Brightspace Vs Blackboard: Which LMS Is Right For You?

Brightspace Vs Blackboard Brightspace vs Blackboard is a discussion that has been going on for some time, and it is important to understand the similarities and differences between these two powerful learning platforms. A learning management system (LMS) provides a platform for educators to facilitate online teaching and learning. Blackboard and Brightspace are two of the most popular LMS software, offering robust features and capabilities to help educators create engaging digital learning experiences. In this article, we compare Blackboard vs Brightspace based on their features, user experience, and support to help you make an informed decision. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Blackboard Learn – A Powerhouse In The Educational Technology Space

With its comprehensive suite of tools and features, Blackboard empowers educators to deliver engaging and interactive online courses. Blackboard Learn is the ideal combination of education and technology, providing faculty freedom to utilize best-practice pedagogical approaches and fostering a harmonious EdTech ecosystem. It has built-in software, accessibility tools, and anti-plagiarism features, offering simple, efficient, and reliable workflows. With highly visible progress tracking and seamless communication, Blackboard Learn facilitates shared experiences anytime, anywhere. Plus, it ensures an always-on, always-updated LMS, eliminating downtime and providing personalized support for student success.

Who Uses Blackboard?

Blackboard caters to various educational institutions, including universities, colleges, K-12 schools, and corporate training environments. Its flexibility makes it suitable for both traditional and distance learning environments, accommodating the needs of various educational contexts. Whether you want to implement the system in small healthcare facilities or get an entire enterprise on the same page, Blackboard Learn can be tailored to fulfill your needs. The following are some of the areas where Blackboard Learn can help your learning and teaching process:

  • Instructional designers
  • Curriculum developers
  • Distance learning coordinators
  • Research institutes
  • Continuing education providers
  • Corporate training departments

Who uses Blackboard? Let’s continue the discussion of Blackboard vs Brightspace by looking at the second contender – Brightspace.

Brightspace – A Comprehensive LMS Platform For Online Learning

D2L Brightspace is a comprehensive cloud-based learning management system that goes beyond traditional LMS platforms. With powerful tools, customizable content, and exceptional support, Brightspace allows educators to create personalized learning experiences at scale. It offers flexibility and innovation for teaching and learning, empowering educators to deliver high-quality learning experiences anytime, anywhere. Brightspace integrates with existing tools and systems, ensuring a smooth transition and maximizing familiarity. Overall, Brightspace is a transformative platform that revolutionizes online learning, enabling educators to unlock the full potential of education and empower learners to succeed.

Who Uses Brightspace?

Today, D2L provides its open and extensible platform to over 1,100 clients and 13 million individual learners in higher education, K-12, healthcare, government, and corporate sectors, including Fortune 1,000 companies. The following industries can benefit from using Brightspace:

  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Non-profit
  • Retail
  • Technology and software
  • Blended learning institute
  • Professional development

Industries served by blackboard. Now that we know both companies’ vision and journey, it’s time to look at their key features.

Brightspace Vs Blackboard: Key Features

Any software comparison is incomplete without discussing the features of each software. Let’s look at the key features offered by Blackboard and Brightspace:

Course Management

Both platforms provide robust course management tools that allow educators to organize and structure their online courses effectively.

Content Creation And Delivery

Educators can create and deliver various types of multimedia content, including documents, videos, quizzes, and interactive presentations, to engage learners.

Communication And Collaboration

Both platforms offer communication and collaboration tools, such as discussion boards, messaging systems, and virtual classrooms, to facilitate interaction and engagement among learners and instructors.

Assessment And Grading

Creating assessments, quizzes, assignments and grading them within the platforms is effortless. Both also provide feedback and track learners’ progress.

Analytics And Reporting

Educators can access analytics and reporting features to track learner performance, monitor engagement, and gain insights into course effectiveness.

SIS Integration

Both platforms can effortlessly integrate with student information systems (SISs), for example, Banner. This integration means the software will automatically sync data between the two systems, making it easier to manage student records. Now that we have looked at some similarities of both software, it’s time to see what the software do differently.


The option for students to edit or delete their discussion posts is not available in Brightspace, unlike in Blackboard, where instructors can enable or disable this feature. Furthermore, in Blackboard, instructors can create a discussion with a name and description. Brightspace allows instructors to categorize “topics,” and each discussion forum can have multiple ones.


If you delete a test, discussion, or assignment from Blackboard that is connected to the Grade Center, you will see a warning message indicating that the content you are deleting is a graded item. The message will also allow you to delete the graded item from your Grade Center. When you delete a quiz, discussion, or assignment in Brightspace, you won’t get a notification to delete the item from ‘Grades.’ Instead, you must delete the quiz, discussion, or assignment from its respective location and remove the associated grade items from ‘Grades.’

How Blackboard And Brightspace Stand Out From The Rest Of The Competition

In 2021, the learning management systems (LMSs) market was valued at USD 14.43 billion. It is expected to increase to USD 16.19 billion in 2022 and USD 40.95 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 14.2% during the forecast period. The growing market means almost every LMS developer is striving to create a product that stands out from the crowd. Blackboard and Brightspace are no different, as each offers a range of distinct features and capabilities to help make your online learning process easier and more effective. In this section, we will examine what makes these two systems unique.

