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Building Your Course

Managing Users

At times, a faculty member may desire to have a guest expert access a Blackboard course to participate in discussion or to share resources. TAs may also be added to a course and afforded access to faculty member-level features of the course. In addition, faculty may want to view a course from a student's perspective and can request a pseudo-student account to be added to the Blackboard course.

User Roles

A Blackboard user is anyone using Blackboard, whether she/he is teaching staff, students, or administrative staff. There are six types of users:

  • Student: Enrolled students have access to all areas in the course that contain content and assessments. Students are automatically added to the Blackboard course within 1 business day of registering for the course. Students cannot access any areas of the Control Panel.
  • Instructor: The Instructor role has access to all areas of the Control Panel and is generally given to the person developing, teaching or facilitating the course. Those with the Instructor role can access a course that is unavailable to Students.
  • Teaching Assistant: Teaching assistants have access to most features of the Control Panel. This includes the ability to develop test questions, verify grades, manage users, and many others. Teaching Assistants may access a course that is unavailable to Students and may not remove the instructor from the course. Teaching Assistants must be added manually by someone with the role of Instructor.
  • Grader: The Grader role is used for an individual who assists in the grading of assessments. The role of a grader is assigned by the course instructor.
  • Course Builder: Course builders have access to all course functions except the Grade Center. The role of a course builder is assigned by the course instructor.
  • Guest: Guests may enter the course and browse all components. Use the guest feature when guest speakers, visitors, or other faculty members want to view the online classroom environment.

Enrolling and Removing Users

Once a faculty member requests a scheduled section, registered students will automatically be added to Blackboard courses; updates to the roster will appear daily and will be synchronized with Records and Registration data.

Screenshot highlighting how to access the user enrollment and removal utilities

Users should only be manually enrolled if they are not registered students in the course, like a teaching assistant, another faculty member, or an interpreter. To enroll users manually:

  1. In the Control Panel under Users and Groups, click Users
  2. Click the Find Users to Enroll button
  3. If the user's Account ID is known, type it in the Username box, select a role from the dropdown menu, and click the Submit button
  4. If the user's Account ID is not known, click the Browse button to search for the user by name
  5. Select Last Name in the dropdown box, enter the user's last name and click Go (you can also search by Username, First Name, or Email)
  6. Place a check mark next to the correct user
  7. Click the Submit button
  8. Choose the appropriate role from the dropdown menu
  9. Click the Submit button

Guest and Observer Access

The role of a Guest can be added by course faculty members to allow a user to have limited access to course materials. Guest users can only see the areas faculty members allow them to see, and certain secure content, such as the Grade Center, can never be accessed by guest users.

Guests: Guests are defined as users in a course who do not directly participate in its activities. Faculty can allow or disallow Guests access to courses by default.

Observers: Observers are defined as users in a course who do not directly participate in its activities, but who follow the actions of one or more student users enrolled in the course.

Screenshot highlighting how to access the guest and observer tool


Last updated: 08/29/2011