Northwest Florida State College

D2L Brightspace - Getting Started

                                  Online Students


 

Northwest Florida State College welcomes our online students! 

Also, enjoy our short, getting started video that gives a brief introduction to assist online students. 

NWFSC Quick Video Orientation for Online Students

Review several areas of our Online Campus website that offer you assistance: Getting Started (this page of information), Finding Stuff, D2L-Tool Basics, and Student FAQs.


 

 Typical Questions Asked by Students Getting Started with Online Learning

We want you to succeed as a Northwest Florida State College online student. Here are answers to some of your first questions about getting started as an online student:

Continue the Online Campus Orientation by reviewing: D2L - Finding Stuff, D2L - Tool Basics, D2L -Student FAQs and Virtual Student Resources.

 


Are you ready/prepared for Online Learning?

Being prepared for an online class involves both you and the resources available to you.

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How do I login to D2L Brightspace to begin my online coursework? or Where do I go to get started with online coursework?

Be prepared with your NWF State College username and password. Once accepted to the college, you will get an email (to the personal email account that you provide to NWF State College) and that email will contain your username and password to get started with course work in D2L Brightspace and your NWF State College E-mail.

  • Login to D2L Brightspace:
    Open your browser and enter this URL: http://d2l.nwfsc.edu 
    Fill in your NWF State College username and password.
    (If using a Windows 10 machine: Avoid using Edge as your browser. It is not supported yet.)
  • Also visit D2L-FAQs for assistance if you get a username/password error while trying to login. 

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How do I find my online courses?

  • Login to D2L Brightspace (http://d2l.nwfsc.edu
  • Option 1: Find "My Home" in the very top left corner of the screen. Click the dropdown next to "Select a course..." and a list of your courses should appear. 
  • Option 2: Look for the area labeled My Courses (this is called a widget on your "My Home" screen). There is often an arrow on the title of the widget to click which allows you to expand and collapse course lists. Try clicking the arrow if you don't see a listing. Use the expanding arrows within the widget too. It will expand the semesters. This expanding option may be helpful with other widgets on your "My Home" screen.
    D2L Courses Widget

Tips: Pin a course - When using Option 1 above, you will see a push pin to the right of the course name. Click that pin and it will turn orange. All pinned courses will appear at the top of that list. (You may need to refresh the page to see the pinned courses at the top of the list.) Click the pin again to unpin the course. 

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How do I navigate around D2L Brightspace and my online course?

Become familiar with the minibar, navbar, My Home, Course Home, Table of Contents, Previous/Next Buttons and Bookmarks.

The minibar is the bar across the top of the screen that begins on the left side with "My Home" and then "Select a course..." and ends in the far right with your name and a dropdown that contains "Log Out". No matter which course you are in, this minibar will be available to you for easy navigation to another course, "My Home" or Logging Out.

The navbar is the colored area below the minibar. It contains links to all sorts of D2L Brightspace tools and resources for your assistance. Notice as you move around in D2L Brightspace that the items in the navbar change. You will want to become familiar with items in the navbar for each of your courses. Try clicking a few of the links just to explore. Review our resource about D2L Brightspace Tool Basics to learn more about using some of the tools in your learning environment.

No matter where you are, you can click My Home in the minibar and be taken back to spot in D2L Brightspace that you see as soon as you login. You may see options for "My Home" in the navbar too; it will take you to the same place. If you ever feel lost, click "My Home" and start exploring again.

Course Home is like "My Home" but it helps within a certain course. If you ever feel lost within a course, you can click "Course Home" and it will take you to first landing spot within a course. Navigate from there to your desired course work.

After clicking "Content" in a course navbar (potentially located under "Course Materials"), learn to easily locate the Table of Contents too. Clicking Table of Contents will help you easily navigate through the course content to a specific spot. You will also begin to see checks beside content items that you have reviewed at least once.

D2L Table of Contents

 

Use the Previous and Next buttons (black arrows in the image below) when viewing content to move from one item to the next. The buttons appear along the right edge of the screen above and below the content information.

D2L Bookmark and Previous/Next buttons

Also in "Content", you may bookmark items that you need to review or access easily by using the bookmark button - notice that button in the above image to the left of the Prev/Next buttons. Also, notice the Bookmarks area (see image below) which is located above the Table of Contents for finding those items you have bookmarked.

D2L Bookmarks Area

 

Tips: Expanding widgets on "My Home" may reveal additional information and resources available to you. Click the arrow to the right of widgets to expand and collapse the information in the widget.

D2L Calendar Widget
 

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What is good online etiquette (sometimes called Netiquette)?

Netiquette is important when communicating with your instructor and your fellow students in an online course. It helps to establish your personality and rapport in the online environment.

  • Be clear. Use Standard English (no abbreviations), spellcheck, review before clicking Submit, use appropriate subject lines in Discussions.
  • Be polite and careful. Do not use ALL UPPERCASE - this is considered yelling, one exclamation mark is enough, avoid sarcasm and irony, know that in course Discussions typically everyone can view what you type - especially the instructor.
  • Demonstrate respect for opinions of others. Everyone contributes from his/her standpoint in life.
  • Disagree respectfully and use facts and not gossip or non-respectful sites.
  • Be inclusive. Send group messages to all members and try to keep lines of communication open.
  • Enjoy this website about the Core Rules of Netiquette.

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How do I forward my NWF State College E-mail to another E-mail account that I check more regularly?

NWF State College E-mail should be used for official communication at the college. E-mail sent from other personal accounts may be ignored, junked or get deleted. So when contacting an instructor, plan to use your NWF State College E-mail. If you check another E-mail account very regularly and want to forward your NWF State College E-mail to that account, login to your NWF State College E-mail and follow these directions. More E-mail assistance is available to you.

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I've tried to contact the instructor and haven't gotten a response. What do I do?

  1. First be sure that your contact is from your NWF State College E-mail. If you used another E-mail, it may be ignored or deleted.
  2. You may try leaving a voice message. Look in the course syllabus for contact information.
  3. Additionally, you may want to contact the department to request assistance with contacting your instructor.  
  4. Fill in a Student Request for Technical Support
  5. Call 850-729-6464 

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 What are some success tips and survival ideas for online learning?

  • Login to D2L Brightspace regularly and stay ahead on course work.
  • Check your NWF State College E-mail regularly for communication coming from the instructor or classmates.
  • Have several browsers available on your computer. Know that Microsoft Edge (default within Windows 10) is not supported yet. Learn how to find Internet Explorer within Windows 10.
  • Have a backup computer-use plan if something fails on your primary computer.
  • Plan a second location for course work in case your home network fails. If you live near one of our campuses, we have Open Computer Labs for your use.
  • Find the course Syllabus and put notes in a calendar to stay on top of course deadlines. Most online courses have deadlines for work. Pace yourself through the course and plan designated times throughout each week to do your online course work. Take special care planning some devoted time given your vacations and regular job schedule. 
  • Be sure to create time when you won't be interrupted when taking online tests and quizzes. Close the doors to your work area. Online tests and quizzes are often timed and no credit may be given if you go beyond the time limit.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to complete assignments. That is just when technology will fail you.
  • Create a hotspot and go to the beach to relax and do your course work. This is one fun option to enjoying the beauty of online courses - working from anywhere and at any time.

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Please let us know if you have additional questions that were not answered here. We want this webpage to be helpful for our students' success. Send suggestions.

 


 

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