How to Provide Guest Access to your Course in Blackboard

By default, guest access in Blackboard is disabled for all courses. If you want students or instructors at Mason or non-Mason guests to be able to access certain areas of your Blackboard site, without having to be enrolled in the course, you can enable guest access.

Guest Access provides limited course access to view course materials in specifically designated content areas. Certain area of the course are never available to guests. The areas that cannot be accessed include communication areas such as discussion board, journals, blogs, or wikis. The Grade Center, tests, surveys and assignments are also unavailable to guests. If a guest needs access to these areas, you may wish to enroll them as a student in the course.

Once Guest Access is enabled only those enrolled as a guest or supplied with the guest link will be able to access your course.

Watch the overview video (audio does not play in Safari browser) or read instructions below.

Guest Access Video

Step 1: Enabling Guest Access for a Site

  1. In the Customization section of your site's Control Panel, click Guest and Observer Access.
  2. Select Yes for Allow Guests.
  3. Click Submit.

Step 2: Set Guest viewing permission for the individual areas on the Course Menu

On the Course Menu, choose the downward arrows to the right of each area that you want guests to view. The setting will be either Deny Guests or Permit Guests. Choose Permit Guests.

Note: if the Permit Guests option is not there, guests are not given an option to have access to this area (such as Discussion Board). The Permit Guests and Deny Guests options toggle the area permissions. If you see Permit Guests then the Deny Guests permission is currently activated. If you see Deny Guests, then the Permit Guests permission is currently activated.

Step 3A: : To Allow a Mason user to have Guest Access in your Course

  1. In the Users and Groups section of your site's Control Panel, click Users.
  2. Click Find Users to Enroll.
  3. Add the Mason UserID to the Username field.
  4. Change the Role to Guest.
  5. Click Submit to enroll the user.

Mason User Guest Access

Now a Mason user can log in to their myMason account and see your course in their Course List.

Step 3B: To share your course with non-Mason guests

  1. While on the home page of your course, copy the URL from the browser’s address bar.
  2. Paste the URL into an email message and send to your guests.Note: The only areas that will be accessible to your guests are the designated content areas (Step 2).
  3. Instruct your guests to use the URL to access the course.

Note: Your course must be Available for the Guest URL to work. It is a good idea to test the Guest URL yourself before mailing it to users. Paste the URL into a different browser (or log out of your Blackboard account) and see what your Guests will see.