We are reaching out today to update you on the status of discussion tools used for instructional technology at Berkeley. Starting immediately, Ed Discussion will be the supported platform for our campus. Given the clear advantages and increased accessibility represented by Ed Discussion, the campus Piazza license will not be renewed at the end of August 2022.
In addition, the use of Piazza for individual licensing will be prohibited to ensure increased access to course materials for all students. We recognize this may present challenges for many of you and we are eager to offer the resources shared below to help you make this transition as smoothly as possible.
Going forward, faculty and graduate student instructors are encouraged to use Ed Discussion to facilitate online discussion in their courses. Ed Discussion offers robust features, including threaded discussions, embedded media, attachments, integration with bCourses, and more. Ed Discussion is currently available, and you can enable it directly from bCourses or edstem.org.
Research, Teaching, and Learning (RTL) is offering a variety of informative self help options to get everyone started with Ed Discussion, including an introductory video and a quick start guidefor both instructors and students. RTL will also offer virtual trainings for instructors, graduate student instructors, and academic support staff on Tuesday, June 21, 3 p.m. and Tuesday, July 19, 3 p.m., as well as hold virtual workshops with the vendor on Tuesday, August 9, 3 p.m. and Thursday, August 11, 3 p.m. Course staff and students who have questions or would like to schedule an individualized consultation may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed Discussion was awarded a campuswide license for use in instruction after a rigorous Request for Proposal (RFP) process for a campus wide discussion tool. The RFP process is a standardized campus procurement process that includes a review committee composed of faculty, staff, and students coordinated by RTL. In addition to competitive bidding, the process includes mandatory reviews of products to ensure that they meet our institutional guidelines for security, privacy, and accessibility. Ed Discussion received the highest score from the committee in all categories of functionality, accessibility, integration with campus systems (bCourses/Canvas LMS), business experience, and references. We appreciate the committee's thorough review of multiple tools and are confident that Ed Discussion is the best solution for our campus needs.
You can read more about the campus selection process, platform features, and help options in Research, Teaching, and Learning’s Online Discussions Service Updates news story.
We greatly appreciate your understanding and support as we endeavor to make instruction accessible for all students.
With our best regards,
Oliver M. O’Reilly
Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Lisa García Bedolla
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division
Ronald C. Cohen
Chair, Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate
Chief Academic Technology Officer & Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
This message was sent to all UC Berkeley instructors, staff, and students.