What is Brightspace Pulse?

Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app that can help learners stay connected and on track with their courses in D2L Learning Environment. It provides one easy view of course calendars, readings, assignments, evaluations, grades, and news. The app can help learners make better decisions about how to handle workload, when to submit assignments, and when to prepare for tests. Read-time alerts can let learners know when classes are canceled, rooms are moved, or new grades are available. The schedule view and weekly visualization enables learners to quickly at a glance view what is due today, this week, and upcoming across all their courses. 

Use Brightspace Pulse to do the following: 

  • See all the important dates and deadlines for each course
  • Anticipate busiest times with a quick glance
  • Receive the latest grades and news
  • Share updates via email, text messages, and social media
  • Enter events and deadlines
  • Edit course details and customize how much assignments and tests are worth
  • Seamlessly log in to D2L Learning Environment via a browser to complete tasks

Brightspace Pulse platform requirements

Operating System Support Language Support
Android™ 5 or later
Compatible with tablet or phone
U.S. English from any global Google Play™ store
iOS 11.0 or later
Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
U.S. English from any global Apple App Store™


Get Brightspace Pulse

Download on the Apple App Store Android App on Google Play

Getting Started

Log in and out of Brightspace Pulse

When you initially log in to Brightspace Pulse, you can quickly find your organization by turning on your device's geolocation service. Brightspace Pulse searches for all organizations within a 55km / 34-mile radius from your current location; however, the list may not include all institutions that use the Brightspace platform. If there are no search results, type the URL for your organization's Learning Management System (LMS).

After logging in, Brightspace Pulse loads your course data by retrieving calendar events from Calendar. These events might include dates from Content, Checklist, Discussions, Assignments, and Quizzes in Brightspace Learning Environment, if instructors set due dates in these tools.

To log in to Brightspace Pulse

  1. Tap the Brightspace Pulse app icon Brightspace Pulse icon.
  2. Learn more about Brightspace Pulse by swiping left/right or proceed to the next step by tapping Next.
  3. Tap Pick Your School.
  4. Enter your Brightspace Learning Environment credentials and then tap Log In.

To log out of Brightspace Pulse

  1. Tap the Settings icon:
    • Settings icon (iOS) (iOS)
    • Settings icon (Android) (Android)
  2. Tap Sign Out.


Navigate in Brightspace Pulse

Brightspace Pulse features an intuitive interface for the iOS and Android operating systems.

View and edit activities in Brightspace Pulse

Brightspace Pulse displays the following activity categories, which are mapped from data in Brightspace Learning Environment:

  • Assignment icon Assignment - mapped from an assignment, discussion forum/topic, checklist, or survey
  • Evaluation icon Evaluation - mapped from a quiz or grade item
  • Reading icon Reading - mapped from a content topic
  • To-Do icon To-Do - personal checklist created in Brightspace Pulse by the learner

To view an activity

From the activity list, tap an activity to display more details.

Activity details in Brightspace Pulse

  1. Activity Title and Course.
    Tip: You can easily distinguish between personal activities you created in Brightspace Pulse and activities created by your instructors in Brightspace Learning Environment. A personal activity is identified by a Personal label:

    Brightspace Pulse personal activity
  2. Activity details:
    • Date due.
    • Time.
    • Grade worth. This value is initially empty and must be set by the learner.
    • Activity notes, for example, special instructions for an assignment.
  3. Tap Open in Safari (iOS) or Open in Browser (Android) to open the activity in Brightspace Learning Environment, for example, an exam in the Quizzes tool.
  4. Tap Edit to edit the activity details.
    Note: When editing an activity created in Brightspace Learning Environment, the Title and Grade worth fields are the only editable fields.

To filter by courses and activities

You can see important dates in the graph and activity list by filtering by one or more courses and activities. For example, you can filter by a specific course and assignment activities to display outstanding work. By default, filtering is on for all courses and activity types; however, filtering is off for graded activities (Show graded activities only is unchecked).

Note: Filters are retained after closing Brightspace Pulse; however, logging out or clearing the app returns to the default settings.

  1. Tap the Course filter icon:
    • Course Filter icon (iOS) (iOS)
    • Course filter icon (Android) (Android)
  2. Tap the courses and/or activities you want to filter by. A check mark indicates that filtering is on for the course or activity, displaying that data in the graph and activity list.
  3. Tap Done (iOS) or swipe to the left (Android).

