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Multi-Institution for Partner Cloud

Date Published: Nov 05,2015

CategoryProduct:Extensions; Version:9.1
Article No.: 000038873
Blackboard Learn
Document Type:
Administrator Documentation

Document Summary:

When multiple institutions are sharing a single Blackboard Learn environment, certain partner licensing agreements may vary between one or more institutions using the same Blackboard Learn environment. Often, this means that teachers and students in certain Blackboard courses are provided with different partner functionality than teachers and students in other Blackboard courses. When redirecting users from Blackboard to the external partner site, Partner Cloud can relay to the partner specific contextual information about the Blackboard Learn environment, specific resource requested, user, course, user's course role, and optionally, any "institution(s)" (departments, schools, programs, etc.) to which the course belongs. It is this course ownership data that enables partners to deliver the appropriately licensed functionality to the user requesting the resource. The Multi-Institution Installation option in Partner Cloud is what enables users in specific Blackboard courses to experience differentiated partner functionality when using Partner Cloud integrations based on licensing agreements between the "institution" and the partner.

If users in certain courses are allowed to experience specifically licensed partner functionality (one "institution") which is different from the partner functionality allowed to be experienced by users in other courses (a different "institution"), those courses need to be aligned with their institutional "owner", and that institutional ownership data can then be passed to the partner via the Partner Cloud integration. By organizing the affected courses to align with the relevant institutional owner, the partner can parse that ownership data to determine what level of functionality to deliver.

Partner Cloud can leverage 3 different administrative tools that can be used to organize, "flag", or "bucket" courses in Blackboard Learn. These include: Institution Hierarchy, Institutional RoleData Source Keys, Domains, and User Attributes. While each of these tools offers a full host of functionality that has no inherent connection to Partner Cloud, they all share a common feature: the ability to create and manage course groupings. In many cases, a Blackboard Learn system administrator may already be using one or more of these administrative tools for other purposes – this does not exclude them from being used to enable a multi-institution installation in Partner Cloud.

When considering between Institution Hierarchy, Institutional RoleData Source Keys, Domains, and User Attributes, each of these tools has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on a variety of local factors. These factors might include the partner integration implementation timeline, configuration of the Learn environment, availability of course-institution assignment data, and staff skill level. Understanding how each tool can be used to enable a multi-institution installation of Partner Cloud will help determine which tool is best suited for a given Blackboard Learn environment.

For more information on Institution Hierarchy, Institutional RoleData Source Keys, Domains, and User Attributes and how to set these up at your institution, please review the Multi-Institution Installation Guide for Partner Cloud.



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