KU's Learning Management System

Users and Groups


Students who are enrolled in a class in Enroll & Pay will be automatically added to the corresponding Blackboard course roster within 24 hours. If they drop a class they should be automatically made inactive in the Blackboard course, again within 24 hours of the change to Enroll & Pay. You can use the Users area to add individuals (co-instructors, GTAs, graders, etc.) or remove them from the Blackboard course. You can also change a person's role in the course. There are features to show or hide student names in the Grade Center for students who have dropped the class.

Please Note: If users are added manually to a Blackboard course this will not add them to a course email distribution list. A course distribution list is separate from Blackboard. For more information about course email distribution lists please visit » Distribution/Group Lists.   


For more information about Users, select from the following:

Add a TA to a Blackboard Course

A person who is designated as TA for a class in Enroll & Pay will automatically receive the Teaching Assistant role in the Blackboard course. If you would like to add a GTA to your Blackboard course and give them access only for grading, add them with the Grader role. If you want the GTA to have access to update content in the site but not to have access to grades, add them with the Content Builder role. If you want the GTA to have access to the entire course including the Grade Center, add them with the Teaching Assistant role.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and click Users.
  2. On the Users page, click Find Users to Enroll.
  3. If you know the person's KU Online ID (example: a123b456) type it in the Username textbox. Do not click Browse, proceed to step 4.
    If you do not know the KU Online ID click Browse and search by name or email. Click the checkbox next to the correct individual and click Submit. Then proceed to step 4.
  4. Select the correct role from the pulldown menu.
  5. Make sure Enrollment Availability is set to Yes.
  6. Click Submit.

    NOTE: If you are unable to find your TA to enroll please contact the Educational Technologists at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600 for assistance.

Add Someone to a Blackboard Course

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and click Users.
  2. On the Users page, click Find Users to Enroll.
  3. Type a user's KU Online ID (Example: a123b456) -or- click Browse to search for a user. Only users that are not already enrolled in your course will be listed in the search results. Select or type as many usernames as needed. Separate multiple usernames with commas.

    NOTE: If you are unable to find a user to enroll please contact the Educational Technologists at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600.
  4. Select a Role and Enrollment Availability for the user(s).
  5. Click Submit.

Located Users: Search results display up to 25 names on a page. Searches that result in more than 25 users will display users on multiple pages. You cannot enroll multiple users who appear on different pages. Instead, select users to enroll from a single page and click Submit. Redo the search to select additional users to enroll.

Availability: You cannot enroll users who have been made Unavailable in the Blackboard course. Contact the Educational Technologists at 785-864-2600 and itedtech@ku.edu for assistance enrolling Unavailable users. Users who have been enrolled in your course, but made Unavailable by you, will not see your course in the My Courses tab and do not have access to your course.

Non-KU User Accounts

Request a Non-KU User Account

If you want to give access to your Blackboard course to someone who does not have a KU user account you can request a Blackboard-only user account for them. 
Here is the online request form: Request a non-KU user account . Complete the form with the person's name and email address and you will be contacted when it is created and ready to use. An alternate approach is to use Guest Access to allow access to certain areas of your course site.

In the past instructors sometimes used a non-KU user account to get a student's view of a Blackboard course. We now recommend using the Student Preview feature to see your Blackboard course from the student perspective. You can even submit an assignment, take a test, see grades and see Groups information with Student Preview. Contact the Educational Technologists at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600 if you have questions about using this feature.

Add a Non-KU User Account to a Blackboard Course

  1. Click Users and Groups in the Control Panel (Make sure Edit Mode is ON)
  2. Click Users [View screenshot]
  3. Click Find Users to Enroll [View screenshot]
  4. In the Username box, type your user's Non-KU Account username, such as _ab1234. [View screenshot]
  5. Select the appropriate user role from the pull-down menu.
  6. Select Yes under Enrollment Availability
  7. Click Submit

Log in with a Non-KU User Account

  1. Go to Blackboard at courseware.ku.edu
  2. Select the Special User button.
  3. Type the username (example: _ab1234) in the USERNAME box.
  4. Type the password in the PASSWORD box.
  5. Click Login.

Show Names of Dropped Students in Grade Center

Use the following process to show in the grade center those students who have dropped the course. Students will appear in the grade center with an unavailable icon ( ) next to their name. This process will allow all records for the student to be viewed.
  1. Click the Dropped Students - Show link in Users and Groups area of the course control panel. [View screenshot]
  2. Place a checkmark in the selection box to select the dropped student(s) to be displayed. Click Confirm. [View screenshot]
  3. Confirm that the selected student(s) are correct. Click Complete. [View screenshot]
  4. The selected student(s) will now be visible in the course grade center. [View screenshot 1] [View screenshot 2]
  5. NOTE: Student data will appear in the grade center but will not calculate in column statistics such as grade range, average, distribution, etc.

