1. Setting Up a Course
    1. 1. Adding Modules to Your Course Homepage
    2. 2. Adding Your Contact Information to Your Course
    3. 3. Posting Your Course Outline to Brightspace
    4. 4. Adding a Teaching Assistant (TA)
    5. 5. Adding Course Activities and Dates
    6. 6. Add Course Content
    7. 7. Setting Up the Gradebook
    8. 8. Making the Course Active for Students
    9. 9. Send a Welcome Announcement or Email
  2. Getting help with Brightspace

This Course Setup Guide was created for instructors to assist them with their D2L Brightspace course setup at the start of term. Completing the tasks on this guide will help ensure that the Brightspace course has the foundational elements of a successful learning environment. 

Setting Up a Course

Setting up a course in Brightspace is a simple, nine-step process, which includes:

  1. Adding modules to your course homepage,
  2. Adding your contact information to your course,
  3. Posting your course outline to Brightspace,
  4. Adding a Teaching Assistant (TA),
  5. Adding course activities and dates,
  6. Adding course content,
  7. Setting up the Gradebook,
  8. Making the course active for students, and
  9. Sending a welcome announcement or email

For instructions, or more information on each task, visit the Brightspace Instructor Support Site. If you’re looking for video tours, visit the TLS Brightspace Channel for Instructors and for Students.

NOTE: If you are teaching multiple sections of the same course, and hope to merge all sections into one course shell, please be sure to submit a course merge request prior to the start of the course. You’ll need to submit this request prior to the start of your course. Once course activities have begun, courses can no longer be merged without a loss of student data.

1. Adding Modules to Your Course Homepage

The course homepage is the first page students see when they click into a course. At first, your course homepage will appear to be mostly blank. As you add modules to the content area of the course, your course homepage will have more structure. You may also do some customization of the course homepage to provide specific course information. For instructions on adding modules to your course homepage, watch the following videos:

2. Adding Your Contact Information to Your Course

Establish your presence in the course early on. Create a Getting Started or Course Essentials module and post your name, office hoursoffice location and contact info. You may also wish to use an HTML template, such as the Meet Your Facilitator, template to create a specific page with your contact information. For more resources setting up your course, visit the following support pages:

3. Posting Your Course Outline to Brightspace

The course outline provides a framework for students on course structure, expectations, and assessment. Encourage students to read the course outline by making it easy to find and referencing it regularly. See Adding Files or review the video tutorial: Create a File and Insert Stuff.

4. Adding a Teaching Assistant (TA)

Teaching assistants must be manually added to the course by the instructor to grant TA access. Teaching assistants are able to see all course content, to engage in all course communications, and to perform all grading functions.  For a complete list of the TA’s capabilities in Brightspace, please see the support site page on Roles and Permissions. For instructions on adding TAs to your course, see Enrolling Users.

5. Adding Course Activities and Dates

Online activities, such as assignments, quizzes or discussion forums, can be completed inside or outside of class. Add key dates to the calendar to help keep your students on track. For a video overview of adding course activities, watch the following support videos: 

To add calendar events, review Brightspace’s Calendar video tutorial.

6. Add Course Content

Add content to your course in a structured way by using modules for weeks, topics or units. Use submodules to chunk related content together and to organize your course page. Content topics (i.e. files and activities) can then be added to your modules and submodules. 

For instructions on building modules and submodules, see Adding Modules and Submodules.  Once your modules are ready, use the following support pages to help fill your modules with content:

If you have existing Brightspace content in a sandbox course or previous course, your content can be copied from one Brightspace course to another. Watch the quick video tutorial, Copying Course Content, or check out these text based instructions.

7. Setting Up the Gradebook

The gradebook can be used to display grades and calculate course totals. The Ed Tech team is available to provide consultation and advice on your gradebook setup and grading questions. Connect with us if you need assistance. See the contact information below under Getting Help with Brightspace. For instructions on using the Gradebook, see the Brightspace Support site page Gradebook or Grades-Understanding Grades.

8. Making the Course Active for Students

All courses are hidden by default to give instructors time to set them up. When you are ready to launch your course, you’ll need to make it Active for students. Making a course active ensures that students can explore your course content and files. For instructions on making a course active for students, see Making Courses Visible.

9. Send a Welcome Announcement or Email

Connect with your students right away by sending an announcement or email welcoming them to the course. Announcements can be sent immediately or pre-scheduled for future release. Note that if you are sending an announcement before the first day of class, you’ll need to use Email instead. Announcements can only be sent out after the first day of the course. Emails can be sent out anytime throughout the course. For instructions on sending a welcome announcement or email, visit the following support pages: 

Getting help with Brightspace

Teaching and Learning Services is here to support your course development. If you have any questions about how to get started, how to setup your course, or if you’d like training on any aspect of Brightspace, submit a support request using the TLS support portal or call extension 4433. We’re happy to help!

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