Student Preview

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As an instructor you may want to review the design and functions of your course – before your students see it. Use the Student Preview functionality to review not only the content, but also the behaviour of parts of your course, especially to control the parts where you want to interact with the student. This functionality is different from the Edit Mode, that only disables the Edit-functionality and hides adaptive release settings.

Activating the Student Preview Mode

Student Preview can be started at any time. You enter the Student Preview mode by clicking the button at the top-right location of the screen.

After entering Student Preview, a temporary user with the name <username_previewuser> will be made available by Blackboard. This temporary user can be seen by all other students enrolled in the course. Furthermore it has the same functionality as other students, like participating assignment submissions, test assessments and discussion boards. The image below shows the screen the instructor will see while in Student Preview Mode:

If desired, all the attempted tests, assignments, discussions, etc. will be saved.

Exit the Preview User Account

The user account that has been created can be saved after leaving the Student Preview Mode, so you will be able to view the way the results are presented to you as an instructor.

If you are exiting the Student Preview Mode (Click ‘Exit Preview’), you will be asked wether the preview user has to be saved or to be deleted, see the image below. If you keep the preview user, all actions done by this user will be saved too. Re-invoking the Student Preview Mode wil re-activate the same student. If you decide to delete the preview user, every activity that has been done will be deleted permanently from the course. This includes test attempts, assignment submissions, grades and also discussion posts.



  • If you run reports or gather statistics from your course, Blacboard includes the work of all the preview students created by the instructors in its calculations. This will lead to skewed numbers.
  • Other students see the preview user as a normal student, so they may interact with this user, for example while entering a discussion board. This may possibly lead to confusion.