Scaffold Migration

Medical University of South Carolina

Facing Tight Timeline, MUSC Ensures Accuracy, and Completeness while migrating to Brightspace

Quick & Accurate Migration

Founded in 1824, Charleston-based MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South. Offering 36 academic programs and 42 degrees, the university educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents annually in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. As an integrated, academic health sciences center, MUSC employs 17,000 team members. MUSC views learning as a spectrum for everyone in its orbit: students, residents, faculty, and staff.

MUSC faced a firm deadline to complete its migration to Brightspace for its learning management system (LMS). Due to the complexity of course design in the previous LMS, the initial migration of courses to Brightspace was not a one-to-one transfer. Since MUSC was short on time, D2L offered support from K16 Solutions to re-migrate the courses using their processes with a focus on accuracy. In only five days, K16 used its automated Scaffold Migration service to move the bulk of nearly 1,100 courses to Brightspace.


Tight Timeline

MUSC had to transition to Brightspace within less than a year, paying for two LMS providers during the transition was not an option.

Complex Courses

Due to the use of tech-enhanced tools, MUSC courses were complicated to migrate using existing methods. Branching logic and personalized learning were heavily used by the online programs, and post-migration needed to offer the same quality and experience for these tech-enhanced tools. As a health sciences institution, MUSC has a lot of educational materials and research by faculty that must be preserved and protected. Keeping student data secure was also a priority during the migration process.

Priority Teaching

Results of the traditional migration of the first group of courses did not meet the university’s expectations. Faculty did not have time to refit the material in a new LMS. A global pandemic during the migration to Brightspace exacerbated challenges for faculty putting a strain on their time and efforts during the migration. “We wanted them to focus on the important thing: teaching,” said Alex Walters, Senior Instructional Designer.

“We knew the end was imminent. We are small but mighty, but we are also human. There was no way we could do every single piece alone. Luckily, we were provided the opportunity to use K16 Solutions by our LMS provider, D2L.”

– Melissa Hortman, Director of Instructional Technology


After hearing about the challenges with the initial migration attempt, K16 developed an accelerated and automated plan to move the remaining courses to ensure they were ready to teach by the deadline. Partnership and communication were crucial for success.

K16 listened to MUSC’s needs and provided a solution based on MUSC’s feedback. “We could feel that investment on their part, that they were giving us a product that would be useful to us. It felt like a true team effort,” said Mary Smith, MUSC Instructional Designer.


Deadline Met

K16 ensured a complete and accurate migration of nearly 1,100 courses in five days, meeting the deadline.

Faculty Satisfied

Usability and ease of navigating the LMS increased dramatically, allowing faculty to jump in and begin teaching. In the earlier effort, for example, one of the most significant issues was the transition of some of the course gradebooks which required faculty to recreate them. The K16 collaboration fixed most of these issues, generating a lot of positivity among faculty.

Complexity Addressed

Even mega courses in the College of Medicine, with hundreds of students and thousands of pieces of content, migrated without a hitch. These complicated courses entered Brightspace in a correct, complete, and usable format with the help of K16 Solutions’ Scaffold Migration service “It was very high-stakes. There were so many pieces of the puzzle,” said Melissa Hortman, Director of Instructional Technology.

“The feedback we were receiving [from the MUSC faculty] was much more positive after the K16 migration to Brightspace."

- Mary Smith, MUSC Instructional Designer.