Add an activity in Brightspace Pulse

To fill in any gaps in your schedule or to add your own personal activities, you can add an activity.

  1. Tap the Add activity icon:
    • Add Activity icon (iOS) (iOS)
    • Add Activity icon (Android) (Android)
  2. Tap an activity type:
    • To-dos (To-do icon)
    • Readings (Reading icon)
    • Assignments (Assignment icon)
    • Evaluations (Evaluation icon)
  3. Fill out the necessary fields.
    Note: You must associate the activity with a relevant course in Brightspace Learning Environment.
  4. Tap Save.

Mark an activity as complete in Brightspace Pulse

After completing an activity such as an assignment or reading, you can mark the activity as complete. The activity summary displays how many activities have been completed in the current week.

From the activity list, mark an activity as complete by tapping a Disabled activity checkmark check mark. To provide a sense of accomplishment, a completion message displays.

Tapping a Activity checkmark enabled check mark marks the activity as incomplete.


View courses and course content in Brightspace Pulse

From Courses tabCourses tab in Brightspace Pulse, you can view the courses you are currently enrolled in and access your org homepage in Brightspace Learning Environment. By default, this tab displays when you log in to Brightspace Pulse. From there, you can select a course, where you can access course content and view the course homepage in Brightspace Learning Environment.

When viewing course content in Brightspace Pulse, supported content types include:

  • HTML
  • PDF (special features such as password protection are unsupported)
  • MP4 video (H.264, AAC)
  • MP3 audio
  • Brightspace Capture video

Unsupported functionality includes:

  • creating or editing course content hierarchy
  • pinning and unpinning courses (all enrolled courses display in Brightspace Pulse)

Enhanced course tiles

If configured by your administrator, you can view details of your assigned courses on the course tiles that appear in Brightspace Pulse including:

  • Course Due Date
  • The date the course was completed by the user
  • Complete status indicator when all items in the course are complete
  • An Overdue status indicator when items in the course are not complete by the due date
  • Course update indicators with links to Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes

Details of a learner's assigned course on an enhanced course tile

Figure: Details of a learner's assigned course on an enhanced course tile

To display these details, courses must be assigned using Learning Groups, have a due date, and have Course Completion Tracking enabled. Course update indicators do not require courses assigned using Learning Groups.

To view courses and course content in Brightspace Pulse

  1. Tap the Courses tabCourses tab. This displays the courses you are currently enrolled in, and a button to access the org homepage in Brightspace Learning Environment.
  2. Tap a course. The course’s content displays, and a button to access the course homepage in Brightspace Learning Environment.
  3. From the table of contents, tap a module.
  4. Tap a topic to view it.

To view PDF and MP4 topic files offline

To complete learning activities without an Internet connection, learners can download PDF and MP4 topic files for offline viewing in Brightspace Pulse.

Note the following:

  • Downloaded PDF and MP4 topic files can only be viewed in Brightspace Pulse. Although downloaded files use the mobile device's file storage, they cannot be viewed in another app or transferred from the mobile device.
  • The limit of downloadable files is determined by the available space on the mobile device.
  • For PDF files, there is no support for special PDF features (password protection, printing restrictions, etc.), or support for other document types (DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, HTML, images, etc.).
  • For MP4 files, there is no support for streaming video, or other video and audio formats (MP3 audio, etc.).
  1. In Brightspace Pulse, view a topic file containing a PDF or MP4.
  2. From the ellipsis (...) menu at the top of the page, tap Make available offline.
  3. Without an Internet connection, in Brightspace Pulse, navigate back to the table of contents and tap the downloaded topic file, indicated by the Downloaded File iconDownloaded File icon.
  4. To remove the topic file from the mobile device, from the ellipsis (...) menu at the top of the page, tap Remove from device.
    Tip: To remove all downloaded content files from the mobile device, navigate to the top-level for the course, tap the ellipsis (...) menu, and tap Remove any offline content.

View notifications in Brightspace Pulse

To ensure that you receive up-to-date information, Brightspace Pulse sends push notifications for all new and updated notifications. This removes the need to manually check for notifications. These notifications offer you tips and keep you informed about course-related news, updates, due dates, and grades from Announcements, Grades, and Content in Brightspace Learning Environment.

