University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Student Preview Mode

Blackboard now provides a way for you to see your course from the standpoint of a student. You can use student preview to review the course content and validate the course behaviors, such as those that control the availability of course content or require a particular interaction from the student to be triggered. While in student view mode you can do any activities a student can, such as:

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

Edit Mode is not Student Preview

Student preview is different from using Edit Mode. When Edit Mode is ON, you see all the course content and the editing controls for each item. Edit Mode OFF hides the editing controls but still displays any content that would normally be hidden from a student. Also, it doesn’t enable you to see student-only content, such as My Grades.

How to use Student Preview

student preview button

To enter student preview mode, click the Enter Student Preview button, at the top-right corner of your course pages, next to the Change Course Theme function.

Student preview creates a student account, called the "preview user" account, basically a fake student who can be temporary or permanent in your class. When you enter student preview mode, student preview exit buttonthe 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 mode is active only in the courses where you enabled it.

student preview exit questions

Exiting Student Preview

Important: if you want to use this feature to verify how assignment comments or grades are seen by students, you'll want to make the "preview_user" a permanent enrollment in your course. To do that, when exiting you will see this pop up window. Check "Keep the preview user and all data" and "Remember this choice and do not ask me again."

You can submit work and take tests in student preview, exit that mode and go to the grade center and grade that work. Then re-enter the preview mode to see your grades.

Finally, make sure to click Exit Preview before leaving the course or logging out of Blackboard. If you leave the course without exiting from student preview, you will return to student preview when you return to the course.

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