Student Preview Mode allows an Instructor to access and interact with their Blackboard Course shell as if they were a ‘real’ student. The Student Preview function is an enhancement of the Edit Mode function which gives instructors a ‘limited’ student view. It is important to understand the process by which the Student Preview Mode works. When an instructor enters Student Preview Mode, Blackboard automatically creates a ‘test user’ account in thier Blackboard module shell. In effect a ‘test student’ is enrolled on the module shell as if it was a real student, and you (the instructor) assume the identity of this test student. Below is a screen shot of the User list for a module when Student Preview Mode has been activated. You can see that a test student user account has been created.
All student preview users are listed as:
and are assigned the DMU email account of the instructor who activated the student preview
Each individual instructor on a course shell can use the student preview function simultaneously. Instructors do not share the same test student user, an individual test student user is created for each individual instructor on the module.
Instructors MUST NOT manually change the name of the student preview user, as this could interfere with real students’ use of the module shell.
1. To activate the Student Preview Mode click the Student Preview icon
2. An orange banner will indicate that you are entering the Student View, shortly followed by another orange banner indicating that the Student Preview Mode is On. When the orange banner is visible you are interacting with the course shell as if you are a ‘real’ student enrolled on the module.
NOTE: Student Preview Mode view will always open on the main landing page for the course shell (which is the Announcements page by default) even if you are in a specific Content Area when clicking the Student Preview button.
When you are working in Student Preview Mode, real students who are enrolled on the module shell will be able to see any activity/interaction that you make as the test student. For example, if you were to post a thread to a discussion board in Student Preview Mode – all students on the module who had access to that discussion board would see your test student post. Click this link to find out more about how to use interactive and collaborative functions in Student Preview Mode.
3. To Exit Student Preview Mode, click the Exit Preview button in the orange banner.
5. You will be presented with several options:
a) Delete the preview user and all data – selecting this will delete the temporary test user profile from the system and any data that was added by that test user (with some critical exceptions if you are using Student Preview Mode in Blackboard Blogs or Wikis)
b) Keep the preview user and all data – selecting this will retain the temporary user in the system and any data that was added by that test user. This setting can be used if you are doing Student Preview testing over several days and want to retain the user data when logging off of the system, to return to at a later date.
If an instructor has exited Student Preview Mode without deleting the preview user and data the Student Preview Mode icon will have a green center . This indicates that an instructor on the module has an active Student Preview account.
When you exit the Student View using the Exit and Delete function, the Student Preview Mode icon may remain Green – this is because another instructor on the module has an active student user view. You can check how many active student user previews there are by looking for ‘_previewuser’ usernames in the Users menu (which is located in the Control Panel menu).
c) You also have the option to set the default exit behaviour – however, we recommend that you do not use this setting as there may be times when you do not want to use the default exit behaviour
It is possible to set the default exit behaviours using the Settings button in the orange Student Preview banner, and changing the default setting.
Again – we recommend that you do not use this function as there may be times when you do not want to use the default exit behaviour
Using Student Preview Mode in Blackboard Discussion Boards
As an Instructor in Student Preview Mode it is possible to create new Discussion Board threads and make comments on existing threads, even on those that have been posted by ‘real’ students in the module. Any Discussion Board threads or comments made whilst in Student Preview Mode will be deleted when selecting the Exit and Delete data option. This means that if a real student were to make a comment on a post that an instructor made whilst in Student Preview Mode, the real student’s comment would be deleted when the instructor exited Student Preview Mode.
This is an EXCEPTION to the exit and delete function in Student Preview Mode
As an Instructor in Student Preview Mode it is possible to create new Blog Posts, new Wiki Pages and make comments on existing posts and pages, even on those that have been posted by ‘real’ students in the module. Any new Blog Posts, Wiki Pages or comments on Blog Posts and Wiki Pages made whilst in Student Preview Mode WILL NOT be deleted when selecting the Exit and Delete data option. Instead, when the Instructor exits Student Preview the username of any test student interactivity in a Blog or Wiki changes from PreviewUser to Anonymous.
For example: in this blog the instructor has created a new blog post in Student Preview Mode. The post appears at the top of the list – visible to all students. It can be identified as a Student Preview entry by the username – [Joe Bloggs_PreviewUser].
After the instructor exits Student Preview Mode using the Exit and Delete Data setting. The Blog post DOES NOT GET DELETED and the username is changed to Anonymous.
Real students on the module may mistake this post for a real student post and interact with it.
To remedy this problem an instructor must manually delete any Blog posts/comments or Wiki page creation/comments that they made whilst in Student Preview Mode, using the appropriate method.
To delete a blog post:
To delete a wiki page: