Blackboard: The External Examiner Course Role

A summary of what the role can and can’t do


If you need to give an external examiner access to your Blackboard course, there is a custom role which you can use to grant access to course materials, and to student work submitted to Blackboard and/or Turnitin.

This is a Course Role – like Instructor, Teaching Assistant, or Marker.

You can assign the External Examiner role when enrolling a user onto your course.


Permissions associated with the role

Course Content

  • Can view all course content, including that which is currently unavailable to students.
  • Not able to create new content or edit existing content

Please note:

An External Examiner can view an unavailable content item, but cannot open a file which is attached to an unavailable item. This can cause problems on some courses. These can be overcome by granting specific read permissions to the external examiner (please log a ticket for advice on this) or by changing their role to Teaching Assistant.

Grade Centre

Has full access to the Blackboard Grade Centre

  • Can view and modify all grades – any type of gradable item (Blackboard and Turnitin  Assignments, Tests, Blogs and Wikis).
  • Can leave feedback.

N.B. It is not possible to grant “read-only” access to the Blackboard Grade Centre – if a user can access the Grade Centre then they automatically also have editing rights.

Turnitin Assignments

Has full access via Control Panel > Course Tools to

  • edit assignment settings
  • view and mark submitted work

N.B. anyone with access to work submitted to Turnitin will also have editing rights – it is not possible to grant read-only access.

Blackboard Assignments

  • Not able to edit assignment settings.

Via the Grade Centre

  • Able to view submitted work, grades and feedback
  • Can grade and leave feedback on submitted work.

(subject to any rules applied via Delegated Marking)


  • Not able to edit Test questions or edit settings.
  • Can take Tests (preview) as a staff member – i.e. can take the Test, but answers will not be recorded in the Grade Centre.
  • Can view ‘User Progress’ and ‘Item Analysis’.
  • Can view students’’ grades via the Grade Centre.

Blackboard Blogs, Journals and Wikis

  • Not able to edit Blog, Journal or Wiki settings.
  • Able to view entries.
  • Able to view ‘User Progress’.
  • In Course Wikis and Blogs: able to edit content, comment, create a new wiki page or blog entry.
  • Personal Journals, Group Blogs, Journals and Wikis: able to view posts, but not edit.

Campus Pack Blogs, Journals and Wikis

  • Not able to edit Blog, Journal or Wiki settings.
  • Able to view entries.
  • Able to comment on entries, but cannot edit entries or make new posts.
  • Able to view ‘User Progress’.

Page last updated on June 19, 2020 by andyturner

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