D2L Brightspace logo & moose

Purchase College’s official D2L Brightspace Migration Project Team is:

  • Greg Taylor, Campus Executive Sponsor (Associate Provost for Academic Affairs)
  • Marie Sciangula, Campus Lead (Assistant Director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center)
  • Kim Detterbeck, Academic Lead (Art Librarian, Coordinator of Library Instruction, and Interim Assistant Library Manager)
  • Ryan Nassisi, Technical Lead (Assistant Director of Campus Technology Services)

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please contact us at COM.d2l.brightspace.project@purchase.edu.


SUNY Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Overview

It’s official: Desire2Learn’s (D2L) Brightspace will be the learning management system (LMS) selected and supported by SUNY going forward. Brightspace will be the foundation along with related tools for instruction and student support for a new Digital Learning Environment (DLE) that will be the platform for SUNY Online courses, as well as all campus online, face-to-face, hybrid, HyFlex (dual-delivery), flipped classroom, and other courses. SUNY plans to work with all campuses to bring them onto the new platform, in order to provide a consistent environment for student learning across the SUNY system.

As a result, Purchase College, SUNY is implementing Brightspace as our new LMS. The College will be transitioning from our current LMS, Moodle, to Brightspace starting with the Fall 2023 semester.

Watch the SUNY DLE  Introduction to D2L’s Brightspace webinar recording from Oct. 28, 2021 by going to the SUNY DLE site > Events > Informational Webinars. Login in with your Purchase credentials (click “SUNY Federated Login”). This session brings SUNY and D2L project leads together to talk about project status and to preview the features of Brightspace that led to its selection as the LMS in SUNY’s unified Digital Learning Environment.

May 18, 2022 Migration Updates & FAQs

The SUNY DLE is currently focused on Brightspace migration and implementation of Cohort 1 and 2 campuses. Purchase is part of Cohort 3. We continue to meet with other SUNY campuses that are migration from Moodle to Brightspace, as we will be, on better practices and strategies moving forward.

Two recent Fireside Chats have focused on exactly this and will be available for your review at the SUNY DLE Fireside Chats page.

A: We will be using Moodle through the next academic year (Fall 2022, Winter 2023, and Spring 2023). We will also have the current Moodle instance available as an archives server while faculty transition to and become acquainted with Brightspace. In the meantime, just to cover all the bases, you may consider creating a backups of all of your existing Moodle courses. Directions can be found at the Creating a Moodle Course Backup section of the Moodle Basics help guide as well as at the official Moodle help documentation for creating a Course backup.

You can also download all of your files using the “Download instructor files” link within the Course administration area of each of your Moodle course spaces.

As mentioned previously, preparing for a migration to a new learning management system can be a good time to pause, reflect, and reconsider how you teach. 

On June 20, 2022, at 2pm, join Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College; Kim Scalzo, executive director, SUNY Online at the State University of New York; and John Baker, president and CEO at D2L, for a powerful conversation on accessibility and supporting the whole student in higher education.

Topics include:

  • how institutions can create a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion that goes beyond a department
  • closing the gap on accessibility and equity in higher education
  • taking a holistic approach to DEI
  • how technology has helped, and how some technology has hindered

Space is limited. Save your seat today!

Register now for The Student Experience: Reimagined

April 18, 2022 Migration Updates & FAQs

The Fireside Chat on Wed, April 20 at 3:30pm and Wed, May 18 will be focused on Moodle to Brightspace migration strategies and will be facilitated by Empire State College, a Cohort 1 Moodle campus.

In preparation, they are gathering input from all Moodle campuses on specific topics, questions, that you would like covered at the session via the anonymous Pre-Fireside Chat (Moodle) Intake Form.

Like all Fireside Chats, the Moodle to Brightspace Migration Strategies sessions will be recorded and will be available at the Fireside Chats page.

A: Yes, we will still be on Moodle in Fall 2022, Winter 2023, and Spring 2023.

Admin users in TLTC and CTS will have access to our tenant in Brightspace beginning in September 2022. We (TLTC and CTS) plan to spend the entire semester testing the system and getting our back-end integrations setup and customizations put into place.

The tentative plan is to “go live” with all courses being offered on Brightspace for the Fall 2023 semester.

