Student Resources

Getting started in Brightspace

Whether new to PNW, or a returning student, OIT is here to help.

This Brightspace checklist (linked) highlights the recommendations to ensure success when operating in your courses. Check out the video playlist below for additional tutorials.

Getting Started FAQs

  • Any course that is active/accessible will appear in your My Courses widget. Any active courses will be available for you to open and navigate. You can identify these courses because they will be in color and clickable. 
  • There may be a Start Date for your course. You will see this date and time reflected below the name of the course. If the course is grayed out and not able to be accessed/opened, it is because the Start Date for the course has not occurred yet. 
  • There may also be an End Date for your course. You will see this date and time reflected below the course name. If the end date has passed, you will no longer be able to open/access the course. Contact your instructor if you need further access.
  • Be sure you have registered for the course. Contact your advisor or the Registrar to confirm.
  • If you have just registered for a course, the registration may not be processed yet. Please wait at least one hour after registering for a course for it to appear in Brightspace.
  • The course may not be active. Your instructor is responsible for activating the course so contact them to see when the course will be activated.
  • The course hasn’t started. If the course has not yet started, it will not be visible in Brightspace. If you are unsure about when your course is supposed to start, contact the instructor for that course for further information.

All PNW faculty, staff, and students have two email addresses: and Brightspace utilizes your address and should forward any email communication from this account into your email address. Sometimes these forward settings are not set up correctly. To ensure your forward settings are correct refer to this Change Email Forward guide (linked) or follow the steps below:

  • Click on the Change mailbox link:
  • Log in with your Purdue Login.
  • Under the tab called “Your Email” select, “Your email service is sent to”. 
  • Select the second option called “Forward to email”, and enter the address you would like the email forwarded to. We recommend that Purdue Northwest students enter their @pnw email address.
  • Click “Save Changes”. 

If your emails are already set to forward to your address, then check your JUNK folder of your inbox. Email if you still have problems.

  • Sign into Brightspace.
  • Open the course for the instructor you need to contact.
  • Select the Classlist option from the top black navigation bar.
  • From the Classlist area, find the name of the instructor(s) you want to email and click ‘Email’.

The Class Progress tool helps track your progress in a course by measuring the completion of different progress indicators. You may want to use the Class Progress tool to keep track of your course-specific assignments and feedback.

Instructors can use the Class Progress tool to track your overall progress in the course and prepare progress reports. Progress reports are available for the following progress indicators: Summary, Grades, Standards, Objectives, Content, Discussions, Assignments, Quizzes, Checklist, Surveys, Login History, and System Access History. 

Instructors can also pull data on this tool to see if you have accessed resources within the course.

If in your courses you see that assignments, quizzes, due dates, etc. are showing a different time than where you live, you need to change your Time Zone settings.

Brightspace defaults to Eastern time zone. Check out this guide to learn how to change your time zone.

Zoom meetings will automatically have captions enabled for you. Simply press the “Show Captions” button and select your language preference. Visit the Zoom website linked here for more detailed steps on how to see captions during your Zoom session.

Use your Purdue Login to watch this video and find your Syllabus under “Content” in your Brightspace courses.

If you don’t see a syllabus display, it may likely that your instructor shared the syllabus elsewhere in the course. Connect with your instructor directly for assistance on where/how it has been shared.

If you encounter a “Third Party Cookie” error while attempting to watch a video from your instructor in Brightspace, refer to this guide with steps on how to resolve this issue for your specific browser.

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Chromium-Based Edge