Welcome to Your VLE Brightspace

Brightspace is the Virtual Learning Environment at UCD

Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform that makes learning easy, flexible and smart. It is easy to create engaging courses and content, integrate video, personalise learning, capture and share expertise across the organisation, and it supports all mobile devices.

See our introductory overview of Brightspace here 

Welcome and Background

What To Expect When Your Modules Are Due for Transition

Support Resources


FAQ Staff

FAQ Student



brightspace logo

Phase II - VLE Transition

Dear Colleagues,

The transition and implementation phase is now nearing a close. Over 27,000 students are using the live Brightspace environment and we have received positive feedback so far. The last cohort of modules has been moved over and will be available to Module Coordinators to access from the 15th July 2019. Brightspace face to face training has been availed of by over 1,000 staff members and is still running to facilitate any staff who may not have attended. Information on supports and steps involved in the process is detailed below.

Thank you to all for your cooperation and engagement during this important development. We are committed to using technology to enhance learning at UCD and provide for the growing needs of our diverse user community.

Kind regards, 

Professor Jason Last

PHASE II Background

Strategically, this project falls under UCD Strategic Objective no.2 To Provide an Educational Experience That Defines International Best Practice (UCD Strategy 2015-2020) and it relates to the supporting UCD IT Strategic themes of Enhancing Educational Technology Services and Contributing to the Student Experience (IT Strategy 2020). The project comprised two distinct phases.

Phase II which is now nearing completion, is concerned with the implementation of the new virtual learning environment, the seamless integration of existing UCD systems and smooth transition of data from one system to another. This has required extensive consultation with Schools and Colleges, the design and roll out of a bespoke training programme covering general to specialist topics for UCD users, with a variety of online and face to face support options. Modules have been migrated from Blackboard in cohorts, following the success of the initial cohort of Early Adopters which was closely monitored to allow for amendments and learnings. Feedback has been captured from all cohorts throughout to ensure issues are addressed. In order to facilitate this change over Blackboard is running concurrently with Brightspace until 1st September 2019.  All modules have now been migrated to Brightspace. Instructors can review and edit content in advance of start of term from the 15th July 2019.

During Phase I inputs to this process included a Faculty and Staff survey (607 respondents), a Student survey (5,080 respondents) an open digital comment box, a dedicated email address, this microsite, a number of reports from special interest groups, a facilitated workshop with Educational Technologists, User Experience Trials for staff and students and various reports and strategic documents including the Curriculum Review and Enhancement recommendations. A Request for Proposal for UCD's Future VLE which was then issued to the existing framework established by HEAnet and the decision to select D2L was ratified by UMT in December 2017.


Phase II of the Project The VLE Transition is sponsored by the Registrar and Deputy President, with the Project Oversight Group reporting upwards to UMT Education. The Project Oversight Group is a representative body comprised of key stakeholder staff and students tasked with overseeing all aspects of Phase II. See membership listed below.

The VLE Transition team led by Marian O'Connor is responsible for the the migration of content, integration of systems, content design, training and support and communications with particular emphasis on ensuring a smooth and timely transition to the new UCD environment. 

Project Oversight Group

  • Prof Jason Last, Dean of Students (Chair & Sponsor)
  • Ms Marian O'Connor, Project Manager
  • Prof Marie Clarke, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
  • Dr Susan Rackard, Vice Principal of Teaching & Learning, College of Health & Agricultural Studies
  • Professor Eilis Hennessy, Vice Principal of Teaching & Learning, College of Social Sciences and Law
  • Mr John Dunnion, School Head of Teaching & Learning, Computer Science
  • Ms Bianca Shaw, Deputy Director of Assessment, UCD Registry
  • Ms Aine Galvin, Director, UCD Teaching & Learning
  • Ms Leone Gately, Educational Technology Coordinator, UCD Teaching & Learning
  • Mr Phillip Fischer, Chief Information Officer
  • Ms Genevieve Dalton, Chief Services Officer, UCD IT Services
  • Ms Trish Mountjoy, Head of Educational Technology Services, UCD IT Services
  • Mr Stephen Crosby, UCD Students Union


Phase II Key Milestones
Road Map

phase II key milestones road map

What to expect when your modules are due for transition

All remaining modules have been transferred from Blackboard to the Brightspace environment. The Live environment will be available from 15th July and module content will be visible to students from the 26th August. This means that all content has to be prepared by Module Coordinators and in the live environment in advance of this date. Three scenarios and workflows (pdf) are encountered depending on your whether your module is new or existing. You will also find information on how to set start and end dates and hide content here.

