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Office of Online Learning

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  • Getting Started in D2L Brightspace

    Are you a new faculty member to MSUM? Or, have you always taught face-to-face classes but are interested in hosting all or part of your course content online? MSUM uses D2L Brightspace as a learning environment for all courses. The steps below will help you get started.

    Step 1. Request Your Teacher Account and Development Course

    Complete a D2L Brightspace Development Course Request for at least one of your upcoming courses. This will create a working/archive space for you and also set up your ‘teacher’ account on D2L Brightspace. Students are not enrolled in your 'devel' course. You can request a 'devel' course for each of your courses if you like, but only one is necessary to create your Teacher account.

    Request a ‘devel’ course online using the D2L Brightspace Development Course Request Form.

    Step 2. Request your Course Shell (early requests & merging sections)

    All courses will be created automatically on D2L Brightspace approximately three weeks prior to the beginning of each new semester. You can, however, request your courses early by using the D2L Brightspace Course Request Form.

    Reasons to request your course early. You wish to...

    • get a head start on creating your new course
    • merge multiple sections of the same course (or cross-sections) into a single course shell.

    NOTE: You may only request and/or merge course shells if you are listed as the official Instructor of Record (IOR) on the Course Schedule. If you are not listed as the IOR, please see your Chair, Dean, or Dept. Admin for details.

    The D2L Brightspace course shell will be loaded with your student classlist approximately 25 days prior to the first day of the semester.

    Step 3. Request enrollment of Teaching Assistants

    Do you have a teaching assistant (TA) or graduate assistant (GA) who needs to be added to your D2L Brightspace course site? Refer to the D2L Brightspace Enrollments page for information on how to make your request.

    Step 4. Login to your Course Site

    The login page for D2L Brightspace can be found from the MSUM homepage by clicking on myMSUM and then Faculty & Staff. Select D2L Brightspace from the left menu. Enter your StarID and password where indicated and click [Login].

    When course shells are created, they open for students by default on the first day of the semester and close after the last day of finals (as per the Academic Calendar). As the instructor, you can choose to open your course early and keep it open a few extra days for students by modifying the course start and/or end dates

    Step 5. Build Your Course

    When you create a plan for building your course in D2L Brightspace, be sure to take the student view into perspective.

    • How will students access the materials and tools in the course?
    • What will be the most logical way to organize the material?
    • What do I want students to do first? What do I want them to read first?
    • How will they know what to do?

    It generally works well to work “backward” when setting up your course site. First set up your gradebook in the Grades tool, then set up your assessments and activities such as Assignments (previously referred to as Dropbox), Discussions, and Quizzes. Finally pull all content, media, and links to activities together in the Content tool.

    When you begin building Content, think of it as an outline/list of links students will access chronologically. The first module can consist of general course information students will need to access throughout the course - such as the Syllabus. From there, create modules that will be accessed basically in order as students proceed through the class, such as by module/unit/chapter/week - or whatever organizational scheme you prefer to use.

    In each of those modules include the objectives for that unit, required readings & videos, assignment details, and links to the tools where those activities will be completed (i.e. Assignments, Quizzes, Discussion, etc.). Materials added to Content can take many forms: Word documents, Excel, PPT, PDF, HTML pages, and links to outside content and videos.

    Refer to the D2L Brightspace tutorials on our web site for instructions on using the various course tools available to you.

    Refer to our Teaching & Learning Resources page for course design resources. You may find the Instructor’s Guide to Course Design and Facilitation a good resource for gaining a conceptual understanding of how to develop your course design.

    Be sure to keep accessibility in mind as you build your course. Accessible design resources are available online to assist you. Consultations are available upon request.

    Step 6. Get Training! Ask questions!

    We offer workshops throughout the calendar year. Watch Dragon Digest for announcements.

    Be sure to subscribe to Dragon Digest to keep up with campus related events and announcements.

    Please contact the Office of Online Learning if you have questions or need to schedule a consultation.