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Integration question: deleting enrolments deletes student data

Question asked by mb0047876 on Apr 27, 2017
Latest reply on Oct 12, 2017 by mb0047876

Hi guys, hoping you can share a little bit about your integration setups.


Initially, we build our integration to delete enrolments if a student de-registers for a course. I.e. the enrolment disappeared from our data file, and we used refresh mode to delete the enrolments that were not present in the file. This would unenrol the student from the course, so the list of students was always up to date, mirroring the SIS.


Unfortunately, in pilot phase 1 last fall, we discovered that when you delete an enrolment, valuable student data is lost. This includes any assignments and grades that the student has submitted or recieved. We are moving from a system where these data are only purged if the user is deleted, but in Blackboard it seems like these data are related to the enrolment in the database. Deleting the enrolment, deletes the data. This is a big issue for us, because errors are made by the integration sometimes, or a student makes an error when registering or de-registering. If their work and grades are lost, they may not be permitted to take their exam, and the problem could go undetected for a while as well since the deletion is done by the integration. And, as we know, when you delete something in Blackboard, it really is deleted, and it is hard for sysadmins to restore it.


We would prefer that valuable student data is related to the user, so enrolments could be deleted safely, but since this is not possible, we "solved" this by doing the following:

  • Disable all privileges to delete enrolments (even for sysadmins)
  • Redesign the integration so it now disables enrolments, rather than delete them.


Unfortunately, the SIS does not really handle this too well either, specifically with merged courses where a student's enrolment could be disabled in one child, but enabled in another (they de-registered for one course and registered for another. If they are merged courses, the result of these enrolments is buggy and more or less a lottery). We would prefer to delete enrolments if possible, but see no other way around the issue of the lost student data.


Have you experienced issues with this as well? How did you get around it? Would you be interested in approaching Bb together to see if anything could be done about the way Bb handles data deletion/enrolments, or parent/child courses?