After logging in for the first time, course notifications do not appear until new updates are created in Brightspace Learning Environment.

Note: You cannot configure the notifications you receive in Brightspace Pulse.

To view notifications, tap the Notifications icon (iOS) Notifications tab.

Brightspace Pulse sends the following notification types:

  • Introductory updates - When you log in to Brightspace Pulse for the first time, introductory notifications appear. Each notification provides a tip on how Brightspace Pulse can keep you notified about the latest grades and Announcements for your courses.
  • Created or updated course content - To keep you informed about course content, Brightspace Pulse sends notifications when course content is created or updated in Brightspace Learning Environment. You can view new and updated content associated with a notification, viewing the content directly in Brightspace Pulse. This also applies to content where a due date has been associated with the item. To view the content, tap the update and then tap Open. If there is no file URL available, tap Open in browser, which opens the content in Brightspace Learning Environment.
  • Created or updated Course Overview documents - When an instructor adds or updates the Course Overview document in Brightspace Learning Environment, you receive notifications in Brightspace Pulse and the Brightspace Learning Environment minibar.
    In Brightspace Learning Environment, you can optionally choose to receive instant notifications via email or text message when the Course Overview document is updated.
  • Course announcements - When an instructor wants to communicate changes to course updates, information, and reminders via course announcements, you receive a course announcement in Brightspace Pulse.
  • Activity Feed - To help keep you up to date on course activity, Brightspace Pulse displays Activity Feed notifications, if the Activity Feed widget is enabled in your enrolled courses. For example, Brightspace Pulse sends notifications about Activity Feed messages and links to course materials.
  • New grades - When an instructor enters grades in a grade book, you receive grade notifications in Brightspace Pulse. View grades in Brightspace Pulse by tapping the update and then swiping left to reveal the grade.

Read and reply to discussion threads in Brightspace Pulse

You can read and reply to discussion threads in the Notifications icon (iOS) Notifications tab. This increases awareness of course activity and engagement in learning activities with other learners.

Unlike other notifications in Brightspace Pulse, discussion notifications do not appear in the device's notification area and do not invoke an alarm or vibration.

In Brightspace Learning Environment, you must first subscribe to a topic or discussion thread for a course offering you are enrolled in. You cannot subscribe or unsubscribe to topics or threads in Brightspace Pulse.

When reading and replying to discussion posts:

  • A link is provided for viewing the original post, with original formatting, in a web browser.
  • Formatting is simplified for consistency - bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, subscript, superscript, and HTML lists are supported. However, font face, color, size, images, and other embedded objects are unsupported.
  • Web links (URLs) can be followed.
  • Unlike Brightspace Learning Environment, the learner can only reply to the original post, not a specific post in the discussion thread.
  • There are no formatting options when replying.

To read and reply to discussion threads

  1. Tap the Notifications icon (iOS)Notifications tab. A red dot displays on the Subscriptions sub-tab.
  2. Tap the Subscriptions sub-tab. A list of discussion threads displays. The list is sorted with the discussion threads that have the most recent activity at the top, and any discussion threads that have new activity since you last checked are highlighted to indicate an unread state.
  3. Tap the thread containing the activity. A list of posts displays.
  4. Reply to the thread.


Troubleshooting Brightspace Pulse

If your organization or school does not display in the list when you search, you can add it manually using its URL, gfcmsu.desire2learn.com. This field is available when there are zero search results or if you choose to disable your mobile device's geolocation service.

If you cannot connect to your school or organization, the problem could be:

  • Your school or organization has turned off access. You can contact them to find out.
  • You entered your ID or password incorrectly. Try again.
  • Your school or organization is using a Brightspace platform version that is incompatible with Brightspace Pulse.

It's possible that the courses you're enrolled in haven't started yet or they don't have any dates associated with them.

When you initially log in to Brightspace Pulse, no course content updates appear until new updates come from Brightspace Learning Environment; however, introductory updates appear. The Brightspace Pulse app provides you with updates when announcements are created in your courses and when you receive new grades from your instructors.

While Brightspace Pulse can retrieve data from your courses in Brightspace Learning Environment, it cannot determine percentage values for individual activities. Percentage values must be manually added by learners in Brightspace Pulse.

Course content updates only appear in the Updates tab if the instructor checks the Notify students that the content has changed option for the updated content in Brightspace Learning Environment. Contact your instructor for more information.