How do I navigate through Brightspace?

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 (regardless of whether you are a student or a teacher).

  1. Here you will see an overview of the courses you have last accessed. 
    • Under some course titles, you might see an icon with a number in an orange square. These icons represent Activities (Assignments, Discussions and Quizzes). The number in the orange square shows how many unread items you have within that activity.
    • Click on the course frame to open it.
    • Click on View All Courses to see all 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.

Via the Help button you can navigate to the Leiden University Brightspace support site (Screensteps). This Help button is also visible from your course homepage. 

Would you like to return to your Homepage? Click the Leiden University logo in the upper left corner of the screen.

The minibar

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

  1. View the list of available courses (Course Selector). You can search, select and pin a course to your Homepage.
  2. Send Message (is only visible when viewing from Course home): to email users in Brightspace. 
  3. Subscription alerts: set whether you want to receive notifications of activities in discussion forums.
  4. 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.
  5. By clicking on your profile picture or name, you are able to adjust settings concerning your notifications and account.
  6. The settings icon (is only visible when viewing from Course home): allows you to import or export components from your course. You can also create and manage sharing groups.

Students will receive update alerts once you add new content to the course or publish announcements, marks or deadlines. An orange dot will appear if there are new announcements.

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.
  1. The Course Title is shown on the top of the page. 
  2. The Course Banner allows you to personalize your course with a picture and title or message. 
  3. The Table of Contents shows you the titles of the modules within the content of the course. 
  4.  Announcements will show you notifications specific to the course. You can communicate with students via announcements, prior or during the course.
  5. Activities of the course, like deadlines, meetings and reading materials are shown in the Calendar.

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).

Course Admin

  • Go to Course Tools in the navbar of your Course.
  • Click Course Admin.
  • You will see a menu of available Tools for your course. These tools are explained in further detail in articles on this support site. 
  • Sort the list by Category or by Name.