Activate a Brightspace course

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About this article

This article includes instructions for activating Brightspace courses. It is intended for instructors.


Because so many instructors use Brightspace, WSU creates an empty Brightspace course shell for every section of every course offered each semester and classlists are loaded automatically. These course shells are set as inactive by default and instructors can choose to activate them if needed. An inactive Brightspace course is visible to the instructor, but not to registered students. Once activated, the course is visible to students and they can access it as long as the course start date and time have elapsed.

When Should Instructors Activate Their Brightspace Courses?

Begin by finding the course to activate in the My Courses widget. (for information on how to pin your courses in the My Courses widget, refer to the My Courses widget article.) A course image that is grayed out and stamped as (Inactive) indicates that the course is inactive and cannot be seen by students. When students login to D2L, they will only see the courses that instructors have activated.

Students: If you do not see a particular course listed in D2L, it could be because your instructor has decided not to use D2L for that course. It could also be that your instructor has not yet activated the D2L course. Your instructors will inform you whether they will be using D2L.

Steps for Activating a D2L Class

Course activation.png

To activate a course, instructors should:

  1. Log in to Desire2Learn
  2. Locate your course in the My Courses search and pin it to your home page (for more information, see My Courses widget.)
  3. Return to the home page by clicking the house icon in the top left of the window
  4. Roll over the grayed image for the class and a small box with three dots will appear in the top left, select the Course Offering Information link
  5. Select the "Course is active" check-box, placing a check in the box
  6. Examine the start and end dates. Adjust if necessary.
  7. Select the Save button

Note: Even if a course is set to active, the Start Date can still prevent students from seeing the course if the start date is in the future.