The pilot program for D2L’s Brightspace, which will replace eCollege and be called TCU Online, begins next fall, said Romana Hughes, the assistant provost of educational technology and faculty development, who is overseeing the transition.
A maximum of about 35 faculty members and 4,000 students will be in the pilot, Hughes said.
The overarching goal is to go live with TCU Online in spring 2017, incorporating classes from the spring, then the summer and finally the fall, she said.
Transition project members are working to make the switch easy for both faculty and students so they can log on and find their course, Hughes said.
So far, it seems to be working, she said, but training for students and faculty will be needed because the platform has so many tools.
All students will be enrolled in an online orientation for TCU Online, said Kerrie Meister, the project lead of switching out of eCollege. She said she hopes to target incoming students to get them working with the program early on.
“The idea is to try and provide different types of learning opportunities for faculty, and students as well, for how they want to learn,” said Joanna Schmidt, who is developing the training.
Online training plans are not complete, but the team plans to finish them in time for the pilot.
Lunch meetings are being held for faculty members selected to participate in the pilot March 4 and March 14, Hughes said.
There, faculty members will see a demo of the program and will start committing to the pilot.
“It’s going to be a stretch to learn it a little bit, but any new software kind of goes that way,” said Billy Farmer, a faculty member who was part of the group that evaluated available systems during the eCollege replacement process.
Sophomore interior design major Callie Welsh, junior criminal justice major Aaron Curry, sophomore economics major Brandon Clark and junior speech pathology major Alyssia Escamilla share thoughts on eCollege.