D2L Brightspace System Status and News

Check D2L Brightspace Status and Availability

D2L Brightspace Help Desk

Need help?  Contact Minnesota State IT Service Desk for D2L Brightspace problems or questions.

Minnesota State IT Service Desk

The Minnesota State IT Service Desk for Minnesota State colleges and universities users can be accessed at the IT Service Desk customer portal (i.e. https://servicedesk.mnscu.edu).  Faculty, staff and students can access the site by logging in with their StarID credentials.

Accessing the Service Desk

After logging in to the customer portal, please use "For Student" or "For Faculty" link under the Service Catalog to submit your D2L Brightspace question. If immediate assistance is required, the IT Service Desk phone number is listed on the login page. Users will be given a request/incident number when they call the support line. This incident number is automatically created when they submit a question and is included in the ticket confirmation email.

Service Desk Staff: The IT Service Desk staff provide email and phone technical support to students and faculty using D2L Brightspace.


The IT Service Desk is available during these hours:

  • Sunday: 1:30 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Monday - Thursday: 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday - Saturday: 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM
    Closed on all national holidays

Routine questions about using D2L Brightspace

For routine questions or problems about using D2L Brightspace, contact:

Escalation of D2L Brightspace Technical Issues

For escalation of D2L Brightspace technical questions or for MnSITE support, contact:

D2L Brightspace Contract and Academic Issues

For administration of the D2L Brightspace software license and academic issues within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, contact:

Institution websites

Map of Minnesota State Campuses

FAQs for faculty, students and campus site admins available at the Minnesota State D2L support knowledge base (i.e. https://d2l.custhelp.com).

Search through the knowledge articles consisting of hundreds of entries that answer the most frequently asked questions and reported issues about D2L Brightspace. The searchable FAQ's, which uses Oracle RightNow Technologies, provides users with on-demand support 24x7.

A variety of training is offered or coordinated by the System Office for D2L users, including faculty, trainers, campus site admins and other technical support staff. Training is provided in a variety of venues, including, but not limited to, printed documentation, on-demand recorded videos, webinars, and hands-on face-to-face workshops.

Version 10.1 Videos for Teachers

From Desire2Learn Community Site:
Content Overview*
User Progress Overview*

From Atomic Learning (free):
32 short videos
Content, User Progress, Discussions

From Minnesota State:
Content Tool Changes in D2L Version 10.1

User Progress and Discussion Tool Changes in D2L Version 10.1

Version 10.1 Videos for Students

Overview Videos

*These videos were developed by Desire2Learn and may include features and tools that are not part of MnSCU's D2L implementation.  For example, MnSCU does not have the ePortfolio component.

D2L Brightspace Reserved Maintenance Windows

These are reserved maintenance windows that may be used for D2L Brightspace software updates, or routine maintenance to the hardware and server software that support the D2L system. These reserved times will only be used if needed, and users will be notified in advance if the system will be offline and unavailable to users.  Monthly D2L Brightspace software updates typically do not require downtime.  See update schedule below for dates and software versions.

Days Dates Times Update Type
Tuesdays All Tuesdays 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. Routine Maintenance
Sundays All Sundays 5:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Routine Maintenance

Why Reserved Maintenance Windows Are Required

Throughout the year, downtimes are required to allow for maintenance and upgrades of the system hardware and software that support MnSCU's Instructional Management System (IMS) enterprise, as well as updates and maintenance releases to the IMS software, which is currently Desire2Learn (D2L). Based on broad-based input from people in the academic, administrative and technical areas of the MnSCU system, recommendations were made regarding the optimum times to schedule these downtimes.

We have pro-actively scheduled potential reserved windows for maintenance releases and version updates that may be available in the future. Pro-active planning keeps faculty and students informed of times that D2L may not be available. While a potential downtime for D2L software updates is scheduled once a month, we typically do not use more than three or four of these downtimes each year. Scheduling one potential downtime a month gives us more flexibility in taking maintenance releases and updates as they become available, thereby providing more timely fixes to software issues.

Planned Downtimes

There are two basic types of planned downtimes:

  • Routine maintenance and upgrades to hardware and server software that support D2L, and another for
  • Updates and maintenance releases for the D2L software.

Users will be notified in advance if a reserved maintenance window will be used. If no work is necessary during a particular period, the reserve window will not be used.

