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Blackboard and Banner Integration Project – User Information Pack

In 2014 Victoria University of Wellington initiated a project to improve the transfer of information from Banner to Blackboard. A new Blackboard-Banner integration model is being implemented in 2015. In the new model, there are some changes which will be visible to Blackboard Users. These changes are outlined below.

General Information

Banner is the authoritative source of information and data regarding students and courses. As information flows from Banner to Blackboard, it is important to ensure this information is entered in Banner accurately.

Previously, updates to Blackboard have not been fully automated. However, all data will now automatically update overnight to reflect any changes which have been made within Banner throughout the previous day.

Personal details for students will now include their middle and other names if they are available in Banner.

The Blackboard “Course Identification” (Course ID) format has changed and will include the CRN rather than trimester, except where Blackboard courses comprise multiple CRNs (Streams). The full term code, i.e. 201501, will also be contained within this new format.

If a student withdraws from a course they will lose access to that course automatically (overnight). Late withdraws (after the add/drop period) will still be visible to staff, however, these students can be filtered out of the grade centre if desired.

Closing Date for Course Availability to Students

The close off date will be two weeks (Sunday) after a course has finished. At this time Blackboard Courses will automatically be made unavailable to students. However, instructors can change this if needed. Courses can be made unavailable or available manually as is required.

To do this: access your course in Blackboard and go to Control Panel > Customization > Properties.

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Figure 1. Setting course availability and duration

To make the course remain available after the end date, change the duration to “Continuous” in section 4. You can set the availability as necessary using the option in section 3.

Student Enrolments

Students will be enrolled into courses earlier than they have been previously. Enrolment will occur once a student has an ITS Username and they will not need to be fully registered to have access.

NOTE: Courses will still need to be made available in Blackboard by the Course Instructor before a student can access the course.

Grouping Courses

From 2015 Trimester 2 onwards courses will be grouped in the My Courses module in the MyBlackboard tab and Course List module in the Courses tab based on Academic Year.

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Figure 2. Courses grouped by Academic Year.

If your courses are not showing as grouped by term, click on the cog icon in the top right corner of the module and check the checkbox for Group by Term, as shown below:

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Figure 3. Enabling the “Group by Term” option.

Joining Multiple CRNs (refer to the notes if applicable to you)

Courses are not always structured in Blackboard in the same way as in Banner. For example, multiple CRN’s may be joined in Blackboard into one course. Where multiple CRN’s (streams) have been joined, there are areas in a Blackboard course this is shown:

Control Panel > Users and Groups > Users

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Figure 4. The Child Course ID is shown in the Users section of the Course.

Control Panel > Grade Center

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Figure 5. The Child Course ID is displayed in the Grade Center spreadsheet export.

The Child Course ID appears in the Full Grade Center view, when working offline (in the spreadsheet download), and it is also possible to create custom Grade Center Smart Views based on Child Course ID.

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Figure 6. Creating a custom Grade Center Smart View based on Child Course ID (CRN).

Staff Assignment to Courses

Banner is the authoritative source of information and maintains records on courses staff have been assigned to.

The available staff assignment roles in Banner are:

• Course Co-ordinator

• Lecturer

• Course Administrators

The following roles are available in a Blackboard course:

• Instructor - Instructors have full access to the course Control Panel & Grade Center and are able to add/remove other Instructors from the course.

• Course Admin/Teaching Assistant - Course Admins & Teaching Assistants have access the course Control Panel and Grade Center. People with this role can add but not remove other Instructors from the course.

• Grader - The Grader role has access to the Grade Center but has limited access to the course Control Panel.

• Course Builder – The Course builder role has access to most areas of the course Control Panel but does not have access to the Grade Center.

Banner roles will be assigned in Blackboard as follows:

Banner: Course Co-ordinator will be given Blackboard: Instructor

Banner: Lecturer will be given Blackboard: Instructor

Banner: Course Admin will be given Blackboard: Course Admin (equivalent to Teaching Assistant).

Where a staff member has been assigned to any of these Banner categories, they will be assigned automatically (overnight process) to the associated course in Blackboard. Refer to the attached map for more information on this process: Map.pdf

If a staff member should not be in the Blackboard course but needs to be assigned in Banner, please raise a call with the ITS Service Desk and request that this be set up for you.

The process for adding and removing other staff members on Blackboard is described in the following wiki page: Blackboard: adding and removing staff enrolments

Students' Preferred Names Displayed in Blackboard

Please note that students who have annotated a Preferred name during enrolment, have indicated their desire to have this name reflected across Blackboard. This information now reflects across Blackboard and where a Preferred name has been indicated it will appear in the “First Name” field in Blackboard. A students actual first name will also be displayed in the “Legal First Name” field. Where there is no “Preferred” Name in Banner, Blackboard will display a student’s first name in the “Preferred Name” field only. Staff should refer to students by the name annotated in the “Preferred” Name field.

Additional Information

All Banner CRN’s are available in Blackboard and will now include CRN as part of the Course ID.

Where multiple CRN’s are joined in Blackboard, a “Master” course will created for the management of the grouping. This will mean the content updates made by Course Instructors will need to be completed in the “Master” course. This information will then flow to all associated students and be visible to them. It should also be noted that, students enrolled in associated CRN’s will automatically have access to the content which is maintained in the “Master” course.

Whilst all information is maintained and updated at the “Master” level, instructors can see what CRN a student is enrolled in through the Grade Centre or the Blackboard course Users section.

When you require Blackboard courses to be joined or split, continue to put your requests through to the ITS Service Desk using the ResolveIT Blackboard course request forms.
Requests to join or split courses should be logged with the Service Desk before 01 October for the next academic year.

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