Friday, August 15, 2014

IMS LTI Launch Test

IMS LTI Launch Test


The prior IMS LTI test site I was using (see my older blog post) no longer seemed to work.

I found a new one thanks to the JISC-funded ceLTIc (http://www.celtic-project.org/)

There are two ways you can use IMS LTI in Blackboard:

  • Using Oscelot Basic LTI tool
  • Using Blackboard's IMS LTI Tool Provider

I've included both ways to add the IMS LTI tool.

I. Using Oscelot Basic LTI tool

1. Install and configure Oscelot Basic LTI 

 2. Register New Tool

  1. Go to System Administration tab
  2. then  Basic LTI tools (under the Tools section)
  3. click on Register New Tool
  4. Enter
    • Name: IMS LTI Launch Test
    • Launch URL: http://ltiapps.net/test/tp.php
    • Consumer Key: jisc.ac.uk
    • Shared Secret: secret 
  5. Submit
Should look like

After Register New Tool



3. Edit Data Settings for this new tool

  1. Select Edit data settings (pull-down) for this new toolname
  2. Enter
    • Context ID: Check
    • Value to use for Context ID: Database key (default)
    • Context sourceId: Check
    • Context Title: Check
    • User ID: Required by tool
    • Value to use for user ID: Batch UID (default)
    • SourceId: Check
    • User name: Required by tool
    • Email: Required by tool
    • Role Mappings:
      • Instructor to Instructor
      • Student to Learner
      • Teaching Assistant to Instructor (or Teaching Assistant)
  3. Submit
Should look like: 
After Data Settings

4. Edit Launch Settings for this new tool

  1. Select Edit launch settings (pull-down) for this new toolname
  2. Enter
    • Open tool in: select New window
  3. Submit
Should look like:

5. Enable the tool and configure how to display it

  1. Pulldown by toolname, choose Enable
  2. Pulldown by toolname, choose Add as course tool
  3. Checkbox the toolname, choose Display on Menu: Tools
After enabling the tool and configuring of Display on Menu

II. Using Blackboard's IMS LTI Tool Provider


Blackboard has had Basic LTI support since 9.1SP4.

1. Register Provider Domain

  1. Go to System Administration tab
  2. then Building Blocks
  3. then LTI Tool Providers
  4. Click on Register Provider Domain
  5. Enter
    • Provider domain: ltiapps.net
    • Provider Domain Status: Approved
    • Default Configuration: Set separately for each link
    • Send User Data: Send user data only over any connection (note: I'd prefer over SSL)
      • User Fields To Send
      • Role in Course: check
      • Name: check
      • Email Address: check
  6. Submit
Should look like



After Provider is Registered


3. Set up Tool Placement

  1. Click on the '0' under Placements for the row of the provider (ltiapps.net)
  2. Create Placement
  3. Enter
    • Label: IMS LTI Launch Test
    • Handle: imsltilaunchtest
    • Type: Student Tool (for simplicity)
    • Tool Provider URL: http://ltiapps.net/test/tp.php
    • Tool Provider Key: jisc.ac.uk
    • Tool Provider Secret: secret
  4. Submit
Should look like:
After Placement Created



III. Now that LTI is set up we can use it in a course


1. Add tool to your course

  1. Go into your course as an Instructor
  2. Go into a content area/folder
  3. Under Tools menu, you should see the new toolname (e.g., IMS LTI Launch Test)
  4. Select the new toolname
  5. Submit
Adding LTI (e.g., IMS LTI Launch Test)  to the Course
After LTI (e.g., IMS LTI Launch Test) added to Course


2. Test the tool (as instructor, as student)

Note: beware browser security measures, e.g., pop-up blocking, content blocking (since we're loading an insecure page)
  1. Click on the toolname link you added
    • If you are using the Oscelot Basic-LTI : It should open a new window
    • If you are using the Bb LTI Tool Provider : It should open in the lower frame (yeah, no choice to open in a new window)
  2. The http://ltiapps.net/test/tp.php should load and display various POST parameters
Oscelot Basic-LTI Launch should look like:
Bb LTI Tool Provider Launch should look like:


Friday, June 14, 2013

Content Editor and WIRIS supports LaTeX in 9.1SP12

Blackboard 9.1SP12's Content Editor comes with revised WIRIS plugin which no longer requires Java.
Here's an example where I have the LaTeX formula for the Quadratic Equation in the Content Editor.  The LaTeX formula is delineated with the "$$"


Note: currently the Content Editor > Preview does not render the equation.  So the only way to tell that the equation is correct is to submit your changes, then view the resulting item.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Copy/Paste when using the Content Editor with Firefox


There's a security setting in Firefox that prevents javascript-based HTML editors from accessing your clipboard.

