Blackboard: Make a Course Available

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Why do I need to do this?

When a new course is created in Blackboard it is always set up as unavailable. In the Courses list it will be labelled (not currently available).

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 It prevents students from accessing incomplete or out-of-date course sites which you are still in the process of developing.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 set a course to Available, so that students are able to access it.


How to do it

Using the padlock icon

Go into any content area of your course and you will see a padlock icon, top right.

Just hover over the icon and click on Make Available.

Make course available

The icon will change as shown, to indicate that the course is now available.

Padlock icon - course is available

This icon only appears in content areas e.g. 'Learning Materials' and 'Assessment'. It does not appear on the 'Announcements' page.

Via the Control Panel

Step 1    
In your course go to

Control Panel > Customisation > Properties

Step 2
On the Properties screen go to Set Availability.

Next to Make Course Available, choose Yes.

Click Submit.

Using Qwickly

You can also use the Qwickly tool – found on the ‘My Blackboard’ tab to make your courses available. See our Qwickly Tools help page.


Whichever route you take, once a course has been set to Available, enrolled  students will be able to access it from the ‘My Blackboard’ tab when they log into Blackboard.


Helpful tip!
Should you ever need to make a course unavailable again, you simply follow the same process and change the setting back to Unavailable.