HelpLearning TechnologiesBlackboard Manage UsersGuest access on a Blackboard course

Guest access on a Blackboard course

Your Blackboard course can be opened up so any students and staff on the system may access your course as a guest. If you opt to use it, be sure you understand what this role means and how users can access your course. Read on to learn more.

Note: When you enable guest access all users with accounts on Blackboard can access your Blackboard course.

Are you looking for a guest access link to a Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom only? If so, please refer to Inviting guests on your Blackboard Collaborate Session.

What are alternatives to using Guest access?

Guest access may not be the easiest way of giving others access to audit  your course, for several reasons. 

In general, we recommend using the student role instead of the guest role to give access to your Blackboard course to users with a Blackboard account at NUI Galway.  See more on:

If you require access to your course for specific external users, for  example external examiners, you should request the relevant accounts and access for them. See:

Enable Guest access on your course

First you must enable Guest Access to your Blackboard course.

From the Control Panel expand the Customisation area and click on Guest and Observer Access.

Set Allow Guests to Yes and click on Submit.

Select areas of the course menu Guests can access

Next you must determine which menu items guests may access.

Click on the modify button beside each item to which you wish to give guest access and choose Permit Guests.

Guests cannot  interact with your Blackboard course, for example in terms of completing  a survey, test or viewing the discussion board, or accessing a Virtual Classroom. This is a design  feature to prevent abuse of student confidentiality. Also, integrations with  other services such as Turnitin  cannot be used by guests.

Now all users on the system with accounts will be able to access your Blackboard course as a guest, and to any menu and content items you have selected.

Add the "Guest" user (optional)

Some instructors add in the user manually into the course, but this step is not necessary. It will assist you if you wish to track which users are accessing your course through course statistics.

Add the Guest user

Enter the users ID (e.g. student or staff ID), change the role to Guest and click Submit.

Know how Guests find my course?

Guests need to find the "Browse Course Catalogue" on their My NUI Galway page:

The guest users will need to search the full course catalog to locate your course. They can search by name or module code, but be sure to adjust the relevant drop down based on your search and click "Go".

It will not appear in their My Course listing with their registered courses. They will need to search to find it in the Course Catlog.  

Note: If you do not make menu items visible, the guest will not see any content, when they access the course. Instead, they will see "There are no available items in this course".