Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blackboard Cloud Highlights

Small ProfileInformation in profiles is shared when users post to blogs, journals, wikis, and the discussion board. Profile cards are shared in the roster tool and people tool.  The new Profiles feature allows each user to create a rich profile to identify him or herself in Blackboard Learn.  Profiles are available with Course Delivery only, but greatly enhanced with the addition of the Community Engagement license.
Because the Profile is cloud-based, a user can present the same Profile across multiple Blackboard instances. For example, a user, Melanie, may be teaching an undergraduate course at the local community college while she gets her graduate degree at the state university.  Suppose Melanie logs into the state university. She sees the prompt to create her profile, and it will ask her if she has created a Blackboard profile before at this or another institution. Since she's never created a profile before, Melanie goes ahead and builds her new Blackboard Profile. When she logs into the community college (where she teaches a course), she'll see the same prompt. Knowing she has created a profile, she selects that option and the system ask her to verify her primary email address entered when she created the other profile. Once verified her existing Profile is mapped to her community college Blackboard account. So now Melanie has two Blackboard accounts (one at the state university, one at the community college), but both share the same cloud-based Blackboard profile. 
Full ProfileThe full profile has a number of features: 
  • Privacy: The only component of the Profile or Profile Card that is automatically shared is a user's name (as that would normally be shared in the context of being able to see the user in other areas, e.g. a Discussion Board or course Blog). The other parts of a Profile are under the control of a user.  A user also has the ability to control the overall access to the Profile. There are four levels of privacy:
    • Public: the Profile can be discovered and seen by Blackboard Learn users at your institution and by Blackboard Learn users at other institutions
    • School Only: the Profile can be discovered and seen by Blackboard Learn users at your institution only.
    • Private: only users in users with whom you share a context (e.g. other users in your Courses, Organizations, or Spaces) can discover and see your Profile
    • Hidden: Your Profile does not show up in discovery searches at all.
  • Profile Blocking:  Users may encounter other users that are offensive or bullying or otherwise undesirable. Blackboard Learn will allow a user to block any other users. When a user has blocked another user, the blocking user's Profile will appear private to the blocked user, even if it's set to be a publicly viewable Profile.
  • Profile Wall: Similar to other social networks, a Blackboard user can post information directly to a "wall" on their Profile. Other users who can see their Profile can read and comment on those posts. Users who "follow" another user receive those Profile Wall posts in their My Blackboard Posts (more on Following below).
  • Following:  Similar to other social networks, a Blackboard user can "follow" another user by selecting the Follow button on their profile. Following a user means that their Profile Wall posts appear in your My Blackboard Posts. For example, Melanie looks at Eric's profile. He has posted some interesting thoughts and links on his own Profile Wall, so Melanie thinks he's a user worth following. She clicks the Follow button on Eric's profile. Now, whenever Eric posts something to his Profile Wall, that post will appear in Melanie's Posts on her My Blackboard page. That way Melanie never has to miss something interesting that Eric posts and she doesn't have to keep navigating back to his Profile page to check his Profile Wall.
    • If a user's Profile is set to the “public” or “school only” privacy settings, another user can simply click the Follow button to follow that user.  That following user will now receive the followed user’s Profile Wall posts in his posts tool.
    • However, some users may want to control who can follow them. If the user doesn’t want others following him without permission, on the Edit Profile page he can check a box to require others to request to follow him. In that scenario, when another user clicks the Follow he receives a “Follow Request” (displayed in the People tool) and can then approve which users he will allow to follow him. If approved, that following user will now receive the private user's Profile Wall posts in his Posts tool.
  • Interest tags: a user can tag his or her own profile with their interest. When viewing a Profile or Profile Card, clicking on an interest will automatically discover other users who share that same interest. For example, if Sarah had listed “Biology” as an interest, clicking on that tag would provide a list of other users who had also tagged themselves as being interested in “Biology.”
  • Social Integration: A user has the option to “seed” her Blackboard profile with information (avatar, email, “about me”) from her Facebook or Twitter account. To further enrich his or her Profile, a user has the option of publishing his Twitter feed or his public-facing Facebook posts to his Blackboard Profile as well. (Twitter or Facebook posts that are visible through Blackboard do not automatically appear in the Posts of a user's Blackboard followers; only Blackboard Profile Wall posts can appear in Posts.)
In response to client needs to respect the privacy of individuals, no data about end-users will be transferred from the Learn instance to the Blackboard Social cloud service without explicit end user "opt in" and consent.
  • New workflow that presents every end-user with individual terms of service to accept before they can access any of the Cloud Profiles and Social features. 
  • The interface provides an optional component for the institution to communicate their own institutional policy statement regarding the use of third-party cloud services to the student. This institutional policy statement is not intended to be used as a contractual agreement.
  • Individual users will have the ability to delete their Profile from the cloud service at their discretion, as long as they have access to the Profile through a Blackboard Learn instance.
  • After 12 months of inactivity, the cloud service will send an email to the end-user’s Primary Email Address identified in their Profile indicating that their Profile will be deleted automatically unless they take steps to retain it.
  • The system administrator will be able to “blacklist” select Courses or Organizations so that those selected Courses and Organizations will not appear in the People tool nor enable discovery and viewing of the Profile by other users enrolled in the Course or Organization. This allows system administrators to ensure those institution-wide Courses or Organizations do not circumvent a user's privacy setting.
Spaces View 1
The Spaces section of My Blackboard provides access to a user's Spaces.

