eClass Support
Using the DemoStudent Block to Test the Student Experience
Last modified on 01 September 2022 01:25 PM

Since students have a different view of courses than instructors do, instructors may need to validate how a course is looking or functioning. This article describes how instructors can preview their course content by switching roles (for basic checks) or by using the DemoStudent block (for more complex testing like submitting quizzes.)

Switching Role to Student

To view or preview your course content as students will see it, select 'Student' from the Switch role to ... page that can be reached by clicking on your name in the top-right corner.



Unfortunately, the Switch role to ... capability has a few limitations: you cannot complete assignments and quizzes to verify grading, nor can you test out restricted access using groups or groupings using this view.

To achieve these functions, IST eClass Support has developed a feature called the DemoStudent Block. The block will allow any instructor in the course to have a personal demo student user enrolled in their course that they can use to test the complete functionality of the student role.

Adding the DemoStudent Block to your course

  1. Log on to eClass and navigate to your course.

  2. Click the Turn editing on button.

  3. On the left navigation bar, scroll down and click on Add a block, and click on DemoStudent View.


Creating and Enrolling a DemoStudent in your course

Once the block has been added to your course, to create and enroll your Demo Student user you must click the Create a DemoStudent button. The new user's first name will be DemoStudent, and the last name will be the same as yours. (For example, if Dr. Violet Archer created a DemoStudent in her course, the name of the new user would be DemoStudent Archer.)

The Instructor View

Once you have a DemoStudent enrolled in your course, the button in the block will change to Switch to DemoStudent. As the instructor, you can now add your DemoStudent to groups or groupings to restrict what they will have access to.

The DemoStudent View

Once you switch to the DemoStudent View, the block changes again, with the button now allowing you to Return to my Instructor role. In this view, you will be limited to seeing only the resources and actions which are available to students enrolled in your course.

While you are viewing the course as the DemoStudent, you will see a note stating this in the top right corner of the page.

To avoid having to switch back and forth between the two views, you may find it convenient to either use two separate web browsers, such as Firefox and Chrome, or an Incognito Window (Chrome), or Private Window (Firefox). This will allow you to keep two eClass sessions open simultaneously, one with your instructor view, and one with your DemoStudent view.

If you see a message in the Demo Student block when you switch to the DemoStudent view, stating "This course is currently unavailable to students", then your regular students are unable to view the course. You will need to change the course settings to make it available. See Controlling Student Access to Your Course.


  • There are a few subtle differences between what the DemoStudent sees and what regular students see. For example, the DemoStudent Block you added to the course will only be visible to instructors and DemoStudents, not to regular students. DemoStudents cannot currently post to forums. In order to not affect class grade statistics, DemoStudents will not appear in the grader report.
  • DemoStudents can be added to groups for advanced testing of activities. Please note, that in combined courses, the automatically created groups corresponding to each section of students are refreshed nightly which will remove the DemoStudent.
  • Deleting the block does not remove the DemoStudent user from the course. If you wish to unenroll the user, you can click the Unenroll DemoStudent button in the DemoStudent block or do so through the course enrollment settings (as instructor) by clicking on Participants at the top of the left-hand navigation bar.


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