Requesting a D2L sandbox class

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About This Article

This article describes how to request a Brightspace sandbox class. This page is designed for instructor use.

About this article

This article describes applications for Brightspace sandbox courses and how to request one from TLT. It is intended for instructors and others members of the WSU community who are interested in using Brightspace for an instructional purpose that is not associated with an official academic course or term or simply to stage a course before it is offered officially to the student population.

What is a sandbox course?

While Brightspace course shells are created automatically every term for every section of every course being offered for academic credit, TLT can also create Brightspace course shells manually at any time for other purposes. Instead of associating them with a particular semester, these courses are assigned to special categories like "Sandbox" or "Professional Development." These sandbox course shells have all of the features and functions of academic course shells and can be used as long as needed. You can also have as many different sandbox courses as you need. Here are some popular applications:

  • Stage an upcoming academic course. Although academic course shells are available for preparation purposes months before the start of a given term, you may want to begin working on a course even sooner or you may want to work on a proposed course that's not on the books yet. Use a sandbox course as a staging area for an upcoming academic course. Take as much time as you need to build the course, perhaps working with colleagues from your own or other departments who can also be enrolled as teachers. Copy it over to your academic course shell when it's ready. Tweak the sandbox course as you gain more experience teaching the academic course.
  • Workbench for building learning activities. Sandbox courses are great places to develop new projects, rubrics, content, or just about anything in Brightspace without having to worry about experimenting in a live course. Again, invite your colleagues to collaborate.
  • Develop non-academic courses. Build courses and professional development opportunities for your department, your student workers, or other campus groups that are not limited to the duration of an academic term. When you are ready, TLT can help you enroll people or you can use the self-registration feature of D2L to allow people to enroll themselves.
  • Develop a shared department or course repository. Store and reuse learning materials and activities within your department or across the faculty who teach a particular course. Combine a sandbox course with a Brightspace Learning Object Repository to fully support resource sharing and reuse in Brightspace.

How do I get a sandbox course of my own?

To request a sandbox course, email Please include:

  • The title you would like assigned to the course
  • A brief description of how you will be using the course
  • A list of any other people who need access and at what level (e.g., teacher, student)
  • How soon you need it.

How do I add participants to my sandbox course?

If you are the person that requested the sandbox course, you will be enrolled in the course with Sandbox Teacher permissions. What makes Sandbox Teacher unique is that it begins with all of the permissions of the full Teacher role and then adds the ability to enroll and unenroll others in the course. It is important to note that this ability is only available in sandbox courses.

Adding participants

Once you receive notification that the course is ready to go and you have been enrolled as the Sandbox Teacher, you can get into the course and enroll whomever you feel is appropriate. Here are the steps in enrolling other participants:

  1. Enter the sandbox course, click on Communication in the navigation bar, and select Classlist from the pop-up menu.
  2. Click the blue Add Participants button.
  3. Select Add existing users from the pop-up menu.
  4. Enter a portion of the person's name or their Star ID in the search field and click the magnifying glass. See #4 below.
  5. Check the box in front of the person's name you wish to enroll and set the roll in the selection box. See 5a and 5b below.
  6. Click the Enroll Selected Users button at the bottom. See #6 below.


As a Sandbox Teacher, you are allowed to add participants in the following roles:

  • Student - Access content and personal grades, submit assignments or post discussions.
  • Teacher - Full access to course materials, grades, submissions.
  • Sandbox Teacher - Same as Teacher plus the ability to enroll and unenroll participants.
  • Teaching Assistant - Access to content, quiz setup, discussions. Cannot assess student work or see the content of the grade book.
  • Grading assistant - Can assess student work and enter grades in grade book but cannot access content.

Removing participants

  1. Enter the sandbox course, click on Communication in the navigation bar, and select Classlist from the pop-up menu.
  2. Check the boxes in front of the names of the people you wish to remove from the course.
  3. Click the Unenroll link directly above the list of names.
  4. Answer Yes in the pop-up dialog box.

Changing roles for current participants

  1. Enter the sandbox course, click on Communication in the navigation bar, and select Classlist from the pop-up menu.
  2. Check the boxes in front of the names of the people whose roles you wish to update.
  3. Click the Enrollment link directly above the list of names.
  4. Select the new role for each participant you are updating.
  5. Click Save.

What if I have more changes than I have time to do myself?

If for any reason you do not want to do the changes yourself, send the list of names with Star IDs and the desired changes to and we will take care of it.