(originally emailed to faculty on Monday, January 7, 2013)
We have recently tested and implemented a new feature within Blackboard to address a common issue faced by faculty in our online courses.
Have you ever asked, “What do my students see in my course?”
As an instructor in Blackboard, you have access to the control panel and have different permissions settings for viewing content. Sometimes what you see is not what your students see. Until now, the VC has had two suggestions: (1) Turn the Edit mode off, or (2) Enroll the test student account in your course. The test student account was a single account with username, bbest.
Both of these solutions had their own problems. The first one didn’t always show you the same thing as the students and the second one shared a single test student account with everyone who wanted to use it.
Now you can create your very own test student
Thanks to a newly implemented building block, instructors can create their own test student to enroll in their classes and test out features within their courses. Basically, each instructor can create one account on the system that can easily be enrolled in any course in Blackboard for which they are the Instructor. The username for the test student account, once created, will be the instructor’s username appended with “_s”. For example, if the username of the instructor is “000123456”, their test student account would be “000123456_s”.
To use this feature, go to “Add Test Student” under “Course Tools” in your Control Panel. The first time you go there, you can create your own test student account by entering a password (of your own choosing) and selecting to enroll the student in the Current Course. Then click Submit.
After this, you will be able to visit the “Add Test Student” under Course Tools in any of your courses and enroll this account in your class. At any time, you can change the password of this account or delete this account.
NOTE: At the end of each Virtual Campus term, we will need to delete all of the test student accounts. We will notify you when this will be taking place. Once they are deleted, you can simply recreate the account and continue to use it. You may request to have your student account left on the system, but you will need to notify the Virtual Campus.
We have prepared a short video walking through the basics of setting up and using your test student. You can view it here:
Feel free to email the Virtual Campus with any questions you might have about this new feature.