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guardLogin pages are important.  There are many UX principles and security regulations that apply to them.  Among many good ideas, we want login pages to be aesthetically appealing and guard the main doors to the system.  It is best when users type in credentials to the same login page across the organization (such as in Shibboleth technology) instead of retyping the same credentials on multiple login pages (such as LDAP and others).  This moves many organizations to use SAML/Shibboleth as web authentication technology.  In Blackboard Learn this is called third-party account.


The problem:

If an administrator configured SAML/Shibboleth for Blackboard Learn, an authentication URL is created automatically on the default login page (sample default page URL:  However, the Username and Password prompts remain.  On a custom login page such prompts can be removed and direct link can be used (sample direct link URL:  Since Shibboleth requires web interfaces, the Blackboard mobile app must be forced to the web with "Web Login".  Unfortunately, after password is accepted users are forwarded to the main Institutional Page location.  In iOS the mobile app doesn't recognize it as a successful login and integrations, such as Panopto SSO, are not correctly redirected to their destination.



As long as you provide the default login page in the Blackboard mobile services B2 "change mobile login url", students will be able to use the default prompts or use the drop-down selection to Shibboleth on the default page with this design:


default prompts



So what's the problem with the workaround?

We would like the custom page to work for the mobile apps and third-party integrations without default login prompt.  This keeps the institutional branding consistent.  Also, if the organization uses only Shibboleth the default black (above picture) Username and Password prompts will not work.  It is necessary to use the link in the bottom drop-down.  The prompts will work with LDAP or internal database authentication, but these may be disabled.  As a security principle, we don't want users to put username or password into any other prompts but the main organizational Shibboleth prompts.  We would also like to understand the root problem. 


As a side note, the name Shibboleth has an interesting story:

Shibboleth - Wikipedia 


Let's get started.  The customization of the Blackboard login page provides important benefits to student engagement and system adaption.  Much can be communicated and advertised. Nathan Cobb wrote up a great piece on how to create a custom login page to Blackboard Learn: Show us your ... Learn Ultra Login Page .   


The basic design is to use the a starter file with about 100 lines of code that begin like this:


<!-- This login.jsp file is tagged with comments identifying sections for easy editing -->

<!-- This section below calls various servlets from the Learn environment and other things you don't want to touch. Do not delete anything in this section -->
<%@ include file="/webapis/ui/doctype.jspf" %>
<%@ page import="blackboard.servlet.util.CourseCatalogUtil" %>



You can download the full starter file here: 


This is  a great start, but it includes design elements, such as credential prompts, which are not wanted in Shibboleth-only approach.  What if you don't want to display the Username and Password prompts that require either local database authentication or LDAP?  Again, if we're using Shibboleth, the internal prompts will break our login process.


So, out of necessity, some administrators created a custom login page with a simple link to the third-party authentication URL.  This link can be extracted from the default login page drop-down.  Here is a simplified code of a custom page that works and uses Shibboleth only:


<a id="loginurl"

Sign In</a>



The code above is a minimalistic approach, but will work perfectly for logging into Blackboard Learn in a browser.  It will process Shibboleth prompts, and redirect back into /ultra home.


However, at this point the mobile app, which has to be switched to forced web login for Shibolleth prompts, will not work.  Support sometimes applied this known issue to tickets reporting the behavior:

MOBI-9602 - iOS 4.4 Doesn't Poll to Native View after External Authentication Until a User Action - Persisting Behavior of MOBI-9247

Article #000050914 - iOS Doesn't Establish Native Session View after External Authentication Until a User Action  


The problem is not with iOS or the mobile app.  The problem also persists in any external single signon application such as Panopto.  So, the functional workaround is to force the mobile app to the default login page and enable at least LDAP to get the prompts workings.


The root cause of this behavior is the redirectUrl and new_loc URL parameters.  If you trace the clicks, the login page from the mobile app or Panopto includes a return URL to successfully receive the authenticated session.  Ok, so there is a JS that can be added to the login page to capture new_loc and forward properly.  After writing that code, it became obvious that there is a better way, more maintainable and sustainable across future upgrades.


The successful trick is to display the Blackboard generated login prompts with the custom drop-down, then hide them, then assign back in HTML the properly formatted custom login URL.


