Core Differences Between Bruin Learn and CCLE
As Bruin Learn and CCLE are based on different software platforms (Canvas and Moodle, respectively) there are some core differences in how we interface and use them. Below are some high level comparisons of the two learning management systems.
Announcements: In CCLE, students do not have the option of interacting with Announcements, and they cannot opt out. In Bruin Learn, instructors can enable comments and/or like selected announcements, so students can interact with them that way. Instructors can then turn off comments/liking at any time. However, students can choose not to receive announcements (it is on by default).
Assessments and Assignments: Both Bruin Learn and CCLE support similar resources for uploading assignments (e.g. papers, projects, or recordings), including Kaltura for media and Turnitin. For quizzes and exams, both systems allow instructors to create question banks and randomize questions. They are also able to customize when grades are released and what feedback students may see, although CCLE affords slightly more flexibility. Feedback on assignments is similar across Bruin Learn and CCLE, but Bruin Learn allows instructors to comment on MS Word documents as well as PDFs. Additionally, the Gradescope application integrated with Bruin Learn allows students to upload coding assignments and images of handwritten assignments for grading.
Calendar: The Calendar tool in Bruin Learn aggregates across all of a student’s enrolled courses. Any activity that has a due date is automatically added, and other more static items may be assigned a to-do date.
Communication with students: On CCLE, instructors email the class by creating an announcement, which generates an email notification from CCLE. Students cannot reply to the instructor on this email thread. To contact an individual student, faculty must go through MyUCLA. Bruin Learn’s email integration is much smoother with an inbox feature on the home page that allows instructors to email entire classes or individual participants. These emails are connected to the instructor’s regular email, meaning students can reply as they would to any other email, and faculty can access the conversation through their email application.
Discussions: On CCLE, Forum allows for multiple topics to be discussed. In Bruin Learn, only one topic per discussion is allowed; however, there are added tools such as grading, liking, and peer review.
Grades: Both systems have their own grade book, to which any embedded activity populates, and both allow the creation of custom grading schemas. Bruin Learn integrates rubrics (if desired) during the grading process, and SpeedGrader in Bruin Learn has a rich grading interface for instructors for certain assignment types. Please note that DocViewer (the tool that allows you to annotate) does not work with text entry submissions. If you would like to use DocViewer when grading, you will need to require students to submit a file. The MyUCLA Gradebook, however, remains the grade book of record.
Groups: The ability to create internal groups is shared across CCLE and Bruin Learn. In Bruin Learn, site administrators can create both “Group Sets” as well as groups within those sets. This allows a course to have different types of group assignments (e.g. group discussions, project teams, etc.) where students can be sorted into multiple groups simultaneously.
The landing page: On CCLE, users may choose to set the landing page to the syllabus or the “Site Info” section. On Bruin Learn, the home page may be the syllabus, the course modules, the upcoming and overdue assignments, or the stream of recent course activity. Instructors also have the ability to build their own home page from scratch using the Pages function within Bruin Learn.
Modules: Another significant difference between Bruin Learn and CCLE is that instead of CCLE sections (usually named “Weeks”), Bruin Learn uses Modules. Modules are groupings of one or more pages or other resources (including assignments, discussions, files, and exams) that can divide the material into discrete units (including weeks if desired).
Navigation: The left-hand navigation menu differs on the two platforms. In CCLE, the menu displays a tab for the syllabus, a “Site Info” tab, tabs for the course “Weeks”—which typically correspond to the 10 weeks of the quarter—and tabs for any additional sections that faculty add. These could include “Assignments,” “Files,” “Quizzes,” or other resources. Course announcements and discussion forums are typically hidden in the “Site Info” section. The Bruin Learn menu is more varied with built-in links for Announcements, Grades, People, Conferences, Assignments, Outcomes, Quizzes, Discussions, Google Docs, and Calendar. This menu flattens some of the nested structures in CCLE, but it is difficult to customize and may feel busy for some courses.
Pages: Pages are similar to labels in CCLE in that they can contain any amount of information including text, links, images, and videos. In fact, currently, they are the only way to display video.
Peer Review: In Bruin Learn, peer review for students is available natively in assignments and discussions. They may be automatically and anonymously assigned.
Publishing: Publish and unpublish are similar to hide/show on CCLE, but by default, all materials, including the course, itself, are unpublished in Bruin Learn and need to be published in order for students to see them.
Student View: CCLE and Bruin Learn offer a “student view” function to course designers, instructors, and admins. Within Bruin Learn, the “student view” allows instructors to take assessments as a generic student and see what a student would see when taking assignments or quizzes. Instructors may still “preview” a quiz on Bruin Learn.