunities will be available throughout the spring semester for faculty and staff to learn how to navigate Brightspace, including weekly open lab times and a series of workshops and webinars. Courses are expected to fill quickly, so early registration is recommended. 

Brightspace Open Labs:
Starting January 27, Purdue Online will host an open lab from noon to 1 p.m. every Monday in Beering Hall, Room B286, throughout the spring semester (except during spring break) to help faculty and staff become acquainted with Brightspace. This is an opportunity to ask questions, discuss challenges, and learn more about the tools and technologies available with Brightspace. Open labs are designed to be drop-in events, but registration is available by clicking here.

January Live Training events:

Workshops are filling quickly and early registration is recommended. Click here for a full listing of workshops and webinars held throughout the spring semester on the West Lafayette Campus.

YouTube tutorials:
Instructional videos have been created to help instructors get started with essentials, like how to upload content and access gradebooks, as well as more advanced topics, like how to create assignments and quizzes and utilize features such as discussion boards.

Click here to view the full playlist of Brightspace instructional videos.

Request a workshop:
Purdue Innovative Learning educational technologists are available to host custom Brightspace workshops for campus units, including intensive setup sessions or shorter informational meetings. Because of the high volume of requests expected, requests should be made as early as possible. To request a workshop on the West Lafayette campus, send an email to

Other things to keep in mind  

  • Content migration from Blackboard: A process is in development to help instructors migrate course content from Blackboard Learn to Brightspace. More information will be available by January 28. (At this time, downloading course files from Blackboard Learn is discouraged as large file downloads can affect Blackboard’s stability.)

  • No new third-party tool integrations to Blackboard Learn: Due to the volume of work required to prepare for Brightspace, there will be no integrations of new tools to Blackboard this spring or summer. If you have specific questions about using a third-party integrated tool this semester, contact

Campus contacts  

To stay up-to-date with implementation plans and to find resources for learning how to use Brightspace, visit

Have questions about the Brightspace implementation plan? Contact implementation team members at:

Writer: Dave Stephens, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue, 765-496-7998,

Last updated: Jan. 14, 2020