Why Brightspace?

A team of CNM faculty and staff chose Brightspace by Desire to Learn (D2L) to be the college’s next learning management system. Blackboard will be phased out at the end of December 2020.

How was Brightspace selected?

Brightspace is the name of the learning management system, and D2L is the name of the company that created it.

In fall 2017,  an acquisition team was formed,  tasked with selecting the next learning management system (LMS). The team consisted of a representative faculty member from every school at CNM as well as a representative from ITS, DRC, and an associate dean.

The team initially released a Request for Information (RFI) to better understand the selection criteria and what is available in today's market. That information was used to formulate the criteria for the Request for Proposal (RFP).

In spring 2018, the team created a detailed list of criteria for the RFP that was opened for bidding. The criteria included more than 200 items, with information about the LMS migration, functionality, user-friendliness, integrations with third-party platforms, mobile applications, universal design and accessibility, training support, and IT support.  

Four vendors responded to the RFP: Blackboard, D2L, STPS World LLC, and Canvas. An evaluation committee was established by the project lead to evaluate the RFP responses based upon scoring criteria established by the team. After the committee's scores were calculated, D2L earned the highest score.

In spring 2019, CNM invited the three LMS vendors who scored highest to give demonstrations and answer clarifying questions from the evaluation committee.The committee ranked D2L highest based on these demonstrations.

All faculty and staff were invited to attend the demonstrations and recordings were made available through MCO. A survey was distributed to faculty, and approximately 115 faculty members responded. The evaluation committee used the feedback from faculty as a guide, but the feedback was scattered with no clear “winner.” To narrow down the selection, each member of the committee named his or her top two vendors.  D2L was the only vendor included in every member's top two choices. It was clear from the demonstrations and the RFP scoring that D2L was the first choice by representatives from faculty, staff, administration, and ITS.

Why was Brightspace selected? 

Brightspace was selected because of the desirable features and capabilities it offers.

  • Brightspace comes with high levels of support.
  • There is no downtime for upgrades.
  • Brightspace offers a mobile-friendly, intuitive platform for our students.
  • Brightspace provides four apps to improve both faculty and learner experience when working on a mobile device.  
  • Brightspace offers an improved academic experience and provides useful productivity tools and learning analytics to track learner progress.  
  • Brightspace is a cloud-based learning environment, designed to be flexible and smart.  
  • Every key feature CNM wanted is already available or under development and will be available soon.   

Brightspace was not the cheapest option, but the adoption team chose the LMS that would best suit CNM’s needs as we continue expanding online learning at CNM.