Welcome to the Brightspace guidelines to help you master the Brightspace Learning Management System for effective course management. These guidelines emphasize technical instructions but are also infused with educational frameworks like Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI) focused on meaningful student-instructor interaction as well as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) ensuring accessible and inclusive learning.

With practical tips, clear step-by-step instructions, and alignment with best practices, these guidelines are your companion in mastering Brightspace for an effective and engaging online teaching experience.

What is D2L Brightspace?

D2L Brightspace is a comprehensive learning management system that is modern and easy to use for faculty, staff, and students. It offers new capabilities to support teaching and learning across different modalities, supports growth in online learning, provides advanced analytics that contribute to student success, and lays a foundation for engaging learning experiences that facilitate Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI) in online courses.


This Professional Development (PD) will help you

  • familiarize yourself with basic functionality in D2L Brightspace
  • manage student engagement & assessment
  • utilize Brightspace Grade Book

Content Overview

You will learn to organize course content, use communication tools for updates, engage students in discussions, and set up assignments and quizzes. They include a detailed walkthrough of the Grade Book, emphasizing RSI and UDL principles for transparent and accessible grading. The guidelines also cover course visibility and the use of multimedia and live meetings to enhance student engagement.

How to Use This Tool

The guidelines are designed for easy navigation through common scenarios found in the digital classroom. Each section is filled with visual aids to illustrate steps and features, making the learning process more intuitive and relatable. The real-life scenarios in the guidelines bridge the gap between instruction and application, demonstrating how Brightspace functions in actual teaching situations and offering practical insights into its use.

Use these guidelines as a go-to resource whenever you need clarity or guidance when setting up a course, engaging with students, or managing and grading assessments.


We extend our sincere gratitude to the members of the guidelines collaboration group from various CUNY campuses and the Hostos EdTech team for their invaluable contributions to the Hostos Brightspace guidelines. Their expertise and insights have been instrumental in shaping these guidelines to ensure they effectively support and enhance the teaching and learning experience across the CUNY system.

Special thanks to the reviewers:

  • Sarah Kresh, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Manager at CUNY School of Professional Studies
  • Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Director of the Center for e-Learning and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at CUNY Kingsborough Community College
  • Rowena Li, Coordinator of Special Projects at the Center for Teaching and Learning, Queens College.

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