Course Life Cycle for Instructors

The Course Life Cycle entails the stages a Brightspace Course Offering goes through. The stages control which roles can access the course. 

This article will cover:

The different stages

The default stages are:

  1. Future Course: course is active, the start date is set in the future.
    • In this stage the course is being prepared for education. The course is inaccessable for students, but instructors can access the course.
  2. Open Course: course is active and the start date has passed. 
    • In this stage education takes place, both instructors and students can access the course.
  3. Past Course: course is active, but the end date has passed. 
    • In this stage the education has stopped. The course is inaccessable for students, but instructors can access the course.
  4. Inactive Course: course is set to inactive by your faculty.
    • In this stage the course is also no longer visible nor accessable for instructors. 
    • Only Faculty Admins or Central Admins can access the course. 

Please note that at this time no courses will be set to inactive by default. In the future courses will be set to inactive for archiving purposes, however the process is still being developed.

In case you are missing a course in your overview, that you were able to see and access before, please contact the Brightspace support team.

How can I differentiate the course stages?

Users with a(n) Instructor / Assistant Instructor / Grader / Course Builder / Tutor / Staff Observer / Staff Observer Light role in a course can only access future, open and past courses.


  1. Future Courses: Will have a start date, a course name and a course code.
  2. Open Courses: Will only have a course name and course code
  3. Unpinned Past Courses: Are "hidden" under View All Courses.
    • Click to go to the next screen

Past courses will have a closed label.

Please see here the different stages from a student's perspective.

How can I open and/or close a course for students?

Please note that only users with an Instructor or Course Builder role in a course can set the start and end date.

  1. Go to a Course
  2. Go to Course Admin > Course Offering Information
  3. Scroll down.
  1. Adjust the Start Date
    • Make sure the box Course has start date is selected and enter a start date and time. Students can access the course after the start date has passed.
    • Deselect the box to immediately open the course for students
  2. Adjust the End Date
    • Keep the box deselected in case students still need to access the course.
    • Make sure the box Course has end date is selected and enter an end date and time. Students can no longer access the course after the end date has passed.

Why is there already an end date set for my course?

By process the default end date of your course will be set to 30 September of the following academic year. e.g. In case your course took place in Semester 1 of the academic year 2019-2020, the end date will be set to 30 September 2020. 

However, you as an instructor can bring the end date forward, in case you want to close the course earlier than 30 September. Moreover, if the education for that specific course has not stopped by 30 September, you can set the end date to a later time. 

Please note, that faculty guidelines may apply. They can overrule your set end date. In case you have any questions on this matter, please contact your Faculty's ICTO team.