This is how it works:


/* onLoad event on body tag let's us wait for all HTML elements
to be loaded before we detect the custom authentication URL */
<body onLoad="setLogin()">

/* include any HTML/CSS/JS code you have for your custom page.
The only important element below is id="loginurl",
which will let you replace the href dynamically.
The link can be anywhere on your custom login page. */
<a id="loginurl"
href="" >

Sign In</a>

/* this section will build the hidden login prompts with
correctly structured third-party URL.
We are going to pull the first row from the drop-down,
so the first URL in case you have multiple. */

<%@ taglib uri="/bbNG" prefix="bbNG" %>
<%@ taglib uri="/loginUI" prefix="loginUI" %>

<div id="login-form" class="login-form"style="display: none">
<loginUI:loginForm />

<script lang="JavaScript">
function setLogin() {
var a = document.getElementById("loginRedirectProviderList");
var b = a.getElementsByTagName('a');





This approach will fix the login process to the mobile app, SSO to Panopto, and ensure that Shibboleth authentication prompts are presented at the login page and all integrations entry points.


This article applies to Blackboard Learn clients who are not using LDAP, local database authentication, but instead try using SAML/Shibboleth by itself.

Let's share some banner pictures for the Base Navigation Institutional Pages.  Recently the banner dimensions changed, and there is a trick to having the photo action being in the center axis of the picture.  While Learn does resize and show the full picture on smaller devices, it is elongated on most laptop screens. So, most photos can be turned into the new banner files by cropping the height and bringing key photo features to the horizontal axis.


It is possible that in the future the banner will further change.  We would like to update the banner occasionally, and wonder if as a community we can share banners.  Some banners may be school specific, but many pictures today are in public domain or schools are ok with sharing content.  If you can, upload a zip file with your pictures or individual pictures.


Just FYI, this is what documentation states about banners:… 


the banner image should be at least 2000 pixels wide.  Because screen size width varies on wider screens, the banner image crops the top and bottom of the image as the content area gets wider


I personally think that changing the banner keeps the system fresh, it creates a perception that someone is taking care of it, and that many stories can be told about diversity of the organization.


One system with freely available artwork is 



couple talking


In this photo two changes were made: the bottom was cropped and picture was flipped. Previously there was more content at the bottom of the photo.  Now, the face will show up in the center of the new shorter banner.


As another idea, here is the banner from CourseSites.  Notice the left area that allows org logo and a caption.

coursesites banner


Here is a start for the gallery: 

Welcome to the new Blackboard!

Now that you're here, tell us how you'd like to be notified of events in your courses.


So, you enabled Base Nav in your Learn system and the first thing you get feedback on are notifications.  As in other LMS systems, the approach in Learn is student-centric to over-communicate, notify of everything, engage, until the user chooses to mute communication channels.  This makes sense and my post is not about disputing the approach.

However, the notification settings need to be right there, on the main page, preferably as a to-do list.


One way to improve student and faculty experience with notifications in Learn is to provide a reminder right after the login process.  This can be done in Base Nav by employing a custom LTI tool that points to the notification settings in the user profile.  It looks like this:


lti tool


This tool remains also as a system tool in Tools area in addition to the Custom Content module on the Institutional Page.  Once you click the link it goes to this screen directly:




The user can manipulate any of the three areas of settings: stream, email, or push.


The LTI placement of system type would have this URL (make sure to replace "myschool" and follow the LTI tutorial if this is your first custom tool): 



There is a glitch to the setup, which hopefully we can workout as a community.  Once the settings are saved and the notifications window closes, you cannot re-select stream, email, or push.  This is probably because the URL opens the Base Nav the second time.  However, once you close the second window, everything works as expected.

I've written before about guest access to Original courses in Ultra Navigation.  This post is about self-registration in Ultra Navigation.  The expected behavior in the system is:


1. Enable self-registration in the specific course in Administrator Panel

2. Share a link to the course with students who are not enrolled in the course

3. When students access the link, and Enroll button is visible in bottom left




As long as students are already logged in, authenticated, the system works as expected.  However, this is only one scenario for using self-registration.  Another scenario is to include a link to the self-registration course on a public website or in an invitation email, so students can click on the link, login, self-register, and participate in the course.


This scenario in Saas systems with Ultra Navigation breaks down.  After students click on the link, they are asked to login, and then they are forwarded to the Institutional Page ( Home page ).  This means that they have to click again on the invitation link to see the enrollment option.


In the past a solution was to enable guest access on a single course item, such as the Welcome content area in the course, and have students be logged in as guest, upon clicking Enroll, they would be asked to login as themselves and participate in the course.  This produces an error message.


So, to the workaround/solution. 


