By Jeremy Binning
Brightspace is the new school website for SUNY Plattsburgh students. Replacing Moodle, Brightspace launched this past summer and the beginning of its era has gotten off to a rocky start. Many students have complained of the difficulties of using the website in comparison to Moodle. Professors also expressed their own problems with the site.
Brightspace is a Canadian-based software company under the brand Desire2Learn or D2L. The software is used in more than 1,000 different programs and schools across the United States, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Europe and Singapore.
The functions and layout of Brightspace aren’t very different from Moodle. The homepage displays a layout of your classes and upcoming work that’s due. It also offers a similar navigation menu that links to different resources that the school offers. The mixed reactions have been almost equal in terms of student’s opinions. Joshua Carter, a junior, described the change as a “fresh start.” After using Moodle for two years, Carter said there isn’t much of a difference in the new website.
“I think students are exaggerating that the site is bad… they were so used to Moodle and didn’t want to take time to learn the new program but I find it just the same but with a different design,” Carter explained.
Like Carter, some would agree that Moodle and Brightspace are essentially the same. However, others would argue that the new website is stunting their abilities to get the best of their education. Jaclyn Samuelson is a senior in her last semester and has been used to Moodle for about four years.
“The switch is the dumbest thing the school could have done,” Samuelson said.
Elaborating on her statement, Samuelson said she thought the switch was unnecessary but understands that the school did what they thought was best.
“There must be a valid reason for going to Brightspace from Moodle but it just made getting on top of my schoolwork harder because most of my professors don’t even use the website because they don’t know how to navigate through it,” Samuelson said.
There have been mixed reviews of Brightspace, but overall the change may be in the best interest of both students and the school.