This Article discusses at a very high-level the way in which the integration between Blackboard and Enterprise+ works, and how you as an Enterprise+ Administrator can ensure that this integration does not create difficulties as you are engaging with our platform.
How the Integration Works
When an Enterprise+ instance works alongside a Blackboard Learn instance, Enterprise+ effectively 'takes control' of the Blackboard LMS. In practice, Enterprise+ becomes the 'system of authority'. This means that most information flows from Enterprise+ to Blackboard, and Blackboard Learn 'follows' the commands sent to it by Enterprise+ over time.
These 'commands' are instructions such as "create a new learner", "create a new course", "enroll this learner into this course" or "drop this learner from this course". In general, objects like learners, instructors, sections and enrollments flow from Enterprise+ to Blackboard. As you create these objects in Enterprise+, our system will take care of the 'housekeeping' and create those objects in the LMS automatically. You do not need to re-create those objects in the LMS.
- The only data that flows from the Blackboard LMS to Enterprise+ are:
- Activity, grades, and completion information. This means that if you create learners, sections and enrollments directly in Blackboard, Enterprise+ will not be aware of these objects, and you will not be able to manipulate them in Enterprise+.
Best Practices for the Integration
To ensure that you have a trouble-free experience using your Enterprise+ instance that is integrated with a Blackboard instance, we invite you to follow these recommendations:
- Create all your learners exclusively in Enterprise+. This can be done through the self-service tools included with Enterprise+, or through the bulk creation tools that are available to you.
- Create all your instructors exclusively in Enterprise+. Enterprise+ also offers multiple tools to assist you with the creation of instructors, both individually and in bulk.
- Create the associations between instructors and sections exclusively in Enterprise+. You can assign instructors to courses in Blackboard, but this information will be invisible to Enterprise+ and will not be shown in the Enterprise+ Course Catalog or across the Reports and Dashboards in our platform.
- You can create course templates in Blackboard and then use the Template LMS ID fields at the course level to point Enterprise+ back to that object when creating Sections.
- To avoid confusion, we recommend that you create your sections in Enterprise+. If you have specified a Template LMS ID for the courses that are used as a basis for your sections, Enterprise+ will control Blackboard and create copies of those templates that your learners can enroll in.
- Finally, please create and modify all your enrollments exclusively in Enterprise+. This is by far the single most important recommendation. Enrollments created in Blackboard cannot be replicated in Enterprise+ with ease, and they can be a source of significant rework for you and your team.
- Create enrollments directly in Blackboard. Any enrollments created in Blackboard and not in Enterprise+ are invisible to Enterprise+, and there is no way to restore this other than deleting those enrollments in Blackboard and re-creating them in Enterprise+. Because enrollments are typically very numerous (one learner typically has multiple enrollments across multiple courses), it is critical to avoid this scenario.
- Modify enrollments directly in Blackboard. This means dropping learners from courses or making them Unavailable in a given course in Blackboard. All changes made to an enrollment that are done in Blackboard are invisible to Enterprise+, which can quickly lead to frustrations as the two systems go 'out of sync'.
Instructors, learners and sections that are created directly in Blackboard can be 'synced' with their corresponding object in Enterprise+ by following the instructions in the Troubleshooting below. This means that it is relatively easy to recover from these situations. However, by following the recommendations above, you can avoid this scenario.
There are some actions you can take to restore the sync between both systems.
Learners and Instructors Out of Sync
If you create learners in Blackboard, Enterprise+ will not be aware of these learners. You will not be able to see them in the lists and rosters generated by Enterprise+, and you will not be able to enroll those learners into courses through Enterprise+ as a result.
However, you can restore the sync between both systems by creating those learners in Enterprise+ using the same username as the one they have in Blackboard. Once this has happened, any actions you take involving those learners in Enterprise+ will be directed to the original object in Blackboard.
The same applies for Instructors - you can re-create any Instructors that have gone out of sync in Enterprise+ and then use the tools in Enterprise+ to assign those users to sections as required.
Sections Out of Sync
If you would like to point Enterprise+ to an existing Course object in Blackboard, you can use the LMS ID field at the Section level to point Enterprise+ to the existing course in Blackboard. This should restore the sync between both systems and will allow you to manipulate that Section in Blackboard using the course and section management tools in Enterprise+.
Enrollments Out of Sync
The typical symptom that indicates that your enrollments have gone out of sync is finding that enrollments created in Enterprise+ are not echoing across to Blackboard. You can verify this by logging in as one of the learners you just enrolled in a course and attempting to access the course that you just enrolled the learner into.