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What is Brightspace?

Brightspace, sometimes referred to as D2L, is the learning management system used at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Following an extensive review of vendors and products, Brightspace was selected by Wentworth faculty as our next generation, learning management system.  A number of faculty are currently participating in the pilot use of  Brightspace during the current Fall 2020 term.  By Summer 2021, the institution will transition all courses and all faculty to the D2L Brightspace platform. At that time, we will no longer use the Blackboard learning management system.  Brightspace will be used to deliver course content for our fully online, hybrid, and traditional courses. 

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.  The learning management system, allows students to access course content for their courses, submit assignments, participate in discussions, communicate with the instructor and classmates, take quizzes and exams, and more. 

Learning Innovation and Technology is responsible for the maintenance, support, and ongoing training for Brightspace. So, if you ever have a question about how something works in Brightspace, or you run into any problems, please do not hesitate to contact us right away so that we can help!

Possible Uses

  • Offer anywhere, anytime learning—on any device.
  • Quickly and easily set up individualized learning paths
  • Create effective high-quality online learning and increased learner engagement
  • Deliver personalized feedback to keep learners motivated and on track and engage with automated nudges
  • Identify and track high-risk learners and proactively alert you when it is time to step in and offer help
  • Supports Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to make sure disabilities so not pose an obstacle to learning

How do I get started?

There are two types of home pages in Brightspace: My Home Page and Course Home Pages. Below are screenshots and a brief description of each. Click on the image hotspots to learn more about the page features.

My Home Page - This is the page you land on after logging in. It lists your available courses and includes announcements about Brightspace shared by the LIT Support team.
Please click on the hotspots to learn more about the components of the page.

Course Home Page - This is the home page of a sample course website.
Please click on the hotspots to learn more about the components of the page.


Please take a moment to learn how to navigate the Brightspace Learning Environment.

Now that you know how to navigate the environment, use this link, https://wentworth.brightspace.com/ to access the Brightspace Learning Management System.  If prompted, enter your Wentworth username and password.

Brightspace Video Tutorials

Just-in-time learning at your fingertips!  We understand that people learn differently.  To accommodate those who learn effectively from watching well-produced, topic-specific videos, we have worked closely with our colleagues at D2L to curate resources from their vast library of video tutorials intended help the Wentworth community learn more about Brightspace Learning Environment.

Please take some time to peruse the extensive list of video tutorials below.  In the event that you do not find what you were looking for, you can also access the D2L Brightspace Support Site, where you can access even more helpful resources. 

As always, Learning Innovation and Technology team is available to assist you in your journey of learning Brightspace.  You can reach out to the LIT team via email at lit@wit.edu and schedule an individual training consultation. Please also check our events page for ongoing workshops and training sessions; many of which will be highlighted below.

Semester Start for Instructors/Faculty

Getting Started for Instructors/Faculty

Teaching Tips for Instructors/Faculty

Advanced Brightspace Tools

Badges and Awards

Learners/Students

Dr. Ella Howard, Associate Professor College of Arts and Sciences - Self-produced Brightspace Tutorials

This is a series of short tutorials I put together covering the basics of building a course in Brightspace. I hope that these are helpful. For assistance in setting up your gradebook, please consult an LIT team member.Ella Howard

Getting Started with Brightspace:
How to set up your course, customize the page banner, use modules, and design checklists to keep learners on track.

Don’t want to use checklists?
Here’s another way to control students’ tracking of their progress.

Want to embed content from Films on Demand?
Wentworth’s library provides smooth integration.

Want to link students directly to passages and chapters inside library ebooks?
This video shows you how.

Learn how to upload videos to Panopto and use the caption editor here.

Panopto allows you to add short objective quizzes inside your recorded lectures.
These can be as simple as the “are you still watching” prompt in Netflix or can pose more challenging questions. Learn how to use that feature here.

This video shows you how to add Panopto video content to your course.

Want to add a discussion to your module? Learn how here.
(This video truncates a bit abruptly. Sorry! The rubric demonstration is in the following video.)

Rubrics make grading faster and more transparent.
Learn how to build them in Brightspace here.

This video demonstrates copying a component from one Brightspace class to another.

Here I demonstrate attaching a rubric to a task–in this case, a discussion. (This video ends with me saying “In another video I’ll give you a more thorough discussion of… no, I won’t.” I had intended to edit that out, but since it slipped in and made me laugh, I left it here. I had initially planned to create a video showing you how to create a gradebook. That is such an important task, however, that I think the advice there is best left to the professionals.)

Open-book quizzes can help keep students focused on the material through frequent, low-stakes learning opportunities. Learn how to create them here.

Now you know as much as I do. I think we are intermediate Brightspace users now. Best of luck with your teaching!

Brightspace Subscription Training

Subscription Training is an accessible training solution that allows us to provide Wentworth community members with unlimited access to virtual and on-demand Brightspace training courses. 

Key Benefits:

  • Access training anywhere. With unlimited access to online training, instructors can access training whenever and where ever is convenient for them.
  • More training options to meet your needs. Institutions have access to a rich program catalogue, with content that can help instructors and administrators get started or become power users.
  • Get started with training right away. Instructors get immediate access to our training materials, which means they can get up-and-running faster.

