Make a Course Available to Students in Blackboard

Access to Blackboard courses depends on course availability (private/open) and user role (instructor, student, etc.). Students can only see courses that have been made available, but instructors can access all of their current classes regardless of availability status.

Blackboard courses automatically become available to students approximately one week before the first day of class, but instructors may allow or restrict access on whenever they are ready by adjusting the course availability manually. This feature is useful when a course is construction or if it ends before the scheduled semester/date. All instructors can access this setting from two places:

  • The top-level 'My Courses' menu
  • Inside of each course, under the 'Course Management' menu

Please see the instructions below for more information about using each method to manage your courses.

Set Availability from the 'Courses' Menu

The My Courses menu provides an easy way to change multiple courses' availability in one place. After logging in to Blackboard, you will see the Institution Page with the UBN (Ultra Base Navigation) menu on the left side of the page.

  • In the UBN menu, click Courses to open the My Courses page.
    Screenshot of 'Institution' page in Blackboard UBN.
  • On the Courses page, find the course you would like to change. A padlock icon Screenshot of 'Private' icon - shaped like a padlock. will appear on courses that are currently set to 'Private'. This means that the course is locked/unavailable to students; they will see the course link in their 'Current Courses' list, but they won't be able to open it or access the course content. To make the course available, click the ellipses to the right of the desired class and select 'Open course'. Students will now be able to access it from their course list.
    Screenshot of Blackboard 'My Courses' page with dropdown menu: 'Open course'.

    You may reverse the process using the same drop-down menu: Select 'Make course private' to lock the course*. Students will still be able to see the course in their list, but they won't be able to access it.
    Screenshot of Blackboard 'My Courses' page with dropdown menu: 'Make course private'.

    *Note: Instructors can also select 'Hide course' to (reversibly) remove a course from their personal active course list (shown above). This only affects your own view (not students') and may be helpful if your list includes many courses that you no longer need to access regularly. Activity and updates for hidden courses won't appear on the global pages about all of your courses (like Grades). Courses can always be un-hidden using the course filter at the top of the page.

Set the Course Availability from the 'Course Management' Menu

You can also change the course availability from within the course. Both the above and the below methods will produce the same result; changing the course between Private and Open settings.

  • Open the desired course and, in the course menu on the left, scroll down to the Course Management section. Expand Customization and select Properties. Under SET AVAILABILITY > Make Course Available, select Yes or No to change the course's availability to students. Then click Submit to apply any changes. When availability is turned off, the instructor will still be able to access and change this setting.
    Screenshot of a Blackboard course, starting from the course menu (on the left): Course Management > Control Panel > Customization > Properties. Under SET AVAILABILITY > Make Course Available, the user can select Yes or No


Please see Blackboard's help page for more information about course page navigation/search and finding your courses.


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Article ID: 59826
Wed 8/8/18 10:46 AM
Mon 7/31/23 9:37 AM

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