Brightspace Navigation Basics

The Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS) offers a number of navigation tools that remain consistent from course to course at Buffalo State.

Institutional Home Page

The Institutional Home Page is the main screen users see after signing in to Brightspace at It consists of the Institutional Home button (Buffalo State Crest and text in the upper left corner), Minibar, the Institutional NavBar, a list of your Courses, Announcements, Calendar, the SUNY Online Help Desk information.

Institutional Home Page screenshot


Minibar screenshot

The Minibar in the top middle portion of the page consists of the:

  • Course Selector (Waffle menu icon)
  • Notifications​
    • Messages alerts (Envelope icon)
    • Subscriptions alerts (Dialogue bubbles icon)
    • Updates alerts (Bell icon)
  • Personal Settings​ (Your name and profile icon)
    • Profile​ settings
    • Notifications settings
    • Account Settings​
    • View as Student​ Option
    • Logout

Institutional NavBar

Institutional NavBar screenshot

The Institutional NavBar consists of:

  • Academic Resources links: ​
    • Academic Success (our advising, tutoring, and academic help resources website) ​
    • Academic Calendar ​
    • Barnes & Noble Bookstore ​
    • E.H. Butler Library ​
    • IT Help Desk Portal (our campus helpdesk) ​
  • Student Engagement links: ​
    • Career and Professional​ Education Center ​
    • Counseling Center ​
    • Student Affairs 
    • Student Leadership and Engagement ​
    • Weigel Health Center
  • Brightspace Resources links: ​
    • Help for Instructors ​
    • Help for Students ​
    • SUNY Online Help Desk ​
    • System Check (Brightspace web browser compatibility)
  • QuickEval (Instructors Only)

Course Home Page

Course Home Page screenshot

Each specific course in Brightspace will have its own "home" and other pages associated with it. When you are in a course, the NavBar will dynamically change to show different menu items. The Course Home page also contains "widgets" or graphically represented tools in the main body of the page. Instructors customize the widgets displayed, but by default, it includes:

  • Announcements​
  • Visual Table of Contents​
  • Calendar

Course NavBar

Course NavBar screenshot

Although located in the same orange ribbon as the Institutional Home Page, the Course NavBar menu items are different if you are in a specific course in Brightspace. The Course Navbar menu contains:

  • Course Home (takes you back to the Course home page)
  • Content - where you will add modules and course items
  • Course Activities
    • Assignments 
    • Discussions ​
    • Quizzes ​
    • Surveys ​
    • Video Assignment ​
  • My Performance
    • Class Progress ​
    • Grades
  • Course Tools
    • Course Admin ​
    • Course Builder​
    • Announcements ​
    • Awards ​
    • Calendar​
    • Checklist ​
    • Groups ​
    • Intelligent Agents ​
    • Roster ​
    • YuJa​
    • Ally Report​
  • Course Supports links
    • Academic Integrity ​
    • Student Accessibility Services​
    • Tutoring ​
    • Writing Center​
  • Help links​
    • SUNY Online Help Desk ​
    • IT HelpDesk Portal ​
    • Brightspace Help for Students ​


For more information, please see SUNY's Brightspace User Interface Video.


Need Help?

Print Article


Article ID: 153600
Thu 8/10/23 1:28 PM
Thu 12/7/23 1:56 PM