SystemMigration

College of the Mainland

Bulk migration didn't work, so College of the Mainland turned to K16's automated migration solution

An alternative to LMS bulk migration tools

Founded in 1966, College of the Mainland (COM) is a public community college dedicated to student success. COM offers an innovative approach to student support called Guided Pathways that helps its 5,000+ students find their strengths when establishing their educational path. COM boasts more than 48 relevant career fields to choose from once a student completes any of its degree programs. 

After 15 years with Blackboard, it was time for College of the Mainland to begin negotiating a new LMS contract. COM empowered its faculty to choose an LMS that could best support them moving forward. After a year-long evaluation, the LMS migration committee chose Brightspace as the ideal new learning management system. 

COM began its transition to Brightspace in early 2022 using standard bulk migration tools, but the process was slower than they would have liked, and many courses required extensive cleanup. By April, the university was in a hurry to finish transitioning the final one thousand courses by the middle of June. Pivoting from a manual migration method to K16 Solutions’ automated migration solution meant that COM was able to complete its migration project on time and with ease

Challenges

Accelerated Timeline

College of the Mainland had just eight weeks to migrate one thousand courses from Blackboard to Brightspace. After testing internal options for course conversions, they knew they didn’t have time to continue with that process. The university needed to finish the project with enough time for faculty and staff to learn the new LMS and perfect their courses.

Messy Transfer

As COM tried to migrate courses using a bulk migration tool, faculty and staff quickly realized that courses were not transitioning cleanly from Blackboard to Brightspace. This meant that faculty would have to spend hours manually fixing many of their courses, and they were worried they could lose important content in the process.

Faculty Worries

Transitioning to a new LMS seemed scary for most faculty. They had used their old LMS for 15 years and were comfortable with that platform. It was imperative to make the transition as easy as possible so that instructors could feel supported and have the time needed to learn how to use Brightspace before classes began.

"K16 was the only major player that offered a truly automated solution at the speed we needed.”

- Bradley Denison, Director of Educational Technology

Solution

Wanting to help make the transition as seamless as possible for COM, D2L recommended K16 Solutions’ SystemMigration service to migrate courses more quickly and efficiently.  “The decision was easy for us,” says Bradley Denison, Director of Educational Technology at College of the Mainland. “K16 was the only major player that offered a truly automated solution at the speed we needed.” Unlike most LMS migration methods, SystemMigration allows faculty and instructional designers to demo what courses will look like in the new LMS before they began migration.  “It was more of an iterative process than we anticipated, but it allowed us to get our courses set up how we wanted,” says Denison. COM’s migration committee was able to provide feedback on each test and see the K16 team apply these changes. Once COM gave full approval, K16 Solutions easily and cleanly migrated all one thousand courses within eight weeks.

Results

Excellent Customer Support

COM was pleased with the consistent communication and customer support that K16 provided. “The K16 Solutions team supported us up until launch,” says Denision. In August, just weeks before launching the new LMS, the COM faculty discovered one issue with quizzes that didn’t transfer properly. “Casey and his team found a solution for us with a quick turnaround so that everything was still on time,” Denison says.

Faculty Approval

Using an automated migration solution gave faculty the support they needed to make the transition as seamless as possible. Not having to migrate courses on their own allowed faculty more time to learn the new LMS and be able to create larger, more in-depth courses. When asked, faculty voiced that they much preferred the version of courses that K16 migrated to the courses migrated by bulk migration.

Clean Course Transfer

Using K16’s proprietary automated solution, COM was able to migrate aspects of courses that did not match perfectly from Blackboard to Brightspace. “There was no comparison of how the courses looked that K16 moved over vs. the ones that we moved with bulk migration,” says Denision. “If we could go back, we would’ve migrated all of our courses through K16. It was a better end product.”

“There was no comparison of how the courses looked that K16 moved over vs. the ones that we moved with bulk migration; if we could go back, we would’ve migrated all of our courses through K16. It was a better end product.”

- Bradley Denison, Director of Educational Technology