Do you have multiple Blackboard configurations? In the Settings > Configurations > LMS Configurations page, click the Configurations tab in the right panel. If you have multiple Blackboard configuration blocks, ensure they are all identified as "Blackboard" type blocks (and not "Other"). Echo360 used to permit only one of a "type" of configuration, requiring the selection of "Other" for multiples. That is no longer a constraint, and all of your Blackboard configuration blocks must be of type "Blackboard". Otherwise some of your instructors may see a blank Analytics tab.
Echo360's REST API integration essentially provides Echo360 with an "LMS/VLE course lookup by Instructor" capability. This integration provides two features:
- The ability for Echo360 admins or schedulers to create both Echo360 sections and connect capture schedules directly to LMS Courses. This is described in Linking an Echo360 Capture Schedule to an LMS Course.
- The ability for instructors to see and use the consolidated Analytics tab, which provides viewing and polling response data in one place for all of their LMS-course-related Echo360 media.
The basic process for API integration is:
- Create a Rest API integration in Blackboard.
- Add a Blackboard API configuration in Echo360
- Authorize the configuration.
- Test the configuration.
As with most LMS-to-Echo360 configurations, this requires that you are able log into Echo360 and Blackboard as an administrator.
Best Practices for application user access: The API integration requires a user Email address. It can be a administrator's email address or it can be an application user account you create for this purpose, with restricted access (link is to a video describing this process). See the Blackboard documentation for Releasing your REST Integration, and work with your Blackboard Support representative as needed. You may also contact Echo360 Support for more details.
To configure an API integration between Blackboard and Echo360
- Log into Blackboard as an administrator and click Admin from the left navigation.
- From the Admin Panel, locate the Integrations block and select Rest API Integrations, as identified in the below figure.
- From the top of the Rest API Integrations list, select Create Integration, identified in the below figure.
- In the Create Rest API integration page, shown below, enter the following application ID:
- Enter an Admin Email address into the Learn User field. This is the user that the API integration will act as. See the note at the top of this page regarding recommendations for this account.
- Leave End User Access as the default of Yes.
- Change Authorized to Act As User to Yes.
When complete the form should look similar to the following figure.
- Click Submit.
- If you haven't already, open a new browser tab or window for Echo360 and log in as an administrator.
- Click the Settings icon in the top right of the main menu bar, then select Configurations, as shown in the below figure. The LMS Configurations tab is shown by default.
- In the main panel of the page, click the APIs tab, as identified in the above figure.
- Click Add.
- In the form that appears, shown below, select Blackboard as the LMS Type.
- Enter a Name for the configuration.
- Enter your Blackboard Domain (base URL of your Blackboard instance).
- Click Save.
- In the API tab that appears with your new configuration, click Authorize as shown in the below figure.
- If you receive a popup window requesting it, log into Blackboard as a system administrator. It does NOT have to be the same admin user configured for the Rest API Integration.
If you are already logged into Blackboard as an administrator, you may see a brief popup while blackboard confirms your login.
After authorization, the popup closes and the API tab appears again.
- Click Test to ensure the configuration and communication works properly.
- In the popup that appears, enter an email address for a Blackboard instructor known to be enrolled in Blackboard courses, then click Search. See also the technical detail note at the bottom of this page.
If the configuration is successful, the bottom section of the test modal is populated with a list of that instructor's Blackboard courses, as shown in the below figure. You can close the dialog box using the X in the top right corner.
You are done! You can now Link your Echo360 capture schedules to LMS courses. And your instructors will now see an Analytics tab in their main menu navigation, to access to their LMS-course related media data.
Technical Detail regarding Blackboard user email lookup: The Blackboard API does not allow for lookups via email address; the other supported LMS/VLEs do. To work with this limitation, Echo360 takes the Email you enter for the user, cross references it with that user email in Echo360, then uses the LMS user ID to obtain the list of courses from Blackboard.
Why does this matter? This means that in order to find a list of Blackboard courses for a user, that user MUST have entered into Echo360 from Blackboard at least once. This provides us with the LMS user ID associated with their Email address, and allows us to return their Blackboard course list.