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 instructors in their Brightspace course list, but are not visible to registered students. Once activated, the course is visible to students in their Brightspace course list and they can access the course as long as the course start date has elapsed.

When Should Brightspace Courses Be Activated?

Instructors activate their courses manually at their discretion. Generally, instructors wait to activate courses until after they have prepared them for student use by adding content and activities. Note that courses can be activated ahead of their start dates. This allows registered students to see the course on their course list, while still preventing them from accessing the course until the start date has elapsed. This practice may reduce the number of student questions regarding the status of the Brightspace course.

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.

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