A: Faculty and staff will have access to and begin training in our Purchase College tenant of Brightspace beginning in Spring 2023.

A: Moodle will not go away anytime soon and will not go away without ample notice to the entire Purchase community. Since we are currently self-hosting our Moodle instance, we are not subject to any strict deadlines thanks to the lack of LMS hosting / licensing contracts.


A: There is a tool that has been developed by a faculty member at SUNY Plattsburgh (a fellow Moodle campus) but SUNY has not yet addressed/discussed this issue. In the meantime, we recommend that faculty begin thinking about creating Moodle course backups of their course content until we have more information about an official course conversion mechanism. We generally recommend creating Moodle course backups as a ‘better practice’ regardless of future migration status. More information is available at Moodle’s official website > Course backup.

Preparing for a migration to a new learning management system can also be a good time to pause, reflect, and reconsider how you teach.

A: Once we have officially migrated from Moodle to Brightspace, the current Moodle production server will become our Moodle Archives server. We have not yet worked out access details with CTS but those conversations are a bit further down the road.

March 14, 2022 Migration Updates

The nine SUNY Moodle campuses are scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 17 with  leaders from the SUNY DLE and D2L to go over our specific migration questions and planning strategies.

Register for an upcoming SUNY DLE Brightspace Trainers Fireside Chat! These informal sessions will be a great opportunity to learn about and discuss the benefits and features of the Brightspace learning environment directly from the SUNY DLE Brightspace trainers!

SUNY DLE Brightspace Trainers Fireside Chat Sessions:

Session Dates:
All sessions held 3:00pm-4:00pm EST; exceptions are noted below in bold

  • February 23, 2022 - Training Overview, Brightspace Engagement & Faculty Time Savers (Recording)
  • March 9, 2022 - Video Chat (Recording)
  • March 16, 2022 -  Course Builder (Recording)
  • March 23, 2022 - Templates (Recording)
  • March 30, 2022 - Personalization (Recording)
  • April 6, 2022 - Quick Eval (Recording)
  • April 20, 2022 - Moodle to Brightspace at 3:30-4:30pm EST

Register for an upcoming Fireside Chat

Jamie Heron, SUNY Online Program Manager at the SUNY Center for Professional Development (SUNY CPD), will coordinate, along with a cadre of campus partner volunteers, a unified approach to training. Plans include options for both asynchronous and synchronous training modules and reference materials, developed at no charge to campuses, that each institution will be able to adapt as needed. Training will roll-out to System Administrators, Help Desk professionals, instructional designers, faculty, and students. Importantly, training will address the needs of faculty teaching in all delivery modes, including faculty who will use the LMS to teach online as well as faculty who utilize the LMS as a resource in their in-person classes and those who teach in hybrid and HyFlex instructional models.

The SUNY CPD will provide a Brightspace Fundamentals Badge and Certificate for SUNY campus members who successfully complete the asynchronous assessments. Individuals who register for any of the synchronous remote, scaled webinars, or asynchronous trainings will automatically be enrolled in the asynchronous training modules, where the assessments are housed.

Please visit the Training section of the SUNY DLE website for all updates.

Purchase College is in Migration Cohort 3 along with:

  • University at Albany
  • Cayuga Community College
  • SUNY Delhi *
  • SUNY Fredonia *
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • SUNY Morrisville
  • North Country Community College
  • Ulster County Community College

* Moodle campus

February 14, 2022 Migration Updates

The SUNY DLE Core Strategy Team has approved our revised request to move up our migration timeline to join Cohort 3, allowing us timing, access, training, and implementation flexibility, resulting in a hybrid Cohort 3/4 migration to Brightspace.

