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Brightspace vs. Google Classroom

Here are a few of the many reasons why you should choose the Brightspace platform:

Brightspace is learning centered.

  • Align and track content and course materials against state or provincial standards
  • Set up custom learning pathways for self-pacing and differentiation
  • Provide rich feedback that includes audio and video
  • The platform has a dedicated mobile Portfolio app that carries artifacts of learning from year to year for students of all ages
  • Personalize feedback to all learners using automated, scheduled messaging and nudges based on specific criteria to make sure no one falls behind

Brightspace is equitable.

  • Integrates with third-party assistive technologies and tools
  • Designed and tested against WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards
  • Responsive platform works on all devices

Brightspace is organized.

  • Schools can have their own branded and customized landing page that links to courses and other communication channels
  • Teachers can copy their course content and materials year after year
  • Brightspace has a teacher dashboard that shows trends across students by reviewing several metrics at any one time, such as content, discussions, assignments, or grades
  • Present information targeted to specific user groups (e.g., teachers only)

Brightspace is collaborative and communicative.

  • Embedded video tools, simple video recordings, and classroom-friendly web conferencing
  • A dedicated parents’ view to serve up information around learning resources and teacher feedback
  • Push out global announcements (e.g., from a central level to all schools), which are then presented on every school and course home page
  • Teachers can create class-wide announcements (video or typed) or target only a specific group of learners
  • Annotate work easily without having to leave Brightspace

Brightspace is sophisticated.

  • Integrates with EdTech tools teachers already love, including SIS
  • School reports include login trends, course participation, and learner achievement across all courses within a school or any other organization
  • Easily create or add content, with accessibility features and easy-to-use templates built in
  • Learning within Brightspace is fun and enjoyable, and creates an experience that feels like a fun journey for students
  • Teachers can integrate gamification (e.g., points, nudges, and recommendations) and communicate with students, and students can communicate with each other, all of which will encourages personalization and brings students together
  • Control when/how/why learners can move to the next content item or activity with release conditions
  • Differentiate learning paths for different students or groups of students
  • Automated teacher outreach; set up once and messages are issued only when students achieve selected criteria
  • A centralized assignment dashboard shows assignment status for student submissions, items to be assessed, and graded items
  • All user-uploaded content and course materials remain owned by our clients

This is what the Brightspace platform can do.
Can Google Classroom do this?

Tool Brightspace Google Classroom
Portfolio
  • Dedicated Portfolio tool that can be used by learners of all ages to capture and store their work
  • Educators can attach curriculum expectations to Portfolio artifacts and evaluate those expectations
  • Student work grows with them from year to year
  • Does not have a dedicated portfolio tool. Educators can store artifacts of learning in Google Drive as a workaround
Content
  • Teachers can copy or share their course materials year after year, saving setup time and maximizing collaboration
  • Easily create accessible, mobile-friendly content using HTML templates
  • Align any content with state/provincial standards
  • Does not copy all course features; currently, only title, section, description, course subject, topics, classwork posts, and the grading system are copied
  • Presently does not have a built-in HTML editor; user would need to upload an HTML file from outside Google Classroom
User Interface Flexibility
  • Customize home pages based on school branding, ages of learners, and district in order to personalize the look and feel
  • Currently, Google Classroom provides the same interface and tools for all ages, with no capability to change icon navigation or personalize the home page
Web Conferencing Tools
  • Embedded classroom-friendly tools (freemium and premium options)
  • Integrations available with MS Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and more
  • Embedded tools include Google Meet and Chat (Hangouts and Meet); presently, MS Teams and Zoom are not available
Parents
  • Parents have a dedicated view that serves up information about the learning and activity in the classroom, including newsfeed posts using the Activity Feed tool, upcoming work, recent grades, and Portfolio artifacts within Brightspace
  • Parents can be invited to receive a weekly summary, but teachers must manually set up and invite the parents’ Google account(s)
Assignments
  • Rich feedback options, including teacher-provided video (via the Video Note™ tool) and audio feedback
  • In the Assignments tool, there are multiple submission types: file (upload, Google Drive, OneDrive), text-based submissions, image uploads, video-based content through the Video Note tool, content observed in-person, and On Paper
  • Currently no support for video or audio feedback
  • Assignments can be submitted through a number of ways, including but not limited to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides; PDFs; image files; and video files
Discussions
  • Through the dedicated Discussions tool in Brightspace, students can create video, audio, web content, and text posts for peer-to-peer collaboration, and resource sharing The dedicated Discussions tool is in a discrete location and does not create clutter with other learning resources in the platform
  • Dedicated discussion function not presently available; Google recommends using the class stream feature in Google Classroom as a workaround to enable teachers to post announcements, assignments, questions, and discussions in one central location
Quizzes
  • Teachers can upload a file with quiz questions to their own Quiz Question Library
  • With Brightspace, quizzes can be regraded after being sent to the gradebook, if needed
  • Teachers can easily create pools that randomize questions across students in a single course
  • Google Forms can be used for quizzes and randomization is possible
  • Presently, there appears to be no ability to regrade a quiz after a score has been sent to the gradebook
  • Presently, Google Classroom does not have question pools or question banks
Grading
  • In Brightspace, educators can grade Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, Portfolio artifacts, file uploads, text, images, and videos
  • Instructors can tie graded items to comments, feedback, rubrics, and standards
  • Brightspace supports off-line activities and educators can submit grades for work done off-line
  • Able to facilitate the automated synchronization of data between SIS and Brightspace
  • Gradable items currently limited to Google Apps files, text, and images
  • Educators can provide comments, rubrics, and scores; however, grading of off-line activities without creating an assignment is not presently available
  • Teachers can export assignment data into a separate system to calculate final grades, but would need to reenter into SIS; Google Classroom does sync up with some limited SIS platforms, but educators would need the full G Suite and be accepted to the beta program to access this functionality
Class Progress Dashboard for Teachers
  • Teacher dashboard shows trends across students by reviewing several metrics at any one time, such as content, discussions, assignments, or grades
  • Users can see submitted assignments and graded assignments; additional usage reports are available for G Suite admins only

D2L has made every effort to provide complete and accurate information. The contents of this
chart are based upon information available as of August 2020, and it is to be used for informational purposes only. If you identify any information outlined in the chart above that is inaccurate, please contact us at K12@D2L.com with details so we can make the appropriate modification.