The invitation link has to be crafted to use the default login page and skip custom login page with appropriate new_loc parameter.  It may sound complicated, but the basics are here:


1. Destination URL to the self-registration course: 


You would find this URL by right-clicking on the content area in the destination course.


2. Encode the destination URL in a new URL with new_loc parameter: 


3. Create a short URL, easy to remember:


If step 2 seems a bit challenging, I'm sure the nerd-readers know what's going on, you can use our Guest Link tool to generate the URL.  All you need is the destination URL from step 1, then paste it in the Guest Link tool.  Simply, generate the guest URL, then modify one element:






The resulting URL will present the default login page (utilize ldap, shib, or local auth), then lead the student to the course with Enroll link.  After clicking Enroll the student will be able to participate in the course.

Ultra Navigation is a wonderful feature, which is a modern gateway to online learning with Blackboard.  Would you like to add more resources in the Tools area or grant to those resources access to students or faculty by role?  You can do this with a flexible LTI links and the Institutional Page Helpful Links.


This may facilitate an easy transition from the Blackboard Community System Portal to Ultra Navigation, and become a better experience for faculty and students.


Do faculty have difficulty finding their courses in the term-based display?  Do you have a Viking spirit to raid the features of Ultra Navigation?


You can now use the LTI Tool Generation app to connect regular URLs or special tools to Ultra Navigation or Ultra course tools section.  The Wizard itself is an LTI tool and takes 3 steps to configure. 


1. Register the LTI tool domain and approve on your system

2. Follow the steps to create LTI placement URLs


Some examples of resources, which can be turned into Ultra tools:

1. Your web pages with documentation and existing resources (ex:

2. Building Blocks without LTI functionality available (ex: My Courses Plus)

3. Community System tools (ex: tabs)

4. Instructor tools from My Blackboard (ex: Retention Center for multiple courses)


1. Community System in Ultra Navigation:

Community System in Ultra Navigation





2. Link to documentation or introductory resources:

Documentation link to Blackboard Collaborate






3. Embed Building Block content or modules to use in Ultra Navigation or Ultra courses under Books & Tools (ex: My Courses Plus):

My Blackboard Plus building block





ex: Qwickly for instructors:

Qwickly for instructors




ex: Qwickly for students:

qwickly for students





4. Link to tools from various Blackboard areas such as the multi-course view of the Retention Center from My Blackboard:

Retention Center in Ultra




This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. You can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “potential”, “should”, “will” and “would” or similar words. You should read statements that contain these words carefully because they discuss our future expectations, contain projections of our future results of operations or of our financial position or state other forward-looking information.


In other words, any elements discussed above can be discontinued by any of the vendors at any time.


Setup demos:






LTI Tool app

How important is guest access to your school?


After our Saas migration a strange thing has appeared.  Our system no longer allows guest access.  It appears, with Ultra navigation, this is by design to Original or Ultra courses.  The guest URLs now redirect to the login page instead of starting a guest session.  As a result, guests are unable to view guest allowed content.


This may be a bug related to article 000043671 or another issue, but for now we are given a workaround to modify guest URLs.  An example of a URL that should work as guest: 


The workaround calls for encoding the original url and adding it as new_loc in a new URL.… 


Notice action=guest_login and new_loc=...


Hopefully this will be resolved soon as most instructors expect guest content to be available via the same URL as logged in users.  However, for now we have a URL generator that will take your old URL and encode the URL to create a working link.



Guest Link App 

A feature in Blackboard called Goals allows faculty and departments to collect information for accreditation or other purposes as to how programs and curriculum aligns with course goals.


Faculty can align course content and assessments (eg. discussion forums and threads, blogs, journals, tests and individual questions, assignments, and Grade Center columns) to one or multiple goals.

Reports can then be run that display how students are performing in alignment with the associated course or department goals.


Many reasons cause departments to seek continuous quality improvement in program and course curricula. In the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU, there is a need to effectively support accreditation requirements as well as to focus on the improvement of the student experience. To this end, the department designed an assessment plan that involves all faculty around the following claims:

  1. We know what we do
  2. We do it well
  3. We can prove it


A number of assessment tools can be used in collecting data and evidence in the improvement program such as:

  • Senior exit survey
  • Focus Groups
  • Internship supervisor survey
  • Comprehensive exit exam (standardized or local)
  • Student portfolios evaluated by committee
  • Faculty self-reflection about each course
  • External evaluators of student performance
  • Performance criteria within each course


As part of the program faculty collect samples of student work. This may include making copies of each assignment and exam with representation for student high, average, and low performance. The criteria for student performance should be measurable, defined by observable behavior, and identifying a specific standard (or minimum standard).

