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Student Preview


Student Preview mode enables instructors to view your Blackboard paper as a student would see it and check everything functions as expected (this is different to using Edit Mode). You can check the following activities are working:

  • Submitting assignments
  • Taking tests
  • Creating blog and discussion posts
  • Creating journal and wiki entries
  • Using tools like My Grades


How to turn Student Preview on

  1. Open your Blackboard paper that you want to preview as a student.
  2. In the top right hand corner next to your Edit Mode toggle switch and Theme browser is a but that looks like two arrows circling a dot. Press this button.

    Screenshot of Student Preview button

    Student Preview button shown to the left

  3. You’ll now see a yellow bar across the top of your screen that says ‘Student Preview mode is ON’
  4. Now you can do your testing, when you have finished look back to the yellow bar across the top and select Exit Preview.
  5. You’ll now be given 2 options for how you want to proceed:
    1. Delete the preview user and all data – this will delete any grades associated with the preview user and entries in tools like blogs, wikis, journals and discussion boards.
    2. Keep the preview user and all data – this will keep the data associated with the preview user until you’re ready to delete it. Remember if you keep the data they will be added to your statistics reports when you run them.
  6. Click Continue when you have made your decision and you will then be returned to your role as Instructor in the paper.

What does my preview user account look like?

Behind the scenes when you enter Student Preview Mode Blackboard creates a new student user that has the same username as you with _previewuser appended to it, you will also find _PreviewUser is appended to your Surname. In effect Blackboard has created a student version of your staff account with the same email address but differing username and surname. You will be able to spot these differences in the Grade Center and other places the user is being used.