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Ultra: Make a Course or Organisation available

Why do I need to do this?

When a new course or organisation is created in Blackboard it is always set up as unavailable. On the Courses or Organisations page it will be labelled (Private).

Instructors and other staff can access an unavailable course, but students cannot.

This is quite deliberate. It prevents students being frustrated by being given access to empty course spaces. It prevents students from accessing incomplete or out-of-date course sites which you are still in the process of developing. It also gives lecturing staff control over what students can see, and when.

This guide will show you how to make a course or organisation available, so that students are able to access it.

How to do it

From the Courses or Organisations page


On the Courses page, in the ‘more options menu’ for a course, select Open Course.


On the Organisations page, in the ‘more options menu’ for an organisation, select Open Organisation.

Showing the menu item to open a private or unavailable module in the Courses tab

From inside a Course or Organisation

On the left-hand menu of your course or organisation you will see a padlock icon, with the message ‘course is private: Students can’t access this course’.

screenshot of Details & Actions panel with Course showing as Private

Click on this link, and you will see a pop-up message.

Click ‘Open Course?’.

screenshot of pop-up to confirm Open to Students

The Details & Actions panel will update to show the course is now open.

screenshot of "This course is Open to students"

Students will now be able to access the course or organisation.

Making courses or organisations unavailable to students


You should always leave courses from previous academic years available to students, so they can re-visit study materials and see their online assignment feedback.


When an Organisation is no longer required, you can make it Private or Complete.

Make organisation private

Complete will allow access by all particiants and leaders, but leaders cannot edit.

Option to Make organisation private or Compltete

Guide last updated on March 22, 2024

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