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Beacon Guide

Author: Itai Smith, Connor Lafferty

What is Beacon?

Rather than using bCourses, we will be using our own custom learning management system called Beacon at You can use Beacon to keep track of your grades and late assignments, and you will also use it to establish partnerships.

Lab 1 will walk you through getting started with Beacon. This guide will detail the different tabs in Beacon and how to effectively use the system.

As we continuously work to improve Beacon, we will announce on Ed and update this guide when we introduce new features.

The Beacon Home Page

On the home page, you will see your name, your Berkeley email address, and Github username. You should make sure all the information is correct, otherwise some course functionalities will not work for you. If any of the information is incorrect, please make a private post on Ed asking us to fix these details for you.

Most importantly, verify that the email address you see on Beacon is the same email used in your Gradescope account. Some assignments and extra credit opportunities have you fill out Google forms, which record the email account you are logged in with. Whenever you fill such form, make sure you are logged in from the address on specified Beacon. If you change your Berkeley email address for whatever reason during the semester, please let us know. If there is a mismatch between your Beacon email and your Gradescope/Google form email, your grades may not be accurate, so please be aware of this.

The Grades Tab

Here you will see all the points you earned for the different assignments and extra credit opportunities. Remember that CS 61B is not curved, so by making conjectures about your performance in future assignments together with the data on this tab, you can check what letter grade corresponds to your total points. You can learn more about grading bins in our Course Info page..

The grades tab gets data periodically from Gradescope. Thus, it may not be immediately updated whenever you submit an assignment to Gradescope. You can expect the grades tab to update every 24 hours.

The Grades tab on Beacon is the final source of truth for your grades. If your grade on Beacon does not match what you see on Gradescope, please let us know.

The Groups Tab

For some projects, you will be working on the assignment with a partner. Your groups for these assignments will be displayed under the “Groups” tab. Use this tab to find your partner(s) and shared group repository.

The Extensions Tab

The extensions tab on Beacon is where you’ll request extensions. To view the extensions policy, go to the course info page. Additionally, visit our guide on requesting an extension here.