  • The switch to Cohort 3 allows us to gain access to our Brightspace tenant sooner (in Fall 2022) and better accommodates our academic calendar
  • Our Brightspace “tenant” is Purchase’s copy of Brightspace within the larger SUNY Brightspace instance
  • Having access to Purchase’s tenant is essential for the Project Team to begin configuring back-end technical integrations and to customize our instance of Brightspace
  • We plan to dedicate all of Fall 2022 (September - December) to work on Brightspace back-end technical integrations and customizations
  • We plan to focus on intensive faculty/staff Brightspace training during Spring 2023, so that everyone can get comfortable with the new learning management system
  • We plan to create Fall 2023 courses on our Purchase Brightspace tenant during the Spring 2023 semester, giving faculty five months to work on their courses in Brightspace in preparation of the official switchover
  • We plan to offer Summer 2023 courses on Moodle while providing faculty access to their course spaces on Brightspace for development, marking Summer 2023 as the last semester of courses to take place in Moodle
  • We are targeting Fall 2023 as the first official semester of using Brightspace, with live courses being offered in the newly adopted LMS
  • All of this with the caveat that we will officially move to Brightspace when we are comfortable and ready

The SUNY Base License Brightspace Features document outlines core features available to SUNY campuses as part of the base license. Everything included in this document, including Performance Plus, is available to SUNY campuses as part of the base Brightspace license, referred to as Brightspace Core.

Discussion about which third-party applications (e.g. video conferencing, video/media hosting, accessibility, student engagement tools, etc.) will be included in the standard Brightspace instance are still taking place at the SUNY level.

Learn more about Brightspace for higher education at their website.

Brightspace Core includes all of the key products that you need to offer an engaging and personalized learning experience as well as the support, services, and training to get the most out of them.

Brightspace Core Feature highlights include:

  • Activity Feed: From one central spot on a course home page, course facilitators can
    communicate easily about upcoming assignments, new content, or discussions, knowing that their
    content will be seen by everyone.
  • Content Experience: An intuitive way to create content aligned to outcomes in a course. It includes a
    variety of ways to add content, including an Brightspace Editor linking to Google Drive, web
    links, videos, external learning activities, and more.
  • Brightspace Pulse (mobile app): The D2L Brightspace platform’s mobile experience is designed to help maximize productivity for people on the go while providing a complete learning experience that can work on any device. Staying connected to learning has never been so convenient and engaging!
  • Virtual Classrooms: A seamless way to connect face-to-face over video with multiple parties for
    instruction, assessment, and feedback. Schedule live discussions, office hours, video-based training, and
  • Video Assignments: Structured video workflows allow for repeated skill practice and knowledge
    application within a real-world context. By using a variety of feedback tools, students get personalized,
    pointed feedback from evaluators and peers.
  • Closed Captions for Video Note: Video Note allows users to record short videos and add them
    anywhere where the Brightspace Editor is available. To help ensure all users can learn without barriers,
    closed captions are automatically created.
  • Quick Eval: Pulls together submissions from a variety of courses and tools to create a single list of the
    work to be completed. Easily prioritize by sorting and filtering.


Please note that Brightspace training is part of Phase 2 of the migration (updated to January 2023). All faculty will have the opportunity to earn a SUNY CPD Brightspace LMS Certificate, with an additional option to earn an “Enhanced” certificate after an OSCQR review of their migrated content. More information about this is forthcoming. Additional training sessions will be offered both by SUNY and locally closer to the migration date. Please monitor the SUNY DLE “Training” page for the latest information.

These informal Fireside Chats will provide an overview of the training plans, introduce participants to the training team, showcase Brightspace tools and features, and provide an opportunity for participants to submit questions and suggestions to be addressed at subsequent fireside chats. SUNY DLE Fireside Chat

Register for a Fireside Chat

Session Dates:
All sessions held 3:00-4:00pm EST

  • February 23, 2022 (Recording)
  • March 9, 2022
  • March 16, 2022
  • March 23, 2022
  • March 30, 2022

All Fireside Chats will be recorded and posted to the SUNY DLE website.

January 17, 2022 Migration Updates:

Purchase has officially signed on to become a D2L Brightspace campus.

Purchase College’s official D2L Brightspace Migration Project Team is:

  • Greg Taylor, Campus Executive Sponsor (Associate Provost for Academic Affairs)
  • Marie Sciangula, Campus Lead (Assistant Director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center)
  • Kim Detterbeck, Academic Lead (Art Librarian, Coordinator of Library Instruction, and Interim Assistant Library Manager
  • Ryan Nassisi, Technical Lead (Assistant Director of Campus Technology Services)

The first Introduction to D2L’s Brightspacewebinar garnered 802 registrants from 57 campuses. Registrants at the October 28 session included faculty (268), campus administrators (187), instructional designers/instructional technology (148), professional staff in IT, student services (147), distance learning leaders (29) and librarians (23). If you missed this session, or the one that followed on November 5, with another 500 registrants, we encourage you to view the recording today (use your campus login credentials to access via the DLE website)!

