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This page provides information on site statuses and instructions on how to change them.

All course sites are inactive upon creation and must be manually activated. “Activating” makes a site visible to students and non-Instructor site members and is the action equivalent to “publishing” in other systems. An Instructor can also de-activate a site to hide past course material.

While a course shell will be created with its associated official timetable dates, those will not come into effect unless a site is activated. More specific options for control are available in Course Offering Information.


Table of Contents

Page Tree
rootCourse site setup

Active and Inactive sites

An Inactive site is unavailable to students and will not be accessible or visible to them in any way. Instructors and TAs always have access to both the active and inactive sites with which they have membership.

A newly-created (but inactive) site will have a yellow banner on its homepage to facilitate easy activation.


If the yellow banner is not present, then the site is active. Other site statuses will be communicated by a grey banner.

Find a Course Site

Navigate to a course site through the waffle icon at the top of any Brightspace page, or through the My Courses widget on the Brightspace homepage. Both will list all sites with which you have membership.

Homepage of Brightspace displayed with highlighted waffle icon at the top.
An example of what the My Courses widget looks like with four different course sites displayed.

Activating a course site

A tool to quickly activate a site is available on every homepage when a site is first created. Thisis not visible to those not in the instructor role and students (who, of course, have no access to a site at this point).

screenshot of the activation tool on a site's homepage

Click on Activate Now to give students access to the site.

Deactivating a course site

A tool to quickly deactivate a site will become available on a homepage when certain criteria related to course End Dates are met. Thisis not visible to students, although they will see a notice that a course site’s End Date has passed.

screenshot of the deactivation tool on a site's homepage

Click on Deactivate Now to deny students access to the site.

If the End Date criterion has not been met and deactivating a site is still desired, follow the instructions below to do so through Course Offering Information.

All site activation options within Course Offering Information

Further activation and access date options can be found in Course ToolsCourse AdminCourse Offering Information.

Check or uncheck the Active option to hide a site from students. This mirrors the functionality or the button from a site’s homepage.

Screenshot of site activation checkbox in Course Offering Information.

As of February 21, 2024, a site’s End Date no longer factors into student access.

Start Dates align with first day of the term or duration of the course per the official timetable. A Start Date’s presence does not mean that activation will be automatic--this must still be done manually.

End Dates align with the end of term and duration dates per the official timetable. Changing the End Date will impact when the homepage upcoming End Date warning message appears.

Screenshot of site activation date range in Course Offering Information.

Other site status messages

Upcoming End Date

A message will appear to instructors on a site’s homepage with 14 days until the scheduled End Date.

screenshot of the deactivation status note on a site's homepage

Fully Inactive Site

If a site’s End Date has passed and it was also rendered inactive by an instructor, a message will appear stating as such with a link to information about the LMS/Online Course Materials Retention Schedule

screenshot of the deactivation status note on a site's homepage

Considerations before Course Site activation

  1. Think about whether or not you are providing your students with everything they need to have a successful start to the course.

    1. Is there an announcement or overview to welcome students?

    2. Are instructions for site navigation provided?

    3. Are immediately necessary course materials (e.g. a syllabus) available? Can they be easily located?

    4. Is the purpose and structure of the course explained?

    5. Are relevant course tools visible?

  2. Are any site elements that you do not wish to immediately share hidden?

  3. Brightspace’s communication tools and notification system do not come into effect until a site is active.

Early activation or extending access

You may wish to activate your site early. This would let you:

  1. Make an announcement or send a message to students and/or have them respond in order to build community or gather information to help you prepare material.

  2. Offer students the opportunity to assess the course content prior to the first day of class, or at the very least get familiar with navigation.

Releasing your course to students early can stimulate questions and course engagement. Be prepared to respond to these inquiries.