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Allowing Observers to View Student Progress and Course Materials

Blackboard provides an Observer role which can be used so that academic counselors can monitor the performance of their students. Observers have the potential to view the grades of the students they are observing as well as course materials from the courses their students are enrolled in.

However, Observer access to student grades and course material is ultimately controlled by individual instructors. By default, Observers are not allowed access to any of these features for a given course until they are enabled by the instructor.

Follow the instructions below to enable or disable access to student grades and course information.

Enabling Observer Access to a Course

Before an Observer can even see that a student is enrolled in a course, the faculty member must enable Observer access.

Steps for Enabling or Disabling Observer Access to a Course

  1. Navigate to the course in which Observer access is to be enabled or disabled
  2. From the Control Panel, click Customization
  3. Click Guest and Observer Access
    In the Blackboard Control Panel click Customization then Guest and Observer Access
  4. Under Allow Observer Access, choose the appropriate option and click the Submit button
    Select Yes to Allow Observers and click Submit

Permitting Observers to View Course Materials and Tools

For Observers to be able to view course materials, the faculty member must first enable Observer access and then permit access to each Content Area or tool on the Course Menu they want Observers to be able to view. Refer to the previous section for directions on how to enable Observer access. Note that some tools cannot be enabled for Observers because they are disabled by the Blackboard Administrators.

    1. Navigate to the course in which Observer access to course materials is to be permitted
    2. From the course menu on the left, there are several folders which hold course content. When the mouse pointer hovers over these items, a round drop down arrow appears next to the folder. Click the round drop-down arrow next to the folder that is to be made available to Observers and select Permit Observers
In the course menu click the drop down arrow next to a content area or tool and then select Permit Observers from the menu

If a faculty member wants to deny Observers the ability to view certain course content or tools, follow the same steps as above but select Deny Observers after clicking the round drop down arrow.

Note: Giving an Observer access to My Grades only allows the Observer to view the grades of the student(s) that he or she is assigned to observe.

Last updated: 6/6/2017