Brightspace: Instructors Quick Start Tutorial

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Welcome to Xavier University of Louisiana! To successfully teach your courses, you must be able to utilize basic Brightspace tools. If you are not already familiar with Brightspace, or if you need a refresher, you are in the right place!

Please work your way through this simplified, three-step tutorial as you begin designing your course. CAT+FD staff are available for questions or consultations during regular business hours (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM CDT M-F)

Contact Information:

In addition, D2L provides Brightspace help available 24/7 via Email and Live Chat. Learn more in this CAT FooD Blog post.

Getting Started Basics

If you are very new to Brightspace, you should start by reviewing these resources:

Step 1: Set Up Your Gradebook

The workflow in Brightspace may seem unusual, but it’s best to set up your gradebook first. Once you have your grading scheme in your syllabus, it’s easy to do. If you have little or no experience with using the Grades tool, you can review these resources:

Step 2: Set Up Your Activities


If you plan to collect, manage, and grade student work, you will want to use the Assignments Tool in Brightspace. If you have little or no experience with using the Assignments Tool, you can review these resources:


If you plan to give quizzes, exams, or tests on Brightspace, you can review these resources:

Question Library


Once you have all your activities set up, be sure each one is associated with the appropriate item in the Grades tool!

Step 3: Posting Content

Finally, to post content (course materials) on Brightspace, you can review these resources:

More about Grades & Grading

Cross-Listed Courses and Multiple Sections

If you teach a course that is cross-listed, you will have a Brightspace course for each cross-listing. You can combine the cross-listed courses into one Brightspace course so that you can post course materials and grades to one combined Brightspace course. Combining courses may also work for you if you are teaching different sections of the same course and would like to have the different sections combined into one Brightspace course so that you can post course documents and grades in the one combined course. This merging needs to be done before you start adding to the course. Submit a request to merge your Brightspace courses before you add course materials or grades to the courses.

Additionally, if the course you are teaching is the same as one of your previous courses, you can copy the entire course (or copy components) into your "empty" Brightspace course.

CAT+FD Workshop Videos

Back to Basics

Beyond the Basics

Other Helpful Resources

Next Steps


Xavier faculty who have completed this tutorial and learned the mechanics of Brightspace should consider enrolling in the #LearnEverywhereXULA course. #LearnEverywhereXULA (#LEX) is a Brightspace course organized around the eight General Standards for Higher Education set forth in the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric Sixth Edition. The information, activities, and assignments in the #LEX course aids faculty in developing high quality, well-designed, objective-driven courses on Brightspace for Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) students. Enrollment in the #LEX course gives faculty an opportunity to experience Brightspace from a learner's perspective. Additionally, faculty who complete the #LEX course will earn a certificate they can include in their portfolio or other promotional materials. Use this enrollment request form to make the request.

NOTE: An open version of the #LearnEverywhereXULA course is available on this wiki. However, completion of the Brightspace #LEX course is required to earn the certificate. Use this enrollment request form to request enrollment in the course.