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Leverage Blackboard Web Services Brandon Peters. IT Consultant, Academic Technology IT Consultant, Academic Technology Day-to-day: Day-to-day: – Blackboard.

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Presentation on theme: "Leverage Blackboard Web Services Brandon Peters. IT Consultant, Academic Technology IT Consultant, Academic Technology Day-to-day: Day-to-day: – Blackboard."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leverage Blackboard Web Services Brandon Peters

2 IT Consultant, Academic Technology IT Consultant, Academic Technology Day-to-day: Day-to-day: – Blackboard System Administrator – Web Tool Development – Instructional Technology Support Contact: Contact:

3 Overview Brief introduction to Blackboard Web Services, some “getting started” resources, and tools Brief introduction to Blackboard Web Services, some “getting started” resources, and tools Cover how we leverage it at WKU: Cover how we leverage it at WKU: – Online Training Course Automation – Blackboard Guest Accounts – Support Tool for IT Helpdesk Open up for questions Open up for questions

4 What are Blackboard Web Services? SOAP-based API SOAP-based API Uses WSDL (Web Service Definition Language) Uses WSDL (Web Service Definition Language) Allows you to get certain data out of Blackboard Allows you to get certain data out of Blackboard Allows you to add, remove, or modify certain data within Blackboard Allows you to add, remove, or modify certain data within Blackboard

5 What can you do with it? Access Bb user information: Access Bb user information: – Username, Student ID – Contact Info: , phone, address – Institutional roles

6 What can you do with it? Access course/org information: Access course/org information: – List of students enrolled – List of user roles within course/org – Course/org availability – Course ID

7 What can you do with it? User management User management -Create users -Modify user information -Add institutional roles -Change password -Change name, username, student id, etc. -Delete users

8 What can you do with it? Course/Org management Course/Org management -Create Course/Orgs -Enroll users -Modify Course/Orgs -Delete Course/Orgs

9 Available Services Announcements Announcements Calendar Calendar Content Content Course Course CourseMembership CourseMembership Gradebook Gradebook User User

10 Resources and Tools

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12 Blackboard API Documentation Blackboard API Documentation – Admin Panel -> Building Blocks -> Web Services Edugarage Edugarage – Bruce Phillips Blog Bruce Phillips Blog – SoapUI SoapUI –

13 Resources and Tools PHP Interface to Bb Web Services PHP Interface to Bb Web Services – https://bitbucket.org/Bpete/ https://bitbucket.org/Bpete/

14 How we use it: Online Training Course Automation

15 The Breakdown: 1.Faculty, staff, and students self-enroll in one of our online training courses 2.Adaptive Release is used to progress them through the course by unlocking training modules 3.A magical “Final Task” button is presented after completing the course and is used to grant various institutional roles

16 Magic Button

17 What’s behind the button? The button launches an external PHP script that checks the user’s grade within the course using Bb Web Services. The button launches an external PHP script that checks the user’s grade within the course using Bb Web Services. Blackboard template variables are used to pass course and user information to the PHP script Blackboard template variables are used to pass course and user information to the PHP script If the user has a passing grade, they receive a special institutional role, again using Bb Web Services If the user has a passing grade, they receive a special institutional role, again using Bb Web Services Institutional roles can be used to hide/show certain modules within Blackboard Institutional roles can be used to hide/show certain modules within Blackboard

18 Blackboard Template Variables Allows you to pass context data to external systems via URL Allows you to pass context data to external systems via URL Uses special syntax variables that render within the body of content items Uses special syntax variables that render within the body of content items = = CHEM101SP15 = = nuttyprofessor https://bb.school.edu/webapps/blackboard/launch_external.jsp?targ et=https://webapp.school.edu/index.php?uid https://bb.school.edu/webapps/blackboard/launch_external.jsp?targ For more information: For more information:

19 Scenario: Blackboard New Instructor Training Instructors are not allowed to create course sites or enroll student sections until they complete Blackboard New Instructor Training. A “course trained” institutional role is required in order to view access the Faculty Tools module.

20 Scenario: Blackboard New Instructor Training

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23 The “course trained” institutional role required to unlock Faculty Tools is now granted! The instructor will also receive an confirmation.

24 Scenario: Blackboard New Instructor Training

25 The instructor may create their course site(s) and enroll student sections.

26 How we use it: Blackboard Guest Accounts

27 The Breakdown: 1.Instructors may add non-WKU users (as guests) to their course site via our Guest Account website. 2.Instructors fill out an online form containing the guest user’s information as well as the desired course. 3.Once submitted, the guest account(s) is instantly created within Blackboard and enrolled in the desired course(s).

28 Blackboard Guest Accounts

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33 How we use it: Support Tool for IT Helpdesk

34 The Breakdown: 1.Using Bb Web Services, we were able to create a custom web interface that displays useful troubleshooting information to our IT support staff. 2.When faculty and students call in, support staff can easily pull up their Blackboard user information and course enrollments.

35 Support Tool for IT Helpdesk

36 Questions? Contact:


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