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EDU Support Brightspace Instructor Brightspace Information​​​​ Transitioning from Nestor to Brightspace Transition Guide

Transition Guide


This page should act as a quick introduction to Brightspace for staff members who are already used to Blackboard. The page is divided into four categories: communication, course content, assessment and evaluation, and personalization. The most important tools and functionalities for each of these categories are mentioned and quickly introduced. An overview of all available tools in Blackboard, and their respective successors in Brightspace are given at the end of this page.

For an overview of available external tools in Brightspace, see this EDU Support page.

If you have any questions or remarks about this page, feel free to reach out to EDU Support.



Announcements are a good way to communicate important all students in your course. In principle students receive an email with a notification about the announcement. In contradiction to announcements in Blackboard, students have the ability to disable these email notifications. Release Conditions can be used to restrict an announcement to a particular group of students who meet the set criteria.


Discussions are a place where a lot of students can express their voice, allowing them to share their knowledge with their fellow students. Discussions can also be used as an assessment tool, just like in Blackboard.

Virtual Classroom

Until further notice, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra has been integrated into Brightspace. This means that the virtual classroom is essentially the same way as it was in Blackboard.

Intelligent Agents

Intelligent Agents (IA) interact with students based on criteria in your course. If the criteria are fulfilled, IA can send an email to both you and the student. This could be used to monitor course activity (you could get notified if students have not opened the course for a specific period of time), or to monitor course completion.

Course Content


Content is where students will access their course materials and activities. There is a wide variety of material types that can be used, namely: assignments, discussions, quizzes, checklists, self-assessment, and surveys. It is also possible to create HTML documents (Pages), this is essentially the same as an Item in Blackboard. It can be used to attach a lot of media types to a textbox (just as simple text, an image, a video). There is a hierarchy of up to four levels: Unit, Lesson, Folder, and Topic. Within each of these levels, you can create and upload your own content.

In Blackboard, it was possible to create multiple pages with their own content. In Brightspace, there is only one Content page, where all materials can be created with the aforementioned hierarchy.


The calendar is an easy and efficient way to remind all students of important dates for your course. Events that are created in the calendar are publicly viewable to the whole course. Deadlines of assignments that have been created in Brightspace are automatically added to this calendar.

When using copyrighted materials, you must observe copyright rules. It is not allowed to copy materials to the Student Portal. There are many options for copying texts where you do not violate copyright and do not incur additional costs. More information about the recycling of materials can be found here:

Assessment and Evaluation


Assignments are the place to go whenever you need to evaluate your learners. Students can submit files, provide an inline text response, or can be used as a place to provide both instructions and feedback for in-person activities. You can score and provide feedback on assignments without needing to connect the activity to your grade book. Assignments can also be configured to act as group assignments, that way an evaluation is given to all members inside a group with a single click.


Quizzes apply a wide range of question types to evaluate your students. Sometimes, Brightspace can even do the evaluation for you! Questions can be reused in different quizzes across the course. You can offer randomized pools of questions, define how much time your students get, and how many attempts they get. You can also customize what a student will see once they complete a quiz, such as correct answers or questions answered incorrectly.

Question Library

The Question Library is similar to the Question Pools as we had them in Blackboard. Using the Question Library, it is possible to create a variety of question types, organize questions into sections, and reuse questions in quizzes, surveys, and self-assessments throughout the course. Question Pools can be created inside the Question Library, and allow a specific set of questions to be pulled randomly into a quiz. If you edit a question inside the Question Library, it will automatically update the question wherever it exists in your course assessments. When using questions built in the Question Library, you can view the number of attempts made on a question across different assessments, you can view the average grade, and a breakdown of student response to the question.


Grades is the central location for you to store evaluations tied to activities within Brightspace. Within the grade book, there are grade items that can be connected to activities like quizzes, assignments, and discussions. You can also create grade items that are not connected to any activities within Brightspace, but to in-class activities, so all grades are still centrally stored inside Brightspace.