  • A Space is a lightweight group that can be easily and quickly created by any user on the system.
  • When a user creates a Space they automatically become the owner/manager of that Space. However, they can promote other users to manager as well.
  • Spaces might be used for a variety of purposes from a Chem 101 final exam study group to supporting athletic teams to special interest groups on campus. The purpose of Spaces is to empower users to build an academic community outside of Courses and outside of the more formal Organizations.
  • The Spaces section/tool is where a user can go to access the Spaces they have already joined or discover new Spaces to join.
  • Spaces have a Space Wall (similar to the user's individual Profile Wall), where users can post. Users can post text, as well as post links, and share files or media.
Spaces come in three flavors:
  • Spaces View 2
    Public: a public Space appears in searches for Spaces and anyone can join it.
  • Restricted: a restricted Space appears in searches for Spaces, but to participate a user has to make a request to join and have that request approved by a manager of the Space.
  • Private: a private Space appears in searches, but users cannot request to join. The only way to become a member of a private Space is to be invited by a manager of the Space.
   The Messages section provides access to the user-to-user messages that are part of the new Social Learning features.
  • This is separate from and does not aggregate messages from the Course Messages tool. 
  • The Messages section of My Blackboard is where users can view messages sent to them by other users in the system.
  • One user can send simple messages to another user by clicking on the Message link on a user's Profile Card or full Profile, or on the New Message button in the Messages tool. 
  • These are not instant messages; these are asynchronous messages, similar to a lightweight internal email system or messages you might send/receive through another social platform like Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • The conversation -- both messages received and a user's replies -- are all aggregated through the Messages tool.
  • My People provides access to a person's academic network. 
  • Depending upon the cloud settings and additional licensing of Community Engagement, this may include only users at this institution or other institutions.
  • The People section of My Blackboard enables users to discover other users.
  • Users can browse their Academic Networks. Some networks are automatically generated -- your fellow classmates in your Courses, your fellow members of Organizations, and your fellow members of Spaces can all be viewed through the People tool (as long as they have created their Profile).
  • Through the People section, a user can see the Profiles of other users that he is following or that are following him.  The People tool is also where a user would come to act upon Follow request received from other users.
  • A user can search for other users – at other institutions or within their Academic Networks -- in the system by entering a name, a tag used in their profile, or a keyword.
Text Republished From Bb Inc Community Certification Course

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