The presentation includes a detailed virtual tour of the Brightspace platform by Phil Voll, D2L’s Senior Solutions Engineer, and is focused on priority issues for SUNY faculty—accessibility, faculty-student communication, use of rubrics, grading, assessment creation, features for faculty and students to track progress, and more. The overwhelming response to the demonstration was positive!

As the SUNY work groups continue to work to map out SUNY’s new Digital Learning Environment, they understand that campuses want to know what tools and services are part of the basic license agreement. A new resource document, the Summary of Brightspace Core and Performance Plus for SUNY has been posted to the DLE website. Brightspace Core includes a complete suite of easy-to-use teaching and learning tools: course management and design, collaboration and communication, assessment, reporting, and more. Performance Plus provides the data analytics tools faculty need to support student success. Note that everything included in the Summary document is available to SUNY campuses as part of the base license.

  • As mentioned previously, Purchase has requested to be a part of Cohort 4, the last group of campuses to move over to Brightspace.
  • 30 campuses are included in Cohort 1; Purchase is not one of them.
  • As part of Cohort 4, our migration from Moodle to Brightspace is scheduled to begin in January 2023 and be completed in December 2023.
  • Each cohort will move through a three-phase process (planned to take between 11-13 month) that begins with a four-month planning process.
    • Phase 1: Planning & IT/Academic Preparation: During this time, we will plan out the project scope, timelines, roles, and responsibilities. We will identify the important and unique academic and technical considerations and outline the appropriate implementation actions that need to take place. SUNY will provide “Train the Trainer” workshops for campus Instructional Designers and identified campus faculty leads/pilot faculty that will cover instructor tools, migration strategies, and administration.
    • Phase 2: Training and Pilot: In addition to resources provided by D2L, SUNY will provide asynchronous training modules to each campus. Early adopter faculty will be the first to fully transition their courses to Brightspace and deliver their courses during this period. During this time, feedback will be collected, and any updates or changes will be made to the environment. Additional planning and preparation for the full production cutover (Phase 3) will continue during the pilot period.
    • Phase 3: Production Cutover “Go Live”: The full transition begins when everyone has the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. SUNY System and D2L will be with our campus throughout, answering questions and troubleshooting any issues that arise.


The D2L Brightspace Migration Project Team is currently evaluating how and when to distribute sandboxes to faculty and staff. Currently, the Project Team is projecting that access to Brightspace sandboxes will be made available during Phase 1 (roughly January - April 2023) at the earliest.

Please note that Brightspace training is part of Phase 2 of the migration (roughly May 2023). All faculty will have the opportunity to earn a SUNY CPD Brightspace LMS Certificate, with an additional option to earn an “Enhanced” certificate after an OSCQR review of their migrated content. More information about this is forthcoming. Additional training sessions will be offered both by SUNY and locally closer to the migration date. Please monitor the SUNY DLE “Training” page for the latest. 

December 17, 2021 Migration Updates:

More than 140 staff and faculty from all 64 campuses have volunteered to participate in two planning workgroups – Campus Implementation and Technical Implementation – proving that there is a considerable amount of experience and expertise readily available on this important system-wide undertaking.

The unified SUNY digital learning environment will help ensure that:

  • students who transfer from campus to campus have a more cohesive experience,
  • SUNY system better leverages services, supports for inter-campus faculty, and with external partners,
  • campuses can successfully close SUNY Trustees academic policy compliance gaps. This will help campuses align with the  accessibility, cross-registration, and seamless transfer requirements as well as fulfilling other SUNY system directives pertaining to information security and the recently-updated general education requirements.


We have requested to join Cohort 4 which is the last group that will migrate from their existing LMS to Brightspace.