Step 1 - staff account is enabled for Brightspace access     Step 6 - staff member receives access to online training and spends time working in Brightspace with access to resources and training materials
 ‌ Step 2 - private sandbox is created for staff member to familiarise themselves with the platform and housekeep modules     Step 7 - staff member is advised of support methods, FAQs, support clinics and other resources available and additional training available 
  Step 3 - staff member books into face to face training session(s)   Step 8 - staff member attends training session 2: Assessment Grading & Feedback
Step 4 - module is migrated to Brightspace holding area for review. A migrated module will be denoted by _mig for example 'Financial Accounting Migrated - ACC10040_mig'. Use the checklist provided to make sure that your content has fully transferred. See our checklist    Step 9 - staff member receives access to the Live teaching modules in Brightspace. This means that these modules are no longer available in Blackboard. Live teaching modules are denoted by a date at the end eg 'ABCD10000-Introduction 2018/2019 Semester 2'
  Step 5 - staff member attends training session 1: Getting To Know Brightspace   Step 10 - staff member prepares content and moves it to the live teaching module. Three scenarios and workflows (pdf)

Support Resources


Support Resources


Contact Details




Sample Queries



Brightspace Helpdesk


“Brightspace Helpdesk” widget on
the landing page

1800 903 294 (free)

Queries can be made via email,
phone, or chat
Just in time training and support relating to Brightspace features and functionality "How do I set release conditions?" 
“Can you remind me how to do create a quiz?"
“I wonder if it is possible to use html templates for content…“

IT Services Helpdesk


Extn 2700

Please include Brightspace in the subject of the email so the call can be routed straight to the ETS team.
UCD IT Support for troubleshooting queries relating to the use of Brightspace (& Blackboard) in UCD “Something is not working the way I expected it to.. “
“I cannot access my module…” 
“I have a problem with a test and not being able to edit questions"
Mon - Fri 
9.30am - 5.30pm

Future VLE Project Updates & Enquiries

Updates on the transition project and enquiries that relate to the transition process. “Is my module due for transition?”
“When can I expect to hear from you?"
“What information is being made available to students?”  
Mon - Fri 
9.30am - 5.30pm

Future VLE Training Team


Enquiries that relate to training for Brightspace “I want to book on training?"
“What type of content do you cover?”
“I can’t make it to any advertised sessions, what should I do?”
“I am not based in Belfield how can I get trained?”
“I want to suggest training on different topics
Mon - Fri 
9.30am - 5.30pm

See What Others Have Asked

Platform Queries and Approved Changes Responses to platform functionality queries received to date, approved change requests and expected deployment timeline, list of known functionality differences between Brightspace and Blackboard "What are the differences between Blackboard and Brightspace?"  Always

Tips & Tricks from Brightspace Users

Brightspace Tips & Tricks for UCD Staff Here are a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the new platform and understand where it might differ from Blackboard. Useful tips for Module Coordinators Always

IT Support Web

IT Services Brightspace Information Pages IT Support pages and answers to common queries about Brightspace and the Pulse
Mobile App.
Useful information for instructors Always

Brightspace Community Webpages

Community Pages on the Brightspace Platform Brightspace Community pages for all Brightspace users globally to avail of articles, updates and discussions relating
to the platform.
The community is a great place to search for use cases or get some queries answered by other community members.  Always

Brightspace YouTube Channel

Brightspace on YouTube A series of video playlists designed by Brightspace for their users. A good source of short impactful videos showing some of the features and functionality in use. Always


Training Schedule Staff

If you have modules moving to Brightspace it is important to book and attend the training provided, as it will take you through the content transfer process in more detail. Your sandbox module will be used for training.

