Fileholder: Daan Gorsse
Contact: ict@oras.nl
Last Update: June 2017, by Max Capelle

Executive summary

Brightspace is the new Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE) of the TU Delft; a platform where student can see information related to their subjects. The website offers study material and assignments, and enables students and teachers to communicate and hand in assignments online. An important part of Brightspace is the integration with Online Education (e.g. MOOCs, Online Courses, etc.).

Brightspace is the successor of Blackboard. The first faculty that started using Brightspace, was IDE in February 2017. In September 2017 al other faculties will follow.



For 15 to 16 years Blackboard has been the platform where every student could access the information about their subjects. In these years, a lot has changed in this technological area. Blackboard has implemented some of these technological improvements, but the essence of the system is outdated. The expired license with Blackboard, gave new possibilities to renovate.

Public tender

The new CLE had to meet a number of wishes, of which the most important one was the integration with Online Education. The new CLE should function more intuitively and should be a good environment for peer-to-peer feedback. The structure of the CLE had to be improved has well: is should have a clear overview.

The Student Council is involved in this project since 2015. The supplier of the software has to be chosen using a public tender, for which a decent list of requirements has to be made. It was the Student Councils task to give a better insight in student demands and wishes.

After all demands and wishes were written down, the tender was publicized and suppliers were able to make an offer. A number of offers were received, among others from Blackboard, Canvas and D2L. These were examined by an assessment committee. ORAS-member Johan van den Heuvel took part in this committee on behalf of the Student Council. Eventually, the committee chose D2L with their programme Brightspace. A modern programme with lots of possibilities in big data. These big data possibilities are very interesting, but we have to watch for the consequences. The so called ‘learning analytics’ can improve the quality of education, but can also result in obligations focused on the improving the study efficiency only.
Benefits of Blackboard are is clear structure and the fact that D2L thinks the user is the most important. They want to deliver a unique product, customized to the TU Delft.

Current situation

The first faculty that started using Brightspace, was IDE in February 2017. All courses are represented in a specific format, to create uniformity between courses and between studies were possible. This format is created in consultation with ‘CLE Advisory Groups’: consisting of faculty student councils, employees of different faculties and the central student council.

In September 2017 Brightspace will be implemented on all faculties.

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