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Accessing a Blackboard course to fulfill an incomplete

Steps to reopening a course for one or few students

When instructors have determined that a student needs extended time to access a Blackboard course for reasons related to illness, to submit work for an Incomplete, prepare for exams, or gather evidence for a portfolio or interview, they may request a course availability override for that student.

For example, here's a possible scenario. Emily was recently in a car accident, causing her to miss the last three weeks of class. She received an incomplete and needs to record a presentation and take the final exam. Unfortunately, her Blackboard course is closed and she can't get in to do the work. What can her instructor do?

If the course has not been retired from the Blackboard site, this exclusive access can be provided through a special override setting in the Blackboard admin panel. Instructors can request a course to be re-opened only for the student who needs access (e.g., John Smith) and specify when that access should expire (e.g., end of May). If an instructor has multiple students requiring extended access, they only need to submit one RT and must specify expiration dates for each individual student.

How to request a course availability override:

  1. Go to this FAQ and review the steps
  2. Open the RT form and choose option #9
  3. Specify CourseID, term, student(s), and expiration date(s)
  4. Modify the due dates, release conditions, etc. in the Blackboard shell

Once the override is set, the course will appear in the course list for the semester in which the student was officially registered (e.g., Fall 2022). NOTE: A course availability override does not automatically change due dates or release conditions in a course.

Since many students rely on Blackboard's course list to confirm their course registration, when courses are left open or have end dates modified, they are often confused to see older courses left as current. A course availability override is a valuable option for faculty and students, allowing singular access to a course without compromising overall enrollment. For consistency and to prevent confusion, changing start and end dates is no longer available. This ensures all courses accurately reflect the correct term and improve the overall navigation experience for students.


UMBC is committed to providing a consistent learning experience for everyone. The last day we will support Blackboard Original is December 31, 2024. Please check out our training and support: https://umbc.edu/go/ultra.

Posted: June 20, 2023, 11:12 AM