AnsweredAssumed Answered

Utilizing Bb Course Templates in Conjunction with SIS Integration?

Question asked by dr36900 on Nov 2, 2017
Latest reply on Nov 9, 2017 by dr36900

Our institution is using Learn 9.1 (currently Q2 2016/CU4).  We are managed-hosted.  We rely on SIS Integration Framework for our SIS (Colleague)/LMS integration.


There has been increased interest at our institution in making use of Blackboard course templates, and I have some concerns and unanswered questions.  I've done some research on how to configure the SIS integration to incorporate templates, but just not sure this is an option for us.   


Anyone else with a similar set-up attempting this?  In addition to all of my operations management concerns (Who will develop the templates?  How long will a template developer need access to their template course?  How many template courses will there be? etc., etc.) I also have some fundamental questions about how this could actually work in our environment.


Things (I think) I understand:


  • a Bb course can be designated as a template
  • Bb courses can be created manually through the Course Creation Wizard which allows for a template to be used
    • this would not be an option for us, as the unique Course ID of a manually created course would ultimately conflict with the same Course ID when it shows up in our automated SIS integration feed files, thereby preventing enrollments and availability from working as intended
  • If the following integration changes are put into practice, then templates can be designated for individual course records in the courses feed file so that, when a new course is created, it will utilize the template referenced in the individual course record within the feed file
    • the template_course_key header is added to the feed file containing courses
    • Advanced Configuration for the corresponding integration in Blackboard is set to utilize Template Course Key for the Source Course Copy Key Learn Courses Field


Things I know I don't understand:

  • Is there a way to utilize data from the SIS to determine which newly created course is going to rely on a particular Bb course template?   My guess is no, which leads to my next question:
  • Is there any way to automate the part of the feed file creation that would designate which course relies on a template, and (if multiple templates are available) which one?


It seems to me that if this isn't something that can be automated and/or if we attempt to rely on more than a single, standardized template, it could become a management nightmare.


It is also probably important to note that, within my organization, I do not have a direct means to alter the feed files that are used for our SIS/LMS integration...those feed files are created/managed by a different team within my department (I believe these feed files are generated using SQL queries to pull data from the SIS) and the process of uploading these feed files to our Bb production environment SIS Integrations is an automated one that is also managed by that other team.


I hope I've articulated this well enough.  If you made it this far, you are a trooper.  Thanks!