Student Resources

Student sitting in front of laptop screen and pad of paper

Getting Started in Brightspace

Getting Started Video Playlist

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 BoilerKey.
  • 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 BoilerKey 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

FAQ Assignments

If you believe that you have submitted the wrong assignment to your instructor, you can check the assignment submission status and the file attached.

  1. Immediately after an assignment submission, you will be directed to a screen that will allow you to review your submission. Here you will be able to view, click, and open the file you attached to the submission.Highlights clickable file link to view incorrect submission.
  2. Directly below the submission date, you will see green text that says “Confirmation Email Sent Successfully”. You can check this email to confirm that your submission was processed successfully.
  3. If you submitted the wrong file, try to make another submission to the same assignment space. Indicate in the “Comment” section that you previously submitted the wrong file.
  4. If you are unable to submit again, contact your instructor immediately.

The following are suggested troubleshooting tips to resolve the error uploading file message:

  1. Refer to this guide for beginning guidance.
  2. Rename your file so that there are no spaces or special characters:  ” * / : < > ? \ | –   Use only letters, numbers, and periods. Example: ebrandonEssay2.pdf
  3. Your file or folder name contains too many characters. The limit to characters in file names is 260 characters, but best practice is to limit file names to two or three words.
  4. Use Chrome as your browser – it has proven to be most compatible with Brightspace.
  5. Be sure to clear cache/cookies.
  6. Close your browser and re-open new windows.
  7. Check if you need to install updates to your browser or OS.
  8. Restart your computer.

Similarity reports for assignment submissions in Brightspace should appear within 15 minutes. If you don’t see your report, the tool may be down or experiencing slow processing times.

  • If you need to add a voice-over to a presentation or record a video, use Kaltura Personal Capture. Follow along with this guide to learn how to use this tool in Brightspace.
  • Need to simply upload a video to your assignment/discussion? Use Kaltura MediaSpace to upload the video. Follow along with this guide to get started.

FAQs Quizzes

Important: Your instructor determines the parameters for the Quiz. This includes time limit, restricted date/time access, number of attempts, etc.

  1. Log immediately back into the quiz space! The timer continues to run even if you exit a quiz. Questions auto-save every few seconds, so any questions you already answered should be preserved. You may be able to continue taking the quiz. It is important to note, you may not be able to pick up your quiz where you left off depending on instructor settings for the assessment.
  2. Regardless of the issue, contact your instructor immediately. They will decide if you will have another attempt, to exempt you from the quiz, or delete your previous attempt and let you begin again.
  1. Close all programs, unless one is used to connect you to the Internet.
  2. Log into Brightspace with a regular browser using your BoilerKey. Open your course and navigate to the quiz.
  3. From this screen, either install LockDown Browser or launch it to take the quiz by selecting “Launch LockDown Browser”.
  4. Take a practice LockDown Browser and/or monitor exam. Fill out this survey and you will be enrolled in a PNW Student training course to access a practice exam.
  5. Still experiencing issues? Refer to this guide here or check out these commonly asked questions/solutions for LockDown Browser & Monitor.

FAQs Grades

If you can’t see your grade for a submission or your final grade, the grade may not be published yet.

  1. Contact your instructor for more information about when the grade will be available for viewing.
  2. If the instructor has already stated that the grade should be available, contact the instructor and inform them that your grade is still not visible.
  3. Then connect with OIT if you are still experiencing issues.