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Topic Overview

Instructors can view their course exactly as a student does by using a student account the system generates for them.  You can use student preview to review the course content and validate the course behaviors.  With student preview, you can experience your course exactly as your students do.  While in student preview mode, you can do the following student activities:

  • Submit assignments
  • Take tests
  • Create blog and discussion posts
  • Create journal and wiki entries
  • View Blackboard-native student tools, such as My Grades

Student Preview with Third-Party Tools

Some tools in Blackboard such as Zoom, Turnitin, and Textbooks are third-party integrations — tools made by other companies that are being made available through Blackboard. These third-party tools do not consistently work with Student Preview mode and may not accurately reflect the experience when the student has their own account in the third-party system.

Enter Student Preview

The Student Preview function appears in the top-right corner of your course pages, next to the Change Course Theme function (2 curved arrows with a dot in the middle).

  1. Click the icon to enter Student Preview.
    Student Preview Mode Icon
  2. Entering Student Preview.

    Entering Student Preview Screen
  3. When you enter student preview mode, the 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.
    Student Preview Menu

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.  Users can identify this as a 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".

Preview User in Roster

Exit Student Preview

  1. Click on the Exit Preview button at the top right of your screen. When prompted, choose from the following options:
    1. Exit and Delete Your Preview User Account
      1. When you exit the student preview, you are prompted to keep or delete the preview user and all its associated data.  It is considered best practice to remove the preview user and its associated data.
    2. Delete the preview user and all data (Recommended)
      1. If you are finished previewing the course as a student, delete the data and remove the preview user from your course.  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.
    3. Keep the preview user and all data
      1. If you are temporarily leaving the student preview to complete your task in your real account, keep the preview user and data.  You can delete the user and data by returning to student preview and changing these settings.
  2. Remember this choice and do not ask again
    1. This can be changed in Student Preview Settings, located in the Student Preview control bar.
      Exit Student Preview Options

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