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Academic Technology Launchpad: Courses in Blackboard

Student Technology Help Desk

Finding your Courses - Navigation Help

Your Blackboard classes will be listed under the Courses section of the main navigation menu. You can choose to have your courses display in a list or grid view:

bb course navigation menu

To access a course, click on the title of the course. For example: Biology 101 in the image above. 

FAQs about Courses in Blackboard

I don't see my course listed in Courses in Blackboard


I see a message - you are not enrolled in any courses - in Blackboard?

Top 5 answers:  

1. Instructors may not have made the course available to students yet in Blackboard. This is the most common reason. 

  • Most course are made available in Blackboard 2 days prior to the start of the semester. Some instructors may opt to make their courses available earlier, but they typically communicate with students via email if they're going to do so.
  • Check your course enrollment and start date in myMadisonCollege.
  • Check your email for any course information from your instructor. 
  • If it is after the class start date, contact your instructor. 

2. Only students officially enrolled as a student in a course will be able to access that course's Blackboard site.

  • If you are on a wait list for a class, you may have temporary Guest access, but you will not have access to all of the course materials or assignments in Blackboard.
  • You may see this note - Courses where you are: Guest. After you are officially enrolled as a student in the course, you will have access as a student. See more information below. 
  • Check your course enrollment status in myMadisonCollege.

3. Instructors may merge or combine course sections into one combined course or change the name of the course in Blackboard.

  • Students may see a course with a different name or number in their Blackboard portal under Courses. 
  • Contact your instructor for confirmation.

4. Classes from previous semesters are made unavailable to students through an automated process.

  • If you would like access to a previous Blackboard class, contact the instructor for the course.

5. Check to make sure that your course settings allow you to view the course.

  • On your Blackboard page, at the top of the Courses module, click the Filter drop-down menu. Make sure the correct option is selected so you can view the list of courses you're currently enrolled in.

​​Course filter options

Waitlisted Students 

  • Have not officially enrolled in a course, but are waiting for a seat to be available in a course. You can check this in myMadisonCollege.
  • May have temporary and limited Guest access for that Blackboard course. 

Waitlisted Students as Guests in a Blackboard course will not have access to all course materials:

  • Can only view specific content areas- if the instructor makes those content areas available to Guests, such as, announcements and the course syllabus.  
  • Cannot take quizzes or tests, complete assignments, view or receive grades, or fully participate in a course.
  • Instructors can completely restrict guest access in a course.

What happens during the enrollment drop and add period?

You may be allowed to enroll in the course and then have full access to the course as a student. - OR - You may be removed from the course after the 7th day from the start date because a space did not open for you to be enrolled in the course. 

How long does it take to get full access to course materials after I am moved from the waitlist and am enrolled in the class?

  • Usually within about 10 minutes after becoming an enrolled student status, you would have access to the materials in Blackboard as a student. 

How do I know whether I have Guest or Student access to a Blackboard course?

On your My Blackboard page, in the My Courses module:

  • "Courses where you are: Student" lists courses where you have full access to course materials as a student.
  • "Courses where you are: Guest" lists courses where you have temporary and limited guest access.

I'm on a waitlist for a course, but it doesn't show up in my courses listed in Blackboard - Why?

  • The instructor may not be using Blackboard for the course.
  • The instructor may not yet have made the course available in Blackboard. 
  • The instructor may have made all course materials unavailable to guests. 
  • Contact the instructor for that class with questions.

I am on a waitlist, but see the message - "there are no available items in this course" or "unauthorized"?

  • If the instructor has completely restricted guest access in a course, guests may see messages such as "there are no available items in this course" or "unauthorized".
  • Contact the instructor for that class with questions about course content for guest access.

I had guest access as a waitlisted student for a course, but now it disappeared?

  • If, after the 7th calendar day from the course’s start date, a student does not move from the waitlist to enrolled status, you would be automatically removed from the course.  
  • If you have questions about your enrollment status, check your Student Center in MyMadisonCollege or contact the Enrollment Center at (608) 246-6210.

I am now officially enrolled as a Student in a course (myMadisonCollege), but in Blackboard I still only have Guest access?

  • Sometimes it takes an overnight process to switch from guest to student in Blackboard.
  • If this is not automatically updated, please contact Student Computer Help and we will help you get that corrected. 

Blackboard Course Availability for Students

During the semester:

Instructors are responsible for making classes available, or unavailable.

After the course ends:

 Blackboard courses from previous semesters are made automatically unavailable to students at a scheduled time, usually approximately 4 weeks after the end of the class.

In the meantime, you can:  

  • At this time, you can't hide course cards, but you can use the filter menu to narrow your view
  • Contact the instructor for the course who can make the course unavailable to you. 
  • Check which courses you are officially enrolled in by looking at your class schedule through myMadisonCollege.

Most classes are completely removed from the Blackboard system after 2 years.

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