Robert Kershaw is the creator of So you Think you can Brightspace?

This year’s winner of the Learning Teaching Services department’s “So You Think You Can Brightspace?” competition was Danielle Allard, a public relations and performing arts professor.

Since it was first introduced to Algonquin in 2018, Brightspace has evolved and improved with help from students and faculty feedback in surveys. Now, Brightspace has found another way to take the information from those surveys to improve its function in the form of a friendly competition: “So You Think You Can Brightspace?

This competition came into place when Robert Kershaw started his role within Learning and Teaching Services in July and sent out a satisfaction survey in order to see what current concerns students and faculty might have with Brightspace.

“The main student message that we needed to act upon was consistency in the system,” said Kershaw.

Kershaw investigated what faculty courses looked like at the time to help determine features that were favorable among students.

Based on those results, this led to the idea of having certain templates based on those results promoted on Brightspace which served as a potential way for faculty to set up their courses.

Faculty from the Ottawa, Perth to Pembroke campuses were asked to submit what they thought would be a great basic template for Brightspace.

They did this by submitting their course code online and giving a full description of why they included it as well as what they wanted the judges to focus on.

A team of six judges including two students then took about a two-hour block of time to go through all fifteen of the courses submitted. Using stopwatches to monitor their time, they took five minutes to examine each course.

First, the judges looked at the content section, because that was a main area for students to navigate to get to their different assignments and class lessons.

Next, the judges would look at what the creator of the course told them to look at, and from there they would choose which one they thought to be the most student worthy.

“We found something in each and every course that we could have showcased,” said Kershaw.

Despite the difficult decision, the judges were able to narrow it down to three top contenders, all of whom were showcased in the grand-finale of the YouTube video released on Nov. 15 showing off all the best these templates had to offer.

“From our perspective, as Learning and Teaching services, we want to celebrate good faculty work,” said Kershaw. “’Cause we think that celebrating good work leads people to aspire to it.”

The the new templates should be added as a Brightspace course for faculty this Friday.