Vital Teaching Tools

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This section provides information about our teaching tools here at Purdue – West Lafayette and Indianapolis, the most important being our Learning Management System, D2L Brightspace. Learning how to navigate and use Brightspace is critical to your role as an instructor as it is the standard point of contact for students to be able to view grades, course content, and other course materials.  

  1. Accessing Brightspace

Use BoilerKay two-factor authentication to log in at the Purdue West Lafayette section of the Brightspace website.

Create a Brightspace sandbox course for each of the courses you will teach. Once the Brightspace shell has been created for your course, copy your sandbox course content into the live course shell. (The live course shell will automatically be populated with your students). This strategy makes it easier to clean up courses from year to year, instead of copying from a live course shell.  

Take a Tour of Brightspace 101 

Brightspace 101 is designed to be a self-paced course that offers an optional completion badge for completing the course assessments. Learners enrolled in this course are new to using Brightspace to deliver their course content. To enroll in the course, click here

Manage Dates, Assignments, Quizzes, and Content Availability 

To learn more about managing dates for content, assignments, quizzes click here for directions

Set Up Your Brightspace Gradebook (Weighted or Points-Based) 

Keeping an updated gradebook so your learners can track their progress throughout the course. To learn more about grades setup click here for directions.  

Add Teaching Assistants 

Add your Teaching Assistants to your course to help with your course facilitation including grading, moderating discussion boards, and reviewing content. To learn more, click here for directions.  


Ensure your course, regardless of the modality (online, face-to-face, or hybrid) is fully accessible. Learn more about accessibility in the Online & Hybrid path

Not sure how to get started or have an urgent need/question regarding Brightspace and other instructional technologies? Purdue offers many resources and support such as daily drop-in help sessions, and Brightspace documentation.  At any time, you can email for help or assistance on any of our supported instructional technologies or to request a 1:1 consultation.  

Set Live Course to Active 

Students cannot see courses unless they are set to active. Learn more about activating your course with instructions here

Identify Department Schedule Deputy 

Schedule Deputies are the people who assign the “Instructor of Record” to courses. When Brightspace course shells are created, the Instructor of Record will automatically be listed in the course (and have access to the course in Brightspace). Additional Instructors, as well as Teaching Assistants, Course Builders, and Graders can then be added by the Instructor of Record. Learners (students in courses) cannot be manually added, they are added directly through the Registrar. If you do not see your course in Brightspace and believe that you are the Instructor of Record, contact your department schedule deputy (see Schedule Deputies). Your schedule deputy can also help you request a particular classroom or computer lab to teach in (although the request is not guaranteed). They can also help you schedule space for exams.  

Initial Course Participation  

Purdue asks that instructors track Initial Course Participation (ICP). ICP records student presence in the classroom or an academic-related participation such as Brightspace. ICP will be reported for students who have attended a class at any time during the first through third week of the term for 16-week courses and during the first week of class for first eight- and second eight-week courses. Please see the guide for submitting the ICP here. ICP can help instructors to intervene and help students early in the semester.  

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