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Connect for Learn: Course Notifications & System Announcements Implementation Process

Date Published: Nov 24,2020


CategoryProduct:Extensions; Version:Learn 9.1, 3900.0.0,Learn 9.1 Q4 2019 (3800.0.0),Learn 9.1, 3900.2.0,Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 (3200.0.0),Learn 9.1 Q4 2017 (3300.0.0),Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 (3400.0.0),Learn 9.1 Q4 2018 (3500.0.0),Learn 9.1 Q2 2019 (3700.0.0),Learn 9.1 Q4 2016 (3100.0.0-rel.107+401e,SaaS,Learn 9.1 Q4 2015 (9.1.201510.1171621),Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 (3000.1.0-rel.52+991d)
Article No.: 000062035
Product:
Blackboard Learn
Release:
9.1
Service Pack(s):
9.1 SP 9 (9.1.90132.0)
Description:
Issue Description: Learn 9.1 Service Pack 9 and above offers the ability for users to send and receive notifications using text messages and text-to-voice phone calls. This capability is provided using a feature known as the Connect Message Gateway. It is free for US Learn clients. To activate, please open a case with Learn Support.

Symptoms:

The Connect Message Gateway offers the following:

  • Send Course Notifications using text messaging and text-­to-­voice phone calls.
  • Send System Announcements using text messaging and text-­to-­voice phone calls.
  • Perform hourly synchronization between Learn and Connect for phone numbers stored in My Places.
  • At this time this service is only available when using the major US Wireless Carriers.
     

Submission of a Learn support ticket and at least 48 hours of notice are required to enable this new functionality.  

Please review the attached document for further information.



Resolution/Workaround:

Step 1. Activation in Learn: Part Alpha

  A.  In Learn, Make Web Services Available and Discoverable

       1.  Go to System Admin tab > Building Blocks section > Web Services
       2.  On the Web Services page, locate Context.WS. Click the down arrow to the right of Context.WS and click Edit.
           a.  Select yes for Available.
           b.  Select yes for Discoverable.
           c.  Click Submit.
       3.  On the Web Services page, locate NotificationDistributorOperations.WS. Click
the down arrow to the right of NotificationDistributorOperations.WS and click Edit.
           a.  Select yes for Available. 
           b.  Select yes for Discoverable.
           c.  Click Submit.
       4.  On the Web Services page, copy WSDL Location URLs to the right of Context.WS and NotificationDistributorOperation and paste these into an email draft. Send the URLs to the Connect team via email.
NOTE: If you have not verified your webservices are in the public domain, do so now. Paste the NotificationDistributorOperation or Context.WS URL into a new internet browser window. Delete the “?wsdl” from the end of the URL and click return on your keyboard. If the webservices are behind a firewall, the implementation will not work.

  B.  Set the Password for the Connect for Learn Protocol 

       1.  Go to Administrator Panel > Building Blocks section > Building Blocks.     
       2.  Click Proxy Tools.
       3.  Click on Manage Global Properties.
       4.  Create a proxy tool password in the text box. (No special characters please)
       5.  Copy and paste the password you entered into the email you will send to the Connect team.
       6.  Click Submit.

  C.  Confirming System Notification is Enabled

       1.  Go to Administrator Panel > Tools and Utilities section > Notifications.
       2.  In section 1, System Availability, click on Enabled for Notification Collection.
       3.  Click Submit.

Step 2. Submitting a Ticket to Support

When submitting a ticket for Connect set up please include the following information:
       1.  Institution information including:
           a.  Institution Name
           b.  Address
           c.  Phone number
           d.  Time zone
       2.  Contact information for the Learn admin including:
           a.  Name
           b.  Title
           c.  Email address
           d.  Direct phone number
       3.  Contact information if different from the above including:
           a.  Name
           b.  Title
           c.  Email address
           d.  Direct phone number
       4.  Caller ID (The phone number you want to appear as the Caller ID for text-to-voice calls sent from Learn)
       5.  Web service URLs including:
           a.  Context URL
           b.  NotificationDistributorOperation URL
       6.  Proxy Tool registration password (No special characters please)

  Before proceeding to Step 3, wait for a response from Support. 

