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Brightspace: Baseline Standards


Baseline Standards

We expect course teams wo apply baseline standards in the ways in which they use Brightspace in their Block and Blend design, and create learning materials for studnets to use. These standards are The Brightspace Baseline Standard and Accessibility Standard WCAG. 

The Learning Design team can support you in assessing how well you meet either standard through their Module Health Checks. You can also explore how well you meet the Brightspace Baseline Standards - and how you could enhance your practice though the Exemplar Module Rubric

The Brightspace Baseline Standard

The Brightspace Baseline Standard functions at two levels - course, and module. 


Course level standards

Course level standards


The overview area is a space accessible for all current students registered on the course. Students should expect to find:  

  • course handbook


Folders should present exactly the same information for all students registered on the course, regardless of level of study: 

  • full course assessment schedule (for all years of study); 

  • Student Voice Forum minutes (.pdf); 

  • RiME documentation (.pdf), 

  • expectations for behaviours in face to face and online learning environments; 

  • signposting to key contacts and additional support, including lecturers, Academic Administrators, Student Life, Librarians, Academic Skills Advisors and IT.  


Regular and consistent communication helps to manage the student journey and provide clear expectations.  Communication in Brightspace should be consistent through modules and courses. This can be done through: 

  • announcements; 

  • discussion fora; 

  • activity feeds; 

  • intelligent agents. 

Module level standards

Module level standards

  • module handbook (.pdf) 

  • module introduction: 

  • introduction video 

  • signposting to key contacts and additional support, including lecturers, Academic Administrators, Student Life, Librarians, Academic Skills Advisors and IT; 

  • assessment schedule and learning outcomes including:  

  • assessment briefs and dates (.pdf) 

  • process for feedback (time, how, where)  

  • guidance on academic misconduct 

  • use of Turnitin drafts 

  • module learning outcomes; 

  • Reading and Resource lists, embedding the lists from LibGuides;  

  • content folders, organised by week of delivery or by topic as appropriate for the delivery mode, or course; 

  • content sub folders for supplementary and additional resources within each week including weekly readings, and digitised readings from Reading and Resource lists (content should be created by Library and Learning Services to ensure copyright legislation compliance); 

  • signposting and commentary during delivery to encourage students to engage in their fifth week, post assessment and prepare for the next block.


Learning content should made using instructional design techniques. This enables the narrative and rationale of the learning to be conveyed to the student and supports them in progressing through the learning activities.  

Content is “chunked” into smaller units designed to help students achieve module and course learning outcomes. It should also be designed with Brightspace integral to driving engagement with learning and to support particular activities. This must be consistent across all modules. To do this we expect the following to be applied: 

  • templates (developed centrally based on HTML); 

  • narrative to describe the learning activities enabling students to understand expectations and use of them; 

  • rich multimedia, embedded where possible, including videos (e.g. Learning On Screen) and simulation; 

  • minimal use of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint Slides (remembering these must be compliant with Digital Accessibility Legislation and our Accessibility Standards).  

Tools for learning

Some or all of the tools presented below should be used, as appropriate to the content and learning to be delivered.  

Tools for learning
Assessment submission

One submission item (plus grade item) per component per submission opportunity.

  • We should not be splitting into multiple item for refers and defers and/or capped and uncapped but have one item for each assessment point (assignment, quiz, video assignment etc,).
  • There would therefore be one item (plus grade item) for the original deadline. A second item (plus second grade item) for all students who have referred or deferred.
  • A third item (plus grade item) for students who have referred and then deferred (or vice versa) and potentially even a fourth item for cases where students have deferred twice and also referred. 
  • Keeping these separate mirrors SITS as part of the work to a seamless integration
  • For capped grades academics should be entering the capped grade on Brightspace to be given as the unratified grade and the uncapped grade should simply be within the written feedback given.
Assessment - quizzes

Regular use of quizzes during blended learning can support students in engaging with content and measuring their own learning gain. They can also be used for formative assessment, tracking learning and understanding. These can be used as: 

  • auto answer; 

  • manual answer, for example as a longer / essay answer; 

Wherever the format of the assessment allows, submission should be online. Access to assessment and unratified grades should be enabled using release conditions.   

Assessment - videos

Individual and group projects with annotation can be student led and organised within Panopto. These can be also be peer assessed.  

Access to assessment and unratified grades should be enabled using release conditions.  

Feedback Feedback on written assessment should be made using the Brightspace annotations tool. It is also possible to provide feedback using audio tools, in-video feedback on AV assessment, and rubrics.   
Tools for delivery

Panopto should be used in both face to face and online delivery of lectures and seminars. It can also be used to support group work, by both the lecturer and students working on independent group activities as part of blended learning.