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Frequently Asked Questions

About Brightspace

Brightspace is UCD's new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Cohort 1 modules have now been transferred from Blackboard to the Brightspace environment and will be available to students from 7th January 2019.

UCD IT services are running a series of Training sessions for Module Coordinators and teaching staff that can be viewed here.

Is Brightspace easy to use?

Brightspace has a number of advantages over Blackboard in terms of ease-of-use, not least the fully responsive (mobile-friendly) website, Pulse student mobile App, and clean modern interface.

However, Brightspace is a tool that you would benefit from a careful introduction to, as it re-structures many of the familiar tasks of Blackboard around its own pedagogical vision. We advise taking advantage of the training session provided by ITServices here to get started with the system:

Book Training

How can I access Brightspace?

You can access Brightspace from the UCD Connect homepage or via a direct URL:
Click the link below for a demonstration on accessing and logging into Brightspace:

1. Module Setup — Accessing Brightspace

I don't seem to have access to my module on Brightspace?

Access to modules on Brightspace is directly fed from the Module Access Management system (MAMs).
You must be granted access to the module on MAMs in order to see the module on Brightspace.
Some useful information:
Account Management

  • IT Services are responsible for the student and staff accounts and student enrollment process

Module setup

  • IT Services are responsible for module setup; they have a simple online form you can fill out if you wish to create a module click here
  • Module Co-Ordinators are responsible for tutor/lecturer enrolments and manage this via the MAM system. Click here for more information

Are there any apps available for Brightspace?

There are 2 main apps available for Brighstpace.
Brighstpace Assignment Grader allows academics and instructors to download and evaluate assignment submissions from Brightspace. You can view submissions and add grades and feedback while connected to the Internet or offline.

Brightspace Pulse helps students stay connected and on track with their Brightspace Modules allowing them to view course calendars, readings, assignments, grades, and announcements.

Both are available from Google Play or the App Store

Adding and Organising Content

Please view our best practice resources on adding content to your new Brightspace module.

Will I be able to copy my content from Blackboard to Brightspace?

Yes, your module will be copied from Blackboard to Brightspace as part of the implementation project.
You will receive an email from the Future VLE team once your module is copied.
The module in Brightspace will be identifiable as: module code-'MIG'
MIG modules do not (and will never have enrolled students, they exist to help you copy over your content from Blackboard. You will then be required to copy your content from the module code-'MIG' to your live Brightspace module.
This is all explained in the centrally provided training “Getting Started with Brightspace” sign up for this training here.

6. Module Setup – Content Copy

How do I organise my content in my new module?

Brightspace has a tool called Module Builder which allows you to create a module structure into which you can copy your existing course content. We believe this tool could help improve the structure of modules making them potentially more accessible to students.

5. Module Setup — Module Builder

How can i make my module unavailable to students?

Unlike Blackboard there is no (one step) option to make a module unavailable (hidden) from students.
You can hide content folders individually by selecting each section and on the right hand-side, selecting "Published".
From the drop down menu select "Draft".

Assessment and Grading

It is important to be familiar with setting up Assignments and Quizzes as well as entering Grades and providing Feedback in Brightspace.

Please view our resources below or contact business.elearning@ucd.ie to book a consultation if you have further queries.

How do I set up my module's Gradebook?

Brightspace has a tool called the Grades Wizard which helps you setup your module's grades the way you wish. The wizard may be run any number of times and all choices are reversible.

2. Module Setup — The Grades Wizard

How do I create assignment links in Brightspace?

Brightspace requires instructors to set up and assignment submission folder, and a grade item to connect that folder to the grades area. This represents an extra step compared to the Blackboard workflow, and we believe instructors should give this additional time and thought as they re-purpose their content from Blackboard:

4. Module Setup — Creating Assignments

Can I bulk upload grades from .csv or .xls to Brightspace?

Yes, you can bulk upload grades to Brightspace using a .csv file.
To learn more about the process of inputting grades directly or uploaded via a formatted .csv file, click the link below


Can I import my quiz questions from Blackboard to Brightspace?

