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Delivering a self-service Blackboard Registration System Across a Large Institution

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  • 2 mins CD/BothSession DescriptionHere is the session description that you provided upon submitting your proposal.  Please make sure your presentation reflects what is described below. The presentation is an overview of how the University of Manchester delivers a self-service administration system linked to the institution’s Student Record System. The institution has c3700 academic staff delivering 5000 course units annually to over 36,000 UG and PGT students.  The administration system enables academic staff to self-manage the activation and roll forward of their courses through our University portal; controlling availability to students, course content, and use of templates.  The presentation will •                give a non-technical overview of the principles of the integration between Blackboard and the Student Records System •                demonstrate the activation / roll forward process  •                discuss the benefits of this system in terms of, academic ownership of course delivery, support for institutional requirements and use of templates, efficient and effective eLearning support, and automatic availability of courses to students •                how we have overcome the limitations of the integration
  • 1 min – CDVery diverse institutionDefinition of courses – units which area 10, 20, 30 credits, a number of courses make up a programmeMHS – 5 Schools and 6 InstitutesFLS – single SchoolEPS – 9 SchoolsHumanities - 6 Schools
  • 1 min – CD
  • 1 min – CD Using Blackboard Learn 9
  • Data is gathered from various Enterprise systems and ‘funneled’ into BlackboardHowever, not 1-1 relationship between Enterprise data and Blackboard Data.
  • Roles mapping between CS and BB – Portal roles allowingPortal access –
  • 5 mins (next 8 slides) - CDFor staff as soon as courses are scheduled in our SRS then a staff member sees courses on which they play a staff rollDepending on what role they have depends on if they are able to activate or roll forward a courseFor staff they are automatically grouped in current course, ended courses (course end date in the student system passed), future (course start date in student system in the future)Students see courses on which they are registered AND where the course has been activated
  • First course is an active link which indicates it has been activatedRSCHTEST2 is not an active link so has not yet been activatedi button allows member of staff to view activate / view details of the courseClick i to Activate
  • Under Course Details gives details as they appear in the student systemGive my roleAs a ‘Primary Instructor’ (mapped to Blackboard role ‘Course Leader’Tells me status i.e. NOT ACTIVATED Note only certain roles can activate i.e. a TA can’t activate have to have roles in our SRS which map to Course Leader or eLearning Support in Blackboard
  • Under Blackboard Configuration, more options on how the Course Leader can make the course available to students
  • On activation various settings are recommended, however start and end dates can be changed (within parameters)Ties in with University policy about start and end dates allows consistency and reinforcing of practice Course Leaders can choose from a previous version of the course or select from one or more templates available (templates can be assigned by School) – ‘mapping database’ allows this choice
  • After click Confirm activationIndicates wait time for when course will be availableOften takes much shorter but specifically at busy times we recommend 24hours
  • See now that on activation it is a link which will take you directly into Blackboard
  • Can amend start and end dates to students
  • 1 min - CD
  • 1 min - CDUses existing process/encourages a ‘single point of truth’Does not add additional steps to what staff and students should do anyway
  • 1 min - CD
  • 1 min - CDFor e.g. our SRS does not allow have the role whereby in Blackboard we can support by Programme Directors having access to all units in their programmeFor e.g. for Programmes can only have one person for each role. Programme details integrate with Blackboard to create Organisations
  • 1 min - CD


  • 1. Delivering a self-serviceBlackboard registrationsystem across a largeinstitutionChris White (Support and Development Analyst(Interfaces), IT Services)Cath Dyson (eLearning Manager, Faculty of Humanities)University of Manchester
  • 2. 2University of Manchester• 400 degreeprogrammes• Over 5,500 courseunits• Four Faculties– Medical and HumanSciences– Life Sciences– Engineering andPhysical Sciences– Humanities
  • 3. 3The Large InstitutionStudentsUndergraduate 27,996PostgraduateTaught8,346Total Taught 36,342PostgraduateResearch3,611Total students 39,953StaffTotal 10,663Academic 3,849(includingTeaching only)1,889• http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/facts/statisticsFacts and Figures 2013
  • 4. 4How eLearning is organisedFaculty of HumanitieseLearning TeamFaculty of Medical andHuman ScienceseLearning TeamFaculty of Life ScienceseLearning TeamFaculty of Engineering andPhysical ScienceseLearning TeamCentral IT ServicesBlackboard andIntegration Support
  • 5. 5Underlying principlesBlackboardOrganisationalStructureStudent Status(Finance)StaffAssociations(CRM)BlackboardStudent(SRS)Staff (HR)Courses &Enrolments(SRS)
  • 6. 6Systems integrationDataHubStudentRecordsSystemHR FinanceCRMMappingDatabaseIntegrationProcessBlackboardPortal
  • 7. 7What our systems configuration allowsus to do• Devolve activation of courses to academicowners• Override existing enterprise data• Add additional data (e.g. Organisationdefinitions / enrolments)• Devolve support and administration to FacultyeLearning teams
  • 8. 8Use of Staff Portal / My Manchester
  • 9. 9Course Activation or ‘Rollover’
  • 10. 10Course Activation or ‘Rollover’
  • 11. 11Course Activation or ‘Rollover’
  • 12. 12Course Activation or ‘Rollover’
  • 13. 13Course Activation or ‘Rollover’
  • 14. 14Course Access and Availability
  • 15. 15View course details
  • 16. 16Amend course details
  • 17. 17Advantages: Ease and Efficiency• Able to deliver of a large number of coursesto a large number of students• Course lifecycle allows us to communicateclearly with staff and students, particularlyon standard semester date courses, whileallow for some variation• Minimises points of failure
  • 18. 18Advantages: Uses Existing Processes• Responsibility placed with appropriatestakeholder– Courses have to be set up in SRS –administrative process– Student has to be enroled on a course –student process– Course has to be activated / delivered –academic process– Integration – IT Services responsibility– Support there for staff if needed, problems identified ifoccur – eLearning support
  • 19. 19Lifecycle: CurrentAdministrator:SRSCoursescheduledStudent:SRSEnrols oncourseunitAcademic:PortalActivatescourse
  • 20. 20Advantages :Promote Institutional Priorities• All course units have a Blackboard presence– Reporting allows comparison of course units scheduled andcourse units activated• Consistency for students (use of templates)
  • 21. 21Limitations• It only works if roles / relationships arespecified in our SRS• Issues with our current SRS
  • 22. 22Support issues• Administrative interface / layer– Addresses some of limitations– Allows check and change activation details– Create organisations / communities– Add additional enrolments
  • 23. 23Questions and Thank You• Chris White (Support and Development Analyst (Interfaces), IT Services)chris.white@manchester.ac.ukwww.manchester.ac.uk/itservices• Cath Dyson (eLearning Manager, Faculty of Humanities)cath.dyson@manchester.ac.ukwww.manchester.ac.uk/humanities/tandl/elearning