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Topic Overview

The Course Availability setting allows Instructors to make a course available or unavailable to students. Unavailable courses are not accessible to students, but are visible and accessible to instructors, teaching assistants, course builders and graders. Faculty might decide to keep a course unavailable while it is being developed or when updating a course in between terms.

Course Duration

In addition to being set as "available" the course's duration must include today's date for students to access the course. For more information, please see our page on Course Duration

There are three ways for an instructor or teaching assistant to change the course availability. 

Please note that course availability does not mean students can access courses from past semesters. To adjust the availability of courses in past semesters, refer to the Course Duration documentation as well as Blackboard's description of Course Availability and Course Duration.


Courses Menu

Instructors and teaching assistants can adjust the course availability from the Courses area of the Main Navigation. If a course is marked as "Private" and displays a lock icon the course is not currently available to students.

Screenshot of user interface


Screenshot of user interface


Courses that are available or open have no lock and no private label. You can adjust the availability by:

  1. Clicking the menu button for the course from either list view or grid view and then clicking "open course."

    Screenshot of user interface

    Screenshot of user interface


  2. Click "Open to Students" in the subsequent dialog to confirm your choice.

    Screenshot of user interface

You can make courses unavailable with the same process by choosing "Make course private" instead of open to students. 


Course Availability Tool

With Edit Mode on, there is a lock icon in the upper-right corner of your Blackboard Course. Clicking the lock icon will change the course's availability.

If the icon appears unlocked, the course is available to students:

If it appears locked, the course is unavailable to students:

Course  Management Panel

  1. From the Course Management area within your course, click Customization > Properties.
  2. Under the Make Course Available section, select Yes.
    Set Course Availability Options
  3. Click Submit.



Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to use this feature?
If you would like students to access your course shell on Blackboard, yes. All courses are created with a default setting of unavailable, and once you are ready for students to access your course, you must follow the above procedure to make it available.

I'm an on-campus instructor, but I'm not planning to use Blackboard for my upcoming course. Do I still need to do this?
You do not need to make a course available unless you plan on using the Blackboard system for that particular course.


Making Your Course Available - Video