Test your course as a student: impersonate a dummy student

When you build your course you sometimes want to try out how certain functionality works for a student. The preview mode may then not be sufficient. In that case you can add a Dummy student account to your course Classlist and impersonate a user with student-like role.

After building the course you can unenroll the dummy student safely or keep it for later use (its presence does not interfere with your course activities).

This article will show you how to:

Only the Course Coordinator is able to add a dummy student to the course and impersonate. A Lecturer or Teaching Assistant can impersonate an existing dummy student from the Classlist.

To impersonate the dummy student its role has to be set to the role of a 'Dummy Student'.

Add a dummy student to the course

To keep these dummy student accounts manageable we provided a shared dummy student per chair group. So be aware that when you add a dummy student to your course, it is in shared use within your chair group and possibly other WUR staff have access to your course as a dummy student.

To add a dummy student to your course classlist please follow the steps as in How to add/remove users to/from the course:

1.  Enter the chair groups dummy student name in the search field and hit Enter.

2.  From the list that appear below in a table select your chair group's dummy student by ticking the box

3.  (Important) Add a role Dummy Student for the dummy student

4. Click the button Enroll Selected Users

You have added the the chair group's dummy student to your Classlist and can now impersonate it.

When you add this account with another role it will break the impersonate function for all users of this dummy account, because the system will not allow you to take over an account that has a role other than Dummy Student

There are other dummy students recognizable by a serial number listed in the system (like those added in your practice course); these cannot be impersonated

Impersonate the dummy student

Now, that you have a dummy student with the role of a dummy student enrolled in your course Classlist you are able to impersonate it. Within the course Classlist

  1. Search for the recently added Dummy student via the Search field
  2. Click on the downward arrow next to the dummy student name
  3. From the drop-down menu select and click Impersonate

The dummy student has to be set to the role of 'Dummy Student' for you to be able to impersonate it. If the dummy student has a role of a Student or any higher role in any course the following error will be shown:

'Cannot Impersonate User - You do not have sufficient permission to impersonate this user; they are enrolled with a higher access level in other areas of the organisation'.

In this case please check other courses of your chair group to correct this, or contact the Brightspace Helpdesk.

A window will pop-out asking for confirmation.

4. Click on Yes to confirm that you take over the dummy student account

After you confirm the action you will be redirected to the Brightspace Course homepage and you can start using the dummy student account.

  • While you are impersonating a dummy student the system will display this in the top right corner of the browser page as an orange square with the name of the dummy student you chose to impersonate  (where normally your own name is displayed).

Stop impersonating the Dummy student

When you are finished working/ reviewing the page as a student you can stop the impersonating process. To do so, you do not need to return to the course homepage. You only have to navigate to the top right corner on whatever Brightspace course page you are (Assignments, Classlist, Grade, ...)

1.  Click on the Account

2.  From  the drop down menu click on the X symbol next to the name of the impersonated Dummy student

This will terminate your session as a Dummy student and start your usual session.

Now you know how to impersonate a Dummy student in Brightspace!