Guest Access in Blackboard - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure aims to describe the guest access requirement to those staff responsible for the administration and use of Blackboard course sites.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Course sites - An online learning environment within Blackboard, typically related to a SI-net course.

Guest Access - Limited default access UQ staff and students have to all University Blackboard course sites.

System level - The configuration settings that apply to the entire Blackboard system.

Site Level - The configuration settings for each specific site in Blackboard, which are set at the time of course creation, and are the same for all new courses.

Content level - The configuration settings for each particular content area within the individual course sites. These settings are set by default but can be changed by the Course Instructors.

3. Procedures Scope (coverage)

This procedure outlines the guest access requirements within a Blackboard course site and any steps required to meet these. This applies to any teaching or delegated administrative staff responsible for the administration and use of Blackboard course sites.

4. Procedures Statement

All sites in Blackboard must have specific guest access settings enabled for all University staff and students. The required settings are configured by default in all newly created Blackboard course sites. The guest access requirement is limited to learning materials and resources only; collaborative content or assessment information must remain unavailable to guests.

Permission to change the default settings must be sought from the relevant Associate Dean (Academic).

Guest Access may be turned off at the course level with permission from the Deputy Vice -Chancellor (Academic). This may occur where it is deemed that there is a risk to copyright or information security.

4.1 Guest access default settings

Guest access to course site information within the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) is managed at three levels:

  1. System level – managed by central Information Technology Services (ITS).
  2. Site level - managed by UQ instructors or support staff.
  3. Content Areas - managed by UQ instructors or support staff. Guest access is on by default for the following content areas:
  • Announcements

  • Course Profile (ECP)

  • Learning Resources

  • Course library link (set by the Library to be only viewable by enrolled UQ students)

4.2 Viewing course sites in the guest role

All authenticated UQ staff or students can locate any Blackboard course site using the search tool when logged into Blackboard. Courses can be searched by subject code or description.

4.3 Copyright

Course Instructors must ensure that visible content meets University copyright requirements. Some copyright usage permissions may restrict access to enrolled course students only.

In this circumstance the Instructor may elect to create a new private content area to host copyright restricted material, or request altered permissions for existing content areas. Staff can access legal advice regarding copyright via the UQ Copyright website.

4.4 Privacy

Course instructors must ensure that private student information cannot be viewed by guests to their course site. Student information, grades, assessment attempts or communications must not be located in the content areas available to guests.

4.5 Assessment material

Course Instructors must ensure that assessment material is not available to guests (eg. not uploaded to the Learning Resources content area).

4.6 Instructions for configuring guest access availability

To configure 'guest access' availability, first locate your course in Blackboard and then use the "Course Management" menu.

See further instructions here.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Doune Macdonald
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Doune Macdonald