Getting Started Step-by-Step

Instructors use Brightspace to:

  • Communicate easily with learners
    • contains a course roster of registered learners, internal/external email available
  • Manage courses effectively (face-to-face, hybrid, purley online)
    • create a calendar of events, post announcements, make course content available, collect assignments, offer online quizzes, survey learners, create discussion areas, create and utilize grading rubrics, form groups, release grades to learners, leverage other system functionality for advantage

All courses that exist in Banner each semester are automatically provisioned in Brightspace.

Build a very basic Brightspace course: step-by-step instructions

A. Find the course offering on Brightspace Learning Environment

Find courses for which an instructor is scheduled to teach.

To find a course:

  1. Go to the Brightspace Login page
  2. Login using NetID and NetID password

Courses in which an instructor is listed as Instructor of Record in Banner are made available

Select to access the Instructor FAQ page - "What if a course doesn't show up for an instructor in Brightspace?"


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B. Post information in the Announcements area

Post announcements via the Announcements area of a course.

To post an announcement:

  1. When in a course, click on the "Create an announcement" link in the announcements area
  2. Enter a heading for the announcement and enter the announcement text in the content section
  3. Use the HTML Editor to format the announcement item
  4. Click Save to save the Announcement

Make announcements as often as necessary

Learners have access to announcements via My Home page and course home page

Links to areas in a course can be established in an announcement using the HTML Editor's Quicklink functionality

Use availability options to set when an announcement is visible to learners


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C. Post course materials under Content

Post course materials for the learners to view/download in the Content area of a course.

To add content to a course:

  1. When in a course, click on the Content link in the course nav bar
  2. Enter a title into Add a Module... (under the "Table of Contents" on the left hand nav bar) to create a heading under which topics will appear
  3. Select the Upload/Create button to choose from various options to add a Topic to the module
  4. Follow the prompts to establish the topic

In-line editing available to manage module/topic specifications

Use the Existing Activities button to link to other already established tools in the course


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D. Set up a class Discussion area

Create a Discussion area for class discussion to take place online.

How to create a discussion area:

  1. When in a course, click on the Discussions link in the course nav bar
  2. Click on the New button and select New Forum from the drop menu to create a heading for the topics
  3. Enter a Title (e.g. Class Discussions) and click Save and Close
  4. Click on the New button and select New Topic from the drop menu
  5. Choose the Forum under which it will appear and enter a Title for the topic
  6. In the Description, enter text explaining to the learners what the discussion area will be used for - select Save and Close
  7. Click on the topic title and when in the topic select the Start a New Thread button to post a discussion
  8. To read postings, click on the topic title to enter that topic and select threads (posts) to read them

Create as many forums and topics as needed

Set restrictions on discussion forum/topic visibility and availablity

Use Settings to adjust how discussion posts present


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E. Make a course active

All course offerings are autoprovisioned from Banner, but will not be visible to the learner until the instructor makes the course active.

To make a course active:

  1. After logging in to Brightspace, enter a course
  2. When in the course, select Course Admin from the course nav bar
  3. Select Course Offering Information
  4. Click the checkbox next to Course is Active
  5. Click Save

Select this link to access complete information on course activation


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There are mutiple workflows to complete all of the examples listed on this page.

All links on this page will open in a new tab or window dependent on browser/OS configuration.

Some of the workflows, tools, and settings referenced in the Brightspace Community Resource area are not utilized in the Montana State University - Bozeman Brightspace instance. MSU's look (My Home page, Course Home page, etc.) will differ from the look in documentation produced by Brightspace (D2L).

CD 202305