Report on initial faculty access to semester course


Is there a recommended time for the creation of semester courses added for faculty access?
For instance, we currently allow faculty access to their courses 30 days prior to the semester start date. We did have it set at 90 days and this tended to cause major issues with course duplications and cross-listing due to constant changes in Colleague. Is there a report we can run to see how many professors actually open their courses before 30 days? I want to give ample time to prepare course content without creating havoc in the system. I do create sandboxes if asked so faculty can prepare. Any other suggestions would be greatly


  • Syed.H.393
    Syed.H.393 Posts: 36

    Hi @Kathleen.C.887

    Thank you for your question!

    To get information on when a user accessed a course, the Course Access dataset found in Datahub > Brightspace Data Sets (BDS) may help.  If you were after access via Pulse, then the Course Access Log BDS may help.

     Please check the below documentation for further details:

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks and Regards

  • brad.r.503
    brad.r.503 Posts: 35

    Balancing the need for faculty to have ample time to prepare their courses with the potential for system issues due to early access is indeed a challenge. Your current practice of providing access 30 days prior to the semester start date seems to be a good compromise. Here are some additional suggestions and considerations:

    1. Usage Analytics Reports:
      • If you want to understand faculty engagement with the course shells prior to the semester, you can utilize Brightspace's Data Platform (if your institution has access to it). The Data Platform can provide insights into user interaction with course content, including when instructors first access their course shells.
      • Look for reports or analytics around 'Course Access' or 'Login Activity'. These reports can show you how many and which instructors are accessing their courses before the 30-day mark.
    2. Faculty Survey:
      • Conduct a survey asking faculty about their preferences and needs regarding course preparation time. This feedback can be invaluable in deciding whether to adjust the course availability timeline.
    3. Communication and Training:
      • Ensure that faculty are aware of the timeline and the reasons for it. Clear communication can help set the right expectations.
      • Provide training sessions or resources on how to effectively use sandboxes for course preparation and how to transfer content to the actual course shell once it becomes available.
    4. Staggered Access Based on Needs:
      • Consider if a staggered approach might work. For instance, new faculty or those teaching a new course might need more time and could be given earlier access, while returning faculty teaching a course they've previously run might not need as much time.
    5. Monitoring System Issues:
      • Keep a close watch on the issues that early access might cause, such as course duplications and cross-listing problems. If these are significantly reduced with the 30-day window, it might justify keeping the current setup.
    6. Sandbox Courses:
      • Continue offering sandbox courses for faculty who want to start preparing earlier. This is a great practice as it allows faculty to build and experiment without affecting the actual course shell.
    7. Feedback Mechanism:
      • Implement a feedback mechanism post-semester start to gather insights from the faculty about the adequacy of the preparation time and any system issues they might have encountered.
    8. Policy Review and Adjustment:
      • Based on the data from reports and faculty feedback, regularly review and adjust the course creation policy. This ensures that the policy evolves in response to actual needs and system capabilities.

    By leveraging data, communicating clearly, and providing the right resources and support, you can strike a balance that minimizes system issues while still supporting faculty in their course preparation efforts.