Category: News (Page 1 of 3)

Brightspace Spring Break Camp

Spring Break Camp Banner

OFDIT will be offering Brightspace support sessions during Spring Break.

You can join us for:

  • Teaching in Brightspace: basics of communication and grading
  • Preparing your Course: bring your questions while getting your course ready
  • Open Office Hours: ask us anything

Morning, Midday, and Afternoon sessions will be available. See the schedule and registration links here.

Additional sessions will be offered through May if you can’t make Spring Break Camp.

Brightspace Essentials: Self-Paced & Bite-Sized Learning Experiences for SPS Faculty and Staff

Dear Faculty & Staff,

Welcome to 2024! With the new year, we are delighted to announce the launch of “Brightspace Essentials,” a series of self-paced mini-lessons crafted to equip you with the fundamental skills for using the Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS).

Brightspace Essentials is your first step in mastering the basics. The first few lessons will help you:

  • Get familiar with the fundamental navigation and functions of Brightspace
  • Create content modules
  • Learn about the great features in the Brightspace Editor
  • Become familiar with communication tools
  • Manage discussions

Start today! Dive into these 15-minute lessons as a launching point for your Brightspace explorations. Please also check out our regularly updated LMS Transition Training page for demos and other resources.

Watch a Brightspace Demonstration Recorded on Nov. 29th

The CUNY LMS Transition Team conducted a live demonstration of the Brightspace learning environment.  All are welcome to view this 55-minute session detailing the following topics:

  • Accessibility
  • Accessing Brightspace
  • Basic Navigation
  • The Student Experience
  • The Instructor Experience

Viewing Tip: The video player below allows you to watch the entire demo or navigate to specific content sections. To see the table of contents, click the caret icon or click the arrow pointing right .

SPS Notes – Update on LMS Transition from EVC Hensel on Nov. 28

The message below was sent by Ruru Rusmin to all SPS faculty to highlight key points and provide details for the SPS community:

Dear SPS Community,

Earlier you received the latest LMS Transition update from Executive Vice Chancellor Wendy Hensel. We would like to highlight 5 key points, followed by details that pertain to SPS:

  1. The university-wide Brightspace environment is complete; SPS and other Group 1 and 2 schools are working on customizing their local nodes/organizations.
  2. Migration of Summer 2023 courses is on track for Dec. 15 completion.
  3. All faculty now have access to Brightspace and can create practice course sites.
  4. Faculty workshops from Central will begin in January
  5. We will be able to customize our college and course navigation menus (navbars)

Ref #2, SPS dev site migration: In addition to the migration of summer 2023 courses (content only), SPS is working with the CUNY team to migrate our dev sites. We plan to migrate our 3-, 7-, and 10-week dev sites in January 2024, and our 15-week dev sites in April 2024. Please note the migration of 3/7/10-week dev sites begins January 15; anything added or changed after January 15 in these Blackboard dev sites will not be captured in their migration to Brightspace.

Ref #3, Brightspace practice sites: Faculty and staff can now access the new LMS at Faculty can create practice sites with two limitations: practice sites may not include SPS-specific tools like VoiceThread, Digication, and Panopto, and faculty cannot enroll students despite the default text in the widget. Staff cannot create practice sites, but are welcome to reach out to us if they would like to set up practice sites for their unit. Student access is scheduled for May 2024.

Ref #4, Training and Support: We encourage SPS faculty and staff to take advantage of common resources such as the Brightspace Resource Course they are automatically enrolled in, the CUNY Brightspace Basics workshop series starting in January, and the Brightspace Community. We are working on our own SPS Brightspace Essentials Mini-Course for Faculty, which will launch in December 2023.

More information and questions: Please visit the CUNY Transition FAQ page as well our own SPS Transition Site. If your question isn’t answered or you would like to contact us, please don’t hesitate to email the SPS Transition team at


Ruru Rusmin
Assistant Dean of Faculty Development and Instructional Technology
CUNY School of Professional Studies
15 Years of Leading Online Education at CUNY

Update on LMS Transition from EVC Hensel on Nov. 28

The message below was sent from EVC Wendy Hensel to all CUNY Faculty on November 28, 2023:


I hope that you all had a wonderful, restful holiday weekend with your family and friends. I am writing to provide you with an update on our system-wide transition to Brightspace D2L, our new Learning Management System (LMS). I am pleased to report that the transition is gaining momentum in key areas, and that new faculty resources are now available to everyone.

