Brightspace to replace eCollege in fall 2018

Students work together in Gee Library. Photo Courtesy | TAMUC

By fall 2018, students and teachers will no longer be using eCollege for online courses and will instead be using Brightspace, a new learning management system (LMS) reported to provide a better layout, more efficiency, and fewer complications.

The switch from eCollege to Brightspace has been in the works for some time, and it was selected after Pearson decided to remove eCollege.

“Pearson is the parent company that owns eCollege and owns the product and they are retiring it,” Educational Technology Innovations Manager Mike Smith said. “Even if we wanted to stay with eCollege, which we don’t, we would have no other option.”

The full switch is set to place in the fall, but there will be a transition using beta courses. Beta courses are online courses that have been selected to use Brightspace during the spring. This will be available in more courses for the Summer I semester, and then it will be fully launched in the fall. The purpose of these spring courses being introduced is to provide a smooth transition while also getting feedback on the new system.

“I want a much better experience for the students and the faculty,” Smith said. “I want a more modernized system that does the basics very well but also has a lot of extra features, which I think we’ll find once we get Brightspace deployed.”

Murrey viewed things in a similar light. He agreed that the university’s new learning management system should provide a better experience for both students and faculty.

“I would love to see an LMS implemented in every course to where students have the material they’re getting in class, plus they have access to additional material that was online for them.,” Murrey said. “I’d like our distance learners to have a rigorous learning space where they’re challenged in different ways but also have something that’s very adaptable to them.”

Brightspace was chosen by a selection committee that consisted of representatives across campus, some of which were students, who reviewed Brightspace and two other learning management systems. Bright Space was picked as the best option out of all three.

“Overall, I felt like it was a good platform,” Murrey said. “There’s a plethora of tools available, some that do some really amazing things that will help with communication between those students and faculty members. Overall, I think the faculty made a good choice in choosing the platform they want to use in the future.”