Empowering Students to Track Their Learning with Brightspace | D2L
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Empowering Students to Track Their Learning with Brightspace

  • 3 Min Read

Increase learner engagement and confidence with intuitive digital learning tools that can help students independently track their work.

In a previous blog post, we explored how teachers can improve classroom transparency for parents and guardians with the Brightspace Parent & Guardian tool. Now let’s look at how teachers can use tools in the Brightspace platform to help students track their work.

As an educator striving to deliver truly uninterrupted learning programs, it’s critical that you help your students stay up to date with their academic activities. By empowering learners to complete their work in a timely manner, you can ultimately provide feedback more responsively, produce the detailed evaluations your students deserve, and open avenues for discussions about how they can improve.

At the same time, with ongoing shifts to learning technology and instructional methods, you should be looking for new strategies to help your students stay engaged in their learning environment. One of the ways you can help your students keep up to date with their learning is by simply letting them track their own work in your learning management system.

This learning approach can encourage students to take more ownership of their course activities, boost their confidence, and increase their ability to perform better. Best of all, when you enable learners to track their own work, you can spend less time monitoring each individual submission and free up more time for meaningful learning assessments and discussions about student performance.

To simplify the learning tracking process, there are tools in Brightspace that can help you enhance students’ capabilities to plan and monitor their learning progress. These tools are easy for learners of all ages and abilities to use and can support them in building self-regulation strategies that can improve their academic performance.

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Let’s take a closer look at the learner tracking tools in Brightspace.

Calendar Widget

The Calendar widget in Brightspace is a mini calendar on the course homepage that conveniently displays a list of all upcoming events, assignments, and activities that you create for your students. Learners can then click on any day in the Calendar and explore each individual event for that day in more detail.

If you add a due date and additional notes to an activity, students will view it as “Today” or “Upcoming.” If you do not add a due date, learners will view activities as “Someday.” Your students can even keep track of lessons they need to complete on a specific day if you enable the integration of course content into your Calendar.

Work To Do Widget

Using the new Work To Do widget in Brightspace, your students can instantly view a summary of all their overdue and upcoming assigned learning activities directly on the course homepage. Activities such as content, assignments, discussions, surveys, and quizzes are automatically displayed in the Work To Do widget. Remember, students can only see activity in the widget when you add a due date to it!

The Calendar widget and the Work To Do widget are shown in the Brightspace platform


With the Checklist tool in Brightspace, you can help improve student progress by enabling learners to easily view the course content they’ve already completed and to stay on track when working on new tasks. You can use Checklists to highlight important or required assignments, readings, or any other learning activities you create. Checklists can also help you control access to additional learning materials you plan on using to create personalized learning paths for individual students.

A Welcome Back Checklist is shown in the Brightspace platform


The Self-Assessment tool in Brightspace is a formative assessment tool that you can use to provide your students with a series of questions and share immediate feedback to their responses. With the omission of numeric evaluation, learners can prioritize their own reflective learning and course material comprehension. You can also use Self-Assessments to empower students to provide you with feedback on how well they think they’re doing with learning content.

A new Self-Assessment is shown in the Brightspace platform

In summary, the above planning and organization tools in Brightspace can help your students stay on track with their work and accelerate their learning progress. These tools can also support you in mitigating learning loss as you aim to reduce student procrastination and improve learners’ engagement with their schoolwork.

In our next post, we’ll explore how  how educators can use Mastery View in Brightspace to help boost student success through assessment.

Students Tracking Their Work

Want to dive deeper into the learner tracking tools in Brightspace? Check out our webinar Students Tracking Their Work to discover how you can help your students take ownership of their learning.

And don’t miss the other upcoming and recorded sessions in our K-12 Teaching and Learning webinar series.

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