• Introduction
  • User interface
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Cost
  • Summary

NEO vs. Brightspace


NEO is a word-class, award-winning learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities. NEO helps schools manage all classroom activities, such as creating and delivering educational content, assessing students, tracking their results, and promoting communication and collaboration between students and teachers/faculty. NEO is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world.

Brightspace from D2L is a consolidated learning solution developed for use by K-12 education districts, higher education institutions, as well as by government offices and corporate clients.

NEO School portal

User interface

The NEO interface is a modern, responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for students, teachers and administrators, a graphical class catalog, as well as simple pop-out navigation. Many features can be enabled or disabled to suit young children through to college students. It provides rich content authoring as well as a visually attractive way to create and organize lesson material.

The Brightspace interface is fairly easy to use and intuitive, just not quite as graphical as the NEO interface. The dashboards are very simple and there is a lot of text instead of visual elements.

NEO Student dashboard

Ease of use

NEO is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center, with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. NEO also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours 24/5.

Brightspace is easy to use and understand, includes online help and technical support via email and forum, video tutorials, and the Brightspace Community.

NEO Help center


NEO provides the range of functionality you'd expect in a modern LMS, such as support for classes (instructor led, blended, self-paced, and micro learning), twelve kinds of assignments, full-featured gradebook, content authoring, beautiful lesson layouts, gamification, automation, learning paths, drip content, adaptive learning, mastery and competencies (including US common core standards and Next Generation Science Standards), question banks, class templates, rubrics, collaboration tools, resources catalog, a customizable portal, and more.

NEO supports many important industry standards such as SCORM, Common Cartridge Format, LTI, QTI and LDAP. We also integrate with a wide variety of systems, including Google Drive, G Suite, Office 365, OneDrive, Calendars (iCal), Turnitin, Zapier, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebEx, SIS, Equella, and more.

Brightspace provides a similar feature set and has a special user interface for K-12 students, with the main difference being that the features are not as visually attractive, and a little harder to configure and use. The class creation tool does not allow you to add resources on the same page and the assignment tool is rather restrictive.

In addition, here is a list of the features included in NEO that are not supported by Brightspace:

User interface

  • Graphical dashboards
  • Customizable visitor portal
  • Customizable terminology
  • Support for more than 40 languages
  • Branded mobile apps
  • Automatic translation of messages and forum posts
  • Windows native app


  • Automation
  • Drip content
  • Micro learning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Compliance
  • Class ratings and reviews
  • Prerequisite certificates
  • Personalized assignments
  • Debates and team assignments
  • Compliance


  • Integration with 1,000+ apps via Zapier
  • xAPI
  • Cometchat
  • Unicheck
  • Equella
  • MailChimp
  • Skype for Business
  • GoToTraining
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Authorize.net
  • PayUbiz
  • PayU Latam


  • Wikis
  • Social networking
  • Teams
  • Organizations


  • Account types such as teaching assistant, parent, and monitor
  • Built-in student help desk
  • Trash can for restoring deleted content
  • SEO features
  • Archiving students

NEO Class catalog


NEO costs about $6 per student per year for its Small school plan and $7 per student per year for its Enterprise plan. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.

Brightspace usually costs between $16 - $20 per student per year and has an implementation fee of $10,000 for 1,000 users. There is also an additional charge for SIS implementation.

NEO Class page


This presents a comparison of the most important features between NEO and Brightspace.

NEO is a more modern, powerful, and intuitive LMS than Brightspace offering a larger set of features suitable for both K-12 and Higher Education clients. If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us at contact us.


This comparison paper was written in April 2018 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.

Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.