The Blackboard Goals feature allows instructors to mark assessments or content in Blackboard Learn courses as performance criteria to reach a curriculum goal. While the curriculum goal does not have to be the same as a course learning objective, they often overlap. In turn, Blackboard Learn collects student scores and compares them to set target performance level and average range. This helps in identifying students who meet expectations or are outside of them.


The resulting Blackboard course performance report summarizes how students met the expected performance criteria against one or more set goals. The course itself can be archived or copied to retain assessment artifacts and assignment samples. The report is granular enough to provide a breakdown of academic performance per student on each assessment and curriculum goal. The following sample reports come from Introduction to Computing, CIS 150.





Overall, the Goals feature in Blackboard Learn is a very useful tool for collecting academic data and including it in a larger, final report submitted for each course, which includes faculty reflections, student evaluation samples, assessment of previous adjustments, and proposed changes for the future.


Thanks to Eric Kunnen for his ongoing support of key instructional projects.


How to Run a Goals Report - YouTube

Original post at GVSU


Thanks Chris Bray for the Blackboard Learn Goals XML Generator!


Here are the details:

Generates XML files that can be imported into Blackboard Learn for use with Goals, based on the documentation at



Example Files:

We're happy to announce a new feature in BbStats: Latent Class Analysis with Annual adoption report.

Some time ago we reported about a new study at the University of Illinois at Chicago about Patterns in Faculty Learning Management System Use . This research was featured at the DevCon in 2017 and in Top 7 findings in the new study on Blackboard usage .


Running your own Latent Class Analysis study may be of interest to you, but likely many priorities are competing for your time. By the way, Latent Class Analysis is a statistical method for identifying unmeasured class membership among subjects using categorical and/or continuous observed variables. So, while we can't run a custom study for you, it is now possible to identify latent groups already documented. BbStats will graph out how many of your courses belong to each latent group. It doesn't do that by running the model itself, you would do that in order to discover new latent groups or groups unique to your organization. So, as long as you accept the findings of the UIC study, BbStats will identify three documented groups in your data.


Latent group analysis is a process of grouping data to discover new patterns. In a way, the data itself speaks to you through the emerging patterns. Extracting the course design data from Blackboard with BbStats and running the statistical model at UIC identified the following groups: Holistic, Complementary, and Content Repository.


Course data was extracted from 2562 courses with 98,381 student enrollments during the Fall of 2016. A latent class analysis was conducted to identify the patterns of LMS tool use based on the presence of grade center columns, announcements, assignments, discussion boards, and assessments within each course. Three latent classes of courses were identified and characterized as Holistic tool use (28% of the courses), Complementary tool use (51%), and Content repository (21%).


Following is the process to replicate the study report in your Blackboard Learn system:


1. Count all courses with an active grade center. According to the study, this includes Holistic and Complementary courses, but excludes Content Repository courses.

2. Count all courses with an active grade center, announcements, and discussion forums, which identify the Holistic group, with very close approximation.

3. Identify all courses accessed by students, which indicate courses that were active at some point in history.


With the above three groups identified, the system makes the following calculations:


Holistic courses = All courses with an active grade center, announcements, and discussion forums.

Complementary courses = All courses with an active grade center minus Holistic courses

Content Repository = All courses accessed by students minus all courses with an active grade center


This figure, taken from the UIC study, shows the basis for the above calculations:

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 5.12.11 PM.png

There are two ways of running the Latent Class Analysis report in BbStats.


1. You can specify a pattern for the course_id to investigate course groups or departments. This may be different for your school (Figure 2). Examples:


Show latent groups for the Fall 2018 courses for the Computer Information Systems department:



Show latent groups for calendar year 2016:



Identify latent group for a specific course:



2. The second way of using the new report is to run the Annual Latent Class Analysis. This will show academic year breakdown based on course creation date from March 1, 2013 to March 1, 2018. The assumption is that courses are created prior to the Spring/Summer term after March 1. This report does not require any course_id patterns (Figure 3).


Figure 2.

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 7.18.05 PM.png


Figure 3.

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 7.17.36 PM.png


Try it in your staging system. OCELOT: BbStats.