A. Update on Course Migration

First and most critically, the central Brightspace environment is now complete. In short, that means that colleges in Transition group #1 (BMCC, SLU, SPS, Hostos, John Jay, Medgar Evers, and Queens) are able to begin customizing their Brightspace environment (e.g., personalizing it to the college’s identity and preferences for the navigation bar, widgets, etc.). As you may know, we experienced some delays in our course migration as a result of issues on the D2L management side. Fortunately, D2L has resolved these issues, and we are back on our anticipated schedule. The initial migration of courses from Summer 2023 will be completed by December 15 for transition groups #1 and #2 (Baruch, Bronx, Guttman, Kingsborough, City Tech, Queensborough, and York). Once that occurs, instructors can begin working in their courses to update them for delivery in Summer 2024.

Course migration for transition group #3 (City College, SPH, CSI, and Hunter) will be done in fall 2024 with courses being taught in Brightspace in spring 2025. Transition group #4 (Brooklyn, Journalism, Graduate Center, Law, LaGuardia, Lehman, and Macaulay) will follow with course migration in spring 2025 and course delivery in Brightspace in summer 2025.

B. Update on Support and Training for Faculty

There are many ways for faculty to begin preparing for the transition now. As of today, all faculty have access to Brightspace to create practice sites in the LMS, allowing faculty to learn and play in Brightspace with access to the tools and features CUNY has implemented at this stage of the transition. Instructions for creating a practice site can be found on the LMS transition website. The website also is being updated regularly to include recorded training sessions, archived communications, and our progress. Faculty have access to support provided by D2L through chat, email, and phone on a 24/7, 365 day/year basis.

In addition to these resources, Faculty in transition groups #1 and #2 are enrolled in the Brightspace Resource Course for Instructors. This self-paced training introduces the basics of course building, assignments, and quizzes, as well as resources to get started. Faculty will see the course in the dashboard when logging in at Faculty in transition groups #3 and #4 will be enrolled in fall 2024 and January 2025 respectively.

Brightspace Basics, a 4-workshop series, will be offered beginning in January and continuing through the start of the Fall 2024 semester for transition groups #1 and #2. Workshops will cover the following topics: Getting Started in Brightspace, ABC’s of Content, Engaging Learners, and Assessing Learning. Workshop dates will be published shortly. Additional workshops will be scheduled for transition groups #3 and #4. Working with Migrated Courses, an asynchronous workshop, will be available in spring 2024 to support faculty as they prepare their migrated courses for their go-live semester.

I encourage everyone to explore the extensive resources, including self-guided training, found on the web-based Brightspace Community. This resource can also be accessed by clicking the “Brightspace Help” in the upper left corner of the top navigation bar in Brightspace. All Brightspace training is voluntary but highly recommended.

C. Listening to Your Concerns

As we said at the beginning of this project, it is important that we hear from faculty and work in tandem to ensure the success of the transition to Brightspace. Based on input from numerous stakeholder groups, including the LMS Transition Advisory Team, USS, CTL Council, and the UFS FGL, the course navigation bar will be configured as fully editable, with the default navigation recommended by D2L. Colleges will be able to modify the D2L default to a campus-specific one and edit their Brightspace homepages as desired. Instructors likewise will be able to modify the navigation bar in their courses.

We have also heard some concerns raised about intellectual property and data ownership. I want to assure you that neither is at risk in our contract with D2L. The RFP to which D2L responded specified the following: The contractor’s solution must affirm CUNY’s ownership of data and faculty member ownership of their own intellectual property. As has always been true, the intellectual property of faculty using D2L will be governed by CUNY’s Intellectual Property Policy (

D. Thank You

I close with thanks to the LMS Transition Team, UFS, and all who are involved in this significant project. We appreciate your partnership and look forward to a smooth rollout as we go forward. I will update you as new information becomes available.



Wendy F. Hensel
Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost
City University of New York
205 East 42nd Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10017

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