Please book your training slot as soon as you can. Note it is not necessary to have your content already migrated to book onto training. The training plan focuses on 2 face-face training sessions per faculty/staff member:

1. Getting Started with Brightspace

2. Assessment and Grading

3. Creating Quizzes and using the Grade Centre

4. Feedback using Rubrics

5. Using Release Conditions and Intelligent Agents

6. Additional Tools in Brightspace eg Module Builder, FAQs, Glossary, Virtual Classroom

FAQs for Staff

General FAQs

1. What sort of training is available?

  • Training workshops are available until September 2019 and consist of a 60 minute introductory session followed by Q&A. 

2. Do I need to do anything?

  • Attend training
  • Make sure MAMS is updated with correct information
  • Review the content in your migrated modules to ensure it has migrated correctly. See our Checklist (pdf)

3. When will my module(s) be moving to Brightspace?

  • All remaining modules for 2019/20 academic year have been moved from Blackboard to Brightspace
  • Key dates to note are:
    15th July - from this date Module Coordinators will be able to move module content into the Live Teaching Modules 
    26th August - from this date students will be able to view Live Teaching Module content 
  • Modules that existed in Blackboard that won't run in 2019/20 have been stored for future use. 

4. When is Blackboard being switched off?

  • Please note that from 1st September 2019 the Blackboard environment will no longer be available at UCD. 

5. What does a migrated module look like?

  • Holding modules containing migrated content, have a module title that ends in "Migrated" and a module code that ends in "mig", for example, "Financial Accounting Migrated - ACC10040_mig
    migrated module screengrab

6. How do I transfer my content from the holding module to the live module?

7. I now have access to my live module-what's the next step?

  • The process is that you would transfer content from your holding module to the live module or if you don't have a holding module (migrated blackboard content) then you would create the module either in your sandbox and copy to the live module or directly within the live module. All options are covered in training. Live modules will be available from 15th July. Please see the Three scenarios and workflows outlined in the diagram below. 

8. I have a live module, but I don’t have a holding module?

  • If the module in Blackboard/Moodle did not have content, then you will not see a holding module as there was no content to migrate. In this instance you will create your content from within the live module or within the sandbox and copy to the live module.
  • If the module in Blackboard/Moodle exceeded 5GB in size you will not see a holding moduls as it was not possible to migrate this amount of content. In this instance you will be contacted by the VLE transition team.

9. My colleague needs access to the module, who do I contact?

  • The Module Access Management System (MAMs) controls who has access to the module. (The VLE project team are unable to grant access to the module.)

10. When will students be able to access Brightspace for Semester 1 (Cohort 2) modules?

  • Students will be able to access the module from Monday 26th August. 

11. My module isn’t running (inactive) but it has a live module and the content is migrated.

  • You should contact your College Liaison person in Registry to mark the module as inactive.

12. If I have a question out of hours - where can I get help?

  • Faculty, Staff and Students can avail of just-in-time support directly from Brightspace by accessing the Brightspace Support option on the landing page. Support will be available via chat, email or telephone. Click on the UCD logo to bring you to the landing page of Brightspace on the right-hand side of the screen you will see the following image. Click on the image to launch Brightspace support.

VLE content preparation 3 scenarios


FAQs for Students

Come to our drop in sessions during Orientation week!

From Tuesday 3rd - Thursday 5th September, sessions take place at 15:00 and 15:30 in room G5, Daedalus building.
On Friday 6th September, sessions will take place at 13:00 and 13:30 in room G5, Deadalus building.  

The following sessions will run in week two in Building 71 (the old bar):

Tuesday 10th September: 12.30 to 13.00 and 13.00 to 13.30
Wednesday 11th September: 12.00 to 12.30 and 12.30 to 13.00
Thursday 12th September: 13.30 to 14.00 and 14.00 to 14.30

1. Top Tips for Students Using Brightspace

2. How do I log into Brightspace?

  • You log in to all VLEs using your UCD Connect credentials (username and password). Students: please remember to change your password from your default ddmmyy on first login.

3. I am not receiving my module/course Notifications?

  • You need to turn on your notifications by clicking on your Name on the top right drop down menu. Once in the Notifications screen you can select your preferred updates,email account and times from the menu.

notifications screengrab brightspace

summary of activity

4. My module is not showing on Brightspace but should be there?

          NB When a change in registration is made, please allow up to 24hrs before seeing this change refleced in Brightspace.

