Allowing Guest and Observer Access

An ‘Observer’ account allows authorized staff to observe academic performance in Blackboard courses for assigned students. While the Observer account is attached to specific student accounts, the observer can only see the associated students’ My Grades area as well as the ‘last date of access’ information for each course that has enabled Observer access. By default, this option is turned off in Blackboard courses and instructors must follow these instructions in order to enable Observer access. Without completing these steps, the Observer accounts will not be able to see the ‘My Grades’, ‘last date of access’, nor any other information in your course, but will still appear as ‘observing’ a student on your course roster page.

By default, even when Observer Access is enabled, an Observer is still denied access to the contents of the individual Content Areas listed in the course site's Main Menu. If an Observer needs access to particular Content Areas, then access must be granted to each area on an individual basis.

Access Guest and Observer Settings

Image of the control panel with the following items: 1.Go to the Control Panel and click on Customization.2.Select Guest and Observer Access

To allow Observer Access:

  1. Go to the Control Panel and click on Customization.
  2. Select Guest and Observer Access

Enabling Observer Access Option

You will now see a screen labeled Guest and Observer Access:

  1. To allow Guest access, select Yes under Allow Guest Access
  2. Under Allow Observer Access, select Yes for Allow Observers to allow observer access to the course.
  3. When finished, click the Submit button to save the changes.

Enabling Observer Access for Content Areas

To allow Observers to view the contents of a particular Content Area, you must first click on the chevron just to the right of name of that Content Area to reveal the drop-down menu.

Enabling Permit Observers

Select "Permit Observers" from the drop-down menu to change the observer access. An Observer should then be able to see the contents of this Content Area.

Note: This process must be repeated for each Content Area that you wish to give an Observer access to.

Disabling Observer Access for Content Areas

Disabling Observer Access for Content Areas

To disable Observer Access to a particular Content Area, first click on the chevron to the right of the name of the item to real the drop-down options menu. Then select "Deny Observers." Once selected, this option will prevent Observers from viewing the content of this Content Area.