Hide Names of Dropped Students in Grade Center

Use the following process to hide in the grade center those students who have dropped this course.
  1. Click the Dropped Students - Hide link in the Users and Groups area of the course control panel. [View screenshot]
  2. Place a checkmark in the selection box to indicate the student(s) to be hidden. Click Confirm. [View screenshot]
  3. Confirm that the selected student(s) are correct. Click Complete.
  4. The selected student(s) will now be hidden in the course grade center. [View screenshot]

Remove Manually Added Users

  1. Click on the Control Panel within your course.
  2. Click Users and Groups.
  3. Click Remove Users.
  4. Put a check in the box next to the name(s) to remove.
  5. Click Confirm Users.
  6. You will see a warning notice that deleting someone from the course site will delete all their course work and grades as well. You cannot get the data back.
  7. Click Step 3: Perform Remove Users.

Removing Manually Added Instructors:
If you would like to remove a manually added instructor from a course, please contact the Educational Technologists at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600 for assistance.

User Roles in Blackboard

Blackboard User Roles control access to the content and tools within a course. Each user is assigned a role for each course they participate in. For example, a user with a role of teaching assistant in one course can have a role of student in another course. The course role is set when a user is enrolled. After enrollment, you can edit the role from the Control Panel.

Course Builder

The course builder role has access to most areas of the Control Panel. This role is appropriate for a user to manage the course without having access to student grades. A course builder can still access the course if the course is unavailable to students. A course builder cannot delete an instructor from a course.

Course builders have access to the following Control Panel sections:

  • Content Collection
  • Course Tools
  • Users and Groups
  • Customization
  • Packages and Utilities
  • Help


A grader assists the instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of items such as tests and discussion board posts. A grader also assists the instructor with managing the Grade Center. A grader cannot access a course if it is unavailable to students.

Graders have access to the following Control Panel sections:

  • Content Collection
  • Course Tools
  • Evaluation
  • Grade Center
  • Packages and Utilities (limited access)
  • Help


Guests have no access to the Control Panel. They do not have access to content within a course unless the instructor designates certain content areas as available to Guests. The Guest role does not permit interaction in the Blackboard course and cannot give access to areas that display student information (Discussion Board, Blogs, etc.)

If you wish to give auditors or guests access to all the content posted in your Blackboard course, we recommend adding them with the Student role. For more information on using this role see Guest Access to a Blackboard Course.


Instructors have access to all areas in the Control Panel. This role develops, teaches, or facilitates the class. Instructors can access a course that is unavailable to students. In addition, an instructor can export a Blackboard site as a court cartridge and can import a course cartridge.


Student is the default course role. Students have no access to the Control Panel.

Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants can administer all areas of a course. A teaching assistant cannot delete an instructor from a course. Teaching assistants have access to most tools and features in the Control Panel. Even if a course is unavailable to students, teaching assistants still have access to the course. 


Students can be placed in groups to allow them to work together on projects and other class assignments. Creating groups in Blackboard gives each group a private workspace where the members can email, exchange files and participate in a group discussion board — activities not visible to students belonging to other groups. Groups can be created one at a time or in sets. Instructors pick which communication options are available to the groups.

For more information about Groups, select from the following:

Benefits of Using Groups

Splitting students off into groups is helpful for project collaboration, study and help sessions or to create peer review opportunities. Discussion boards, blogs, wikis, journals and other collaborative tools and features can each be made available on a per-group basis, if desired. The benefits of student collaboration in Blackboard groups are like those found in the classroom and include developing communication skills and enhancing students' connection with others. Blackboard groups promote delegation, project management, accountability, peer review and self-regulation.

