Blackboard Integration Setup

March 3, 2016 Rex McWilliams

Download

The first step in the setup process is to download the latest version of the Blackboard Building Block 

Installation

1. To install the .war file, select ‘Building Blocksfrom the System Admin tab.

2. In the ‘Building Blocks’ Tab, select ‘Installed Tools’.On the upper-left of the screen, click ‘Upload Building Blocks’.  This will bring up a file browser that you will utilize to locate the .war file that you received from your Customer Success Specialist or Implementation Consultant..

3. After the .war file has been successfully uploaded, locate the ‘ExamSoft’ entry in the ‘Installed Tools’ list and enable the ‘Building Block’ by selecting ‘Available’ from the dropdown menu.  The installation process is now complete.

Configuration

The Building Block will need to be configured properly before it will start sending data to ExamSoft.  From the 'Installed Tools’ list in the ‘Building Block’ menu, select ExamSoft’, then choose Settings’ from the dropdown menu.

4. Specify the connection to ExamSoft by selecting ‘ExamSoft Account’.  This account will be considered the 'Default Account'. Ensure the 'Integration Endpoint' contains the following URL: https://esintegration.examsoft.com/ESIntegration/ESIntegrationService.svc.
Ensure that the Registration Tool URL is set to: 
https://www2012.examsoft.com/ui/lti/login.aspx?custom_page=gradesync

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The 'Manage and Configure ExamSoft Building Block' menu will be the location from which all
actions will be performed in the Building Block.

5. Place a name in the ‘Institution Name’ field, then place the Consumer Key’ and ‘Shared Secret’ that you received from your Customer Success Specialist in their respective fields.

6. If you would like to configure other ExamSoft accounts, please refer to this Quick Reference Guide.

You can synchronize data to multiple ExamSoft databases, but each database will require a distinct Consumer Key and Shared Secret. Your Customer Success Specialist or Implementation Consultant can provide you with this information.

  • Secondary ExamSoft accounts can be added in two different manners: With Course Matching or Without Course Matching.  The difference between the two methods is that course matching will allow you to automatically send courses to specific accounts by matching certain patterns in the course ID that you can specify.  There are options to filter courses by the course prefix or suffix, or by using a delimiter option.  For more detailed information on adding courses with matching, please refer to the Administrator’s Manual.

7. Select which type of User ID will be sent to ExamSoft. Whichever you select must match the User ID format within your system. 

8. If you are using SAML, select the 'Enable SAML' radio button, and select the 'External ID' from the options.

9. Finally, indicate whether or not you will use SofTest within a lab environment. Click 'Submit' to finalize the Configuration settings.

Course Synchronization

In order to send courses to your ExamSoft database, they must first be specified in the building block’s 'Courses’ section.

9. There are currently two options to add Courses into a section. 

  • Select the courses by clicking on the ‘Select Courses’ radio button. To choose courses, click the ‘Browse…’ button. 
  • Upload a *.csv file after selecting Upload a File of Multiple Courses. This file should only contain the CourseID in one column, with no header.

10. Next, input your search criteria and click ‘Go’.  Select your desired courses from the list.  The courses will appear in a list in section 3 – ‘Courses to Sync’.

Although ExamSoft requires course start and end dates, Blackboard does not.  If a course is selected that does not have dates, the building block will use the current date for the start date and a date in the distant future for the end date.  Alternatively, you will have the option to enable the course date override feature.  This will allow you to set default dates for all courses within the sync list. You can also opt to have an email sent to the Bb Administrator when the end date is reached.

11.  After the courses have been added to the list and the account selected, click the Submit button. Note, please make sure the Courses you intend to Sync are assigned to the correct account if you are utilizing multiple ExamSoft portals. 

Assigning Access by Course Roles

When synchronization operations occur, the building block will assume that all users associated with a course are students (with the exception of the instructor) and will create student accounts for each user and enroll them into the course.  The Default Role Mappings’ section will allow specific Bb roles to be either included or excluded from this sync list.  Only roles that are ‘included’ will have student accounts created for the specific users.

Note, we strongly recommend to only include Student accounts. 

In the example below, only users labeled as ‘Learners’ will have accounts created within Blackboard, and will be enrolled into the specific courses.

The 'Registration' section specifies the roles of Users that will be allowed to push grades from the ExamSoft portal back to Blackboard. We recommend that only Instructors should have rights to do so.

 

Synchronization Rules

Within the building block, there are 3 options for synchronizing data between Blackboard and ExamSoft: ‘Save and Send All Data Now’, ‘Save and Send Incremental Data Now’ and the Auto-Sync’ feature.

  •  Save and Send All Data Now– this option will compile course, student and enrollment information for all courses and send it to your ExamSoft database.
  •  Save and Send Incremental Data Now– this option will
    compare all current course, student and enrollment

    information for all courses against data from the previous
    sync and only send the changes to your ExamSoft database.
  • Auto-Sync – this feature will allow you to schedule a specific time that the building block will send daily updates to your ExamSoft database.

Logging

The building block also provides the ability to view daily activity logs.  The logs can be configured as either ‘Basic’ or ‘Detailed’, which determines the amount of content that is reported. We strongly suggest setting the logs to default for Detailed reporting.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade Push with Blackboard 9.1 and SaaS

If you have updated to Blackboard 9.1, or are using Blackboard SaaS, please navigate to the list of installed tools, and select Settings from the dropdown menu for Examsoft. Please provide the full URL as shown below to your Customer Service Specialist to enable Grade Push between ExamSoft and your Blackboard instance.

 

Grade Push with Blackboard Ultra

If you're using an OS device, please be sure to use Firefox to complete this process. If you're using a Windows device, Step 2 will not be necessary 

  1. To enable Grade Push with Blackboard Ultra, please navigate to Admin -> Building Blocks -> Installed Tools -> open the dropdown menu for ExamSoft from the list, click Settings.
  2. Right-click anywhere on this window, and select This Frame -> Open Frame in New Tab



    Please provide the full URL as shown below to your Customer Success Specialist to enable grade push between ExamSoft and your Blackboard instance.

 

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