Common question types such as Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) will import into Brightspace directly.
However, the following question types do NOT:

  • Calculated Formula
  • Calculated Numeric
  • Either/Or
  • Fill in Multiple Blanks
  • Hot Spot
  • Jumbled Sentence
  • Opinion Scale/Likert
  • Quiz Bowl

In order to create similar questions in Brightspace please refer to the table below:

Blackboard Question Type Brightspace Equivalent
Calculated Formula Significant Figures
Calculated Numeric Arithmetic
Either/Or Multiple Choice with 2 options displaying
Fill in Multiple Blanks Multi-Short Answer question (MSA)
Hot Spot Edit image to add tags in certain areas, and create MCQ
Jumbled Sentence Have different options in MC question or Multiple Selection
Opinion Scale/Likert Likert (it exists, just doesn't migrate)

How do I grade using letter?

To use the inline grader in Brightspace you must use a score, point or percentage grade with a numeric grade item.
If the Grade Scheme UCD Component Letter Pass at 40% has been selected, Brightspace will convert the numeric score into the appropriate letter grade.
By default students will only see the letter grade.
However, if you wish to enter letter grades directly you can achieve this by using a rubric.
See the guide below on Applying Letter Grades with Rubrics:


My Blackboard Rubrics are not present within Brightspace

Unfortunately Blackboard Rubrics do not transfer into Brightspace. If you wish to create rubrics you can use this helpful guide


Please view the resources below to effectively communicate with your students in Brightspace.

Can I create announcements in Brightspace?

Yes, you can use the announcement tool to create announcements for students. Students will see the announcement via the widget on the module landing page.
One of the main differences in Brightspace is that you cannot email an announcement to students as you could in Blackboard, you must use the email tool for this.
To learn more about creating announcements and emails to your students, click the link below.

9. Communications — Comms with Students

What other tools are available?

Brightspace allows us to setup automated communications, called Intelligent Agents. Emails can be scheduled to be sent when students achieve or miss definable criteria.

10. Communications — Automating Comms

What webinar tool does Brightspace use?

The virtual classroom tool 'Blackboard Collaborate Ultra' will still be available. See our docs here on how to make best use of it within your modules.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Module Management

Please see below a list of common queries in relation to effectively managing your module in Brightspace.
If your query is not covered by the resources on this page, please contact us at business.elearning@ucd.ie with your question.

How do I batch create groups using a class list?

The Instructor or Teaching Assistant access in Brightspace does not allow for group creation via file upload.
If you wish to create balanced groups based on cultural background and/or gender to achieve diversity in your group environment, contact the IT Services helpdesk for further instruction.
For an overview and demonstration of setting up groups in Brightspace, click the link below:

8. Module Setup — Creating Groups

Where can I find the discussion board tool?

Enter your module and click the Discussions menu item in the top navigation bar.
Discussion boards are also referred to as forums.
Click New and then New Forum to begin the process of setting up a discussion board for your module.

Where is the Journal tool within Brightspace?

Brightspace does not have a specific journal tool for reflective activities.
The Discussion Board, in conjunction with the Group tool can be used for private student journals.
The process is twofold:
Step 1 setup Groups of 1 by selecting Single user, member specific groups in the setup options.
Step 2 create a discussion board selecting Create one topic with threads separated by group.

In this way students have access to a private discussion board that only they and the instructor have access to.

Where is the Wiki tool within Brightspace?

Brightspace does not have a specific Wiki tool, however it does integrate with your Google Drive account.
Adding a Google Doc set up beforehand in your Google Drive allows multiple users, including both instructors and students, to edit a document. Collaborative documents such as these can be used for brainstorming ideas, having students review and edit each others work, or for group projects.
In the content area of your module click Existing Activities and then Google Drive.
Locate the Google Doc and click Select.
Please note: When setting up your Google Doc to deploy inside the module, ensure the Link Sharing settings are; On-Anyone with the link
This will enable the document to be live and editable by students without having to sign in.

Contact Business eLearning via email: business.elearning@ucd.ie

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