Communicate with students in Brightspace

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Communication creates community and sets students up for success. Here are seven easy ways to communicate with students in your course by using the options available in Brightspace:

  • Send a welcome email and reach out to individuals. Use the ‘Email Classlist’ option inside Classlist to send a class email to welcome students at the start of your course and to let them know where to find your course. See how to send messages or emails for more information. This option can also be used to contact specific individuals, who will be able to reply directly to you once they receive your message. For more informal and shorter communication, consider using the Instant Message system also available in the Classlist. Note that this mode will only work inside Brightspace – a copy of your message will not be emailed to students.


  • Post a weekly announcement. At the start of each week, post an announcement to let students know what the week is about and what they are expected to do. This video explains how to create an announcement in Brightspace. Announcements are posted on the site and forwarded to students’ preferred email addresses and can contain links to materials and activities inside your course. Note: students will only receive announcements by email after they have signed into Brightspace for the first time.


  • Use an activity feed to keep everyone on track. Use the activity feed to help keep students up to date and on track. For example, create a list of “to do” items for students for each week and allow them to comment or reply with questions. See this video tutorial for creating an activity feed. Add the activity feed to your course by clicking the ellipsis at the bottom right hand corner of your course site when accessing Course Home. After clicking the three dots, choose “Manage Homepage” and select a homepage layout with activity feed (Standard Course Landing Page – Activity Feed).


  • Create a class FAQ forum. This option will allow students to post questions, which may be answered by other students or by you. This video explains how to create a forum in Brightspace. If a date is not associated with this forum, it will be possible to use the same discussion topic throughout the whole term.


  • Schedule live office hours. You can use the Zoom integration in Brightspace to schedule your office hours. To get started, check out our Zoom FAQ.



  • Start a chat. Use the Chat tool in Brightspace to brainstorm ideas, hold a question and answer period, have a debate or discussion, or organize a remote study group. As opposed to other collaboration tools, such as Discussions, Chat conversations occur in real-time. This content is not saved, and anything written here will be deleted upon refreshing. Seehow to create a personal chat using the Chat tool for more information.

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This page was last updated:

September 25, 2020

We acknowledge and respect the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees and Esquimalt) Peoples on whose territory the university stands, and the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

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