Unplanned Downtimes

Unforeseen emergencies or special circumstances (power outages or hardware failures, for example) that require downtime at other dates and times will be announced as necessary.
Since MnSCU's IMS/D2L Enterprise System is among others hosted at an off-site facility, occasionally, we may also experience downtimes related to the services at that site. Having an established downtime schedule for our own maintenance helps us to coordinate downtimes with our hosting data center, thereby enabling us to minimize the frequency and duration of any disruptions in service related to the IMS/D2L system.

D2L Brightspace Monthly Update Schedule 

Software updates for D2L Brightspace will be implemented on a monthly basis through September 27, 2016, typically on the second Tuesday of the month.

If downtime is required it will occur between 5:00 - 7:00 a.m., and users will be notified in advance. Typically no downtime is required for the monthly software updates.

Any changes to this schedule will be updated here and communicated to campuses.

Date Version
May 24, 2016 10.6.0
July 11, 2016 10.6.1
July 12, 2016 10.6.2
Sept 27, 2016 10.6.3

Our IMS provider, Desire2Learn, is based in Ontario, Canada. Desire2Learn hosts a free community website that is available to Desire2Learn clients, including faculty, administrators and technical support staff. Current documentation is available for using (faculty, trainers) and supporting (site administrators, tech support) D2L software.

Getting Started

Visit or login to the Desire2Learn Community.

The Community Site Features

  • Community Updates
  • Academy
  • Documentation
  • Future Directions
  • Share
  • Discussions

Join the Community

To enroll in the Desire2Learn Community click the Enrollment link (top right) on the Community login page or use the following link to the Enrollment page. Provide your name, institution and email address.

The community is available to instructors, administrators and other support staff (trainers, instructional designers, etc.), but not students). A Desire2Learn staff person will confirm your affiliation with a Minnesota State school and you will be provided with a username and password to access the community site.

Best of All It's Free!

Take advantage of the Community site for up-to-date information about Desire2Learn, and opportunities to connect with other D2L users world-wide.

A number of software applications can be used to build course materials that can be used in D2L Brightspace. Some examples include lodeStar and Respondus 4.0.  Software applications that are licensed for system-wide use are listed at the link below.

System-Wide Software Licenses: Information about current software available to Minnesota State schools is provided at System-Wide Academic and Technology Software Agreements/Contracts (i.e. http://www.its.mnscu.edu/contracts/index.html)

D2L has changed the terminology for some Brightspace tools and features.

  • These changes will take effect at all Minnesota State D2L Brightspace Production sites as of Saturday, August 6, 2016.
  • Minnesota State users will see these terminology changes in the learning environment and on D2L’s community site, including online documentation and help.
  • Students and faculty will be made aware of the changes through Minnesota State ITS Service Desk FAQs and Announcements (formerly News) at each school’s D2L Brightspace My Home page.
  • CSAs and CTs will also be informed via email messages to the listserv which we ask that you pass on to faculty, IMS Connect (SharePoint) announcements, and Faculty Resources (Sharepoint) announcements.
  • Beginning August 6, 2016, Minnesota State ITS Service Desk FAQs will be revised to reflect the terminology changes.
  • Messages and documentation that originate from the Minnesota State system office SSA team will begin using this new terminology as of August 6, 2016.
Current Terminology New Terminology as of August 6, 2016
News Announcements
Dropbox Assignments
Edit Course Course Admin
Pager Instant Messages
New (in Content tool) Upload/Create
Add Existing Activities (in Content tool) Existing Activities

For more details and screenshots of the changes, see these FAQs:

Students: FAQ 1703

Faculty: FAQ 1702

D2L will be updating its Brightspace documentation to reflect the terminology changes, and Minnesota State will implement the changes to be in synch with D2L’s documentation to help users make a smooth transition.  Minnesota State will implement the terminology changes in D2L Brightspace on August 6, 2016.

D2L’s Blog about the terminology changes is available at Lang-Term Changes: Option-In Updates

Minnesota State D2L issues

D2L current Known Issues document is available at IMS SharePoint site. Faculty, Campus Site Administrators and Campus Trainers can log in to the site and search for the term "Known Issues". (Note: use your StarID@mnscu.edu as username to log in when prompted to access the site.)  The Known Issues list is provided by D2L at each version release. The list is updated by the SSA team when new issues are discovered after a release.

Known issues from other organizations

These are known issues from other schools and organizations that use D2L. Please note that these issues may be related to other versions and maintenance releases, and do not necessarily apply to the current version used by Minnesota State.

University of Wisconsin Known Issues

Minnesota State's D2L Brightspace Learning Environment (LE) is version 10.6.3 as of September 27, 2016.

What's New?