News for faculty and staff

Springboard transition to Brightspace is under way

Just in time for fall semester, our learning management software is being updated and made much more user-friendly. It will also have a new name — Brightspace.

Formerly known as Springboard, Brightspace by D2L is a continuous delivery model giving faculty, staff and students software with the latest functionality. As part of the five-year contract approved by our Board of Trustees, the software will move from servers in the Computer Center to the cloud.

The Design and Development Services team, which is overseeing the transition and upgrade of our learning management system, highlights some of the new features with Brightspace:

  • End-user support for faculty, staff and students that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
  • Continuous delivery of monthly updates allowing faculty, staff and students to be current on the functionality of Brightspace.
  • Simplified faculty tasks that are more intuitive for creating course activities, such as quizzes and group assignments.
  • Responsive design to provide an improved user experience across computers, tablets and smartphones.
  • An improved Brightspace Pulse App that provides notifications to smartphones to help students keep track of important course updates, including announcements, deadlines and grades.
  • Deeper integration of accessibility tools and improved data analytics.

Faculty members who are preparing fall semester courses in Springboard may continue to do so. Courses will automatically be transferred to the updated system — along with all of your settings, course dates and content — on Thursday, Aug. 24. The last date changes can be made to Springboard is Aug. 23. Brightspace will be operational on Aug. 25.

Design and Development Services has scheduled multiple training sessions on main campus and the Wayne College campus, beginning Wednesday, Aug. 14, and continuing through Thursday, Aug. 31. Visit the Brightspace Training page to see the schedule, session descriptions and register for a session.

If you are interested in getting an early start with the new system, email support@uakron.edu to request access to Brightspace Sandbox.

Dr. Mary Myers, professor of criminal justice, is learning the new system now.

“While any change can be stressful, I’m happy to see the bright new look of Brightspace. And, while it may take me a little while to completely familiarize myself with the newer version, I have easily imported one of my classes and found everything where it was supposed to be, just looking a little different. 

“I’m looking forward to attending some of the training programs so that I can use some of the new features,” adds Myers. “I love the fact that help will now be available online 24/7, and I also found the help website very easy to use.”

Visit the Design and Development Services Brightspace website to learn more about the upgrade, view frequently asked questions and see the project timeline.

For questions, contact Wendy Lampner, manager of design and development services, at wjl3@uakron.edu or ext. 2149.

Help is available for students with academic or personal issues

College can be stressful for students as they balance academics with their lives outside of the classroom.

The University has a team of professionals ready to help students experiencing:

  • academic issues (missed assignments; poor grades on exams, assignments and projects; repeated absences from class, etc.),
  • mental health issues (depression, anxiety, substance dependence, etc.),
  • financial issues, and/or
  • personal problems (relationships, social contentedness, roommate compatibility, homesickness, etc.)

Use this page to make a referral.


For students with a funding gap, help is available

If a student mentions that he or she is struggling to close a funding gap, please encourage a prompt visit or call to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

“We can take a second look at a student’s eligibility for assistance,” says Jennifer Harpham, director of student financial aid. “Sometimes we are able to identify additional funding resources or other options available to the student.”


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