Northwest Florida State College

D2L Brightspace - Finding Stuff

                                       Online Students


 

Learning to find important course items will pay off big dividends. Take some time and practice finding these typical tools and resources in each course.

D2L Assistance for Finding Information!More information about using the tools described in this page can be found in the next Online Campus Orientation item: D2L - Tool Basics and assistance with problems you may encounter when using D2L Brightspace can be found in D2L - FAQs.

 


How do I find the course Syllabus? (Please note that your work is often date driven.)

Finding the Syllabus is critical because it defines most everything you need to know about a course. It often outlines grading, content, and due dates for the course. Note that several of our instructors have strict coursework deadlines that you should be aware of and adhere to.

Places that you might find the Syllabus for a course:

  • In a welcome E-mail from the instructor (check your Northwest Florida State College E-mail regularly)
  • In an early D2L News item in the course (Login to D2L Brightspace and click the course name, look for a link to the syllabus in an early D2L News item)
  • In the course navbar as a link (Login to D2L Brightspace and click the course name, look for Syllabus)
  • In the Content area of the course - typically within one of the first few items under the Table of Contents (Login to D2L Brightspace and click the course name, click Course Materials, Content and look for the course Syllabus)
  • In an instructor website area.
  • Contact the instructor if you are unable to find the Syllabus or have questions about the Syllabus.

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How do I navigate from one course to another?

Navigating in and out of courses will become second nature and you'll find a variety of ways to move around within your D2L course. To begin switching between D2L courses, you may want to try one of these 2 options for moving from one course to another.

  • Option 1: Click "Select a Course..." in the minibar across the top of the screen (next to "My Home") and select the course of interest.
  • Options 2: Click "My Home" in the minibar or the navbar area and then in the My Courses widget click the course of interest.

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What Course Materials should I find?

Course Materials often include a variety of content such as:

  • A Syllabus
  • An Assignment list with due dates
  • Checklists
  • Calendar of work
  • Links to various websites
  • Videos
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Course specific files
  • News items
  • Publisher/3rd Party material 

To find these content items, login to a D2L Brightspace course and begin looking in your course navbar. You may find a Course Materials link in a course navbar. You may find links to some of these pieces of content in your course navbar. Once found, try clicking each to open and review these materials.

Tips: Notice as you find Course Materials, there is often an option to Download the information. You may want to keep some of this content for a quiz review or test review or even for future classes when this course may not be available to you.

Note: Sometimes instructors may have a link in the navbar to one of these items but no material may be under the link yet. Courses often grow with material through the semester. So do not worry if you find a link to something like a Checklist and there is not anything under that area yet. But, never hesitate to ask an instructor if they plan to use an area that appears to be blank or empty to you.

Check out the D2L Brightspace - Tool Basics for more information.

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What ways will I be able to establish Communication?

Communication in a course is established in various forms such as:

  • Course Discussions
  • E-mail and Classlists
  • Group communications
  • Chat
  • Skype or other forms of Social Media

To find these Communication tools, login to a D2L Brightspace course and begin looking in your course navbar. You may find a Communications link in a course navbar. You may find links to some of these pieces of Communication in your course navbar. Once found, try clicking each to open a few of these forms of communication.

Course Discussions and Classlist are two of the typical tools used by online students to begin communicating in a course. 

Course Discussions often have guidelines for the type of communication that is expected within the discussion. Be sure to look for "Start a New Thread" and "Reply to Thread". These options often appear after clicking the title/subject of a post in a Course Discussion. Discussions are often used by instructors for peer-to-peer communications about a topic or for course questions and answers. You may find an Introductions course discussion early in the course to help classmates get to know each other in this online environment.

Classlists and E-mail: If you click a person's name (instructors or students) in the course Classlist, an E-mail can be easily sent. Checking the box next to several names and then clicking E-mail allows for E-mail to go out to several people at once. Also clicking the image next to the classmate's name might reveal other ways to contact the person including typically used social media avenues. 

Your course instructor may hold course Chats or arrange students in Groups for establishing various types of course communication.

Check out the D2L Brightspace - Tool Basics for more information.

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What Assessments might occur in my course? How do I submit an assignment?

Assessments are a critical part of your course work. Find which types of Assessments are a part of your course. You may find items such as:

  • Quizzes
  • Tests
  • Assignments to be turned in digitally (Dropbox is the name of the D2L Brightspace tool.)
  • A Grades area
  • Your User Progress
  • Rubrics for assessing work
  • Surveys
  • A variety of other techniques such as an oral exam via skype

To find these Assessment tools, login to a D2L Brightspace course and begin looking in your course navbar. You may find an Assessments link in a course navbar. Alternatively, you may find links to some of these types of Assessment in your course navbar. Once found, try clicking each to review the areas of Assessments used in the course.

Most online courses will have required Quizzes or Tests. Most have start and end dates - be very aware of your deadlines and plan! Plan your work so as to be ready, prepared and early to take these Assessments. Please do not wait until the 11th hour to take these required tests (technology will fail just when you don't want it to).

Dropbox in D2L Brightspace is the tool used to accept assignments in a digital format. Your instructor will receive a copy with a date and time stamp of your submitted work. Watch deadlines for these assignment submissions and again, don't wait until the 11th hour. Also be aware that many of these digital papers will be sent through a service called Turnitin which is a plagiarism checking service.

Check your progress in a course by looking at the Grades area or checking your User Progress summary.

Your course instructor may also use a rubric in grading any of your work in a course (including Discussions). Be sure to review the rubric to be sure you are meeting the criteria outlined by the rubric. Expect instructors to evaluate you according to the student learning outcomes for the course. Also look for Surveys to occasionally be a part of your required course work.

Check out the D2L Brightspace - Tool Basics for more information.

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What extra tools are available to me within D2L Brightspace?

Besides several of the tools listed above, E-mail and Locker options are available to you within D2L Brightspace.

E-mail is easy to use. Not much is needed to be said other than any replies to your E-mail will not be found in D2L but instead in your NWF State College E-mail. This is an excellent tool for E-mailing an instructor because it will use your NWF State College E-mail address and more likely be read by the instructor.

Locker is a tool that allows you to upload and store any type of documents such as a course assignment paper in progress. Think of it like you would the My Documents area on your computer but it is within D2L. Only you will have access to files in your personal D2L Brightspace Locker. It is a useful tool as you move from computer to computer so that you may retain access to these documents in progress while being mobile. Download, edit and re-upload to the Locker as you work on your course digital assignments.

To find these extra tools, login to a D2L Brightspace course and begin looking in your course navbar. You may find a My Tools link in a course navbar. Alternatively, you may find links to some of these extra tools in your course navbar. Once found, try clicking each to review use of these extra tools in your course.

Check out the D2L Brightspace - Tool Basics for more information.

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How do I get to Publisher Content or 3rd party content that my instructor is using?

Some instructors take advantage of tools available through the publisher of your course textbook. Often, information about Publisher Content or 3rd party content can be found:

  • in an E-mail from the instructor
  • in a News item in the course
  • in the course Syllabus 
  • in one of the first pieces of information in the course Content area under the Table of Contents

Contact the instructor for details, websites, or login information to these auxiliary sites.

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Please let us know if you have additional stuff that you want to find that is not in this list. We want this webpage to be helpful for our students' success. Send suggestions.

 

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