KU's Learning Management System

Student Preview

Student Preview allows you to experience your course as your students do. As an instructor, you want to be confident that your course is well designed and functions as intended. Use the Student Preview feature to review the course content and validate the course behaviors, such as those that control the availability of course content or require a particular interaction from the student to be triggered. You can also do the following student activities: submit assignments, take tests, create blog and discussion posts, create journal and wiki entries, view student tools such as My Groups and My Grades.

Student Preview Basics

1. Click on the Student Preview icon in the upper right corner of the screen within your course. [View screenshot]. You can now view and navigate in your course like your students do.

2. Click Exit Preview to return to instructor view. [View screenshot]

When you exit Student Preview you will have a choice to keep your preview data or have it deleted. Generally you will use the default choice: Delete the preview user and all data (Recommended) and click Continue. In certain circumstances you may choose to keep the preview data. More information about this choice is available in the "Exit and Delete Your Preview User Account" section below.

For more information about Student Preview, select from the following:


Video - Student Preview (Blackboard)


Enter Student Preview Mode

To enter student preview mode, click the student_preview_icon.png Enter Student Preview function, at the top-right corner of your course pages, next to the Change Course Theme function.

Student preview creates a student account, called the preview user account, logs you in as that student and enrolls you in the current course. When you enter student preview mode, the orange student preview bar appears at the top of every page. The bar displays the text Student Preview mode is ON and has Settings and Exit Preview functions. [View screenshot]

Student preview mode is active only in the courses when you enable it. You are still an instructor in your Blackboard courses. However, the same preview user account will be used when you enter student preview mode in more than one course.


Understand Your Preview User Account

When you enter student preview mode and are logged in to your course with the preview user account, your preview user appears in the course roster and is visible to all students enrolled in the course. Students and administrators can easily identify this as your preview user account by the way it is named: its last name is your last name appended with “_PreviewUser” and its username is your username appended with “_previewuser”. [View screenshot]

Note: If you are teaching a course with another instructor, you will each have your own preview user account.

As a preview user, all the data associated with your activities are captured by Blackboard Learn, such as submitted assignments and discussion posts. In fact, other students can interact with your preview user. For example, they can reply to your posts as though you were another student enrolled in the course.


Exit and Delete Your Preview User Account

Click Exit Preview to exit the student preview.

Note: If you leave the course without exiting from student preview, you will return to student preview when you return to the course.

When you exit the student preview, you are prompted to keep or delete the preview user and all its associated data. See the next items for more information about these choices. [View screenshot]


Delete the Preview User and Data

It is considered best practice to remove the preview user and its associated data. For a discussion of exceptions to this policy and when you may choose to keep the account and date, see "Keep the Preview User and Data," below.

In the Exit Student Preview dialog, select Delete the preview user and all data (Recommended). If you want, select the Remember this choice and do not ask me again check box. The course will automatically complete your choice each time you exit student preview.

Note: To change this setting at any time, click Settings in the student preview bar.

Deleting the preview user has the following effects:

  • All activity conducted or created as the preview user is removed from the course permanently. This includes test attempts, assignment submissions, grades, and discussion posts. Also deleted is any interaction an enrolled student has with the preview user, such as replies to a preview user’s discussion posts.
  • The preview user is unenrolled from the course. If the user is not enrolled in another course, the preview user account is deleted.

    Note: You can unenroll the preview user account from a course using the traditional enrollment tools. If this is done, some of the activity conducted or created as the preview student remains in the course but is made anonymous. For example, discussion posts are retained but made anonymous.

Keep the Preview User and Data

Select Keep the preview user and all data if you want to save activity such as an assignment or test submission and see how it shows in the Grade Center. If you keep the data, the preview user account will appear in the course roster, Grade Center, and any place where you did something as that user. You can exit Student Preview, keep the data, and then grade the assignment or test you just completed. If you go back into Student Preview you will be able to view the assigned grade by selecting My Grades. 

When you save the preview user account, the dot in the middle of the Student Preview icon Enter Student Preview function icon turns green Student Preview available for use, indicating the preview user account is available for use.

Note: If you keep your preview user account and run reports or gather statistics from your course, your numbers will be skewed by one (or more if there are multiple instructors using student preview).


Source: Blackboard Help »


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