Information:

Step 3. Activation in Learn: Part Beta

  A.  Verify Connect for Learn in Proxy Tools

       1.  Go to Administrator Panel > Building Blocks > Proxy Tools.
       2.  Click on the down arrow to the right of Connect Message Gateway.
       3.  Choose Edit on the popup menu.
       4.  In section 2, Availability, change availability to yes, permit the use of this proxy tool.
       5.  Click Submit.

  B.  Data Synchronization

       1.  Go to Administrator Panel > Users section > Blackboard Connect Contact Synchronization.
       2.  Enter the Connect User Account, Connect Password and SIS Code provided to you via email by the Connect Team.
       3.  In section 2, Connect Data Mapping, choose between BATCH-UID and UserPk1. This determines which field will be mapped as the reference code in the Connect database. If BATCH-UID or UserPk1 are used predominantly, use that field. If not, either will work.
       4.  In section 3, Contact Data Configuration, choose Mobile Phone for both SMS Phone Number field and Text-to-Voice Phone Number Field.
       5.  Click on Synchronize at the bottom right corner.
       6.  Receive an email confirming the synchronization was successful. Once this email is received, proceed to the next step.

  C.  Notification Settings

       1.  Go to Administrator Panel > Tools and Utilities section > Notifications.
       2.  In section 3, Blackboard Connect SMS Options, set the SMS delivery enabled to Yes.
       3.  In section 4, Blackboard Connect Text-to-Voice Options, set the Text-to-Voice delivery enabled to Yes.
       4.  In section 5, Blackboard Connect Telephone Delivery Timeframe, you can specify the time window you would like messages delivered within. Any messages sent outside of this window will be queued to be sent when the window opens.
       5.  Click Submit.

  D.  Test the System is Working

  To test Connect for Learn, a course notification or a system announcement can be sent. The course notification is preferable as this does not involve sending a notification to all Learn users.

(Original)
  To test the Course Notification a test student enrolled in a test course is required:
       1.  Add a mobile phone number to the test student via My Places:
           a.  Log in as the student user.
           b.  Go to My Places > Edit Personal Information. Add the mobile number in the Mobile Phone field. 
           c.  Click Submit.
       2.  Subscribe the student to receive notifications via SMS and text-to-voice:
           a.  Log in as the student and go to My Places > Edit Notification Settings.
           b.  Under Edit Individual Course Settings, click on the test course.
           c.  In section 2, Settings, check off SMS and Text-to-Voice for Announcement Available.
           d.  Click Submit.

(Ultra)
    1. Access the Ultra menu from the left (you will need to close Administrator Panel for this).
    2. Click the username.
    3. Go to the Global Notification Settings > SMS notifications.
    4. Add a phone number and save.
Now that a phone number has been added go back to the SMS notifications and enable New Gradable Items and New Messages (new messages is the same as course messages)

Synchronize the data
       1.Manually synchronize the data (adversely, wait for the hourly update):
           a.  Go to Administrator Panel > Users > Blackboard Connect Contact Synchronization.
           b.  Enter the password provided to by the Connect team and click Synchronize.
       2.  Once the synchronization confirmation email is received, log in as administrator, open the test course and send an announcement:
           a.  In Tools > Announcements section, click on Create Announcement.
           b.  Enter a subject and message body.

  To create a system announcement (optional as this will be sent to all Learn users):
       1.  Go to Administrator Panel > Tools and Utilities > Announcements.
       2.  Click Create Announcement.
       3.  Enter the subject and message body.
       4.  In section 3, Blackboard Connect SMS Options, check the box next to Send above announcement to subscribers via SMS.
       5.  In section 4, Blackboard Connect Text-to-Voice Options, check off Read aloud via Text-to-Voice.


The information contained in the Knowledge Base was written and/or verified by Blackboard Support. It is approved for client use. Nothing in the Knowledge Base shall be deemed to modify your license in any way to any Blackboard product. If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please send an email to kb@blackboard.com. © 2021 Blackboard Inc. All rights reserved


Attachments

Filename Notes Last Updated
ConnectforLearn ClientFacing SP9.pdf Oct 01,2012