Student Support for Educational Systems

Getting to know Brightspace

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How do I navigate within Brightspace?

This article explains how to navigate within Brightspace.

The minibar

In the upper right corner of the screen you will find a basic menu: the minibar

1. Take a look at the courses (Course Selector). You can search for a course, select and pin it to the homepage. 

2. Subscription alerts: set whether you want to receive notifications of activities in discussion forums.

3. 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.

4. By clicking on your profile picture or name, you are able to adjust settings concerning your notifications and account.

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. 

1. You can see an overview of the 12 last visited courses. Note: Brightspace automatically fills the homepage until 12 courses are displayed, even if you have not pinned 12 courses to this page. 

  • Some courses contain icons with a number in the orange frameworks. These icons represent Activities (Assignments, Discussions and Quizzes). The number indicates how many unread items there are within the Activity. 
  • Click on the name of a course to open the course. 
  • Click on View All Courses to see the courses. 

2. Central notifications, like the maintenance of web lectures or Turnitin will be shown under Announcements (announcements for specific courses will not be shown here). You can dismiss (and thereby archive) the notification by clicking the close button in the upper right corner. Click on Announcements or Show All Announcements to view all active and archived (dismissed) announcements.

3. 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.

If you would like to return to the homepage, please click on the Universiteit Leiden logo on the top left 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.

In order to return back to the Course Home, please click on Course Home in the navbar or at the Course Name on the top of the screen. 

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

  • Course Home: Go back to your course homepage from any other page in the course.
  • Content: In which the course material is located and divided into modules.
  • Grades: Set up a Grade Book, Grading Scheme, enter Grades. 
  • Course tools: from here you can go to:
    • Course Admin
    • Assignment
    • Checklist
    • Classlist
    • Discussions
    • Groups
    • LOR
    • Quizzes
  • Help: via Help you can navigate to the Leiden University Brightspace support site (Screensteps).
  1. At the top you can see the Course Name. 
  2. This the course banner. It might generate a pop up, the first time you enter the course.
  3. Via the Visual Table of Contents you are able to quickly navigate to the desired module.
  4. Underneath Announcements you can see notifications for the specific course. You can adjust the settings in order to also receive an E-mail for new announcements. 
  5. At the Calendar, you can see activities from the course like meetings and deadlines of assignments. 
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