To access Brightspace Subscription Training, you must first become a member of the Brightspace Learning Community.  Don't worry.  It's free!  Just take a few minutes to create your account and begin enjoying the unlimited professional development resources available to you from Brightspace.  Enjoy!  Watch the video below to learn more about the Brightspace Subscription Training.

Brightspace Guided Training Webinars

Sit back, relax and just learn!  Led by Brightspace Training Designers, Guided Training Webinars are designed to build your skills and your confidence with the Brightspace platform. These pre-recorded webinars will guide you through key tools and workflows with a special emphasis on Higher Education. You’ll have the opportunity to watch and learn before practicing on your own.  D2L offers a variety of webinars for beginners as well as more experienced Brightspace users. We have curated a list of essential topics to help you get started learning Brightspace fast and easy.  Check back here for frequent updates!

Session 1: Learn to Navigate Brightspace

In this session we show you how to move seamlessly from your organizational homepage to your course homepage, how to access all the courses you’re enrolled in – either as an instructor or a learner, how to explore announcements, how to build beginning content in your course, how to begin a forum and add a topic for interactive exchanges with your students, how to start inserting existing assignments or create a new assignment, how to create a quiz for quick start evaluation, and how to create and view the beginning of the gradebook.

Click here to see the recording.

Session 2: Communicate and Engage in Brightspace

In this session we show you how to create an interactive Activity Feed post and build various activities to engage your learners in course materials allowing students to post peer to peer, learner to instructor or instructor to learner and how to build connecting Announcements communicating key course components.

Click here to see the recording.

Session 3: ABCs of Content

In this session we show you how to Navigate in the Brightspace environment using the navigation tools inside the environment, how to create a new module in the Table of Contents, how to add materials that you already have in your course, how to add a new template to your content materials, and how to create a virtual lesson in your content.

Click here to see the recording.

Session 4: Evaluate Grades

Curious how to set up a new gradebook in Brightspace? In this session, we will explore setting up your gradebook and grade items to support evaluation requirements.

Click here to see the recording.

Session 5: Assess Assignments

Need a place for learners to submit papers and projects? In this session, we will share effective practices for creating and evaluating assignments

Click here to see the recording.

Session 6: Assess Discussions

Whether peer-to-peer or learner-to-instructor, discussions are a great way for learners to share what they are learning. In this session, we will create discussion forums and topics and explore how to evaluate discussions.

Click here to see the recording.

Session 7: Assess Quizzes

Comprehension check. Midterm. Final Exam. What do they have in common? They can all be created in Brightspace Quizzes. Join us as we explore how to build a quiz and use the question library.

Click here to see the recording.

LIT Live, synchronous workshops

Our live, synchronous workshops are intended to accommodate learners that learn best via an instructor-facilitated learning approach.  Our workshops are intended to be short, focused, one-hour sessions designed around specific features of Brightspace Learning Environment.  We are in the process of finalizing the training curriculum and posted dates and times, so please check back for updates.  We will also be sending out campus-wide emails announcing the live sessions.


Session 1: Getting Started in Brightspace

During this live, one hour session, we will explore ways in which you may choose to incorporate course materials into Brightspace by exploring the ABCs of Content: Adding, Building, and Copying.

Featured Topics:

  • Why is course organization important
  • Introduction to the Wentworth course template
  • Adding, Building and copying content in your course
  • Using checklist tool to facilitate learner engagement

Dates: Will be posted soon!


Session 2: Effective use of the Brightspace Communication tools

During this live, one hour session, we will explore the different types of communication tools that exist in Brightspace Learning environment.

Featured Topics:

  • Using course announcements to facilitate effective course communication
  • Email learners in Brightspace Leaning environment
  • Make your Brightspace homepage work for you
  • Effectively manage course events using the course calendar
  • Create and manage discussion forums

Dates: Will be posted soon!


Session 3: Using Assessment tools in Brightspace​

During this live, one hour session, we will showcase some of the features you can use in Brightspace to evaluate and provide feedback to your learners, while also monitoring student success and progress.

Featured Topics:

  • Types of Assessment
  • Surveys
  • Self-Assessments
  • Quizzes
  • Assignments 
  • Video Assignments

Dates: Will be posted soon!


Session 4: Setting up your Brightspace Gradebook

During this live, one hour session, we will demonstrate how to set up your Brightspace Gradebook.  We will explore the Gradebook Setup Wizard, how to create a grade item and how to input grades.

Featured Topics:

  • Demystifying the Brightspace Gradebook
  • Importance of setting up your course gradebook
  • Using the Gradebook Setup Wizard
  • Create a Grade item
  • How to input grades

Dates: Will be posted soon!


Session 5: Transitioning your course from Blackboard to Brightspace 

During this live, one hour session, we will demonstrate how to download your Blackboard course content, add modules and submodules, add content, import test banks from Blackboard and export and import your course from Blackboard and discuss how to "clean up" your course.

Featured Topics:

  • How to download your Blackboard course content
  • Starting fresh, reimagining your new Brightspace course
  • Creating your course structure (Modules and submodules)
  • Adding content
  • Importing test banks from Blackboard Learn
  • Importing your course into Brightspace

Dates: Will be posted soon!

FAQs

Instructors/Faculty

We've curated some questions you might have on the following pages. 

Learners/Students

We've curated some questions you might have on the following pages. 

For more information

Please contact Learning Innovation & Technology for assistance using this product in your course.  Email lit@wit.edu, stop by Beatty 318, or call 617-989-5428.