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Blackboard Help

People Tool FAQs

This article is archived and is no longer updated. Go to the latest information on the People tool.

What is the People tool?

The People tool gives users access to their learning network. The People tool was introduced in Service Pack 10 as part of Cloud Profiles & Tools and enables users to see who is in their Classes and Organizations with them and view an institution-wide directory.  When Community Engagement clients enable Social Profiles & Tools they will have an enhanced People tool.  These enhancements include:

  • Ability to search and view Profiles of all users in the global learning network of Blackboard Learn institutions (i.e., cross-institution search)
  • Ability to follow and message users in the global learning network to make connections
  • Ability to view and manage your connections (who you are following and who is following you)

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Can I restrict my users from searching for and viewing Profiles of people outside my institution?  Or can I restrict people from outside my institution from viewing the Profiles of my users?

No, this is not possible.  If you enable the Social Profiles & Tools you are connecting your institution to a global learning network of Blackboard Learn institutions.  Access to this cross-institution global learning network is one of the primary values of the new social learning tools.  A key benefit for users lies in the ability to have access to relationships and resources for learning that otherwise would not have been easily accessible.  When we conducted user research in developing these features, students told us they do not want to be limited in who they can learn from, as their expectations are driven by their use of worldwide social media tools.

Can I exclude select courses and organizations from appearing in the People tool?

Yes, courses and organizations can be excluded from appearing in the People Tool and changing the context of a user’s privacy setting.


You have a student orientation course in which you enroll all users at the institution. This institution wide course would be added to each end-user’s People tool, making the end-user's profile accessible to all users at the institution. This exposes the user's private Profile to other contexts that the user himself did not actively decide to participate in. Selecting to exclude this institution wide course hides the course from the People tool as well as disables discovery and viewing of Profiles by other users enrolled in the excluded course.