Students hope Blackboard’s replacement will be better

CUNY Blackboard

CUNY Blackboard

Hande Erkan

CUNY announced that Blackboard, the online gradebook and learning platform, will no longer be available in the beginning of fall 2024. CUNY will switch to a platform called Brightspace.

As The Ticker previously reported in the Feb. 7 Baruch College Undergraduate Student Government Senate meeting, Vice President of Academic Affairs Jason Galak shared that Brightspace will be replacing Blackboard.

Christopher Clarke, a junior studying digital marketing, said he has never been a fan of utilizing Blackboard’s user interface as a resource for his classes at Baruch.

“Everything always looks so cluttered and like you have to be on a wild goose chase to get some basic information,” Clarke said.

He also criticized Blackboard for instances during past midterm and final exam weeks when Blackboard experienced glitches and maintenance. He said there had not been enough notice and said the process was very frustrating for everyone.

Although Blackboard was a Learning Management System built in collaboration with the faculty members for a long time, the CUNY Central aims to have Brightspace be a better system.

Brightspace promises a better engaging platform to connect with peers, management to track progress customizable and user-friendly e-learning.

“The selection of a Learning Management System (LMS) is made by CUNY, not individual campuses,” Baruch administration said in a written statement shared with The Ticker. “The current LMS is Blackboard. Blackboard may be replaced in the 2024-25 academic year. That transition is being implemented and managed by CUNY centrally.”

In the same USG meeting, Galak shared that he met with Provost Linda Essig and discussed how instructors are not consistently posting on Blackboard.

Both USG and the provost have said that the administration should monitor online learning platforms to ensure faculty are using the system to create an intellectually engaging learning environment.

Galak said 800 class sections do not post on Blackboard, which makes it difficult for students to know their grades.

The issues and underutilization of Blackboard has made students open to the change.

“I didn’t even know Blackboard was being changed to Brightspace, but I honestly don’t care as long as it doesn’t make my life harder,” Clarke said.