he State University of New York logo, which is the word SUNY inside a circle, followed at right by the words The State University of New York

SUNY Campuses Coming Together
on a Unified DLE.

SUNY Digital Learning Environment

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SUNY Selects D2L’s Brightspace as New Learning Management System

At the conclusion of a broad and consultative Request for Proposal process, SUNY selected Desire2Learn’s (D2L) Brightspace Learning Management System to serve as the hub of its Digital Learning Environment. The contract between SUNY and D2L has been approved by the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the Office of the New York State Comptroller. 

D2L logo and Brightspace logo. There are no pictures, just the respective words.

With the transition to D2L’s Brightspace, SUNY envisions a dynamic opportunity to unify the digital learning environment within which all SUNY campuses operate: a common LMS application; a central architecture with common data structures; common templates; a common set of online tools integrated with the LMS (right now there is much redundancy across the System); and a common integration for data.

This allows SUNY to take advantage of economies of scale, better share best practices and resources across campuses and between SUNY System Administration resources and campuses, assure strong technical support, and provide a familiar platform for students, faculty and staff moving across campuses.

Meet the Planning Teams

Three teams/committees are being charged to help develop a comprehensive implementation, transition, and training program:

  • The SUNY Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Steering Committee is comprised of the Executive Leadership Team of SUNY System Administration, procurement and academic technology staff. Representative campus presidents, chief academic officers, chief information officers, University Faculty Senate, Faculty Council of Community College, and Student Assembly leadership will be called upon to engage with this group as needed.
  • The SUNY Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Core Strategy Team is comprised of representatives from several SUNY System Administration Offices: Provost’s Office, Office of Information Technology, SUNY Online, Office of Academic Technology and Information Services, ITEC and SICAS.Diagram showing the internal SUNY teams and workgroups helping plan the DLE project. SUNY DLE Core Strategy Team, the SUNY DLE Steering Committee, and the SUNY DLE Advisory Team. The graphic also shows a series of workgroups that have been established: Academic Standards and Policy, Technical Architecture, Security, Technical Implementation, Campus Implementation. And two supporting teams, the Contract Team and the Communications Team.
  • The SUNY Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Advisory Team is a campus/System advisory body. The constituencies represented on the Advisory team are intentionally broad: chief information officers; LMS administrators; instructional designers; DOODLE (Directors of Online/Distance Learning Environments); ITEC; faculty governance; student governance; FACT2; disability and accommodative services officers; Educational Opportunity Centers; chief diversity officers; student affairs officers; electronic and information technology (EIT) accessibility officers; continuing education and workforce development; micro-credential leads; state-operated and community college business officers; risk management/information security; communications; and, more. Those members representing SUNY-wide organizations will share information with, and solicit feedback from, their constituent members to the broader team.
  • The SUNY DLE Core Strategy Team created three workgroups to support their planning: academic standards, technical architecture, and security. In addition, a technical implementation work group and a campus implementation planning work group will be the bridge between advisory recommendations and implementation on the ground. These teams will be comprised of campus and System Administration staff.

Timeline

As the contract approval process was a bit longer than originally planned, finalization of our timeline is part of work underway. 

SUNY is currently working with D2L and internal planning teams to establish a clear implementation timeline. 

All are committed to an implementation in the best interest of campuses, faculty, staff, and students—a cohort approach with options for pilot before full campus implementation brings campuses online in the new system, in an order aligned to specific campus needs.

Getting to Know D2L’s Brightspace

D2L’s Brightspace received the highest composite score across all functional, technical, security, accessibility, pricing requirements based on a “Best Value” evaluation where cost was not the only consideration. Usability, tools, analytics, solutions to existing challenges and anticipated future needs, the impact on our digital learning environment—essentially the real value-add to faculty, staff, and students—were carefully considered.

A Brightspace environment will also be set-up for preview. In the interim, please visit D2L online at: https://www.d2l.com/higher-education/ and take a look at a few key program highlights below: 

  • Course level tools/features that address existing challenges/issues identified by SUNY faculty in a broad survey that informed the RFP; 
  • Ease of use for content creation and building courses; 
  • Multiple and easy to access channels for faculty-student interaction;
  • Strong/proactive mechanisms for Universal Design and accessibility compliance – Brightspace aligns with WCAG 2.1 AAA; Picture of the first slide of a PowerPoint presentation that reads: Digital Learning Environment Update, Harry Cargile, SUNY Technology Conference, June 23, 2021. And pictures of two people showing their names, Kim Scalzo and Harry Cargile.
  • Functionality to support non-credit continuing education, and training; 
  • Bulk course migration support; and 
  • Strong data analytics tools.