Download the Springer journal article:



The system expects that courses are created inactive and instructors enable courses for students to see. This means that if students access courses, these courses are active. Also, any new gradebook column counts as usage of the gradebook. So, if all new courses are pre-populated with gradebook columns, the complementary category will be very high. However, if faculty create their own gradebook columns by copying courses and if inactive courses are not available to students, the graphs should be accurate.

The top findings from the Patterns in Faculty Learning Management System Use | SpringerLink research study at University of Illinois at Chicago.Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 3.04.16 PM.png


1. On-line courses at UIC focus on holistic use of LMS tools.  68.3% of hybrid/elearning courses, as opposed to in-person courses, were in this latent analysis group and used five key tools: content items, grade center, announcements, discussions, and digital assessments.  Only 22.5% of in-person courses were found in this group.  3% of hybrid/elearning courses were in content repository group.


2. 53.7% of in-person courses at UIC were in complimentary usage group.  This means they used three main tools: grade center, announcements, and assignments.   In-person courses split 22.5% as holistic and 23.7% as content repository courses.  Content repository courses used content items and announcements (without the use of the grade center, assignments, or digital assessments).


3. Holistic group of courses had courses of larger class sizes and greater likelihood of on-line delivery.


4. Comparing the student use of time in digital content of courses and faculty design intentions, there is clearly a gap.  Perhaps time spent on course items by students reflects their best judgment on what will make them successful in the course. Faculty may be designing opportunities for students, which are not well communicated and utilized. Further research is needed to bridge this gap and match student digital behavior with faculty expectations and their design for learning.


5. The aggregate profiles of courses by school or college often reflect a general nature of the programs and curricular approach.  The adoption of specific tools in the digital portion of a course should not be correlated to academic quality of the program or effectiveness of instruction.  This approach reports only on the selection of tools in Blackboard Learn portion of the course design. However, this presentation of the results may suggest resources that may be needed by specific colleges, such as assigned instructional designers or instructor training sessions in specific Blackboard tool use. Finally, as the body of knowledge about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) continues to increase, exploring the tool use in the local learning management system may help to distribute SoTL findings to instructors and colleges according to the digital evidence of their course design (Englund, Olofsson, & Price, 2017; Openo et al, 2017).


6. The findings in this study need to be related to the patterns, which were identified previously by measuring the student use of courses across a large data set (Whitmer et al., 2016). That study did not report on the faculty intent, in terms of the design of the course, but on the time students spent consuming content. The present study adds that while students may be spending a large amount of time in the content of the course, at least 28% of courses at UIC were created with well-rounded opportunities for students to engage in assessments, discussions, announcements, assignments, and reviewing grade postings.  This affects approximately 31,417 student course enrollments (706 courses with 44.5 enrollments on average out of the total of 2,562 courses with an average of 38.4 student course enrollments). The definition of the Complementary group in the study by Whitmer (2016) included content with announcements and the use of gradebook.  Our study identifies a different course design profile as Complementary tool use.  It includes digital assignments for roughly half of the courses.  Perhaps the time required to complete the assignments cannot be recorded in the student activity data; however, there is a clear intention on the side of faculty for students to submit their assignments through the LMS.  Along with the Holistic tool use profile of courses, they make up 79% of courses at UIC.


7. The use of the Blackboard Learn system as a “Content repository” makes up only 21% of the system, 3% of hybrid/elearning courses.  This latent class profile, content repository, may represent initial phases of a faculty member digitizing a course experience.  It may represent the view of the role of technology in teaching as faculty-to-student communication and content-to-student communication.  Certainly, this intent by faculty does not tap into student-to-student communication, digital collaboration between either faculty and students (assignments) or student-to-student collaboration (groups, discussions), or digital assessment (quizzes or exams) in the  system.  It may be that these teaching and learning dimensions are facilitated in the classroom or in other systems.


Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 5.12.23 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 5.12.11 PM.png




Patterns in Faculty Learning Management System Use

ResearchGate: Patterns in Faculty Learning Management System Use

Springer Nature Reader



Machajewski, S., Steffen, A., Romero Fuerte, E., & Rivera, E. (2018). Patterns in Faculty Learning Management System Use. TechTrends.

All right, so you implemented the Open Photo Roster to show campus photo ids to instructors.  This helps with learning student names, managing new faculty anxiety about teaching, and allows proctors validate identities before the exam.  However, a question sometimes comes up: What about the pictures of freshmen, now that they are seniors, who don't look anything like their pictures!


You are in luck.  We implemented image manipulation to age the freshmen photos and simulate how they will look in just 4 years.




