An intuitive course navigation includes an overall course orientation or “Getting Started” module as well as overviews that outline expectations, assignments and due dates, among other pertinent information within each module. By providing course and module overviews, you further provide support for your students.
Even if you teach an in-person class and discuss the same materials with your students, an additional point of reference in your online environment is helpful. In addition to organizing your course layout and its features, you can also personalize your Brightspace profile to share your picture, tailor how you receive notifications, adjust your account settings for accessibility and more.
When building your online course, look for ways to benefit both the students and yourself. One approach to building your online course is to use your syllabus as a guide to how you organize information and decide what should be shared at the course or module level. You can use the Brightspace Course Builder tool to visualize your course as you begin building.
On this page:
Personalizing Your Brightspace Profile
Establish your identity in Brightspace and set up how, and the frequency with which, you receive notifications.
Select your profile icon/name in the top-right corner.
On the left, select Change Picture to upload a picture from your computer.
Click Save and Close.
Notifications are automatically generated, text-based messages triggered within a course that you can activate to keep up-to-date on changes or updates to your course. You can have notifications sent directly to your email or phone. These Notifications are customizable and can be enabled/disabled by every user in Brightspace.
Please note: The course must be active to send notifications.
Click the Go to Brightspace link on the login page or the Help and Updates page inside Blackboard.
Follow the directions on the Brightspace landing page to log in.
Click on your name in the upper-right corner of the UB Learns homepage.
Ensure the Email Address is correct.
Please note: By default, your UB email addressw ill be used for all email notifications. This cannot be changed.
Under Summary of Activitiy select how often you want to receive notifications (either daily or weekly) from the drop-down menu.
Check the Email box next to the Instant Notifications you want to receive.
Choose what customizations you want to add to your Notifications.
Click Manage my course exclusions to exclude courses from your Notification settings.
A box will appear. Click on the X to exclude a course, or the undo arrow to reinclude a course in your Notifications.
With the Brightspace Pulse app, instructors have the option to receive text message notifications from their course. If you are tagged in a discussion topic or directly messaged by a student, you can have these alerts sent to the Brightspace Pulse app on your mobile device for quick access. As an instructor, you will also be able to:
Make corrections or updates to course content.
Quickly access content from any mobile device.
Launch Brightspace from the app without having to sign in.
For quick access, you can set up push and email/SMS notifications from the app settings when you click on UB Learns from the top-left of the app.
Select your name/profile icon in the top-right of the page.
Click on Notifications.
Select your preferred instant notifications.
You can enable or disable the following notification types:
SMS (text) notifications
You can receive notifications for any of the following features
Click Save when done.
Setting Up Your Course Homepage
The course homepage is where students will land when they first access your course. You can customize the homepage and Course Navbar in a variety of ways to make sure your students have access to components you feel are important and/or that are high touch points. Depending on how your course is delivered (e.g., synchronously or asynchronously) and the extent to which you plan to utilize Brightspace, the way you organize your homepage may differ.
The course home contains three main areas:
The minibar, across the very top, where you can access your list of courses, messages, notifications and account settings.
The Course Navbar is across the top of the course, presented in blue.
The remainder of this page provides space for widgets (resources like the calendar, announcements, work to do, etc.) you want you students to see regularly.
In the bottom-right corner of the homepage, click the ... (ellipsis) icon and select Edit this Homepage
To view all widgets available for use on the homepage you are editing, in the Widgets section, click Add Widgets.
Select the check boxes beside the widgets that you want to add to the homepage panel, and click Add.
To change a widget's vertical placement on a panel or move it to another panel, click and drag the widget.
Click Save and Close.
When you edit a course homepage, Brightspace creates a new homepage unique to the course. Therefore, changes to your other course homepages or the default UB Learns course homepage will not be applied to your edited course homepage.
On the navbar, click Instructor Only and select Course Admin.
If you currently use the default Course Landing Page, click the chevron next to the homepage name and select Copy. Brightspace will create a new course homepage named Course Landing Page - Copy.
Click Course Landing Page - Copy.
Change the name of the course homepage in the Name textbox if desired.
Scroll down to the Widgets section.
Click Add Widgets in one of the layout sections.
Scroll through the list of widgets or use the search feature to find the widget you want to add.
Click the checkbox to the left of a widget.
To change the order of a widget, move your cursor over the widget, click the grid of dots on the left and drag the widget to a new location.
Click Save and Close.
On the Homepages page, click the chevron under Active Homepage and select the new course homepage you edited.
On the course homepage, hover your mouse over the course banner near the top of the page.
Select the ... icon and choose one of the options to Change Image, Customize Banner Textor Remove This Banner.
You can browse the image library or upload one of your own.
Recommended banner image dimensions are 2400px x 960px.
Setting up Your Course Navbar
Using the Course Navbar is an efficient way to move between the content, activities and tools in your course. The UB default Course Navbar includes the most utilized course tools. Alternately, you can customize your Course Navbar to fit the workflow of your course. Your Course Navbar should streamline the course navigation for you and your students, bringing access to the high touch points of your course, such as the content, discussion boards and assignments into one place. In addition to being one of the primary methods for navigating within Brightspace, the Course Navbar can also include links to resources outside of Brightspace. Depending on how your course is delivered (e.g., synchronously or asynchronously) and the extent to which you plan to utilize Brightspace, the way you organize your Course Navbar may differ. Keep in mind, however, limited space is available. Adding too many links will force the links into an overflow. To avoid overflow, add links to groups. This will allow for a dropdown to appear, creating better ease of use and improving course organization.
Note: Your department or program may have recommendations for Course Navbar layouts. Please check with your department before customizing your Course Navbar,
On the Course Navbar, click Instructor Only and select Course Admin.
Click Navigation & Themes and thenCreate navbar.
Enter a name for your new Course Navbar in the Name field
In the Links area, click Add Links. Select your links and click Add.
If desired, click to select Enable Icon-Based navbar.
Click Save and Close.
Click Course Admin in your Course Navbar.
Select Navigation and Themes.
Click the title of your custom Course Navbar.
To add links to your Course Navbar, click Add Links. Use the search box to find the link you want to add, check the box next to it, and click Add.
To rearrange the order of your new Course Navbar, hover over the button you want to move, left mouse click it, then drag and drop it into its new location.
Note: There are several options for links: individual links, Custom Links and group links. When possible, create or use group links to help organize your course links without forcing the links into the overflow dropdown.
To delete unwanted items from the Course Navbar, hover over the button and click the X.
Click Save and Close.
Course materials you post in your modules can include documents, images, media files, CaptureCast presentations, URL links and existing course activities. You can ensure users fulfill specific course requirements and learning expectations by adding release conditions, grade items and learning outcomes to course materials.
In the Course Navbar, click Content.
In the Table of Contents panel, in the Add a module field, enter the name of your new module and then press Enter.
To add a submodule, click into the module. In the Add a sub-module field, enter the name of your new sub-module and then press Enter.