Viewing a Course as a Student

Role Switch

You can temporarily switch your role by using the Role Switch widget on any course homepage in Brightspace. Role Switch provides a generic view of the course using the role you select.

Switching your role

  1. Click the course title on the minibar. This will take you back to the course home page.
  2. Locate the Role Switch widget on the course home page.
  3. Click the drop-down menu under Current Role to display a list of available roles.
  4. Click on the role you would like to use and then click the Change Role button.
    NOTE: The “Student” role is likely the only role you will need to use.   
  5. The Role Switch widget will reflect the role you selected.

End a role switch

From the Role Switch widget on the course home page, select -- My Role (Faculty) -- and then click the Change Role button.

NOTE: When you use role switch, you are automatically redirected to the course homepage view for that role.


A user with appropriate access can impersonate another user from the Classlist. Unlike Role Switch, Impersonate allows you to “log in” as a specific user. For example, it would be beneficial to impersonate a test student when confirming your newly designed course functions as intended.

Impersonating a user

  1. From within a sandbox course, click Communication > Classlist from the navbar.
  2. Select Impersonate from the drop-down menu of the Test Student.
  3. Click Yes on the confirmation screen.
  4. The personal menu on the minibar displays the name of the person being impersonated in red.

Stop impersonating a user

  1. Click the drop-down on the personal menu from the minibar and then click the “X” to stop impersonating the user.

NOTE: Instructors may only impersonate test students in a sandbox. The Impersonate option is not available to instructors in live courses. Only Brightspace administrators have the ability to impersonate other users.