At times, faculty 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-level features of the course.
A Blackboard user is anyone using Blackboard, whether she/he is teaching staff, students, or administrative staff. There are seven 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 Instructor role.
- Grader: The Grader role is used for an individual who assists in grading assessments. Graders can be 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.
- Observer (Original Course View only): Observers can monitor the performance of students assigned to them. Faculty members control whether Observers can access their course and what content and tools the Observer can view.
- Online Student Support: This role allows someone to check on student progress in order to support students who may not be actively participating in an online course. This role has access to view content and assessments but may not edit them. It can view the Performance Dashboard, Retention Center, and course reports in a course with the Original Course View. It cannot view or modify grades. This role will be added by default to courses supported by the NIU Online Student Support Team and can be manually enrolled in other coures by someone with the Instructor role.
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 data from Registration and Records.
Users should only be manually enrolled if they are not registered students in the course, such as a teaching assistant, another faculty member, or an interpreter. To enroll users manually:
- In the Control Panel under Users and Groups, click Users
- Click the Find Users to Enroll button
- If the user's Account ID is known, type it in the Username box
- If the user's Account ID is not known, click the Browse button to search for the user by name:
- 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)
- Place a check mark next to the correct user
- Click the Submit button. Their Account ID should now be filled in the Username box
- Choose the appropriate role from the dropdown menu
- 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.
Observers are users who are assigned to specific students and monitor their progress in courses. Observers are created and assigned to students by an Administrator. Faculty members control whether Observers can access their course and what content and tools the Observer can view.
Guests: Guests are defined as users in a course who do not directly participate in its activities. Faculty can allow or disallow Guest 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.
Last updated: 8/23/2019
- How can I add users and modify user status
- I would like to allow guests to see the main features
- I would like to provide temporary access to my course
- Can I secure parts of my course so they're not viewable
- Can I invite an academic advisor or counselor into my course to observe a student's progress and performance?
- Why are there Observer accounts listed next to some of the students in my User List?
- What can an Observer see in my course?
- Is it possible for me to add a Teaching Assistant (TA) to my course using their Z-ID instead of their A-ID?