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Blackboard Course Roles


January 2023


Course roles control access to the content and tools within a course. Each user is assigned a role for each course in which they participate. As Course Directors and Instructors, you can set course roles when you enroll users in courses. You can also edit course roles after enrollment.

Review the below roles and descriptions to ensure users are assigned the accurate role to support your Blackboard course.

Roles and Descriptions

Course Builder          

The Course Builder role has access to most areas of the course. This role is appropriate for an assistant who should not have access to student grades. If the course is unavailable to students, a course builder can still access the course. The course builder cannot remove an instructor from a course.


The Facilitator role has default privileges related to course materials, gradebook, calendar, announcements, discussions, and groups to assist instructors in the progress of a course.

Many institutions use Subject Matter Experts to create content for large, multi-section courses that are facilitated by multiple faculty. These institutions or courses may also require more than one person to help keep the curriculum moving forward.

Additionally, institution administrators can grant some or all grading, curriculum set up, and communication permissions to trusted facilitators to help ease these responsibilities in larger courses.


The Grader role has limited access to the course. Graders can assist an instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of assessments and surveys. The grader may also assist an instructor with adding manual entries.

If a course is unavailable to students, the course appears in the course list for a user with the role of Grader. However, the grader cannot enter the course until the course is available.


The Guest role allows prospective students, alumni, and parents to explore Blackboard Learn without making any changes to users, courses, or content. Users with the role of Guest are unauthenticated users.

If an administrator has enabled guest access, instructors can make areas within a course accessible to unauthenticated users.

Note: Though you can assign the guest role to users in the Ultra Course View, guests cannot access courses at this time.


Instructors have full access to the course. This role is generally assigned to the person developing, teaching, or facilitating the class. If a course is unavailable to students, users with the Instructor role may still access it. The instructor is included in the course description in the Course Catalog. The instructor role can control tool availability.


Student is the default course user role. A user with the role of Student submits coursework and participates in discussions. Students cannot create or grade course items. Students see private courses in their course lists, but they cannot access them.

Note: Please do not enroll students in your course. Students are populated into all Blackboard courses via Banner registration.

Teaching Assistant    

Users with the Teaching Assistant role have access to most of the course. If the course is unavailable to students, teaching assistants may still access the course.

The teaching assistant is not included in the course description in the Course Catalog. Teaching assistants cannot remove an instructor from a course.