New Course Request Process in 2020

Academic technology sharing cartooon

What Will Change?

To save you time and support student success, all D2L Brightspace courses will be automatically-created beginning Spring 2020. For each course listing in our official university records, an invididual D2L Brightspace course will be created. The benefits of this include:

  • Save time: No more remembering, saving the date, requesting and then waiting for courses to show up.
  • Support student success: Courses are available up to two months prior to semester start for plenty of prep time.
  • No waiting for access: New hires, teacher's assistants, and adjunct faculty have quickest access possible to their courses once listed as Teacher of Record.
  • Same process to merge/group courses: Do you prefer to merge/group your courses? Follow the same process as you always have to request this.

Frequently Asked Questions about New D2L Brightspace Course Request Process in 2020

Learn answers to your most frequently asked questions about the new course request process.

Here are the things you can expect:

  • Any course listed in our registration system will be automatically added to D2L Brightspace as an individual course.
  • If you are listed as the Teacher of Record in any course in the registration system, that course will appear in your account.

Pin your current semester courses here for quick access.

Inactivate courses you do not use to hide unused courses from students.

This video has a quick overview of how to complete these steps:

There are two ways courses can be created in D2L Brightspace:
  • Courses are automatically added as individual courses
  • You can request to merge/group/consolidate multiple courses  into one course.

You teach three sections of BIOL 105. The three sections will automatically be added individually to D2L Brightspace. Three sections, three D2L Brightspace courses.

When you request it, those three sections are grouped together in one D2L Brightspace course. Three courses, one D2L Brightspace course.

  • You cannot have both individual and grouped courses for the same sections. You can choose one or the other option.
  • Merge/group requests should be completed before content or student submissions are added to a course.
Why group courses?
  • Grouping sections together will save you the time of duplicating content in sections that use the same materials.
  • Grouping courses helps you communicate efficiently to all students taking different sections of a course.
  • Grouping courses is also useful when you teach a 400/500 course to facilitate sharing materials and communication.
How will I know what students are in what Section?

D2L Brightspace will automatically create Sections for you within the course for easy viewing and sharing of content with specific sections.

Note on Classlist and Sections: Students and Teacher's Assistants will only be able to see other students in the Classlist from their own respective Section in grouped classes.

You can also set Discussions so only people in the same Section can see each others' threads.

Note on Grades and Sections: Once you group courses/sections together, all students will be placed into one gradebook and be graded on the same criteria, unless you use the Exempt feature in the grade item menu.

This allows you to "exempt" chosen students from a grade item and removes it from their grade calculation. You have the option to filter your students by section for easier grade entry and easier selection of "Exempt" grade item status.


There is no change to Merged/Grouped Course Requests, request your grouped courses as you always have!

How to request merged/grouped courses



  • Request to group courses should be done before content or student submissions are added to a course.
  • Intially you will see all of your individual courses in your account appear automatically.
  • After you request your merged or grouped courses, it will take 1-2 days before that change will be reflected in your account.


Student experience with the automatic course request experience will remain mostly unchanged. As previously:

  • Students will see any course they are registered in.
  • Student records will begin enrolling in courses 55 days prior to semester start date.
  • It will take up to 1 day from the time students register to when they will see the course in their account.
  • Student course access will default to the beginning and end of the semester dates.

Not using your D2L Brightspace course? Faculty can make  course(s) inactive - this will hide the course from Students and prevent access.

The "Unassigned Staff" user is an auto-generated placeholder account, an empty/null user that no one has access to.

What causes this issue? How do I get rid of the Unassigned Staff user?

Who is this Unassigned Staff user?

The "Unassigned Staff" user is an auto-generated placeholder account:

  • Created when a record in the registration system has a placeholder of "Unassigned Staff" in the Teacher of Record entry.
  • This is an empty/null account, no one can login to any "Unassigned Staff" account.

What causes this issue?

The issue is that D2L does not receive an "unenrollment" prompt for placeholder "Unassigned Staff" teacher of record due to a procedure issue with changing the teacher of record assignments in ISRS. This prompts D2L to enroll both the Unassigned Staff and the true teacher of record into the course.

How do I get rid of the Unassigned Staff user?

The permanent fix is on the registration system end:

  • Speak to your Department chair about updating the ISRS record.
  • Unassigned Staff user must be deleted from the affected course in the registration system.
  • Deleting means re-adding Unassigned Staff to the course as a teacher of record and then deleting the user permanently from the record.
  • This will prompt D2L to unenroll the "Unassigned Staff" null/empty user from the course.

If you would like to opt out of using D2L Brightspace, you can make your courses inactive with five quick clicks. This lablels the course as "Inactive," hides the course from Students, and restricts Student access.

Make your course inactive


You can also request inactivation of your courses by IT Solutions using the same tool you use for grouped/merged courses. You can use these instructions to help you request inactivation.