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  • Getting Started

Instructional Technology Services

  • IT Services: B C D E I L M O P Q R S T V W
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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? The steps below will help you get started.

    Step 1. Request Your D2L Brightspace Teacher Account and Development Course

    D2L Brightspace is the learning management system MSUM uses as the delivery platform for online and hybrid courses, as well as a tool to enhance campus-based courses. 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 D2L Course Shell for the Coming Semester

    A request form must be completed each semester for each course for which you intend to use D2L Brightspace.  

    NOTE: You will only be able to request 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.

    Request your course shells for the coming semester using the D2L Brightspace Course Request Form.

    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? registered students and IORs (anyone officially listed on the class list in the  Records Office) are automatically enrolled in the course site. However, TAs and GAs must be manually enrolled in the course. To request this enrollment send an email to  support@mnstate.edu noting the TA/GA’s name, StarID, and the level of permissions you’d like granted (editing with grades access, editing with no grades access, student access). It is also your responsibility to ensure your TA/GA has completed the  FERPA (student privacy) tutorial.

    Any other requests for additional enrollments (such as a co-teacher not listed as a co-teacher with Records) must be first approved by your Dean. Forward the email of your approved request to  support@mnstate.edu

    Step 4. Login to your Course Site

    The  login page for D2L Brightspace can be found from the  MSUM homepage by clicking on ‘Faculty & Staff’ in the right menu, then selecting ‘D2L Brightspace’ from the left menu. Login with you  StarID and password.

    When course shells are created, by default, they open for students on the  first day of the semester and close the day  grades are due. At your discretion, you can 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 (Dropbox, Discussions, Quizzes), then pull everything 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 assignments will be completed (i.e. Quizzes, Dropbox, Discussion, etc.) Materials added to Content can take many forms: Word docs, Excel, PPT, PDF, HTML docs, and links to web pages 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. Particularly, the Instructor’s Guide to Course Design and Facilitation will assist you in the 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.) If you have questions or need to schedule a consultation with someone in Instructional Technology Services, send an email to support@mnstate.edu  or call 218.477.2390 218.477.2390 option 3.