The General Cohort 4 Implementation Schedule is as follows:

  • Phase I (Prep/Planning): January - April 2023
  • Phase II (Pilot): May - August 2023
  • Phase III (Launch): September - December 2023

As one of eight other campuses using Moodle, SUNY and D2L will work with us on our unique and specific implementation needs. If we need more time before cutting over to Brightspace, we will be given more time. Remember, we are under no strict deadline to shutdown our existing Moodle instance.

There are currently 488 third-party tools being utilized across the system. In order to better leverage resources and address numerous redundancies, the Core Strategy Team is analyzing all of the third-party tools being used and will provide campuses with what it determines should be included in each instance (or tenant) of Brightspace.

Instructors, please email us at TLTC@purchase.edu to get on the list of faculty who will be given access to a Brightspace sandbox course to begin exploring the system. In the meantime, you can learn more about Brightspace at their website and by watching the SUNY Introduction to D2L’s Brightspace webinar that took place earlier this semester. To access the webinar, head to the SUNY DLE website and click on Events > Informational Webinars at the top right menu. Login with your Purchase College credentials to access the webinar.

November 17, 2021 Migration Updates:

SUNY DLE is also planning to get cost estimates out to campuses next month. Several workgroups are being established to plan parameters for campus migrations, establish technical standards, develop course resources, and produce training materials. Third-party tools include things like VoiceThread, Turnitin, social annotation tools, etc.

Priority will be given to SUNY campuses currently running Blackboard, to migrate as many as possible to Brightspace before the current Blackboard contract expires. Since we self-host our Moodle instance, we have flexibility in deciding when to migrate to Brightspace. The only aspect of migration timing that is clear is that Purchase will not be among the first cohort of campuses that will migrate in Fall 2022. While our plans to migrate to a new clustered server configuration for our Moodle platform have been put on hold, we continue to apply regular upgrades to the current Moodle production server.

The TLTC is in contact with other Moodle admins at Plattsburgh, Delhi, Fredonia, to name a few, to discuss coordinating efforts in our migrations from Moodle to Brightspace. This includes testing options for migrating Moodle courses to Brightspace.

  • bulk migration of a defined number of past semesters of Moodle courses (e.g, the past year, the past two years, etc), facilitated by technical support from D2L and the SUNY DLE project team;
  • manual migration of individual courses by faculty using backups of their Moodle courses;
  • or encouraging faculty to rebuild their courses from scratch in the new LMS.

There are advantages to rebuilding courses from scratch, in terms of getting faculty to verify accessibility of materials that are being migrated over. In addition to assistance from D2L and the DLE project team, we can draw on the experiences of other Moodle campuses in our planning.

October 4, 2021 Migration Updates:

Winter 2022 and Spring 2022 courses will therefore be hosted on our current Moodle server, and should be available shortly for faculty access.

From the FAQ page at the SUNY DLE website:

Will all campuses transition to a new environment? Are there no options for a campus that does not want to switch?

We anticipate that all campuses will transition to the new digital learning environment.

When you say “all” campuses, do you really mean all?

Yes. Consistent with the recommendations of the DLE Steering Committee, this plan does in fact, include all campuses making this transition:

  • Campuses with Blackboard hosted by ITEC or Blackboard;
  • Campuses with self-hosted Blackboard;
  • Campuses with Moodle; and
  • Campuses that have contracts with other LMS providers (including current D2L campuses).

Recognizing that the transition means something distinct depending on the campus’s current platform, we understand that there is much work ahead to get to our desired state, including:

  • Implementation planning that is inclusive of the campus voice;
  • Working with each individual campus on timing, coordination, training, support, etc.; and
  • Support from D2L (once the contract is signed), SUNY, and the campus community.

Faculty and instructional support staff who are interested in getting a sandbox on the new SUNY Brightspace platform should contact the TLTC so that we can forward your request to the SUNY project team. The plan is to provide course sandbox spaces to any interested faculty and instructional support staff, to facilitate review of the new environment and any eventual migrations.

Be sure to log in with your Purchase username and password to view all of the available information, including the July, August, and September bulletins for the project, available on the Progress page as well as a series of FAQs. The final approval of the contract by the NYS Comptroller’s Office is highlighted in a special bulletin, clearing the way for SUNY to proceed with implementation planning.