Guest and Observer Access

On this page

    This information applies only to the Original Course View. Your institution controls which tools are available.

    If allowed, you can control whether or not the guest and observer roles have access to your course. You also have control over the content they can see. Your institution must create the accounts and associate observers with students.

    Guests in a course can include guest lecturers, potential students, or other users who aren't directly participating in your course.

    Observers are typically assigned to follow specific users in Blackboard Learn without interacting with the system. Observers can view your course and track student progress. Also, from your course, you can send email alerts to observers as needed.

    After they log in, observers access information about their associated students on the Observer Dashboard accessed on the My Institution tab in the Tools panel.


    Allow guest and observer access

    1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
    2. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Guest and Observer Access.
    3. On the Guest and Observer Access page, select Yes for Allow Guests and Allow Observers.

    Customize guest and observer access

    After you allow guest and observer access in your course, you can determine which content they see in two ways:

    1. You control access to the individual features that your institution has allowed guests and observers to see.
    2. You choose which course menu items guests and observers can see.

    Your institution can allow or disallow guest and observer access to certain features of courses, such as content areas and tools.

    System settings override course settings when restricting access. If the system doesn't permit guest access to a tool, guests enrolled in your course can't be permitted access to the tool at the course level.

    Individual feature access

    You can give guest and observer access to individual features that aren't overridden at the system level. The features are visible (read-only), but not usable to guests and observers when they're permitted in your course.

    1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Tool Availability.
    2. On the Tool Availability page, you can select or clear check boxes to control guest and observer access. Tools with the Unavailable icon in a column don't have availability settings in the system that you can change.

    More on managing tool availability

    This table lists the tools that are either unavailable on the system level to both guests and observers, or only available to the observer role. Your institution can disallow availability for a specific tool in this list for the observer role.

    Unavailable Tools
    Tool Unavailable to Both the Guest and Observer Roles
    Tests Yes
    Blogs Yes
    Collaboration Yes
    Discussion Board Yes
    Email Unavailable to guest role
    Groups Yes
    Journals Yes
    Messages Yes
    My Grades Unavailable to guest role
    Roster Unavailable to guest role
    Rubrics Yes
    Tasks Unavailable to guest role

    Course menu access

    You need to choose which course menu items guests and observers can access. Guests and observers can't view most items on the course menu until you allow access. You can't allow guests and observers access to some items, such as discussions, blogs, and journals.

    Open the menu for an item to make a selection. After you allow access to an item, you can deny access in the same menu.