Cobra Learning - Viewing and Experiencing a Course as a Student


Viewing and Experiencing a Course as a Student

When it comes to creating activities for students, instructors want to know if their students can view and access their content in the intended way. There are currently 3 methods of doing this. 

Role Switch

The Role Switch tool is available from both the Role Switch widget and the User Settings dropdown menu. Please see Figures 1 and 2 below.

Role Switch 2

Figure 1 - The Role Switch Widget

Role Switch 1

Figure 2 - Role Switch from Personal Settings

This tool will allow a user to assume any role that you have security permission to access. Since you are assuming a role rather than impersonating a user, this is a good solution for an organization that is concerned about user privacy.

NOTE: Release Conditions and some other activities will not function as anticipated in this method.


Although Administrators can access this tool from numerous locations, the Impersonation tool can be accessed by instructors (who have permission to impersonate) directly from the Classlist of the course. Please see Figure 3 below.


Figure 3 - Impersonating from the Classlist

Impersonation allows you to view and interact with a course as the user who is being impersonated. For this reason, we have added ZZZDemo Student to every classlist. This user has the same role as all students, but is not an actual student. This makes this tool invaluable for testing Release Conditions, Grade View, or other activities.

NOTE: ZZZDemo Student is, by default, enrolled in every group, so the group view under this method will not be the most accurate.


The Preview option is available for many tools. Some of these are Quizzes, Surveys, LTI Links, Rubrics, and Blogs. Please see Figure 4 below for an example of how to access the Preview function from the Quiz tool.

Preview as Student 

Figure 4 - Previewing from the Quiz tool

Preview functionality allows a user to view an activity as it would appear to another user. This tool has many of the same benefits as the Role Switch tool, but it lacks the ability to actually change your role. Instead you are given just a sample view of a single activity.


The use cases of each of these tools is vastly different. In an effort to summarize the strengths and limitations of each of these tools we have created the table below:

Summary of Student Views

Tech Service Desk: Contact and Hours

Room A184 * 217-353-3333 * * 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. M-Th. / 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Fridays

Satellite location * Parkland Library * 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. M-Th. / 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Fridays

Keywords:Cobra View Student Role Switch   Doc ID:57759
Owner:Lori W.Group:Parkland College
Created:2015-10-26 11:01 CDTUpdated:2015-10-26 15:19 CDT
Sites:Parkland College
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