Ok, maybe not exactly ... we're not there yet.  What we added are two additional rosters, which may help faculty see more current photos.  The two rosters are Blackboard Avatars and Gravatars.


Many schools are allowing students to upload avatars to the My Institution cloud interface.  These photos can be useful, and now you can see them in the photo roster.  On the other hand, the Gravatar system is very popular in WordPress and other social media.  It allows students to associate pictures with their school email address.  Instructors can specifically encourage the upload of photos to Bb Avatars or Gravatars to make sure their rosters are complete.


The new B2 has two versions: Open Photo Roster, and Open Photo Roster Plus.  The Open Photo Roster displays Bb Avatars and Gravatars.  The Plus requires custom setup arranged by  The B2s were tested on local installation, Managed Hosting, and Saas.  They work with Original and Ultra courses (Ultra menu setup arranged by


As our LMS becomes more cloud based, we are dependent on external services.  Blackboard Collaborate, Saas, Ally, SafeAssign, behind Blackboard, or Connect are some examples.  You can check their status at: Blackboard Services Status ( both Americas and Global tags). However, what if you prefer an email, phone call or a text message when the service changes status?


This can be done with IFTTT triggered by the RSS sources on


Here are the steps to setup email notification on a change of SafeAssign:


1. Setup IFTTT account

2. Determine URL to the specific RSS feed of the service.  For SafeAssign navigate to and click on Global tab.  From here an orange RSS icon contains the URL.  The URL is:

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.05.53 AM.png


3. Create a new applet on IFTTT that uses THIS as RSS trigger and THAT as email (options: SMS, phone, etc).  This steps may require that you first setup your email.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.07.08 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.07.22 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.07.47 AM.png


The end result should be that when status is added to the SafeAssign listing, your IFTTT recipe is triggered and you get an email.  For a more advanced approach see this IFTTT action that generates a phone call:

Blackboard Button - IoT and IFTTT with Amazon Comprehend - YouTube


Let us know in the comments how you are using IFTTT already or if this recipe may work for you!

Digital communication in a course, and in a professional team, can be tricky. Email can quickly overwhelm a group with repeated message, irrelevant reply-all, and a significant overhead in busy-work. Native Blackboard Learn discussion forums can also make it difficult to share files, snippets of code, and breaking out into private discussions. In the last few years, Slack has been conquering the field of professional team communication. It has also been used in online courses. A few more examples: political science course, digital history. There are many reasons why Slack is being adopted, but I will list the top 7 reasons.


  1. Slack discussions happen in one place and can be divided into Channels for specific topics. Users can be assigned to as many (or as few) channels as needed. A balance is kept between clarity and complexity. The discussion maintains transparency and users can effectively identify relevant messages.
  2. Slack integrates with important systems like GitHub, Trello, and many others. Full list is available at
  3. All content can be searched through one search control.
  4. Files can be easily shared.
  5. Code snippets render well and are easy to share (very important in computer classes).
  6. Team discussions can be quickly switched to private discussions.
  7. Slack is fun on any device.


Learn about Slack on


You can now place a link to your Slack workspace in Blackboard Learn as well as invite your class through this REST API integration. In addition, you'll know which students in your class have already joined Slack and who needs a reminder.


System administrator instructions:



(please note that you can specify your own REST Application ID, if you want to have multiple levels of access. This allows you to have the instructor create a dev account, give you an App ID, then you link that instructor Blackboard ID to the REST Application ID. This means you don't have to grant any permissions or configure our REST Application ID)

REST Application ID: cc908933-00d0-4143-87be-47aee29ed984



LTI domain:



The icon:


Minimum Bb version: 3000.1.0

Ultra Courses & Original in Saas with REST API/LTI apps

More: Did someone try to integrate Slack as forum in Blackboard ?


Ultra course:


Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.28.24 PM.png


Original course:

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.29.22 PM.png


Instructor Control Panel:

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 5.07.24 PM.png


Slack analytics in a Winter 2018 course:

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 11.01.50 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 11.01.20 PM.png


For computer courses sample code snippet formatting in Slack:




What can you integrate in Slack?



more about Slack


To use a custom system role for the REST API user you'll need 3 privileges:

Administrator Panel (Organizations) > Organizations > Edit > Enrollments

Administrator Panel (Courses) > Courses > Edit > Enrollments

Administrator Panel (Users) > Users Administrator Panel (Users) > Users


If one of your students is in the course, you'll see a 404 error for this user. That's because system users cannot be looked at with api. That's sort of bug/functionality.