Manually Create Groups

  1. In the Control Panel, click Users and Groups, and select Groups. [View screenshot]
  2. Next you can choose to create groups one at a time or in a group set. NOTE: See step 7 if you don’t know which enrollment method to choose. [View screenshot]
    1. To create groups one at a time, under Single Group choose either Manual Enroll or Self-Enroll.
    2. To create a set of groups, under Group Set choose either Manual Enroll, Self-Enroll, or Random Enroll (students are automatically and randomly assigned to groups). NOTE: Only Create Group Set has a Random Enroll option.
  3. Enter a Name (required). [View screenshot]
  4. Enter a Description (optional). [View screenshot]
  5. Make sure Group is visible to students is Yes. [View screenshot]
  6. In Tool Availability, click to un-check any tool options you do not want available to the group. By default all tool options are checked. [View screenshot]
    1. Blogs, Journals and Wikis have a grading option. If grading, enter the points possible. This will appear as a column in the Grade Center.
    2. Within a group, BlogsJournals and Wikis are group-created, rather than individually created. Everyone within the group can contribute and view the contents.
  7. In Module Personalization Setting, the default setting allows personalization. When selected, a student can customize their personal group settings with modules like “What’s New”. Any settings they change here are only viewable by that individual student.
  8. Enroll your students in the group(s). Students can also be added after group creation.
    1. If you selected Manual Enroll, click Add Users, select the names of the students who belong in this group and click Submit. [View screenshot 1] [View screenshot 2]
    2. If you selected Self Enroll, type the Name of the sign-up sheet (required). You can also enter the total number of members allowed per group. To allow students to see who else has signed up for a group, check the box next to Show Members. By default, Allow Students to sign-up from the Groups listing page is selected. This allows the instructor to go to a content area in the course and put a link to the sign-up sheet for students to access. [View screenshot]
    3. If you selected Random Enroll (group set only), you will select either the number of students per group, or the number of total groups and designate how to distribute uneven numbers. Students will be randomly assigned to each group. [View screenshot]
  9. Click Submit.

Auto Generate Groups (Merged Courses)

If you have a multi-section course that has been merged in Blackboard you can auto-generate groups based on the enrollments of each section using KU Group Creator.

  1. Click on the Add Menu Item button in the upper left corner of the Blackboard screen and select Tool Link. [View screenshot]
  2. Enter a name for the menu item, select KU Group Creator from the drop-down list, leave the Available to Users box unchecked, then click Submit. [View screenshot]
  3. To reposition the left menu link you can drag it by the left edge.
  4. Click on the menu item created for the KU Group Creator (if you don't see it, make sure Edit Mode is on). After the tool loads, click the green button labeled "Update Course Groups" [View screenshot].
  5. In the lower left menu, click on Users and Groups, Groups, you will now see an auto-generated group for each course section. You can update the title of the Group, manually add users (like TAs), and also continue to update the Group enrollments using the KU Group Creator tool as the enrollments change during the semester.

Student Created Groups

You can allow students to create their own study or project groups. By default, student-created groups are allowed.

  1. Go to the Control Panel, click Users and Groups, and select Groups.
  2. On the far right of your screen, click on the Group Settings button.
  3. Select the checkbox to allow students to create groups.
  4. Click Submit.

Groups Management

Use the All Groups and All Users tabs located in the top right of the Groups page to easily see which students are in which groups, including which students are not in any groups and modify group memberships. The Groups page options allow instructors to: 

  • Import and export groups and group memberships.
  • Sort columns, delete multiple groups, and create Grade Center smart views for one or more groups.
  • Optionally, manage tool availability for all groups on the All Groups page.

All Groups Page

Click the tabs at the top right of the page to view by groups, group sets, or users. All Groups is the default view and has sortable columns that contain details about all of the groups in your course.

After you create groups, you have the option to make communication tools available or unavailable for each group. Put your cursor on the View Options button, click Show Tool Availability to display the tools available to each group. Click the check mark in a tool's column to make it unavailable—an X appears. Click the X in a tool's column to make it available—a check mark appears. Put your cursor on the View Options button and select Hide Tool Availability when you are done.

With the Bulk Actions drop-down list, you can select groups for deletion or create smart views in the Grade Center for each group. A smart view allows you to see a group in the Grade Center. The view is saved for continued use. When the Grade Center includes a great number of students and columns, you can use smart views to help streamline grading.

All Users Page

Click the All Users tab to see which groups students belong to. This is a good place to find students who are not yet in a group and add them, or move students from one group to another.

  • For a student who is not yet in a group, put your cursor on the student's row. The Add to Group icon appears. Click this to select the correct group name from the pull-down menu, click Submit.
  • To change which group a student is in, put your cursor on the group name to the right of the student's name. A red X will appear, click the X to remove the student from that group. Click the Add to Group icon to add this student to a different group.

Importing and Exporting Groups

You can export a CSV (comma-separated value) file containing your existing groups and group members, reorganize them as needed offline, and then import them back to a Blackboard course.

You can use the import and export functions to add new users and groups, but you cannot remove users or groups. During these processes, you cannot add new users to your course.

Group Codes

Groups codes are unique identifiers used strictly for import purposes. You may reveal a column in the interface to see the group codes, but you cannot edit group codes while in your course. Group codes also appear in downloaded CSV files. You can edit the group codes in the CSV file when importing existing users to a group to ensure the users are added to the correct group. Group codes are required to provide a unique way to identify each group in case they have the same name.

When viewing all groups, use the View Options drop-down list to show and hide the Group Code column.

Source: Blackboard Help »

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