There's a workaround using a Firefox add-on called AllowClipboard Helper https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/allowclipboard-helper/

Some documentation written by Ottawa University:
http://onl.ottawa.edu/documentation/student/docs/How-to-fix-copypaste-issue-content-editor.pdf

MozillaZine:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Granting_JavaScript_access_to_the_clipboard




Monday, July 2, 2012

Wishlist/Enhancements to 9.1SP8 cross-listing/merge enrollments


I'm coming up with a list of enhancements we'd like to see for the current 9.1SP8 cross-listing/merge enrollments feature.  We're coming from the Bb Section Merge Tool (SMT), so some of it comes from features we've used there.

Administrative/System-level
  • Allow instructors to create the merge 
  • Allow one-to-many feeds (e.g., one source site could be the child of multiple target sites) 
  • Document some migration path between the SMT and the new course merge 
  • Instructors > My Courses module should indent the child sites (and allow for expansion/collapse) or allow child sites to be hidden completely from view 

Course-level
  • Tools that communicate with students (Announcements, Messages, Send Email) should be able to use Child Course membership to select audience 
  • Adaptive Release should be able to use Child Course membership 
  • Groups should be able to use Child Course membership when creating groups 
  • Grade Center / SmartViews - allow criteria Child Course ID condition "is blank" or "does not contain" (which is useful if you are merging enrollments into section 01 for instance, and want a smartview of section 01) 

Before I submit, I wanted to see if anyone else had things on their wish list...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Restricting User Access

Every so often, we get an official request to restrict a user from some portion of Blackboard.

Some questions we need to ask:

  • how urgent is this request?
  • what is the scope of the restriction?
  • is the restriction permanent (e.g., someone leaves the University) or possible needs to be reversed in the future?
  • what course roles does this user have in the affected Course/Org(s)?
  • does the user still need (or have the right) to get into other Course/Org(s)?
  • do we need to retain course records for that user (e.g., submissions, discussions, grades)?
  • does the user have special roles in Blackboard that give them extra functionality?
  • and - in our case - will the user retain a valid University login id (e.g., has not been revoked/disabled)?
Some methods for restricting access:

1. Making them unavailable in Course/ Org(s) via Course > Control Panel > Users & Groups > Users > Change Users Availability in Course



2.  Remove them from Course/Org(s) via Course > Control Panel > Users & Groups > Users > Remove Users from Course


3. Making them unavailable via Admin GUI > Users > Select User > Make Unavailable



4. Using snapshot to change their USER ID  in Blackboard so it mismatches their University ID (e.g., userid -> userid_disabled)

5. Deleting their USER ID via Admin GUI > Users

There are Pros and Cons to each, and so one or more methods may be used.  We should look at those in more detail...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

NETBIOS over TCP and certain Building Block load times

We were investigating why certain 3rd party Building Blocks took a long time to load screens (10+ seconds). This occurred with EvaluationKit and Internships.com B2s.  This was consistent in our development and production environments.

When we analyzed the packet traffic, we saw that Windows Server was making several (pointless) NBSTAT name queries for certain Hosts related to those Building Blocks.

Wireshark - when doing GET /webapps/bbgs-internships_integration-bb_bb60/app/ssoUserTool


We tested
1 - adding Windows etc hosts entries for the Hosts
2 - disabling the default NETBIOS over TCP

Both had the same positive results: much faster load times for those particular Building Blocks.

Has anyone else encountered this issue with Building Blocks and Bb (Windows Server)?

Update:


  • We did get confirmation of other Bb Schools encountering the same performance issue with the Building Blocks
  • We have tested disabling the NETBIOS over TCP on our development/test systems, and are moving forward with deploying the change to  in production with this change.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blackboard Best Practices with Tests

Some links to other Bb Institutions who've written about best practices when working with tests.

If you have others, please share!