I have a question that is somewhat similar to the one found in Best Practice in Customizing a role for Provost?
However, ours is a bit of a different situation. Essentially, our program directors and deans would like to be able to access the Blackboard courses within their respective departments with a level of access that involves the following. some of these are flexible and we can compromise on (FLEX), but some of these are pretty much requirements (REQ) for this role:
- Prevention of instructors or students to actually SEE the dean/director listed within the course roster/users list (FLEX)
- Ability for Dean/Director to be able to view course content, announcements and assessments, but not be able to add/modify/delete these (REQ)
- Prevention of users in the Dean/Director role from receiving emails from Course Announcements in courses they are enrolled in (when the instructor has opted to "send email immediately") (REQ)
- Ability for Dean/Director to be able to view/modify/delete grades and grade center entries (REQ)
- Ability to Activate/deactivate the entire course itself from student visibility (FLEX)
- Ability to View content that has been hidden from students (REQ)
- Ability to View left menu areas that are hidden from students (REQ)
- Ability to View details and analysis of assessments (FLEX)
- Ability to View/run course reports (FLEX)
- Ability to View all the students/ users in a course and see their course roles (REQ)
- Ability to View/customize course "retention center" (REQ)
- Ability to Change due dates on assessments and assignments (FLEX)
- Ability to View (but not modify) the daily and overall attendance (if the instructor is using this feature) (REQ)
- Ability to Create an archive of the course (which can be downloaded to a zip file) (FLEX)
- Ability to Email all students/users in the course (REQ)
I've managed to set up customizations for a role which allows for all of the above except for #1 (instructor can see them listed in the course role), #2 (works for the most part, but Discussion boards can still be modified/edited), and #3.
Of these, #3 (and to lesser extent, #1) is a sticking point and is preventing this from being an acceptable solution, which makes sense - If a dean oversees 100 courses in a semester, and our faculty members make announcements in many of those courses with email enabled(send immediately), this will add hundreds of un-needed emails to the Dean's inbox. It doesn't seem like the Dean can prevent emails from being received via the notification settings on their Blackboard profile, and on the email side, adding a filter for "firstname.lastname@example.org" would prevent them from getting confirmation email notifications from courses they are teaching themselves.
We briefly discussed setting up a system role as opposed to adding a course role and using the SIS to perform this integration, but decided that these would not be restrictive enough in terms of limiting the ability to modify course content.
The best analogy I can give to describe what they want to have would be as a "Ghost observer" (with the aforementioned administrative privileges) - applying this to a physical setting, they would have the ability to invisibly enter a classroom while the professor is teaching, observe the lessons, view the student grading and submissions (and be able to modify if needed) but not be able to be noticed by the students or the instructor, or be able to interfere with the lessons being taught.
If you have an idea for a solution that would encompass this, or a good workaround, we greatly appreciate your input!