D2L Brightspace: Faculty Introduction to the Learning Environment

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D2L Brightspace is a learning environment engineered with learning in mind. Faculty can supplement their in-class courses or use it to deliver 100% of their course online.

Contact for help

Academic Technology Services can help you with your course in D2L Brightspace. We are here to support you and glad to answer your questions. Please feel free to reach out to us at 651.793.1240 or by email at service.center@metrostate.edu.


Courses should be constructed with accessibility in mind.  

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The Announcements tool enables you to create news items that help communicate course updates, changes, and new information to your students quickly and effectively. Since Course Home is the first page that students see when they access their courses, the Announcements widget is a good area for displaying important information. Announcements items appear in the Announcements widget, but you can also receive instant notifications through email, SMS, and RSS feeds.

Video: Create an Announcement

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The Content tool is used to create, edit, and organize course materials such as syllabi, lecture notes, video, audio, and readings. The Content tool allows users to navigate through course content and activities.

Video: Content: Add a Module

Video: Content: Create a File and Insert Stuff

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The Discussions tool provides an area for collaboration and communication, allowing students to post, read, and reply to messages on different topics, share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, and work with peers or instructor.

Private discussions also allow a faculty member to keep all communication within the classroom, i.e., email is then discouraged as faculty can require all correspondence for the course to take place in the discussion board.

There are two parts to discussions, a Forum and a Topic—if you do not have one of each, students will not be able to participate.

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The Assignments tool enables faculty to collect and assess assignment files in D2L.

Utilizing Turnitin®, the Assignment tool has a plagiarism and generative AI detection tool built in.

Video: Create an Assignment

Video: Create an Assignment with Turnitin®

Turnitin® is now found under the Evaluation & Feedback accordion, and then Manage Turnitin.

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The Quizzes tool allows faculty to create and manage points-measured assessments. Quizzes can be automatically linked with the Grades tool. There are multiple setup options to control number of attempts, security, and more.

Video: Create a Quiz

Video: Create an Imported Quiz

Video: Create a Quiz with Randomized Questions

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Students use the Grades tool to check grades on assignments. Students can see their individual grades and comments, as well as feedback. They can also view their final grade and the grade formula used to evaluate them when the grades are released.

Instructors can set up grade books that reflect their approach to evaluation. You control the grading formula used to calculate grades and what projects, assignments, tests, etc. are graded; how grade items are associated with other tools, and when grades are released to users and what information they see.

A grade book is a list of items on which you evaluate students’ performance. Grade items can include assignments, tests, discussion posts, participation, and so on. Together, the items in a grade book represent all the work that you evaluate users on in a course.

One comment that has been consistent for years from students is their desire to see their grades—to know where they stand in the course at any moment of time.

Video: Create Grade Items

Video: Associate Grade Items to Activities

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Third-Party Considerations


Zoom is a web conference solution provided by Minnesota State for use by faculty, staff, and students. This tool is simple to use and works well at delivering features that faculty wish to use in an online collaborative solution. Zoom has the ability to record the session. Through an integration with Kaltura MediaSpace, students can revisit the recording of a lecture or collaboration session.

If live captions are needed, please contact Center for Accessibility Resources at 651.793.1549 or by email at accessibility.resources@metrostate.edu. Keep in mind, there is scheduling that needs to be done, so the earlier your request is received  the better the Center will be able to help.

MediaSpace is a media solution provide by Minnesota State for use by faculty, staff, and students. This tool can be used for video storage, video creation, and audio recordings. Faculty could pre-record lectures, create short weekly introduction videos to their content, create multimedia assignments for students.

If you use videos, please caption them. Academic Technology Services, in collaboration with the Library and Center for Accessibility Resources make captioning videos easy. You can use our Captioning Service to request captions. We do ask for a lead time of at least a week on caption requests.


Built with the idea to bridge real-time discussions and static multimedia slide shows, VoiceThread is a innovative solution for more robust discussions, content delivery, and collaborative learning opportunities.

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Article ID: 99813
Tue 3/3/20 12:40 PM
Thu 7/18/24 3:07 PM

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