Managing Dates: Make your Course Pulse Friendly

Setting start and end dates, as well as due dates in your course is a great way to communicate with your students. Taking time to set dates will also make your course Pulse friendly.

Best practice for online courses is to create redundancy by placing the due dates within the course schedule, content and course activities. We recommend going one step further and also setting due dates, and start/end dates, when applicable, for content so they appear within the Calendar tool and Pulse app.

Brightspace Pulse

Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app built for students. It helps students find out what’s new and what’s next. It helps students keep track of important updates: announcements, deadlines, grades are all in one place so they can spend less time organizing and more time learning aka it helps with time management.

Learn more about Pulse including how to download it.

Where Pulse Gets Information

Pulse is driven from Due Dates and Start/End Dates in Announcements, Assignments, Calendar, Content, Discussions and Quizzes, as well as posted grades from your course in TCU Online.

By ensuring the course assignments are available in Pulse, students can make better decisions about handling their workload, submit assignments, and prepare for tests. It helps with stress and time management.

The secret to making your course pulse friendly is setting up dates, specifically due dates.

Tell your students about Brightspace Pulse

The app should be mentioned to your students. We recommend:


Assignments  |  Announcements  |  Calendar  |  Discussions  |
Quizzes  |  Content | Grades  |  Manage Dates Tool


Below are the steps to manage dates for each tool.


Be sure to include instructions and a due date for all Assignment Submission Folders.

    1. Select Activities from the nav bar, then Assignments.
    2. Select the context menu (little arrow to the right of your assignment title) for an assignment, then select Edit Submission Folder
    3. Within the Properties tab, ensure that the instructions field is populated with Assignment instructions and guidelines. This is the prompt your students will follow to complete their assignment.
    4. Click the Restrictions tab.
    5. Under Availability:
      1. Set the Start Date, Due Date, and End Date availability for this assignment.
      2. At minimum, establish the Due Date so the activity will appear on the Brightspace Pulse. You can also set Start Date and End Date.
        • Due Date: Date and time by which students are expected to have completed the activity.
        • Start Date: Date and time the activity becomes available to students.
        • End Date: Date and time that access to the activity is revoked.
    6. Click Save and Close.



Real-time alerts update students about announcements and grades so you can tell them when classes are cancelled, rooms moved or new grades are available.

  1. Go to Other Tools>Announcements.
  2. Add a headline.
  3. Add content for your announcement.
  4. Set the start and end date/time.
  5. Save and close.



If you have events that you would like to add to the calendar that are not tied to content, you can create these within the Calendar tool.

    1. Go to the calendar tool.
    2. Your previously set due dates and start/end dates will display. You can check these dates from the calendar, or add new custom events not tied to content or activities, such as “Review Session.”
    3. Use Offset dates in the calendar events to shift events to a new date/time.



Students can use Pulse to take part in discussions, including short messages, photos and videos.

    1. Select Activities from the nav bar, then Discussions.
    2. Click the context menu (little arrow to the right of your discussion topic title)for the topic that you want to edit and select Edit Topic.
    3. Within the Properties tab, add a Description (this is your discussion prompt) for the discussion topic.
    4. Scroll down to the Topic Availability section.
      1. Set Availability and Locking preferences: End dates must be established to appear in pulse.
        • Availability will set the dates the topic is visible to the students. We recommend not setting visibility dates since students will not be able to go back and view the discussion at a later date.
        • Locking will set the dates students can interact with the topic (responding/posting).
      2. Click Display in Calendar to add the discussion topic to the Course Calendar.
    5. When you are ready, click Save and Close. Note: If students open the discussion in their smartphone browser, they can respond to the Discussion and include images or video from their mobile device



Students can submit or take quizzes from their mobile devices.

    1. Select Activities from the nav bar, then Quizzes.
    2. Click the context menu (little arrow to the right of your quiz title) for the quiz you want to edit and select Edit.
    3. Add a description of the quiz, and  toggle the Description to on.
    4. Click the Restrictions tab – End and Due dates should be set for Pulse.
      1. Set Start Date and End Dates to control when students take the quiz.
      2. Set Due Date.
      3. Click Display In Calendar to add the quiz to your Course Calendar.
    5. When you are ready, click Save and Close.



