KU's Learning Management System

Guest Access to a Blackboard Course

In general we recommend using the Student role instead of the Guest role to give access to your Blackboard site to anyone with a KU user account. However, you may use Guest access to allow access to a limited area of your Blackboard course.

There are two ways to use Guest settings:

  • Add a user with the Guest role and make certain content areas accessible.
  • Make content areas accessible to Guests and share a direct URL. This method does not require the user to have a login account for our Blackboard system. 

Guest access is limited. It does not permit interaction in the Blackboard course (taking a test, posting to a discussion board, etc.) and cannot give access to areas that display student information (discussion board, blogs, etc.)

If you wish to give visitors or guests access to all the content posted in your Blackboard course, we recommend adding them with the Student role rather than the Guest role. If you have questions about which type of access to use please contact the KU Educational Technologists at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600.

For more information about allowing Guest access, select from the following:


Add a user with the Guest role and make content areas accessible

  1. Enable Guest access in your course.
    1. In the lower left Control Panel area, click Customization, select Guest and Observer Access.
    2. For ‘Allow Guests’ click the circle next to Yes.
    3. Click Submit.
  2. Add a user with the Guest role.
    1. In the lower left Control Panel area, click Users and Groups, select Users.
    2. Click the blue ‘Find Users to Enroll’ button.
    3. Enter the username (KU online ID) or click Browse to search by name or email.
    4. Select Guest from the Role pulldown menu.
    5. Confirm that Enrollment Availability is set to Yes.
    6. Click Submit.
  3. Make content areas available.
    1. Put your cursor on the button for the content area.
    2. Click the options menu (gray circle) and select Permit Guests.

Make content areas accessible to guest access and share a direct URL

  1. Enable Guest access in your course.
    1. In the lower left Control Panel area, click Customization, select Guest and Observer Access.
    2. For ‘Allow Guests’ click the circle next to Yes.
    3. Click Submit.
  2. Make content areas available.
    1. Put your cursor on the button for the content area (Course Documents for example).
    2. Click the options menu (gray circle) and select Permit Guests.
  3. Copy and share the URL for the content area.
    1. Click on the content area you wish you share.
    2. In your browser’s address bar, copy the entire URL that starts https://courseware.ku.edu/webapps/blackboard/...
    3. Share this URL with anyone you want to give access. They can use it to access any content areas you have set to allow guest access in the course site. They will not be required to login to Blackboard.

Source: Blackboard Help »


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Educational Technology Support

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Blackboard support via phone

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Blackboard support in-person

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