Use roles and privileges to set what your users can and can't do.

Use the roles to group privileges into sets that can be assigned to user accounts. Every user associated with a role has all of the privileges included in the role. When a user account is assigned multiple roles, the user receives all of the privileges included in all of the roles.

Example: Jonathon is a student in Course A. He is also a teaching assistant in Course B. Even though as a student he should not have access to the Control Panel in the Original Course View, he needs the Control Panel in Course B. He has access to the Control Panel in Course B only.

Default roles

  • System Roles: Control the administrative privileges assigned to a user. System roles enable administrators to share administrative privileges and functions with other users in Blackboard Learn.
  • Course and Organization Roles: Control access to the content and tools within a course or organization. Each user is assigned a role for each course or organization in which they participate. For example, a user with a role of Teaching Assistant in one course can have a role of Student in another course. Instructors can use these roles to delegate some of the responsibility for maintaining the course.
  • Institution Roles: Control what users see when they log in. Institution roles also grant or deny access to Content Collection files and folders.


Blackboard Learn includes numerous administrator privileges that can be applied to different roles depending on your institution's needs. For your convenience, Blackboard has developed a comprehensive Administrator Privilege Descriptions spreadsheet that organizes these privileges and provides descriptions for them.

The spreadsheet is current as of Blackboard Learn SaaS continuous delivery release 3600.0.0. These privileges also apply to Ultra if the feature exists for the Ultra experience or course view.

The Privileges Descriptions spreadsheet illustrates what settings are turned on and off by default for each privilege. Some privileges are grouped together and must be assigned to a role as a single unit. These have been highlighted in the spreadsheet to make them easier to understand.

This spreadsheet can be a useful reference when you are designing your roles. For example, if you are copying a default system/course role to use as a basis for creating a custom role, this spreadsheet can help you see what settings are turned on and off by default and understand the purpose of each privilege. Refer to this spreadsheet when you create and copy system roles and manage privileges for course roles.

Privileges from Outcomes Assessments aren't included.

The spreadsheet outlines the default settings for these system roles:

  • Community Administrator
  • Course Administrator
  • Facilitator
  • Goal Performance Viewer
  • Goals Manager
  • Guest (Original experience only)
  • Learning Environment Administrator
  • None
  • Observer (Original experience only)
  • Assessment Admin
  • Assessment Manager
  • Rubric Manager
  • Support
  • Survey Author
  • System Administrator
  • System Support
  • User Administrator

The spreadsheet outlines the default settings for these course roles:

  • Course Builder
  • Facilitator
  • Grader
  • Guest (Original Course View only)
  • Instructor
  • Student
  • Teaching Assistant