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Guest Access


This document explains how to use the guest access feature.


Guest access can be used to grant guest lecturers, potential students, or other users who are not directly participating in your course. Here at Boise State University guest access in disabled in all course sites by default. If you choose to enable guest access then anyone with access to the internet potentially could access some of your course material.

Enable guest access

  • Click Customization from the course control panel menu
  • Click Guest and Observer Access
    • Note: Observer access is not used at Boise State University

Screenshot of Customization Menu with Guest and Observer Access highlighted

  • Click Yes to allow guest access
  • Click Submit

screenshot of Guest and Observer Access Screen, select "Yes" and hit "Submit"

  • Click Customization from the course control panel menu
  • Click Tool Availability

screenshot of Course Management Menu, Customization and Tool Availability are highlighted

  • Check the appropriate open boxes in the visible to guest column
    • Note: Observer access is not used at Boise State University
  • Click Submit

screenshot of Tool Availability screen. Shows the "visible to guests" column, checkmark the boxes you want guests to see.

  • You must also permit guest access to your individual course menu items, content areas only, i.e. Course document, Course information, Assignments, etc.;
    • Select the drop down menu to the right of your course menu item
    • Select permit guests
    • Repeat for every content item you wish to grant access to

screenshot of the drop-down menu, select Permit Guests


The course must be available to students to be viewable by guests.   Make course available to students.

Steps to view your course as a guest

Screenshot of Blackboard sign in page with "preview as guest" highlighted

  • In the Course search box, top left, type in your course name or course ID #, then click search

screenshot of blackboard page.  Search box on left side of screen is highlighted

  • This will take you to the Browse Course Catalog page
  • If you don’t see the course listed, here you can search by the instructor, course site ID, name or description
    • Screenshot below shows and example search for “Art” (click on image for larger view)

example search for an art course.  shows course ID, Course Name, and Instructor Names

  • Click the Active Blackboard Learn course ID link (you can tell the link is active because the text color is blue instead of black; if the link is not active you will not be able to click on it)
  • You are now viewing the course as a guest

For Assistance

Help Desk (Zone at the ILC):