5. A module I deregistered from is still showing on Brightspace, should it be there?

  • Please contact the Student Desk to correctly de-register/un-enroll from a module. You can contact them at 01 716 1555 or via the website at: http://www.ucd.ie/registry/adminservices/studentdesk/contact.html
  • NB when a de-registration change is made, please note you may still be able to view the module in Brightspace for a short period of time. It will be removed by the IT team and requires no action. 

6. My Modules keep moving every time I leave the homepage, how can I stop this?

  • You can pin your preferred modules to the top of the page using the pin icon on the top right of your module. This will prevent you searching each time through your module list. (see images below for Pinning and Pinned views)
    pin modules brightspace screengrab

pin modules large

7. When is the Blackboard service ending?

  • Blackboard will no longer be available at UCD from the 1st September 2019. 

8. Are there information sessions available to students?

  • Yes, we are running Brightspace sessions during Orientation week:
    From Tuesday 3rd - Thursday 5th September, sessions take place at 15:00 and 15:30 in room G5, Daedalus building.
    On Friday 6th September, sessions will take place at 13:00 and 13:30 in room G5, Deadalus building

  • Please check out the Discover Brightspace Learning Resources - UCD Student Essentials module (on the bottom right) where you'll find information about navigating the new environment. Please see an overview of Brightspace here

9. What Support is available for students?

  • Students using the platform can access support directly from within the platform via chat, email or telephone support. Simply click on the support link on the login page. In addition, you can always drop into an IT Centre in the Daedalus or Health Sciences building or contact the IT Helpdesk via email: ithelpdesk@ucd.ie or tel: 01 716 2700 if you have any queries.
  • For quick access to Brightspace content on your phone you can download the Pulse app. 

    pulse app


During February - March 2019 student feedback was sought on Brightspace via a workshop attended by 15 students and a feedback survey undertaken by 380 students.

Thank you to those who took the time to share their thoughts. This feedback was incorporated into our communications, training programme and supports for students. 

Staff Survey 2017

Thank you to all 607 respondents who participated in our staff survey on the Future VLE. This data combined with the valuable feedback we have received through a number of inputs (listed below) has been combined with our upcoming student survey to guide and inform the next UCD VLE.
We also consulted the following resources:
  • Curriculum Review and Enhancement Process Steering Committee Final Report March 2017
  • Gartner Report: Market Guide for Higher Education Learning Management Systems September 2016
  • Reports from Special Interest Groups within UCD (Library, Centre for Distance Learning, College of Business, Registry, UCD Online Community)
  • Future VLE Staff Survey (Quantitative) 2-19 May 2017
  • Future VLE Staff Survey (Qualitative) 2-19 May 2017
  • Vendor Presentation Days 16 and 17 August 2017
  • UCD Educational Technologists Network workshop August 2017
  • Digital Suggestion Box for Staff and Students (ongoing)
  • futurevle@ucd.ie inbox (ongoing)
  • Future VLE Student Survey (Quantitative) 18 Sept - 1 Oct 2017
  • Future VLE Student Survey (Qualitative) 18 Sept - 1 Oct 2017
  • User Experience Trials 23-26 October
  • Evaluation of vendor responses 6 Nov - 11 December 2017
Careful consideration has been given to any UCD specific policy issues that have arisen as a result of our outreach, to ensure we are providing for future growth. In the meantime here are some of the highlights from the staff survey.

Future VLE Staff Survey Topline Results Infographic

VLE staff survey topline results infographic

Student Survey 2017

5,080 UCD students participated!

Thank you to each of you for taking the time to share your views. This feedback was used to help us choose the virtual learning environment that is best suited to your needs.

Please see some highlights from the Student Survey.

Thanks again from the Future VLE Team

Future VLE Student Survey Topline Results

‌‌‌student survey results topline

Unpacking the Box

Brightspace is here. Your feedback is important to us.

You can share thoughts or suggestions on your Future VLE anytime by clicking on the button below or contact the Future VLE Team at futurevle@ucd.ie 

Suggestions Welcome