Do we have a chance to transfer student pictures from the SIS system to Blackboard profiles?
I quickly looked at the advanced configurations for users in our SIS, and there was no field equating to avatar. I believe avatar is the only field that is user demographic that can contain an image. I suspect that custom fields can be added to integrations. You'd have to ask an expert. BUT you also have to know that avatar requires the image to be a certain size, 150 by 150, I believe, or something like that. If it is not, the image will be automatically resized and, quite frankly, look terrible.
Thank you for answer I think it's a tough job
If you are using "local avatar" option, you can bulk upload them via the GUI.
Avatars | Blackboard Help
Note, by default, avatars are set to "Do not display avatar image" - so even if you upload the images, your users will have to opt-in on the personal settings interface.
Jeff, this "bulk" is not quick or easy. You have to get the primary key value for each user (what a pain that is!); you have to create a folder for each user with that key value in the folder name; put the avatar image for each student in each folder. That would probably take an hour for 30 students.
I am curious how the external photos are referenced - by userId or name?
Mark, Look at the link Jeff provided.
Sorry I was unclear... what are the names of the image files you are working with based on - the user's batch_uid or their username or some other construct e.g.:
123456abc.jpg or mark_oneil.jpg etc?
Mark - the filename doesn't matter, but each has to be enclosed in a directory based on user's PK1 value.
What I am driving at is how one is able to associate a Learn user with a local photo so that one could script a solution that pulled user information and created the folder structure.
To do so one needs to know how to associate a user found in Learn with their photo - that would either be done by a remote photo-store/id system lookup mapping usernames to some arbitrary photo filename and downloading the photo, or by discovering the locally stored photo based on a common piece of information.
For example the photo may be on local storage with the batch_uid.jpg naming convention or may be retrieved from the remote photo store based on a similar piece of information.
What is the convention or piece of information that maps the Learn user to the non-learn photo name?
That is what I am looking for.
Also are the images already 150x150?
A system generated avatar image file for each user must be located in sub directory named "user_[user_id]_1". For instance, for a user whose user_id is 245, create sub directory "user_245_1" under the specified directory and place image file in the "user_245_1" directory.
I know your points Jeff. What I am talking about has everything to do with easing the pain of creating that upload able zip file.
Perhaps I am being obtuse.
I have an image for Jeff on my laptop, I also have an image for Gail and an image for Mark. I happen to have those image files named:
Jeff_Kelley.jpg, Gail_Watson.jpg, and Mark_ONeil.jpg
These happen to also be their usernames in Learn. The images are in a folder Student Images.
I can use a script to query Learn for users Jeff, Gail, and Mark, and get their PK1 and their username. I can then have that script create the required directory structure for each user and place their image in the correct PK1 named directory based the known mapping of the username to the jpg image.
Zip up the directory structure and upload.
All I am asking is what is that mapping in Gail's case? What are others using? Are the jpg filenames on my laptop mapped to the username, the batch_uid, the first_lastname, or something else?
Mark, I think you just need to export pictures from SIS and prepare the folders per user. You need to figure out pk1 in Bb for each user, then create directory for each user. Then move the picture into that user folder. So, a script would need to go by pk1, SIS ID, picture name resolution file.
I think a basic problem here is that pictures coming from SIS are not meant by students as avatars. I don't think they should be transferred as such. They are FERPA data.
Creating the directory structure is the easy part and can be done all from Learn REST requests.
Given the PK1 is not coming from the SIS (or ID) system you need to know how to associate a given Learn User with the photo that needs to be placed in their corresponding PK1 directory, likely by externalId or username association.
That is the missing link in this discussion - how are the photos extracted as files or what are those filenames?
eg if the photo is dynamically being pulled from an ID system you need to look up the user in the id system - e.g. via the externalId - and pull, format, and save the image in the correct PK1 folder for the user with the matching externalId (filename in this case does not matter - save it as <pk1>.jpg)
On the other hand...
Let's say you have a hard drive with all the images on it - stored as <externalId>.jpg in order to match users you would need to know that the filenames were based on the user externalId.
In both the above cases you need to know the scheme for programmatically associating the user to a specific user photo (whether queried from SIS/Id or read off a disc) so that you may place it in the correct PK1 directory. What it ends up being named on saving to the PK1 directory is irrelevant.
I will not disagree with your assessment of ease or speed.
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