MSU-Northern uses an online learning platform called "Brightspace" for online-only and face-to-face courses. These FAQs are designed to help you use Brightspace, which can be accessed at

Please reach out to us with any questions you have!

Brightspace Support Staff 

Jason Geer
(406) 265-3767
Also available through Brightspace live chat 


Brittany Garden
(406) 265-3701
Also available through Brightspace live chat

Frequently Asked Questions (Brightspace)

MSU-Northern uses an online learning platform called "Brightspace" for online-only and face-to-face courses. Brightspace allows students to communicate with their instructors and classmates, view course content, complete homework assignments and quizzes, and check their grades. Brightspace can be accessed from a web browser on most internet-enabled devices, including laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and smartphones.

This video shows you how to log into Brightspace at If you still need help, contact the Brightspace support staff at the contact info above.

This video gives you an overview of Brightspace once you've logged in.

This video shows you how to set up email forwarding and receive email and text notifications so that you don’t miss important course communications. It also give you an overview of all of the features in Brightspace. If you still need help, contact the Brightspace support staff in OTLE.

Yes, all students have access to an official campus email using Office365. This email is different than your Brightspace email. OTLE has added a new Office365 widget to the Brightspace homepage where you can sign-in to your Office365 account and access it directly from the widget. 

This video gives you a short overview of how to use the Office365 widget. 

Brightspace does have an app called “Pulse” — however, its functionality is geared towards sending you Brightspace notifications on your phone.

If you need to use your phone or tablet to do work in Brightspace, we recommend simply accessing the Brightspace site itself on your phone ( The site is mobile friendly and provides a much better overview than the app. You can bookmark the site on your phone or tablet for quick access.

The best way to contact your instructor is through the Brightspace Classlist. Go to the “Classroom” tab, click “Classlist.” Click the little down arrow by your instructor’s name and then “Send Email.” Additionally, this video shows you how to use the Email tool. The instructor may have additional contact information outlined in their syllabus or in the Brightspace Announcements section.

You should plan to spend 2 to 3 hours per week for each course credit. For instance, for a 3-credit class, you should plan to spend an average of 6 to 9 hours per week academically engaged in that class.

Yes, this video explains how to use the Brightspace Locker, where you can store files for your courses. 

First, review the syllabus, the Brightspace Announcements, and the assignment instructions. If you still need clarification, contact your instructor by sending them an email through the Brightspace Classlist (see “How do I contact my instructor?” above). If emailing back and forth is not getting the question answered, ask them if live chat through Brightspace or a phone call is possible. If you still have questions, contact MSUN’s Brightspace support staff.

Some instructors set up their quizzes to disable student emails while the quiz is in progress. If you have a quiz that you’ve started but haven’t finished yet, this may be preventing you from getting into the Email tool. You’ll need to return to the quiz, finish it, and click “Submit Quiz.”

Click here to watch a video tutorial that walks you through taking quizzes in Brightspace. 

Contact your instructor and explain the situation. They may be willing to extend the allowed quiz time.

Contact your instructor and explain the situation. They may be willing to extend the due date for you, for partial or full credit.

This is up to the individual instructor. Many do allow it and are explicit about it. If your instructor does not have future modules open in Brightspace, but working ahead would help you with your particular situation, please contact them and ask if working ahead is possible.
Go to the “Progress” tab and click on “Grades.” All submitted grades and feedback for your assignments and quizzes will show up here.
Just submit a second document and add a note to your instructor in the comment box explaining the situation. You cannot remove the first submission; the instructor will have to do this.
Yes! Brightspace has a document reader that will read most types of documents in the Content area to you. It will read also your Brightspace quizzes out loud. This video shows you how to use that tool.
You can still access Brightspace at Keep in mind that, if the campus network is down, instructors may not receive your Brightspace emails if they rely on email forwarding to their email account.


Related Questions (Online Learning Services and Technologies)

No. All MSUN students have free access to Microsoft O365 (including Word, Excel, etc.). Go to and follow the instructions for install. You can also download these programs on your smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, for written assignments in particular, you might consider using a free cloud-based program like Google Docs.

There are computers for use in the Vande Bogart Library, in Student Support Services (Cowan Hall 211), and in the Little River Institute (2nd floor of the SUB). Various campus computer labs are open for student use as well, as long as a class is not in session in the room.

Students can purchase a university-approved Dell laptop at the MSUN Bookstore (under "General Merchandise" on the website).

If you are remote and don't have a computer, consult with your instructor. You might be able to compose a paper on your smartphone with a mobile-friendly word processing app like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Or, if the instructor will allow it, you might be able to compose it by hand and submit a photo from your phone.

iPhones have a built-in document scanner app in the Notes tool (directions here) and Android phones have a number of free document scanner apps that you can download (directions here). Scanner apps turn your phone's camera into a scanner by converting photos into PDF documents.

You may have limited internet bandwidth available. Turn off your own video input in WebEx so that you are only participating through audio but can still see the video. If you’re on your phone, try switching data to WiFi (if you have WiFi available). If you’re using WiFi at home on your phone or computer, try to make sure that no one else on your network is using a lot of bandwidth (e.g., Netflix, gaming).