Quick Eval

There are multiple ways to start grading an assessment within Brightspace, but Quick Eval is the easiest tool to start grading. The tool provides an overview of all assessments that need to be graded. It is possible to prioritize submissions. It is possible to access all evaluation features that you need, including the possibility to provide feedback. It is possible to bulk publish scores and feedback for a single activity. All types of assessments are included in this tool.

Class Progress

Class Progress lists the students enrolled in your course and provides visual indicators, which enable you to view and compare a student’s performance at a glance. Each course can select its own four unique indicators to track (the default indicators are Content Completed, Assignment Submissions, Discussions, and Grades). Through this menu, it is possible to access early warnings about students who may be getting off track. Students can also check their own progress and prepare for examination by identifying personal areas for review.



Awards can be used to add or create badges and certificates to reflect the achievement of different milestones within your course. Awards can be linked-to release conditions to allow automatic awarding. Consider awarding Badges for smaller accomplishments (like completing individual modules, or scoring over a certain percent on a quiz). Award Certificates for larger accomplishments like painting a group of specific Badges or having over a certain accumulated grade average on quiz results at the end of your course.

Manage Dates

Manage Dates is a space to centrally change dates for all content and activity types in one place. It is possible to set, clear, or offset dates on an individual basis. Beyond managing Start Dates, End Dates, and Due Dates, you can also offset additional dates, such as Discussion and Forum locking dates, and Quiz Submission views.

Release Conditions

This tool works the same as the Adaptive Released (Advanced) within Blackboard. A Release Condition automates the tasks of hiding and releasing content, assessments, and activities in your course. One reason for this is to create personalized learning paths for individuals or groups of students. It is also possible to upload some material and make it available after a set date. Release Conditions works the same way across all tools.

Tool guide Blackboard → Brightspace





Adaptive Release

Release Conditions








Alternative tool available. Discussions could be used to replicate the functionalities.



Course Organizer

Table in HTML document (Pages).

Delegated Grading

Not available yet. Brightspace is developing this feature, we have signed up for “Early Access”.

Early Warning System / 

Retention Center

Alternative solutions are available: Class Progress reports similar information, Intelligent Agents support the actions you can perform.


Course Members > Email

File Exchange

Group lockers


Unit (inside the Course Content).


Alternative tool available, not exactly the same functionality. 


Learning Objectives.

Grade Center



Groups. Bulk enroll is being researched.

Interactive Journal

No alternative available yet, is being researched.

Inline Grading

Grading / Quick Eval


HTML Document (Page)

Learning Module



Instant Messages

Multiple Graders

Not available yet. Brightspace is developing this feature, we have signed up for “Early Access”.

Needs Attention

Quick Eval for teachers, Calendar for learners.


A regular Brightspace Course could be used as Organization.

P2Go Channel / Item / List / Assignment

P2Go will not be available in Brightspace. Kaltura will replace P2Go, and this new tool will be integrated in Brightspace (Pilot courses will use Blackboard to link to P2Go videos).



Self and peer assessment

Alternative tool available. Within Self Assessment is available (no peer assessment). For peer assessment, Peerceptiv will be integrated. 






No alternative available. Alternatively, Google Docs could be used.

Workflow tool

No alternative available yet, is being researched.


Alternative tool available, but not the same functionality: Brightspace Portfolio.

Copyright Collector

No alternative available yet, is being researched.

Exam Management

No alternative available yet, is being researched.

Exam Analysis

No alternative available yet, is being researched.

Important points about transitioning from Blackboard courses to Brightspace

  • If a test is an open internet test that does not require additional monitoring, then the test can be taken within Brightspace. Otherwise, the digital test will remain in Blackboard.

  • P2Go is linked to Blackboard, so the lecture recordings are linked to the Blackboard course. We can technically link those to the Brightspace course, this is something the TA can do for the lecturer.

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will be used (until further notice) and will work exactly the same as it did in Blackboard.

  • Some external learning tools might not be available during the pilots. If this causes issues, these tools can still be accessed through Blackboard.

Last modified: 24 May 03:50 PM
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