Instructor Frequently Asked Questions
All credit courses are provisioned in Brightspace - instructors do not need to submit a course request for credit courses.
An instructor may choose to request a Master or Practice course offering for creating/saving course content outside a given semester or to test out Brightspace features not yet utilized. Instructors have on-going access to any Master or Practice courses requested and built.
Please allow 5-7 business days for request processing.
Credit course offerings for an upcoming term(s) will typically be provisioned within a few weeks after registration begins for the upcoming term(s). Once Brightspace is updated with upcoming term(s) courses, instructors will see the upcoming term(s) credit course offerings in Brightspace.
All credit courses for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters are provisioned automatically into the Montana State University Brightspace system.
Any instructor who has been identified as "Instructor of Record" via the registrar will have course offerings automatically associated with their account.
Credit courses are created in the Brightspace system with a date structure that makes the course potentially available 5 days before the start date of the semester and leaves the course accessible for 2 weeks after the last day of class in a semester.
Courses are made accessible to learners only after an instructor makes a course active.
Learners will be able to see and access the course earlier than semester start date *if* an instructor has made the course active. The 2 week extension is in place to allow learners and instructors time to wrap up course business. The 2 week period is a good time for learners to retrieve any course content they wish to have in hand going forward.
Not all instructors choose to use Brightspace, and, in some cases, an instructor may not make a course active until a later date.
If a learner does not see an expected course appearing as of the start date and the instructor has indicated that Brightspace will be used for the course, the learner is encouraged to contact the instructor.
When instructors make a course active, the course becomes visible and accessible to learners between the start and end dates of the course.
Course and enrollment information in Brightspace typically come from what is in Banner. For courses to automatically appear to the lead instructor of any credit course offering, the instructor must be listed as the "Instructor of Record" in Banner.
Instructors should work with the department and the Registrar's office to have "Instructor of Record" information correctly reflected in Banner.
Note that multiple "Instructor of Record" accounts can be associated with any credit course offering via Banner.
Note also that lead instructors can add a co-instructor into a course.
It is possible that the instructor has been unenrolled from a past course. There are various ways that this can occur.
An instructor may have been unenrolled from an older course automatically.
Also, the instructor role can manage the courses to which an instructor has access. Instructor role can be used to unenroll the instructor from their own past course.
Past courses from which instructors have been unenrolled are not visible/accessible going forward unless an instructor requests access to a past course by contacting the Ecat Team with detail related to the missing course(s). Requests will be processed within 72 hours.
Note: It is always helpful for instructors to work with the department and the Registrar's office to have "Instructor of Record" information correctly reflected in Banner.
To request a merge, instructors should send an email to [email protected] with the Course Rubric, Course Number, Course Section(s), and Course Title that need to be merged together. Ecat Team staff will then set up the various combinations to be merged into one course offering.
Merged courses contain a CL (for "cross-listed") in the course title as well as the course code. After the merge has been constructed by support staff, the instructor will have access to the merged course offering.
The best time to request a merge is at the front end of a semester after all course offerings are available to the instructor in Brightspace, and before instructors begin setting up the course.
Allow up to 72 hours for a merge process to be completed.
To request a publisher integration, instructors should send an email to [email protected] detailing the courses/sections and the publisher integration to be added to the course. Ecat Team staff will set up the integration.
The best time to request a publisher integration is at the front end of a semester after all course offerings are available to the instructor in Brightspace.
Allow up to 72 hours for the integration process to be completed.
Note that Brightspace does not have a process for instructors to individually backup course offerings with user data intact. All courses and related student data remain on servers affiliated with D2L and are managed and backed up administratively by D2L. Courses will be maintained on the server as long as MSU-Bozeman continues to contract with D2L.
Instructors can use the Import/Export/Copy Component function in D2L to export a downloadable copy of a course's content, but no student data is exported when this action is performed.
Grades can be exported from the Grades area for retention and filing with a department.
When an instructor makes a course active, the course becomes visible and accessible to learners between the start and end dates of the course within a term.
Email in Brightspace is both internal and external to the system. Mail can be forwarded out and users can receive messages from external mail servers.
Learner, instructor, and course information in Banner get passed over to the Brightspace system.
Updates from Banner to Brightspace run multiple times during the day:
- Monday through Friday at ~ 7:00 AM; 10:00 AM; 2:00 PM; 5:00 PM; 8:00 PM
- Saturday and Sunday at ~ 12 PM and 8 PM
Actions related to accounts and courses are typically handled by the Registrar.
The Incomplete role in Brightspace can be assigned to a learner when requested by an instructor.
When the 'incomplete' role is assigned to a student role in Brightspace, the 'incomplete' designation extends access for the learner into the course to which the Incomplete grade is associated regardless of term (normal student role accounts cannot see past terms in Brightspace).
Learners can petition to have their grade(s) rendered as an "Incomplete" with the intention of completing the grade at a later date. Incomplete grades (i-grade) are assigned by instructors in their courses. After appropriate paperwork is lodged with the Registrar the instructor can send an email to [email protected] requesting that an incomplete be assigned to the learner.
Instructors need to put this information in the request email:
- course rubric with section (example: AGED 140US-001)
- course title (example: Leadership Dev For Agriculture)
- course CRN: XXXXX (example: 54321)
- learner first/last name and last 4 of the student ID number (example: Joseph Smith; -XXXX1234)
Ecat Team staff will submit the information and the role for the learner will change from 'student' to 'incomplete' after Banner updates Brightspace. When the incomplete is resolved, the learner's role will automatically change back from 'incomplete' to 'student' after Banner updates Brightspace.
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