Looking for more information about the student preview feature? Go to the student preview overview page

Student Preview

  • Date Released: April 30, 2014
  • Minimum Learn Version: Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014


With the student preview feature, instructors can see their courses and interact with them exactly how students do. An instructor is allowed to easily transition into and out of a system-managed preview account that is automatically enrolled in the course as a student.

Default State


Disabling or Removing

  • Student preview can be disabled and removed from the Building Blocks page.
  • Instructors cannot disable student preview at the course level.
  • If disabled, instructors cannot access student preview in their courses.
  • If disabled or uninstalled and preview users already exist in the system, the preview users will remain. They can be unenrolled from courses and/or deleted from the system manually.
  • Removing a preview student removes the associated data everywhere except discussion posts. After removal, any posts submitted by a preview account become anonymous. Real students' data can be lost if they interacted with the preview student.

Known Issues

When an instructor enters student preview mode, the instructor's subsequent activity during the same session - even after exiting student preview mode - will not be recorded. This affects some of the measures in the pre-built reports in Learn, such as the Course Overview section of the Course Activity Overview report.

This issue is limited to instructor activity, it will not have any impact on student activity measures, such as the Student Overview section of the Course Activity Overview report.

Analytics for Learn will not receive instructor activity data that occurs after a user switches into student preview mode, and up until their session expires. Student activity data is not impacted.

The issue will be resolved in an upcoming maintenance release, and the release notes will be updated once the fix is available.


When an instructor selects student preview, the system generates a user account with student privileges that is automatically enrolled in the course. The instructor is now using the student account in that course only. Instructors must exit the student preview to return to using their instructor accounts in their courses.

To learn more, see Roles and Privileges.


Student preview requires installing the April release, Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014.