Accessing Bridges

Login to Bridges

To access Bridges visit our secure login page at http://bridges.rwu.edu using one of the following web browsers:

  • Windows: Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
  • Macintosh: Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
  • Other platforms: Mozilla Firefox

Logging In

To log into Bridges, enter your RWU username and password into the corresponding fields in the upper right hand corner. Click the Login button. If you don't remember your password please go to http://smop.rwu.edu.  If you need further assistance with your password, please call the Media•Tech Desk at 401 254.6363 or by email mediatech@rwu.edu.

Faculty/Staff Username is typically your fist initial and last name.  Example:  John Smith > jsmith

Faculty/Staff Password is your RWU e-mail Password.  Note that faculty/staff passwords expire every 180 days.

Student Username is your first initial last name and three digits - for example John Doe's username could be jdoe235.

Student Password is your default password for most systems which is the first initial of your first name, the first initial of your last name (both lowercase), the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number and capital RWU. So if John Doe's Social Security Number ends in 2345  his password would be jd2345RWU. Note that student passwords expire every 180 days.

Logging Out

To log out of Bridges, click the Logout link that is displayed in the upper right hand corner of each page.

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Semester Checklist

Publishing a Course

All Bridges course sites are created Unpublished (i.e. not available to your students). This means that although instructors will be able to access the courses and rosters will be updated, students will not be able to enter or access them. This change is to allow faculty time to work on their courses before students explore them. Once a course is ready for student access, faculty can simply click on the new Publish Now button in the top left corner of the course home page to make it available (see screenshot below).

The goal at RWU is to have all distance courses published a week before the start of the semester and all other courses published by the first day of the term. The Provost has also asked that all instructors include an electronic copy of their syllabus within their Bridges courses when the courses are published.

  Re-Organizing Quick Links

Watch the video demonstration (2:07 minutes)

When new semester courses are added to your Bridges account they are often appended to your existing list. This means that you won't be able to see your new courses unless you click on your My Sites tab and scroll down to the appropriate term or new semester. To make your new courses visible as white Quick Links that display along the top of your account under the Bridges logo you would:  

  1. Log in to Bridges
  2. Click on the Preferences link from the menu on the left (you’ll be on the My Workspace tab)
  3. Using Drag and Drop feature.
  4. Click on the Update Preferences button to save your changes.
  5. Your browser screen will refresh automatically.

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Importing Course Materials from a Previous Semester

Watch the video demonstration (5:30 minutes )

  1. Log in to your new semester course
  2. Click on Site Info from the menu on the left
  3. Click on Import from Site from the menu across the top
  4. If you have nothing in your new course yet - choose I would like to replace my data. This will pull in all the content from your previous semester including your Gradebook settings.
    Note:  If you have already started to work on your course and have content in it, choose the I would like to merge my data instead. This will assure that you won't overwrite anything in the new course
  5. Click next to your previous semester course to select it from the list
  6. Click on Continue
  7. Click next to the boxes for each of the tools that contain content that you want copied over
  8. Click on Finish

Give the system some time to move all the content (about 5-10 minutes depending on how much content you are copying) and then click on your Home link from the menu on the left in the course. Click on a tool like Resources, Assignments or Tests & Quizzes and you should see your content in the course.

Note: for dated content like Assignments and Tests & Quizzes, the copy will come over in Draft mode with the understanding that you’ll have to go in and put in the new dates and times for the new semester before publishing the final version.

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Modifying Email Archive Address

Watch the video demo (3:31 minutes)

When a course is created on the Bridges server it is assigned a numeric address by the system so that it is easily retrieved. When Email Archive is configured in each course, it automatically adopts that long numeric address in order to identify the correct course and associated roster when mail is sent. Although this addressing system works well for computers, it doesn’t work well for humans who need to copy/remember the address for use in their own e-mail programs.

