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Getting Started: Teaching with D2L Brightspace

Get your course shell ready in 5 steps!

These are the first 5 things you should do when preparing to teach using Brightspace. Once you're done, proceed to the instructor tutorials for more detailed information on various tools.

If you are creating a course shell using content from an existing shell, you will find our Getting Started Part 2: Reusing D2L shell contents tutorial more helpful.

Enroll yourself in a sample D2L Brightspace shell, "D2L101 - Brightspace Basics for instructors". This short course models ways to approach announcements, content, and activities.

To self-enroll in a course using "Discover":

  1. Log in to D2L Brightspace.
  2. From the homepage, click "Tools" in the top menu bar, then select "Discover" from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on the name of the course you want to access (i.e. "Brightspace sample course"). 
  4. Review the Course Description and click the "Enroll in Course" to enroll.
  5. To access the course: either click the "Open Course" button on this page, OR go to your D2L Brightspace homepage, where the course will be listed under "My Courses".

'Shells' are the spaces in the D2L Brightspace learning system that are created for delivering online components to Ryerson courses and other collaborative projects ('course shells' and 'organization shells', respectively). We offer 'course' shells specifically for official courses, and 'organization' shells for other uses.

The Instructor of the course will need to request a course shell for each iteration of your course (unless you teach an online Chang School distance course).

Use your my.ryerson username (not email address) and password to login to the portal, and access Brightspace. From here, you will see all of your current Brightspace course and organization shells.

Find out how to get your enrolled students loaded, how to add other people to your course (TAs, collaborators, auditing students) and how to get a "demo" student account that you can use to test your shell.

Adding the course outline is one of the first things that all instructors do once they have a course shell. Attaching the course outline is the same as uploading any other content file.

If you requested your course shell before your RAMSS section(s) were appearing, you may find that when you go to Classlist in your course shell, you cannot see any students. If this is the case, you can use the Manage Student Sections tool to add sections to your Brightspace course shell.

By default, your course shell is 'inactive' when it is first created. This prevents the students from accessing your shell before it has been prepared - but it doesn't prevent the other administrative users (like Instructors, TAs, Course Builders, etc.) from going in and making changes.

Once you are ready for students to access your shell, you must make it 'active'.

Are you sure your computer and its software are compatible with D2L Brightspace? You can check your system to find out.

Related video tutorials and webinars 

Find all of our D2L Brightspace video tutorials and webinars on our Brightspace Ryecast page, opens in new window.