How Does Blackboard Excel In The LMS Market? Streamlined Grading

Blackboard’s grading system is designed to simplify and enhance the management of student grades, offering a seamless experience that saves time and ensures accurate feedback. The system supports weighted grades, rubrics, and automatic calculations, eliminating manual errors and making grading more efficient. Students also benefit from Blackboard Learn’s grading system. They can access and monitor their grades and progress to stay informed about their academic performance. This feedback fosters a sense of ownership and motivates students to take charge of their learning.

What Makes Brightspace Unique? Competency-Based Education

Brightspace distinguishes itself from other platforms with its strong emphasis on competency-based education (CBE). Through Brightspace, students can showcase their prior competencies through ePortfolio skills or real-world experiences in CBE courses. What Makes Brightspace Unique Competency-Based Education? The Prior Learning Assessment Module allows students to demonstrate competency in specific areas, while the Release Conditions feature enables instructors to create learning paths tailored to individual students. Brightspace’s CBE feature revolutionizes the learning experience by promoting personalized learning, recognizing prior knowledge, and fostering student success.

User Experience: Brightspace And Blackboard Comparison 

A software can have the most robust feature set and boast about it. However, that does not mean it will be ideal for the user. If a software is difficult to use, it will not matter how many features it has, as end users will not be able to leverage the technology optimally. In this section, we compare the user experience of Blackboard and Brightspace.

Ease Of Use

My experience with this software has made me love to learn again, maybe love school again. It’s so easy to use.” – Heather on Brightspace, E-learning.

Blackboard and Brightspace offer user-friendly interfaces, making navigation and course management intuitive for instructors and students. However, Brightspace’s clean and modern design and emphasis on user experience provide a slightly more streamlined and intuitive experience.

Doing anything on Blackboard Learn requires significantly more clicks and testing than competing products.” – Michael, Education Management.


When it comes to customer support, both Blackboard and Brightspace provide comprehensive assistance through various channels, including phone, email, and online resources. Additionally, their respective communities and user forums foster collaboration and knowledge sharing.


D2L provides easy online accessibility for teachers and students, making going to school a much easier task.” – Tiffany on Brightspace, Education Management.

Both Blackboard and Brightspace adhere to accessibility standards and provide features that accommodate diverse learner needs. They offer accessibility tools and ensure compatibility with assistive technologies, making the learning experience inclusive for all students. Some might argue that Brightspace wins here even if Blackboard offers an optional tool to improve accessibility.

…ease of access across the platform is not the best compared to other market competitors.” – Eduardo on Blackboard, Renewables and Environment.


Both platforms prioritize data security and compliance with privacy regulations. Blackboard and Brightspace are designed to protect sensitive student information and adhere to data protection standards, providing institutions with peace of mind. They do so by stringently following the ISO 27001 standard.

Blackboard Learn Mobile App

Blackboard offers different apps for instructors and learners. Furthermore, its video conferencing feature allows instructors to engage with their students in real time. The Blackboard mobile app is available on iOS and Android, allowing learners to access their courses and connect with peers anytime and anywhere. It has many 1-star reviews on the Play Store and the App Store. Users mention how the app can be infuriating to use, with frequent crashes and lags.

Brightspace Pulse Mobile App

The Brightspace Pulse App is designed to help instructors and learners manage their coursework anytime, anywhere. Users can easily visualize upcoming activities, ensuring they never miss an important deadline. Furthermore, you can stay informed about course-related updates, such as announcements, grades, quizzes, and assignments, through convenient push notifications. Brightspace Pulse App It also offers an offline mode, allowing users to review course content without an internet connection. According to user reviews on the App Store and Google Play, the app is considerably better than Blackboard’s. It is lauded for its smooth performance and intuitive design, which makes navigating courses effortless.

Brightspace Vs Blackboard: Limitations 

No software is without its limitations. Both Blackboard and Brightspace have certain aspects that need improvement, and we will discuss a few of them in this section.

Blackboard’s Limitations

According to some users, although Blackboard is a powerful learning management system, the interface could be more user-friendly, especially when using the ‘Ultra’ course view. This view eliminates institutional pages and branding, SafeAssign integration, and the option of embedding audio and video within assignments.

Brightspace’s Limitations

Brightspace, too, has its limitations. Some users have noted that certain advanced features require additional setup or technical expertise. For example, the ePortfolio capabilities are not as easy to use or configure as other features.

Brightspace Vs Blackboard: The Final Word 

Although Blackboard and Brightspace offer powerful learning management systems, their respective features and capabilities differ. Blackboard excels in its streamlined grading system, while Brightspace stands out for its emphasis on competency-based education. It is also worth noting that the user experience of each platform is different. Blackboard provides a more comprehensive suite of features, while Brightspace’s intuitive design and emphasis on user experience make it more desirable for many users. Brightspace Vs Blackboard: The Final Word Ultimately, Blackboard and Brightspace offer different features to support various learning scenarios. When selecting a learning management system, it is important to understand the requirements and goals of your institution to make an informed decision. Some questions that you can ask yourself when comparing the two platforms are:

  • What features do you need?
  • How important is user experience?
  • Is support required or desired?

The answers to these questions should guide you in choosing the best LMS for your institution. We hope this comparison has helped you better understand both Blackboard and Brightspace. If you have any more questions regarding their features, capabilities, or alternatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Software Finder.