MRU Students to expect new Learning Management System this semester
Mikaela Delos-Santos, News Editor
Mount Royal University (MRU) students are to expect the new learning management system Brightspace, or better known as D2L, this upcoming fall 2022 semester and beyond, consequentially retiring the use of Blackboard Learn.
This motion is considered necessary for the student body as new users will not be able to access the Blackboard platform come fall 2023 due to the brand phasing out its services.
According to a news release from the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU), the selection for a new preference on Learning Management Systems (LMS) included many different factors.
An online survey was sent out to students and faculty and the following proved to be the most important components for a new platform: searchable course content, easier tools for collaborating, effective user design and experience, mobile compatibility and simplified workflow.
In a set of emails sent by Michael Quinn, MRU vice provost and associate academic vice president, the implementation of moving to D2L began in August 2022 to prepare students and faculty.
The program was soft launched in spring 2022, with 15 instructors delivering course materials via D2L.
Quinn states in the emails that “[It] would be highly disruptive to students and faculty if we were to move to a new LMS in the middle of an academic year. We recognize that this transition will require a high level of support…”
MRU students have expressed mixed feelings about D2L. Instagram account @mruchatter have posted anonymous students’ entries regarding the transition. In one post, an entry states “Kinda ticked off with D2L. Like I have completely mastered Blackboard but now in my last year I have to learn a whole other platform?? It’s not a major issue, but it’s kinda just not needed.”
Another post states “I will not take this D2L slander lmao. It’s so easy to use, pin all your fall courses to the top of your page. You will be able to see all your due dates for all your courses in one calendar, it’s super easy to use. I used it during high school and love it, so much better than Blackboard. Just wait until the semester starts y’all.”
Over 400 people were recruited to test drive the new platform. According to SAMRU, Blackboard and D2L will be running together during the first two weeks of the term.
Full implementation is planned for the fall semester for new and returning students. The organization has also noted that transferring files to a new system may take up to a week or more.
SAMRU states that many institutions within the city of Calgary have been using D2L.
D2L resources are readily available for students through different resources such as the live library chat, library tech support, learning D2L and calling the MRU Library service desk at (403) 440-6019.