How do I navigate within Brightspace?

The minibar

The first page you will see after logging in to Brightspace is the homepage. In the upper right corner of the screen you will find a basic menu: the minibar.

  1. View the list of available courses (Course Selector). You can search, select and pin a course to you homepage.
  2. Message alerts: check whether you received new emails by looking at the envelope icon. An orange dot will appear if there are new notifications.
  3. Subscription alerts: set whether you want to receive notifications of activities in discussion forums. To do this, go to Discussions and click on the tab subscriptions. If you want to view your notifications, click on the conversation cloud. New notifications are indicated by an orange dot.
  4. Update alerts: update alerts notifies you of newly uploaded files and submitted assignments. If there is an orange dot, click on the bell icon to view the updates.
  5. By clicking on your name or initials/profile picture, you will be able to adjust settings concerning your profile, notifications and account.
  6. The settings icon allows you to import components to or export components from your course and to create and manage sharing groups.

Students will receive update alerts once you add new content to the course or publish announcements, marks or deadlines. An orange dot will appear if there are new announcements.

Your personal homepage

When you log in to Brightspace your homepage will be the first page you land on. Every personal homepage has the same layout (regardless of whether you are a student or a teacher).

  1. Here you will see an overview of the twelve courses you have last accessed. Brightspace will automatically display twelve courses, even if you have pinned less than twelve.
    • For some courses you will see icons with a number in an orange square. These icons represent Activities (Assignments, Discussions and Quizzes). The number in the orange square shows how many unread items you have within that activity. For example, the number beside the document icon represents the number of unread submitted files from students. 
    • Click on the name of the course to open it.
    • Click on View All Courses to see all courses.
  2.  Click Pinned to see an overview of your pinned courses.
  3. Central notifications, like maintenance of web lectures or Turnitin will be shown under Announcements (announcements for specific courses will not be shown here). By clicking the close button in the upper right corner of the notification you will dismiss (and thereby archive) the notification. Click on Announcements or Show All Announcements to view all active and archived (dismissed) announcements.
  4. Activities from all your courses will be displayed in your Calendar. Clicking Upcoming Events will reveal a list of activities. Click on Calendar to open the calendar.

Would you like to return to your homepage? Click the Radboud University logo in the upper left corner of the screen.

Course Home

Navigating to a course:

  • On your homepage you can click on a course. This will bring you to the Course Home.
  • Another way is to select a course in the Course Selector. This will also bring you to the Course home.

Would you like to return to the Course Home from a different page? Click Course Home in the navigation bar or click on the Course Name at the top of your screen.

  1. The title of the course is shown in the Course Banner. The Course Banner allows you to personalize your course and make it easier to find and recognize by both you and your students.
  2.  Announcements will show you all notifications specific to the course. You can communicate with students via announcements, prior or during the course.
  3. Activities of the course, like deadlines, meetings and reading materials are shown in the Calendar.
  4. Bookmarks can be used to quickly navigate items that you consider to be important. Bookmarked items will appear in the Course Home.

The navigation bar of the course is identical for all courses of the Radboud University, and it is generally called the navbar. The navbar enables you to navigate to:

  • Content: in which the course material is located and divided into modules.
  • Activities: this is the place where you can create Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes and Checklists. All of these can be placed in Content at a later moment. Kaltura is located under Activities as well.
  • Administration: these options enable you to manage your course and provide you with information about the participants and their corresponding roles. This is also the menu in which you can view classlist, groups, grades, the timetable and the study guide. Course Admin opens a page in which you can navigate through all the possibilities of Brightspace.

    The last two components (ePortfolio and Help) are similar everywhere in your Brightspace environment and therefore not linked to specific courses.
  • ePortfolio: the Radboud University has access to the ePortfolio of Brightspace. It is decided per study or faculty whether the portfolio will be used or not. If your faculty or course makes use of this portfolio, you will receive separate instructions.
  • Help: via Help you can navigate to the Brightspace Community. Extra information about certain subjects concerning Brightspace can be found here. You can also check out www.ru.nl/lecturers or www.ru.nl/brightspace for help.