Semester Start-up FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Brightspace?

Brightspace (formerly known as D2L) is Memorial University’s learning management system. It is a web based technology which means that you and your students can access a course in Brightspace from any device, from anywhere, at any time. It is a convenient ‘one stop shop’ with many different types of tools to assist you in the facilitation of your course.

What is a course shell?

A course shell is the term used to refer to the Brightspace site for your course.

How do I get a Brightspace shell for my course?

If you are teaching a course in the current semester, you will automatically be provided with a Brightspace shell. Once your login ID is linked within Desire2Learn, each semester when you are listed as the instructor in Banner, our student registration system, a Brightspace shell will be automatically created for you for each of your courses.

Can I get a shell for testing and development?

Yes. Contact client support to make your request.

Do I have to get ANOTHER username and password?

No, you will use your MUN login ID to access Brightspace. This is the same password that you use to login to my.mun or to access webmail.

Where do I go to login to Brightspace?

There are multiple ways to access Brightspace (D2L).

You can go to or you can login to and access it from there (there is an Online Learning widget under the Employees tab).

When you get into Brightspace you will see your course under the “My Courses” tile area.

If I teach multiple sections, will I have a separate shell for each section?

You can if that is what you wish. You also have the option to crosslist the sections of your course. This means that all the sections of the same course you are teaching would share the same course shell. This is convenient in that you only have to maintain one course shell containing all of the sections, instead of a course shell for each section of the course.

I have set up my course, why can’t my students see my shell?

By default all course shells are inactive. You will have to make your course active before students can see it. Go to the Course Admin link in your course and choose “Course Offering Information”. There, simply click the “Course is Active” checkbox to make the course active.

How do my students get access to the shell?

Student will use their mun login id and password. If they are registered for your course in Banner, your course will appear in their list of courses in Brightspace. Keep in mind that you must make your course active before your students will see it in their list of courses.

Why is my course shell blank? I thought that I would see everything I had set up from last semester.

Each term you will get a new empty course shell for the courses you are teaching. You can then copy all of the content and settings from a previous offering into your new course shell. This only takes a few seconds. For more info, see this video:

Can teaching assistants get access to my course in Brightspace?

Yes, TA’s can be given access to your courses. You will have to submit a ticket to Client Support listing the students names and email addresses. These students can then be added to your course. This request has to come from the instructor listed in Banner for the course.

What aspects of the course can Teaching Assistants access?

TA’s have access to the Classlist, Grades, Quizzes and the Dropbox. They cannot upload content.

Is Brightspace used widely for on-campus courses?

Yes, over 500 on-campus courses use Brightspace

Who can I contact if I need help?

If you need technical assistance with Brightspace, such as adding accounts, or any other technical problems, you can contact Client Support.

If you need assistance with using the tools in Brightspace, you can contact the Teaching and Learning Exchange at

Who can my students contact if they need help?

Students can contact Client Support or if they are on-campus in St. John’s, they can also visit the Commons in the QEII Library where there are students available to provide one on one assistance to students who need help with using Brightspace.