Students can use Brightspace Pulse to check their courses to see readings, assignments, and quizzes. Setting dates in your content can help ensure students are on track.

They can get alerts for Content changes and due dates. The Due Date has to be set for content to show up in Pulse. Setting Start/End dates will control if a student can access the content prior to or after the dates.

The steps below are to set Due Dates and Start/End Dates from Content topics and Modules. Refer to the Manage Dates section if you wish to learn how to look at the entire course dates.

  1. Select Content from the nav bar.
  2. Click Bulk Edit to update the date availability for your course content items.
    • Edit individual items: To make updates to the content item itself
    • Bulk edit items: To edit the date availability for multiple content items
  3. Click Add Dates and Restrictions. You can add a Start Date, Due Date, and End Date for the content topics Note: At a minimum, the Due Date must be established so the content (individual topics and modules) will appear in Brightspace Pulse
    1. Click Add Start Date and set the date and time that you want the content to become available to your students.
    2. Set a Due Date and an End Date.
      • Students’ access to content is revoked on the End Date
      • Set the End Date for the last day of the course so it remains available to your students
  4. When you are ready, click Update.
  5. Repeat this process to set the date availability for the other content items in your course.
  6. When you have finished setting the date availability for your content items, click Done Editing.

Updates to Content

Instructors have the opportunity to notify students when content has been updated. To do this, instructors should check the box for “Notify students that the content has changed” before clicking Update.



Students will receive a notification that a grade is available once posted. They can slide to reveal the grade when they are ready to see it.


Manage Dates Tool

The Manage Dates tool enables you to view a list of objects (Content topics and modules, Discussion topics and forums, Assignment Folders, Grade categories and items, Announcements, manual Calendar events not tied to existing activities or content topics, Checklists, Surveys, Quizzes) in your course and edit their date availability values. Use the filter options to narrow down your list of items by tool, date range, duration, and Calendar status settings.

Instructors can manage all course dates from a single location. Manage Dates display activities in the order in which an instructor would see them in their respective tools.  The course start date and end date appears at the top of the Manage Dates page and acts as a reference for instructors when operating on the dates of the various activities.

These course objects display in a grid that you can sort by any of the column headings. You can also filter the grid by specific tool and use advanced filter options to work with smaller sets of objects. If you filter your course objects, any bulk changes you make apply only to the filtered results. This enables you to update multiple availability dates based on specific criteria.

In addition to managing dates, you can open each course object in a new window by clicking on its name. This launches the object’s edit page where you can edit additional properties for that object without leaving the Manage Dates tool.

Some tools have additional features visible in the Manage Dates tool making this a robust one-stop shop for editing dates:

  • Quiz submission view names and dates
  • Quiz report names and dates
  • Discussion Topic unlock dates
  • Discussion Forum unlock dates
  1. Select Course Admin from the nav bar.
    course admin
  2. Select Mange Dates.
    Manage Dates
  3. You can edit dates for individual course objects or multiple objects. While editing dates, you can also display course object availability in the Calendar tool.
    Select All Dates

    • To edit an individual course object:
      1. Select the object that you would like edit, then click Edit Dates. Next, set or clear the start and end date. Then choose whether the object displays in the Calendar tool.
      2. Click Save.
    • You can edit dates for multiple course objects:
      1. To edit multiple course objects, select the check boxes beside the objects you want to edit dates for and click Edit Dates from the top of the grid.
      2. Next, set or remove the start and end dates. Then choose whether to add the objects the Calendar tool.
      3. Click Save

Remove start or end dates

To remove an object’s start or end date, click the red X.

Offsetting Dates

Manage Dates enables you to move start dates and end dates forward or backward by a specified number of days. You can use this to move course content forward to a new term.

To offset dates, you have two options:

  • In the context menu for the object you want to edit dates for, click Offset Dates.
  • Select the check boxes beside the objects you want to offset dates for and click Offset Dates from the top of the grid.

Next, specify which dates you want to offset.

To specify whether you want to offset the dates forward or backward, use the Days drop-down list and enter the number of days you want to offset those days by.


Choose Calculated based on two dates to quickly generate the number of days between two relative dates.

Click Save.

TCU-specific Documentation Tags

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