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Course Roles

Course roles control access to the content and tools within a course. Each user is assigned a role for each course they participate in. For example, a user with a role of teaching assistant in one course can have a role of student in another course.

The course role is set when a user is enrolled. After enrollment, you can edit the role from the Control Panel.

The following list includes the default course roles:

  • Course Builder
  • Grader
  • Guest
  • Instructor
  • Student
  • Teaching Assistant (TA)

Administrators can edit the names, capabilities, and privileges associated with existing course roles. They can also create new course roles. Therefore, some of the information listed here may not accurately reflect your available course roles.

To learn about enrolling users or changing course roles, such as promoting a student to teaching assistant, see Manage Users.

As you view the following roles, remember: the tools and functions within each area of the Control Panel can vary depending on the settings that your institution has put into place. The instructor role can control tool availability. To learn more, see Course Tool Availability.

Course Builder

The course builder role has access to most areas of the Control Panel. This role is appropriate for a user to manage the course without having access to student grades. A course builder can still access the course if the course is unavailable to students. A course builder cannot delete an instructor from a course.

Course builders have access to the following Control Panel sections:

  • Course Files
  • Content Collection
  • Course Tools
  • Users and Groups
  • Customization
  • Packages and Utilities
  • Help


A grader assists the instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of items, such as tests and discussion board posts. A grader also assists the instructor with managing the Grade Center. A grader cannot access a course if it is unavailable to students.

Graders have access to the following Control Panel sections:

  • Course Files
  • Content Collection
  • Course Tools
  • Evaluation
  • Grade Center
  • Packages and Utilities (limited access)
  • Help


Guests have no access to the Control Panel. Areas within the course are made available to guests, but typically they can only view course materials. They usually do not have access to tests and assignments, or have permission to post on discussion boards.

You can assign the guest role to visitors, such as prospective students, alumni, and parents.


Instructors have access to all areas in the Control Panel. This role develops, teaches, or facilitates the class. Instructors can access a course that is unavailable to students.

Institutions can limit instructor access to the following features of the Control Panel:

  • List users
  • Edit users
  • Create user
  • Batch create users
  • Delete users
  • Enroll users
  • Settings
  • Import
  • Export
  • Archive


Student is the default course role. Students have no access to the Control Panel.

Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants—or co-teachers—can administer all areas of a course. Their only limitations are those imposed by an instructor or your institution. A teaching assistant cannot delete an instructor from a course.

Teaching assistants have access to most tools and features in the Control Panel.

Even if a course is unavailable to students, teaching assistants still have access to the course. Teaching assistants are not listed in the course catalog listing for the course.