Student Preview

Student Preview is a powerful way to see and interact with a subject in exactly the same way that a student would. In Student Preview, you can take tests, submit assignments, and interact with collaboration and communication tools such as blogs, wikis and discussion boards. Furthermore, any data you generate whilst in Student Preview mode is retained by the LMS so that you can review it when you are back in Staff mode. In this sense, Student Preview is more powerful than just turning Edit Mode Off. Student Preview is also available even if the subject is not yet available to enrolled students.

Turn Student Preview on

  1. Log in to the LMS and open the subject that you wish to preview as a student.
  2. At the top right of screen, click the double circular arrow to switch to Student Preview.
Location of Student Preview button in top-menu
Location of Student Preview button
  1. The subject entry page is displayed and elements visible only to staff will disappear e.g. the Control Panel and buttons that allow you to edit subject content.
  2. A banner appears at the top of the page indicating that Student Preview mode is ON. This banner replaces the default LMS banner, so the ability to move to another subject or logout of the LMS will not be available to you while in Student Preview.
Banner indicating Student Preview is on
Banner indicating Student Preview is on
  1. Navigate around the subject as desired, interacting with any element. All content acts as though you are an enrolled student in an available subject.
  2. Click Exit Preview to resume viewing the subject as staff.
  3. You will be prompted to choose whether you wish to ‘Delete the preview user and all data’ or ‘Keep the preview user and all data (Recommended)’.
    You also have the option to ‘Remember this choice…’.
Exiting Student Preview mode options
Exiting Student Preview mode options
  1. We recommend that you ‘Keep…’ and ‘Remember…’.  Even if you do not take a test or submit to an assignment while in Student Preview, the Grade Centre will now have been modified to include a new user to represent your Student Preview identity. The entry will appear in the Grade Centre as ‘Surname_PreviewUser’. Any assessments you do submit to while interacting in Student Preview will be recorded against your Student Preview user in the Grade Centre.
    After exiting Student Preview, the icon at the top right of the screen changes to green, indicating that student preview has been used, and that some associated data now exists.
Student Preview icon
Student Preview icon
  1. When you exit student preview the subject entry page is displayed and elements visible only to staff will reappear.

What can you access

Student Preview allows you to do much the same as an enrolled student including:

  • Navigate around the subject
  • View available content items, open attached files, weblinks, mashups and folders
  • Participate in discussion boards, blogs, wikis and journals
  • Submit to Blackboard assignments, surveys and tests
  • Access linked tools such as Lecture Capture (Echo) and eReserve
  • Be added to groups.

Student Preview does not allow you to access Turnitin. Please see below for alternate method of using Turnitin in a student-preview mode.

Student Preview access is limited by the same Adaptive Release restrictions as an enrolled student. However, Student Preview may access the subject even if the subject is not yet available to enrolled students.

Note for people manually linking to content

The most common example of people manually linking to content collection files in the LMS is when they want HTML pages to be displayed with the LMS page. This requires staff to determine the URL of the HTML page and then paste the exact URL into a link so that students may access it. This will work for the first instance of the subject, but when this subject is then copied forward, the URL in the new instance of the subject is still pointing at the old instance of the subject. In this case, staff who taught the old instance of the subject and who then use Student Preview, will be able to access the HTML files without a problem. Their students, however, who do not have access to the old instance of the subject, will not be able to access the HTML files. Therefore, if you make manual links to content collection files, you must manually check the URL points to the current instance of the files.

Accessing Turnitin as a student

Whilst Student Preview does not allow access to Turnitin, teaching staff can still view Turnitin from a student perspective by simply adding an External User with their Gmail/Hotmail/other email address. External Users allow student level access to a subject.

To add the External User:

  1. Select Control Panel >> Users and Groups >> External Users.
  2. Read the Copyright Notice and if in agreement, click I Agree.
  3. Click Enrol User from the tools at the top of the page.
  4. Enter the Personal Details including your non-University email address.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. A green banner appears: ‘Created external user account with username: ex.username.

After creating the External User, you will receive instructions to your non-University email address on how to activate the account (a once-off process).

  1. Open the URL sent via email. Enter the activation code and create a password.

You can now log into your subject with your External User credentials, allowing you to access any Turnitin assignments, submit as a student would, and view feedback as a student would.

Reset your legacy Student View account password

If you have a legacy Student View account (sv.username) and you need to reset the password, please submit a support request.

This guide was last updated 29 Aug 2018.
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