Faculty do have the option to change the address into a format that is much easier to remember and transfer into their e-mail account (like Outlook). The one important thing to remember when you rename your e-mail address is that this address has to be unique. With this in mind we advise faculty to use both the course ID and the current term as the unique address. To rename your Email Archive to a more understandable address:

  1. Log in to your new course on Bridges
  2. Click on the Email Archive link from the menu on the left
  3. Click on  Options from the menu along the top
  4. Scroll to the bottom and type in the desired address in the box next to Site Email Address – we are advising faculty to use the course ID and term as an easy way to remember the address. For example for a WTNG.102.01-15/SP your would type:  wtng102_01_15sp (don't use spaces, periods, or special characters in your address!)
  5. Click on the Update Options button
  6. Repeat this process for each new course

Now, you’re set for the semester and the new address (in the example above wtng102_01_15sp@bridges.rwu.edu) can be used in any new Outlook message to send e-mail to your entire course roster without even logging in to Bridges.

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Updating Your Syllabus
To update your syllabus for the semester you would first make your modifications to the original document in MS Word (or whatever program you used to create it). Note:  If you can't find the original you can also go into a previous course or My Workspace Resources folder, right-click on the syllabus file and choose Save Target As or Download to copy it to your local computer to work on.

Once you've made your changes (and converted it to a pdf if you'd like) you would:

  1. Log into either your My Workspace Resources folder for your course (if you've created one) or your course Resources folder (whichever one contains your syllabus file)
  2. Click on the Actions arrow to the right of the file
  3. Choose Upload New Version
  4. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the modified syllabus file on your own computer
  5. Click on the Upload New Version Now button
  6. Now anywhere this file is linked will display your modified syllabus

Adding A Syllabus

There are multiple ways to attach a syllabus to your course including adding a Word or Adobe Acrobat file as an attachment. You can also copy/paste content from a Word document into the syllabus editor. Both options are included below:

Watch the video demonstration (5:38 minutes)

Adding a Syllabus Attachment

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Syllabus link from the course menu on the left
  3. Click Add Item
  4. Type in a title for your syllabus - for example: Spring 2016 Syllabus
  5. Click the Add attachments button to browse for your file
  6. To select the file from your computer, click the Choose File button. If the file is already in your course Resources folder, you may attach it by clicking on Attach a copy
  7. The filename will be displayed. Click on Continue
  8. Note: It is not necessary to fill in the Start and End Date
  9. You will be returned to the main Syllabus screen and your attachment should now be visible to you and your students

Copy and Paste from a Document into an Online Syllabus
If you would prefer to copy and paste text into the online syllabus instead of adding it as an attachment: 

  1. If you already have your syllabus typed up, open your MS Word program and open your syllabus document
  2. Copy the text you wish to add to the course syllabus
  3. Log in to your course
  4. Click on the Syllabus link from the course menu on the left
  5. Click Add Item
  6. Type in a title for your syllabus - for example: Spring 2016 Syllabus
  7. Click on the red add body text to open the rich text editor
  8. Click on the Paste from Word icon on the menu (looks like a small blue clipboard with a W)
  9. Paste the text into the Paste from Word window
  10. Note: It is not necessary to fill in the Start and End Dates
  11. Click on Ok
  12. The syllabus text should now display. This text can be edited at any point.

Modifying a Course Menu

Watch the video (6:48 minutes)

Often students complain that there are too many empty buttons on a course menu. If there is nothing attached to a button it can be confusing to a student who isn't sure what they should be seeing. Each of the courses is created using a course menu with links to the basic tools available in Bridges. However if you don't want some of the tools you can remove them from the menu. This only takes minutes and allows you to create and more meaningful set of choices for your students. To remove tools from a course menu:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on Site Info from the course menu on the left
  3. Click on Page Order from the top menu
  4. To remove a tool just click on the red X to the right of the tool
  5. Click on Save

The tool should now be removed from the menu. 

Note that you can also re-organize the tools on the menu in Page Order by simply clicking on a tool and dragging it into a new position.

If you have any questions about any of these tasks or need assistance, please feel free to contact the Instructional Design team at id@rwu.edu or by calling 401 254.3187.