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Cleaning up Your Course after Migration from Blackboard to Brightspace

CUNY is automatically migrating courses back to Summer 2022 from Blackboard to Brightspace, starting with Summer 2023. This process is underway, so go into the spring you should increasing see more of your past courses in Brightspace under My Courses on your Brightspace home page and via the “select a course” icon in the top navigation.

It is important to review all the content in courses migrated from Blackboard to Brightspace. You will likely need to clean up, and possibly reorganize content in these courses in Brightspace, in preparation for copying them into courses you teach going forward, and so the content is consistent, clear, and well-presented in this new setting.

Here are some recommended steps to consider while reviewing a course that was automatically migrated from Blackboard to Brightspace:

Clean up the Table of Contents

Content that was located in Blackboard content areas (linked from the course menu) will now be found in the Visual Table of Contents widget on the course home page, and when you click Content in the course navigation bar up top. Content will appear in modules, and possibly sub-modules, listed within the Table of Contents that appears on the left-hand side of the Content area and in visual form on the course home page.

To delete excess or outdated modules you no longer want or need in your course, click the module to open it. At the top of the module page, click the action button (to the right of the title text) and select “Delete Module.”

Re-link or Delete Missing Images

If when clicking through the pages in your Table of Contents, if you see a missing image icon, chances are the file is still present somewhere in the course’s file storage area. Simply re-link it, re-upload it, or delete the missing image icon. To re-upload an image:

  1. Edit the item that should contain the missing image.
  2. In the HTML Editor, click on the frame where the missing image should be.
    • Several buttons will appear above the missing image’s frame. Click the “Image Options” button (the button furthest to the right), browse to where the picture is on your computer, and select it.
    • Click the “Add” button.
    • Add functional alternative text for accessibility if the image conveys information visually.
    • Click the “OK” button.

Cleaning up within Modules

Delete Excess Modules

To delete excess or outdated modules you no longer want or need in your course, click the module to open it. At the top of the module page, click the action button (to the right of the title text) and select “Delete Module.”

Note, you may see links to Blogs, Journals, or Wikis with a Hidden icon (An eye with a slash). Please see these articles about how to remove “phantom” tools that don’t exist in Brightspace, and tools that can be used as alternatives

Flatten the Course Hierarchy as Much as Possible

By flatten, we mean move content to eliminate subfolders that require students to click several times to view the content. A flatter design of content means that most options can be viewed at the top level, rather than buried in folders.

Like Blackboard’s content folders, Brightspace allows you to place modules within other modules. However more than 2 levels has the potential to obscure important information from students, especially on a mobile device using the Brightspace app, Pulse.

Use submodules judiciously, for instance to contain several like things. An example would be a group of several journal articles. If you have a submodule which only contains one or two items, consider moving them up into the parent module and deleting the submodule. Here are  some other guidelines to help you avoid confusion for you and your students.

Move Weekly Folders to the Top/Root Level Module

It was common practice in Blackboard to have a single link in the course menu (such as Course Materials) which when clicked would reveal a sequential set of folders. In Brightspace, this results in a single top-level module containing many submodules. To move a module to the top level, click the image (dots cluster) to the left of the module and drag it out of the containing section. Brightspace refers to the top-level of modules as the “root” of the course.

Consolidate Numerous “Web Pages”.

In Blackboard what was called “items” is called “web pages” in Brightspace.
If, in Blackboard, you chunked your content as “items” it’s a good idea to consolidate them all into one Brightspace Web Page. This will make it easier for students to navigate your course and access the material.

Blackboard items come over with just their header showing, you must click on that header to read the text you could previously see in Blackboard.

If you don’t like how this displays, you can replicate how Blackboard displayed content by using the description field of a Brightspace Web Page. Note, this fix works best only if your Blackboard Items only contained a small amount of text.

Adapted from The University of Vermont/Enterprise Technology Services Brightspace Knowledge Base. Used by permission.

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