How important is guest access to your school?

Sometimes instructors find it useful to advertise their course with a guest link, which allows prospective students to review certain portion of the course. It may be helpful to share course content with a group of external reviewers to support accreditation or other goals. Guest access continues to be a requested feature from time to time.

After a Saas migration and enabling Ultra Base Navigation you may find that the system no longer allows guest access. The guest URLs will redirect to the login page instead of starting a guest session. As a result, guests are unable to view any content.

There is a related KB article 000043671 and in the future Blackboard Learn may resume supporting course guest links without a workaround. The steps to prepare a course content area for guest access is in the course documentation.

You can also get the guest links to work by modifying the URL.

Here is an example guest link, which you would copy out of the Blackboard course course_id=_119729_1

The workaround calls for encoding the original url and adding it as new_loc in a new URL.

Notice action=guest_login and new_loc=…

Hopefully this will be resolved soon as most instructors expect guest content to be available via the same URL as logged in users. However, for now we have a URL generator that will take your old URL and encode the URL to create a working link.

You can use this Data II app to generate a guest link in the working format:


Guest access is not possible in Ultra experience courses. It is possible to access Ultra courses through the guest course catalog: