• Passionate Minds

Embrace, with grace, Brightspace! How to Navigate Brightspace

Written by Amrit Brar

Edited by Farah Farhat


Technology is taking over!! Brightspace is the online platform that uOttawa uses for their courses. So it’s important to know how it works!


First of all, to access brightspace, you can use this link: https://uottawa.brightspace.com/d2l/home

UNI TIP: add this to your bookmarks, you’ll be needing it A LOT!


Once you log in, you are brought to the home page where you can see all your courses.

The house icon at the top left brings you back to the homepage.


The 9 squares icon on the right gives you a drop-down menu of all your courses.


The envelope icon shows a preview of your instant messaging or emails.


The speech bubbles icon will show responses to discussion boards.


The bell icon shows all your notifications of content or announcements posted, grades received, etc.


Once you click on a course, you’ll be brought to a page that looks a little like this:


The content tab is shown above. This is where your prof will post all the notes, readings, powerpoints, etc. for your class. As can be seen on the menu to the left, under the table of contents heading, there are subheadings to categorize the class content. The number beside each heading indicates the number of remaining items in the module and a checkmark signifies completed items. There is also a progress bar to show the percentage of the module that has been completed. This is a good way to make sure you’re not slacking off!


The announcements tab is an area profs use to communicate with the class. Profs commonly post announcements to quickly inform the class of updates or important information. When an announcement is posted, you will get a notification on your brightspace.


The grades tab displays the graded items in your course. Depending on the prof, the points (ex: 10/15), a percentage, and/or a letter grade can be shown. There is also an opportunity to see feedback for assignments or midterms.


The calendar tab shows a calendar of the semester with dates of midterms, assignments, quizzes as well as when content will be made available. The detail of the calendar depends on the prof! By clicking the list, you can view all events on the calendar. From here, you may also filter the items based on the type of event (for example, if you wish to only view quiz dates). In the tasks section, you can add personal reminders or events, with due dates. UNI TIP: You can also link an external calendar to your class calendar through the settings!


The assignments tab shows all the assignments, the scores, submissions, feedback, and due dates. To submit an assignment, first, click on the assignment, then add file -> upload -> add. You may also add comments with the submission. Once you are ready, click submit. Here, you are given the opportunity to review your submission, and once that is complete, click done. You will then return to the assignments homepage where you can confirm your submission by checking under the “Submissions” heading. You will likely also get an email confirmation of your submission.



The quizzes tab shows the online quizzes, tests, midterms, and/or exams! Under the quiz tab, the quiz/test name is displayed with the availability, the number of attempts, as well as the score. When you click the quiz, the quiz details are shown, including, the time limit (should there be one), the quiz period, and the instructions. Once you’ve read and understood the instructions, click start quiz to begin. When the quiz starts, there is a question panel to the left that shows the progress as well as the status of each question in the quiz. A checkmark indicates that you have completed or partially completed the question whereas the dashes indicate an unanswered question. UNI TIP: If you need to skip a question, use this panel (and the checkmark vs. dashes) to know which question(s) you need to come back to! The answers to the questions auto-save as you complete the quiz. Most often, you are allowed to go back and review your answers, and when you’re ready, click submit quiz.


It may seem intimidating now, but once you become familiar with Brightspace, it is very useful and user-friendly!


For more detailed tutorials to help you navigate brightspace, check out this link: https://uottawa.saea-tlss.ca/en/virtual-campus/virtual-campus-tutorials

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